Tricks to recreate Octatrack features in Ableton

I’ve been using Ableton for ages, along with my Elektron boxes, but I recently got a Push 2, which is amazing.

This made me wonder if you have any tips and tricks for mimicking Octatrack features in Ableton, especially with the Push. Sometimes I don’t want to switch on my Octatrack just to sample something to screw with its pitch and rate with p-locks.

I know Ableton and Octatrack both have their own strengths and weaknesses, but this is just about neat tricks for doing Octatrack stuff in the DAW.

I’ll start. Live flex-style capture works well by putting a looper on the track, then dropping a Buffer Shuffler 2 after it. This can do live, randomized slicing of your audio loop.

Buffer Shuffler is just as good on regular clips, too.

Another one: I have a nice Max midi sample and hold device. Place it before a Simpler, and you can use it to map it to any parameter to randomize it. It’s triggered by incoming midi notes, so it works exactly like the Octatrack LFO’s Hold trigger.

One more. I have a rack with a Simpler (usually in slice mode), and a Pitch Mod device after it. Two macro knobs are mapped to the Simpler’s transpose, and to the Pitch device’s pitch. If the Simpler doesn’t have warp enabled, then the transpose works like the Octatrack’s Rate, although it doesn’t go backwards.

I have these as little racks so I can easily drop them onto a track. Works a treat with Push.

Ok, one more :wink:

To make Push p-locks more Elektron-like, hold down the Push pad for the step you want to lock, then also hold another pad, later in the pattern. If you then twist a knob to lock a parameter, it will span the entire space between the two held-down trigs.


Here are some more.

Patches Survey is a neat alternative to the Octatrack crossfader. It lets you quickly map parameters to sliders, which you can then automate, or even sequence.

There are also several Max for Live devices that make it easier to map several parameters to the same macro knob.

I’d like to find one that uses the Push’s touch strip as a crossfader.

Another tip is to drop an External Effect device into a return track, and point it at your Octatrack. Then you can send audio from any track to the Octa, with the spin of a knob.


I did this many years ago with ableton and the OG APC40 using abeltons standard midi mapping.

Basically made myself an ableton version of octatrack. 8 tracks, 2 fx per track etc.

Gigged with it quite a bit.

I ended up buying an octatrack in 2015, then slowly moved away from the laptop before ditching ableton altogether. Got into hardware and never looked back.

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I made these two devices, inspired by some of the OT features :

“miam-blup” is a set of buffer/player : - Download Max for Live Devices
“octascenes” mimics the OT scenes : - Download Max for Live Devices


My Octatrack isn’t going anywhere, but I also love Ableton, and I usually prefer to keep all parts of a particular song together in one app/box.

@chapelierfou These look fantastic. Especially the Octascenes device.

I’m going to keep plugging away at this thread until it takes off :wink:

How about this: You can use an OP-Z to control Ableton via MIDI. I use a Simpler to auto-slice a sample, and the OP-Z to play the slices.

The OP-Z’s encoders are mapped to the same parameters as they would control on the unit—filter and resonance, pitch, pan, etc.

With this setup, you can use the OP-Z’s step components to sequence the Simpler. It works almost exactly the same as if you’d sampled directly into the OP-Z.

Why bother, or why not use the Octatrack? The OP-Z automatically sends out midi. You don’t have to set it all up every time, like with the Octatrack. Plus, the step components are way better than Elektron’s trig conditions.

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Seeing you are also a big fan of the OP-Z workflow, what makes you keep the OT?
And what does the rest of your setup look like? Do you mainly use it as a sequencer and replace the internal engines with VSTs or external gear?

I think the OT is really great, but today I suddenly have an urge to sell it, because the sequencer just can’t keep up with the OP-Z…

I started working on a sample playback Max device that mimics the Octatrack sampler.

I was fighting with “windowing” and a balance between click/pop and unintended filtering.
I kind of left off there and haven’t came back to it yet. Maybe eventually.

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I keep the Octatrack around for sampling, and to play those samples back in interesting and crazy ways.

For example, I sampled my guitar, then set a short release, and put a comb filter on it, with an LFO on pitch, and comb feedback.

Just by tapping the track trig key, I can play a little semi-random melody. And that’s before we get to the crossfader! I record these into Ableton loops.

In Ableton, I use the OP-Z to sequence the Simpler, or the Upright Piano, or drums, or one of Ableton’s built-in instruments (wavetable or Operator, usually).

So, it’s the OP-Z for sequencing, Ableton for recording, arranging, and to provide FX and instruments, and the Octatrack as a musical instrument based on samples.

I could technically do the same with the Push 2, but I don’t, for the same reason I play the guitar instead of using a guitar plugin.

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Thanks for breaking it down!

I can understand not feeling inspired by using simpler for that…maybe I’ll have a look at the 404mk2, as it could probably do a lot of what I’d use the OT for in my setup. Who knows :man_shrugging:
The circle of synth shall continue.

Take a look at Koala sampler, on iOS and Mac. It’s like a 404, only cooler:

yeah Koala seems to be fine…I’ve got drambo too, but somehow iOS hasn’t convinced me…although it could save me a lot of money.

I’m the same, but Koala really is excellent.

I’ll check it out again!