Already have FM synths - what extra would a Digitone bring?


There’s going to be a point in this thread, though it may take several more days, where the arguments eventually run out of steam, and it all points out that you’re happy where you are, with what you already have. :slightly_smiling_face:

We know the differences and pros and cons between a Monomachine and a Digitone. Some of us have one, some of us have the other, and some of us have both. They’re all good answers.


I am happy with my current fm synths, I’ve said that. I’m just wondering whether adding a Digitone as well would be worth it or not so was asking for informed opinions on it. I’m not directly comparing the Monomachine to the Digitone, just asking if the overlap between the capabilities of the Mono plus other fm synths and the Digitone is large or small.


In summary, ONLY YOU can determine if it’s ‘worth it’ or not to get a Digitone based on what you already have. That’s my informed opinion.


Uh, well yes, obviously I ultimately get to decide whether to buy a synth or not but it’s still worth asking people (on a discussion forum specifically for Elektron synth discussion) for their opinions about the decision isn’t it? I take it you’ve bought a Digitone then? Do you have existing fm synths as well and if so, how well does it work with them?


If it helps you - I bought it but probably not going to keep it. Not because it fails as a fm synth (I do have better one but I still like the form factor of these small digi boxes - to be able to go to a gig with medium backbag) but because it fails on syncronized pattern changes with my other Elektron boxes. It’s still perfectly fine on its own tho.


The DN is the best imo. :trophy:


I have a Volca FM, Yamaha DX100, Yamaha SY99 and the Digitone. To me this brings loads to the table. It’s beautiful sounding and has loads of functionality, super easy to get amazing sounds from and a solid sturdy unit. It is expensive though and if you feel that all these bases covered already then maybe not for you.


Good luck with answering your own questions.


I don’t think it would add anything to your setup except, well, more FM. It’s a good little box, bit if you haven’t experienced the Digi line yet… It’s a bit of a let down in some ways compared to even comparative antiques like Monomachine. I don’t know if this is due to product immaturity, if they’re just deliberately treating the Digi line more like ‘groove boxes’ and leaving some of the more advanced configurations to the big boxes.

Monomachine: I kindof prefer Monomachine’s FM, but it’s easier to push Monomachine’s FM into weird percussive territory that still sounds really neat, and I like that. But I always have to have the manual close by to remember the controls and differences between the Monomachine’s FM machines. Digitone has a much more informative and dynamic display.

Volca FM: The Volca FM has those special “carrier attack/decay” and “mod attack/decay” controls on its surface. Those kindof remind me of the Digitone’s simplified pair of FM envelopes for its A and B-pair operators. It’s easier than going into the nitty-gritty of six different multi-stage envelopes, but the Volca FM does at least give you the deep editing of those envelopes (if you want it); but Volca FM also gives you relatively little in the way of visuals.

Reface DX: I’ve only used a friend’s Reface DX briefly, but I really liked my experience with it. Digitone and Reface share the simplified 4-operator engine (which I don’t mind - I’m much more fond of weirder FM like on Monomachine than having every FM synth be a DX7 clone) and have good on-board effects. And Digitone and Reface DX have pretty good graphical representations of what’s going on. I was really wanting a Reface DX, but it didn’t quite offer enough over the Volca FM for me to add it to my collection. But I bought Digitone immediately because of the Elektron sequencer and not needing to configure Monomachine or Octatrack.

So no… I don’t think it would add too much to your setup. Especially if you have Analog 4 too. I’d rather have Digitone instead of Reface and Volca FM (although I’m keeping my Volca), but if I had a Reface I’m not sure I’d bother with trying to sell it to get a Digitone. And if I had the Reface, I’m also not sure I would have bought the Digitone as swiftly as I did.


I’m hoping a fix for that comes soon bummed about it


I think digitone probably offers a more live tweak able approach to fm that the Volca FM has a bit of but really if you want to play with FM synthesis in the same way you play with subtractive synthesis I can’t think of what would be a better option than a digitone. So yes it has stuff to offer its just if you want what it offers in comparison to your current set up. I would likely try to have it replace one or 2 of your current FM synths and let it free up the monomachine to use some of its other unique synth engines.


Today I sat my brother down at the Digitone. He is a drummer, no electronic music experience, let alone fm synths. After a 10 minute crash course he was able to make a pretty sick pattern with some preset drum sounds and some sounds he created exploring the synthesis. Don’t think he could have had the same experience on any other fm box. This thing is so intuitive and fast.


It’s very different from the Monomachine fm synths as well, much more flexibility. Greatly improved workflow and sequencer as well. It’s a worthy upgrade and allows the MnM to focus on the wavetable stuff.


Exactly what I’m always looking for in a device “intuitive and fast”. I’m also a drummer with little electronic experience I like to create patterns quickly so I can transfer these patterns without the drums onto my Roland spd-sx and jam. I have the DT & DN and love them both with a combination of a sampler and an FM synth, that’s all I need. I like the fact that I can create my own music that I can play drums too, nothing can beat that.:stuck_out_tongue:


Yeah, the size is appealing though shame they weren’t able to squeeze in some sort of battery as would be nice to take out and about like with the Volca/Reface (there’s prob some sort of portable battery you can get to run it off but that’s more to buy/carry).

I think I read something about this - probably stating the obvious but can’t you just use the Digitone as the master and sync everything else off that or does that not work as well?


That’s really helpful, thanks for this post. From what you and others say, I’m inclined to go for one if they ever come down to roughly the price of the Digitakt - if that doesn’t happen I’ll probably just have to survive without :slight_smile:


The Digitone is the same price as the Digitakt right now.


I would love a digitone just for the size of it, but im happy with my lately bass tx81Z.


There are two presets trying to emulate lately bass on the digitone… but while they’re good on their own, they fail at sounding like the original… not enough noise :joy:


They’re both $739 at Musician’s Friend now.