Ok some really obvious but maybe helpful tips:
FN + no (reload pattern): Green mute mode muted tracks stay muted after pattern reload. Purple muted tracks are restored after reload. So you can have a pattern with all tracks unmuted in storage, mute some tracks and reload the pattern to unmute everything at once, but also the other way around: Store a pattern with only 1 track unmuted, then unmute some more tracks, do some ctrl-al if you like and fn+no to reload, Good for drops.
LP filter to boost the high end. Ok this works on any synth but it’s particularly useful to add high-end to samples in the digitakt with the lack of an eq. Keep the LP filter (almost) completely open and increase the resonance. This is so obvious but alot of people only use LP filters to make sounds less bright, while it works also very well to add brightness.
I dont get it
After a couple weeks with the digi-duo, I have a decent grasp of the basics, so am starting to work on song structure. I admittedly have loopitis, so this is a definite weakness with whatever device/instrument I use.
To combat this, I’m attempting to make a cover of a super simple song that has just few elements that are mostly filtered in and out for variation. I randomly picked “On Off” by Cirez D.
The intro is a kick, hat, and filtered synth. After awhile the synth opens up a bit, kick filters down, and another layer to the synth is added. A slow white noise riser comes in before everything is brought back into play. Simple stuff yeah? I could do all of this super easily in a daw with some automation tracks.
In comes the Digitakt. I’m thinking I could make a separate pattern that has the kick filtering automation, and then another with the kick filtered, but things start to get tricky with the synth and white noise. These automations might last 2-4 times as long as a 4 bar pattern. Do I need to sync up multiple separate patterns and make sure the filter points line up, or can I mark up a pattern chain and record the automation that way?
If I can record automations while in pattern chain mode, I see another potential hurdle. What if I need to change the chain, or …turn the machine off? I would lose everything.
For those that are beyond loopitis, how are you working around these issues? I’m assuming/hoping that overbridge will eventually solve these issues?
I could maybe use my DAW to control pattern changes and automation that way, but at that point, it might be more efficient to skip the Elektron and do everything ITB. The Elektron would then essentially be an expensive midi controller.
TLDR; I have loopitis, how do I best write a song with lots of automation with the Elektron sequencer system that may last longer than 64 steps.
Recording an smooth automation (for example: a filter sweep) with the Elektron sequencer won’t work. It is a step sequencer and will record only 16 values per bar.
Since the Digitakt doesn’t support parameter slides itself, you need to utilize the LFO for such an automation.
But: can a parameter slide using the LFO work across multiple joined patterns? I’m not sure if the LFO can go slow enough for this and/or has enough fine control for speed and offset …
Update: Maybe you don’t need multiple patterns. A slow enough ramp-like LFO may be enough …
While this is true, I disagree that you can’t record a smooth filter sweep, I do it all the time.
Are you talking about parameter-locking a filter sweep? If you “live record” a filter sweep into the sequencer, it should lock values per step and not have a smooth transition between each step, so it ends up sounding choppy/steppy. This is what @tnussb is referring to and hence the workaround of using an LFO which does stay smooth.
My current tip is if you’re thinking about getting a Bastl dude for a submixer going into you’re digitakt… do it. It’s nice and clean sounding and if you are looking to make the monitor volume more adjustable on the digitakt you get the +20db which is really handy and can saturate the sound. Great little mixer for speeding up your work flow with a digitakt and other gear. I’m tempted to get a second one.
Thanks for the tip! I messed around with using an LFO for fading last night. Got mixed results, but need to experiment more.
I have been using the lfo to get pretty crazy robot-in-agony type vocal sounds lately. By setting the destination to sample tune, turning the depth just to about 1.00 in either direction, adjusting the multiple to 1k, with the waveform on saw, and applying that to vocal samples you can get a cool grainy distortion that reminds me of the artifacts I used get time stretching something all to hell. The high multiples in the lfo have proven to be really useful in a lot of ways I didn’t anticipate. I am having a really great time working within the bounds of what the Digitakt can do.
Today I just found out a pretty fun delay sound to try out, it does a kind of hard hitting metallic sound :
The Settings are :
- Time at absolute minimum (most important part)
- PingPong on
- Width around +40 (though, not absolutely necessary)
- Feedback at the default 50
- Reverb send full
The way I use this is when I do some CTL-ALL operations. (the following is done in CTL-ALL) First I set every delay to none, then in the amp section I put the shortest attack, I lower the hold and decay time to have only short percusive sound (because it works best this way), then I bring some reverb for the sound to not be too dry, and only after all this I slowly bring the delay send all the way up.
I discovered this by accident but I think it’s pretty cool, and can work well for transition and other stuff. The only thing to watch is that the level can get pretty high if you mess with the feedback.
I’ve been using one trick I didn´t find posted here for increasing the chord progression beyond the 64 steps:
- Place trigs on the 1st, 2nd. 3rd. and 64rth. steps of the sequencer. (Or as many as you need on the neighbourhood of steps you want the changes to occur on. The “paddier” the sound or slower the attack the more chords you can get away with)
- Use cond trig so that step 1 occurs on turn 1/4, step 2 on 2/4, and so forth
- Assign your differnt chords to differnt trigs by assigning the source sample
- Nudge the microtiming of the steps as much toward the first step as possible (or step one closer to 2 etc.) You can get step 2 to rush itself so much that it actually trig already on step 1.
As stated, this works better with more gradual attack times. Hopefully someone else finds it as usable as I do!
When in tracklength mode you can use the keys to shorten or make longer up to 16 steps faster than the encoder imo
I’ve been using a workaround for the mute-colour bug somewhat successfully.
For my device, the bug typically occured on very fast 16th note triggers. Hihats would be the usual contender for those 16ths. So it‘s possible to use the retrig function and reduce the „resolution“ to 8th or quarter note triggers, with the retrigs filling up the gaps. When muted, only the actual triggers light up - without the retriggers - so it‘s clear to see that the track is muted. It isn‘t constantly lit up by the fast 16th triggers. If the track is unmuted, all of the notes are indicated - including the retriggers - and it appears white all the time.
Additionally, using the retrigs, there‘s a lot more space to program in nice fills or other trig conditions. You also can save some space for the motion sequence by utilizing the velocity parameter for the retrigs.
When switching mute modes, the bug also seems to appear less frequently.
Maybe this has already been discussed, but I thought I‘d share.
No idea if this is common or not but I got a cool “delay” effect (w/o using delay) using the LFO with the following:
- dest: filter env
- multi: 128
- spd: >8 but fiddle
- mode: trig
- fltr: add a little attack to remove any pops
Thanks for this workaround!
Don’t know if someone already posted about this workflow habit
Regarding to kits, what I’ve been doing is “saving my kits” as projects, without any sequence data:
After starting a blank-template-project and choosing/editing the kit(s), I use “save project as”, and that way I save a duplicate with the same name, but adding “KIT”.
After a while, if you feel like you don’t wanna start from scratch and design a whole new kit, or want to keep your sound consistent, or load a similar kit to something you have previously worked, you’ll always have as many kits as projects you have saved, and this is good.
It’s not what we all want for “loading kits”, but I think it’s something.
Hope it works for someone.
You can actually do the same thing with pattern data. first you copy the pattern and then you clear the pattern and the kit data will still be there
You can resample through external FX by keeping monitor switched off in the sample record screen. Panning sounds hard left and right means you can isolate seperate channels to run through external FX and then record them both as one sample combining L + R Inputs.
Make sure monitor is switched off before you start wiring things up!
LFO triangle modulating volume on loops can produce nice pumping effects rising in volume between each beat and dipping on the beat. Make sure to engage LFO.T on the trigger page to re-trigger the LFO each time the loop plays. You will have to play with the Speed and BPM values to produce the off-beat volume swells. Other waveforms also produce nice choppy modulations on drum loops or any loops.
There is a side-chain compressor in the master FX but it affects all the tracks which may not be desired. Here the LFO comes into play to duck individual tracks.
8 VOICE DRONE BOX:
Setup 8 channels of looping samples with different pitches/panning/modulation etc. Make sure the Amp Decay is set to INF to keep each channel droning indefinitely. Start each channel playing then go into the mixer page to start mixing each channel in and out of the mix. Good times!
This is fairly simple and maybe sort of obvious but I have had a lot of success getting realistic snare rolls (and cool unrealistic effects). Say you have a simple snare trig on steps 13-16 on a pattern. By manually adjusting (p-lock) the start point on each individual trig you can get some pretty dynamic sounding rolls. I am finding I prefer this to just setting the lfo to modulate start point as you can really dial in the effect. It is made much easier by looking at the waveform by double clicking SRC so you can see where you are adjusting the start point. If I am working a 4 bar loop with snare rolls on the 2nd and 4th bars I have had success by doing the above mentioned method on the 2nd bar and then doing a retrig (adjusting the velocity down) on the 4th. If you throw in some conditional trigs at a few points you can really create some more complex and less repetitive loops.