Digitakt v MPC Live: real buyers survey (UK£)

for sure. but the MPC has something no Elektron Machine offers (except for the A4/AK): it is polyphonic on its tracks!! And this is the reason why i sold some stuff and finally bought this thing now :slight_smile: it will arrive tomorrow. if you wanna do more than beats and monophonic sounds you are so damn limited with the Elektron Sequencer … i want to try out if the MPC Live is freedom or pain - then i can finally decide if Elektron will be the way to go - forever :smiley:

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I thought with the Digitakt we could push more midi channels to a single device for higher polyphony and separate note parameters (a bit of effort)? I suppose this could just mean 8 notes with the same parameters. Each midi channel is 1 note + 3 offsets.

Worth a try I guess but OT/DT are always gonna be ridiculous amount of ballache to do something like sequencing an 8 chord sequence of 4-note chords using an onboard sample, using workarounds. I don’t have the patience for it personally but ymmv :slight_smile: something that takes 30 seconds on MPC could take 10 minutes+ on OT/DT. The same can also be said in reverse of course, Elektron samplers shine hard at what they do well, but any remotely complex polyphonic stuff really needs to be done elsewhere for the sake of sanity/time…

Edit - Polyphonic noise/soundscape/drone kind of stuff is feasible using same sample on multiple tracks on OT/DT tho. Killer for more experimental stuff. Just not for traditional polyphonic playing. For that they’re like pulling teeth :wink:

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For sure, it sounds tedious to input the offsets over 2-4midi channels but it’s good to know it’s there.

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yep, works for midi. but i meant the internal tracks of the elektron machines. they are mono :wink: except for A4/AK. on the MPC Live however every internal Track is polyphonic and it has up to 64 voices of polyphony in total. thats the difference :wink: well, i’ll see tomorrow if this all works out. Parameter Automation on the MPC still seems to be a total mess …

I have both right now and for the short time I messed with them, I’ll say its hard to tell at this time because both are worlds apart and I’m enjoying adapting to them for different workflows. I love both machines. If I had to choose one, it would be the Digitakt just for its deep simplicity.

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@Shem that is my reflection as well. I haven’t really tried it myself yet, but by the demos I have seen so far seems like everybody is completely focused on the iphone-looking touch screen, and I don’t think that looks very inspiring or fun, to be frank. For me a great inspiring workflow is way more important than specs.

Already got the Digitakt - so its not either one for me, but do I want a MPC Live? Hm… I want somebody to impress me before I consider buying it.

With that said. MPC Live is probably a proper machine when everything is working - and big thumbs upp to Akai for returning from the dark renaissance controller era. Good price too, I think - and battery power is also good! Can you charge the battery from the adaptor as well?


I’ve ordered a Digitakt. Hadn’t even considered the MPC.

I’ve specifically wanted to get an Elektron box for a while, and this offered the best / cheapest route to do that; it’s available on 0% finance so I can spread the cost over a year, and it’s nearly £400 cheaper than the MPC (£600 vs £969).

I’m happy using my laptop & Push for DAW-type functions, polyphonic sampling etc, including when playing live… I wanted something that offers a complementary workflow, even that means it focuses on a more limited range of tasks and has lower specs in some areas, instead of duplicating the tools I already have.

Also, the aesthetics of the Digitakt appeal to me way more: not a fan of touchscreens on hardware; I find the current generation of Akai designs pretty unappealing; the Elektron layout / design language just makes more sense to me.

Absolutely. In fact, the MPCs that get the most love seem to be the MPC60 and 3000, which had very modest features and were used to create an amazing body of work. My dream would be for the Digitakt to gradually evolve into a modern ASR-10.


I bought both, first the mpc then the dt. If i had to chose one of them it would be the mpc live as my primary need is a sampler to play loops (think filterhouse). The dt is a very handy jam machine and i wish it had more voices for samples and better sample/storage management.
Ended up selling my octa, a4 and rytm in the process.

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I’ve got both. If had to choose it’d be DT.

The big Live test is coming at end of July when I go to Tenerife. I plan to take it with me and see how I get on with it and spend some time learning things. Looking forward to it.

Since things clicked with DT I haven’t touched the MPC much but those times I have turned it on I’ve had no bother building a quick pattern that sounds cool.

Gonna keep both for now though.

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I can’t remember in which thread it was discussed, probably Gearslutz, but analogies like “DAW in a box” or “iPad attached to a controller” hold a bit of weight. It was said that the MPC Live is basically a computer running on Linux with inexpensive, non-specialized components, allowing Akai to place exorbitant margins on their sales. You’d have to consider spending that cash on building a better computer (not saying that it would be the same thing).

Now, this isn’t to say that Live isn’t a viable instrument for composition or performance. I probably would have considered it over the DT if not for the difference in cost… though I’m not sure if I would have shelled out the extra G’s for something that basically consolidates some of what I already do in a laptop, albeit in a more streamlined manner.

My other reasons for not waiting to get the Live is that the DT offers some unique ways of sequencing. I’ve been using an MPC2000 and the XL for a while now, and while they’re great for putting together songs, arrangements tend to be more “boxed” and predictable. Also, I wanted an X0X-style sequencer but there ain’t no JJOS for the old MPCs :cry:

Comparisons between the two may seem a bit strange, but it makes sense given that not everyone has the space, time or money to invest in both

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Digitakt because i feel its more focused on one area.

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Two months in with the Live and one month with the Digitakt. In ways, both can do what the other does. Things I’ve done on the Live can be done on the Digitakt and vice versa. I can mutate sounds just the same.

If I can do it all over again, I’d go strictly Digitakt. Akai are a bunch of shady crooks.


Went for DT, never considered MPC, as I feel I’d be better off with a beefy laptop running Ableton Live.

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the ASR10/EPS16 are how I think when I use the Digitakt, I’d love to see the same.


I think for the stuff one gets in the Live, and at that price point, one is better off buying a Deluge.

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I got Digitakt… MPC Live was never really on the menu for me, its UI just seems very unintuitive to me. The big thing that brought me to Digitakt was its performative options, MPC seems a bit more write a song and hit play. I guess Digitakt seems more like an instrument to me. Even if they launched at the same price I know I would have leaned Digitakt… its just the type of machine I have been wanting.

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I haven’t tried a Digitakt yet, so I might not understand what I’m missing, but I’m quite happy with the MPC Live, a completely different ‘philosophy’ from the Elektron boxes, I only wish Akai was more honest with their plans.