Live Breakbeat - Digitone/AR/OT/NR2


After acquiring the Digitakt it all went down hill for my wallet. I had a Digitone on backorder, also bought myself a rytm and ultimately decided to swap my Digitakt for an Octatrack in a trade. I’m slowly learning my way around these little boxes and I finally felt brave enough to attempt a full ‘performance’ using all devices at once. So here’s a little breakbeat jam I came up with after getting some gnarly sounds out of the Digitone.

All synth sounds are coming from the Digitone except for the lead that comes in 1:25 (nord rack 2). The drums are all Rytm, with some added break samples from the Octatrack. Sorry for going a bit crazy on the freeze delay (too much fun!)

Output quality is pretty mediocre, as I just straight recorded the headphone output on my OT to my laptop audio in. It sounds pretty compressed to me but I guess it’ll have to do :stuck_out_tongue:


This sounds really good actually. Even on my iPad speakers :smiley: … I like the track too… nice grooves, basslines etc.
Will listen properly tomorrow on speakers.

I was wondering if the Rytm is good for breakbeat…this is probably bad news for my wallet :smiley:


The analog machines in the Rytm are a mixed bag for breakbeat. The kick is great, as you have lots of different machines to pick from. Dusty, silky and hard all sound sweet in breaks. I think the snare and clap could do with having some added machines, as right now you’re limited to an 808 type snare, 909 type snare or 909 type clap. The hihats and cymbals are solid, and the toms can be useful for little fills or basslines. I used nothing but analog machines on the rytm in this performance, if you want an idea of what the analog circuitry can sound like.

You can also stack the analog sounds with samples. That way you can layer the analog sound and a sampled drum hit. I only wish there was a way to cut out frequencies separately on the analog machine and the sample (both go through the same filter). I ended up using the Octatrack here to layer in some sliced up amens.

Ultimately for breakbeat it kind of depends. If you use lots of synthesized percussion in your breakbeat it may be worthwhile. If your breaks are more on the ‘sliced up drumsamples’ side of things, you’re much better off with an OT I think. Hope that helps!


Thanks for the info. Now I am thinking OT might be a better one for me as I already have a TR-8S, so I need more something that does time-stretching as I like to layer some chopped loops on top of the main drums.

Is the OT good for vocals (I mean longer vocal phrases rather than just short chops)?

How about the Digitakt, would you recommend that? What are the main pros and cons in comparison to the OT?


In case you are interested, here some of my (older) stuff (but you can still get the idea of where I’m going :slight_smile:


I swapped my Digitakt for an Octatrack because I felt it was really ill-suited for using sampled breaks and vocals. You get no slicing, nor waveform zoom, nor transient snapping. Longer samples are a giant pain to use. Add to that the lack of time-stretch. Unless your breaks and vocals are already perfectly timed you’ll need to mess around with the pitch and pray you can get it exactly right. Not recommended.

The Digitakt is great for most other things but unless you plan to prepare your samples in a DAW I would avoid it for breaks and long vocals. The Digitakt is closer to a Rytm with more control over start/end/loop on samples but without the analog circuitry.
It’s not impossible to use the DT for breaks or vocals, but given that the OT is so much more capable at it and you can pick up a used mk1 for the price of a new DT I don’t think it’s worth it.


Sampled snares/hits going through the Analog circuitry in the Rytm sounds fantastic. I tend to HPF samples in a DAW before loading them into the Rytm - I really want an OT though!!! :loopy:


I’m at work - looking forward to listening and watching this…


Thanks for the info. That answers my questions then.

Actually all this stuff that DT does I can do on the TR-8S already, however I want to ditch the DAW completely at some point… oh well, guess I better start looking for a second hand OT :smiley:


Breaks and longer vocals is what I got an OT for. It’s the only hardware sampler that really handles it with the flexibility it needs (I tried an Electribe Sampler and it had too many drawbacks). It’s overkill in many respects but it’s the best tool for the job outside of a DAW.


Did you use the new E2S or an older ESX? I think the E2S has a lot of weird design choices. I think the ESX would probably be fine for slicing breaks and playing back longer samples, atleast judging from all the sick stuff I’ve heard people coax out of one over the years.

Honestly the Octatrack is ‘overkill’ for 99% of owners, in the sense that it has such a wide featureset most users will never use all of it.

@gzh Yeah for ditching the DAW the OT is one of the best bets. I feel like the DT will really shine in combination with a DAW once overbridge drops. Edit the samples in a DAW, drag them into your slots and sequence on the DT, while processing the individual channels in your DAW. Now that would be sick :smiley:


Yeah, E2S. I liked it in lots of ways, but it had some hard restrictions that meant I couldn’t get it to do certain things that I felt should have been quite straightforward.