Sequencing Syntakt from my DAW via Overbridge?

Hi there,
I just got a Syntakt yesterday! While its internal sequencer is amazing, I’m trying to figure out how to play it from my midi keyboard (through my DAW using the Overbridge plugin, which they officially recommend as seen below).

I’m actually already familiar with the Elektron world and Overbridge workflow with my Digitone – and usually when I sequence or play the Digitone from my DAW (again via Overbridge), because I am not concerned with live performance, I usually just play or sequence one Track at a time, like a lead or pad or something.

If using the Syntakt’s analog engines for just mono synth I would probably do that same workflow (just select the respective midi channel for let’s say a lead or bass sound).

However, obviously drums are a different story. In order to play kick/snare/hat/perc/cyms from my keyboard, it’s not possible, because it’s only coming out of the DAW as a single midi channel. So yes, I can play just a kick, or just a snare, but not together.

I did figure out a way to manually enter notes in a piano roll and then I can select what midi channel to assign each note too, effectively allowing me to assign each sound separately but all within the same region (since you couldn’t have separate DAW trakcs running the same instance of Overbridge). This technically works but it’s pretty tedious switching channels on a note-by-note basis, and it’s not very creative for me to just draw in notes (when I’d rather play it like a drum kit using the keyboard or pads).

So I guess I have to figure out some kind of way to create a midi channel split on my keyboard…?

I do find it interesting that Overbridge literally recommends that you sequence from within the DAW, and not the other way around -

So if this the official recommendation, you’d think there would be an easier way within Overbridge to assign a key range per midi channel, or assign keys to different tracks, or something. I checked out the manual and tried a bunch of options but can’t figure out a workflow that makes sense.

For my DAW I use mostly Cubase, Logic sometimes as well. If it matters I’m on a MacStudio M2 running Ventura etc.

Thanks!

P.S. Interestingly, I own a Roland SPDsx drum pad which has 9 pads that, if I recall, can be assigned to separate midi channels. I haven’t tested it yet but I believe in theory it should work that I could play the Syntakt from this drum pad which will be fun! However, it’s not practical to travel with and it would be nice to figure out how to do it from a keyboard.

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Retrokits RK-002 cable will do that in a very tidy fashion for a sensible price, they’re incredibly useful things.

There’s a way to sequence all 12 tracks from a single channel of midi! I can double check when I’m back home bc I’m a bit fuzzy on the details but iirc there’s an octave of notes near the bottom register that should trigger each channel independently (ie C plays ch 1, C# plays ch 2, D plays ch 3, etc).

I setup Strokes(congburn) to sequence the syntakt last week so I’m positive it’s possible without too much hassle

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Oooh, cool, they don’t make that entirely clear but I just tried it (had to hit the octave down button my kb several times haha), and indeed from C-2 through B-2 you can play each track separately at what I would call each sound’s “native” pitch. After recording a test midi region in my DAW it plays back perfectly. I’m noticing, interestingly, they are all on channel 1, but that’s fine by me - if I ever need to switch the channel manually in the piano roll that’s easy enough to do.

Thanks so much, this thing is a blast!

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Welcome aboard, and happy first post to you.
As mentioned, using one midi channel and having individual keys trigger each pad works pretty well for a quick application. I also like to split them up onto individual channels and use automation/modulation within Ableton to get that crazy sound that p-locking can be. I also sometimes just sequence the machine itself and have it run when I start Ableton’s sequencer. I rarely make the Syntakt the main sequencer/clock, but that’s more so because I have to turn 90 degrees to start stop the sequence. Yes, lazy is my style and secret to happiness. I do however love to use my DT to sequence external gear, and have been starting to incorporate my OT for those duties as well. Haven’t had any issues, but I also use a midi hub so your mileage may vary.

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That should be the pitch set on each sound’s TRIG page. On midi it might listen on every channel, track channels, or I usually use the autochannel, but it’s definitely adjustable. Welcome and enjoy the machine, I’ve loved mine.

Yep I just called it native pitch as in the pitch it’s set to that you would hear when pressing the buttons on the actual Syntakt too. I could always tune with the knobs (and automate them) but alternatively, if I want to use the piano roll to adjust pitch on particular notes I could always send those notes to the respective channel after the fact and then I have free range to re-pitch them anywhere on the keyboard! That works totally fine for me, mostly great to just be able to sketch in a beat and finesse from there. I’ll also play around with the autochannel settings too and see what happens. Thanks!

Awesome, yeah that’s basically my thinking – use this to just sketch in drum beat patterns and then I can switch their channels and go wild with automation hehe. Excited to play around with that.

“lazy is my style and secret to happiness” - I couldn’t agree more! :rofl:

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It’s all written on pp. 25-26 of the manual, Section 7.12 MIDI NOTES.

Welcome to Elektronauts!

haha, fair, and I thought I looked around but I had only looked at the quick guide. Although what I meant by not clear was inside the Overbridge UI. I would suggest something like how Kontakt highlights key ranges on the keyboard view so you can see where things change - something like this would be cool -

Or some kind of text label or identification. But minor stuff, now I know! :wink:

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If anyone is curious, I figured out a way to play the Syntakt from my Roland SPDsx drum pads (huge for me as a drummer!).

Initially I did set up every pad to operating on an individual channel according to the Syntakt (technically there are only 9 pads, but I have external triggers too). Then I set every pad note to a midi value of 60, which equals middle C (in other words, the primary tuning of every track when you push the keys on the Syntakt itself).

However, while this worked totally fine, in the end I quickly realized it’s still not an effective workflow. The resulting recorded midi region in my DAW, because every note was set to that same note (C3), was just a dense blur of midi data all on one “pitch.” It makes total sense, I just hadn’t considered this beforehand how difficult and confusing it would then be to edit after the fact.

So in the end I decided the best workflow is based on the suggestion above, which is to play everything on Midi Ch1 using the lowest keys (C-2 thru B-2, which on the drum pads I programmed between midi notes 0-11).

The resulting midi region is way cleaner because every instrument is separated. Then, if I want, I can separate them into different channels, though most likely I won’t with the exception of tonal patches where I’d want to have distinct pitches.

Anyway, thought I would share this video of me jamming a test last night! Apologies for the shameless self promotion lol. Just glad to share that I got the Syntakt up and running so I can play it with sticks if I want to :wink:

Thanks to everyone who helped me figure this out. The Syntakt is so fun, love how much I can automate. The drum pads are velocity sensitive, so it’s been fun to map velocity mod to all kinds of stuff, filter, delay/reverb send, syn pitch/noise/textures etc. Wishing maybe in a future update that the FX parameters themselves could be available in the mod matrix (not just send level), so for example the harder I play the longer a reverb tail could get, or delay time could do some wacky stuff. :cowboy_hat_face:

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