Three By Eight – Octatrack Live Set

Cover 1400 <- Video Version <- Audio Version

Recently I started to get the itch to put together a new hardware-based live set, using all of my favorite tracks from the last three years or so. These would be a collection of studio songs as well as portions of my more recent Maschine Studio live sets, so I knew a bit of remixing would be in order to get them all to gel together as a cohesive live set. Given that I already had most of the important parts of the songs separated as stems, I knew that most likely the Octatrack was the only tool for the job.

It’s been three years since I last owned an Octatrack, regretfully sold following some reliability issues that Elektron refused to cover under warranty. However, I decided that it was time to revisit the black beast one more time, and give things another chance.

So for the last few weeks I’ve been taking all my stems and carefully preparing a live set that would let me focus on solely the Octatrack (OT) during the performance. No other gear would be used. Luckily, even after a 3 year break, I was still pretty quick and proficient on the OT, so it didn’t take me too long to get something together that both sounded good and gave me enough performance options in the moment.

The OT is set up as follows:

Track 1 – Kick
Track 2 – Percussion
Track 3 – Cymbals
Track 4 – Bassline
Track 5 – Lead Synths
Track 6 – Pads and effects
Track 7 – Recorder Track sampling from the output of Track 8
Track 8 – Master track.

All of the audio loops on Tracks 1-6 are sliced and mapped to linear note locks, which lets me do things like shorten notes and reprogram drum patterns on the fly. Track 7 is basically set up to do the “OT transition trick”, and is constantly resampling 4 bar loops from the OT’s main output. This means that at any time I can instantly switch to an audio recording of the last 4 bars, giving more tweaking possibilities and letting me transition from one song to another smoothly. Each of my 16 “songs” in the set uses one part and one pattern, organized across 4 banks. I also created a few scenes that are identical in all my parts, allowing me to tweak things in a consistent manner with the crossfader on the OT.

This is the first iteration of the live set, I’m sure there’s a lot more I’ll be tweaking and adding to it based on future performances. I already have some new ideas based on this recording, so hopefully I’ll have a new version of the set to share in a couple months after I implement them and practice some more performance techniques.

Until then, I hope you enjoy the music!

Peace and beats,

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