Octatrack Midi Setup Help

I’m trying to do what I thought would be fairly simple, and that’s hook up a couple synths to the Octatrack and control them independent of one another via the same external MIDI keyboard controller. The problem I’m having though is the older synth (which is receiving signal via the midi thru port of the Digitone) doesn’t have the ability (as far as I know) to be designated to a single midi channel, thus it’s audible on every channel. Here’s where I am right now:

Arturia Keystep, MIDI out ----> Octatrack, MIDI In
Octatrack, MIDI out ----> Digitone, MIDI In
Digitone, MIDI Thru ----> MC-505, MIDI In

  • Arturia Keystep set to MIDI Channel 11.
  • Octatrack set to MIDI Auto Channel 11.
  • Digitone set to MIDI Auto Channel 10.
  • Octratrack MIDI Track 1 assigned to MIDI Channel 10 for Digitone. I’m able to hear and control the Digitone just fine with the Keystep.

Problem is I’m also hearing and controlling the MC-505 at the same time! When I change the midi channel to anything other than 10, the Digitone of course cuts out and I’m only hearing the MC-505. And no matter what channel I’m on, I’m hearing the MC-505.

Is there something I’m missing here on the Octatrack? Or is this just a roadblock intrinsic to the MC-505?


Auto channel is only for physical track selection, for example, when using Auto Channel 11,
Now the OT Midi Tracks will respond if they are physically “selected”
If I were you I’d leave your track one the same as is for Digitone on ch 10
Now everytime you select channel 10 on the Keystep, you play the digitone.

Do the same thing with the 505.
Set up a Midi Track on the OT, set the channel to what ever channel it need to be for the 505.
Now whenever you select that channel on your keystep, it will play that channel on the 505

Once you figure that out, then maybe try auto channel

Lastly, make sure your Audio Tracks are not set to midi channels in the prefs

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I agree with @JuanSOLO’s advice above, but also: what’s the MC-505 MIDI channel? Seems like it’s set as OMNI right now. Did you try isolating the issue by connecting the Keystep directly to the MC-505 and trying the different channels?

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Thanks @JuanSOLO and @jipumarino

Ok, I went to the OT settings and turned off Auto Channel. With the Keystep set to channel 10, OT midi track 1 set to channel 10, and Digitone set to auto channel 10… it’s controlling the Digitone just fine. I can still hear the 505 along with it though. If I change the Keystep to any other channel, I hear nothing (when I change to, say, channel 13, I am no longer controlling the Digitone and the 505 is no longer receiving signal as well.) Just so I get this clear… as now setup per your recommendation, as long as ANY one of the 8 OT midi tracks is set to channel 10 (and the Keystep and Digitone are set to 10 as well of course) the flood gates are open and I will hear the Digitone (and unfortunately 505 now too.) It does not matter which OT midi track is selected - the Keystep will only control the Digitone/505 unless I change the Keystep channel.

I can setup a midi track on the OT for the 505, but no matter what channel I set for the track OR the Keystep, the 505 still comes through. I just tried isolating the issue by plugging the Keystep directly into the 505 and changing the Keystep channels from 1 up to 16. All of the channels received sound, which has to mean the 505 is broadcasting as OMNI as you said @jipumarino. I do not know how to change this and didn’t see any mention in the manual.

@JuanSOLO Not exactly sure what you mean by making sure the audio tracks are not set to midi channels in the prefs. Could you please clarify which preference page I should be looking at to double-check?

Remote Keyboard > OFF
Chapter 15 p 168
I think you should read chapter 15 and 16

I don’t regret any of the Roland MCxxx I had !
MC 505 Arp is very good though.

Wouldn’t say no to a MC 202. :slight_smile:

I second this. I had more fun with MC303 and MC505 in '99 than almost any time since.

Hey there,

Wanted to pick up on this thread and save a new post.

So, as with the original poster, I’m trying to play my external synths using the Keystep. The goal is to basically substitute the OT’s chromatic keyboard mode with an actual keyboard.

Seems fairly simple. But, I can’t even get this thing off the ground. At the moment, no matter what midi channel I select on the Keystep, it would seem that midi isn’t even being sent to the synths. All that happens is that the upper octaves on the Keystep scroll through menu items on the OT haphazardly. It seems like I’m controlling the OT buttons with the Keystep, not sending any midi pitch information via midi channels.

Is there something super basic, I’m missing? Maybe something that needs to be adjusted on the Keystep? That said, when I plug the Keystep directly into any of the synths via midi, it play the synths just fine.

Additionally, I have the OT synced to my computer via Midi In, so can I use the MIDI THRU on the OT to receive MIDI from keystep to play synths? (I’m assuming if I use the thru I won’t be able to step record midi notes on the OT).

Either way, I can’t get any of this to work even slightly, so any help would be SUPER appreciated.



I have a similar set up.
Keystep into OT. Then digitone, TR8-S, midi splitter to shelves of analogue synths. In that order.

Here’s how i do it.
Both elektrons set to midi auto channel 11.

Keystep to midi channel 11.

Keystep midi out to OT midi in.
OT midi out to DN midi in.
DN midi thru to TR8-S in
TR8-S midi out to midi splitter
Splits to each synth midi in.

OT midi track 1 to channel 11. (Now OT passes keystep midi through to Digitone, where I record sequences, select DN tracks etc)

OT midi tracks 5,6,7,8 to channels 5,6,7,8 respectively. These midi tracks sequence my analogue synths.

TR8-S only needs clock so no issue there.

With the above set up, I select OT midi track 1 to play the digitone, midi tracks 5 ,6,7,8 to play any of my analogues. Very simple.

There is no computer in my set up. I suspect your issue might be there.


Thank you! This helped tremendously!

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Hey @Microtribe, I wonder if Keystep’s arp can be synced to external clock.

This has been ask in a french forum, concerning Digitakt. I can’t confirm, I don’t have a Keystep.

I also wonder if Keystep arp can be reset by Transport Play midi message. (works well with my Taktile 49, not with my Akai Mini Play, which is reset at clock beginning. OT sends clock continuously. An Mpc doesn’t after stop)

I have no idea. I’d have to read the manual.
I dont get fancy with my keystep, i just use it as a straight up keyboard.

Keystep arp can sync to external clock.

Ok thanks @Microtribe. If you or anybody can make a Keystep arp sync with external clock test…

Ok thanks. What about key sync ?
On my Taktile 49, when synced to external clock, notes are played on the “grid”, if you see what I mean. (Requires a transport Start message).

Btw I don’t know the best way to express it. For instance, Digitone arp’s is synced to the sequencer when you play live. Not the case of OT or A4. Their arp sequence begin as soon as you play (key sync).

The Keystep transport has to play for the arp to work. So if you’re synced externally it won’t arpeggiate until the transport fires. That should be “on grid” as you say.

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