Setup: octatrack, four, rytm, digitone & heat

Hello everybody,

does anyone have a good idea?

namely a dawless setup with rytm mk1, four mk1, digitone, heat mk2 and an octatrack mk2.

since the octatrack doesn’t have many inputs, I wonder how I can best connect them together …

the complete arrangement should also be driven here …

For example: Mixer with 6 stereo channels: OT, A4, AR, DT, OT main and OT cue on stereo ins, OT AB and CD as well as OH fed by stereo sends, AH back through stereo return.

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hm, actually everything should run through the octatrack, so without an external mixer … is there no cool solution?

You can still make everything run through the Octatrack if you use a mixer that has an alternative output bus like Alt 3/4 on the Mackie mixer (though be aware some of these suffer from factory left/right unbalance).

The way I run it with a 1202vlz4 (with pretty much same line-up plus some Behringer synths added) is that every machine’s audio out feeds into a channel on the mixer (including the Octatrack). From mixer the Alt 3/4 goes into OT AB and the Control Room mix out goes into OT CD.

This way whenever I want to run a specific channel through the OT (for sampling/mangling) I activate Alt 3/4 to rout it to the OT. Only issue with this is that you can’t use aux sends on that channel before it routes into the OT.

Parallel to that the OT is also picking up the total mix from the Control Room outs (same as the main outs). So I can sample if I want the entire loop and use the Transition Fader trick to go from a live loop to a recorded loop. Just gotta remember to then turn down all the channels on the mixer to avoid doubling.

Probably are better ways for this but when i was searching this was the easiest affordable solution I could find. There are also two aux sends in this setup (currently using myself for cheap delay/reverb/overdrive pedals). If I had a Heat I would be debating myself between adding it post mixer or putting in as an aux send.

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Ah, ok. So maybe simply DT into AR or A4, and AR and A4 into OT AB and CD, with OT main out into OH? I had this setup before, but I prefer having AH as a send effect, and the mixer also allows me to have the AR kick separate.


I have a similar set up to yours, but I use an MPC instead of the Octatrack.

Xone 96

I run everything into the Xone 96 then have a stereo send running back into the MPC… this lets me mix everything and also resample whatever I need to on the fly.
Replace the MPC for the OT in that scenario and it’s the same thing.
I would use a mixer if I was you… I think that would be more valuable than the AH.


I agree, for me the mixer made performance with 3-4 boxes much easier.

Rytm into Octatrack AB
Digitone into A4 (or vice versa) and output into Octatrack CD

Put the Heat either on the OT output, or between the Rytm or synths and OT, depending on what you want it to colour.


Mixer for sure.

And a second OT. Because

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Can you define “cool”?

I don’t really understand your problem. There’s a few ways you could connect these boxes together, and as I see you are talking about using the OT as a mixer, you clearly have some understanding already.

What exactly do you want, and what are you trying to achieve?

Do you own these devices already? What have you tried, what didn’t work, what was wrong with it?

If I had these boxes, this would be my first experiment:


DN -> A4 -> OT
AR -> OT
OT -> Heat

With this set-up, I have a “synth buss” and a “drum buss” feeding into a “mixer”, and then a “mastering chain”.


OT -> AR -> A4 -> DN

With this setup, OT is master, providing a clock and MIDI to all the others.

This is just one configuration. Several others exist. You need to decide what features you want to use from each box (e.g. maybe you want to use the AR compressor to glue a baseline from the AR or DN with your drums. That would require a different audio setup).

EDIT: I see @tomfs beat me to this. Sorry buddy!


it’s about producing completely dawless, because for me personally that represents a better musical experience with completely different, deeper ideas, from a purely subjective point of view …

the problem is the digitone which has no song mode, because as I said I want to run the arrangement over the devices. this is where the octatrack comes into play, with which I can make an arrangement, provided I use it to play the digitone via midi.

i just wanted to hear how people use such a setup here. in conclusion I think that it is probably best to chase the rytm through the four and then feed the four up to the octatrack and the digitone cd and heat via cue.

but i was also convinced to get more power, an external mixer would be the best …

This is what I was trying to do, and found that the Octatrack wasn’t the best tool to use for this… I swapped it to an MPC. The MPC fully allows me to create complex musical arrangements and use the AR/A4/DN either as sound modules (controlled from the MPC) or as standalone sequencers that are slaved/clocked to the MPC… best of both worlds.

I think of the OT primarily as a performance mixer and sampler, not as a central sequencer hub.

I hope it will work for me anyway, I haven’t tried it yet, as it won’t arrive until tomorrow …

“DN -> A4 -> OT
AR -> OT
OT -> Heat”

exactly, i think that’s good …

I see. The patterns/arrangements is an issue worth thinking about.

I’m currently using this setup:


monosynth -> OT A
monosynth -> OT B
polysynth -> OT C/D
OT -> AR ext in
AR main -> PA/monitors/recorder/computer etc


poly -> OT
OT -> poly
poly (thru) -> mono -> AR -> mono

So the roles are:
OT: master clock, synth sequences, synth “buss”/mixer + effects
AR: drum patterns, drum mixer, final sum and master 2channel (compressor)
poly synth: master keyboard, poly synth sounds

I don’t use the OT arranger much at the moment, but it’s powerful and I’ll go back to it. I create matching bank/pattern combinations on the OT and AR, so when the OT changes, the AR does too. If I had other Elektrons (when?), I imagine doing the same. I’m currently using the “4 patterns per track” system because my tracks are fairly simple and I like using the AR performance tools.

I keep thinking about getting a mixer, but I don’t need it yet. If I had one more device, or if I was doing live resampling of the drums, I might need a mixer.


You got the detail though, it’s all good :wink:


You’re getting all of these in one go? Have you used Elektrons before?

I got AR and OT almost at the same time; my first Elektrons. It was too much to learn at the same time. It’s also frustrating, at the start, that the OT and AR have slightly different interfaces and data structures, but not completely different. I wish both of them had some UI/UX that the other has!

If you’re new to the Elektron world, spend some time just with one device first. Learn to make a few sketches with the sound source and sequencer, play with the patterns, modes, p-locks and so on, just on that one box. Then open up the rest of them. :wink:

ne;), if I had that much money … I got everything one by one, the octatrack for the second time, but I still wanted to ask about the best setups;)

I’ll try your variant and then maybe at some point a mixer, if it should get more gear, but that will be enough for now, although I would also be interested in external effects;) or the external mixer, in order to be able to respond better to individual signals , whereby the octatrack can also record …

that’s all crazy stuff …

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