Posts categorized "Octatrack" Feed

Elektron Releases Octatrack OS 1.25G - What's New

Elektron has released a minor update for the Octatrack - OS 1.25G.

What's new:

  • A regression caused static samples to be assigned a tempo of 300 BPM when loaded. Fixed.
  • Trigless locks in the currently active bank were incorrectly converted into trigless trigs when restarting the machine. Fixed.

You can download the update here:

Mark Mosher

Catching Up With Sonic Encounters Podcast - Episodes 005-007

It's been a while since I mentioned my soundscape podcast Sonic Encounters so I thought I'd catch you up on a few episodes. FYI - you can subscribe to the Podcast in iTunes, or use this RSS Feed for your favorite podcatcherDetailed show notes for each episode including notes on synths I used and production techniques at

Episode 005 - "Irreversible Transcription Errors During Consciousness Transfer"

005 Irreversible Transcription Errors During Consciousness Transfer v2

 “Welcome to transfer station 11203. Your consciousness transfer is about to begin and soon you will enjoy immortality in your new custom body. The process is 100% foolproof thanks to your personal technician who will be actively monitoring the process for transcription errors. In the unlikely event of a transcription error, your technician will be manually executing corrective rewrites well before the 6 minute margin where these anomalies would become part of your permanent consciousness in the target vessel. This “human touch” is just another way Transfer-Con goes the extra mile for our clients...[more story background and notes on production using an Octatrack with field recordings]"

Episode 006 - "When the Whales Take Back the Ocean"

006 When the Whales Take Back the Ocean

As humans and their technology have evolved, they have encroached more and more on the domain of the whale and other sea life. Of course the whales have been evolving as well – and – unbeknownst to us, they have been patiently plotting and waiting for the right time put things back in balance. Listen as a group of humpback whales execute phase 1 of their plan to take back the ocean...[more notes on background and production using an Octatrack with public domain recordings of humbpack whales].

Episode 007 - "Descent Into Ancient Ice Cave"

007 Descent into Ancient Ice Cave Cover

This is the soundtrack of an expedition to an ancient ice cave. As you descend deep into the cavern hear surreal sound of the wind blended with your own scanning equipment reverberating through massive cave system. At around the 7:00 minute mark, your systems start picking up some movement in the cave. You’ve got a bad fielding about this – so you initiate emergency ascent at 8:20.

Recorded in a single pass with no edits using a single custom U-HE Bazille Patch...[more show notes on background and production].

Flight-Friendly Hardware Synth Rig Part 2 - Backing Into Your Synth Rig from the Pelican 1510 Case

Photo Aug 23, 1 44 27 PM

This is a follow-up to post "Flight-Friendly Hardware Synth Rig Part 1 - Switching to Hardware Rig for my Solo Set". 

Over the last 5 years or so I've had the opportunity to fly to festivals. It's always a challenge of course to get your gear from here to there.

One strategy I'd recommend is to back into your show rig from what will fit into the luggage you are going to travel with. Something to consider here is that you want to bring enough essential gear as carry-on so that you could perform your set even if your checked luggage doesn't make it with you to the venue. So a backpack and a case that will fit in the overhead bin are the way to go.

Pelican 1510 Carry On Case - $160

Photo Aug 23, 1 41 06 PM

It's important to get a tough case for the overhead bin in case you are asked to gate check the bag or end up on a regional jet where approved sizes won't fit. This has happened to me multiple times over the years. In this scenario they'll put the bag right into the cargo hold so you at least know your gear will make it to the destination with you.

My friend and amazing artist Dino J.A. Deanne ( who's done many tours turned me on to the Pelican 1510 Carry On Case. Here is Dino's post on cases.

  • Retractable extension handle
  • Strong polyurethane wheels with stainless steel bearings
  • Easy open Double Throw latches
  • Open cell core with solid wall design - strong, light weight
  • O-ring seal
  • Automatic Pressure Equalization Valve
  • Comfortable rubber over-molded top and side handles
  • Stainless steel hardware and padlock protectors
  • Pick N Pluck™ with convoluted lid foam
  • Personalized nameplate service available
  • Lifetime Guarantee of Excellence
  • INTERIOR (L x W x D) 19.75" x 11" x 7.6" (50.1 x 27.9 x 19.3 cm) 
  • EXTERIOR (L x W x D) 22" x 13.81" x 9" (55.9 x 35.1 x 22.9 cm) 

This case is just amazing. I ordered the version with the Pick N Pluck foam so I could customize the case for my desktop rig. The biggest challenge is deciding how you'll lay out your gear to fit. Here is my case from the inside out.

Photo Aug 23, 1 43 40 PM

Pick N Pluck comes in two sheets that lay on top of each other. Place your gear on the sheets and use chalk or toothpicks to mark  where you'll need to punch out the foam to fit your gear. Then just pull the little rectangles off. 

The picture above shows the bottom layer punched out to fit the Octatrack, Blofeld Desktop, and Mackie Mixer. Hang on to all those scraps as they com in handy. For example, I used Elmers Multi-Purpose Spray Adhesive to glue Pick N Place scraps to create one more layer of padding on the bottom of the case for the Octatrack. I also sprayed adhesive on q-tips and used it to glue the thin run of foam along the top and for other miscellaneous padding.

In this next photo, you can see I've placed the Octatrack and Blfoeld Desktop into the case. Note that there are slots cut out for the blofeld knobs. It looks a little precarious at this point but adding the next layer tightens things up. Also note that I have Elektron's Protective Lid PL-2 on top of the Octatrack. The lid is expensive at $59, but I consider it a  MUST BUY for Elektron users who take their instruments out of the studio. I'm also a fan of the Elektron ECC-2 soft-sided carry case (which includes the lid) if you just want a way to carry your Elektron unit around by itself locally.

 Photo Aug 23, 1 43 15 PM

In this next photo, you'll see I dropped in the next layer of Pick N Pluck foam and this time I glued some extra scraps to put tension on the top of the blofeld where there are no knobs or LEDs which also ensures that there is not pressure on the knobs. I also inserted the Mackie 402VLZ3.

Photo Aug 23, 1 41 48 PM

I then carved down into the foam so I could add an Akai Professional MPK Mini Mk2 to the rig.

Photo Aug 23, 1 41 36 PM

I used some scraps to put a layer over the drum pads so the lid wouldn't crush the joystick. 

Photo Aug 23, 1 41 30 PM

When you button the case up, nothing moves at all! 

If you really mess things up and need to start over, or you want a different configuration of padding for a different rig, you can buy replacement foam on Amazon.



There of course an incredible number of choices for backpacks. Ultimately, you just need something you dig that will fit all your gear and still fit under the seat in front of you. I used to use a North Face Surge and last year switched to a consumer backpack - the Osprey Ozone 46. While there are many fine choices in DJ backpacks, I prefer the consumer backpacks so I can use them for things other than toting musical gear. In other words, they are lighter when you are doing other things but it's up to you to add padding to fit most musical journeys.

Carry the essentials to pull off a show in this bag - plus items to keep you going during the travel day.

  1. My laptop and power supply (which I use for visuals)
  2. Essential audio and power cables for the rig
  3. Any recorders you need to document the show like a GoPro, Zoom H2N.
  4. Flashlight
  5. Spare batteries for gear
  6. Spare audio adapters
  7. Any perscription meds, pain relievers, allergy pills, Bandaids...
  8. Phone charger
  9. Square or payment reader
  10. A few copies of your CDs
  11. Business cards
  12. myPower ALL Plus MP3450i Battery to charge my phone and run the Octatrack if need be
  13. Snacks in case the flight gets delayed (happens all the time of course)
  14. Nalgene OTF Water Bottle with locking lid. You can open and close it with one hand. Even if you  kick it over on stage you won't soak your cables or rig. Fill it up on the other side of security for the odd chance that you get stuck on a tarmac somewhere.

Checked Bag

If it's a quick in-and-out show, you might be able to fit your change of clothes and toothbrush in the backpack. If not you'll need to check a bag. I also use the checked bag for:

  1. Backup cables for the rig
  2. I sometimes bring stands in this bag like the Roland SS-PC1 Laptop Table
  3. If I can spare the weight, a Furman AC-215A power conditioner
  4. A stereo Hum Eliminator
  5. Merchandise
  6. Sometimes LED lights like a Simppar 56
  7. Clothes

-------------------- << Artist Site and Podcast

Flight-Friendly Hardware Synth Rig Part 1 - Switching to Hardware Rig for my Solo Set

In my last post "Part 1 - Mark Mosher Cinematic Electronic Live - Boulder Synthesizer Meetup August 11, 2015" I shared a video of a solo set I played at the Boulder Synthesizer Meetup earlier this month. For years now when I've played my solo sets I've used an Ableton controllerism rig on the audio side. Hot off the heels of the (no)poem tour where I had great luck using all hardware in a collaborate and improvisational context, the meetup gig was a test of using all hardware on the audio side and only using the computer for interactive visuals. The instant-on and quick setup of the all hardware rig was really great and allowed me to play a continuous set combining composed piece from my albums plus do improv.

At the meetup gig, I used a Blofeld keyboard.


I wanted to be able replicate that same gig for away gigs where I fly so I added an Akai MPK Mini MK2 to be paired with the Blofeld Desktop.


 Here is a sketch of my solo rig now.

Photo Aug 24, 8 21 17 AM

By having a home and away rig with the same technology I can develop more muscle memory for the rig and focus on a small set of instruments.

Note that if I happen to have the computer along for visuals, I can turn this into a hybrid rig and use the laptop to run Percussa MIDIBridge and run audio cubes as gestural controllers.

I'm currently testing the rig in hybrid mode and will add an iConnect MIDI interface soon so I can completely break the tether to the laptop if needed.

Coming up in Part 2 - Backing Into Your Synth Rig from the Pelican 1510 Case

Photo Aug 23, 1 44 27 PM

Introducing (no)poem - A New Collaboration with Darwin Grosse + Heartland 2015 Tour


Things have been a little quite over here at Modulate This! HQ because I've been super busy working with my my good friend Darwin Grosse to form a new duo called (no)poemStay tuned for some upcoming behind-the-scenes posts where I'll share some insights into how we put the duo together as well as some notes on the tech and artistic elements of the our upcoming tour. For now here is a little background on the project.

For those who don't know Darwin, he is director of education and customer services for Cycling ’74 (Max). He is the  creator and host of the art+music+technologypodcast. Darwin also launched a brand new blog called All Things Modular.

We're striking out from Boulder on a mini-tour of the Heartland.

Sonic Encounters Episode 004 Features Brand New Piece - "A Day In The Life Of A Krell Technician"


This next soundscape in Episode 004 is a 20 minute long soundscape. One thing I love about the podcast format is I can present these longer form works that you can listen to as you go about your day. If you need to pause the show, you can pick up where you left off.

So thanks to all of you who subscribed to the podcast in iTunes. If you haven't subscribed click here to Subscribe now on iTunes so you never miss an episode. Please leave a rating or review if you are enjoying the podcast. If you use a different podcatcher, paste this RSS link.

On to Episode 004...

Episode 004 A Day In The Life Of A Krell Technician

A Brand New 20 Minute Original Soundscape

To learn more about this episode visit the Soundscape Journal Page here.




Thanks for listening,

Mark Mosher

My New Cinematic Electronic Soundscape Marooned Now Available

Marooned Cover 600 - Mark Mosher

Marooned is Now Available

A Bandcamp exclusive with high-quality download in MP3, FLAC... includes digital booklet PDF containing 16 pages of liner notes, photos, and graphical score.

I'm super excited to announce my new album Marooned is now available. This soundscape is in the same universe and is a prequel to my alien invasion concept album series Reboot, I Hear Your Signals, and Fear Cannot Save Us. Unlike the first three albums which contained shorter composed and often groove-based songs, this album contains a single long-form recording combining electronic tonalities and abstract expressionist music. See detailed description below. Watch for future posts on the making of Marooned.

You can listen to and buy the album at

Enjoy and please tell your friends. 

About Marooned

Marooned is an original cinematic electronic soundscape. I think of it as a score for a film yet to be made. An Earth ship crashes on a massive moon and the only hope for the crew's survival is making it across a harsh landscape to an alien outpost for a first, and uninvited, encounter.

This work is an example of live sonic storytelling and was recorded in one pass (with no prerecorded sequences, overdubs, or edits) after weeks of improvising and rehearsal.

Instrumentation: 90% Nord Lead 4 Synthesizer (performance instrument with all original signature sounds), 5% Octatrack (performance sampler for original field recordings/samples and on-the-fly sequencing), and 5% Tenori-On (performance instrument and on-the-fly sequencing). 

0:00 Approach
0:59 System Failure
1:30 Crash, Ejection, Blackout

2:08 Regaining Consciousness
4:14 Being Scanned

5:06 The Traverse

7:10 Point of No Return
8:04 Solving the Airlock Puzzle
8:53 Moving Through the Darkness
9:30 The Trap

10:47 March to Chamber

15:00 Extracting Secrets of Man and Machines

18:22 Extracting our Dreams



Written, performed, programmed, and produced by Mark Mosher

Cover photo and design, liner notes, and graphical score by Mark Mosher

Music inspired by Louis and Bebe Barron

Artistic process inspired by Joan Miro, Clyfford Still, and Darwin Grosse

(c)(p) 2015 Mark J. Mosher (BMI) - CC-BY-NC