Heads up, boys and girls! UK music tech retailer Juno just posted a listing for a – wait for it – Elektron Octatrack DPS1 MKII Dynamic Performance Sampler! The purported successor to the cult 2011 sampler, famous for its equal times obtuse and rewarding workflow, is available for pre-order, priced at an eye-watering 1630 USD /1450 EUR / GBP 1,279.00. What did you expect, it’s Elektron! Then again, this pricing – or this whole thing altogether – could be just a technical error on Juno’s part. We’ll learn what’s going on eventually.
Sadly, there is no description available, or an image – though that would have made for an extra juicy leak! But an Octatrack MK2 is good news, and it makes all kinds of sense. First off, the original Octa is fairly long in the tooth now. Newer hardware samplers, such as the MPC Live and the Pioneer Toraiz have surpassed it technologically with their more powerful DSPs and color displays. Though it’s still difficult to find a box that does exactly what the Octatrack does, parts of its functionality can be replicated with other products, including Elektron’s own Digitakt sampler and sequencer.
Speaking of which, all the development that went into the Swedes’ most affordable box of musical mangling facilities to date surely must have trickled down – or even the opposite, descended from – an Octatrack MK2 that’s been in the making for a while. There’s certainly a lot Elektron can do to improve the original Octatrack and expand its capabilities. Beyond adding the obvious color display, there’s switching to a faster flash card, more RAM for samples, and working out smaller workflow kinks that have been bothering users for years.
Of note is that the new sampler retains the DPS-1 model number and is called the Octatrack MK2, rather than the Octatrack 2. So this is, most likely, a refresh of the original product, rather than a brand-new sampler built from the ground-up. The 300 GBP price difference between the two is another argument for such speculation. So don’t go off returning your Digitakt or Octatrack MK1 orders just yet. It will be a while before Elektron comes in the clear about its plans, and probably even longer until the sampler’s eventual release. So hold onto your gear and enjoy it as more information unfolds in the coming months!