Setup advice: Octatrack inputs and tracks

I´d like to hear your opinions on your preferred way to hook up the machines and why. I´m currently using the Octatrack and Digitone, but I want to get a Digitakt and maybe an analog mono synth. I want to do everything live so I´ll use the arranger.

I want to keep my setup very compact (the input limitations of the OT forces me to do so) and independent from the computer. Now I´m using it only for recording, I´d like to be able to multitrack everything via Overbridge, but I´m not sure about how to do so ´cause the DN (and DT) have the FX track separate, and I like to jam with the DN using its effects, using CTRL-ALL and such. The best case for me would be to have each DN track in Ableton to be sent altogether to the OT already EQed or whatever, but I can´t do it because of the latency. Tell me there´s a solution for this!

Anyway, I´m thinking about the wiring and OT track configuration:

T1 - Thru A-B (Digitone)
T2 - Neighbor
T3 - Perc, cymbals, etc.
T4 - Kick
T5 - Thru C-D (Digitakt)
T6 - Perc, vocals, etc.
T7 - Transition Trick
T8 - Master


  • If I put a monosynth in the equation, it should be coming into the DN input. This way I can use the DN´s effects, but it makes more difficult to mix them. I can do it in Ableton before sending it to the DN.

  • I like to have the Kick separated from everything, specially when using DT´s CTRL-ALL and the resulting craziness it can become. Another reason is that the DT sometimes skips the first note…

  • I have not decided if I´m going to sequence the machines from the OT or not, and I´m afraid I´ll do it only sometimes, so more complexity with mutes.

  • I have to try to avoid the resampling of compressed T8, now figuring out how.

  • Maybe I´ll ad a MIDI controller for the levels (MIDI Fighter Twister or FF EC4).

Any advice?

I have an A4/AR/OT and digitone plus 3 other synths I run everything into ableton via overbridge and extra overbridge inputs on A4 and soundcard for eq and mixing
then use a send to output to external out anything I want to record and sample back into the Octatrack …I multitrack and mix that way but record into mix groups now…
It can be difficult but you should be able to get around the latency…

Heres how mine is set up. OT plus 3x synths and a modular.

  • I decided to keep the same element of a song on each track so I always know what part I’m muting or working on just by glancing at the active track.
  • I don’t use overbridge or indeed a computer for music.
  • Everything is sequenced on the OT except for the Avalon.
  • I only use MIDI ch 1, 5, 7, but have left room to expand this especially for the virus
  • Virus has an input single patch which can either be used on it’s own or within a multi, giving 2 channels out of the modular access to both virus and OT fx :slight_smile:
audio tracks midi tracks inputs
1: kick 1: virus MIDI01 A: virus L
2: hihats 2: virus MIDI02 B: virus R
3: percussion 1 3: virus MIDI03 C: tetra
4: percussion 2 4: virus MIDI04 D: avalon
5: bassline 5: tetra MIDI05
6: melody 1 6: tetra MIDI06 cue outputs
7: melody 2 7: modular MIDI07 L:
8: master 8: modular MIDI08 R:


  1. avalon = MIDI clock only
  2. audio track sources = OT samples or OT inputs
  3. 2x modular out to virus LR in

Thanks DanJamesAUS, so you record before sending it to the OT, aren´t you? I think it´s not possible to do it live.

Thanks Subduct, do you use any hardware to do some “live mastering”?

No worries. I’ve only had OT for a few months so I’m still finding my way. I don’t have anything else after the OT main outputs, usually I use some compressor on the master track. Quite a few have said good things about the FMR RNLA.
I’m nowhere near having material I think is worth trying to master yet!

My current setup is an OTMKII, DN, and iPad.

T1-T4 on the OT are internal samples.
T5 is the DN input from AB
T6 is the iPad input from CD
T7 is live recording/looping the inputs for the transitions
T8 is the master with compression and reverb.

The CUE output goes into the iPad for some Samplr processing.

M1-M4 are the DN tracks 1-4. I sequence the DN from the OT and use each pattern on the DN as a KIT.
M5-M8 are the iPad tracks for sequencing 4 iPad synths.

If I use my soundcard that has more inputs with the iPad, I also run a mic through it which then goes into CD with everyone else.


I use compressor as well in T8, but the problem here is the resampling.

I read a lot about FMR compressors, but for now I´m not getting gear for the master.

I do this as well on some projects. I still have to decide if I want to sync pattern changing or do it manually.

I have Patterns 1-4 on the OT reference A01 on the DN, 5-9 rock A02, and so on.

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Then you change from the OT only?

Correct. I’ll change presets on the iPad by hand when needed. I’ve just really started on this journey since getting the OT a few weeks ago after having sold mine over a year ago. My plan is to basically just do some ambient sets. I’m writing some basic parts and then I’ll play some stuff live. Right now it’s all in Cm to make my life easier, haha.

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Me neither, OT output sounds plenty good enough for now. I’m no audiophile or professional!

You can record in real-time so ableton is just acting as a mixer.
Just turn the send up on the track you want recorded

Then I´m starting to think the latency I´m getting is due to another thing…

Mine has changed a bit now I have a Rytm for drums:

STUDIO setup: input AB = mixer aux 1/2, input CD = DJ mixer
LIVE SETUP: input A = Avalon, input B = Evolver (mono), input CD = Virus

So where are the drums going? Direct to mixer?

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Yep - OT, Rytm, Virus and Evo get a stereo mixer channel, the rest mono (plus a mic for yelling into).
For a live show I would only need a small mixer, 2 stereo inputs only.