Sequencing multiple external instruments


I have ordered an Octatrack and im interested to know if its possible to sequence multiple instruments? For example two (or more) synths.
I only see one midi out, what would i need to do this if its possible?

Thanks in advance!

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No bother, yes, you need a synth with a thru port which will pass all midi received at its in port, or you need a midi thru box, which will allow you to do it in a parallel manner rather than a serial manner, you’ll need a mixer if the synth counts gets high or you want to select different feeds to the OT for sampling, maybe using an Aux bus out

Yes. Different midi tracks; different midi channels. The midi channels also play up to 4 or 5 notes per step, I think it’s 4.

As mentioned, use a module with a thru or get a midi splitter/router. I use a 1 in and 4 out.

So I would be able to edit the sequences for each external device one by one and then have them run at the same time? Sorry for the questions that for you guys probably appears to have obvious answers.

oooh, this would be a good solution would it not?
seems to handle thru and I would also connect my iPad/iPhone and midi controllers.



This is a good device. However, if you tell us exactly which devices you want to connect together, and what each one will be doing in your system, we may be able to suggest a more suitable alternative.

There are a few threads like this one which offer ideas, something like the pro specced Emagic or MOtU devices can be had for seriously small sums on ebay and offer patching

Sorry if this thread is a duplicate one, I used the search first but ended up with pages upon pages with info not answering my question.

I have a Bass Station II, which unfortunately does not have midi thru. Since its my only hardware synth at this point sequencing more than one device is not a problem right now (although a friend of mine has a Blofeld and some volcas we might try out). In the future I’m considering a synth for leads/pads etc.
Here are some examples of what has caught my interest so far:
Analog Four, maybe Keys, not sure i have the space.
Waldorf Blofeld (desktop)
Nord Lead (4?) (desktop)
System-1, I like the idea of loading it with different synths.

Later on, perhaps a drum synth,
Rytm and TR-8 are high on that list.

Waldorf Streichfett sounds nice as well.

So much stuff, so little time ($).

I’m taking for granted that other Elektron devices will play nice?

TLDR: I would like to keep my option open to what I can sync and sequence with the OT.

Edit: If possible, sequencing the iPad would be a huge boon too.

With only an Octatrack and a BassStation II, you can configure your set-up without any additional equipment; the ‘Octatrack as a MIDI control center’ setup example on page 128 of the OT manual gives some guidance.

If your next purchase has MIDI In, Out, and Thru (as all the Elektron instruments do), you would have no problem adding it to the system. Unfortunately, devices like the Blofeld (desktop) skimp on the MIDI Thru port so, for that and the iPad, some form of USB-to-MIDI conversion becomes necessary. It could be that simpler MIDI-USB connector than the iConnectMIDI4+ (which is excellent, with great support from the manufacturer) would be appropriate, especially if your budget is limited.

Keep thinking and researching (and asking here) as you develop your set-up.

I use an old Motu Midi Express XT that I got for 50 bucks on ebay.
The “Live Keyboards” preset is ideal for such set ups.

It has 8 midi ins, and 8 midi outs.
When in Live Keyboards mode, port 1 IN will send to all other OUT ports except 1, Port 2 IN > all outs except 2, and so on.

So if you plug all your synths midi in/out cables to their own ports, then it’s simply assigning all your synths a unique Midi CH#.

The OT midi tracks are then set up for each of those channels.

Seeing that the OT takes midi in for things like “midi learn,” and recording live parameter knob tweaks, I recommend not wasting your money with thru boxes, and get a midi router.

Thanks! I have the manual ready on my iPad, just recently started reading it :slight_smile:

Is this the one? Good price if no one else bids but the shipping is $50 to where i live.

“The MOTU MIDI Express XT is an 8 input, 8 ouput interface for Mac and Windows (3.1 & 95)”

old, you said? =)

I take it you realise i had a link under ‘this’ in my post above, but that looks good, but no usb, later ones will give you a bit of added flexibility, maybe handy in programming, but the amOTU is self contained, quite a few happy users of similar devices, search here for Unitor AMT ‘midi express’ etc for feedback threads

ooh, no i didn’t realize… I thought that was just bold… thanks =)
sweet, i’ll check it out!

I’ve got a Unitor 8 MKII and it works splendidly for my needs, but…I’ve not upgraded past Mountain Lion, and I’m on OSX.

If you’re using a newer OS or are on Windows, you might want to look into the compatibility first. I’ve held back because I’ve got a system that works, but you may have some headaches going forward…maybe not, but better to figure it out before purchasing.

It was stupid easy for me to set everything up tho, so if you can be reasonably assured that things will work, I wholeheartedly recommend picking up a Unitor for the $50-100 it will cost. Not many options out there that will give you USB integration for so cheap.

I was using a kenton thru for this exact purpose, it has 5 midi thru ports from a midi input.

Thing is i have seen the OT can send power to the Midi out port, so i am waiting to receive a midi solutions quadra thru to avoid using an extra power plug like on the Kenton. The midi solutions one is passive.

See if you need only up to 4 ports, a standalone solution, a passive thru box can be okay ! And later if you need to use your computer with it, no one will stop you to use the midi out from your audio interface to the midi in of the passive box :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I got the one Midi Express pre USB, just cause it was dirt cheap.
There are times I wish I could configure it like the newer ones, but I’ll get by until my set up actually requires that I do.

And as Avantronica said, there’s other options as well.

I use the Quadra Thru (OT to some synths), works perfectly so far.
The OT has enough electric power to feed the Quadra Thru, which is not the case with all Gear.

This is great advice from you all, thank you!

Now that I think about it, my audio interface does not have MIDI.
So if this throu/router could also work as a USB MIDI interface to my computer that would not be a bad thing!

Also, I have come to the conclusion that incorporating my iPad could be too much fun to pass up. So that is now a must have feature of this setup.

So ideally I would want something that:

  1. Works as a midi interface for my computer (nice to have). If its possible to sequence software synths then it might become a must have, because that sounds awesome =)
  2. Works standalone (without a computer) with the OT and a few other synths (that does not necessarily have midi thru).
  3. Works with the iPad.
  4. Does not take up too much space on my desktop because my workspace is for the moment sadly limited. Mobility is also good since it might be coming with me to a friends at some point.
  5. If I could connect my Midi Controller somehow to this setup (for whatever reason, controlling something) thats also a big plus. I have a Nektar Panorama P4 with midi out and USB.

I might be asking a lot, or not at all.

  • Versatility is key.
  • I would rather pay more for something good that will last me a long time and work as intended than something for less that will break after 1 year, or cause me headaches in the future. Within reason for my use of course.

It could be more than just one piece of gear to connect them all.
At this point the things I have to connect together is just the OT, Bass Station II, iPad and VST synths (if possible), and a Blofeld/Volcas at a friends house.

I realise the number of MIDI connections is rules by size, and price. I wonder how many devices one would realistically work with at the same time because there will be more gear purchases in the future. However, I promised myself to try and learn my OT and BS2 to a point where getting more stuff would make sense before I do so.

disclaimer: this promise will not be kept.

Go with iconnectmidi 4. That will handle all your midi needs. I can promise that. You get 4 midi In out, iPod/iPad conection and computer as well. You can use stand alone or with a computer.

The only problem is that the iCM4+ doesn’t transmit audio from the iPad except via a computer, so for that purpose it cannot be standalone.

I don’t think the poster is looking for an audio interface, just MIDI…

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