Digitone Sequencer and Ableton Live 10

Some ‘nauts help here please. New Digitone owner.

I’d like to use the Elektron sequencer MIDI tracks to sequence plug-ins in Live 10 - effectively replacing the Live sequencer workflow with Elektron’s. This will make the Digitone the control panel from which I orchestrate Audio and Midi and Live becomes a recorder, mixer and instrument host.

I have a Scarlett 8i6, Arturia Keylab and a Model:Samples. Also a variety of synths on my iPad.

Q1. Am I nuts?
Q2. Anyone doing this that could explain the required midi setup?


Plug in the USB cable, select ‘digitone’ as the midi input, enjoy


:joy: That sounds a lot easier than I was imagining!!

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you’re not nuts, that is a great idea!

connect the DN via usb to the computer.
In the digitone you go to setup > midi config > port config > output to, and select usb, or midi+usb if you use the din port too. In de sync menu, select clock send.

In ableton, go to preferences > link MIDI and find the digitone midi input port. select track and remote (so you can midi learn vst parameters to the cc parameters on the digitone). and select sync if you want ableton to follow the tempo, which you’ll want if you use tempo based fx like delays, or if you want to use tempo synced LFO’s…

then on your midi channels in ableton select midi from, digitone off course, and select the midi channel. this midi channel is what you configure on the midi tracks of your digitone as well.


Ableton becomes an instrument rack with virtual intruments triggered by the DT’s midi tracks, and, it also syncs it’s timestretch enabled audio tracks with your DT clock!


yes :slight_smile: although I remember from my pre E-RM multiclock days, that slaving ableton was not the tightest of sync solutions… somethings are more forgiving than others, but for very rhythmical elements a tight midi sync is important

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Noted re sync but I’ve read that Live’s External Instrument routing has inbuilt midi latency correction - I’ll soon know if this is an issue.

There are options - use Reason 11 instead or perhaps something like iConnectivity’s MIDI2+ will ‘tighten’ everything up?

As long as you only sequence in the digitone, I don’t think there will be any problem. because the triggers are coming from the digitone…

problems start when you combine sequencing on digitone and ableton. turn on the metronomes on both digitone and live, and you’ll see what the problem is. you can try compensating this, but the midi jitter is so bad (in my experience, with my equipment) that it really didn’t work.

slaving the DN to live through overbridge will be the best you’ll get I think. but I guess you don’t want live to be master.
but again, as long as you only sequence on the DN, and not in ableton, and you don’t use any rhythmic audio clips in ableton, I don’t think you’ll have any problems.

I don’t know reason, and it’s midi sync quality, but another midi interface like the one you mention will not help this at all, because the problem is in the software. I don’t understand how ableton didn’t resolve this by now. I synced hardware to traktor before, through a NI controller, and ableton was slaved with link. the sync was as tight as I could wish, so it is possible!


I always tried to solve this problem with delay compensation but you are right, this never fully worked. I used to slave the arpeggiator of my Moog LP to Ableton but it never synced in a groove that I liked so I ended up triggering my LP from Ableton’s arp which did work.

I sequence 6 instances of a 4OP FM synth with a digitakt in ableton, thus eliminating the need to buy a digitone :rofl:

Not really of course, but being able to p-lock 10 parameters on the synth per step is pretty great. Then I can also put a few effects on each channel, and a little on the master to get a sound that you couldn’t really get with just a DT and a DN. I also like that I don’t need an audio interface or mixer, just a laptop and a DT.


that the most practical setup

I’m not sure if you’re answering my question or undermining my purchase? :thinking:

so do you use your erm as master and live slave or send the pulse to erm from live then onwards to your eternal instruments? i do the latter but curious to see how others run it

yes I do the same, unfortunatly live has to be master for this to work well. I tried making the octatrack master but not with satisfying results. I use Ableton live only as audio looper and mixer, and to press play. I would rather control the tempo from octa or rytm, but I can live with this. At least my sync is perfect.

although now I am pretty happy with my tempo control in ableton. I use a click encoder (on the faderfox mx12), and when I set the midi map for tempo in ableton between 70 and 133,5 BPM, I can adjust the tempo per 0.5 bpm, which is pretty sweet! more so because you feel the clicks and don’t have to watch a screen for tempo control.

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Sorry, was just trying to give a workflow example. I made all the drum samples on my DT from that same FM vst, so I’m just a big fan of FM. It took me about a year to decide to go with the DT over the DN, but I’d be happy with either I think. DN is dope for percussion as well.

From what I understand DN has 8 voices of midi polyphony per track while DT has only 4. I think you can get a hellot out of one digi box and a copy of ableton, and you only need one usb cable (though I often program chords on a midi keyboard plugged directly into the DT’s midi in). The only thing that bums me out is that sequencing or recording pitch bend on the digi boxes is awkward compared to doing the same in a DAW.

FWIW I don’t send or receive any clock, I just use ableton as a bank for vsts and effects. When I got into clock stuff I got more crashes. Even as it is I get occasional freeze ups, and I don’t think its the cpu load on my laptop because the highest it gets is around 40%. It’s great if you want to be a bit experimental but I don’t think it’d be reliable enough to play out to a large crowd. Overbridge is awesome but in my experience not exactly fine tuned yet.

I got started following Dave Mech’s short tutorials on controlling VSTs through midi, but it works pretty much as you would expect.

Yes, that’s great if you just use ableton as a mixer or synth, but when you want to use time based effects that are tempo synced, or lfo’s that are tempo synced, you need the same tempo on both… you don’t need a perfect beatmatch, it can be way off even, just as long as the tempo is the same.
you could also let ableton play out of sync and adjust the tempo manually to be equal.

Ok thanks for the detail. What I really would like to do is master the Elektron sequencer and use that to control everything, rather than hopping into mouse and keyboard for the DAW. Sounds like that might be problematic with Ableton. I wonder if Reason or even Logic would allow what I’m trying to do?

I’ll try various routes over the weekend and report back!

Thanks for the everyone’s input. Really helpful.


If I understand you well, Ableton will do just fine :slight_smile:
It’s only when you want both digitone and abletons metronome to be spot on time, that you might get troubles. But you only need this if you also sequence in Ableton.

that was deep :heartbeat: