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====== OCTATRACK TIPS & TRICKS ======

SOLOING A TRACK

While on the mixer page, holding FUNCTION and pressing a mute key will solo the track.

SLICE
once you have sliced a sample you can preview the slice by pressing function and yes, and move back or foreward through each slice with the cursor left and right, using the level knob (pressed down for even faster response) to scroll through slices and the cue button to preview them works as well.

SAMPLE PREVIEW IN FILE BROWSER
Highlight sample, press function and YES (or just highlight the sample and press the CUE button).

In the Slice Editor, the Left & Right arrows can be used to moved to the previous / next slice, and the Up & Down arrows can be used to zoom in out of the waveform.

USE THE OT AS A “WAVETABLE SYNTH”
Put a single cycle waveform in a flex machine (which, of course, can be as complex as you want - for instance I took a buchla FMd waveform which is far more complex than a single sine wave).

In the ATTR menu, set the loop to ON and the timestretch to OFF (the idea is that the sample must loop but not stretch to the BPM). Be sure that the start and end points in the TRIM window are at zero crossing points if you don’t want clicks.

Adjust the Attack, Hold and Release parameters in the AMP section. You now have kind of a wavetable synth to play with. P-lock the pitch parameter in the playback menu.

HOW TO PLAY LONGER THAN 64 STEPS SAMPLES
1. Load a long sample in a static machine and into a track. For this example, I’ll use track 7.

2. Go into the scale menu (function + scale) and set the scale to be “per track”. Now, every track can have its own scale. Set the master scale to be 256 steps. That will make all the tracks to start back at step one after 256 steps instead of 64. If your sample is very long, you can put a higher value.

3. While still being in the scale window, set the 7th track to 64 steps and the tempo division to 1/4. That will make track 7 play 64 steps at 1/4 of the master BPM, the equivalent of 256 steps at normal speed. That’s why I entered a master scale of 256 steps (see step 2).

4. Put a single trigger on the sequencer of track 7 and press play. Your sample will play for 256 steps long before re-triggering (provided the sample is that long!).

The divider can be 1/8, which will give you 512 steps before re-triggering (you must set the master scale accordingly). Since you can move a step precisely by holding it and pressing the left or right arrows, you still have a pretty good resolution to trigger the sound exactly were you want it, even if the sequencer is at 1/8 of the BPM on that track.

COPYING AND PASTING THINGS
Although this is in the manual, I thought I should write it here because some of those are not obvious.

Many things can be copied/pasted on the OT. You can copy a part and paste it on another part. To do so, in the part menu, place the cursor on the part you want to copy, press FUNCTION + RECORD (copy). The text “copy part X” will appear. Move the cursor to the part you want it to be pasted (which can be in another bank of the project) and press FUNCTION + STOP (paste). The text “pasted on part Y” will appear. Done.

But there are other trickier copy/paste operations, like pages of a track. For example, if you work on a 16 steps pattern, and you worked a lot on one of the track, but now you need it to be 32 steps. You go into the scale menu and put the master scale to 32 steps. But now, your track with 27 parameter locks on the first 16 steps isn’t copied on the last 16 steps of the 32 steps pattern. Instead of reprogramming everything on that second “page”, you can copy the first page and paste it on the second. You need to be in record mode (doing so by pressing record). With the scale button, make sure you’re on the page you want to copy (most likely the first, in this case). Press SCALE + RECORD (and not function + record - that’s what isn’t obvious - function + record copies the entire track). You should see a message confirming that the page was copied. Now go to the second page with the scale button. Press SCALE + STOP (again, not function + stop). The first page will be pasted on the second page. Bingo.

And lastly, you can copy a step and paste it on another step, which can save you time if, for example, you made many parameter locks on a step, including changing the flex sample, etc. and you want to have another step just like it. To do so, make sure you’re in recording mode. Press and hold the step you want to copy, and press RECORD. You should see a message confirming that the step was copied. Then, press and hold the step were you want it to be pasted to, and press STOP. You should see a confirmation that the step was pasted. Banana.

LINKING PARTS TO PATTERNS

Choose a new pattern, paste an old one there. then switch to part 2. u can write new scenes and have new fx blocks... now here’s the trick... you gotta STORE PART 2 before you head away from it, or it’s gone. once it’s stored, you can switch between parts seamlessly... when you choose a pattern w/ a new part as the incoming pattern during playback, it will just *happen*... it’s important to make sure you have the default scene the new part lands on be something useful.

A NOTE ON SCENES

You cannot assign a Scene A and a Scene B to a single TRIG key, much as you might try or much as you might think it would be neat to have a bipolar scene that you can pop in and out of.

HAVING THOUSANDS OF SAMPLES IN ONE PROJECT

When I discovered that you can only have 128 samples in a flex machine and 128 samples in a static machine I thought that would be more than enough, for one pattern or even for one bank. But for all banks in a project it seemed a bit limited to say the least. I recently bought the Goldbaby samplepacks 808 and 909. I really wanted to be able to listen and walk through the different kicks, snares, hats, so on while playing on the Octatrack.. But with this limitation of 2 x 128 you’ll soon be out of slots.

Most of you know slicing is the answer and for those who don’t know I’ll explain: I took Ableton (but every DAW will do) and started with the basskicks of the 909. I placed a kick on every quarter measure: 1.1 - 1.2 - 1.3 - 1.4 - 2.1 - 2.2 - 2.3 - 2.4 and so on. You can slice up to 64 slices so you can repeat this until you have placed exactly 64 kicks. (you can have less samples, but keep in mind you use the exact same number of samples as you slice like 2-4-8-16-32-64 and keep in mind to have them evenly spaced, for instance for longer samples you can place them on every measure instead). Then I exported the 16 measures containing 64 kicks. I copied this exported wave to my audio pool on the OT. I then loaded this sample in a static slot. I edited this sample with the slice function making a 64 slices grid. I now can cycle through the 64 kicks by dialing the slice number. How cool is that! In theory you can have 2 x 128 x 64 = 16.384 samples in one project!

MIDI Sequencing

Use ARP to create acid lines

Using the OT to sequence an external synth (tested with Korg EMX), set the slaved synth to square/saw wave, then:

  • take any sequence in the ARP. Legato is parameter OFF
  • place a few trigs there and there in your pattern (3 trigs per bar is a good start)
  • Use Plocks to enable the legato parameter on some trigs
  • add trigless trigs to turn on/off the legato at will, add/remove trigs, tweak the arp sequence and parameters
  • instant acid madness!
 
ot_tips_tricks.txt (247 views) · Last modified: 2012/07/16 20:11 by Roonan
 

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