DN/DT midi Out AND Thru

Sorry for the novice question, I’ve searched for and read all other threads about it but I can’t make it work:

I want to plug my Keystep 37’s (KS) midi out into the DN midi in, and do two things simultaneously:

  1. Play any midi channel on the DT.
  2. Sync the DN and DT clocks/transports from the DN.

I can’t get it to work. If I plug the midi cable between the DN midi out and DT in, transport from the DN works, but I only hear sounds on the DT if I play on the DN’s built in keyboard. The midi inputs from the KS are not passed through via the DN midi out.

On the other hand, if I plug the cable between the DN midi thru and DT in, any notes played on the KS will play just fine across all midi channels, but now I’m stuck using the KS transport buttons instead! Pressing Play on the DN no longer gets the DT to start playing. This is problematic because the transport buttons on the KS also activate its built-in arpeggiator, making it impossible to play freestyle while jamming with the DT+DN combo.

Can this be done? Essentially, can the midi port of the DN (or DT) be configured as a midi out+thru? Or is there another way of solving this problem that I’m unable to figure out?

MIDI OUT is not passing MIDI messages through from IN - you have to use the THRU port …and thus maybe use a MIDI merger for example. I would love to see this as a feature… send a request to Elektron.


Same here. A bit disappointing this very basic feature isn’t implemented.

Does this, from a similar thread, help?

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They’ve just implemented this on Model:Cycles and Samples … I wonder if it’s coming soon for DN or DT ?

Thanks. I have to say that in stepping into the hardware world (again), cabling is the most frustrating part of it. There are just so many of them. Learning that I will need yet another set of cables for a midi merger to get such basic functionality to work is disappointing.

If good that DT is the master not DN this set up can work for you.
You can start/stop from the DT and send sync to the DN so you need to set up DT respectively.

Hi cema, as I wrote in the original post, if I connect it like that, the DT won’t pass through the midi notes sent from the KS into the next Digit*** in the midi chain. Any midi events originating from the KS are only sent to the DT and stays there. Only midi notes created on the DT seem to reach the DN as well. Am I doing something wrong here? :thinking:

I’m hoping that I’m doing something wrong because this seems so basic. My current routing is this:

KS out -> DN in
DN out -> DT in

You could swap out DN with DT and it has the same result (I’ve tried both).

I then have the DT midi channels set to 1-8 for the built in tracks, 11-14 for the Digitone tracks.

The auto channels are 10 and 16 for the DT and DN, respectively.

I also read somewhere that I need to set the DN midi track channels to the DT auto channel (10) which I’ve also tried.

If I set the midi channel on the KS to 10, the DN midi track 1 trig key lights up when playing, which indicates that the DN is receiving the midi events from the correct midi channel 10. However, that midi data never reaches the DT so I end up not hearing any sounds coming through. If I switch the KS channel to 11 (corresponding to the DN track 1), I of course hear things as I should.

What am I doing wrong? Thanks again!

It’s not exactly basic tho’.
You have two “master” devices now - a sequencer and a controller keyboard. It doesn’t even make sense in English, let alone binary.

What should the “clock sender” do in the situation where it’s sending out MIDI notes on channel 3, at the same time as the controller keyboard is sending the same notes on the same channel?

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I decoded your original post that you like to play only DT from KS.
So you like to play both in a free jam style.
Then either use MIDI merge box,
KS out -> DN in
DN thru + out -> merge -> DT in
as mentioned by others.
Alternatively you can try without midi sync and sync Digis like a DJ.
On the tempo screen you can fine adjust the tempo in tenth of BPMs and the “nudge” function let you correct tiny drifts.

Just so I’m clear though, is it correct that any midi note sent from a controller’s midi out into a DN/DT’s midi in only leaves that DN/DT through its midi thru port, not through its midi out port?

It sounds like my best bet is to use the midi thru port then, and accept to use the KS as the transport control that keeps both Digis in sync, even though that unfortunately means that the KS can only be played with the arp activated in live performance mode. I guess if I really need to play without the arp, I will have to learn how to sync my left and right index finger on the DN+DT play buttons.

I guess midi really is pretty old tech, but I wish Elektron could be a little smarter about how it allows you to choose how and through which ports to pass through what midi data. Should be simple on the software side, especially if the Model:Cycles knows how to do this properly.


I use my KS as master,midi Out of KS,into Kenton thru 5…then into the DT,DN, A4MK2, SH-01,CRAVE…the rest of my synths are just daisy chained from the OUT of the crave into the IN of the Minilogue…etc etc.sometimes,I have to press SHIFT& KBD PLAY to hear whatever unit you want to play after changing midi Ch. On the KS.:+1:t2:

If I am reading the KS manual correctly (something perhaps you should have done) you can set the KS to act as midi thru. So you can go DT -> KS -> DN and press start in the DT to start DN and use keyboard to play DN notes.

If you want the keyboard to control the DT but not the DN, you could DT -> DN thru to KS out to DT. Then you can press play on DT and use keyboard On the DT I think.

Or you can DT out -> KS (midi as thru) -> DT (thru) -> DN. Then you can use keyboard to control both but can’t send anything from DT to DN. Actually. You might be able to still send stuff from DT to DN

No. If you use the AUTO CHANNEL configuration that was linked to in an earlier reply, you can do exactly what you want.

The only topic that was linked to here referred to using a midi splitter cable. Is that part not necessary you mean?

Neither a “MIDI splitter cable”, nor any hardware other than what you already have, is required to achieve what you want.


  • KS MIDI Out to DN MIDI In,
  • DN MIDI Out to DT MIDI In.

Set DN to send clock and transport and DT to receive both.

Set the KS’s MIDI channel to match the AUTO CHANNEL number on the DN. Now the KS will play whichever track is active on the DN.

Set the channel of one MIDI track on the DN to match the AUTO CHANNEL number of the DT. Now if you select that MIDI track on the DN then the KS will play whichever track is active on the DT.


I really appreciate your effort to explain this clearly, but for some reason it still doesn’t work. I’ve followed your steps precisely, I think.

The DN has the following channels set:

  • Track 1-4: midi ch 11-14
  • Midi track 1: midi ch 10
  • midi tracks 2-3: OFF
  • fx control ch: 15
  • auto channel: 16
  • output ch: trk ch

The DT:

  • Track 1-8: midi ch 1-8
  • midi tracks 1-8: OFF
  • fx control ch: 9
  • auto channel: 10

I set the KS to play on channel 10 and hit keys, no midi events ever reaches the DT. The DN’s Note screen does register the keystrokes however.

If I instead hit the trig keys in the DN “keyboard” itself, the DT sounds play.

If I switch the DN midi port from Out (Sync A) to Thru (Sync B), the behavior reverses: the DT now receives notes hit from the KS, but ignores notes hit on the built-in DN keyboard.

In other words, it’s still an either or. Are you really sure this is supposed to work the way you describe? I’m about to lose my hair.

Big thanks again for your help!

Oh, and reading what I wrote originally, I guess you’re technically right, because I only said I want to be able to play the DT via the KS. I thought it would be implied that I also intend to play the DN’s amazing FM synthesis tracks from the KS too.

So, to be clear, I want to play both the Digit***'s AND have their clocks synced without relying on the KS transport (because the KS transport activates its built-in arp or sequencer depending on the mode).

Maybe I can live with this limitation because hitting the Play buttons simultaneously on the Digis isn’t that hard during those moments when I want to jam live and find my way around a new song idea without being forced to use the arp.

This is your error.

You need to set the KS MIDI channel number to 16, matching the AUTO CHANNEL number of the DN so that the DN can direct the incoming MIDI messages to the active track on the DN.

If the active track on the DN is the first MIDI track on the DN, then the MIDI messages will be sent on to the DT. On the DT, the AUTO CHANNEL feature will direct those MIDI messages to the DT’s active track.

If you make this one change then the system should work as I described.