Octatrack Looping Jam With Guitar, Digitakt

Sunday Synth Jam: This live looping jam, by Aldo, features guitar, Octatrack MKII, Digitakt, ZOIA & Keystep.

Here’s what Aldo has to say about the technical details:

“All the sounds come from the Digitakt except for the guitar, which goes through the ZOIA for some sound shaping and a light vibrato on the chorus.

The Octatrack is only acting as a mixer/FX unit/looper. I have 2 tracks used as loopers for the guitar. I can switch between those to create the verse/chorus structure of the song. I can also overdub freely which is super cool. This definitely feels like a huge upgrade from the Ditto X4, even though it does pretty much the same job here. It’s just wayyy more reliable and comes with plenty of FXs and expression tools.

Speaking of which! I tried not to overuse the crossfader and the freeze delay but dang, it’s hard to resist. Both are really great to create to subtle breakdowns and variations that you would manually create in your DAW. The freeze delay can produce that classic stutter effect at 2:02 but you can also use it as a sort of temporary looper. At 1:17 I use it to record the little tuning automation I just did on the Digitakt. It’s great because it’s easy to go overboard with the Control All feature on the Digitakt. Having the ability to instantly loop a tiny section of it makes it way more musical in my opinion.

That said, the Octatrack is a bit limiting in term of mixing compared to my old setup. I used to record all tracks separately through Overbridge but now since the Octatrack is applying effects to the whole master I can’t really use Overbridge anymore (because the sound recorded would be unaffected by the Octatrack effects). I really love having the drum separate from the rest so what I did was panning the whole drum on one side and the guitar, bass and synth on the other. Not ideal but at least it forces me to put a bit more effort into the balance while I’m jamming, which is cool too!

I also added some reverb/delay in Logic and mastered the result with Kramer MPX, Izotope Ozone and L3 Ultramaximizer. I did some minor edits too.”

One thought on “Octatrack Looping Jam With Guitar, Digitakt

  1. Enjoyed this. Nice sounds. I’ve had an Octatrack for a couple of years, but still haven’t managed to master using it as a looper, so this was cool to see. May have to try again.

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