Octatrack Folders - Ideas On Arrangements?

with the magnificent mkII arriving soonish i am starting to order some folders, with the focus being on performance.

here is what i have so far …

Top Level




Loop Folder Contents










Sample Folder Contents

same file structure as Loops folder

Song Folder Contents

Song Originals

Song Others

Song Section Originals

Song Section Others

any ideas on how to further optimise things would be welcome …

i’m also going through the samples and loops and naming them with no more than 10 characters (excluding the filetype) so as to avoid truncation.


blip_xf_L1.wav (the L indicates the file is a loop)

hh_xf_L3.wav (the xf references where it comes from, in this case a loop from the xfer label)

hhcl_xf_L5.wav (to indicate the loop is mainly hihats and clap sound)

not indicating loop length nor tempo in the name.

hopefully this file structure and naming system will be a way of supporting creativity in the moment. providing some clarity and not too much folder diving.

trying to quality-control the amount of loops and samples being imported so that no extraneous material is cluttering the scenario.

it’s more a naming convention opposed to music arrangements (building blocs of a song) THREAD :slight_smile:

I keep this because it’s widely adopted convention :

∞ = Loop
L = left channel
R = Right channel
M = Mono
S = Stereo

Em = I like to put key like this
A7m = if it’s chord sample or stab/keys
122 = Tempo
WA or DMD = 2 or 3 letters for Sample collection (Wave Alchemy, DrivenMachineDrums)
BD, CP, Oh, Ch = Normal convention for Drums like hardware Drum Machine labelling

And all separate by underscores no space in file name. I also put the most important things in the beginning of the file name in case of the file name in truncated on hardware screen sometimes you can’t put a chain of 25 characters and have it all without a scrolling text effect so I try to put things in a certain order of importance.

Sometimes on hardware organization you can create folders so it can be useful to use it in order to make filename a bit more small/short

I like how Native Instruments have tagged their content it’s a good analyse to make… in term of naming convention-tags…

Regarding DAW and Colors convention :
Also Track colors are a personal thing and depending on what you like to look at for 16 hours a day every person has their own method of coloring. Some base their color selection on the frequency spectrum. Instruments with lower frequency instruments (bass) are towards the red end of the spectrum (colors: brown, red, orange), while higher frequency instruments (hi-hats) towards the blue end of the spectrum (colors: blue, cyan).


ah yes … keep the most important information at the start of the name.

with the mkI unit i somehow thought it was a cool idea to select the option of keeping the first and last 5 letters of a name, designed all sorts of clever naming systems to make this work but it never did anything but confuse me :smiley:

“you can create folders so it can be useful to use it in order to make filename a bit more small/short”

  • yes, so true. i am removing the capital L from the naming structure of loop files, as they are in a Loop folder. it’s self-evident.

as regards keys, i hear what key it is in already, my ears detect that so i don’t need to write it down.

also with tempo, i did try putting tempo indications in the filenames but in retrospect, i never took any notice of the noted tempo, and the Octatrack found the correct tempo 99.5 percent of the time anyway.

cool, yes i’m going for the underscore and no space option. :slight_smile:

I used to have a large, nested folder structure with loads of prepared sampled imported from various sources. This was back in the days when I really struggled to enjoy my Octatrack. Now I sample from my modular or other parts of the studio and store the samples in the project folder only. I use only the samples I make for each song and, oddly enough, enjoy the OT much, much more. I also never use static samples any more. If I fill my flex RAM and still want to make patterns or banks, I find ways to use the existing stuff or make a new project and start over.
One issue I had with folder structures, naming and categorising etc. is that it all became a chore that sucked joy out of my life. YMMV :wink:


ohhhh yes

i’m soldiering on with the mission all the same, as i think the thought process is somehow worthwhile thinking about.

hmmm … it might or might not be of use.

i do remember that i was often not choosey enough with any samples imported to the Octatrack, sometimes importing an entire sample pack.

trawling through many samples in a folder was a difficult chore in itself.

there are many ways to approach things, and sometimes the only way out is through.

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I think organization become more obvious when you working with other people or rely on other people to make the project go further. When you make all alone if you don’t care it’s not a problem. If random use of the sample, if no use at all of the sample.

If you don’t recognize yourself above, well organization can be time consuming at first but you win time at some point. There’s nothing doesn’t bother me more than a DAW session with nothing named, nothing saved and backup… Because, you rely on computer reliability to open up your session exactly the same you left it. And in my experience, I have a lot of problems when working with people when listening session (even mine when it’s old sessions…), bouncing the session, sending it to the people and asking if it sound the same on their computer and of course it doesn’t :confused:

That’s why I became a psychopath to handle session. My way is complex but I can reshape a project in any DAW based or Hardware based on my organization in a matter of few minutes or 1, 2 hours if I want. And it will sound the same. (More or less if dynamics or the use of plugins I don’t have anymore)
it’s important to me because I choose the setup (Daw, Hardware or Hybrid) regarding the project and how I want to work with, if I have certain ideas I can’t make on a particular Daw or Hardware.

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I do the same, generally only project folders but I also keep a structured folder of samples and drum loops to use as a toybox when I dont feel like setting up things to sample. occasionally ill have a dig through project folders and have a wipeout when it becomes overwhelming and I cant tell ‘Project140817’ from ‘Project140817¼’


some people have a rule that if they don’t wear something for six months, they give the item to charity.

perhaps that could be a way of maintaining a freshness of content on the media card.

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If such folk lived in temperate climes they’d be coatless every winter!

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Some tools exist to reorganize samples within OT…
Can’t wait to see if OctaEdit works flawless with new update :tongue:


i think of buying a mpc live for resample and store the samples i really like (my own). then with the help of my qu 32 i can route that into my 2 ots and the digitakt. i think this might help because sample management on mpc (youtube) seems pretty cool.

i think one of the issues i’m finding with the idea of re-naming files for clarity is the vital subject of content selection.

to really find what feels great to play, there is a process of content selection and it doesn’t start and end with one or two rounds of selecting and refining the selection.

i started renaming files yesterday after a couple of weeks and two rounds of thinking i had found the best of the best.

but now today i find that no, at least 30 percent of what i thought was going to be useful was just an imaginary scenario somehow, and so the renaming of some of the files was an existential exercise in futility.

maybe it will require just some more well thought out content re-selections. what is truly enjoyable to get creative with on the Octatrack will then eventually become fairly clear.

and then, rather than try to shuffle those files about on the OT’s file management, i’m thinking the easiest idea would be just connection the unit to the computer, open up the folders directly, and just reorganise from there, without any regard to trying to maintain Project file connections or anything.

if there was any valuable work achieved in the content-exploration phases, just resample the cool stuff as audio files and put them in a folder named “Unexpected Gold” or “Surprised by Joy” or something :rose:

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current plan: create two folders for original loop preps on the OT media card …

(clips below 120bpm)

(clips above 120bpm)

I name project folders such as
Ab_crap_track125 (key n bpm)
Then all sounds in folder
A50crap_lead (the a50 references synth bank n patch) sysex/midi files same name on a pc.
so my mind is organised by projects and sounds i want to use/reuse.
No time for anything more complex.


collecting related loops in one folder is a sensible idea.

upon further thought my idea of simply putting loops in two folders for above or below 120bpm is too generic, although might still set those as two delineating upper level folders.

so the structure might go


Sub_120 and Above_120

Individual Loop Folders

that is three levels of folder and is about as complex as i’m willing to go with the folder structure.

I think i will copy that, its a good idea to have some stock samples to create your signature sound, and then varying additions per track.

I currently create my own drum loops in NI Maschine, to export it to Octatrack for further messing things up.

Doesn’t help sound quality :

jip, but a nice workflow. :slight_smile:

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