Redid setup, choosing new groovebox

Hello all,

Haven’t been here for a while. I sold off most of my gear to sort of “restart” with what I’ve learned about my likes and dislikes. I got a Subsequent 37 and Moog semi-modular gear and I absolutely love them, I lose myself in them for hours. Now I’m looking for something to take me away from the computer again.

I’m not rich and I won’t be able to afford anything for a while after I get a new groove box. I need to be able to sample all my gear, not necessarily at the same time, plus lay down drums and a couple synth layer tracks for poly synth samples. CV is nice, song mode is excellent.

Digitakt, Octatrack, MPC One or Live, Synthstrom Deluge, down the road I’d love an ER-301 but not sure it’s for me right now.

I’m willing to mostly manage samples with the computer if necessary, that’s no issue.

With that said I’m moving away from overly synth-y sounds. I love samples and acoustic instruments, plus bread and butter synth sounds and experimental modular. I just have option paralysis. There are too many choices, limited funds, plus all groove boxes have quirks that I like and dislike.

TL;DR, need groovebox sampler

I’m in a relatively similar position in that I have my synths covered but am looking for a standalone box for sampling. I have an SP505 that I mainly use as an effects box for Koala on the iPhone/iPad and I’m looking at something that will offer me the most interesting sequencing options.

For me it’s looking like the Digitakt.

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We are really spoiled with the options available out there, and the most common advice you will probably get will be to think about how you want to work and pick a groovebox that fits that workflow.

But, for your viewing pleasure, I’ll post a video of a guy who ran a Deluge alongside his Sub37. :slight_smile:

I tried to make a pros and cons, but everything has pros and cons!

Digitakt (previously owned) : Extreme inspiration, good sound/converters, I know the workflow very well, no song mode, mono samples, no SD card, no sample polyphony, no CV

Octatrack (didn’t get enough time when I had one) : Super extreme inspiration, experimental sampling, expandability, Swiss Army knife of functionality, mildly dated effects, workflow where minor changes can have a huge effect and be difficult to pinpoint, no sample polyphony, no CV

Deluge (previously owned) : Tons of synth sounds, more tracks and processing than I could ever ask for, battery, excellent support, no screen, sound can be a bit thin in the mix if not tweaked via mixer or post

MPC One (haven’t owned) : basically a portable DAW, tons of expandability, top notch sampling, unfamiliar workflow, nearly limitless which is not good for creativity

ER-301 : I love everything about it but I don’t think it’s meant as a centerpiece setup reliant on external gear

I don’t care about the Roland MC-707 much, but it’s a contender. Same with the Polyend Tracker.

I guess I prefer two kinds of music. Perfected lo-fi vibes that repeat but never get boring because they sound so good, and music that changes so much I barely know what’s going on. Another reason I can’t decide.

Do I want to place my emphasis on looping tracks, or progression based tracks? :sleepy:


Akai Force: audio tracks, clip workflow similar to Ableton Live, Song mode.

Strange enough I’ve never used Ableton, I started in my teens with Studio One, lol.

I’m about to pull from a hat, and let Lady Luck decide my fate.

Consider as well the 1010 Blackbox. Great sample playback & polyphony, looping, clip launching. Fiddly sequencer, but really handles sampling very well.


I really strongly recommend the deluge as a center piece. You get all the MIDI channels, you can throw in sampled kits and synths (and take those synths and in one button redirect it to a MIDI channel to power better sounding gear) you can sample and record an entire song into it in its arranger view.

Other boxes are more fun and sound better but if I was building a studio around something it would be the deluge.

It’s also the closest to a screen less daw you’ll ever see, built in triplet mode at very high or low resolution plus independent track length also at high or low resolutions means you can do very fun things with poly meter and polyrhythm.

The synths and sampling are good enough for ideas and it is flexible enough to drive any other kit when things get not good enough. It kills me that it gets left out of so many of these convos.

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For whatever it’s worth, I arrived at the Digitakt thanks to several factors, but the other gear I have at my disposal is a major one. I’ve been experimenting within Ableton for quite some time and have become fascinated/obsessed with the idea of non-repetitive repetition. Using probability and round robins within Live I’ve been creating 1 bar sequences which are intended to be fluid and compelling. (I can post a YT link if it would be of interest but didn’t want to risk hijacking the thread on any level).

The Digitakt has the most comprehensive trig conditions (especially vs. price) out of all the options I’ve looked at.

I don’t need polyphony from within the unit as I like to use Pajen Volca Samples for that and the DT could happily sequence external polyphony of course.

Mono samples is fine for me as I’d be wanting it use it primarily as a percussion/drum unit but if I did want to process things across the stereo field Overbridge seems like the ideal solution to dump it into Live and handle that in post. CV isnt a massive issue for me as I have MIDI to CV converters for the things that don’t have MIDI and, as I don’t have any modular, that’s only a couple of units. I can handle the conversion via the QuNexus, Beatstep or Midimuso Octex if the mood takes me although I like the idea of perhaps using the envelope follower on the Koma Elektronik Field Kit/FX to kind of drag the CV stuff along with the MIDI (full disclosure: I haven’t actually tried this yet).

I’ve had MPCs since the early 00s and although they are superb I have a very rigid mindset when I use them (it’s absolutely not them, it’s me)

The Deluge looks fun but between a Monome Norns with makeshift Grid, a Push 2 and a Launchpad Pro MK3 I feel as though my pad sequencing needs are covered.

ER-301 - if I had a modular rig, I’d probably have one already… and a Morphagene and… and… :grimacing:

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Lots of people knock it for a few things but the support is unbelievable just like the ER-301. The controls were intuitive to me.

When I owned one it was just so much fun to use. Maybe “fun” should be another factor. How can I make music for people if I feel like shite while making it?

Perhaps I should also think about the future a little. This will not be the last box I buy. So what works well now and will benefit from friends in the future?

Couple demos of the One I really like :

They bonk

Besides the ER-301 being the only module I’ve lusted after, ahem plus the ER-101, the main reason it’s on my list is because I have a 4 tier Moog rack with 3 Moogs in it lol. The 301 would fit nicely with the 101 in the top rack in one of the empty Moog cases. I can’t afford modular.

I think I’m about to snatch the Digitakt. I want to experiment with limitations. I like good sounds and limitations, hence why I only have Moog synths right now lol. If I could afford some good yet limited polys like a Prophet 6 I would, but they’re too rich for my blood.

Musician’s Friend has a 15% off btw on the Digitakt.

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I’m completely Infatuated with TE’s OP-Z and OP-1. OP-Z due to the ease of creating a song structure on the device and the way you can perform. OP-1 due to how incredibly creative and fun everything on it is, from the tape to the sequencers and synth engines…

But they are both finicky in their own ways. OP-Z tends to have poor build quality and the OP-1 is quiet hard to sync with other devices (only usb)

Out of the ones you listed and by what you wrote I would at go for Octatrack, I love mine, it’s really a sandbox sampler. It’s a bit clunky in how to use it but it’s also extremly creative in other ways… the new MPC line is great but I found it to be really boring.


I own both the Blackbox and Deluge, and have owned the DT and OT.

Reasons I like the Deluge: unlimited sample time, great looping workflow. Sequencer interface. Full polyphonic, linear sequencer. The drum kit sequence view. Slicing samples and adjusting each slice’s setting, while still being able to control macro parameters for the slice kit.

Based on what you’ve shared, I’d go with either the Deluge or the One.

Which of the Mother-format units do you have? I’ve long fancied more or less all of them, but the Subharmonicon is a particularly attractive unit. I just parted with a Grandmother - partially due to space issues and partially due to having the bulk/of the sound covered elsewhere - and always liked the idea of uniting the whole range in some mind-melting Lisa Bella Donna-style Mothership. In a typically apparently contradictory move, I decided to move the GM on rather than attempt to congregate the rest of the family, but it makes sense to me.

I’m the wrong side of the Atlantic for Musician’s Friend but thanks for the discount alert all the same!

Very different, I appreciate, but have you considered iOS as an option? The pairing of AUM and Atom PR 2 is immensely powerful and the array of tools that it opens up is pretty incredible - irrespective of what you might want to do. Add in a Launchpad of some description (which PR2 is designed to work with) and a dock or external soundcard and it’s a pretty incredible setup.

Also I have friends who swear by both the Tracker and the Akai Force which might also be worth considering perhaps.

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I haven’t considered iPad. Wow, maybe I can just use that as my MPC… plus I have Moog synths on my iPhone and such.

Well there goes MPC methinks.

Let’s keep this train rolling… Digitakt, Octatrack, Deluge, Tracker.

If I buy the DT I will feel obligated to buy a DN because the DN is what got me into hardware production a few years ago. My first ever groovebox. Probably a Keys tho because I like complete instruments.

I’ve got all three semi-modular Moogs. Besides being a self-contained music machine, if you just want to focus on patching one instrument the other 2 will always provide utility functions. Really just a wonderful setup, all for live use, experimentation, as well as sampling.

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Ah, I thought you probably would have but I’ve seen enough people running multiple M32s to know better than to assume.

My iPad Pro 10.5" is probably the most versatile and powerful piece of music gear I have - and it does a lot of what I’d a DT for (as well as much that the DT could never do)… but I still want a DT!

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I just snatched a Digitakt. A used unit popped up on Sweetwater and they had 36 month financing going. It puts an utterly negligible dent in my wallet each month and if I want to sell it I won’t lose much money.

Now I just need to save for an OT and then the DT will be reserved for percussion, leaving 8 OT tracks open for shenanigans.

Don’t forget due to the class USB you can send LFOs and all sorts of cool MIDI from the iPad to the Digitakt.


Damn, I didn’t know you could do that!

I’ve a couple of things I need to put on eBay that would comfortably get me enough for a DT on their own, making it an entirely guilt-free purchase. That bit of info could be all I need to focus my mind on the task in hand.

I’m still quite tempted to sell my Sirin, if I’m honest. I don’t feel as though I can get the most out of it unless I’m using it within a DAW via the VST, which feels like it’s totally defeating the point (may as well just use a VST). I kind of feel as though I have outboard Moogishness covered with the Werkstatt and weird dual oscillator functionality taken care of with the MS-20 Mini so I’m not sure I’d actually miss the Sirin… but I’ll probably hang onto it at least until I get the DT so that I can see whether I feel as though it makes a good playmate

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Moog and Elektron are made for each other. You could nearly get a Moog Sound Studio if you sell at current market prices for the Sirin. I’m a sucker for the occasional limited edition myself.

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Damn, I didn’t realise they were fetching that kind of money on the used market!

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You can also send DT midi to itself! Those 8 midi tracks can add an extra LFO to each sampler track. Or you can plock the effect parameters. Or tweak those with LFOs. Or my favorite, I’ll use a super slow ramp lfo on a midi track to raise the bitcrush parameter on a sampler track over the course of say, 4 minutes, without taking away from the track’s main LFO. All sorts of treats!