Support on Dawless Digitakt Setup

Hi there!

I recently bought the Digitakt beacuse I was looking for a good sampler/sequencer to be the “heart” of my dawless setup. So far so good :slight_smile: On top I have 2 volcas (FM & Bass) and the Arturia Keystep. I am wondering now how I can best connect all those devices so that I can seamlessly jam and also potentially record stuff via overbridge into Ableton.

Since I am quiet new to this topic one immediate problem I ran into was that I realized that when connecting the Volca FM to the Digitakt via Midi, I only hear the Volca FM sound on the Volca itself, but not on the DT. One “quick” solution I came up with is to connect the headphones out of the Volca to the Input L+R of the Digitakt so that I can start “hearing” the Volca sounds also on the DT. However I have the feeling that there must be a better option (since I also plan to connect the Volca Bass and potentially a NTS-1 into the DT). Is maybe a mixer (like the Bluebox) something that I need? Long story short: My ultimate goal is to have a combined high quality output signal of a song or jam session for all these devices that I can listen to via headphones, monitors or later on in Ableton (with preferrably seperate tracks for proper mastering afterwards). Watched a lot of youtube videos and also dug into this forum but so far I struggeled to fully understand the issue I have here :slight_smile: Highly appreciate any input to my problem :slight_smile:

Here are a few things you can do.

  1. Small mixer that everything feeds into.
  2. Small audio interface and iPad for a mixer (plus some extra FX and such) - this is my setup
  3. One volca into L, one volca into R on the DT, daisy chain the MIDI.
1 Like

@slicetwo thanks for your quick reply!

Is there a mixer you would recommend for such a setup, the Bluebox looks quiet expensive tbh.

Forgot to mention that at some point I would like to record a guitar and vocals as well. Then I guess a mixer is probably inevitable? I do own a small audio interface (Focusrite Scarlett 2i4) though…

Do you have an iPad? I have everything routed into a MOTU Ultralite MK5 and it’s mixed with AUM. It also has all my MIDI routing via USB. You could snag a used Focusrite 18i8. If you’re going for super-mobile, check out the new MOTU M6 (I have the M4, as well, and it’s great).

Many of the interfaces can also work as basic mixers without a computer, so that is also a plus.

I have an IPad yes, however I would prefer not to use one. So I guess looking for an audio interface which is a mixer at the same time is the way to go then. My intention is to only use a screen (my laptop with Ableton) once I want to record and master the “almost finished track/song”…before that I want to avoid any screen as much as possible (except the small ones from the DT and the Volcas ofc :slight_smile: It would be good if everything from the setup is the recorded to Ableton as separate tracks. I understood that with DT`s overbridge this is possible, however how that is then with the mixer I am not sure. What I definitely do not want is to record into Ableton and then have a single track where everything is mixed together

So OB is separate from recording the stereo out via a mixer. The DT will put out mono (no stereo panning information) in OB per track. If you want the record your stereo field placement, panning automation, or anything besides center, you need to use the audio recording via stereo out - it’s a huge pain.

There are a lot of threads around here with people recording in various ways. Some do stereo, some use OB and say to hell with Elektron-box panning, some record real time audio stereo stems. I tend to do a bit of a mix between stereo out recording and recording individual tracks stereo via the audio out. I almost never use OB.

The reason I like the iPad is that it allows me to route all my MIDI, add some slight compression/eq, and throw in a looper for my whole rig. I don’t like working much at the computer or with a mouse, but the iPad is great for this kinda thing.

Volcas only have a MIDI In.

@Sano89 I have the same core dawless setup with a DT, Volca FM and Volca Bass. It looks like you and @slicetwo have covered much of the ground on what you may need to complete your setup. Since I have the same rig I thought I would chime in here to share my experience thus far.

Initially I used a Focusrite iTrack solo with Overbridge to track out the mix in Live. You can certainly go this route with an affordable audio interface and Ableton. The only thing was that I was still stuck working behind a computer to adjust levels etc…

Eventually I swapped out the iTrack Solo for the Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 audio interface. The best thing here is that with the Saffire I can configure custom routing and levels for a variety of outputs and save it to the device. This allows for a custom mix without the need to be actively loaded to a computer.

Additionally the Saffire has plenty of inputs for the Volcas to route into their individual channels. So there was no more summing of the FM and Bass together in the final mix. Fun stuff!


my first approach would be:

  1. forget the nts-1
  2. put the volcas in mono into each input
  3. produce everything there.
  4. Mix inside digitakt
  5. record stereo track into daw
  6. master
  7. publish banger

I agree this would be the best way to get started without sacrificing any sound quality, and you could still record separate instruments into Ableton using Overbridge.

1 Like

I thought they had thru via that sync jawn. Guess not. Bummer!

@presto I agree with you, but he should grab a Scarlett now that the Saffire is past EOL and firewire is rarely still supported. I had a SP40 for a while before I moved to a 18i20 gen3

1 Like

Thanks a lot for all the replies, much appreciated!

@wPEPEq that sounds like the easiest option for the time being. When time comes and I feel like playing the guitar aside and looping it, then I might need other stuff. But for my current setup I guess it would look like this then:

1 Like

You don’t even need the Scarlett, you can use the Digitakt as your audio interface in Ableton!


Fantastic! Then I could use the audio interface for the guitar and a mic instead.

Sure! The Digis are really versatile boxes.

@theartistisirrelevant one thing though: let’s assume I "created a pattern or even song that I like on the DT with the two Volcas connected via Midi and their audio as input. When I remove now the Volcas, their sounds is gone, so not recorded (even if recorded with live recording mode). How do I “capture” the sound of the Volcas permanently in the pattern?

you would have to sample the volcas and build a pattern with the respective samples

1 Like

If you really want to save the exact sounds, you can sample the input into the Digitakt and then trigger it as any other sample. It will required some manual trimming but it’s doable.
However I don’t really see the need for that unless you want to play the DT standalone… otherwise, it’s probably best to save the sounds you like as a “preset” on the Volcas, so when you connect them to the DT they will sound the same.

1 Like

Thanks! Ok then I might have to sample the Volcas, since I want to create a song with the song mode and then record it via Overbridge into Ableton. Within the song mode I want to use some lead melodies from the Volcas, however when I have to connect the Volcas to play them, I guess it is kind of tricky to “build” a song with the lead melodies and mess around with them if they are not somehow permanently on the DT as a sample.