Digitone + AR2 for live techno?


Anyone here using an AR2 with Digitone? I’ve seen plenty of DT + DN setups, but I don’t think I’ve seen anyone with AR + DN.

I picked up my AR2 a couple of months ago and fell in love with the Elektron workflow. I’ve realized I ran out of voices to do a proper live techno set from the AR2 alone even with sound locks and DVCO (and don’t want to touch samples too much), and am exploring the DN as a slave to the AR2. How seamless is the project/pattern switching and MIDI sync/transport between the two?

Additionally, I’ve got a fair amount of experience with Operator and FM8 - a lot of the early criticism was that it was essentially Operator in a box, yet a lot of the DN sound demos I’ve heard sound much fuller and… Just overall much better, especially in the mid highs, than I’ve seen achieved with Operator. Ignoring the obvious fact it’s got the elektron sequencer and workflow, how’s the “Operator in a box” comparison holding up sound wise?


I’m using rytm mk I and DN (running into analog heat). A great pairing I’d say! Many ways to mix and match the 16 voices in this combo, for example you can use the DN for drums and the AR for samples and DVCO, alot of possibilities really. No need to use the drum machine for drums and the synth for synth sounds unless you want to :wink:

Projects? I always only use one single project for the whole gig.

DN as “operator in a box”? Dunno, not an operator superuser. They seem to have quite a bit of functionality overlap though so there’s that.


Does switching between patterns within the same project sync up between devices? Is there any lag? I’ve typically used one project for a whole live gig, with different kits for each “song” I’m performing. Wasn’t sure how different the file system was on the DN.


I use them as set up. Not for techno but for more broken stuff. AR for drums, samples and bass. DN for everything else. They perfectkynwork.
No lag at all. Sounds fantastic


Neat! No lag or drift when you move the tempo of one box either? My biggest fears are always midi clock drift.


Not that I noticed. If you change tempo the delay will sweep a little bit but as long as you make it obviously an effect all is good.
I also tried to stop the DN and restart it on bar 1 to see what would happen on a “drift” scenario and it perfectly locks.
Please be aware this is working fo me, for the stuff I do.


I use AR and A4 and can also say within a project they sync up perfect. Even with DN added, switching patterns and changing clock works fine. :+1:t2:

what I dont like is: a kit can be used for multiple patterns whit AR and A4, but on DN (and DT) every pattern has its own kit. so when jamming it is difficult to switch the different concepts in my head, but maybe its just me, because I am so used to work with both analogs…


How do you change patterns? AR has one loop lag. I use DN as a master device and when I send pattern change message AR is always one loop behind (no direct change in AR when receiving pattern change message is a known issue ).


hm, dont know about this bug, maybe because rytm is my master (clock :slight_smile: ) since the beginning.

Do you mean to change the pattern directly, on a certain step mid pattern? (aka direct pattern change) I dont work with that, I want the pattern to switch at the end of it. But good point, maybe relevant for the OP. :+1:t2:


Anyone know a combo of Elektron boxes that is not good for live techno? :smile:


I personally use OT, RYTM and Digitone in my live setup. Clock is solid between all three, Digitone is my master because of the per pattern BPM feature. I change patterns manually on each of the machines, because then you get the nice effect of mixing between tracks when you switch them over. Much better for dance music genres than just switching all the patterns at once. Plus otherwise you waste patterns on the machines if they have to stay in sync.


The mixer-like effect is an interesting counterargument to switching them all at once, thanks!


that’s the way I roll too :ok_hand:t3:


that’s why I’m sequenzing dn from ot, and turned off pattern remote switching.


I use this combo. Great setup.

Currently I use AR2 mostly for the grooves/drops, and DN mostly for breakdowns.


Whoa, hello there - I didn’t realize you hung about on these boards, Mr Kleph :wink:

I’d love to see a performance of one of your tracks on the AR2 + DN!



which is master and which is slave? I have the Rytm mk1 and am thinking of getting the DN. Have you ever sent DN into Rytms input? Does it work well, as i heard about uneven gain staging?



Either can be master. If rytm is the master, you gain access to songmode and chains. If DN is master, you can store and recall BPM values for patterns. So its a matter of choice really.

I also like to use turbo mode whenever possible with this pairing.

I find I usually need to run the DN at max volume into the rytm to get acceptable balances between the two, so while not ideal in terms of gain structure, IME its really not a problem. You can work around it. Running the rytm into DN might result in a healthier gain structure, but then you lose the master compressor (for DN sounds).


I ended up running it with Rytm as mastter, DN into the Rytm. I agree with what you said about the DN volume.

What exactly does Turbo Mode do?


Turbo mode is an elektron propietary MIDI protocol that increases the MIDI transmission speeds x 10. Using turbo mode tightens timing and allows more bandwidth for crazy modulations via MIDI (CC LFOs etc). Not exactly sure, but I think turbo MIDI was originally invented in order to enable faster sample transfers between elektron boxes over MIDI?

Not sure if its placebo (havent A/B:d seriously) but the sync of the boxes feels tighter to me when turbo mode is active.

You need to connect both boxes to each other with bidirectional MIDI (out going to in, in going to out with both) for turbo mode to work. Then, you just enable turbo mode from the settings.