Some questions about live looping/mangling with an Octatrack

Hello guys, I currently own a Digitakt and I love it! But lately I’ve been using it with my Ditto X4 looper a lot, recording guitar loops alongside drums from the DT + some MIDI sequencing (like this or this) and I was thinking that I could streamline my setup with an Octatrack. Also all the live-mangling looks super fun and inspirational<3

Anyway, my idea would be to use a combination of Pick-Up and Flex machine to record and overdub some guitar on the Pick-Up and then apply some FX and slice them on the Flex. All of this is still very blurry in my brain but from what I read on the forum it looks possible! I began to read the manual and watch some tutorials but there is one information I can’t find. Is it possible to set a fix length for the master Pick-Up machine? In every video, it looks like you have to record your loop on the fly and the tempo is determined by the length of your loop, is that true? I would rather have my tempo pre-determined, play to the click or a drum loop and then start the mangling-madness! Also I don’t want to use the OT buttons or a footswitch to start/stop the loop, I’d rather have it pre-sequenced on a track or something. I guess I would need some kind of recorder trig to make this work, do these thing exist in the Pick-Up realm?

Is this possible? I’m pretty sure a powerful tool like the OT can handle this but yeah, I just wanted to be sure before selling all my gear to fund a MkII. :sweat_smile:

Also while I’m here, I would love to hear your opinions about the OT reverb. I heard that it sounded a bit dated compared to the lush reverb of the Digitakt. Reverb is super important to me as I’m getting more and more into ambient stuff.

(Am I allowed to summon the Octatrack masters of this wonderful forum? @sezare56? @Open_Mike? Any insight?)

I would just ignore pickup machines at all due to their many flaws (especially that you have no control about the tempo). What you’ve described can be easily done with just the recorders, recorder trigs and flex machines for playback.

Please read the following short thread to get a better idea what recorders and recorder trigs are (they are completely independent from what machine is configured on the track):

I also prefer recorder and a flex machine each and every day over a thru machine, because this way you can stop the recorder and let the flex machine loop the audio whenever you want. Another benefit is that multiple flex machines can read from the some record buffer, but you cannot have multiple thru machines reading from the same input.


Pre slices can be interesting, @Open_Mike may talk better than me about their advantages.
Not sure personally.
Tempo and slices have to be determined before recording.

I usually use rec trigs with matching regular flex play trigs, I can change tempo.
Used here. realtime Octatrack audio processing (guitar through Analog Heat as audio source).


I was writing a real response but I’m to tired… For now all I got is…



I got a Octatrack because I was totally fed up with the Ditto X4 unreliable midi sync and never managed to get those double taps right so my journey with the X4 was a huge struggle from the beginning to the end. Great device, superlative sound quality, but doesn’t intergrate a sync’d system well. Never looked back!


I started with a DT and looper. OT fixes that and then some :slight_smile:


@tnussb Alright, I read about those recorders before but didn’t get how useful they could be! This workflow sounds pretty awesome! Having different Flex machine mangling one loop seems super fun and crazy too<3

Are they some limitations with this setup compared to a regular looper though? I read on the forum that you can overdub with flex machine (with setting the Source 3 to something specific) but I also read that it was not 100% stable sometimes, do you know anything about this? Thank you a lot for your answer anyway, it makes me crave a OT real bad!

@sezare56 Thank you for your answer, this sounds super crazy<3

@roadmoviemusic Yeah I totally get you, the Ditto X4 can be super frustrating when using it with MIDI! :confused: Thank you for your answer, can’t wait to get my hands on an OT!

The recorder can record from any combination of sources. When there is a flex machine playing the actual content of the record buffer the recorder can also record from the track of this flex machine in addition to some other inputs which results in overdubbing.

As far as I know that’s stable, but haven’t done much in that direction myself yet.


I don’t use pickup machines, so can’t comment on that, but never had any issues with flex machines and sampling/resampling ever! :slight_smile:

Do you remember where you read about stability issues?

Yes, I just found the message, it was actually from @sezare56 :slight_smile: :

Anyone else has some experience with this?

& thank you for the detailed explanation @tnussb! :pray: