At exactly 1 minute 40 sec., Max describes how microtiming the record trig to start a little later than the playback trig, causes pitch down of live audio to stop functioning.

He explains in the image overlay, that this is due to the record trig “catching up” with the playback trig, which the Octatrack does not allow.

But this doesn’t make any sense to me - it would take the record trig almost the entire pattern length to catch up to the playback trig, but playback is stopped immediately, when it’s pitched down. Am I missing something?

When pitching down the playback head (which is ahead of the rec head) moves slower. 1/384 difference isn’t much so it catches up almost immediately (depending how much you pitch down the playback).

A little bit of math: Pitching down only 1 semitone is a speed difference of roughly -6%. So in about 17/384 (~1/24) the rec head will catch up (less than a single step). That’s nowhere near the pattern length.

BTW: it’s not the “live audio” that gets pitched down. It’s the previous recording still in the buffer. In this configuration (playback head in front of the rec head) you can even pitch up without any problems.

@tnussb Thanks for the explanation. I’m not sure I get it, though.

If we can just imagine that on a 16 step pattern, we:

Put a play trig on step 1

Put a rec trig on step 2

Pitch down the play trig one semitone

Then the play head would never catch up with the rec head. Right?

What you explain, would only make sense, if the rec trig was before the play trig. But then again, I’m sure I’m just misunderstanding something here - so please try to explain it again, using other words. (Sorry)

Waking up. Not nice @oktatracker!
I slowed down tempo and increased microtiming to see it more clearly.

To illustrate what @tnussb said : the play head is ahead (because of rec head microtiming) and slower, so the recording stops when the rec head reaches the play head.

Possible to watch the video ?

Anyway for pitch down it works perfectly without microtiming…

Yes, but: what he does is microtiming by just 1/384. So the time difference between the two events is much smaller than a whole step (1/384 == 1/24 of a step).

Just imagine the two heads (rec head and play head) moving along: the play head starts first, but moves slower because its “pitching down”. The rec head starts later, but just a tiny bit later and moves at “normal” speed.

Of course if you put them far enough apart, the rec head will not catch up. When pitching down a single semitone, “far enough” would mean about 1 step for a 16 step pattern. But again: he uses microtiming and not whole steps.