Doing the most with the least

I tried model:cycles, but did not get along with it.

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I just packed up some boxes yesterday! I’m down to a Push 2 (plus Ableton of course), OP-Z for sequencing, plus an iPad and iConnect box for send FX.

All my stuff ends up in Ableton in the end, for arranging and so on, but then I tried it with a Launchpad and found I liked creating in Ableton too, once it wasn’t tied to a mouse.

The last box to go was the Octatrack. I was keeping it around for FX, but found it to be a drag.

The Octatrack is fantastic once you get it set up, and are ready to perform. My music is more about playing sounds (guitar, synth, field recordings), sampling them, and then chopping them around. I don’t really have a set way of working, so I felt I was always setting it up, instead of playing it.

Anyhow, super happy with this setup, and all the extra desk space. There’s very little mental overhead when playing around, and the hardware aspect of the Push helps to keep Ableton’s own option paralysis at bay.

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Love it!

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DN+DT was my first out of the box combo, it was awesome but what’s pushed me to trade my DT was the lack of perfect loop recording option on it… Wasnt handy to transfer DN voices to DT on the fly.
But on every other aspect it was super dooper.

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I never understood why they didn’t implement this on the DT, a sampler released in 2017, while it’s possible on the 15+ year old MD
(but I’m not going to start a rant about this again)

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I’m doing No Gear New Year and I cut this:

Down to this:

I’d reached a point where I didn’t;t even want to use any of it.
Still haven’t had time to put together much coherent output, but I have removed:

  • Option paralysis
  • MIDI chain hassle
  • Cabling nightmares
  • Guilt over kit I don’t understand or use
  • General apathy toward music
  • Quite a chunk of debt
  • Almost certain electrical overload

The bar is much lower now for turning everything on and starting work. No more wondering which of the 10 synths to turn on or why there’s no sound coming out of the complex routing. Plus aesthetically it’s a big improvement. I’ve had quite a few pleasant 1-2 hours sat here marvelling at the depth of these 3 boxes and starting to learn them a bit deeper.

Plus I still have a few of the other synths in the first picture for when I need a shake up. Gotta keep the GAS at bay…

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I just scaled down to Mpc Live only and I’m super productive. I might add a midi keyboard with aftertouch or use the Microfreak but overall I’m there.

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I’ve sold off most of my large gears over the past 6 months.

here’s some photos I took earlier this morning. the Z as sequencer for ios apps is really flexible. also have an m8, which is fairly compact and doesn’t really need anything else tbh. can squeeze so much out of m8 by itself.

I very much like keeping things simple.

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…once ur on the sonic hook…ur doomed…and ur ballpark starts to grow…it’s also nothing but an addiction…and humans tend to addictions…

it takes lot’s of experiences in life and workflow habits to find out there again…

and ot remains one of the best examples of how a single blip can become anything, can be mutated/treated to fulfill a whole piece of music…

knowing ur gear inside out is always the better solution than to buy the next new thing…
simple as that…
hard as that…

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agreed. OT doesn’t really need anything else. sure it welcomes accompanying gear but it doesn’t need it.

I always love hearing someone squeeze the max out of a single piece of gear. really impressive. and it tends to lead to a cohesive sound too, by proxy.

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If I had to downsize to the absolute essence this would be my peace of mind setup:

peripherals:

  • Push 2
  • audio interface
  • headphones
  • a decent mouse

Pro’s:

  • “unlimited” possibilites in a portable device
  • easy hardware upgrades
  • hopefully no missing stuff when opening projects in 10-20 years

Negatives:

  • lack of tactility
  • no Elektron sequencer available
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THAT’s the big lesson to learn here…

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…some of the best results i ended up with, were made with nothing but a mic and a laptop…

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Minus the Heat. And in reality I could happily just use the Op-1/Z combo.

What I find interesting is that I’ve changed the music I listen to based on the gear I’ve now got.

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It makes me nervous to have too much gear. I am most productive when I have few resources. This combo works very well for me and I could play a whole live set with it.

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Try Bitwig, it gets you a lot closer than Ableton

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Doesn’t it need, like, you know…samples? I have seen some Max Marco videos where he does “synthesis” on the OT with white noise and filters etc, but in general, someone somewhere has to make a noise before OT is any use at all

Cool song, very crispy :slight_smile:

:slight_smile:

@reeloy I really appreciate your wisdom and writing style

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With a little external MIDI control the Digitone can go really far. I use with the Launchpad Pro Mk3, giving me ‘faders’ amongst other performance controls depending on what I’m doing.

MultiMap also: can really push things and I’m only beginning to get my head around that just now - it takes a bit of planning upfront and maybe some voice management but soon you find yourself doing fun things like triggering different drum patches based on the velocity of striking pads. All from a single track.

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The “menu divey” functions of the Digitone tend to be the ones I use infrequently. For example, I may initially assign a preset sound to a track, scrolling through a long list of sounds; if I’m not satisfied with that sound, I will modify it, rather than finding another sound. Assigning sounds to the pool is a bit divey, but I only tend to assign a few sounds, and I generally do that once at the beginning of the project.

Two extra key presses, a track and page button, to access a particular knob function, might seem menu-divey, but over time the muscle memory kicks in, and the amount of time lost is, IMO, not significant.

Note: I use the DN to compose tracks, not as a live machine. YMMV.

To answer the title of this thread, I think the Digitone is fantastic as a standalone box. I use it without a keyboard controller. It has a no-nonsense USB connection to my computer and is a reliable audio interface.

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