Model:Samples compression? (Digitakt sound comparison)

Since I have both now, I thought I would load the same sample into each and record the output as a test. This is a short clip of a song from a CD, sent to each machine using the Transfer app (not recorded into the Digitakt). I matched levels as close as I could, then after recording I normalized to -3dB in my editor so the transient peaks would be the same. The track on Model:Samples was set to Volume 60 (supposedly max before distortion).

The first in this example is the Model:Samples, followed by the Digitakt. When I was listening live I thought they sounded pretty much the same, maybe a slight difference but I couldn’t quite pinpoint what it was. But when I looked at the waveforms in my editor it seems clear that the Model:Samples is a bit compressed. Maybe Elektron included the compressor from the Digitakt, but just has it set up for lite compression all the time? There’s no menu option for it unless I’m missing something. Or maybe it has to do with the Volume control - maybe a level of 60 is still hitting the overdrive a tiny bit?


That’s pretty interesting. Would like some more corroboration if this is so.

Ess has said here that they use the same sample engine.

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No doubt about the sound engine, but the hardware output section is definitely different.

Model:Samples line outputs are +10 dB / 33 ohm
Digitakt line outputs are +22 dB / 440 ohm

So, when I recorded the comparison above through my mixer I had to add more gain to the Model:Samples to match levels. That could explain the difference in sound. I’ll be happy when they get USB audio working on WIndows, then I can just record direct.


Do you know if Elektron are committed to adding usb audio support for PC windows?

it seems to me that DT has a better AD/DA converter

Firmware 1.02 fixed two issues related to audio output that were causing the issues reported above:

The samples had some degree of saturation/distortion added to them when played, regardless of the VOLUME+DIST setting.

The samples were played back with an inverted phase through the analog outputs.


I really shouldn’t spend the cash for a used Digitakt, so I was thinking about picking up a Model:Samples instead, it’s more in my price range.

Anyways, for those that have owned both, do they have any sound differences? Does the Digitakt sound better, by any chance? The big selling point for me, as far as the Digitakt is concerned, is that you can sample audio into it but not sure it’s worth the extra money just for that. I can live 6 tracks for the stuff that I do. But if there are sound differences, that might be a deal breaker. My initial guess is they sound about the same but figured I’d ask before I buy one.

I’ve heard the demos of both from their SoundCloud and there does seem to be different sonic characteristics between the machines.

I feel crazy, because they’re samples, but I feel it hearing the two.

The Digitakt is my favorite machine, so take what I say with a grain of salt, the sampling on it completes the package, but I like to do a lot of experimenting in music I like being able to take any random sound at hand and twist it into what I can- and it usually sounds really good. The Digitakt workflow just feels like an unfolding process, it’s so intuitive and relaxing.

Also Overbridge at its current state works really well for refining tracks to their best state.

But if you’ve already got a lot of other gear and you don’t need the flexibility that comes with Digitakts sampling and you need a strictly beat box with a few other sounds- then the Model Samples would probably do well for you.

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I’m hearing a more punchy sound from the Digitakt but I don’t know if I should trust my ears…I guess it could be a kind of a subjective type of thing as well. Also, the fact that they are pretty close as far as sound is a bug plus for the M:S, at least for me it is…this will be my first piece of hardware after using only software for about a year so it will be my only machine. Digitakt used would be at least $200 or more than the the M:S new so there’s that also. The comment above about having to add gain to the M:S to match levels is interesting. But for me, it really comes down to money…is $200 extra worth it for (possibly )more punch and ability to record into the DT. I think I’ve already answered my question though. :smiley:

I hate to evangelize the DT too much. But on paper, the DT sounds like it would be MUCH better for your setup than the MS.

Overbridge will integrate it with your DAW. The midi sequencing is more in-depth on the DT. You can sample via USB, so you can immediately take a sound and Digify it.

There are more sound design options on the Digitakt as well.

The real benefit of the MS over the DT is its price, and it’s 1:1 control, and class compliant audio(which after the last Heat update- might come to the Digis at some point.

Though, perhaps working from a DAW you don’t might digging through a list to find the right samples for your project, but personally, when I’m working with samples I like the ability to record something in and just get to work. And that ability is well worth the extra money to me.

Perhaps check out some legitimate reviews on the Model Samples to see if it works better. I can’t speak to it.

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I recently got both and I feel the M:S sounds a bit more warm/dusty, which I like. I expected the DT to be full and punchy. It is definitely punchy, but I feel it’s also quite sterile and I’m missing the warmth I associate with punchy samplers from the past. In that regard I feel M:S lives a bit more up to that warmer sound.

I never heard anyone else speak about this, so maybe it’s just me. But I can’t unhear it.

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nuff said :slight_smile:

At one point one of the developers stated they have the same underlying engine so any raw characteristics likely have to do with the single volume/distortion knob vs digitakt where you have volume pre filter post filter and then into overdrive and then track volume on top of that. Sampling into digitakt directly has normalization which imparts some character onto the sound, its seems like it adds a bit of highs. So if you’re directly sampling from MS into digi that might be what you’re hearing.

most likely related to gain staging, and the little high end bump that the DT apparently does.