Rehearsing my first OT live set - ramblings

I’ve had an Octatrack MkII for about three years now. My original idea was to use it as a backing track player & sequencer to arrange old, mostly VST-based material into a proper live set. That project has since not gone beyond one song.

But I’m going to play something very different next week in a private event. It’s also my first time playing solo.
I have no high ambitions for this gig. I’m mostly out to make a fool of myself and tackle some trauma. Get a feel for being on the stage alone.
The slot is only 20 minutes max, and I’ve made two songs, each lasting 7-10 minutes depending on how much I feel like jamming.

The setup is very simple, with only a Korg Monologue connected to the OT and everything else is done in the box. Both songs utilize resampling and the other one is using a pickup machine for layering the Monologue. One thru track is reserved for a “prepared” (preamp, EQ, compressor) signal from an SM58, although I have no idea (yet) what I’ll be saying or singing.

I’ve been rehearsing and refining the set daily and for the first time I feel like I’m not playing around with the Octatrack - instead I’m just playing. It’s an instrument that requires you to be in the moment and in command or you’ll screw up.
It’s almost brutal. Reloaded a part before saving it? Too bad, it’s gone now! Cleared all your carefully placed sliced drum break trigs? Better start rebuilding!
I save the project often, of course, but only if and when I’m sure everything is set up correctly. I could build in multiple failsafes like pre-recording things similar to what I’ll end up with when resampling.

But I’m in it for the danger.

I’m now gravitating towards practicing so that if I mess up, I will not hit stop. Because you don’t hit stop mid-song unless it’s a calculated break or maybe something like a MIDI sync problem. I’m trying to get into the mindset that if I mess up, it’s not the end of the world. I can recover by improvising.

My bandmate once told me that I shouldn’t be so overly serious about everything we do, and it really made me think. The ghosts that haunt me are the ones that say “your music sucks, you’re not a real performer, they’re only going to laugh at you”. These ghosts feed on perfection and self-loathing.

That’s why I’m doing this performance. I’ll start off with a joke and admit that I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m there to make some noise.

There’s no particular point to this post. I’m just excited and felt like venting.


Don’t worry, it will go smoothly.
Perhaps one thing is to take it easy and stick to your classic for most of the set. Don’t take risks doing hard tricks or overly complex operation.
In short keep it simple stupid :smiley:
If you fuck up big, have a joke about it and restart from scratch.

All the material is made for this event specifically so no one has even heard it before, who knows what’s just part of the composition? :wink:

I stil can’t believe I actually did it but I played the gig tonight.

It will take me a couple of days to process everything. But I’ll just say that I can’t believe how flexible and powerful the Octatrack is on stage. It allowed me to express myself in a completely new way.


nice:) sounds like it went well then!!:slight_smile:

Yes but did the joke go down well?

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Well, basically I said “let me introduce the most important piece of gear for any electronic musician” and then put my sunglasses on.

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