It seems there are some users of octatrack here, i’m thinking about taking the plunge but am also contemplating the mono. After a sell off of some gear i kept the op-1,future retro xs, midi connectivity 4+ and tr-8. I’m trying to stay mixerless and so far the real missing element is a seq for the xs. i know there are some real cheap mixers out there but i want 64 steps and a sound piece i will never want to sell (like op-1 and XS) mono and octa both seem very capable on specs, was hoping for rytm to have a midi track. Thus far in music interest i am more interested in synths but op-1 has opened my interest to samples. The octa is pulling at the moment a little more because of the cc record feature, they both have the wavetable/single cycle feature which seems interesting, octa could be good for xs sampling and playback. I read lots about octa being to many buttons but i wonder do you get fast with time. I really like to sit down and just monkey around and if something sounds good it gets saved, live jamming is key. can one use the op-1 keyboard to play into octa? can octa record op-1 cc. watched some vids on octa recording tr-8 cc sequences not sure how cumbersome it is. Any octa mono opinions out there, i think i have my heart set on elekton as the seq seem brain like.

Just a quick remark on the MIDI capabilities of the Octatrack: Don’t expect a DAW-level MIDI sequencer – for example, there’s a four note polyphony limit per MIDI track. Because of this, some people use an MPC alongside the Octatrack, for example. Google for some discussions at Elektronauts if this is important to you.

Maybe somebody else can fill you in on the rest of your questions, I’m still an Octatrack newbie!

I’m another Octatrack newbie and after one week I can unequivacally say that next to the OP-1 this is the most inspiring piece of gear I’ve ever owned. It’s making me think of new ways to do things just like the OP-1 does and I’ve already begun moving past the initial learning curve and using it in practical ways to make actual tracks.

I can’t comment on its MIDI interaction with the OP-1 since I don’t yet have an iConnect, though I plan on getting one. I can say that it seems like a pretty robust MIDI implementation. I’m sure it can’t touch a DAW but for my needs it does more than enough. If you haven’t already done so, check out the later pages of the manual where they go into detail about possible studio setups. I found it quite helpful.

One thing I’ve just started doing is taking some of my 4 bar OP-1 loops and feeding them into the various tracks of the OT. I then slice them, apply locks, effects, etc. and then slide between them as different scenes. It’s amazing what this thing can do for your compositions. I mean I’m just totally blown away.

Eventually you’ll have to decide if the OT has sparked your interest enough to take an (expensive) leap of faith. The videos, etc. just do not do it justice. You need your hands on one before you can truly figure out how you’ll use it. I was very daunted by the horror stories of how incredibly complex it is and I have to say I’ve found it shockingly intuitive. The button layouts, what they do, and how you get to menus is not nearly as complicated as I feared. I did spend some time with an A4 so perhaps that helped a bit but I really don’t see where all the “Octatrack is so hard to wrap you head around” stuff comes from.

Like you, I was never much of a sample guy. I had an MPC and hated it and I actually find the OT much more intuitive. I also sort of got back into sampling with the OP-1 but the OT takes it waaaaaaay beyond.

Lastly, and then I’ll stop rambling, is the side benefit of just how much stuff the OT makes unneccessary. The effects are high quality (at least to my ears) so a ton of outboard stuff isn’t needed, I’m only processing two other pieces of gear (Tempest and OP-1) so I’m looking at selling my mixer and using the OT as a simple one. And of course, being a sampler, you can make it sound like virtually any other piece of gear you could want.

In case you can’t tell by my gushing, I think this is a true “desert island” piece of gear and that everyone could find something to love about it. One week in and I can tell I will never sell it.

Alright, sorry for the lengthy post!

I agree with @burthair.

You may like the Machinedrum 2 UW+ as well : I think there is MIDI control as well, 16 tracks, plus drum synthesis.
This is a piece of gear that can be found for a decent price on second hand market.
I advice to buy a first Elektron box second hand : it’s easy to resell in case you don’t really hook with it, and you can find it for less than 800€…

Octa is the most sophisticated of the Elektron machines midi wise. It could also act as a mixer at the same time as being a midi hub. Setup is very flexible. Each of the 8 tracks can be set to monitor and apply effects to any or all of the inputs (two stereo or four mono or two stereo with two separate mono) or set to playback samples that are either already saved or recorded from the inputs in realtime.
You could have the op1 and xs assigned to mono inputs a and b, and the tr8 assigned stereo to c and d, each with separate effects on separate tracks. Midi clock could be going out to the tr8 with actual midi event data being sent to the xs (a sequence of notes), and pressing play would trigger them both. The tr8 can play an internal sequence, with parameter locks on the playback (thru) track on the octatrack affecting something like a delay send or reverb send at certain points on the grid. A separate track can be set to record and playback the input sound of the tr8. The recording track allows you to use the grid to designate where recording should start and where playback should begin. You could, for example, place a recording trig where a snare drum would sound, and then place the playback trig near the end of the bar with the direction reversed for a fill or something.
I don’t know… It’s cool. The hardest thing about it is that there is no particular way to use it, so you may be scratching you’re head wondering if you are doing it right. You kind of have to let that go and find your own way to work with it. It’s great as a midi brain and mixer rolled into a single device that allows you to manipulate the audio of sounds being triggered by its own midi. I only wish it had twice as many inputs. Don’t forget you can run stuff through the tr8 before going into the octa, but remember that that instrument and the drum machine will be effected and sampled together, so choose pairings wisely if you wish to incorporate more gear.

Cool experiences, thanks for sharing

I hear you on the tr-8 input, already have that issue playing op-1 tape and midi sequencing XS through the input. It ducks the XS great but don’t want the op-1 tape to duck.

Couple items still thinking on,

  1. When you say 4 notes polyphony is that per step per track so you could trigger 4 note chords on 1 track on each step? My brain only has 3 notes. Are you meaning 3 midi events does this include a CC sweep on external sound device?
  2. Is there enough constraint that when you power it up you know where your going to start once basic functions are known.
  3. workflow question, Lets say you have a op-1 tape loop going through the the octa and you want to enter a sequence pitch and step trigger into a different octa sound generated track(ex:single cycle) with the op-1 keyboard, would you have to mute the op-1 synth so op-1 does not generate sound into your tape track? I like the op-1 keyboard but if its faster to enter just from octa that works too.
  4. Do any of you use the CC record regularly? is the process clunky or fast, curious if you were to move through a couple in a row how long for each one and cc# change each time? Ex CC record Tune on TR-8 BD then CC record green knob turn on op-1, then CC record blue knob turn.


1. 4 notes polyphony on each of the 8 channels does mean 4 notes chords per step per track. There is an arpeggiator as well.
2. Ahem… Depends if you already had an Elektron box, it seems. I advice to get the manual and read it already.
The functions are not that hard to understand, they are deep and many. But once you get how to load samples, you can quickly get a basic beat like a basic drumbox.
3. I would rather play loops on the Octa, you’ll quickly get how to sample OP-1 and twist the sample and get back to normal in a snap.

I find the mono easier to get busy with if you are new to elektron. You can spend time cursing yoursef if you dont get the octatrack. people sometime take a year to have the ah ha moment. Some people flat out hate it. So bare that in mind. It took me buying an A4 to real click with my Octatrack.

Also keep in mind you can drive your machines audio through the Octatrack, which can keep everything centralized and tighter.

If you can conquer the Octatrack it will take you farther IMHO.

As a former OT owner, I can tell you that it’s a spectacular machine. I can also opine that I found the machine to be unnecessarily obtuse. The key to owning and mastering the OT is to use it and learn it. Period. Spending time with it and dedicating time to learn it is the only way that you can master it, or “get” it. With the OT in particular, the manual will only take you so far (IMO not very far lol).

If you’re willing to dedicate yourself to it, go for it. If you’re willing to spend the time, you won’t be disappointed.

I’ve said this and am far too old and tired to expand but you can be certain that the OP-1 and the OT are the greatest bits of hardware released in decades and if you pair them up, well, you should quickly realise the same and that everything else is fool’s gold.
I’m out…

Was looking at the CV out track specs on the A4, it looks like it could drive the semi modular nature of the XS well. The XS only has a modwheel CC capability. In terms of making the XS dance this could be interesting but sampling the XS could also be fantastic. I really think that Roland missed by not including a simple motion sequence capability on the TR-8. I’m going to have to bite the bullet soon and pick a road. Stay tuned. Thanks for all the great opinions, the problem with asking for opinions on forums like this is that the gear junkie in us all points more gear exploration

Hey gang. I’ve had the Octatrack for a few weeks+ now and thought I’d pick your brain a bit as to how fellow OP-1 and OT owners are using theirs together. Just trying to get some new ideas for workflow as I continue to dig into the OT.

Right now what I’ve been doing is making sort of loose and simple compositions on the OP-1, I’m mostly just using two OP-1 tape tracks right now to keep things from getting too busy. I’ll make a bunch of four bar loops that could evolve in sort of a song-like manner. I’ll connect to a Thru Track where I can add effects and then record that to another track. Using the scene faders I’ll move from the Thru Track to the recorded track, make the scene changes (effects/LFOs/playback settings), etc. I’ll then move ahead to the next 4 bars on the OP-1 tape, fade back to it on theThru Machine, record and repeat.

I’ll add drums mostly on the OT using samples, sprinkle in some other gear, etc. This thing is just so amazingly powerful and inspirational to use. Like @Beardyjack said above, I think the OP-1 and the OT are the two greatest bits of hardware made in some time.

So anyways, I’m curious how others hear are using the OP-1 and OT together. Any tips and tricks or just your workflow would be very interesting to hear. There are so many ways to use this box that I’m just trying to get some inspiration from fell OPerators out there.

Octatrack -> Oplab MIDI In

Oplab USB A -> OP-1
OP-1 set to sync

Pressing play on the OT starts the OP-1 Tape.

You can also sample and resample back and forth between them for good times. Dial 1-900-OCT-A-TRK and kick them nasty (sample) packs. Baby got (Octa)track.

I still don’t have the Octa and OP-1 talking to each other via MIDI though that is ultimately the goal. I’ve been setting the tempos to match and then using quantized recording on the OT. After a little while the tempos get sort of janky, though, so either an Oplab or an iConnect will definitely be of use.

Speaking of sample packs – Anyone have any recommendations of sample packs you like? Bonus points if they’re all prepped up for slicing in the OT. I’m considering splurging on some Goldbaby stuff since his samples are awesome quality. I’d prefer it if they were prepped specifically for the OT instead of just one hits but what can ya do.

Freesound.org has some great stuff but I can spend days just looking through samples.

I was hinting that with an Octatrack and OP-1 you don’t really need sample packs >.> even though I have some before I was a self-titled Sampleologist. Which is absolutely a word. Though if you really want them, Elektronauts has a lot of samples already prepped for easy sample locking via slicing at regular intervals.

if iConnect stuff has MIDI DIN and USB Host, I’d get that over the Oplab until TE unfucks the firmware. They haven’t touched it in over two years.

some sample chains i made that i shared previously....


its not a bad idea to get used to making chains in whatever audio software u use.

its not a bad idea to get used to making chains in whatever audio software u use.

This. You can actually do it on board the OT if you’re anti-computer, but it’s a lot easier in a DAW. The free version of Studio One should be able to do it and is incredibly fast, imo.

Thanks guys. I’m getting along mostly fine without sample packs and getting sounds mostly from external gear. I’m finding myself augmenting that gear, though, with a few tracks of samples, either stabs, maybe a drum beat, or some sort of atmospherics where I can really twist the OT to its fullest. And, to be honest, sometimes I just get lazy and want the shortest path to a sound in my head although most of the composition is coming from the OP-1.

@docshermsticks thanks for those. I’ll definitely check those out and may screw around with putting together some sample chains of my own.

I have been reviewing specs again and again and watching tutorials on OT vs A4. I’m leaning to A4. The sounds that I have heard on the net of the A4 are pretty nice. I have found some nice ones of OT also but more on A4 that i immediately identify with. I’m thinking that the CV track should be able to manage the XS sequencing well enough. I assume that one can p-lock most parameters in the CV tracks to get some elektron sequencing goodness.

Does anyone out there run two mono channels through the A4, maybe add some effects to the audio signal. Does it steal tracks if so? I read the manual but didn’t see detail on this that shined at me. In my case i would run the OP-1 and XS through the A4 and then A4 to TR-8. A4 as master clock.

@buttonbutton – can you try them out somewhere?

The A4 is more immediate and you can get results quickly.

That being said, the OT is the center of my setup, and has all the potential everybody says it has.

I love them both, but the workflow is very different, and the YouTube videos don’t necessarily communicate the nature of this difference too well.

The upside is – I think you can’t go wrong with either, as long as you have some time to invest in learning the boxes. :slight_smile:

EDIT: am I just parroting what has been said in this thread already? Jumped in kinda quickly, sorry if I do :slight_smile: