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Octatrack
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Antimon



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 2:12 pm    Post subject: Octatrack Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

There's a thread about new Elektron stuff in Gear News, but I figured it's about time we have an Octatrack exclusive here. I got one (plus a t-shirt which is really cool but unfortunately too small). I haven't tried any Elektron gear before, and this feels like a different kind of beast. Very easy to work with in some respects. Among the things I've tried I think this can do good at making weird beats, but also chopping up melodic content in a granular style, a bit like a different version of what people do with mlr on the monome.

Below are a couple of experiments. The first is various guitar sounds being processed. The second starts with an unprocessed sequence on my SoundLab Ultimate, and then I start chopping and tweaking.

Octatrack git by Antimon

Octatrack test rec trigs by Antimon

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GovernorSilver



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks for the demos, Antimon. Was the guitar track built from real time looping?
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BobTheDog



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

cant listen to the tracks here, on an exrtremely slow connectiion!

i only managed to play around with mine for half a day or so but was pretty impressed, with the current firmware it is a bit buggy and sampling is a bit hit and miss to say the least but I think once they iron out the problems it will be a good little machine.

I recorded some arppegios in logic and copied the loops to the octatrack and managed in a short while to get some good stuff out of it just with altering sample start, speed, delay and filter settings on pattern triggers. i managed to get one of the tracks sounding like chanting, totally unlike the original material, very interesting!
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Antimon



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 3:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

GovernorSilver wrote:
Thanks for the demos, Antimon. Was the guitar track built from real time looping?


You're welcome. Smile

I don't think you can say that the guitar bit was live looping (though it's hard to tell sometimes what's live looping with this machine). I started out recording a little guitar fiddling on track 1, sequenced it a bit, then moved on to track 2, sequenced that a bit, and so on. Some tracks are mostly fun with filter/pitch/rate, some tracks play the guitar sample like a synth.

By playing the sample like a synth I mean that I played some different notes on the guitar in the same sample. Then, by using different start positions in the sample on different trigs, I can trigger different notes, using the different parts of one sample as different keys on a keyboard, so to speak. If I want to play a pitch that I don't have in the sample, I can use the pitch knob to get what I want. If I am disturbed by a different note jutting in at the end of a trigged sample section, I can use the rate knob (with time-stretching turned on) to make the guitar note last longer than it did when I recorded it.

My first impression is that this whole time-streching and sample position deal, easily edited using the knobs and the possiblity to trig different configurations of the settings on each of the max 64 steps, is what sets the Octatrack apart for me. I'm not sure what I'll end up using it for, or if I'll be able to make a lot of good use of it, but it's a fun and exciting ride. Different, for sure!

Edit: typos, typos

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GovernorSilver



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Antimon wrote:
GovernorSilver wrote:
Thanks for the demos, Antimon. Was the guitar track built from real time looping?


You're welcome. Smile

I don't think you can say that the guitar bit was live looping (though it's hard to tell sometimes what's live looping with this machine). I started out recording a little guitar fiddling on track 1, sequenced it a bit, then moved on to track 2, sequenced that a bit, and so on. Some tracks are mostly fun with filter/pitch/rate, some tracks play the guitar sample like a synth.


Even if the above isn't "live looping", it sounds like it might be fun. Could you expand a bit on that you mean by "sequencing" here? Like when you said you recorded some guitar to track one then you "sequenced" it. Does that mean you had the sequencer play your guitar recording as a sample?

Antimon wrote:

My first impression is that this whole time-streching and sample position deal, easily edited using the knobs and the possiblity to trig different configurations of the settings on each of the max 64 steps, is what sets the Octatrack apart for me. I'm not sure what I'll end up using it for, or if I'll be able to make a lot of good use of it, but it's a fun and exciting ride. Different, for sure!


Ooh man, I am getting jealous of you and others who have Octatracks now. Cool While my Korg M3 is looking to be my main sequencing machine for more prepared and semi-improvised music, the Octatrack looks like the perfect centerpiece for totally improvised electronic and acoustic/electric music.

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Antimon



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

GovernorSilver wrote:
Antimon wrote:
GovernorSilver wrote:
Thanks for the demos, Antimon. Was the guitar track built from real time looping?


You're welcome. Smile

I don't think you can say that the guitar bit was live looping (though it's hard to tell sometimes what's live looping with this machine). I started out recording a little guitar fiddling on track 1, sequenced it a bit, then moved on to track 2, sequenced that a bit, and so on. Some tracks are mostly fun with filter/pitch/rate, some tracks play the guitar sample like a synth.


Even if the above isn't "live looping", it sounds like it might be fun. Could you expand a bit on that you mean by "sequencing" here? Like when you said you recorded some guitar to track one then you "sequenced" it. Does that mean you had the sequencer play your guitar recording as a sample?


Basically I started with trigging the sample a couple of times in the pattern, like you might with any sample-based groovebox like the Electribe SX-1. But that just trigs the same sample over and over, even if it's not always on the beat, it's kind of boring. So I change, say, the second trig to start playing the sample somewhere in the middle, and maybe I change the fourth trig to start playing somewhere at the end, and also change the rate (which ranges from -64 to 64 or somesuch) so it plays in reverse. Simple stuff that drastically changes how the sequence sounds.

After that I have a sequence running, and I can tweak the filter and FX for it, tweak the pitch (which affects all trigs that haven't been locked with a specific pitch - parameter locks is the Elektron specialty that is hard to explain but so obvious and useful when you try it hands on) and so on. And reprogram the sequence with new parameter locks on the fly, if I want.

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Antimon



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Another thing that sets the Octatrack apart may be the way that it's easy to work with big samples. I've only used Flex machines so far, which work with anything up to the order of 16 second samples. Static machines work with samples of any length, as long as they fit on the flashcard.

If you have pre-rendered samples the Octatrack works like a USB disk (finally someone does this - I hate the cumbersome way I have to go to load a sample into the Electribe). And you don't need to wait for the Octatrack to process the sample once it's in there - just load it into a flex or a static machine and start playing.

You can load it into a sequence that's already programmed with trigs and it will start playing automatically. You can record from an audio input into a sequence that's already there and it will start playing once it's inside the machine, without needing to stop anything. You can work with slicing a sample up, edit it and stuff while it's playing.

Edit: hence the difficulty to say what live looping means with this machine. You can also save a recording as a new file and record new stuff, all on the fly.

One thing I'm wondering about is fine-tuning a start position on a trig - there are 128 positions you can choose, which is a bit rough for a 16 second sample. Maybe I've just not read the manual enough, or this will be fixed in an update.

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mssr.poseur



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

thanks so much for the little sonic treat, there, antimon!

for me?
i really look forward to seeing a creative "demo"-video
that features a guitarist playing the Octatrack in real-time,
where he or she STARTS w/nothing pre-loaded into the machine.....
and, no add'l instruments playing (or, sync'ed), either.

that would rock, imo!,
and would be quite helpful for my perception/overview of the Octatrack
as a truly on-the-fly, on-the-spot, in-the-moment
live-looping+manipulation instrument,
in direct regards to my own intended uses.....

dt
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GovernorSilver



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mssr.poseur wrote:
thanks so much for the little sonic treat, there, antimon!

for me?
i really look forward to seeing a creative "demo"-video
that features a guitarist playing the Octatrack in real-time,
where he or she STARTS w/nothing pre-loaded into the machine.....
and, no add'l instruments playing (or, sync'ed), either.

that would rock, imo!,
and would be quite helpful for my perception/overview of the Octatrack
as a truly on-the-fly, on-the-spot, in-the-moment
live-looping+manipulation instrument,
in direct regards to my own intended uses.....

dt


Welcome to the forum, dt! hello welcome

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Antimon



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

welcome mssr.poseur!

The whole guitar live looping thing may take of if or when we see external midi control appearing in some update. I'm not sure, but I think this has been promised by Elektron.

You can live loop as it is now, but you'll probably not be satisfied by the degree of control.

Also, maybe I should get a webcam... Smile

/Stefan

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mssr.poseur



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

GovernorSilver wrote:

Welcome to the forum, dt! hello welcome

thanks, p!
dude; sir.

dt
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mssr.poseur



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Antimon wrote:
welcome mssr.poseur!

thanks, stefan!

Antimon wrote:
The whole guitar live looping thing may take of if or when we see external midi control appearing in some update. I'm not sure, but I think this has been promised by Elektron.

not sure if it was a promise (or, not), but:
i have some assurance that this is their intention to do,
and soon.....

Antimon wrote:
You can live loop as it is now, but you'll probably not be satisfied by the degree of control.

indeed;
i'm unlikely to purchase one, myself,
until some amount of hands-free performance controls
appear to be reasonably well-implemented.....

Antimon wrote:
Also, maybe I should get a webcam... Smile

ha!
maybe so?
i do like audio, very much
--- Wink ---
i only wanted, in this case,
to know what was being recorded in real-time,
& what was recorded in-advance of a single, continuous performance.
all good!
tutto bené.

best,
dt
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Antimon



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

OS 1.0 is out, with MIDI sequencer (8 x four note chords with arpeggator and LFOs etc etc) and some fixes and tweaks.
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Antimon



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'm celebrating the resurrection of electro-music.com with some guitar overdub with half-tone shifts and more mad shifts at the end.

Octatrack Overdub PitchShift by Antimon

Here's how to overdub (example for track 1):

* Track 1 has a flex machine set to play recorder 1, one trig is on at the start
* Rec setup for that track: src3=T1, set inab or incd to whatever's appropriate for what you're recording
* Put a record trig on the first step. Hold it down and make sure that both src3 and inab or incd (see previous step) are marked
* Rock on!

This will mix anything you play with what you've recorded. If you try to tweak a parameter like pitch shift though, the sound disappears. To fix this, find the play trig you added at the start, hold it down and press the left button until you hear the whole track play and overdub again.

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Antimon



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

OK, I've checked out recording by midi control. If you send a note on message on note 60, channel 1, you'll start recording track 1 (if track 1 is set to use channel 1), just tried it using my organ pedals. The very last page of the 1.0 manual says that you can use note ons 60-71 for recording, though it only explains the first four (records from four different sources). I don't know if there's a way to time the recording like you do with a rec trig.

/Stefan

Edit: sorry, got the pages wrong in the PDF (it's not the last page), still investigating

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BobTheDog



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

What would be good if if you could arm one time record trigs via midi, I will email them about the possibility.
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Antimon



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I was hoping that there would be a function like that.
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BobTheDog



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

And here is the reply:

Quote:
not yet, we dont have an exact date of this implementation.

thanks

daniel
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SugarRatz



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Has anyone tried to use it as a midi sequencer. I tried yesterday and it is pretty tough to use it seems to take a couple of whole sequences before you hear changes to pitch etc Has anyone found a way of using it contructively?
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Antimon



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I've fiddled a bit with the midi sequencer. What do you mean by not hearing changes in pitch?

I think that considering the format of the thing it does pretty well as a midi sequencer actually. Obviously it can't compete with desktop software.

/Stefan

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SugarRatz



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

i didnt comprehesively road test it i plugged it it and fiddled i managed to get it to trigger my cwejman by altering the individual pitch of each trig
however the note change did not register in the playing sequence until it had played through the 16 steps a couple of times
ie fiddle with note knob nothing appears to happen 2 plays through the sequence later that note decides to change
i cant believe this is meant to be like this so i am wondering where i went wrong
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BobTheDog



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

SugarRatz wrote:
i didnt comprehesively road test it i plugged it it and fiddled i managed to get it to trigger my cwejman by altering the individual pitch of each trig
however the note change did not register in the playing sequence until it had played through the 16 steps a couple of times
ie fiddle with note knob nothing appears to happen 2 plays through the sequence later that note decides to change
i cant believe this is meant to be like this so i am wondering where i went wrong


You can have a sequence longer than 16 steps, this sounds like what you had.

So you were seeing 16 steps of what sounds like 32 steps?

The button in the bottom right switches the seq buttons between 1-16, 17 -32 etc.
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SugarRatz



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Good call but i did think of that
i went through the step variations, i had my audio engineer freind with me at the time we were both baffled by it
I guess i was just asking if anyone else had experienced this or if anyone using it was finding it more interactive/intuitive?
either way sounds like i need to go back and study the manual in much more detail!
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BobTheDog



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The manual is definately your friend, it is a complex device and it can be quite easy to be confused by it.
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SugarRatz



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

BobTheDog wrote:
The manual is definately your friend, it is a complex device and it can be quite easy to be confused by it.

you are right there

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