The Octatrack is an ambitious piece of hardware, combining multitrack sampling and playback with real-time audio warping. We didn’t get a good look at it earlier this week, but the folks at Gear4Music went back to get a more complete walkthrough with Elektron’s Jon. It’s followed by a proper live set – and it sounds fantastic. In fact, it embodies the quality I described earlier this week of Sweden’s other highly-anticipated gear, the Teenage OP-1: it becomes an instrument you’d want to practice.

Jon also elaborates on the features of the Octatrack. Talking points:

  • Automatic time stretching means samples can sync automatically if you so desire – certainly part of what helps earn this Ableton comparisons, and something that should be great live.
  • The ability to accommodate big samples can make this a machine for playing backing tracks, with clips of ten minutes in length well within reason.
  • You can manipulate steps individually, adjusting parameters like pitch or filtering for creative effects.

It looks terrific, and even if you don’t have the budget to set aside (yeah, I feel you), it’s a great indication of where some of these techniques are going. More details on the Gear4Music blog:
Musikmesse 2010: Elektron reveal full Octatrack details

Previously (including more specs):
Elektron Unveils Octatrack Sampler-Sequencer-Warper, Expands and Discounts Machinedrum