Differences between Digitone seq and keystep pro seq

Hi all,

Interesting question - I’m considering getting a keystep pro to play my Digitone and provide future-proof DAWless options.

This would give me two sequencers! (And max of 12 tracks, if I’m not mistaken)

What does each sequencer offer that the other doesn’t? Would love to hear opinions on both features and performance styles, general differences.


EDIT: So far I’ve found:
DIGITONE - P-Locks + trigs, LFOs, conditions + fills
KEYSTEP PRO - Arps, randomisation, 24 channel polyrhythmc drum track, looper. Tons of outputs for eurorack

The power/potential of both of these together is mouthwatering.

Depending on what you mean you get both of these with the DN.

Multiple sequencers can be interesting but can also be a pain to manage. I’d tend towards having one core sequencer and maybe 1 or 2 secondary ones. I sequence my drums seperately to my synths, but the synths all work from the same brain. This actually means I don’t use my DN sequencer at all (when part of my full setup).

Digitise offers no Arps through MIDI.
And yes, Digitone has tons of randomisation features, but I’m sure Keystep Pro offers different ones.

I totally agree with you - I’d want to ‘nominate’ one of the sequencers as the brain. Probably in these early days of my set up, the Digitone should be the brain, using the keystep for transport control / keys. Then as I expand and go beyond Digitone’s sequencer limit, bring in the KSP sequencer to add tracks.

But this is where my question comes in - what would keystep pro offer in terms of sequencing that digitone doesn’t. In other words, why would I use the KSP sequencer instead of Digitone’s? There must be a few benefits.

Yea good point about the MIDI arps.

I think the main difference is playability - DN is focussed on step-based sequencing, where the keystep is more about playing keys.

They can both do both, but that’s what would push me towards a keystep - the desire to ‘play’ my sequences.

I personally use somewhat of a middleground with an Oxi One - it’s step based but I have access to more natural keyboard controls including an isomorphic layout. It’s sort of a ‘best of both worlds’ - but nothing quite beats a keyboard.

I believe with the KSP you can change the patterns on each of the four tracks independently.

I have both, the main benefit of the Keystep Pro in my setup is as a compact master keyboard I can use to play into four devices. The Digitone is one of them, and this probably an obvious point but Digitone opens a lot when you actually use a keyboard with it. I sometimes use the Keystep Pro sequencer as a staging ground for a sequence I will then record into Digitone to edit with all the Elektron tricks. This is mainly just because it’s right where my hands are that are playing the sequence, so it’s more about ergonomics than anything.

I don’t think the Keystep Pro sequencer is particularly special in of itself, especially compared to an Elektron sequencer. For Eurorack it’s convenient, but you’re really just getting 1v/Oct + gates (and velocity, but that’s of marginal use as a modulation source for my system, ymmv). It doesn’t compare to having a full featured MIDI to CV device (eg. FH-2 or CV.OCD) and sequencing CV via CC control on an Elektron box with plocks etc. You do have the ‘Control track’ which can do something similar to plocking CC values, but the workflow is pretty awkward compared to an Elektron device.

Not exactly - you’ve got 4 MIDI tracks on Digitone, and 4 ‘tracks’ on Keystep Pro, which can go over MIDI and/or CV. You could have one track sending note data to both a MIDI device and a Eurorack module at the same time, but they have to share the pattern data. Track 1 of Keystep Pro can be a drum sequencer with 24 lanes instead (i.e. it is an either or situation), but I’m not sure you’d necessarily see them as separate ‘tracks’ when you were actually using it (you could split the drum sequencer so 8 notes go to the CV gate outputs, and the rest to a MIDI channel, which could then feel like 2 tracks).

One thing I like about it is for me it’s connected to the Octatrack which goes to a bunch of other things, and the way it handles polyphony is FAR FAR FAR superior to Octatrack’s sequencer, which is incredibly limited, so I’ve found it handy for that. Digitone’s handling of polyphonic sequencing is pretty good though. If you’ve just got Digitone, you have no MIDI arp so that can be a benefit too (less so for me with the Octatrack), I don’t find the Keystep Pro arp to be superior to the Digitone’s for controlling Digitone itself though.

tl;dr - if you’re buying this primarily for the sequencer, and not for the package of keys with a nice bonus sequencer, there are probably better options you can get. But it’s a very handy package if you need some keys and have a few bits of hardware you want to play from one device, I find it incredibly useful for that.


This is a very nice benefit KSP has.


FFS! Just when I think I’ve researched all the sequencers out there, another one comes along! Loving the euclidian function - made me want a Squarp machine, but could happily skip that for now. What the hell is ‘matriceal’??

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Thanks. Very much in line with my way of thinking. I need keys, and I love the Arturia minikeybed with velocity and aftertouch. I’m sure there are better sequencers out there, but that would mean getting something like a keystep / keystep 37, AND a sequencer at some point in the future if I needed it.

But some of the features of the KSP are very appealing to me - MIDI arps, dedicated drum track with 24 ‘lanes’ (all polytythmic) and as you say - perhaps an easier ‘sketchpad’ of sorts. If I just went with the keyboard alone, I’m sure I’d miss all those things. And I’m trying to build my setup slowly, giving myself lots of options in the future.

Hey if my music takes off, I’ll treat myself to a Squarp :slight_smile:

haha not worked that one out myself yet but it looks interesting!!

So out of interest - what’s your absolute dream machine in terms of a sequencer?

Favourite that I’ve owned is still Octatrack, pretty much the best instantiation of an Elektron MIDI sequencer because of the large number of LFOs and the MIDI arp. I have a Squarp Hapax order in the next batch which feels like what I’ve always been after - the main thing I don’t like about the Elektron sequencer is the tracks not being independent of pattern. Hapax works that way, seems to be able to approximate most of what I like about Elektron sequencing (and even has some trig conditions that should always have been on Elektron boxes), has instrument definitions, MIDI FX + lots of interesting ways to play + generate sequences, boatloads of modulation + CV recording, tons of MIDI/CV ports for connectivity. Basically most of the reasons I’d like a Cirklon, but it’s actually available to buy without waiting 4 years.

For me, out of the options available Oxi One takes it for what it offers. Tons of CV, MIDI flexability - tactile, visual, has harmonising and some cool modulation features that work really well with Eurorack especially - you can basically draw your own LFOs, combined with the Oxi Pipe its basically an external module. As with Hapax mentioned above it also detaches patterns from tracks which is good.

If I were to design the perfect sequencer I’m not sure what I’d change about the Oxi tbh, keys would be nice but they’d make it bigger, same can be said for more I/O, bigger screen etc (which you don’t need as much as you might think). It could be more tailored to me but it would be a lot of small things.

I’d prefer to just sequence on the OT as it would be one less piece of gear I need but I think I’d miss too much and it would probably slow me down - even if it’s very powerful and feels a bit wasted sat there going unused.

Thanks. I’m trying to get off a computer and go dawless. So many possibilities, especially interested in generative ambient stuff - building beautiful clockwork musical machines that just run forever.

You’ve just described the NDLR.

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I would definitely recommend NDLR, had one for a while and recorded a lot of music with it - but these days I’d recommend an Oxi or Hapax over it as they can do the same stuff and more.

But NDLR is nice and focussed if you can get one!

Oh hell yeah. I need to win the lottery now!!!

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