Elektron OctaTrack In-Depth Tutorial

This video, via cuckoomusic,Β is an in-depth look at the Elektron OctaTrack.Β 

“My first Octatrack Tutorial is made with the newcomers in mind,” notes Cuckoo. “It’s a deep machine, with a LOT of possibilities. It can be overwhelming before you get into it. Perhaps this little video can help you get started? :)”

If you’ve used the OctaTrack, let us know about your experiences with it and if you have any tips for others to get started with it!

25 thoughts on “Elektron OctaTrack In-Depth Tutorial

  1. My favourite machine (hardware or software) ever… very steep and long learning curve, but once you’re over the hill… oh my god!!! Anything is possible with this incredible machine πŸ™‚

    Looking forward to watch Cuckoo’s take on it πŸ™‚

  2. Not as intuitive as his other vids… in Cuckoo’s defense tho… this is the hardest electron machine to make sense of. Still, learned some cool shortcut tricks.

  3. It took me some time to used to this guy but he has grown on me. Maybe i should give my octatrack a try again, it has been collecting dust for too long.

      1. Yeah shameless, i know. One of the worst side-effects of GAS is that you buy so much, too much good stuff is underused. Especially a complex machine like the Octatrack. I should really sell it, but then someone like Cuckoo comes along and makes me enthousiastic again. I got a week off and i’ll promise to fire it up again.

  4. I own a A4 and Rytm and their menu system, especially the sounds/kits/patterns relationships are convoluted enough. I look forward to Overbridge and it’s total recall to ease this when working on a song.

    I had been thinking about the Octatrack for awhile but it just seems way too complicated and finicky. Perhaps if they ever release a V2 with Overbridge it will be worth a look.

  5. menus, menus, menus… too many of them. And the knobs are not finger & data friendly. Look how long it took the man to type the name of the project ! in the 80’s we complained about menus, and here we go again ! Yes over bridge is the way forward. Like it or not,

    1. I think it’s different from menu dive of the past. In fact, menu depth is not deep, mostly single unlike the old synths. The thing is, it does hell of a lot of things and that’s the reason it’s inevitably got complicated. The only way to organize nicely could be having a large touch screen interface plus some knobs/faders then…

      1. Indeed, Overbridge wouldn’t make any sense for the OT… OT is OTB πŸ˜›
        If you’re working on a DAW, you don’t need an Octatrack, do it directly on Live.

  6. It’s interesting but using Ableton with Push and/other controllers seems simpler. Yep, need a computer but don’t see that as an issue.

  7. I love this guy’s level of dedication and devotion.
    Not sure if the Octatrack is for me.
    The amount of button pushing will put me off soon.
    Incredible machine though, probably the most advanced piece of hardware out there.

  8. I’ve never *really* wanted one. Until about minute 40 in that video. I can’t afford to watch these sorts of things.

  9. I’ve always been in two minds on the Elektron range. Part of me thinks a range of these would make a great live setup, but then part of me thinks those menus with limited control would be a real pain. And they seem powerful in scope, yet the live performances are always of a type and limited within that. I can see how easy it would be to set out a pattern and glitch it up, but who works like that – other than Dataline. What happens when you want to go deep, when you want a live jam on an Elektron to sound musical? Maybe one day we will hear such things. All the hardware that is on my want list has dedicated per knob function, as I feel if my interaction with an hardware OS is going to shift the total control over 8 knobs then I may as well use such a feature in Ableton, with real purpose – but I don’t want that. The Ryth is a perfect example of my love/hate relationship for Elektron. I start thinking crazy drum machine, I could do some serious stuff on that, seems endless. But then you get to watch a ton of vids with people setting up standard beats and then glitching it up into mush – and I am afraid it doesn’t sell that product to me, it puts me off. And I don’t know if my issue is with Elektron products being a one trick pony for creating that mush, or that the people drawn to Elektron products are deeply lacking in musical talent – hence why they are drawn to a product that glitches these dittos up into mush. I really don’t know why this is the case? So I am left just wanting a range of Elektron products so I can do something meaningful and purposeful with them, and why would I want to do that? Maybe it is me, I am wanting them to be something they aren’t, I want a powerful musical tool for live jamming, and these are maybe just glitch boxes – if that isn’t the case then Elektron need to rethink their marketing, and watch in who’s hands they place them, because every time I watch some Elektron hype I am always moving further away from owing one – which I am sure isn’t the desired effect they are aiming for.

  10. Agree 100 %.

    I own a bunch of electron machines, and I’ve never had such a love/hate relationship with gear before. There is something so counter-intuitive about how they work. I always catch myself losing my patterns or kits due to the wonky electron way of working. Example: ANALOG KEYS – I always run into issues where my p-locks and trig-less locks don’t sound like how I recorded them. I HATE the tiny screen on the analog keys. I hate how the sequencer doesn’t record joystick movements. I can’t stand the menu-diving to search for sounds. I don’t like how I have to save the same sound every time I start a new pattern, just so it doesn’t interfere with the others. Hate how the effects are implemented and the counterintuitive means of tempo-syncing values.

    But I love the synth engine, and that the sequencer records locks for synth parameters. Love how the reverb sounds. Love the weird and wonderful stuff that comes from using electron machines.

    I’ve never sold and re-bought another manufacturer’s gear like this before. It is the most conflicting annoying and wonderful gear. It makes me feel like a battered housewife. I keep coming back and it keeps donkey punching me every time.

  11. Just confirms exactly why I sold my Octatrack in the first place truth be told.
    I love my Analog Four and two Monomachine SFX60 MkII’s to death and would never part with them, one of the Monomachine’s makes a better drum synth that my old Machinedrum did IMHO.
    Hardware sequencing on the OT was wonderful but there are just far to many button pushes and combinations to remember to make it much fun in the studio and it sits up there with my Yamaha A5000 for being far to convoluted for its own good.
    Oddly enough I still own the A5000.

  12. A lot of resentment here, and i can understand why but i have to write my love for this machine. It’s complex, but compared to violin or even guitar, no. Compared to a kaossilator well yeah :)… I don’t understand why people complain about demos. Robert smith and j.mascis couldn’t care less that gretsch and jazzmaster guitars were demonstrated by jazz and surf rock musicians. Music history is filled with gear appropriation: amp overdrive, tb-303, asr-10, laptops etc…At one point i was thinking of selling the ot and had the love/hate relationship too. My sp-404 doesn’t resist like that and i find it dull. It’s not the best midi sequencer, not the best sampler, best “synth”, not the best ableton rival, looper, modular fx machine, drum machine, not the best digital mixer. But it is very capable in doing all of that and the combined functionalities is “unsee before” and when paired with a STRONG and SELECTIVE musician it becomes an “organic sound design groovebox”. Stimming, Actress, Kangding Ray, Laurel Halo use it for a reason. They are very far from basic p-lock techno wankers. That said you also have to accept some weird limiting aspects like unability to play sample slices and “kits” from external midi. The pattern is unfortunately not the reference container. It’s the Part. So pattern making is kind of not as fun. Scene per pattern would be so much better (you can do that in arranger mode yes) for live song structure. Another negative point is the lack of os updates and i don’t see Elektron making any effort in improving that.

      1. yes i know, but only minor bugs correction for few last updates. Seems like they stopped development that’s what i wanted to point. (i wish i was wrong though)

Leave a Reply