Elektron Updates Octatrack OS, Adds ‘Trig Conditions’

Elektron has released OS 1.30B, a free firmware update for the Octatrack that introduces trig conditions for MKI and a few bug fixes for MKI / MKII.

Here’s what’s new in OS 1.30B:

MKII hardware support

The MKII keys have built-in LEDs, and two separate LEDs have been added for VU-metering of the internal resampling source in stereo. A number of keys have been added, and some keys have new secondary functions.

[MIDI] toggles the MIDI mode on/off. Secondary function opens the MIDI SYNC menu.

[REC3] facilitates internal resampling. Secondary function opens the recording audio editor.

[PROJ] (project) opens the project menu. Secondary function invokes project saving.

[PART] opens the PART menu. Secondary function opens the PART EDIT menu.

[AED] (audio editor) opens the audio editor for the active context. Secondary function is a shortcurt to the SLICE EDIT menu of the audio editor.

[MIX] (mixer) opens the mixer menu. Secondary function toggles the metronome on/off. [ARR] (arranger) opens the ARRANGER menu. Secondary function toggles arranger mode

[PTN] (pattern) invokes the pattern selector. Secondary function opens the PATTERN SETTINGS menu.

[BANK] invokes the bank selector. Secondary function opens the TRIG EDIT menu.
[PAGE] has new functionality related to trig condiditions. See the text on fill in the section below.

Sequencer trig conditions

A trig condition parameter has been added to the TRIG COUNT/MICRO TIMING menu. Open this menu when you are in the grid edit mode, by pressing and holding a trig key, and then press [LEFT] or [RIGHT]. The condition is changed using the LEVEL encoder. It can be set to (and defaults to) OFF, and 64 additional settings. Each setting is a condition, which will decide whether or not the sequencer note should be triggered.

  • X % is a random probability condition. There is an X percent chance of it being true.
  • A:B will be true on the A’th pattern iteration, then true again after B iterations, repeating indefinitely. You can use this setting to program periodically recurring notes, where the period can be longer than the actual pattern. If you for instance set it to N:4, the note will be triggered every fourth loop of the pattern.
  • FILL is true when the sequencer is in fill mode. Fill mode is activated for one pattern iteration by pressing [DOWN] + [PAGE]. It will activate when the pattern loops and remain active until it loops again. It is also possible to momentarily activate fill mode by pressing [UP] + [PAGE]. The fill mode will then be active for as long as [PAGE] is being held down. To latch the fill mode, press [UP] + [DOWN] + [PAGE]. The fill mode will remain active until you press and release [UP] + [PAGE].
  • FILL is true when FILL is not. You can use FILL to program pattern variations. The notes which should played only in the variation should be set to FILL, and notes which should be excluded from the variation to FILL. The variation is then easily accessible from the [PAGE] key.
  • PRE is true if the most recently evaluated trig condition on the same track was true.
  • PRE is true when PRE is not. If you program a pattern variation using PRE and/or PRE, but set the first note of the variation to use a probability condition, then the whole variation will depend on whether or not the first note triggered.
  • NEI is true if the most recently evaluated trig condition on the neighbour track was true.
    NEI is true when NEI is not. If you program a pattern variation using NEI and/or NEI on track 3, and have a probability trig before the variation on track 2, then the whole variation will depend on whether or not the note on track 2 triggered.
  • 1ST is true the first pattern iteration (ie. until the pattern has looped). You could use this setting for instance to program a one-shot percussive hit in your pattern. Or just any note that you do not wish to have repeated.
  • 1ST is true when 1ST is not.

See the Elektron site for details.

20 thoughts on “Elektron Updates Octatrack OS, Adds ‘Trig Conditions’

  1. For sure!! Major update in the OT department. Especially since products have discontinued in a shorter lifetime. Cough(Akai) cough. Updating tonight!!!!

  2. Yep, great update! The bug fixes and changes weren’t listed in the article so here they are (from the readme in the OS download):

    • Unsaved RAM recorder slices are not discarded at startup.

    Bug fixes
    • VU meter would sometimes get stuck at max.
    • Scene locking XDIR to MIN had no effect.
    • Rec button LED would not flash in real time recording mode.
    • MIDI output buffer overflow would make the unit freeze.
    • Encoder/fader input overflow would cause irregular UI behavior.
    • Reconfiguring the flex memory would make it impossible to trigger flex samples, unless a manual reload of the samples was invoked.
    • The Part Edit command would edit the last selected part, rather than the active part.

    1. Free updates too expensive for you?

      I’ve been impressed in the last year the free updates Elektron and Novation have been doing their devices. I’d love to see Roland doing this.

      1. There a quite a few companies (I won’t name them), who are way behind on updates or developments. I do wonder how some firm are getting on. Lets be grateful for decent free updates.

        1. I will. DSI. The Tempest owners literally had to sign a petition to get DSI to update the OS for basic bug fixes. Eventually they did and then announced they were discontinuing support for it. After only 6 years and having paid the better part of €2000, that kind of support is an absolute disgrace and a black mark on DSI. Sold my Tempest years back. Got a Rytm. Still getting updates and features.

        2. I can’t get behind a “free” firmware update that causes my device to randomly reboot. I would rather pay 3,000 knowing I have a reliable device.

    2. I feel the same way about Moog. It’s like “would you like a 1000.00 monosynth to go with your… monosynth. When you can afford Elektron gear, it justifies itself for sure just in depth. The sequencer and arp alone do more than a stand-alone at a high price. If you buy a piece of gear and 3 years later you still didn’t scratch the surface, then they give you a free update than allows for even more functionality, I feel like I got it on the cheap since I didn’t have to buy a bunch of other gear to fill in the gaps.

    3. They have a far better track record than about 90% of all other synth manufacturers out there. Vision and roadmap ? They make synths

  3. I have bought 5 years ago on ebay my octatrack this was the best 850euro i ever spend…
    I was to buying a digitakt because of the possibilty to to have trig conditions via midi and now came this update amazing amazing no need for digitakt anymore… thx elektron…

    1. You’d be surprised what you could do with both. Pretty much opens up to about 16 tracks, one machine with a massive amount of effects and playability and the other can be used as a grain sampler/sequencer with the lfo’s and wave view. Have yet to do some of the things I can do in the digitakt in the OT but they complement each other pretty well but the OT can stand alone.

      1. I have a different workflow then you in my case would one midi channel enough I dont play with the ot 8 midi tracks… the most comes out of my daw and the ot is used for trig conditions randomness all overall a little bit, on shaker hats perc etc and also melo but I record one track after another thats why I dont need 16 midi channels…

        1. Sometimes I forget people really need midi. I was talking about 16 tracks of samples and mangling. If your at a point where you need to access more than 2-3 instruments with midi, why wouldnt you just go software and DAW’s. It’s really just me, something disconnects when using one thing to sequence another, just my feeble brain but I was just making a point that the digitakt is great in its own right, depending on what your needs are which mine are about 16 tracks of sample mangling and p-lockin goodness.

  4. I already installed the new firmware but had not enough time to really test in detail. Thank you very much Elektron, I really like the Octatrack.

  5. Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT, XOR, etc) comparing trigs from other tracks would be awesome addition to Elektrons sequencers, this would increase rhythm options.

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