Introducing: Digitone Keys


Daniel Fisher’s demo - on a prototype unit. I like how he says this is his first Elektron demo and admits he doesn’t know much about the Elektron style sequencer


I have an acquaintance who got a Squarp Pyramid. The $500 price difference between the DN you have now and the keys version could go towards one of those instead.

This friend was the singer/guitarist in a synth-heavy duo. They used two Electribes for all their sequencing. I’d have loved to hear how he would have used his Pyramid in that band - it apparently has 2 versions of “song” mode - Track and Seq

Apparently the new Multi Map feature will be available on the DN too - maybe a KMI 12 Step can be used to trigger patterns - just assign different pattern per pedal - not quite the same as a song mode of course, but maybe something to consider before springing for another hardware unit just for MIDI sequencing with song mode.


We should ask Elektron to do an OS Update for at least the A4 mk2 that adds better graphical “knobs” representation like the Digi series.


haha! Glad I’m not the only one who has a bit of a giggle at that one :smiley:


that’s a really good idea (why had I never thought of that before, e.g. with the monomachine?), it makes me want to try combining my guitar and Elektron gear for the first time ever… it’d make things a bit less rigid as well!


Agreed. I won’t buy any of their small box products until they implement some sort of a song mode.


Hello there !

Are the Digitone Keys and Digitone mutually compatibles ? For exemple, is it possible to create patterns and sounds from one machine and port the data to the other machine ?

Thanks !




Would you want to buy the DN or DT to use as a backing track machine? Aren’t they kind of the wrong device for that purpose?


I never thought of it either until yesterday when @Jukka mentioned the Multi Map function, which apparently was added with Digitone OS 1.20, which was released very recently (May 9).

I don’t know how many key splits are available, as I can’t look at the manual right now. I get a 404 not found when I try to view it from Google. I suppose at least 3 split regions would be decent - that’d be a verse, chorus, and bridge of a song.

I saw Pat Metheny play a set with his Orchestrion robot system. He had 3 wireless footpedal controllers and a Moog Taurus 3 serving as a 4th controller to trigger any of 140+ Ableton Live scenes, while playing guitar at the same time. I wouldn’t be starting with anywhere near that level of complexity, lol.


I ended up like so. No Digikeys for me. Reface is plenty enough.


Here’s a guy experimenting with the Multi Map on a regular Digitone.

Interesting and strange results. Go read the notes he put with this vid.

ADDED: Putting the Akai MPC Touch Music Production Workstation (is that what that is, i’m not sure?) right next to the Digitone makes it look a lot like an image posted here earlier. (Except use a Digitone instead of the Digitiakt in the image.)

ADDED: Made typo fixes.


Interesting indeed. I wonder if it is related to the Multimap + sequencer bug reported here:

I’m enjoying listening to the “test”, fwiw. Being able to map to all 128 MIDI notes individually… wow!


Calling it multi map may cause a little confusion for users of the AK Multi Map. There is a similarity, in concept, but the Digitone (both the Keys and Regular) adds a lot to that.

ADDED: I am over exuberant here – thank you sezare56 for correcting me. The AK is actually very similar. Apologies.

Watch the Cenk & Nick video above to see a concise demonstration of multi map on the Digitone Keys. It starts at 3:20 on the video. A description of Multi Map is as follows. (Source manual.)

You can map input from the internal keyboard or from an external keyboard that sends midi to either the Digitone, Keys or Regular.

The functions that can be mapped are:

  • Internal trigging of sounds from the pool, or sounds on a track, or the active track.
  • External trigging of MIDI notes on any MIDI channel.
  • Internal trigging of patterns with custom transpose and timing settings.

There are up to 8 multi map slots per project, among which you can choose one for each particular need.

Actually the way i read the bug report above, and it isn’t entirely clear, but it doesn’t sound like a bug to me. I think the behavior is according to spec. The way the spec is may not be what is desired, but that’s not a ‘bug’ it’s a request for a change to the specification. In explanation multi map is set up for the keyboard, or for action from an external keyboard. What is described is the user’s expectation that multi map is applied to the sequencer output. It isn’t. (At least not from my reading of the manual.)

ACTUALLY, you could work around this by sending a sequence out a looped back midi cable and using the multi map (midi) channel number that you have specified. Then the sequencer looks like an external keyboard. It would be fun to then change the multi map to another of the eight around and create something else sounding quite different based on the same timing. A new multi map might move stuff from internal sounds to external sounds etc. You need to apply care with this, or bad things could occur very easily.

PLUS regarding the sending of sequencer data to the multi map – What would it mean if a note in a pattern gets applied to a multi map that says to play another pattern, which plays a note that says to play a pattern, which plays a note … ? In software coding this is called ‘recursion’, and it’s fine if that’s what you want to happen and you know how it ends, but not a good idea for a well behaved sequencer.

It is pretty cool that multi map works in a very similar manner on both the Digitone Keys and on the Digitone. Would it make sense on the Digitakt too? (Rumor started.)


What’s added?
8 slots vs 4, but I didn’t see other differences…


Didn’t take long until the goddam lovely OT wanted in.


This being no help but rather an idea, I play guitar as well and found recording my DN performance to my SP-404sx and using it as my backing tracks works really well. Also runs on batteries and loads of fun to play back with efx.


Thank you for your correction sezare56. I added a correction to my original post. Hope there aren’t other errors in my post.

It is reassuring to see how good my ‘old’ AK actually is. it had gotten shoved to the side, i need to bring it back out and rediscover it again.


It was a question, no worrys. :slight_smile:
I was surprised because Loopop seemed to say it was the same.


Not at all. It’s a tool that many of us use/need. It’s a tool that’s on many synths and drum machines (many costing far less than the Digi boxes). Why don’t you just use an electronic drum kit instead of the Digitakt?