Live w/Digitakt & Pisound, w/Video Visuals

Performed live in Oakland, Aug. 5th.
Live visuals by Zachary Rodell

My usual rig:

  • Digitakt: heart and soul
  • Pisound: effects, midi processing, digital recording
  • FaderFox: controller
  • Launchpad: notes

The pisound part in your setup is really interesting. I bought one yesterday. Could you tell me a bit about it?

Would love to have my pi being able to record the main out whenever I feel like! with the press of a button! Would be even more awesome if @Elektron could make it possible to record the seperate tracks over USB without having to use the OB plugin / DAW / a computer (so a commandline-option for linux).

This is the rig:


Audio from DT and MicroMonsta go to a small mixer, then to Pisound. Audio output of Pisound goes to house mixer.

All devices are MIDI over USB, and are connected to the four USB ports on the RaspberryPi.

The RaspberryPi is running SuperCollider, with a script I wrote (pbj.scd, on github). It does all of the following:

  • Routes MIDI
    • Notes from Launchpad can be routed to either DT or MM
    • 8 Faders on FaderFox controller are sent to DT for master track volume 1-8.
    • Remaining controls on FaderFox control audio effects
    • Notes & CCs from DT MIDI tracks are routed to MM (so it can sequence the MM).
    • Pi runs tempo controls and master clock, sent to all
  • Audio Effects
    • Tempo locked gate
    • LowPass & HiPass sweep filters
    • Three band parametric EQ
    • Reverb
    • Three tempo locked delay lines
    • Mixing and routing of effects
  • Stereo recording to SDcard of master output bus

Separate tracks over USB w/o OB isn’t going to happen, sadly: It would mean making the DT be a USB compliant audio interface – which doesn’t work well in most set ups where there is another audio interface in the setup.


Thanks a lot for the effort to even visualize your setup!

How are you recording? Using „the button“ on the pisound? Is it a shell script you are triggering?

I know that for MT recording there must be a driver from elektron. Sent elektron a mail with this question since this has so much potential to just have a headless pi on the table instead of a DAW running on a computer for this purpose.

Ah - no problem, I had the drawing around from a prior version of the rig, and it was easy to update.

No, „the button“ is set up using the standard Blokas software for it: one press launches my patch, two kills it, three starts the WiFi hotspot, five s. press shutsdown, etc…

Within my patch (well, SuperCollider script), I have MIDI buttons on the FaderFox mapped to start/pause & stop recording. I also map the current recording time back to two other controls which are displayed on the FaderFox’s 7-segment LEDs, so I can see the recording time (and hence, a useful set timer!)

The actual recording is achieved easily, as SuperCollder, by default, has a disk recorder set up and ready to record the main stereo output. All you need to do is arrange to have some button trigger a call the s.record routine, and later one to call s.stopRecording (which you must do… or the file isn’t closed properly).

If you aren’t into programming SuperCollider, you can probably achieve the same sort of thing in PureData. Or, if you are only using the Pi for recording, I’m pretty sure the ALSA command line utility arecord can be shell scripted to do the recording. In that case, it would be “the patch”, and so you could have it launch from the button.

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Hey @mzero, first of all, I really enjoyed the music. Also, I can’t thank you enough for this meticolous explanation of your DT + pisound setup. I recently acquired a DT and was looking for possible setups to run it with and I must say the use of SuperCollider along with pisound is a very inspiring setup. Thank you very much for providing the script, I’m looking forward to use it as a template for future implementations of some ideas I have.

A little bit OT but I don’t know if you’re familiar with VCV rack? They recently updated the software and included a “script” module that you can program with your own scripts, I wonder how usable it is with something like this.

Anyway thanks again, I’ll make sure to follow more or your stuff. :slight_smile:

If you look at the blokas forum there is a halfbaked solution which works okay. Setup with jack recorder as a service where I send a command to a tmux session. Halfbaked… but works but I guess @mzero‘s approach with PD is nicer.

Will you share / sell your patches one day? Are you using alsa or jack?

My Supercollider scripts are available as part of my Supercollider library crunch/clockwise. On that github repo, you’ll find a file, pbj.scd that defines my live performance set up. While you may not have my controllers, you can easily adapt it.