SY + DT + DN + Keystep 37 setup

Hi!

I have the three small black boxes of Elektron: Syntakt, Digitakt and Digitone. I also have a Keystep 37 and I’m looking for the perfect setup for controlling and entering notes on all 3 machines via Keystep 37.

I have almost find the perfect way:
Keystep MIDI OUT > Syntakt MIDI IN
Syntakt MIDI THRU > Digitakt MIDI IN
Digitakt MIDI THRU > Digitone MIDI IN

Syntakt have all MIDI track channels OFF except for the Auto channel, on number 12
Digitakt have all MIDI track channels OFF except for the Auto channel, on number 8
Digitone have all MIDI track channels OFF except for the Auto channel, on number 4

(you get it, MIDI Auto channel is the number of tracks on each machine)

SY receive transport and clock, and sends transport, clock and program changes.
Digitakt and Digitone receive transport, clock and program changes.

Now, I can play any channel on any of the 3 machines just by selecting the correct MIDI channel on the Keystep, and I can control transport and clock via Keystep… BUT… I can only work at one pattern because there is no way I find to make all 3 machines change pattern at the same time other than doing it manually, as Syntakt is sending MIDI via THRU connector, not via OUT connector.

Is there a way to make Keystep sends program changes?
Am I missing something?
Do you recommend another way of connecting those 4 machines?
I also have an AmpTone Lab MIDI splitter (1 MIDI IN > 4 MIDI OUTS), maybe this little box can help me.

Thanks a lot for the feedback!

2 Likes

Is the ST set to send pattern/program change messages? Are the DN and DT set to receive? If so, it should work fine as long as you’re not using different pattern lengths. The ST would send the PC to the DT and DN.

1 Like

You have to control the tempo and start/stop from keystep now with it’s tempo/play/stop buttons. Also make sure all 3 units FUNC+PAGE is set to the same lengths/steps etc…

1 Like

Yes, Syntakt is set to send Program changes and DT and DN are set to receive Program changes, but I’m using the THRU MIDI out of Syntakt, in order to send the Keystep notes to DT and DN. With that port, Syntakt is not sending Program change values.

I could use the MIDI OUT of Syntakt, and every machine would change pattern at the same time, but that setup invalidates the Keystep to enter notes on DT and DN sequencers (from what I know).

That’s why I am asking here, since I am pretty new to MIDI and harware in general and I’m sure the Elektronauts forum is full of people with more expertise than myself.

Thanks anyway for the feedback!

1 Like

Oh yeah. Sorry. I missed that. Maybe invest in a Blokas MIDIHub? 4in/4out MIDI router with advanced filtering and such.

1 Like

Yes, but what about program changes?
That’s my problem.

Using the Syntakt MIDI THRU port I can’t find a way to send Program changes to DT and DN.

Using the Syntakt MIDI OUT port I can’t enter notes on DT or DN sequencer (with my knowledge) from Keystep.

Maybe there’s no way of doing what I want, but I’m trying the forum because here I can find more experienced people.
I’m really noob to MIDI.

Thanks anyway for the feedback!

1 Like

You can in LIVE MODE on each box one at a time by holding record button then hit play which lets you play live notes into the sequencer when it’s running and you can use keystep.

Sorry I’m not much of help otherwise :frowning: I tried to do the same thing as you’re doing and I didn’t like it so I went back to just running digitone into syntakt into digitakt and just doing everything from the boxes.

1 Like

You will have to sacrifice 2 MIDI Channels (let say on DT) to do this. They will respectively send on the Autochannels of ST and DN. DT will be sending Clock, Transport and Program Change to the others. KS37 will be at the end of the chain on external MIDI and its MIDI OUT to DT MIDI IN.

4 Likes

Great!
I will try this as soon as I get home.
I supose the setup must be:

Keystep MIDI OUT > Digitakt MIDI IN
Digitakt MIDI OUT > Syntakt MIDI IN
Syntakt MIDI THRU > Digitone MIDI IN

And then use Midi tracks 1 and 2 of Digitakt to send Midi notes from Keystep to Syntakt and Digitone respectively, choosing the Auto channel of each machine.

Thanks a lot for the feedback!!

2 Likes

If you want the KS37 to be synced :

DN MIDI THRU (or DN MIDI OUT) > KS37 MIDI IN

3 Likes

You can daisy chain midi across the OUT by having Keystep control a Midi track on Syntakt that sends messages on the auto channel of the next device in the chain. This may introduce some latency but I have had good experience controlling analog synth thru Digitone this way:

DT track one controlled on Midi 1
DT track two controlled on Midi 2
DT track three controlled on Midi 3
DT track four controlled on Midi 4

DT midi track one controlled on Midi 5
Analog synth controlled on Midi 6

DT Midi track one transmitting on Midi 6

Keystep Out to DT In, DT Out to Analog In

Doing it this way lets Keystep control devices downstream while still allowing program changes and Midi LFO from DT to control the analog synth. I program the analog on DT midi channel one, if I want to play it expressively then I set Keystep to transmit on Midi 5

1 Like

Many thanks!

I didn’t even think about using the Keystep MIDI In to sync Keystep with the Elektron master machine (Digitakt in this case) for arp or sequencing in time.

This way the MIDI chain gets closed.

Wanting to get home and test the machines.

Cheers!!

1 Like

My head is exploding right now with this amount of information… hahahaha!!

I would rather use a Midi track of Digitakt or Digitone because these are dedicated Midi tracks.
On Syntakt you can use one of the 12 tracks to be a Midi track but you lose one machine.

I will analise this info for future external non-Elektron machines synth sequencing.

Cheers!!

1 Like

Report back please.

Got it, I don’t have ST didn’t realize it had to sacrifice for a “Midi machine” so to speak. Was just trying to fit this with your existing signal flow. But yeah moving DT or DN up chain will enable this configuration. DT is basically echoing midi IN over midi OUT on a different channel. Could use the same channel in theory I suppose.

Yes, ST has 12 Tracks and DN has 4 Tracks for a total of 16. So, 1 per MIDI Channel but I would found it more convenient to have different Machines on different Channels.

I’m outside for three days. As soon as I return home I will try the closed midi ring setup.

Keystep > Digitakt > Syntakt > Digitone > Keystep

For the moment I’m not planning to add external instruments, or at least not sequenced or in sync with the Elektron machines, maybe just played live “by hand”.

Cheers and thanks to all!!!

1 Like

No stress. I’ll try it myself to be sure everything goes as planned.

1 Like

This is the genius step (assuming it works).

For a moment I wondered why there was no MIDI loop, until I remembered the KS37-> is not passing THRU any MIDI.

Really nice.

2 Likes

Tested and approved.

3 Likes