Elektron API: How would you use it?

Many Digitakt users have long and rightly been grateful to @mzero for his incredible work with Elk-Herd, reverse-engineering the sysex format and creating an intuitive and flexible interface for fast project, pattern, and sample management.

Since firmware version 1.4 has been released (yay song mode! Thanks Elektron!) this format has necessarily changed enough to render Elk-Herd inoperable. Looking at the project page for it, I see that @mzero gives this reason for not open-sourcing his code:

  • Why do I see no code checked in here? Because the project is not currently open source.
  • Why not? I had to work out the protocol to the synths on my own, as Elektron isn’t ready to support it publically. I respect that, and don’t want to make the protocol public by releasing my source code. Elektron is committed to eventually making an API they can support, and at that point I’ll be happy to open my source.

It’s this last sentence that interests me…I have long wondered if Elektron had plans to share sysex formats for their instruments…there are a lot of musicians here who are also programmers. Are you one of them? If so, what would you want to make if you had documentation for the file format of your favorite Elektron boxes?


My dream would be using the API to manipulate pattern data live. I’ve spend many hours wistfully thinking of this… 2nd would be a kit-like addition to the Octatrack.


I’d love to see something like the Korg Oscillator API, it would great to mess around coding experimental oscillator types etc… and seeing what people come up with. I don’t have a Syntakt, but that would seem to be a good platform for providing custom digital machines & I’d love to see them on the Rytm too, it could be an alternative to the sample playback & really expand its scope. It would have more scope than the Korg stuff, as there is room for up to 8 user parameters.

I didn’t realise Elektron had any interest in doing that kind of thing, I hope it happens!

EDIT: I realise I’m talking about something different to the file format you talk about, but it’s something I’ve thought about. Probably unlikely but just imagine….

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I would be interessted to. And I think it would be a really smart move. people would go crazy. look at the communitys that gathered round the organelle. I think on an Elektron Machine you would see a lot more quality developments and not just pure mass.

I would probably do a thing or two more then I already have.


If Elektron does ever release an API, it will for sure be interesting to see what they expose/support. I framed it around sysex organization just because I figured that would be the easiest thing for them to document, but it would be amazing if they ever exposed more of the guts than just that.

I’d make a game of Asteroids I could play on screen with either the encoders or the arrow buttons.

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Digipong: Octa’s Revenge as well, please?

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