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Gringo Starr
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3rd September 2011
Old 3rd September 2011
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Octatrack and Cirklon

Just wanting some advice here. I have never owned a sequencer or a sampler. I saw several videos on the Cirklon and it's definitely something I plan on buying within the next 6 months.

Now Sweetwater is having a deal where you can buy something and have a year to pay it off interest free and I'm considering getting an Octatrack. I thought this looked like a really good user friendly sampler. However I have no experience with samplers so I could be wrong. Since I'm planning on getting the Cirklon, would buying an Octatrack be paying to much just for a sampler? I know the Octatrack can be used as a sequencer too but if I had the Cirklon I guess I wouldn't need it's sequencer. Right? Any opinions are appreciated.

So I guess what I want to know is, would having both make good sense from a practical point of view?
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3rd September 2011
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From my understanding of these two machines is that they are different while similar.

The Cirklon is a crazy advanced sequencer with more midi outs and cv capabilities, while the Octatrack is more of a sampler. It can do sequences but it's primary usage is for a kind of Ableton in a box.

If I had many synths+drum machines the Cirklon hands down.

If I want to skip the computer and load samples to make new stuff Octatrack.

That's why I personally am going for a Tempest
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3rd September 2011
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No I'm definitely a computer guy. I record in Logic. I would be using the Octatrack strictly to put my own music/tracks into and manipulating them. So is there a better choice for a sampler if thats how I want to use it? I want as many manipulating options as possible.
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I love making music on a computer too. It's so easy to just start and not to worry too much about cables and whatnot... still I long to have my hardware set up again sigh.... that's why the Tempest, small enough and limited, yet full of potential.

Planning to make some tracks only on that little beast with nothing added.

Still the Octatrack would be the next step after you made some different versions. I think it's purpose is too bring new life to loops.



That's my next purchase for loop sequencing and manipulation probably by this time next year

After that I'm thinking of a OP-1

As for the Cirklon as good as it looks it's not for me. Too straight forward, professional and overall nicely done - not so gimmicky or gadgety

Would love to have on though down the road if I ever get a modular
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3rd September 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gringo Starr View Post
No I'm definitely a computer guy. I record in Logic. I would be using the Octatrack strictly to put my own music/tracks into and manipulating them. So is there a better choice for a sampler if thats how I want to use it? I want as many manipulating options as possible.
I own both. The Octatrack is still very young in its development cycle (1.01B is the current OS). It is already a cool machine for manipulating audio if you don't want to use a computer.

One note - depending on how busy you are and how you relate to 'just figuring it out', both machines have a very deep featureset, OK (or incomplete/confusing) manuals, and a UI that is going to take some time to learn.

Neither box is an immediate 'turn it on and get it integrated into your rig in 5 minutes' kind of box. Be prepared for lots of headscratching, lots of reading and posting to the appropriate forums, and just playing around looking for what you want.

Lots of rewards at the end of the day, but the complexity factor is not to be underestimated.
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Hi Gringo

I cannot comment on the Octatrack as I have no experience with one.

One option you have is use the ESX24 sampler in Logic on one of the USB channels from the Cirklon. With 96 cc's available per track on the Cirklon you will have plenty of realtime control over the ESX24's parameters. Its just a matter of setting up and mapping parameter controls to both sides of the equation.

Maybe you want to be all hardware?
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3rd September 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgearguy View Post
I own both. The Octatrack is still very young in its development cycle (1.01B is the current OS). It is already a cool machine for manipulating audio if you don't want to use a computer.

One note - depending on how busy you are and how you relate to 'just figuring it out', both machines have a very deep featureset, OK (or incomplete/confusing) manuals, and a UI that is going to take some time to learn.

Neither box is an immediate 'turn it on and get it integrated into your rig in 5 minutes' kind of box. Be prepared for lots of headscratching, lots of reading and posting to the appropriate forums, and just playing around looking for what you want.

Lots of rewards at the end of the day, but the complexity factor is not to be underestimated.
I don't know the Cirklon but I agree with the above concerning the Octatrak. Cool instrument/sampler/audio mangler but not the most intuitive interface contrary to most other Elektron hardware.. It will take you some time to figure it out. It is fun though!
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how do you plan to use the Cirklon exactly? the sequencer of the OT might be efficient for your sequencing needs by itself. or, if you mainly use the computer anyway, maybe Numerology would be a good choice (looks like you're on a Mac). not sure if it'd make sense to buy the OT if you're planning to sequence it with something else, as you may lose out on some of its most appealing functions.

i don't think the OT is as hard to get used to as a lot of people say. not familiar enough with the Cirklon to comment on how it might compare for sequencing.
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I dont want to bash octatrack , haven't used it yet but since the topicstarter says he's merely a software guy I can only advice him to try ' renoise ' it is THE PROGRAM for sample manipulation and sequencing ...and lots more .
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I hate to be captain obvious here, but really any current daw that includes a sampler will accomplish what you're asking for.

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4th September 2011
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Get yourself a Cirklon I would say. I've been one of the first to Betatest and it's amazing. Colin Fraser knew what he was doing with the older P3 and just took it to another level. There's stuff I can do with the Cirklon that I can't do inside a DAW. Espcially all the random function offsets. People who tell you that you can do the same with a DAW have never used a Cirklon. tutt
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4th September 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matthewdekay View Post
Get yourself a Cirklon I would say. I've been one of the first to Betatest and it's amazing. Colin Fraser knew what he was doing with the older P3 and just took it to another level. There's stuff I can do with the Cirklon that I can't do inside a DAW. Espcially all the random function offsets. People who tell you that you can do the same with a DAW have never used a Cirklon. tutt
Can you explain in detail the particular functions you believe are exclusive to the Cirklon and not replicatable in a DAW?

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4th September 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sftd View Post
Can you explain in detail the particular functions you believe are exclusive to the Cirklon and not replicatable in a DAW?

Sent from my PC36100 using Gearslutz.com App

He is talking about things like:
Random velocity, delay, note,setting random amounts, gate masking, replacing values with other values from different tracks, accumulators, accumulator masks, knob masks, inter track modulation and so forth.

I cannot explain in depth, as I am just starting to learn how to use these features. I won't say that you can't do it in a DAW, because it is still software running the Cirklon. Its just that it is in a dedicated box with a fantastic user interface IMHO. One might be able to do these types of thing in Logic. Personally I wouldn't know where to begin with that. I have poked around in the Logic Environment a little and it looks to be quite complex. I also looked at a couple cool things people had built in the Environment. So it may be possible. It would seem the best DAW for this type of approach would be MAX/MSP.I really don't know too much about that. There may be some other DAWS too. Really tho, I want to spend more time trying to make music and less time playing tech or programmer.
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4th September 2011
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Here is a list of P3 Aux events to choose from. These are also included in the Cirklon, judging on what I have looked at so far. I have only tried a couple of them.

These can be applied on 4 Aux's events. It is possible to make them interact. Man this machine is just to much I am gonna have to sell it...



















Just kidding
Attached Files
File Type: pdf P3 aux events v3.1.006.pdf (15.1 KB, 171 views)
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4th September 2011
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Please don't think that I'm trying to downplay its usefulness for those that desire the workflow it lends!

I truly was just curious as to the unique advantages the poster I quoted spoke of.

So far from what has been listed one need not even bother delving into Max/MSP as Ableton and its compliment of MIDI effects are capable of duplicating those listed assuming I understood them correctly.

I am considering purchasing one, so please don't think I'm bashing it!

I just want as much information about the areas I care for most!

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I know myself and I know that I'll be more inspired to work if I have the hardware. It's just how I am. Staring at a screen and pointing/clicking just isn't inspiring to me. But having the hardware makes me drool and makes me want to sit there for hours learning it.

I want a Cirklon to use with my Blofeld, Juno60, MonoPoly, etc... And the Cirklon seems like the kind of thing you could constantly discover new ideas with. And that's why I play music. I'm like a new idea junkie. It works against me a lot because I don't finish enough ideas because I'm constantly looking for the high of a new idea.

Is the Octatrack worth the price just for the sampler? Or are there cheaper samplers that can do the same things? I know almost nothing about all the samplers that are out there. I really don't know my options and why some options are better than others. I just want a hardware sampler that I can manipulate sound with the most. Is the Octatrack best at doing this?
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For me, I decided I didn't want a PC/DAW as my main sequencer for MIDI and CV.

I had an MPC-3000 and decided to sell that and get the Cirklon/Octatrack combo. The main reasons were:

Cirklon had more interesting/useful sequencer features, supported cv/gate and DIN sync, and was being actively developed. I liked the MPC pads and programming rhythms with them, but not enough to keep it.

The OT has better sample mangling and resampling capabilities than the MPC. It does more what I wanted a smapler to do (i.e. - more than just capture and play back). The OT makes a sample more liquid/mutable and really does open up creative possibilities.

Could all of it be done in a DAW and sw sampler? Probably. I would argue that most DAWs don't easily support the Cirklon philosophy of inter-track manipulation whereby the values and events programmed on one track can change the behavior of another track, but then again I haven't been keeping up w. all the latest DAWs.

The workflow is definitely different w. hardware and suddenly you're forced to deal with things like 'do I hardwire all OT outputs and inputs to my mixer or put some in a patchbay?' There's also additional cabling and such for MIDI (and cv if you use it), but at the end of the day, only you can really decide if the functionality is enough and if the form factors work for you.
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The Cirklon looks intersting. What is inter track manipulation, accumulators and other weird type of functions?
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5th September 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10 ton splash View Post
The Cirklon looks intersting. What is inter track manipulation, accumulators and other weird type of functions?
Read the P3 manual here to get some idea of what can be done. The Cirklon is taking the P3 ideas and expanding on them (wth a better UI as well).
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10 ton splash View Post
The Cirklon looks intersting. What is inter track manipulation, accumulators and other weird type of functions?
Well you really should look at the list of events and check the manual out if you want a better understanding.However, I can offer this:

Instead of routing and modulating a synth, its routing and modulating a sequencers functions or the data generated by those functions. Something like a gate mask is equal to a filter. So applying a gate mask to some notes might be thought of like filtering off a sound Accumulators are like counters. Inter track modulation is simply what it says it is: one tracks events are modulating another tracks.

Basically its like adding a second layer to sequencing.
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Nice, I downloaded the manual.
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13th September 2011
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i don't have a cirklon... but just because one is a specialized midi sequenceer while the other specializes in sampling does not mean you should overlook the sampler!

before i got the octatrack i read up on it and now that i have it i cannot believe how understated it was...

as a midi sequencer - yes it has 4 note polyphony but there's so much more to offer... for a start p-locks are one of those features you don't know what you'd do without.... the clock on this thing seems to be rock solid with what i've thrown at it...
yes you can pretty much do on the octatrack with a computer and ableton...
but nothing beats a good interface and this thing has got it...

long story short... you don't know what you're in for until you get it... if you're willing to take that risk and make music a completely different way than what you're used to... you won't be wasting your money.... but if you want your money to be put towards a certain 'need' or a specific purpose that you have in mind... then you may be dissapointed...

calling it a sampler is simply understating this machine by a long shot...
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5th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubtek71 View Post
He is talking about things like:
Random velocity, delay, note,setting random amounts, gate masking, replacing values with other values from different tracks, accumulators, accumulator masks, knob masks, inter track modulation and so forth.

I cannot explain in depth, as I am just starting to learn how to use these features. I won't say that you can't do it in a DAW, because it is still software running the Cirklon. Its just that it is in a dedicated box with a fantastic user interface IMHO. One might be able to do these types of thing in Logic. Personally I wouldn't know where to begin with that. I have poked around in the Logic Environment a little and it looks to be quite complex. I also looked at a couple cool things people had built in the Environment. So it may be possible. It would seem the best DAW for this type of approach would be MAX/MSP.I really don't know too much about that. There may be some other DAWS too. Really tho, I want to spend more time trying to make music and less time playing tech or programmer.


How to work with a Cirklon in traditional linear Chord/note recording ?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matthewdekay View Post
Get yourself a Cirklon I would say. I've been one of the first to Betatest and it's amazing. Colin Fraser knew what he was doing with the older P3 and just took it to another level. There's stuff I can do with the Cirklon that I can't do inside a DAW. Espcially all the random function offsets. People who tell you that you can do the same with a DAW have never used a Cirklon. tutt
Have you tried Numerology yet?
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5th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Googlyman View Post
How to work with a Cirklon in traditional linear Chord/note recording ?
The CK patterns (versus the P3 patterns) support real-time recording, chords, etc. The CK pattern is also used as a traditional drum machine programming grid thing.

So you have P3 for the traditional monophonic blip and bleep sequence lines, the CK for drum machine programming and MPC-style real time recording and event editing, DIN sync out, 5 MIDI I/O ports, and an optional cv/gate interface (8 gates, 16 cvs) in a single package.
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5th December 2011
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I use the sequencer of the Octatrack alot and i think it is very powerful.

You can use an LFO to modulate any parameters on the arpeggiator. You can modulate lfo with lfo that modulate midi CC and the arp. Also the ARP can be used as a mini sequencer (16 steps) where you can define the value for each steps.
You can also use the LFO as a step sequencer when using the LFO designer mode.

ex: an LFO that modulate the Transpose param. of the arp , an other lfo modulating midi cc and a third lfo modulating the speed of the first LFO. you can parameter lock certain values like the ARP octave range , speed , the arp mode etc.

Of course you can have different track length for each sequence and you can record in realtime quantized or not.

It is possible to program chords (4) but every notes need to have the same note length.

The sampler is the most powerful feature on the Octatrack and it is amazing for experimentation.

If you have any question just let me know.
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6th December 2011
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Quote:
I'm like a new idea junkie. It works against me a lot because I don't finish enough ideas because I'm constantly looking for the high of a new idea.

Is the Octatrack worth the price just for the sampler? Or are there cheaper samplers that can do the same things? I know almost nothing about all the samplers that are out there. I really don't know my options and why some options are better than others. I just want a hardware sampler that I can manipulate sound with the most. Is the Octatrack best at doing this?
Whether the octatrack is the best depends on what kind of manipulation you want, whether you prefer an 'all-in-one' unit with a built in sequencer, and how much sample time you desire.

For realtime stretching and experimental pattern based sequencing, with a lot of memory, there is nothing that does it better than the octatrack.

If you want the most powerful processing, excluding the real time time-stretch looping features, but rather tools for destructive editing, or complex filters/modulation, than an ensoniq eps16+/ASR10, emu E4 series, or yamaha ax000 series may be better. Of those only the ensoniqs have a built in sequencer (but it is not so real time friendly as the octotrack). The ensoniqs also allow real time control of all the parameters, however you'd need an expensive slider box (most won't do sysex message with enough bytes) or a computer to manipulate multiple parameters at once in real time. 2 or 16 mb ram max.

The emu's and yamahas are more perhaps a bit more 'synthy' and provide a wide variety of filters. The Kurzweils are also great experimental samplers, but I wont comment on them as I've never spent enough time using em to make a fair judgment.

I think that if your 'constantly seeking new ideas' and want a hardware sampler that is fun to explore, either the octotrack or the ensoniqs are good choices, but they each carve out a different niche. The ensoniqs are good at tacking a tiny bit of audio and creating all kinds of sounds from it. The octatrack is good for taking large amounts of audio and manipulating it in complex ways in real time.
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13th March 2012
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Does octatrack read midi files?
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13th March 2012
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Does octatrack read midi files?
No.
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