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Octatrack and Modular.
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion  
Author Octatrack and Modular.
sillyquestions?
Hey was just wondering how I would go about sampling modular with octratrack? If I was to get a midi-cv converter, would this allow me to sequence my modular? Would I still be able to use the Octatracks parameter locks/other features whilst doing this?

Does anyone have any experience doing this? Whats the best midi-cv converter. Was thinking Hermod by squarp but again thats a sequencer in its self, would that actually be any use?

Cheers
Rex Coil 7
sillyquestions? wrote:
Hey was just wondering how I would go about sampling modular with octratrack?
dunno (I don't own an Octatrack).

sillyquestions? wrote:
If I was to get a midi-cv converter, would this allow me to sequence my modular?
Using a MIDI/CV converter with a MIDI sequencer will enable you to play your modular with the MIDI sequencer, yes.

However, if your question is actually "If I was [sic] to get a midi-cv converter to use with the Octatrack, would it allow me to use the Octatrack to sequence my modular?". If so, then .. dunno, I don't own an Octatrack.

sillyquestions? wrote:
Would I still be able to use the Octatracks parameter locks/other features whilst doing this?
dunno (I don't own an Octatrack).

sillyquestions? wrote:
Does anyone have any experience doing this?
If you're asking if anyone has experience using a MIDI-to-CV converter to sequence my modular, then ~yes~, I do, and ~yes~ it works.

sillyquestions? wrote:
Whats the best midi-cv converter.
Pfft ... how high is the sky? How long is a rope? Comes down to each person's needs and intended use. I use a Kenton Pro 2000 MkII (an excellent two channel rack mount MIDI/CV converter that saves up to 24 user configuration preset with the ability to create up to four voice poly, plus loads more). I also use a Kenton Pro Solo MkII. But there are literally mighty mighty piles and great heaps of MIDI/CV converters made by numerous manufacturers. You ask ten people which one is "the best" and you'll get nine different answers.

sillyquestions? wrote:
Was thinking Hermod by squarp but again thats a sequencer in its self, would that actually be any use?
Yes. I own a Squarp Pyramid which (like the Hermod) also does double duty as MIDI/CV converter and multi track/multi channel sequencing with both MIDI and CV outputs.

sillyquestions? wrote:
Cheers
Right back atchya. cookie?!?
sillyquestions?
Hmm, thanks for taking the time out to reply.
whyfarer
sillyquestions? wrote:
Hey was just wondering how I would go about sampling modular with octratrack?

Do you mean sampling or sequencing? You start by asking about sampling but then ask a whole bunch of sequencing questions - I'm going to try to answer the sequencing ones.

sillyquestions? wrote:
If I was to get a midi-cv converter, would this allow me to sequence my modular?

Yep

sillyquestions? wrote:
Would I still be able to use the Octatracks parameter locks/other features whilst doing this?

Octatrack has 8 midi tracks and 8 internal audio tracks. you can use the 8 regular audio tracks just like normal while also sequencing 8 midi tracks. That said, p-locks work differently for midi tracks than a regular audio track. So, yes, you can use all the regular octatrack features AND midi sequencing also has a bunch of it's own features. Some are the same, some are different (e.g. the octatrack has a nice arpegiator that you can only use on MIDI tracks. Of course you could plug the OT midi out into the OT midi in and then use the midi arpegiator on the regular 8 OT audio tracks ... screaming goo yo)

sillyquestions? wrote:
Does anyone have any experience doing this?

I do (though I'm def still learning), and many others here do as well.

sillyquestions? wrote:
Whats the best midi-cv converter. Was thinking Hermod by squarp but again thats a sequencer in its self, would that actually be any use?
As RC7 said, there are lots of midi to cv converters. cv.ocd is popular, cheap, and it doesn't take up rack space (though it does take up desk space). Since you mention the hermod, I'm assuming you're into eurorack. I built and use a hexinverter midi2cv and it works well for either a single more complicated mono voice or simple (just gate + cv) poly voices. Magpie Modular DublDeca was designed specifically to interface the Octatrack with eurorack. I've bought the pcb and sourced the parts but I haven't built it yet so I comment in more detail. Other options that I've seen: MI Yarns, Vermona qMI 2, Polyend Poly, Hexinverter mutant brain (basically and updated and expanded version of the midi2cv but it has (possibly) less voices available and it has gained 12 dedicated trigger outs). Think carefully about how many voices you want to control, whether or not you want trigger outs, whether or not you also other midi cc signals converted to CV, and whether or not you want ability to use the octatrack LFOs as CV. That, with some research about the available options, should help you decide which path to take.

PS, here's an example (not mine) of what I would call a very sucessfull modular + OT combination: The guy in the video, Max Marco, has a great series of videos breaking down his setup, workflow, and approach to making music with modular and OT. Really good stuff
soup
sillyquestions? wrote:
Whats the best midi-cv converter.


I use the octatrack with my modular all the time. I have used it with a variety of small midi to cv converters and at times had a few of them going at the same time but I prefer a large freely configurable one with the octatrack so I can sequence, parameter lock midi cc's, use midi lfo's, use the random arp on drum modules etc. all at the same time. It's an 8 track midi sequencer after all. I use the edv-technik muc-810 which is available in euro but also without a faceplate and can be built into the format of your choice (and it has smoothing!) Here's my banana frac version...



http://www.edv-technik-ts.de/html/muc-models.html
Sammy3000
There´s one important thing when using the Octatrack (as Masterclock) with a Midi2CV-Module:

The Octatrack is sending a permanent clock even when the Sequencer is stopped. Many Midi2CV-Modules cant´t handle a permanent clock. I had a Vermona qMI2 and when I stopped the Octatrack-Sequencer the qMI2 was still sending a clock Signal, so my Knight´s Gallop didn´t stop triggering my VCO-Module.

Now I have a Beatstep Pro between the Octatrack and my Modular and it´s OK. The intellijel µMidi got an update in the past and can handle a permanent clock too.


I would keep that Permanent-Clock-Thing in mind when buying a Midi2CV-Module.
whyfarer
Sammy3000 wrote:

The Octatrack is sending a permanent clock even when the Sequencer is stopped. Many Midi2CV-Modules cant´t handle a permanent clock.


Interesting... I haven't messed around with start/stopping much but this is a very good point and important performance feature.
PM33AUD
We did 2 OT + modular setup... and I've got a guide for the OT, which is somewhat based around this if you wanted to look:

http://rabidelephant.com/blogs/general/elektron-octatrack-master-refer ence

There is discussion of what I used to call the 'Holding Tank Loop' which is probably most useful for what I think you're talking about. It was so useful to do that with a modular because it meant you actually had time to patch or tweak on the modular before committing it to folks' ears. Straight up modular sucks for transitions - esp ones that are less slow burney and more 'change many things at once' - melodic/harmonic as well as changing any sound parameters in a 'quick enough' way is very difficult in modular and why our jams on the thing would end up being a song stretched out over 40 minutes instead of 5-10. But maybe we just suck. We're in the box now for many things (of course still with all HW control) but the OT setup was indeed very fun and even as crazy as we had our OTs setup, still simpler than the in the box solution which required a ton of custom hardware and software to be built.

Also check out the MIDI Woes section which outlines why old school MIDI is a real bottleneck and some tips we came up with.

The OT was as good as I could get in hardware and largely because of the sampler. It has a decent MIDI sequencing side you should not ignore. That's how we were driving things primarily but maybe you don't prefer it for that. They added conditionals and then it was just really great.

And we used a few FH-1s to have em 'talk' - there's a guide I did on scripting as well as a script at the end to configure it if you wanna hack it to fit your own setup!:

https://rabidelephant.com/blogs/general/expert-sleepers-fh-1-guide

I would clock the rig from the OT with an audio track on the OT. Just DL a 'blip' sample from any number of places and you're good to go. This is esp. important if you wanted to use MIDI for other things (like hooked up to the FH-1s or some other MIDI converto-box). Another option is to have a 'very good' master clock box and sync both the OT and the modular from this clock. Don't screw around with clocks would be my advice. MIDI clock is useless as soon as you use the same wire to handle anything else (note, CCs, etc.). This is why we used audio based clocking. If you need to record in a DAW and want to do any time-based editing there my recommendation would be to send out the clock from the DAW this way you can edit the audio tracks later. It's not as fun to have a computer around, but it's sure much less a hassle than having all of your tracks' BPMs drift and maybe even jitter over time.

Have fun!
ranix
midi doesn't suck, it's the computer that sucks
PM33AUD
You can have the fastest computer on the planet and 31.25k baud serial with mixed clock and what I'd consider a 'normal' amount of note/controller data will not be good for you unless you prefer unmusically loose timing or you/your music doesn't mind. We were able to hear it - even outside of musical push/pull, percussive elements would phase and drift against each other making it quite hard to mix with.

The OT has only a single MIDI port... you cannot separate the messages which is why I recommended relegated clocking to an audio track if you wanted to use the MIDI DIN out for normal note/controller type things.
unruhe
in one word: DUBLDECA
matthewjuran
PM33AUD wrote:
You can have the fastest computer on the planet and 31.25k baud serial with mixed clock and what I'd consider a 'normal' amount of note/controller data will not be good for you unless you prefer unmusically loose timing or you/your music doesn't mind. We were able to hear it - even outside of musical push/pull, percussive elements would phase and drift against each other making it quite hard to mix with.

The OT has only a single MIDI port... you cannot separate the messages which is why I recommended relegated clocking to an audio track if you wanted to use the MIDI DIN out for normal note/controller type things.

I’ve never noticed timing problems with the Octatrack sequencing a thru chain of four devices. Can you describe your setup in more detail?
defenestration
re: MIDI clock instability jitter and relationship to MIDI CC and note on/off messages...

from https://www.midi.org/articles-old/about-midi-part-3-midi-messages

Quote:
System Real Time Messages

The MIDI System Real Time messages are used to synchronize all of the MIDI clock-based equipment within a system, such as sequencers and drum machines. Most of the System Real Time messages are normally ignored by keyboard instruments and synthesizers. To help ensure accurate timing, System Real Time messages are given priority over other messages, and these single-byte messages may occur anywhere in the data stream (a Real Time message may appear between the status byte and data byte of some other MIDI message).


take away: don't send your clock using MIDI notes

I would say I am very sensitive to timing issues (I actually got into eurorack initially just to obtain sample-accurate MIDI out of my DAW), and primarily the issues I've had clocking modular with Octatrack came from user error. Sendings lots of notes and CCs will only mess up the notes and CC message timing, not the timing of the clock events, which get priority over those other messages (in a properly implemented MIDI-to-CV module of course...)
StoneAgeOfTheFuture
I have the Octatrack Mk2 and the Polyend Poly 1. This gear works great together for sending MIDI to Eurorack. Highly recommended.

However, I'd like to be able to send MIDI CC to my polyend Poly tracks to play in my eurorack, but setup isn't easy, and I can't find any info specifically about this gear combination online.

Does anyone have experience with CC using this gear?
Can you share your techniques for setting this up?

Thanks thumbs up
half.cto
Hey, yes I'm using OTmk2 to sequence my small rack through 0coast. Also sending MIDI CC lfo. I'v been researching proper MIDI -> CV modules and landed on Poly2 but thats coming only next year. Meanwhile I'll try to help you.

I don't own Poly1, i'm working here from my expierence of using OT with midi gear and Poly1 manual https://polyend.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/manual_poly_web.pdf

First you would need to set MIDI CC chanel on Poly 1
- from manual -
Quote:
MIDI CC messages settings: by using the jumper switch on Poly’s back panel you can choose one global CC parameter for all modulation outputs. The first number in column below corresponds to a CC message number and the row of 7 digits corresponds to the jumper switch settings. Remember to set the switches the way you want before putting in the case.


Use CC 71 (Default CC on Octatracks second MIDI control screen) - jumper setting for that - 1110001.

Then on OT go to MIDI select track you are using ->MIDI CONTROL 2 (FX2 button). Now press [FUNC]+ encoder A (this enables OTs CC5(71))
And that's it, now you can use LFO to modulate this CC or put in static values per step.

BTW you can also modulate, send fixed values by using Velocity parameter.
SnipeCatcher
Both myself and a close friend here in Nashville sequence eurorack with Octatrack mk2’s and tried several solutions. His first was to use a Hermod for midi/cv. Too expensive and too much HP for the task we both thought. We both hated sequencing on the Hermod as well. I’ve tried Mutant Brain and Yarns as well. We both settled on a Polyend Poly1 but we use it differently. He simply uses the Poly 1 and his tracks are awesome. No scripts, no nonsense. It just works perfectly out of the box for 8 tracks of pitch, gate, velocity and modulation. For me, the timing felt sloppy slaving Pam’s to the Octatrack, so my convoluted method was;
Pam’s as master clock with Pam’s pexp-1 expander. So Pam’s is the master clock, pexp-1 send midi clock to the Octatrack and Octatrack out to Poly1.
Works great, but eats up a fair amount of HP, if that’s a concern. It’s very solid though, so until I find a better 8 channel midi/cv option, the Poly1 is fantastic.
XXXEsq
Best midi to CV solution I have found is the Encore Expressionist. I'm considering an Octatrak for live use, but I currently have a RYTM Mk II. I slave the RYTM and an Engine sequencer (that outputs both midi and CV in various configs as necessary) to my DAW (Cubase) master clock and then take all the audio back into Cubase (through 16 channels) for live recording.
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