Elektron as first device to make music

I also agree with this
Love my digi, waaaaaay more than the electribe.
But I have to honor it with all the things I learned from it and from what was wrong with it.

@matthew if you have no problem buying a digitakt, it is definetly superior gear

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Have you considered a Novation Circuit?


Totally agree. See a lot of people recommending DT but if you like synthesis then dot think that’s the way to go. Start simple and easy with minimal outlay. Then when you know what you like you’ll make more informed decisions. If you have a computer get a DAW and mess about. Soon you’ll realise what you like then look for that in hardware.

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I thought I’d quickly chime in with some advice too . .

Something you said resonated with me: you got discouraged because you had everything you made.

I can think of 2 or 3 occasions when I felt in a similar way about my stuff; I mean to the point of just ditching it and getting another hobby. There are weekly occurrences when I think what I’m doing is a load of junk.

I started this hobby 14 years ago; not with the intention of ruling Ibiza or giving up my day job but with the goal of creating some techno stuff that was generally good to listen or dance to. The first 10 years of that time I would say I didn’t really achieve that goal. However, I learned a hell of a lot as also has great fun (most times).

I guess what I’m getting at is that the tools you use don’t matter too much beyond not being so complicated that the learning curve of making music becomes beyond your grasp. I started with Reason. Then Ableton Live, which has been my go to for the last 10 years. Within the last year and a bit Elektron boxes have invaded my music room. If so this arrived at the same time, I would have given up myself; it’s too big a mountain to climb.

Get yourself one thing too make music with; computer based software is a great place to start.

Accept that much of the stuff you buy at the beginning may well turn out to be unnecessary; insecurity and hope will often encourage you to part with your money.

Accept that much of what you make at the beginning will not be particularly good especially if you compare yourself to those who do it for a living.

However, everything you do you will learn from; perhaps this will only be apparent months or years later. But making music is not easy but it is really enjoyable, even the shit stuff.

Good luck.

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DT has a great MIDI sequencer that you could use to grow your setup. And its size and price make it an ideal gateway device for the Elektron workflow. Even just adding a volca bass would scratch the synthesis itch and give you lots of capability for minimum investment. Great work has been made with far less.

Things that are simplified on it , like lack of kits, slide trigs, and song mode, for some are hinderances. But as a first hardware device, these omissions make the experience more streamlined and productive.

For making entire tracks, it is capable, but the workflow requires a realtime arrangement, since there is no song mode.
It’s no big deal really, the Beatles had no song mode either and they made out alright. :wink:

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Check this thread to see (hear) what the DT is capable of: Your Digitakt-only “Productions” - do you have some?! ;-) - I don’t have one myself, but from what I’ve seen it’s probably one of the more immediate Elektrons. I would also (from experience) skip the Electribe and go directly with Elektron - you’re probably going to end up here anyway!

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Thanks. Really appreciate all the solid advice. I guess it’s mostly backed up my feeling to go with the DT. But understanding there are a few little drawbacks.

Haven’t looked at the novation stuff. Will check it out. Re: electribe, What got my interested in it was actually this youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNwmUBUmNtU

Re: just using a DAW instead, I’m thinking that could be a next step right if i then wanted to take things further (i.e the lack of song mode thing)?, but at the moment i just need less time in front of a screen, not more. And limitations are probably good at this point.

I like the idea of then maybe getting an analog synth that I could plug into the DT down the track. Also the idea of recording my own samples via a microphone. The minilogue looks pretty nice. Funnily/or unfunnily the Studio Electronic SE1 was one of the bits of kit I purchased back in the day along with a bunch of other stuff… and sold. And lost mucho $$ on. Ah the pain.

So i don’t want to rush into that side of it yet. I can get a DT here without breaking the bank ao that and some headphones will be it for a little while.

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Be careful what you do, really think about it. You’re still going to make music you don’t like and you still won’t know what you’re doing with your equipment :+1: all these people reccomending elektron devices are giving out bad bad advice in my opinion. All gear is pretty straightforward to understand (which you didnt grasp before) but if there’s any that will make it difficult for you its elektron stuff. I understand you want to get away from a computer but you also need to prove to yourself that you’re actually going to put the time in and effort to do a lot of learning before you waste a load of money.

It’s your money to waste though!

Well, if you’re determined not to go the software route, and you’re pretty sure you want to work with samples instead of dedicated synthesisers, you probably can’t do better that the Digitakt right now. I came to it from an Electribe, having tired of the ET’s limitations. To get the most from DT you’ll have to get familiar with using single-cycle waveforms and a bunch of other stuff – but it is a great machine.

Thanks Saltaire, yeah I get what you’re saying. Especially that I’l be making stuff I don’t necessarily like… I just know one of the big factors before was that I got too much at once and was overwhelmed. So I figure starting with one piece would be different, one piece that can do quite a lot .

Are you recommending the DAW route then or an alternative piece of gear that’s simpler to use ?

Well as somebody above pointed out the novation circuit would be worth looking at. It’s really cheap and should be the easiest thing to pick up but its really impressive in its power. You can bang out track after track on that thing. Get Tue love back with something more accessible like the circuit and then progress from there maybe?

But honestly yes I would recommend getting a daw and going through a good period of learning. Imo hardware setups don’t make it easier to make music at all, its actually more likely to just cause you problems. With the computer you can always do exactly what you want to do and so much quicker than on hardware too

I have an Electribe but it is quite basic. You run out of notes quite quickly on it. I bought a Digitakt, but returned it. Not that I didn’t like it I really liked it. I just felt that I would probably get an Octatrack after trying that Elektron sequencer. I have been using Ableton for a long time and before that Maschine, so I did find the Digitakt quite limiting. Look into Maschine. You can do a lot on your Maschine without having to look at your computer. You have the best of both worlds with sampling and synthesis as it can host VSTS. The sequencer is not the best and I hated automation on it, but for the money you can’t go wrong. The MK 3 looks great as well.

I know this is a forum for people who like gear, but I feel like almost everyone just reccomends buying gear as an answer to a problem. Im gonna shush now though because everybody is allowed to voice their opinion.

I had a similar situation. I knew the tools of Elektron, but I felt that I lacked some basis for understanding them. So first I bought and studied Korg Electribe 2, and then MD, Oct, A4.

You should think about and decide what it is you are trying to achieve. The DAW is in many ways more complex than any Elektron machine. It is also a grind to work in a DAW, a different process altogether. Making music on the Elektrons is a much more fluid and iterative process where you “play” until you like something that comes out of it. As you learn to use the machine you will know more and more how to achieve specific things. A DAW is (and of course this is only my opinion) a tool that brings together many different aspects of music production. It makes me micro manage everything, often lost in automatisation and tasks which basically don’t involve sounds coming out.

Do you want to have fun and maybe come up with stuff in the process? Digitakt is a good bet
Do you want to produce and finish tracks the quickest possible way? Learn a DAW


Mmm i think you’re packaging your opinions as objective truth’s there but hey ho. Funnily you said ‘and this is only my opinion’ on the one part where it was probably objectively true.

I don’t know why im being so argumentative this morning, I cant seem to help myself, good luck OP I hope that whatever you decide to do results in you making lots of lovely music! Plus if you do get a digitakt its a beautiful little bugger just to have and hold so why not? Peace x

This is all strictly subjective. And I agree with you, it can quickly end up being a money sink. If you look at it from money perspective, better look for something more profitable :slight_smile:

If you feel you need less screen time then you’re indeed unlikely to enjoy using any kind of software to make music. I started out with trackers on the Amiga, and with my current work it still took me years to get to a point where I could use a DAW without feeling I needed to be doing work on my computer instead of making music.

You don’t need a computer to record a full track. A lot of classic electronic music was and still is recorded straight to two-track.

Something else you might want to consider if you’re mostly interested in sampling is Maschine.

Sure, it needs a computer, but you only have to look the computer when you name a new project. Everything else can be done from the controller.

The Mk3 is just out and really cool, but it also means you can get a Mk2 for a really friendly price second-hand right now. Just make sure the seller is willing to include a license transfer for the software.

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I didnt like maschine studio, mk2 is ok, but mk3 is amazing

I think if you buy one thing, then go NI of Elektron
Novation is a different thing, bad sound unpleasant touch

What you shouldnt do is to keep on buying, like many people do here
Dont underestimate the possibilities of only one maschine