Elektron Octatrack Overview

Elektron today released a series of videos showcasing each of the products in their current lineup. This video offers an overview of the Elektron OctaTrack performance sequencer and sampler. 

The OctaTrack is an 8-track dynamic performance sampler, designed for performance oriented sampling and audio processing. Every track features real-time pitch scaling & time stretch and the Elektron step sequencer has been designed with maximum usability and efficiency in mind.

via ElektronHQ

21 thoughts on “Elektron Octatrack Overview

    1. I must admit, most features of the OT were a bit of a mystery to me when I bought it. Elektron should do more promos like this to explain how great ther gear is.

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  1. This is kinda like MPC, so you can use it as a “hardware sequencer”, plus you have a flexible sampler. However [that’s why I said “kinda”] MPC is quite a bit more flexible, with lots of tracks, 2 MIDI INs, 4 MIDI OUTs… and a solid sampler. For the money, I see MPC 5000 and MPC 2500 much better, not to mention all the nice individual outputs.

    This is more like a “personal entry” in my log. LOL I’m thinking of buying an external sequencer so I can work free from computer for some tracks, jamming, experiments.

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    1. Hmm i’ve worked with both, MPC and OT and i found MPC too limited on the editing side, as well as for sample length. But that was a while ago. The OT, while not yet fully realizing its own potential and harder to learn, is on track to be able to replace a DAW. Definitely a great gig and jam tool for me at the moment, which i often use to MIDI sequence external gear. Also in favour of OT is the step sequencer instead of drum pads – but that’s a matter of taste ofc.

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    2. i’ve worked with both, MPC and OT and i found MPC too limited on the editing side, as well as for sample length. But that was a while ago. The OT, while not yet fully realizing its own potential and harder to learn, is on track to be able to replace a DAW. Definitely a great gig and jam tool for me at the moment, which i often use to MIDI sequence external gear. Also in favour of OT is the step sequencer instead of drum pads – but that’s a matter of taste ofc.

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    3. I use both – they are peanut butter and jelly. Different and great together. Yes, the MPC is flexible and deep, but is more linear and less able to change focus or mutate your sounds and patterns on the fly.

      PS. The MPC 1000 and 2500 can read the CF card from the octatrack!

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  2. i have an odd relationship with the OT. used to have moments of regret the purchase and even thought of selling it but more and more it´s becoming my center piece. the thing is that its quite a right brain device. it´s at it best when just going with it and letting go. i wanted it to be an mpc but it just isn´t.
    it´s a future classic, quirkiness and all. also the elektron people are great, great guys and the company oozes originality and dedication. i am a fan.

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  3. it is an absolute genius machine, but can anyone honestly say that even with the A4in accompaniment they wouldn’t rather hear a guy with a pair of decks and some records playing the music.

    I guess you might say……..IMO

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  4. the term “unfathomably deep” is often kicked around in press releases, but I think it is true of the Octatrack, and not always in a good way…I KNOW I want one and I am pretty sure it would be something that I could grow to love and which would change my musical style for its addition….but I really can’t grasp even SOME of the things it does, ever demo moves straight from , look heres play and stop …to wowbangtiiiiingcliiiggggzzz at 160 bpm without musc in between. I come back to the youtube demos every couple of months but even now, I don’t feel if i KNOW it would do the kind of things I enjoy doing.

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    1. it is really not that of a problem and looks more difficult than it is.
      i used it periodically and even in that case you find that the workflow grows on you and becomes second nature. also there is so many ways to use it…
      one thing that´s still a bit of a hassle is getting with the all of the shortcuts. but i just need to use it more often..

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  5. This is a great little machine especially if you like anything glitchy. Those sequencer parameter locks and scene parameter locks have endless variations and are quite unique and powerful in a hardware device that deals in digital audio files.

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    1. glitchy being “one of” if not “the” operative word. managing melodic stuff it’s still too complex.
      midi helps but, imho, they must still put a few things there to make it really usable
      (for instance… feedback of banks of midi values to even consider some controller scenarios?)
      this is supposed to be a performance sampler. I own one and it’s a beautiful machine, there are a few things though, that are very different from what most of the people expect (well… at least the ones I’ve spoken to).
      – it works well with tailored sample banks. if you have the right samples or loops you can really do wonderful stuff or find inspiration on material you didn’t know how to “evolve”
      – it doesn’t work particularly well, always imho, as a looper. I guess this was deliberately in the design to avoid comparisons and to avoid it being used just to launch plain samples. Ableton Live, as this machine, can do much much more than launching clips but this is the main use people make of them. Despite this, I would have loved a more direct and friendly approach to recording samples and looping, things are getting better and better considering how primitive it was when I received it, but there is still things to be desired…
      – this post is becoming too long, last thing I really want to say it’s that even if I don’t really like the format of the demo, I agree with Phil Wilson Post on this, I have to say that I prefer this kind of demo to the useless “hollywood-style short movies” that are just smoke without actual meat.

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  6. These types of machines always seem like do much work to me. I started making music when hardware sequencers were the only option, but now I don’t understand why you’d choose this over a DAW. Personal choice obviously, but it seems a bit like keyhole surgery to me.

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    1. I hear you… Thing is, if u perform live with a daw, u need a super stable laptop, soundcard, controller. OT is all in one (in theory, in practice, i hook it up to a midi controller as well)

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  7. That makes sense, except for the fact that you have to rebuild your track inside the Octatrack, which seems like a shit load of hard work. It would be far cheaper (and less time consuming) to throw a SSD drive inside an existing MacBook and buy a MOTU Ultralite than buy one of these. If your playing live you can bounce a lot of your set to stems, reducing the load on the CPU. Its definitely horses for courses, but this would take the joy out of making music for me. Once it becomes like hard work its over.

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    1. i think you may have a false preconception there, no offense. it´s really not work at al, and indeed more fun than mousing about.
      i use it in combination with maschine mostly, coming up with grooves, then resampling and arranging them.
      you can do all that without skipping a beat and transform conventional or boring loops into organic beats.

      there are flaws, ones which prevent me from using it how i would really want to. but it´s like being with a strongminded woman. sort of interesting.

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    2. Actually for me, putting audio tracks and samples from existing completed tracks, is where the fun lies. It gives me a fesh perspective on existing material and I can perform a remix live as a fresh sounding variation of each track. The OT really is a blank canvas , a sample playback engine that will do ANYTHING you want, wether that just simply playing stems or performing it like an instrument in its own right.

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  8. If you look closely during his last set, he’s flipping off your laptop 😉

    I watch him do this at NAMM. He’s knows how to work it. Amazing!

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