Project Organization Template

Hey guys,

I’m a fairly new owner of this fine machine and I’m in the process of adapting my Ableton Live set into an Octatrack set. I found it really easy to lose track of what was assigned where, particularly in regards to my Scenes and Parts. I decided it would be helpful to document it all in a spreadsheet to keep track of it all. Often just writing things down helps to solidify things in my mind, but being able to easily reference it would be handy too. I also felt that establishing a consistent schema for my Parts and Scenes would prevent me from getting lost and causing undesirable surprises.

This template probably wont be useful for everyone, but I figure if it helps me it will probably help some other owners. Check it out and let me know what you think!

If you’re interested, here’s a bit more info on how I’m setting up my Project.

When I performed using Ableton Live and an APC40 I had my songs split up into 8 stems, so I’ve taken those stems and cut them down to their most relevant bits then set up my Slice points accordingly. I use one bank per song, and play stems on all 8 tracks, using Static Machines with sequenced slices on the patterns to create the structure of my songs.

My tracks are assigned as follows:
T1 - Kick & Snare
T2 - Percussion 1
T3 - Percussion 1
T4 - Bass
T5 - Chords & Leads 1
T6 - Chords & Leads 2
T7 - Chords & Leads 3
T8 - SFX

Part 1 will use Static Machines on all tracks, Part 2 will have one track assigned to its own Record Buffer for live sample mangling, Part 3 will have a Pickup Machine for live looping, and Part 4 will have a Thru.

I adopted Merlin’s concept of assigning Scenes 1 - 8 to A and Scenes 9 - 16 to B. I use the first 4 Scenes to fade in elements for Intros and Breakdowns, the next pair for a Delay feedback wash. I’ve got LFO Amount assigned to a pair for different “sidechain” rhythms by controlling AmpF Volume. Another pair is set to slice points for creating variations and fills and one is set to Filter points for the Bass to do filter sweeps. I plan to keep the Scenes more or less identical on each Part.

At first I was really trying to recreate the songs exactly as I had them on the album, but the Octatrack kept giving me new fresh variations on my material and I decided I really should embrace the happy accidents as that was a big part of why I got the unit in the first place. It’s funny in retrospect how long it took me to figure that out! I would sequence something and go “Oh cool, that’s completely different, but now how it’s supposed to be”.

I’m also planning to use it to sequence an MFB Kraftwerg and an Arturia Microbrute through a MIDI Solutions Quadra-Thru (that my wife is picking up today) and loop/sample my Electro Lobotomy Sonic Forest and Trumpet. I might drop some of these things to simplify my set-up but we’ll see how it goes. If I get my act together to record some video I’ll be sure to let you know!

I’m thinking for future projects I would use Track 8 as a Master Track. After watching a few of Dataline’s videos I quickly realized the awesome potential of the Master Delay Tempo Time Trig Trick thingy thing. Sorry for the essay, and thanks for reading if you’re still here!