well then, you seem to exactly know what you want
It’s almost as if I’m looking for moral support to spend the money…
I bought a DFAM some months ago and it did not serve as a gateway . I just thought it was a great device on its own , a classic in the making . Its a one stop techno machine and i love what i get out of it , and how fast i can get it… then again other days i love dialing in FM synthesis patches on my Digitone for some hours just to make single rim shot . All depends of the mood
I use the DFAM with other drum machines which adds a lot of umph to everything. It is definitely a lot of fun to tweak on. Knob per function is very nice. The only thing that I don’t like about the DFAM is not being able to recall the exact settings when I find a sound I really want to recreate. I sample my DFAM with the octatrack but I feel it would be much easier to accomplish with the digitakt for the sole purpose of one shots. The menues on the digitakt can be easily overcome with the more familiar you get with the machine.
I’ve seen several videos of the semi modular as well as modular being sequenced by the digitakt. I wouldn’t get rid of it but keep it for whatever avenue you travel down In the future. I’m sure it will be very useful.
Are eight steps enough for a sequencer running a stand alone rythm-machine? Will this be non-repetitive? Is there an opportunity to go “Euclidean”?
IMO this can’t be expected from the DFAM as a stand alone instrument. The DFAM is a great source of - IMO - west-coast like rythmic sounds, but does not compare with a drum-machine. I would combine it with a sampler to get the best of both worlds.
By all means, do it. I’d be looking for something completely different to serve the purpose you describe, but then what gets ones creative juices flowing is a highly personal thing.
I also mentioned expanding the possibilities with some extra eurorack for sequencing and modulation. What I meant was to use the DFAM as a starting point and, possibly, expand later into eurorack. I certainly don’t expect the DFAM to be all things, but it seems like it’ll be a lot of fun even on it’s own.
Of course, your suggestion to combine with sampling makes good sense but as I mentioned in subsequent posts I don’t think I care much for stopping/sampling/slicing/sequencing and I’d rather just press “go” and then jam with sound design possibilities of a small and relatively limited system.
That definitely is true. If you like what you have seen and can imagine to use it as is … then don’t waste time and get one
First step: DFAM Next step: Erica Synths Techno System
Seriously though: If you’re not feeling samples are working out for you, by all means go for it. It’s your hobby, your limited time.
But I would say that given that you’ve only had your DT for a month, you maybe haven’t really explored all it’s got to give yet. I certainly got a lot faster with it as I used it more. It’s my favourite bit of gear for building a quick foundation to jam on because it’s so fast.
So is the DT the only piece of kit you currently own, or is it the first piece of elektron kit you own?
KPF is great, but the reality is that most equipment has pages & button combinations, so it’s about that happy medium. You’ll get closer to that in eurorack, but it comes at having to start everything from scratch.
You talk about the DT sounding flat, so if you’re looking at the modular route, perhaps you go for an effects based set up. Tbf this is the first time I’ve heard this about the DT with most people feeling it adds a little ‘something’ to whatever is put in it.
The thing about techno is that it’s not about the piece of kit you use, but what you get out of it. The Belleville three didn’t spend time dreaming about this and that, they used the kit they had and made something special with that. Maybe that’s something to consider.
Personal experience with lots of these semi modular pieces has shown me that I can get a lot more meaningful stuff done, with machines that are already halfway there in terms of what I’m trying to synthesize, and that the whole idea of patching something from scratch doesn’t appeal to me, BUT I had to try it out first, and if you have an itch then the only way to deal with it is to scratch it!
If you’re just wanting to jam out and don’t care about finalising tracks, and as you’ve said in previous posts your job is tied to the computer, I’d grab a Rytm. It has everything you need sounds and jam wise, it has the sequencer you’re used to on the DT, and although it isn’t KPF it is pretty close to it.
At the end of the day it doesn’t matter what anyone suggests, as like the rest of us, you’ll o ly know what works for you when you find what works for you, and on the journey there, you’ll buy and sell a load of stuff till you get what you need!
@NUoldNu I tried the Digitone first but I didn’t get on with the FM programming so I swapped for a Digitakt. It’s my only music hardware. When I said “flat” I think I meant that things sound a bit static to my ears with playing back one-shot drums etc. It’s not a criticism but just an observation. I think I’ll get a more organic sound with real analogue synthesis and also I think the DFAM will just be a better option for jamming and experimentation without needing samples as raw material. I can just make noise without anything else, at least as a starting point.
If this is your goal, then DFAM is a good way to go about it. If for some reason you feel inspired while you’re jamming to sample a phrase from the DFAM into the Digitakt, then so be it.
Maybe the thing to do is record a complete bar/measure of sound rather than fiddling around with one shots?
This has occurred to me and I’ve seen videos where other people have clearly done that, but that still involves a stop/start process to make a loop with another device, then record to DT, then trim, name and save, load to track, sewer envelopes trigs etc. There’s nothing wrong with any of that but I just don’t think it’s what I want to do, I think I just want to jam in an unprepared way and see what comes out. I might record a whole performance.
And that’s where good ol’ Octatrack outshines most if not all other hardware samplers
Try the DFAM. Could be really the thing you’re looking for. It’s immensely fun and pretty unique
Seems like there has been a lot of good advice in this thread already so I’ll try not to repeat anything but a couple of things for your consideration:
The Pittsburgh Modular Microvolt 3900 is another semi-modular option that sits somewhere between a Mother-32 and a 0-Coast and is roughly the same price as a DFAM. If I was in the market for another semi-modular it would be a front runner for sure - check the review on Sonic State.
If you’re finding that triggering one-shots on the DT is too static sounding, a nice idea is to sample a long note at C4 (for example) from another where the timbre shifts over the course of the long note. For example, sweeping through a wavetable. Then import that sample into the DT and use it’s envelopes and filter to shape it into a playable sound where you’ve looping set for the full duration of the sample. Then you can modulate sample start time with either Plocks or the LFO and you get nice changing sounds that can be as subtle or out-there as your source sample and modulation dictates. One of my favourite things to do with the DT.
This is why I got a stereo sampler. It’s a box with a red (pinkish, actually) record button. What happens later with what’s been recorded, can always happen later.
I’m pretty sure there is a plethora of DFAM samples out there that you can just get and load them in to the DT for further manipulation. Personally, if I want an excuse to get into semi-modular, I would go with the 0-coast or Erebus. I played with the mother 32 and DFAM before, and while I admit that the Moog sound is nice, it’s also super boring to me.
I would say that you haven’t had the DT for very long, really. I’ve had mine for over a year, and still finding new ways to make it feel more “alive”. That feeling of lacking immediacy?- That reduces as you become faster with the machine, which takes time. Have you fully explored the possibilities of one-shot LFOs, for instance? Of p-locking sample start times? Have you tried recording in longer, messier musical samples rather than relying just on sound packs?
I’d also suggest having it hooked up to a MIDI keyboard. Having quick access to different octaves is a fast way to add more variety to sequences and suggests non-obvious ways to use samples, as well as making melodic recording faster.
I don’t exactly want to discourage you from getting something else, because it might turn out to be brilliant fun, but Eurorack really doesn’t seem like a more immediate experience to me. If anything it’s more cerebral. But if you can afford it, go for it, synths are basically all fun and enjoyable if you’re not crippled by guilt about the money you’ve spent on them…
I have the DFAM and it is certainly instant gratification. I’ve also owned the digitakt and it was a very fast and very fun tool as well. I was a fool to get rid of the digitakt but I also bought the octatrack the same time.
I’ve been teaming my DFAM up with machinedrum and tr8s and it adds a lot of gravity to the sound while being an immense amount of fun to tweak in.
I’ve always wanted to team DFAM up with mother32 but the sv1 blackbox is more appealing. The microvolt is another one in my sights. But I’m hoping to get a neutron and boog D first.
I’ll be getting another digitakt in the near future to go with the rest of my setup as I love drum machines but it’s very versatile and can be very deep if you take it there.
I’d say keep the digitakt, just add to it. Trust me, you’ll be glad you kept it.
Thanks for all the input. Much good advice here. I’ve used all the features suggested including p-locking sample start/end/loop etc, using the LFO as a one-shot envelope and using long samples with timbral change. This all works and definitely adds movement.
I think I definitely want something that has a knob-per-function immediacy and allows me to make noise all by itself. Perhaps the question here is whether to compliment the DT rather than replacing it. All food for thought! I have had some fun with the DT for sure.