Octatrack safe workflow with patterns

Hey folks!

Just realized why my stuff is never sounding like the last time I played it … and would like to know how you handle this.

Since the OT saves everything per bank and not per pattern (why…?!! @Elektron why?!) I have a very hard time finding a workflow that won’t destroy everything when starting a new pattern.

I figured that I could Plock everything …but it would mean that I’d have to plock every step in every track… is this the way I shall use the OT? Or am I missing something?

For example MiDi Track 1 in pattern 1 should have an ARP with various settings … pattern 2 no ARP.


As you finish a pattern, save the Part associated with it.
I pretty much split 16 patterns into four parts, so each part has 4 patterns.
Easy recall everytime.
When I turn off the machine, if I know I am not going to make any further changes I save the project. Learn the key combos. commit to muscle memory.


is the part saved with the pattern? I don’t think so… How should I remember that…

A Part is like a Kit, it is associated with patterns. You have 4 Parts per Bank. So you can use them however you need to. Some people use Part 1 for patterns 1-4, Part 2 for patterns 5-8 etc. But it is flexible


Ah okay… really don’t understand why they did it that way. I can understand that parts are a nice feature but pattern should save eveything I change nontheless.

Thanks a lot! This forum is awesome … I hope I will remember that everytime I start a new pattern from now on.

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Patterns are saved in Parts.
So if you save the Part, you save the pattern associated with it.
You don’t save patterns with octatrack, you save Parts, samples, and projects.
Auto save is a ‘soft’ save, meaning it recalls the sate of the machine when you turned it off.
Saving parts and projects is a ‘hard’ save, meaning the project and parts (with associated patterns, samples p-locks etc) is saved to the flashcard.

I cant tell you how to remember things. If you want to retain part settings when starting a new pattern, copy the part settings to the new part (say Part 1 to Part 2) then begin writing your new patterns with Part 2 active.


Yeah just did that. It is already remembered - I guess I am a fast learner. Never ‘wanted’ to use parts (since I used the OT more like a mixer for DN+DT) - but now I get that I am forced to use parts or I can’t use the OT without f***ing everything up all the time.

Auto saved files (.work) are on the CF card too.
Parts are saved in banks. Patterns are linked to 1 of the 4 parts of the bank. Each bank have 4 parts and 16 patterns. Patterns are auto saved in banks.

Usually when experimenting I don’t save parts. If I want to change part simply and quicky, I change the bank and use the same trig (A1, B2, C3 etc). Changing bank implies part change. Part settings are auto saved anyway. You can also copy a part to another one to recall settings without saving.

Of course for live conditions it is safer to save parts previously to reload them if you’re lost!


Parts aren’t that bad… In fact they can be quite good! :grin:
Give em a chance, after you get to know them I bet you might even like them eventually…

“All we are saying, is give parts a chance…” :peace_symbol:


PARTS play important role in OT’s workflow, there is always one active that holds lot of settings and assignments.
I want to use them all but I get lost and confused often because I still have not learned to find that small one-line-info of active Part on the display.

Great idea:

I would make PARTS very friendly by pulling them out.
Instead of:

I will love fastest switching:


in a bit bigger MKIII units :content:


Even better with MKI and MKII :
16 parts, choose them with PART + Trig 1-16
(Fn+Midi+Trig 1-16 for MKI)

In regular menu, choose Parts 1-4 with up, Parts 5-9 with right, etc…

Feature request!


Yeah that‘s what I want … the 4-part thing makes it impossible to be as flexible as with the Digitakt - but Digitakt is lacking ARP. So in the end I will have to fallback to Plocking every step when wanting to have other CCs for the ext MIDI gear.

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Would be sick.

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I honestly think parts make the OT more flexible than the digis…

They allow you to make multiple patterns that all share the same kit (part). Most of the time a part is worthy of using multiple patterns. One pattern is usually not enough to exploit the selected sounds and such that a part has defined. It becomes very nice to make a progression of patterns that all share the same sounds. This has a major, major benefit to live tweaking. If you say close the filter of a track on pattern one and then switch to pattern two, if it’s using the same part the filter will still be closed on pattern two instead of snapping to whatever it’s saved position is. Basically they allow for live improv tweaking over a progression of patterns…

I think what throws a lot of people off is that they think they should try to use parts by changing them on a pattern with the sequencer going. Parts are very much like drum machine kits, they’re main use is to link them to a pattern once and then forget about it. When you switch patterns the OT will also switch parts to whichever one you have linked to that pattern.

Another thing that throws people off is that there are only 4 per bank instead of 16. It’s really not that bad it just means for every 16 patterns you have 4 kits at your disposal. This is why a lot of people use patterns 1-4 linked to part1, 5-8 part2, 9-12 part3, 13-16 part 4. This allows you to make a progression of 4 patterns that share the same part and allow for improv tweaking, and then a new part for the next 4, etc…

All in all the OT has 64 parts. I do not recommend this but if you really wanted you could assign pattern1 to part1, pattern2 part2, pattern3 part3, pattern4 part4, for every bank. If you do this and simply ignore patterns 5-16 of every bank, the OT would behave just like the digis. You’d have 64 patterns each linked to their own part and you’d just use patterns 1-4 of every bank…


I really don’t think parts were intended to be changed for a pattern while that pattern is playing. They’re just like kits, you assign the to a pattern once and forget about it. Whenever you load that pattern again it loads the part you chose with it…

Even the lingo in the manual suggests nothing about trying to switch them mid pattern. It implies they are useful for different patterns to be linked to different parts in order to have different sounds/settings…


I do think it was intended that parts might be switched mid-pattern, after all it’s essentially an extension of the kit/part re-load functionality and it has always been a seemingly intentional MD/MNM performance device to swap kits on a playing part

I agree that your interpretation is the primary intention of the part paradigm, but a number of useful performance capabilities can be gained by switching parts on an active pattern, and these extra capabilities seem very intentional to me, particularly for an instrument like the OT. Even if you aren’t changing any of the audio playback machines you may want to alter recording setup parameters or deep MIDI settings like the arp sequences on the fly, without changing the pattern, and parts having access to these deep settings is no accident - they could have been stored and locked away in the project layer, not even being as accessible as the global slots on MD/MNM


I totally agree and have made posts about “next level” part switches mid pattern. It’s just that parts confuse so many people I’m trying to make it look as simple as possible. Once one gets the general use of parts and is ready to change parts mid pattern they’ll know it. But starting by doing it mid pattern seems to confuse a lot of people…

I was going to say that I don’t think the “primary” or “main” intention was to switch mid pattern, probably would have been better wording…


Thanks for the words. Hearing them in my head makes me see more scenarios that are probably not intended to happen and one can confuse something while trying to simplify.
These imagined four buttons for Parts:

  • what would happen if I press them all simultaneously?
  • what about switching very fast?
  • can I chain them? :nerd_face:
    It makes sense not to overuse them.
    Personally I just still need parts to give me stronger visual response, because I’m often lost.

maybe you do this already, but renaming them sometimes helps with this if I make the names visually distinctive enough, like a part named ‘XXXXXX’ it is hard not to notice the difference when switching from the default ‘ONE’ or ‘TWO’


I think why many people get confused with parts is you edit them while you are in a pattern and it’s placed over to other patterns.
What I am missing is that you can’t change parts quantized, only when changing patterns but not mid-pattern.