The Digitone lacks individual detune on its operators, and out of 4 operators, only one of them is capable of being fine tuned.
The frequency of an operator is dependent on 3 parameters (1) the Coarse Frequency, (2) the Fine Frequency, and (3) Detune.
On the Digitone you are given a Coarse Frequency that functions as **both the coarse frequency and the fine frequency.**The coarse frequency represents the whole number values, (1.00, 2.00) and the Fine Frequency represents the numbers in between (1.25, 1.50). You are also given a dual detuner. Detune is how you reach values like 1.11 or 4.33
On the Digitone, you have 4 operators. C, A, B1 and B2.
C , is limited mostly to integers. AKA, it doesn’t have fine tune values available like 1.75 or 2.25, but only has whole number values available. It also can not be detuned, because the dual detuner is attached to A and B2.
A , has a more extensive number of ratio values to allow for more inharmonic relationships.
B1 & B2 are also limited to mostly integers.
So A is your most flexible operator. You have the ability to use both the fine tune and detune function. However, its important to note, that those “fine” tuned frequencies are notes that fall directly on the chromatic scale. For example, 4.50 is just a D# note. One way to reach frequencies that are in between those 12 notes, is to use the detune feature, or to pick the few values that are purposefully not one of the 12 notes. There are a total of 4 of these notes. They are 1.75, 2.75, 6.50, and 7.00.
Listed below are the available frequency values on the Digitone:
C - 0.25/0.50/1.00/2.00/4.00/16.00
Csharp/Dsharp - 4.25/8.50
D - 4.50/2.25/4.00
Dsharp/Eflat - 1.25/2.50/5.00/10.00
E - 1.25/2.50/5.00/10.00
F/Esharp - 2.75$(not exact!)
Fsharp - 5.50/11.00
G - 0.75/1.50/3.00/6.00/12.00
Gsharp/Aflat - 3.25/6.50$(not exact!)/13.00
Asharp/Bflat - 1.75$(not exact!)/3.50/7.00$(not exact!)/14.00
B - 3.75/ 7.50/15.00
A value of 1.00 is C4, so a value of 0.50 is going to be C3, and a value of 2.00 is going to be C5! All of the 12 notes from the chromatic scale are available except for notes A and F. Notice some have $(not exact!) attached to them. These notes are note values mentioned above that are not one of the 12 notes on the chromatic scale.
Detune is applied to both A and B2 at the same level and time. There is no ability to individually detune your operators. You might think that the LFO‘s pitch feature can get around this, but it can only be assigned to affect all 4 operators at the same time, or your A and B2 operators… the ones you already had the option to detune! So you have 0 ability to detune them separately. However, don’t worry, because the Digitone is an extremely capable FM synth!
What is cool about the Digitone, is that it comes packed with a ton of blueprints on how to make sounds. Do you want to know what algorithm and settings are best to create a kick? Load up a preset of a kick, and take a look at the settings it has. Check out the envelope that created the kick like sound. Check out the operator values, and the level of modulation. Check out the LFO settings to see what parameters were being modulated. You can look at these presets and learn a lot from them!
The Digitone can make bell sounds and drum sounds, with no issues. You can simulate a clarinet, trumpet, oboe, flute, and a stringed instrument… It is a very capable synth, even with its limitations. However, it would be nice if the friendly people over at Elektron added more options for frequencies. They claim taking them away makes the concept easier, but I respectfully disagree.
For those of you that are interested in learning about FM synthesis, you can check out my full guide here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1dLrLAFyj1qOBhgkgtjH0oDM67nwY9DkMXg1a5tIjvx4/edit
Basics of Sound
Digital FM Synthesis
Modulator and Carrier
FM Basic Waveforms
Make a Clarinet Sound on Digitone
Designing Sounds on the Digitone
In addition to that, I also made a video tutorial specifically to help people understand FM synthesis on the Digitone that you can watch here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmmRHBu45dg&t=315s
The oscilloscope that I am using is Visual Analyser : http://www.sillanumsoft.org/download.htm
Now that Overbridge works on the Digitone, you will be able to bypass needing an audio interface. You will be able to connect directly via usb.