I first got sucked into the world of Elektron with my Octatrack mkII. It’s still the centerpiece of my home studio - I use it as a MIDI hub, master compressor, sampler for vocal stems and effects, you name it. For a while I was also using it for beats - mainly breakbeats, as it’s so easy and fun to quickly create slice grids, randomize stuff and glitch it out etc.
However, 8 audio tracks isn’t a lot, and as I do use the master track for compression, it was getting challenging to do both beats and all my other samples without quickly running out of tracks.
So I picked up a Digitakt. For the first 2-3 months I had it, even though I think it’s a quality box, I had a very difficult time integrating it into my workflow. There was the pattern change bug that forced me to use it as the master MIDI clock instead of the OT. Mono sampling also sounded more obvious when played next to the OT’s stereo sampler.
But most of all, my issue with the DT (still actually) was how difficult it was to audition new drum sounds on it. Unless something has changed recently, you can’t preview samples without first loading them into the project, and with only 128 slots, trying to put together an 8-part drum kit was a super hassle. the DT also sucks for breakbeats compared to the OT since there is no time-stretching, which means a lot of sample prep in advance and no flexibility on BPM once you’ve imported your samples.
As of a month ago my DT was back in the box and listed for sale on Reverb. But today it’s playing the drums on my latest track (posted below). So what changed my mind?
I use sample chains sometimes on the OT, and use the awesome Octachainer app to make them when needed. But it had never occurred to me to use them on the DT until I saw a youtube clip of someone walking through their workflow with them.
Light bulb went off. I now exclusively use 8-sample chains for my DT beats. It allows me a lot more flexibility in auditioning drum sounds without burning through the slots, and makes the import- then-delete-stuff-I-don’t-like workflow much less painful.
How many of you guys use sample chains on the DT? Oh and here’s that new track
Analog Four mkII
Dreadbox Nyx (w/Boss Digital Delay pedal)
Boss Space Echo