Elektron's description of the Elektron Octatrack MKII eight-track dynamic performance sampler
THE MIDIUM® CURATOR'S NOTE: Tutorial Series
The Elektron Octatrack has helped artists produce audio-based projects for well over 10 years; in its current MKII state, the Octatrack's enhanced interface and functionality reflect its ability to fit into various workflows. Its depth signals the essence of a complex music machine capable of sampling, sequencing, arrangement, and more.
Complete songs and performances can be done with the Elektron Octatrack MKII alone, as evidenced by the film Black and White, produced by the artist SINEDRIFTER, which premiered at Synthplex 2019. In it, SINEDRIFTER sampled their own instruments and various sources into the Elektron Octatrack MKII to produce the score. Black and White may be found at the bottom of this description.
Please see the playlist we curated by clicking here, as it contains a collection of tutorials and tips that Elektron assembled early in the Octatrack's story.
While the videos feature the MKI, they nonetheless can help you understand and navigate your Elektron Octatrack MKII more easily. The Midium® hopes that this collection of tutorials, tips, and projects shed light on the possibilities that the Elektron Octatrack MKII holds for artists working in various media.
Eight-track dynamic performance sampler.
With the Octatrack MKII, discovering the perfect sample is only the beginning. Twist it, distort it, and carve it into something that is truly yours. Dynamic in name and nature: this is the ultimate sampler for recording sessions, creative kick-starts, and improvisational performances.
A stereo sampler, looper, arranger, mixing and effects hub, workstation, performance instrument: you name it. Its power scales and evolves with you during your musical journey.
More than a sampler.
The Octatrack MKII redefines how you transform your sounds, as well as how you interact and play with them. It is a stereo sampler, processor, and live looper with a powerful sequencer and workstation workflow on top. Choose between several custom machines – static, flex, thru, neighbor, pickup – to suit your sample recording, manipulation, and effects processing needs for each of the eight tracks.
Whether you use only a few aspects of its capabilities, such as sample crafting, slicing, effects, and playback – or gradually include its connectivity and control for a deeper and more comprehensive composition – the Octatrack will sit confidently as the central hub of your musical world.
Sampling is the inception.
Record stereo samples in real-time via any of the Octatrack’s source options. Connect directly to the four inputs, resample an internal track, or pull on the main and cue channels. Record into any of the eight tracks simultaneously. Go on and tweak and process the samples, even while your pattern is playing.
Trim, chop, twist and turn, freely and independently time-stretch and pitch-shift your audio gems into perfectly sized loops, one-shots, or slices for your composition. Sample and resample. Refine or crunch. Do it all live.
Audio mutate, audio mutilate.
The crossfader adds immense depth of control. Choose how you want it to affect your samples. Then decide how you want to wield it. Set up assignable scenes (collections of parameter changes) to each side of the crossfader. Toggle between them, or morph from A to B and back. Prepare up to sixteen scenes and transition from any to any of them.
Nudge gently for subtle, natural-sounding transitions or knock it back and forth for extreme, unexpected changes.
The Octatrack MKII is a machine with enormous sound design and modulation capabilities. With three LFOs available for each track, as well as an LFO designer with an etch-a-sketch type workflow plus smoothing, there are deeply customizable wave-weaving possibilities at your disposal.
The LFO options aren't just for internal and external audio modulation: apply them to MIDI if you want. Many available modulation sources, but what about destinations?
You can assign two insert effects per audio track, offering a vast selection of reverbs, filters, and plenty more to play with. To get your fill of filters, use the band-defining base-width filter, or the characteristic comb filter.
There are two types of equalizer too, for those fine frequency control needs. There's compression, lo-fi, flanger, phaser, delay, chorus, spatializer, and more. If you need more effects slots, just use a neighbor machine and double the number. Utter audio manipulation has rarely been so varied, or so much fun.
Pillar of performance.
The Octatrack MKII can be treated as a small mixing and effects desk for your whole setup, making use of the unit’s configurable pairs of stereo inputs, and equally configurable pairs of main and cue outputs.
Then connect external MIDI gear and let the machine orchestrate proceedings via eight dedicated tracks, each featuring MIDI LFOs and CC control pages. The colossal connectivity and immediate control make all the difference.
With the game-changing Elektron sequencer, you can lay your ideas out with absolute control and as great depth as you desire. Command both internal sounds and external gear with the same level of razor-sharp precision. In addition to the eight audio tracks, you get eight MIDI sequencer tracks ready to wrangle other gear. Discover the capabilities of the arranger to turn your sequences into songs. Repeat, mute, loop, and jump commands let you swagger that last mile toward a complete composition.
Experience the power of parameter locking: simply pressing a sequencer step and twisting a knob to add sound manipulation and effects in a hands-on, intuitive manner. Lock a different sample or slice to each step, apply controlled randomness and logic with conditional locks, lock parameter changes independently of note trigs: let p-locks pave the way towards that super-swag sequence!
The Octatrack MKII comes packed with grade-A factory content. Nearly 5 GB of loops and one-shots by Origin Sound, Loopmasters, Sample Magic, and Samples from Mars ensures creativity right out of the box.
A Sample of the Potential.
And now, an example of how the Elektron Octatrack MKII can be used to produce the score to an independent film...
Audio track features (×8)
- 1 × specialized machine
- 1 × track recorder
- 1 × amplitude envelope
- 3 × LFOs
- 2 × user selectable track effects
MIDI track features (×8)
- 1 × arpeggiator
- 3 × LFOs
- 10 × configurable CCs
8 × audio tracks
8 × MIDI tracks
Up to 64 steps per pattern
Individual track lengths
Individual track time signatures
Chromatic, slice, slot, and delay freeze modes
Tempo per pattern
Swing and slide
Full real-time control
CF card storage
CF card size determines the number of projects
80 MB flex RAM per project
Static sample streaming from CF card
256 patterns per project
256 sample slots per project
8 arrangements per project
12/24dB multimode filter
2-band parametric EQ
DJ-style kill EQ
2-10 stage phaser
2-5 tap chorus
Lo-Fi (SRR, BR, Dist and AM)
Echo freeze delay
Gatebox plate reverb
128 × 64 pixel OLED screen
2 × 1/4” impedance balanced main audio out jacks
2 × 1/4” impedance balanced cue audio out jacks
4 × 1/4” balanced external input jacks
1 × 1/4” stereo headphone jack
44.1 kHz, 24-bit D/A and A/D converters
Hi-Speed USB 2.0 port
Power inlet: center positive 5.5 × 2.5 mm barrel jack, 12 V DC, 2 A
Balanced audio outputs
- Main outputs level: +17 dBu peak
- Output impedance: 440 Ω unbalanced
- Digital S/N ratio: 104 dB (20 – 20 000 Hz)
- Headphones out level: +17 dBu peak
- Output impedance: 55 Ω
Balanced audio inputs
- Input level: +17 dBu peak
- Audio input impedance: 21 kΩ
- Digital S/N ratio: 106 dB (20–20,000 Hz)
- Unit power consumption: 7 W typical
- Compatible Elektron power supply: PSU-3c & PSU-3b
Sturdy steel casing
Dimensions: W340 × D184 × H63 mm (13.3” × 7.2” × 2.5”) (including knobs, jacks, and feet)
Weight: approximately 2.3 kg (5 lbs)
Maximum recommended ambient operating temperature: +40˚C (+104˚F)
- 5 GB of high-quality samples pre-installed
- 3 year Elektron warranty
Included in the box
- 32 GB high speed CompactFlash card
- Power Supply PSU-3c
- Elektron USB cable
- Quick Guide