In a similar boat now. Had my OT for about 6 years, sold it for an MPC and now I want to go back. The OT is definitely more limited but I love it more.
I sample OT in my MPC Live. The mangle and deliriumsamplealteration for OT. The classical sample working and song edit in MPC Live. These two are champions in their own area of working wich are very differents and really additional.
And I really understand when I read that DT is not just a sampler, but a real instrument. Same for OT. I would add that MPC is a sampler (easy to slice ans editing sampler) and as it name say it, a real production center. I don’t regret my 2500 no more (except on the JJOS cool workflow).
You know what ? I would like a DT
I messed around with the MPC Live for a few days but coming from Maschine it just didn’t feel right. Sure standalone is cool, but the NI workflow worked better for me. I also do not like touch screens much for my music equipment.
Returned it and got my DT and 404 back instead with 0 regrets.
I sold my AR MkI and got a MPC Live.
I couldn’t be happier.
Actually, I kind of liked the basic idea and workflow of the MPC.
I got the Black Box now, and it’s like a digest MPC. Take out the best parts, cram it in a small box and cut out the rest.
No argument that the MPC Live is an amazing piece of gear, especially considering I picked up a used one for $750.
There’s that old saying that it’s a poor carpenter who blames his tools. So not clicking with the MPC Live is more about me and where I’ve been and where I’m going than it is about the device itself.
On paper, and even in practice, I can do most anything I want with just an MPC Live. But the years and years of unique pathways forged in my brain are responding so much better to Elektron gear (at least the DN and DT) than they were the MPC.
It’s funny, when I saw the Black Box, I immediately thought, “Oh, it’s like an MPC Live, but more focused.”
Yeah, I mean, going back to the MPC60 and what the MPC originally was about (and still is), you can make albums with this thing. The Live’s incredible but until 2.6, there was all this shouting about missing automation lanes and stuff. So that was what stopped us from making great tracks?
It’s so painfully obvious to me when I got the Black Box, what’s stopping me is I have no good ideas right now. And that’s the only blocker. But I love my Black Box and Octatrack and I’m keeping at it until the ideas come.
A (not so) short update:
I have another show tonight as the “house” electronic music performer, so last week I locked myself away and cranked out about 20 or so 4-bar foundational patterns (with unique kits) on the Digitakt, as well as some additional variations of the base patterns. I finished this foundation rhythmic work by Monday, then spent the next few days adding some melodic elements, trig conditions, track scaling, etc. to make the patterns work on their own as song parts and to give the patterns some automated variety over time. Also spent some time finding the “perfect” levels and swing settings for each pattern to make them feel the most danceable (to my ears).
Starting about Thursday, I started integrating all of my new work on the Digitakt with my existing Digitone music, adjusting keys, tempos, swing, making notes about what Digitakt patterns/tracks worked best with what Digitone patterns, etc.
Then I brought my Circuit Mono Station into the mix for some analog spice, and then made sure my Arturia Keystep playing was working well within the context of all the new music, making part adjustments as necessary.
Starting last night and this morning, I spent some time just doing performance run-through, making sure I was in the zone for song flow, transitions, tempos, mutes, keyboard performance, basically everything as I’m going to do it tonight.
I have a good mix of techno, house, ambient, a bit of hip-hop, raw electronica and quite a bit of music that has a soundtrack feel. I now have enough new and varied music to easily fill several hours. I’ll probably do a couple of hours tonight to book-end the other performers and have music going while others are setting up, etc, but having so much to choose from in the moment will be a pleasure.
Even though I disciplined myself to really focus on the Digitakt this past week, none of it felt like “work”. I don’t know what it is about these Elektron boxes, but I’m always looking forward to my next session with them and firing them up and getting down to “work” always feels like I’m going on a playful adventure.
For me and the music I want to create, the DT/DN combo is a magical beast living in that Goldilocks Zone of “just right”.
I feel the same way. I really would like another box in the DT/DN form factor specifically for digital or analog drums though. It feels like it could definitely be a good seller. Like a Rhytm Lite or something. The tracks I’m working on now all feature the Korg Volca Drum and having all the percussive elements coming from the same engine just make everything kind of gel together across tracks.
Sample selection is key though. I could totally do it with the DT with carefully curated samples / kits but then I’d have nothing to GAS for lol
With that much focused time under your belt are you feeling like you can basically do “just about anything” with the DT now? I usually get that feeling after having my head down with it for a bit. It’s a great feeling. The limitations are good ones! I originally got it to manipulate vinyl chops and samples like an SP404 and even though it’s really not meant for that type of workflow it was no problem at all to work it like it was.
I now try and let it take me, workflow wise, where it wants to go and that reveals new things. Using it purely as a sequencer reveals new things too. Basically anywhere you want to take it, it will happily go, and that right there is some real Elektron magic mojo!
I hope your show is going well!! Let us know how it went and what kind of experience it was. Not just on the gear front but overall! I may never play live but learning from people who do gives a unique viewpoint I might not have had on my own. Learning is where it’s at
but it definitely is not, check the details