Set up advice

So I’ve had a digitakt for a while now and want to expand. My goal is to build a streamlined setup of just one or two other synths that could be sequenced from the digitakt. I was originally thinking of just an iPad with an arturia keystep, mixer and some effects to send. Any advice would be much appreciated.

I’m going to paste in a couple of links to existing topics on the forum that you should read on this subject.

Unless you have more specific or detailed questions it’s always worth browsing or searching the forum to get information.

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Thank you I will look into those

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Can I still reply?
I use an iPad pretty extensively, for synths and effects.
It’s a very versatile system, with AUM as a mixer.
I would recommend an iPad Pro 7 inch, perfect balance of power and portability.
It’s the reason I sold my blofeld, I have nave and animoog and moog model 15 iM1 and iProphet and they vastly out do the blofeld in terms of capabilities.
So then what else? I think and interface for the iPad is indispensable tbh, better than dealing with the camera connector and going out the 1/8" jack.
And then add an analog keyboard with proper sized keys, with at a minimum velocity, ideally with after touch and you are set.
Then you could route your sounds into the iPad effects to layer, effect and resample.


I think an iPad is a great place to start as it can be virtually anything, as long as your OK with a touchscreen and the overall vibe. And you’ll end up using it for a bunch of other stuff too…

I’m not sure if I’d advise a full horsepower new one just because of the price…
A used Air 2 is a lot cheaper if your unsure if you want to dive all the way in, but the pro would be awesome for sure.

iPad can be a good learning ground, as you can get emulations of expensive gear for dirt cheap. It might help to learn from these emulations to even be able to decide what hardware you might want…

I prefer hardware, but IPad is highly functional and could defiantly be a good way to get going, and still provide tons of uses even if you do move to hardware later. It’s great for midi control with lemur for example, or running your gear though fx with a touchscreen…

Some folks might prefer a simple synth with some knobs to get going, simpler and easier to focus, depends on the person…

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It would also help to know:
-What kind of music do you want to make, what type of sounds do you like?
-Do you have an idea of what you like to use the DT for? As its a sampler it can be many things. Do you know if you’d prefer to do beats with the DT and other sounds from the other gear, or if you’d like beats from the other gear and use the DT for bass and melodies? Or maybe mix and match?
-how much are you willing to spend?
-Do you have any previous experience with midi? Either on hardware or mapping midi to software?


You guys are awesome thank you
I’m into making more ambient type stuff with interesting glitchy beats

Digitakt can easily take care of the beats along with sampling. I figured I could use the digitakt for beats, sampling, and monosynth bass lines when needed. iPad would then take care of all synth sounds.

My end goal is to set up a budget and travel friendly “hardware” setup. I have been writing on my computer for about 2 years and I want break free of that. Originally I figured I own an iPad and iPhone so why not put them to real use. I think I can map parameters to the digitakt also. Then add a mixer and some effects pedals. What interfaces do you suggest?

Not sure if any of this makes sense

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Yeah, perfect sense.
Even if people don’t like the touch screen, I still recommend the iPad, it is so versatile.
Then in your case once you are done sound design in the iPad, just sample and mangle your hearts content in hardware with the digitakt.
Also check out the minilogue by korg.
I don’t have one but for the price the form factor is perfect imo.


Yes, your making sense… :slight_smile:
Especially if you already have an IPad I say grab a midi/audio interface and go for it…
I use an Iconnectmidi4+ but it has to be connected to a computer with its own separate audio interface to get audio, it’s OK for me because I only use IPad audio in the studio and don’t plan on using it when I finally get out and start playing live again.
It’s a wonderful standalone midi box though.
I’ve been recommending the iconnectaudio4+ as it has similar midi functionality and is an audio interface as well, but according to WilliamWild the available gain might be lacking.
See here:
-IConnectivity iConnect AUDIO2+ And AUDIO4+ difference?

The midi4+ can tie 3 computer/iOS devices together, sometimes I use my old ipodtouch5 as the brains of a synth just to offload some cpu, works great… The audio4+ can connect two devices so if you wanted your iPhone can be a synth…
I don’t know what else is out there nowadays, the interface has to be “class compliant” which means it will operate without drivers and work with iOS, a lot of them you’ll need an adapter to hook it up, which is another good thing about Iconnects as they have special cables. Ideally you’ll want one that also processes midi, otherwise your looking at some kind of hub/adapter situation to get connected for audio and midi…

To get started you can just get the apple camera connection kit (which oddly passes midi) and a cable from the headphone out to the DT, but you’ll get much better audio quality with an interface…

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Hello, Yes it’s what I call Digital tool with Digital Gain. So your 0 Digital is also your Max Level for your Monitors, Headphones etc…

On my Behringer X18 i have +4 dBu / +16 dBu Max which gives me the ability to make everything with it Sound Design and Mixing with Headroom (otherwise at -12dB / -16dB of headroom with a device who can’t exceed in the analog domain gain the 0 Digital, it’s really hard to feel something on your master with headphones and you forced to push your monitors.)

But I guess that’s not really the looking for advise here. I do pretty the same like you with my Roland Duo capture EX. Battery powered sound card with all the options you need. Sound is actually very nice and the price is ok. (but I don’t use it in studio it’s a device reserved for the iPad… instead for Live Performance needs I use the X18… and for Studio RME sound card / iConnect Midi)

With the DT / OT in mind I would look for an IPAD Device (Soundcard) for Midi and Good audio outputs for the iPad essentially, (Battery powered is a bonus) I would like to be able to transfer sample from the IPAD to the DT as well as Sample the iPAD with the DT, and control iOS APP with a mini-keyboard and get back audio from the iOS APP inside my DT

Then you cover it all.


Ahh, I finally get what your saying about the audio levels, straight digital level…
Definitely not ideal, thanks for chiming in a few times, I get it now… :slight_smile:
Probably won’t recommend those anymore, bummer, seemed like a good way to go…

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it’s so damn annoying … :wink: you can’t rely on it… and people who don’t agree simply don’t mixing with headroom. So… you need to explain everything from the ground to make them understand why this is not convenient

That’s also part why people always advise to get an analog mixer… (not only but it solved that needs of real gain)

Speaking about the iConnect Audio 4+ (2+ the same) and not about YOUR audio interface i think you said you have iConnect as midi interface and something else for audio purpose.

So the details is simple on the iConnect Audio you don’t have some Boost on the Headphones or Monitors (i mean on the Master Volume) it’s like you said straight digital level (0 Digital) so if you want to keep Headroom in your track mixing let’s say -12dB on the Kick and then all mixed down to this reference so there’s probably some elements at -16dB… on the iConnect audio, master volume at max you’re at 0dB so you can’t feel your track and you will have to boost your monitors and even when boosting pre-amp on monitoring it will be difficult to end with something comfortable.

so that’s why i prefer more professional audio interface or analog mixer with extra Boost on the Master Outputs so you can keep your headroom and boost the Master and Feel and hear correctly what you’re doing.

Let’s say on the iConnect audio you will have to connect Main outputs on a Headphones preamp to Compensate your -12dB / -16dB HeadRoom in your mixing balance in the DAW.

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Maybe I’m missing something here, but I don’t see how a difference in output level on the mains in your audio interface has anything to do with the headroom your DAW offers.

If you’re using an audio interface that’s a less hot on its outputs, you can just turn your powered monitors or your amp up.

The difference between digital levels (which by definition clip at 0dBFS) and their analogue equivalents (which typically go up to +24dBu before starting to clip) can be confusing, especially since different DAWs still use different ways to show the practical levels while mixing.

I’ve found that is a good introduction as well as a fine reminder for when I get confused again. :wink:

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I’m pretty sure it’s a situation with this particular device (iconnectaudio4+/2+) where the master slider in your daw, the one that normally stays at 0dB, or at least the equivalent of it in the devices mixing software, is your volume control. There is no monitor control type master volume so if you are mixing around things at lower dB levels and your speakers aren’t driven enough by the signal, there’s no way to up your volume again.

That’s literally what this is about? That’s easily resolved by adding a passive monitor controller, right?

That’s What i said… but sometimes you don’t have the extra equipment to be able to do that.

Speaking about headroom are nothing about the DAW itself it’s the mixing engineer techniques where your mixing reference is not around 0dB or -3dB but very Low like -12DB or more… your master in the DAW fader is at 0dB so as you said it had to be compensate after… for hearing what you are doing and feeling the track … (it can be amp after the iConnect audio for sure… but i prefer to have extra outs gain on the audio interface itself…)

Maybe that’s the limit of my english to explain myself without doubts in a very specific area regarding specifications and mixing … i probably don’t have the specific terms…

I’m piecing it together. I’ve recommended these devices before because I’ve been happy with a midi4+, but WilliamWild’s has not had a good experience with it. To me it does seem strange as a master volume should attenuate anyway, but from what he’s been describing it seems he ends up with a low signal to monitors…

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In my experience, it really helps to have some kind of physical control for the master level for your monitors when you’re working on a track.

Having to adjust the master level using your mouse inside your DAW is kinda inconvenient, and can be a real nuisance when you forget to turn it back to its default level before rendering a final mix.

IMHO it doesn’t matter if there’s a knob on your audio interface, or if it’s somewhere else. You can get a passive monitor control for less than €75 (Behringer MONITOR 1, JBL Nano Patch+, ESI MoCo) so if your happy with your audio interface otherwise, this shouldn’t be an issue.

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Exactly. Useless to me the way i like to work

@t : passive monitor is nice of course but it’s just a physical control… in my case with iconnect audio you need an amplifier in between the interface and monitors… or headphone preamp… which is an extra-cost.

That’s why i prefer iconnect midi 4+ and a better audio interface (but iconnect midi interface are really the best regarding midi)