Elektron Digitakt

Are any of you using a Digitakt for purposes beyond straight rhythm play? I keep thinking this could be a fun, relatively affordable tool to pickup for sampling but would love to hear feedback if possible. Thank you…

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I have played with the digitakt quite a few times at Control Voltage with this use in mind. One thing that I don’t think it will do is loop a sample w/ out the clock running which is pretty much the main way I was using the octatrack. Maybe they will fix that in the future but it seems like elektron is very slow to add new functionality.
I’ve been seriously thinking about finding a 2nd hand boss sp-303 or 404 for simple sampling duties. Pretty dead simple samplers but unfortunately lack the editing + playback capabilities of an octatrack or digitakt

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thanks Marcus! That’s super helpful to hear. I flip flop with the idea then of saving for an Octatrack but also get the sense - from reading things you’ve posted as well as others - that the learning curve might do me in. My “studio” is also a small table so the size of the DIgitakt seems useful real estate :slight_smile:

The Digitakt is a bucket of fun. You can get some awesome noises out of it, and the sampling is really straight-forward. BUT!! Because it’s a drum machine first and a sampler second, all sounds are mono.

This means that - even though it has two inputs labelled L & R - incoming audio is summed to mono when you sample (and when you’re monitoring). Once you have your mono sample, then it can be panned within your kit, and the output is stereo.

Grudgingly, I’d concede that this makes sense in the context of a drum machine, but it might not be what you’re expecting, so it’s worth being be aware of before buying. :neutral_face:

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thanks for this too. I’ve been thinking about the mono issue. I do so much multi-channel stuff… and record everything in stereo (or more). Anyway, appreciate the reply

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Had my digitakt for a few months now. Some things: I bought with the intent of using it as sampler first. Vinyl, YouTube, synths, etc. I do mostly hip hop inspired tracks… flylo, Dilla, dibiase. It replaced my mpc 1000 for this purpose quite
nicely. The machine sounds killer.

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Definitely will loop samples with the sequencer off.

On the source page set sample to loop.
One the amp page set hold and release to max values

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While its sampling in mono irks me a little, I can live with it, because I don’t think of it as a sampler. I love it as a drum machine. I have a Rytm and an Octatrack too, and as capable as they are, the Digitakt is just so much more… fun. It’s far more immediate. It’s the kind of hardware that just has you sitting for hours longer than you intended with a big idiot grin on your face. It’s simple in the best way.

It’s great for happy accidents. The sequencer is awesome. Conditional triggers are the greatest thing since sliced bread. You can get so much variation out of just 16 of each track’s possible 64 steps that it’s unfair to other sequencers. Different track lengths, parameter locks, MIDI tracks for sequencing external gear, CTRL-ALL…

I :heart: my Digitakt.

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Oh dearie me no, the Octatrack is a DREADFUL drum machine. :stuck_out_tongue:

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I’m new to the Digitakt (and the Elektron ecosystem), but liking it quite a lot, so far. I really enjoy the fact that the device fits on my lap, and I tend to use it on the couch. Once I discovered the conditional trigger called ‘first’, I realized I could place long-running samples on some tracks while creating rhythmic or cycling sounds on others. Having said that, I have definitely wondered if I might appreciate the OT MkII a little more. For instance, having separate track and trigger keys looks appealing - as does the easier control over sample slicing. Now that I have basic mastery of the DT, the OT also seems less intimidating.

Here’s an inspiring video from an inspiring YouTube channel:

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I checked out that video today too. It’s beautifully done.

Why are people saying the Octatrack is a terrible drum machine? I made a track this weekend with the Octatrack and Rytm and I found drum programming on the OT great. I would have preferred to use the Rytm for all the drums mainly because semantics but I had drum samples on the OT that I didn’t want to fuss around sending to the Rytm and it was no problem at all to just have them on OT tracks.

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Sorry - I was being facetious! Really I just meant that - for me, at least - co-opting the OT for use as a drum machine feels cumbersome when compared to the immediacy of the Rytm or the Digitakt.

hi all!

just a little question:
can you “play chromatically” the samples over the DT minikeys, like a conventional sampler? not sure if the OT included or not this function. i miss some simple “loop mode” functions on modern machines, especially the u-turn/alternate/x-fade modes from the old s950 or the little vss30. again, i don´t know if the elektrons include these loop modes. thanks in advance!

cheers,
pug

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samples can be played chromatically… unfortunately they can only be triggered monophonically :frowning:

loop modes are limited as well. samples play forward, forward looped, reverse and reverse looped.

I can only hope some features will be added. Sadly even the new MPCs only loop forwards. no alternating or xfade modes on that either!

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(yeah, there is a chromatic arrangement for the buttons, and you can use an external midi keyboard to set notes. as mentioned elsewhere - samples are monophonic. also, you can’t set a “root note” for them - so if it’s not in C, so to speak, you’ll need to do some mental gymnastics to keep things at pitch. I say this having researched the Digitakt, not as an owner).

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knobs is so dangerous – it almost got me thinking about OTs again…

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Digitakt owner here: I wouldn’t consider DT as a general purpose sampler. Many of the reasons have been given above, but I’ll summarize my list here:

  • No fine setting of loop points. It is very hard to get a click-less loop unless either a) it is the whole sample, and the sample has been carefully trimmed, or b) it is a single cycle waveform.
  • Looping doesn’t stop on on key up (playing out the tail) - so you need to design release with the envelops (amp. and filter).
  • No polyphony on a single track. May or may not be an issue.
  • No independent time stretching or pitch control - so a backing n-bar loop generally has to be played at the tempo it is.
  • You can tune a sample so that C plays C… but no matter what, you get no more than +/-2 octaves of tuning on the sample from the original sample. So, if you need to tune the sample up a five semitons to play C, you are only going to get an octave and a fifth more notes above. (To put it another way - the sample pitch shift, and the MIDI note are summed - and the result can only be +/-24 semitones.)

Within those confines, it is great! Obviously those constraints work well with the aim of being a percussion machine. I also find working with single cycle waveforms for bass lines, or longer drony sounds (the processing in the signal chain works well here) is great. (And the factory sample pack has a nice collection of single cycle waveforms.)

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