Digitakt vs Octatrack (overbridge, song-mode)


I am hobby musician who mainly play around in Bitwig and Renoise. I own a Drumbrute Impact and think it’s incredibly fun to play around with, and want to make a setup I can jam on and potentially play longer sets with.

I am going to buy a main sequencer for the setup and a synth, and am considering either a Digitakt or an Octatrack for this. However I have some questions regarding this:

  • Digitakt can I send through audio and record it with Overbridge, or will I need an audio interface for digitakt + drum machine + synth? Is it possible to use send-FXs with this audio?
  • Octatrack has more FX and a compressor, will using Overbridge and a software compressor be easy to setup for processing and potential side-chaining? (maybe it’s possible to fake side-chaining just with parameter locks)
  • How long sets can you play with just sequencing patterns and using mutes on the Digitakt? Is Song-mode on the Octatrack worthwhile if I want to play 40 min sets?

No overbridge for octatrack mate.

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Okey thanks for clarifying, can I send through (and record on my computer) external gear through the Digitakt+Overbridge?

I believe so. I got rid of my Digitakt before overbridge.

In answer to your thought exercise about having something to jam on-

The octatrack is a fantastic one stop shop, for this type of thing. If you’re just wanting something to jam away on as a hobby or distraction, the OT is hard to beat.
Load it with samples and play away. Buy some loop packs from loopmasters or the like, and you’ll be having fun in no time.

It’s not hard to learn, it’s just got lots of functionality. Deciding on how you want to use it, is the hardest part.

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Dt also has a compressor.

Yes you can easily play a 40 minute set easily on both machines using mutes and what not. With or without songmode.

Overbridge is relatively easy to set up and will allow you to effect each of the DT channels in your DAW. DT can also function as an audio interface. OT has no overbridge or audio interface capabilities.

In reality they are two totally different machines.

You always can do that.

About the Octatrack and long sets:

The arranger on the OT is the most versatile Elektron implementation of a song mode. While the Digitakt has only a built-in and not expandable 1GB +drive you can use up 64GB CF cards on the Octatrack, which makes it also possible to stream hours of premade backing tracks directly from there.

Using one of the recorders of the Octatrack as looper makes the OT perfect for smooth transitions between songs (record a loop, play it, switch to new pattern and crossfade).

Since the Digitakt has no kind of kit structure (track sounds and their settings are stored per pattern) transitions from one pattern to the next may be cumbersome (think of changing the track sound in the active pattern and switch to the next pattern which has the same sound stored, but with its old parameters).

IMHO when you want to use at least one other device and want to use this 2-device-setup also without a computer the OT is the better option (as a mixer, fx unit, looper, backtrack player and - of course - all the standard stereo sampler stuff).

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Thanks for the feedback, I think I am leaning towards a Digitakt right now as it’s cheaper and seem to be fit for my purpose.

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DT have a compressor and can be used as a soundcard 2x2.
You can play very long set with it (check Dave Mech)
You can record each 8 tracks + stereo fx return + 2 analog input in separate tracks into your DAW only with the USB cable and overbridge enabled.
DT is endless fun.