Plays free is freaking me out


hello all :slight_smile:

I must be missing something very simple here as my story and actions contradict the manual completely


sequencer is playing.

nothing complicated just some loops and samples i’ve built,.

so i have 8 tracks set to plays free as per the settings in the FNC+BANK page.

TRIG MODE AT one2 - this according to the manual makes it play and stop when i hit the trig button - well it plays straight away which is odd as it is supposed to wait until the sequencer has gotten back to step one of the pattern. And weirdly when i hit the trig again it simply retriggers it from the start.

I have set each track to TR length for quantize - this should mean the track starts and stops according to the tracks own pattern length i believe - so if a machine has a 64 step track and i press the trig at step 7 i have to wait until the 64 steps are up before it starts, SO IT IS quantized and in time right? . Wrong - doesn’t work, track starts immediately, not only that but unless i’m bang on the beat its out of time.

The QUANTISE TR length does nothing, its like it is stuck in DIREC mode.

from the manual • DIRECT will make a disconnected track start playing as soon as the corresponding
[TRIG] key initiating track playback is pressed.
• TR. LEN will quantize the start and stop of the disconnected track according to the
total length of the track.

if i turn off PLAYS FREE there is no difference in the way that tracks react to the trigs - loops still loop, the trig presses are not quantised etc - the only difference is that the sequencer can then start and stop the trigs :joy: this is bonkers

Oh, one more thing - i have to use trigs 9-16, i was watching a video where someone was using 1-8 - is the on an old OS?

Any help guys - please :cry:

I succeeded to trigger Play Free tracks on TRLen with One 2 mode. I can’t tell what’s wrong with your settings right now.

Edit :

Didn’t read that ! You have to trigger Play Free Tracks with 1-8 Track Trigs of course !
9-16 are Sample/Midi Play Free tracks trigs

If there’s still something wrong, maybe you can try with a one bar simple pattern first…

Hey man,

Thx for replying after its had nearly 100 view and no answers lol.

A 1 bar pattern makes no difference. I’ll PM you my email address if you’re u agree to the below. Bottom line is interesting.

What OS are you on? Although that shouldn’t matter as the manual was written for old OS and I am on 1.25E

Oh, other than asking you for a page by page list of settings to see where I’m wrong I’m screwed here so could you send me that project file please? That way I can see if it works on my maschine and rattle through your settings .

I could send you a project of mine perhaps to see if mine works at your end … I’ve been through all settings and there’s nothing I can see that should be doing this.

Yes, weirdly I have to use 9-16 as pressing 1-8 does nothing at all except (READ THIS) if I press trig 1 the sequencer starts :joy: , I take it that doesn’t happen on yours?

Wondering if I’ve got a faulty box or a bug of some sort.

I have to sail today, I can try check this tonight.
I’m on 1.25E.
Pressing 1-8 trigs triggers Play Free Tracks, so it uses the sequencer.

Was it my video on plays free drumming you were watching?

Because if it was, that’s four years old and I don’t know if the OS has changed it since then.

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reading this makes me want an OT again haha… i liked this mode. it’s like ableton clips. sounds like you just have a setting wrong somewhere. but iirc plays free is actually divorced from the seq. hence the name

from memory you have to actually place a trig on the track to ‘open’ it, so to speak. but then, i dont have an OT anymore i could be talking BS


yes possibly yours and others and initially that was what i thought about the OS but according to sezare it is still 1-8 that trigs them, on mine however, it’s 9-16 and the only thing that trig 1 does is actually starts the sequencer, trigs 2-8 do nothing that i can see or hear, this is my confusion - they trigger nothing.

ive tried every setting i can and get nowhere, the TR length quantise does nothing, i could live with it being on trigs 9-16 (which seems different to how it’s meant to be so that’s freaky) but the whole non quantise start and stop thing is ridiculous.

there must be a setting i’ve missed but as i read the manual its simply set up using Func+bank - done that and nothing i do makes any difference.

yes matt i know they are divorced that’s why i am trying to use them. as above the only settings that apparently matter are in the func+bank menu.

Holy SH*T, matt your last sentence got me. You should get another OT mate - the treats on me :smiling_imp:

i placed a trig for the plays free tracks on the sequencer and BOOM it acts like it should, quantised start and stop , TRIGS 1-8 do their job.

For anybody that comes across this issue in future, you HAVE to place a trig on the sequencer even though the tracks are disconnected - why this isn’t mentioned in the manual i don’t know (unless i missed it but unlikely although i was reading with a certain vigour time and again lol) - i find it VERY odd as they are disconnected from the sequencer but hey that’s how it is. OH and loop also has to be set to off in the playback menu - i expected auto to work in conjunction but it doesn’t.

thanks all involved and especially Matt


Trigs 9-16 are nothing to do with plays free … nothing

Those play the machine at the current settings, they’ll do so even if the seq is off, it starts a machine, plays the sample (if assigned) at current settings

Plays free only applies to Trigs 1-8 and will only work if there are Trigs on those tracks and only if each track is set to plays free independently

Fn+Bank defaults to the global options, you then need to select each track manually and set it to plays free, but that track will need to have trigs on it … you are manually playing the sequencer, not the machine per se … so you need trigs

If the sequencer is playing and it’s set to a finite length, then the quantize will work fine, well at least it all works exactly as advertised here

EDIT: just saw this was resolved above !


i know 9-16 don’t that was my cause for concern mate.

i also know now to use a trig - thanks for your quote and help above, like i said matt stirred my curiosity, that got me to the solution.

from the manual.

PLAYS FREE controls the behavior of the tracks. When activated the chosen track will be
disconnected from the sequencer. When [PLAY] is pressed the track will not start playing.
To start the playback of for example audio track 1, it needs to be trigged manually by pressing
the first [TRIG] key. To trig MIDI track 1, press [TRIG] key 9 while in MIDI mode. Disconnected
tracks will be stopped when [STOP] is pressed. Read more about track trigging
in the section “TRACK” on page 81.

nothing about placing a trig - they could do with that VITAL piece of info in there imo.

You’re triggering a Track, that’s very clear in the manual, if there’s nothing on the track, there’s not going to be any activity … ask yourself the question, what should happen if there’s nothing on a Track when you trigger it ?

Maybe ask yourself whether you actually want the facility to trigger just the machine (not the track or p-locks) at its current settings, for that you use Trigs 9-16

The whole point of the TrackTrig 1-8 is to play the sequencer manually, something which exploits the possibilities of p-locks etc

It’s also labelled underneath the Trig ‘Track Trigs’ … with no info on the track, there couldn’t be any activity … you would have been playing the tracks, but as no machine was being triggered, the icon would stay at a square(stop)

The key thing here is what would your empty track do anyway if it wasn’t in plays free mode :wink: ?

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no because they say trigger it manually and it is disconnected from the sequncer hence it’s name - it’s contradictory to then have to use the sequencer to actually allow the triger that is disconnected to work - that to me says use your hands, not the sequencer to open it, no mention of it,.

anyway - resolved now so all good

“Plays free” or “disconnected” tracks are still tracks, singular sequencer lines to place trigs on, etc…
When they are disconnected, they do not start with the play button, you start them manually, but they still play just like tracks and follow the bpm and track length/scale and what not, and as tracks they are sequences of trigs.

Take a regular OT pattern that you have where you press play and all 7 or 8 tracks play. Turn one to plays free and it will not start with the play button, but when you trig it manually it will be the same sequence of trigs that it was before. If a track is blank with no trigs and you change it to plays free, it still will be an empty track and therefore make no sound when you play it, just like a regular track with no trigs…
Most certainly the logic is that playing an empty track whether plays free or not will make no sound…

You may be looking for something other than plays free, I don’t know, it seems like maybe you want to just trig the “machine” instead of the track which would be trigs 9-16. That will just play the sample with all current parameter page settings and not the “track”, you can quantize the launch of the sample in the attributes section of the audio editor.

Just thought I’d say this all for clairifaction… it seems like you just want to trig the “machine” and not the “track”, otherwise you would have had trigs on it from the get go… :thinking:


You should have watched my vid - I did explain all of this and gave some tips on how to use plays free. Anyway, good luck with your octaendevours!

Man, thanks for this one! Was starting to think I was crazy because I couldn’t make it work. What a cooky thing to have to have a trig activated before PLAYS FREE can actually work.

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The way to think of it is Plays Free is playing sequences freely, in other words not connected to the transport, in order to work they still need sequence data.

If you don’t want loops to play with any sequencing then just trig the samples manually either from slots mode or the dedicated trig button in track mode, you can set play quantise values.


Nothing cooky about that. Even if the play free track would start you wouldn’t hear anything, because there is no info on the track what, how and when it should make sounds. A track is still a track and needs trigs on it.

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Ya but wouldn’t PLAYS FREE imply that it’s independent of the sequencer and therefore any trigs?

I can see how you might think that but once you put it together with the rest of the manual terminology it wouldn’t imply that because its a condition applied to a “track”, a sequencer track where trigs are placed…

A track hosts a “machine”, the flex and static machines play samples according to the sequence of trigs on the track. To just play a sample you trig the machine, not the track…

Plays free tracks are just like your regular tracks on your patterns but they don’t start with the play button, you launch them separately as one shots or loops, they play the sequence of trigs on the track… You can quantize the launch of them so they are lined up with the sequencer tracks, or you can have them various lengths, launch them direct at different times, and then have a bunch of them looping with no real tie to what beat the main sequencer play head is on…

I might have explained it better in the post a few above: Plays free is freaking me out