Elektron Octatrack MkII

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Fugal
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Post by Fugal » Wed Jul 05, 2017 6:34 am

dugoutcanoe wrote:Feels like i've been on a plateau with the OT for some time now. Was thinking about selling it and moving on to greener pastures. Definitely not enticed with this latest offering....
Yeah, was thinking about buying an Octatrack for maybe a split second, but decided to wait to see what a new update had to offer. A bit disappointed with this and am probably going to just stick with working in Ableton.

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Post by missingtwin » Wed Jul 05, 2017 12:48 pm

I had an OT about a year ago. I was excited about the possibilities.
Recorded a dr110 into it (phrases, individual hits, etc). Man,
after getting over the hump learning it - it was super fun! I worked with a
song as a test case for the machine for about a month. Nothing would
sound exactly right. All the while I was getting into the workflow and
and the goodness people talk about with these things.

Anyway, I went back to sample some more from the dr110 and ummm,
the OT changes the sound for the worse. Not a gain staging problem,
the sound quality suffers, period. It may not make a difference to you but it's
true.

I could not un-hear it after this discovery and sold it.

I was super excited about this mkII. I was literally all over it. Assuming that they would have poured some 2017 tech into this thing giving it the sound it
deserves.

FAIL

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missingtwin
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Post by missingtwin » Wed Jul 05, 2017 12:53 pm

It's not an MKII

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didahdrieghe
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Post by didahdrieghe » Thu Jul 06, 2017 7:58 am

Looks like they're releasing an MKII of the analog four and the rytm as well.

https://www.elektron.se/analog-four-mkii/
https://www.elektron.se/analog-rytm-mkii/

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Post by Xmit » Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:06 am

yep.

they've just broken their own website & Elektronauts with this.

I'm still not going back to Elektron though.

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Post by astrodislocate » Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:07 pm

So it's August, and we still don't have a release date. What's up with that? Is Elektron usually like that with releases? This is the first product that I'm (probably) gonna buy and I'm gettin antsy as hell :deadbanana:

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Post by thelizard » Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:21 pm

astrodislocate wrote:So it's August, and we still don't have a release date. What's up with that? Is Elektron usually like that with releases? This is the first product that I'm (probably) gonna buy and I'm gettin antsy as hell :deadbanana:
Yep :)

The Digitakt thread at Elektronauts devolved into chaos because of the lax shipping date.

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Post by GovernorSilver » Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:56 pm

astrodislocate wrote:So it's August, and we still don't have a release date. What's up with that? Is Elektron usually like that with releases?
It's how they roll

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Post by suboptimal » Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:44 pm

Oh good, I was starting to miss reading threads of complaints about Elektron shipping delays.

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Post by astrodislocate » Fri Aug 04, 2017 4:21 pm

Sorry man, I wasn't trying to complain or start anything. Was just a bit confused, is all.

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Post by Ranxerox » Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:49 pm

Jeez, the RYTM Mk.II RRP is 1699 EUR / 1549 USD - have they checked exchange rates recently, or did they transpose the figures??

Guess I won't be replacing my Drumbrute anytime soon 8-)

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Post by thelizard » Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:35 pm

Ranxerox wrote:Jeez, the RYTM Mk.II RRP is 1699 EUR / 1549 USD - have they checked exchange rates recently, or did they transpose the figures??

Guess I won't be replacing my Drumbrute anytime soon 8-)
I think the Euro cost includes the VAT. I may be wrong, though.

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Post by gentle_attack » Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:04 pm

thelizard wrote:
Ranxerox wrote:Jeez, the RYTM Mk.II RRP is 1699 EUR / 1549 USD - have they checked exchange rates recently, or did they transpose the figures??

Guess I won't be replacing my Drumbrute anytime soon 8-)
I think the Euro cost includes the VAT. I may be wrong, though.
Probably. I was looking at getting a bottle of whiskey shipped from UK to Italy where I'll be on vacation, and realized it would be considerably cheaper to get it shipped to the U.S. vs pay VAT. Like $30 on in bottle and increasingly cheaper if I bought multiples, as postal rates get cheaper per item, the more you ship.
Control Skiff ||Big Case || cv.ocd || TT303v2 || Manther || OP-1 OP-Lab|| Octatrack Digitone RYTM || BX-8 BX-16 || Monologue KP3+

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Post by ModusOp » Mon Oct 09, 2017 12:45 am

Well, the MKII did end up getting the Conditional Trig features :party: so that ups the ante a little.

Really liking the demos I've seen so far and I think the new dedicated function buttons would really help with a workflow.
[video][/video]

The only other thing I'd hoped would be fixed/added was being able to play your individual slices in a sample chain via an external Midi keyboard, but someone on Elektronauts figured out a way using a Midi Solutions box.

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Post by 16osc » Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:38 pm

missingtwin wrote: the OT changes the sound for the worse. Not a gain staging problem,
the sound quality suffers, period. It may not make a difference to you but it's
true.
Did you have the time stretching on? I've used my extensively and can find no sound quality issues. Time stretch enabled will harm the sounds. Curious as to what you heard.

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Post by soundslikejoe » Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:17 pm

I had an OTmk1 and will have an OTmk2 one day... but I must admit... there is some coloration to the sound when working with MK1. The faithful have always denied this... but there are subtle differences. I won't be a flamer and say "it sounds terrible" or "suffers" --- but in a hi-fi clinical listening situation... I can hear it.

Does it matter? Not really to me. Most hardware samplers have "a sound" and the OT is no different. I always suspected the analog input components as being the culprit.... I mean let's face it... these aren't like Millennia quality signal paths.


*** edit ***
Will say I was glad to hear Jenk say the audio inputs were "new" -- probably a modest bump in quality for the analog portion of the signal path.
:yay:

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Post by Sinamsis » Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:39 pm

I'm really debating getting one (or maybe just a second hand mk I). I think I'd rather spend the extra cash and get a warranty and better hardware. I'm still super hesitant though. I've always waffled back and forth on this, and I feel like I need to experience it myself to decide. The learning curve is always what turned me off. But as I've gotten more into the Elektron workflow, the OT has caught my eye again. How easy is the sample management on these? I find the MD UW cumbersome to say the least, and it's a feature I have really under-utilized. Is it any more straightforward on the OT? I think I might just have to RTFM before I take the plunge. Ha, that said I might splurge and learn by doing.

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Post by hellcore » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:04 am

Sinamsis wrote:How easy is the sample management on these? I find the MD UW cumbersome to say the least, and it's a feature I have really under-utilized. Is it any more straightforward on the OT? I think I might just have to RTFM before I take the plunge. Ha, that said I might splurge and learn by doing.
If you mean file management, then it's super easy, it's just a removable USB drive on your computer where you drop your samples. I wish other Elektrons were this simple.

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Post by slidearind » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:46 am

Sinamsis wrote:I'm really debating getting one (or maybe just a second hand mk I). I think I'd rather spend the extra cash and get a warranty and better hardware. I'm still super hesitant though. I've always waffled back and forth on this, and I feel like I need to experience it myself to decide. The learning curve is always what turned me off. But as I've gotten more into the Elektron workflow, the OT has caught my eye again. How easy is the sample management on these? I find the MD UW cumbersome to say the least, and it's a feature I have really under-utilized. Is it any more straightforward on the OT? I think I might just have to RTFM before I take the plunge. Ha, that said I might splurge and learn by doing.
Definitely read the manual. The learning curve isn't as bad as you might think. Once you get over the initial bump there is an internal logic that just makes sense.

Sample management isn't spectacular, but there is a USB link to the computer which makes it easier. Once you've got your samples loaded, however, it is freakin' spectacular!

If you can find a used MK1 now, you'll still get the new conditional trigs and, if you decide you don't like it, you can resell without losing much.

And, remember, with something like a cv.ocd you have a modulation monster with 8 midi tracks.

have fun!

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Post by slicetwo » Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:30 am

Sinamsis wrote:I'm really debating getting one (or maybe just a second hand mk I). I think I'd rather spend the extra cash and get a warranty and better hardware. I'm still super hesitant though. I've always waffled back and forth on this, and I feel like I need to experience it myself to decide. The learning curve is always what turned me off. But as I've gotten more into the Elektron workflow, the OT has caught my eye again. How easy is the sample management on these? I find the MD UW cumbersome to say the least, and it's a feature I have really under-utilized. Is it any more straightforward on the OT? I think I might just have to RTFM before I take the plunge. Ha, that said I might splurge and learn by doing.
Get the OT MKI. The only thing the MKII really has is slightly better inputs/outputs and a few more (high quality) buttons/encoders. The cost difference vs. feature upgrades really favor the saving money aspect of the older one. I got my OT last year and I love it. The learning curve isn't as bad as everyone says, it's more that there is SO much you can do that it feels overwhelming. If you focus on one aspect at a time, it's really not that hard to wrap your head around. I had a MD for a while (sold it a few weeks ago) and the OT runs laps around the MD in terms of sampling and sample management/editing without contest. I did read the manual a million times, watched tons of Cuckoo's (fantastic) videos, and question the hell out of the Elektronauts forums, but now I feel confident in my abilities with many aspects of the machine. In fact, I'm debating either buying another MKI or waiting until they release a REAL OT2 that has even more features.

So to conclude, buy an OTmki and have a blast learning all the crazy awesome things you can do with it, and use the money you save and buy a nice dinner for your significant other.

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Post by GovernorSilver » Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:45 am

Sinamsis wrote:I'm really debating getting one (or maybe just a second hand mk I). I think I'd rather spend the extra cash and get a warranty and better hardware. I'm still super hesitant though. I've always waffled back and forth on this, and I feel like I need to experience it myself to decide. The learning curve is always what turned me off. But as I've gotten more into the Elektron workflow, the OT has caught my eye again. How easy is the sample management on these? I find the MD UW cumbersome to say the least, and it's a feature I have really under-utilized. Is it any more straightforward on the OT? I think I might just have to RTFM before I take the plunge. Ha, that said I might splurge and learn by doing.
Your samples would be stored on a Compact Flash card on the OT. The CF card slot (connectors, etc.) is reportedly quite fragile - apparently if you break anything in it, the warranty does not include repairs to anything inside that CF card slot. Somebody on one of the user forums busted a connector or something in his OT's CF slot and Elektron refused to service it. So you don't want to be swapping CF cards all that often.

OTOH, because your project stuff, samples, etc. are all stored on the CF card, if you break anything else in the OT, you can take out the card and put it in another OT, and that other OT essentially becomes an instant clone of the first OT.

The samples can be organized into folders and such - and those can be managed from your computer via USB connection. The samples are all in an "audio pool" that can be accessible from any of your Projects.

As far as sound coloration, just about everybody who has complained about the coloration turned out to be using time warping (just like Ableton in the early days) and/or FX. I personally like the reverbs and filter, but some people don't like what any of the FX does to the sound - those that don't ditch the OT altogether rely almost entirely on outboard gear for FX.

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Post by thelizard » Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:21 am

My OT Mk2 arrived last night. I never owned a Mk 1 and only briefly tweaked one at NAMM, so I have no useful comments on comparing the workflows.

In the 2 or 3 hours that I used it last night, I fell in love and wish that I would have joined the club sooner. I had three major thoughts while playing:

1) This is the easiest workflow I've ever seen for unsynced loops. Adding a few samples, stretching them out slightly, and letting them phase is painless.

2) The crossfader and Scene workflow is now something I wish for on every other device. I could probably get pretty far by fading between MIDI scenes, but I haven't tested external sequencing yet. That will be my weekend project.

3) Recording triggers!! My MachineDrum UW is still one of my favorite pieces of gear, mainly because of the RAM machines. This already seems more powerful after my first session. I wish that I could add trig conditions to the recording triggers, but I suppose that could be accomplished by use of a MIDI loopback.

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Post by Sinamsis » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:02 pm

slidearind
I will definitely read the manual. But honestly, I don't always read before I purchase. In general, I'm the thick headed type that needs to have something in front of him to interact with, while I read the manual so it clicks. And yeah, I have a Shuttle Control and Yarns with a Ladik MIDI to gate connected to it.

slicetwo
I'm considering a mk I. I'm still seeing them between $800 and $900 second hand. I have a couple places I get 10% discounts at, so I could get a MK II for just $200-$300 more. If the extra buttons make the workflow easier, it might be worth it to me. And I definitely prefer balanced inputs. And the OLED display kinda has me. I find the viewing angle a little challenging on the older displays and I have to bend my neck more than I'd like (I'm a surgeon and already have some decent wear and tear on my cervical spine).

GovernorSilver

Thanks for weighing in. If there's a folder architecture that I can manage from my computer that makes life a lot easier. That's what I was hoping for. Sample management is my biggest complaint with my MD UW.

thelizard
Reading some of your comments convinced me to switch out my MD for a UW. Are you thinking of getting rid of the MD now? And what made you go with the mk II OT over a used mk I? Honestly, I find the sample manipulation of the MD UW awesome, but I find it very cumbersome at the same time, which means I rarely use it.


To put it all in context, I have a sordid history with Elektron. I bought an A4 years ago, returned it in 2 weeks. I just didn't click with it. A little later, I got a Rytm. I liked the sound, but still didn't get on with the sequencer. Eventually sold it and got an MD. Something clicked with that for me, both with sound and I finally got into XOX style sequencing (I came from an MPC and DAW background). I ended swapping out the MD for a UW version. I got a used AK for cheap. And recently, I got a Rytm again. I use the AK, MD and AR with a fairly large eurorack set up, which I'm down sizing. I also have an MPC Live that I occasionally use for sequencing, but mainly because I couldn't stand not having an MPC in the studio. And, if I ever play out, I'll be using it in place of a laptop.

I know that seems super gearslutty, and of course I am to a degree. Ha, that's only half of my studio. But I actually put a lot of thought into my setup, and how I interact with each of them, and the role they play. I've actually stripped down things in the studio to streamline my workflow. I have things I love about each Elektron machine. The MD, like I said, I really do like the built in synthesis. I think I would miss it if I got rid of it. The sound mangling options are cool as well, but the workflow is a little convoluted. I also use it as my main XOX style sequencer for my modular. But in terms of the Elektron sequencer, it seems to be the least evolved, which makes sense. The Rytm I'm still relearning. I really like the new machines, and of course the conditional triggers (both of these inspired me to buy it again). Unfortunately, it can't really sequence the modular (I don't think I'll use the impulse machines, I'd rather have more). The AK I really bought to sequence the modular. I first started thinking about the Audio Damage sequencer. Then I thought, I could get a 2 sequencers, a smaller format keyboard, as well as 4 voice synth with decent effects for a bit more. I got a second hand one for about $1000 and I love it. I most use it as a sequencer, but I dig the synth as well.

So why the f would I want an OT on top of all that? Well, to be honest, the fact that the new firmware allows conditional trigs first caught my attention. 8 tracks of conditional trigs is pretty awesome. It also seems like it will do the sound mangling stuff that I like in the MD UW, but a lot better. The LFOs and FX options are bonkers. Honestly, every 6 months or so I wrestle with the idea of buying one, then I convince myself I don't need it, or I could do what it does elsewhere. But I keep coming back to it. I feel like I need to own one to know for a fact. My biggest fear has been the learning curve, but you guys have made me feel a little better about that. I don't mind putting in a little time to learn the intricacies of a specific instrument, but my time is limited and I don't want to feel like the process is really cumbersome. If I get one, and get on with the workflow, I may even let my MD UW go. It would be hard for me to do that though, because it's just so immediate.

To be honest, the more down this rabbit hole I go, the more I think I could just have a few Elektron boxes and not even bother with the modular. Don't get me wrong, I love the endless possibilities of eurorack. But work's gotten pretty busy, and I have a four month old at home. My music time is pretty limited, and I have a few projects I'm working on at the same time. So when I sit down to do something, I need to make progress. I can't take a few hours building up an enormous patch anymore. I'm not ready to get rid of the modular all together, but I'm cutting 2 of 7 168 hp rows, and building a new 12 U (well actually 13 U) x 168 hp case, and then a controller skiff so that I can actually get the case out of the studio. My current case is 7 rows of 168 hp. I can't move the damn thing.

But yeah, the OT has really tempted me as an abstract/experimental sampler, and a potential sequencer for the rack, and actually my other studio gear, as well as a sound processor (including for guitar). I'm still on the fence, but I'm really leaning towards it.



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Post by hyena » Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:47 am

the octatrack is the perfect device to go along with a modular setup.
you can sample your sounds and free some modules. you can do realtime processing. you can do dynamic live sampling\slicing\resampling, even loop recording and overdubbing with the pickup machines.
the polyrhythm\polymeter capability not only opens ways for interesting riddims but also extends the patterns well beyond the 4 bars with just a bit of thinking.

the only complaint i have as a lot of others is the total lack of metering. keeping a correct gain staging is nightmare and can result in a flat or badly digitally saturated sound...
but now almost two years it's in my hands i still learn new shit almost on a daily basis. the granular capabilities using the audio editor in realtime alone makes the entry ticket worth. i think this is the most forward thinking compact machine we have around.

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Post by hyena » Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:49 am

Sinamsis : i think there are just 3 things you'll miss from the MDUW:

1- MDUW is a synth so it's more immediate to get it going.
2- inputs on the MD can act as trigger input (perfect to pair it with some gate producing modular stuff). not the same on the OT. wish they'll add it sometime but i don't think this will happen.
3- lfos on one track of the MD can control parameters on other tracks. not the same on the OT.

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