Recorder buffers for looping and live sampling

(The following was moved from another thread as it seemed it deserved its own)

The best use of recorder buffers is for looping and live sampling tricks. Might take a minute to wrap your head around it but the advantage is that you do not need to save them. By using recorder trigs, pickups, and manual sampling in combination with flex tracks playing the buffers, the OT becomes an extremely powerful live audio warping device…

You use them differently than if you were building a sequence out of existing samples. If you want to record something from the OT’s inputs to be saved and used from then on in your sequence, there would be no reason to load a recorder buffer to a flex track. You would just use the recorder to capture the sample, save the sample and assign to free flex. Then you would go load that to a flex track and build your sequence…

Recording1-8 in the flex list are used when you want to have your sample immediately appear and populate the sequencer as your recording them. You can think of them as “place holders” for the recordings. You can build sequences with them without ever having recorded to them and as soon as you do the new recording is played anywhere it is trigged, and also obeys any plocks of slices, rate, pitch, etc,…

It gets really deep and honestly for me it’s this whole recorder track/buffer trig paradigm that really is the most amazing thing that the OT does and what sets it apart from any other machine or software…

At the most basic level consider looping a drum machine. I always have a one shot recorder ready to record the AR and a flex machine playing the buffer, both trigs on step one. I use the fader so that the live AR is on the left and the sampled AR is on the right. I sample an AR loop and then switch the AR pattern so I always have two AR patterns to fade between. As I go every so often I rearm the one shot to record a new AR pattern, and switch the live AR again… The recorder buffer trig allows this looping to happen and not only do I not have to save the samples, but I wouldn’t want to as they’re just patterns I can play any time from the AR…

To go a little deeper over on track 5 I have this same buffer loaded to a flex, but this one is all rearranged with startpoints in a rhythmic way that I find works with a broad range of drum loops. It also has lfos on filter, retrig, retrig time, and delay added… Every time I arm the one shot I get a new dry loop and also this crazy remix loop gets updated… This is all live in the moment and I can feed anything through that remix track and hear it come back all warped up…

Here’s a very related post from the other day I thought should be linked here:


Yes, I get what your saying now. That’s a pretty amazing use of the recording buffer to feed the flex machines.

I guess I set up the buffers based on a tutorial by Thavius Beck and another by Elektron. I was under the impression that in order to immediately playback what you’ve sampled, you needed to have a recording buffer.

I’ll have to experiment more tomorrow.

I am essentially writing songs using an external MIDI sequencer and I’m capturing the loops with the OT for live performance and tweaking.

It is true if you want to immediately play back the sample you need to use the recorder buffer…
It’s just, you don’t have to if you were monitoring a midi loop elsewhere from a real mixer, OT mixer, thru track, etc… and you wanted to capture and save a sample to then build a permanent sequence with, or just save for latter…
There’s really a lot of ways to go about things…

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Right now I have two feeds from my mixer going to abcd inputs.

I have 5 external synths that I use. I don’t want to bring these synths live. I want to sample the loops and also have the option to mangle the mix up too.

The more I learn about the OT, the more I realize what a poweful composition tool it is, too. Slicing and locking those slices any which way with scenes and parts is quite astonishing.

Im just trying to figure out the best way to capture the loops and save them to a project for playback.

I want to then get into how to mangle or resample to remix these loops.

Thanks for all your advice. Im going to try out the slicing tomorrow.

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Would be interested to read the details of your multipurpose remix track, or at least the placement and values of startpoint trigs that work nicely.


It’s a REALLY clever idea isn’t it.

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Well, let’s see…

For slicing buffers it’s important to use start points instead of slices as there was a bug introduced around os H that makes your buffer slices not work after a power cycle. This bug became a blessing as it moved me to use start points which have an advantage dealing with tempo changes. Using slices is fine until you change the tempo and then rerecord, it’s too much much for me to explain right now but just try it and you’ll see the issue.

Start points allow you to target playback from 128 different positions, 128 slices…
For the equivalent of a 64 slice grid you use the even number start points:
6=slice4, etc…

Key start points are:
0: beginning of bar 1
32: beginning of bar 2
64: beginning of bar 3
96: beginning of bar 4

For the flex I talked about above it is a remix of a 64 step Rytm pattern. On the flex track it is just straight 1/8 notes through 64 steps, trigs placed on steps: 1,3,5,7,etc…
I’ve found that targeting start points in 1/16 note divisions, but rearranging the order usually works for my drum lines. This is the same as a 64 slice grid, so like said above using even numbers will always land you on a 16th note, or one particular step of the recording…

Just place trigs on step 1,3,5,7,etc all the way through to 64, and go through each one and lock an even start point, they go to 127 so try to use some from the entire range. See how it sounds, maybe change some until it sounds cool.
Points 0,8,16,32,40 are the quarter notes, much more likely to trig a kick or snare…

You’ll probably land on something just doing it that way, but you can also methodically think about and pre plan the rearrangement.
If your source is a 64 step pattern as I’ve been describing capturing a Rytm loop, you can target points in the recording that are specific steps from the Rytm pattern using the equation:
(Step# x 2)-2 = start point.
step 33=start point 64 (33x2)-2=64
step 57=start point 112 (57x2)-2=112

If you have a kick on step 57 (middle of bar 4) and you want it to play on step1 of the slice remix, lock start point 112 on step 1, and anywhere else you’d like…
The sound will play until another trig is hit unless amp is adjusted or you can set Len to time in the flex setup menu and control slice length from the len parameter on flex main…

Looks like my amp settings are atk:1 hold:2.000 rel:45
Adjust those to taste…

Once you get something good sounding you can start adding fx, parameter locks, lfos, make scenes that change things, and all sorts of stuff to your rearranged slice remix… Then you can feed other drum lines or completely different source material through it and see what happens…


There’s a few ways, but I would like to add, find a way to consolidate or bounce tracks together.
Neighbor machines and stacking effects brings an amazing performance ability with scenes.
With conditional trigs, neighbor tracks and lots of scene work, you can take a very basic pattern and morph it to all kinds of places.


Alright, I made some short example recordings…

Here’s a simple drum beat that plays twice and on the third play a one shot recorder kicks in and you can hear the flex remix start to play what it can while recording and then on the fourth cycle it will play through, I let it go a few bars and then drop it out to just the beat again. This is just the Rytm direct mixer signal and one flex track. It’s more of a compliment to a beat than a beat itself… It has an lfo on the filter and delay is used as well.

Here’s a different drum beat run through the same flex, just as above it’s the beat and then I arm the recorder and after a bit I mute the flex track so its just the beat again.

And why not, this one is the same as the first beat, but features a crazy lfo sample selected sound being arped from the OT. It’s the same flex but I put rate to 32 and dropped the track scale to 1/2. I let this one go longer and bring the arp sample track in and out a few times and rearm the one shot a few times just to get a different cut of that sample arp as it doesn’t repeat the same per pattern. At almost a minute and a half in I add lfo’s to retrig and retrig time to get the zipper effect. Delay is used and lfo on filter same as before.


That’s a good beat! I get similar sounds out of Izotope break tweaker. I like that you do this with templates that you can apply to any loop. It has a sound. A cool sound.

So, it seems from your posts and examples and a few of the comments that between using these templates and the scenes/parts one could sample a very straight ahead ebm industrial song and then mangle it during a live performance by saving templates in the scenes. As you said, these templates become usable across many songs because of their rhythmic/groove structure.


So, I have a flex machine on the first 6 tracks with the track recorders assigned to the track. I was able to sample the loops, save them to a slot and play back the song from the OT.

I’m writing with MIDI and capturing this as a sample.

The next level would be to further refine the composition using the locks, scenes and parts

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Haha, I’ve been OTing for three years and I’m guilty of tempting new OT users with more advanced OT techniques too quickly just because I like to tell people what it’s capable off.
Not that it will take years to do this but I’d say in a month it’ll make a lot more sense…

I much prefer to feed the flexes live from sampled loops instead of saving them because like in my example above with the rytm, it’ll be different for every pattern used, and also different just by muting things or changing something on the Rytm then sampling again…
Basically a zillion possibilities live in the moment instead of baking in one possibility, not that there’s anything wrong with that either.

I’m a improv musician who’s main instrument is guitar, I’m wired differently… It’s much easier to make something up in the moment for me than it is to try to conform to a rigid structure… I’ve designed most of my patterns and things to be interchangeable and I can go from any one to any other one depending how I feel, and it will work…

I also feed synth, guitar, vocals, and theremin into these flexes, and as those are more melodic I use more pitch shift and stuff to make weird rhythmic harmonies… That stuff is in storage right now though so I’ve been focusing on OTifing the Rytm…

Just keep trying things and every week it’ll make more sense and you will have more ideas of what you can do, and what you want to do… You’ll find there’s many ways to do things and you might do some of what I say but also you’ll probably find your own ways to add to it… Eventually your OT workflow will pretty much be customized to your own flow, while incorporating bits and pieces from other flows…

OT’s are like that. If I traded OT projects with somebody else I don’t expect either of us would know how to go about using the other persons project to its full capabilities…


Your ideas are brilliant!

If I ever work live that way, I’ll be going over your posts again and again.

I’m a singer live and play keys and guitar at times while performing. I see these techniques as part of the way to modify songs for a live show, while keeping the structure. This is the project I’m working on right now.

I’m not in the IDM at the moment. The RYTM isn’t getting much use. I’m sampling all of my old Roland rock and metal drum machine patches with the Digitakt and I did try the sample and slice for a complete playable, drum kit on one track.

I like the idea of messing with the structure during bridges and break downs. That way every show is different.

If I made evolving dance music or complex IDM or noise glitch etc Your techniques are the MOVE. So, I’m going to keep them in my pocket while I figure out basic workflow on the OT.

I’ve messed with it all of 2-3 hours after having watched 2-3 hours of tutorials.

I’m still trying to sort out how to sample with it and to get those loops in place


@Open_Mike … Yeah, again… some really helpful OT info. Thanks so much. Finally sat down with my Rytm & OT last night to experiment with your explanations on workflow. I got about 90% there, with a hiccup that was caused (I think) from the double tap of STOP. (I eventually ended up only recording silence, after some half-ass beat captures). Looking forward to taking this thread to the studio to get it all working 100%. Maybe I’ll post some audio soon. :loopy::thup:


Come hither and join me fellow OTists, deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole we go… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I’m kinda just back hear in the forest with an OT, wondering if I’m the only one that sees what it can do and being like wait a minute, does anybody else see the insanely deep possibilities with this thing or what?

Honestly I have a lot to do to put my ideas and concepts into the OT, everything I say I have tested and verified that it works, but I haven’t programmed in these things as much as it might sound like I have. I’m more of a live player. I wish I had the motivation to sit down and program these flex tricks to their full extent, I know how and would like to, but it’s less exciting for me than playing things…

Part of me hopes someone will take what I say and run with it, and end up surpassing where I’m at with the actual programming them into the machine… Then I wouldn’t feel as guilty about not spending enough time programming them in… Haha…
I’ll do it eventually, I just operate at turtle speed and a week is like a day for me… Haha… :joy:


And bye the way, @Clancy knows what’s up and is a good person to ask for OT advice…
I just make my posts so that they read well to whomever may read them… :smiley:


I’m with you! Since I got it in about Nov or Dec, I’ve experimented with the record buffers, and “pre-sequenced” tracks to play back buffers (that start out empty) and slices (which I sometimes have to re-slice on the fly). I did a set a few weeks ago that was just me on Saxophone and OT with no samples pre-loaded. Created kick, snare, HH, bass on-the-fly by sampling sounds of the horn, and mangling the !@#$ out of it. I’m able to do things I’ve dreamed of for YEARS. Cannot believe I waited this long.


Figured out my last hiccup. I was on Track 6, but selected Recording 1 as my Flex destination for playback. D’oh! Nope. Gotta pick the correct buffer for the track you’re on… in this case Recording 6. Anyway. Here’s a quick (sloppy) video of it working. Recorded the Rytm live into buffer, then I’ve got two separate Flex machines on tracks 5 & 6 that are playing Recording 6 with P-locks, etc. I’m switching between the live Rytm, track 5 and track 6. Added some extra stuff in the mix to make it interesting. Thanks again Mike!


listened to the first beat you posted and forgot what the thread is about… due to awesome!

i totally need to buy a Digitakt.

The force is strong with you young padawan. :sparkles:
You may now begin to fulfill your destiny and help bring balance to the galaxy with the forces of sound… :star2:

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Hmmm, thanks, but I’m the OT poster boy…
@Ryan’s the Digitakt poster boy… :joy:

My OT’s deep in a relationship with a Rytm, and doesn’t fool around… :rofl: