Was it released too soon ? [compilation topic]

That’s not what I said. Nor did I imply it.

I was simply explaining to you the context of [quote]
there was no midi until the last moments

No one ever implied it wasn’t part of the build or intended design.

Seek to understand. Read the words carefully.

“there was no midi until last moments” only means that MIDI sequencing was a feature that had not been completed whilst many other features were being demoed and promoted. We only saw its true colors when the first units shipped and the manual was publicized.

No implications about whether or not it was intended as a feature have been made by anyone here other than yourself.


A post was split to a new topic: Inappropriate language ,

I dont understand your point.

Obviously things have a start and an ending. The whole debate is, it shouldnt have been released if it wasnt ready. Your going way off into left feild

tl;dr If you feel you were sold a lie, why not return it and be done with it?

I really don’t understand what the debate is anyway. If you personally don’t feel that it was ready, you categorically have the option to return it. You are out nothing and you can wait until you feel it IS ready. You would be out zero sum except you would have gotten to play with the DK and made your decision.

I completely disagree on the fact that it was released early. Its simply a matter of whether you want to deal with the bugs or not. I cancelled my preorder because of the bug talk, but then reordered and am waiting for my DK to arrive… even knowing everything you and others have been pointing out… I still want the device. I look forward to finding the bugs and contributing if I can because that in itself is pretty fun.

So I guess I’m saying…there is not “it is ready” or “it isn’t ready” option. Its whatever the consumer is willing to pay for. It would seem that you returning the unit would hammer your point home the most. I’m hammering my point home by investing in the DK and helping Elektron make it successful and possibly help dictate how it might function better because now is the time to have a voice in its future. I’m investing in what I’ve seen Elektron deliver with their other devices over time. I have no reason to think they won’t do the same with the DK.

I understand frustration, but I guess I don’t understand the consistency of it ad nauseum. If you aren’t returning the unit, then you are in for the long haul and have obviously have no problem parting with your money. By not returning the unit, you are implying that you are content with what you bought. If you have an issue, by all means post it in the bug thread or directly to Elektron, but I can’t really understand what berating the issue is doing. I don’t understand how its constructive to making the product you invested in “better”.


Yeah this makes sense to me too. My original post was as much about the option of a more honest/informative approach re disclosure of ‘current state’ when it shipped as much as the actual state of the machine. I think Elektron could have been way more open/communicative/considerate in this area and everyone would have been way more chill and a lot fewer negative vibes/suspicions/disappointments etc.

But what’s done is done. Now it’s just send it back or wait it out. Elektron are on the case pretty hard by the sound of it so I imagine there’ll be a solid OS very soon. Hopefully it won’t cause them any problems longterm and they can get past it, learn from it and have continued success/more releases in not too distant future…


4 posts were merged into an existing topic: Digitakt out now!

best comment in the Elektron Facebook Group so far:

“I think it is clearly a business strategy to release unfinished products…”

made me laugh out really loud this morning on my way to work…some peoples “logic” amazes me.

Everyone that already owns a Digitakt is a classic “early adopter” - and a software driven hardware device is expected to have some issues here and there shortly after beeing launched, granted freezing OS when using MIDI is a bummer for Elektron Maschines, but thats also why this has to be called a “Major” or even “Critical” bug which should get handled with highest priority. I am pretty sure that this is the case.

just relax, make use of the Digitakt without midi until its stable and enjoy this cool drum maschine… if thats not working out for you, maybe you should return it and wait… or get a “proper sequencer” :yum: wink


I am a software developer myself with 20 years of experience (games industry), and let me tell you that bad things happen when you’re in a hurry, and the Elektron DT OS developers clearly were in a bad hurry. MIDI-sync related crashes should have been caught and fixed prior to release, of course. But, shit happens… and I am sure the guys are not proud of themselves right now.

The thing that concerns me the most is the lack of communication. When we screw something up badly (so that the game crashes for a number of users), we usually let our community know on all channels (forum, Facebook, Twitter) and try to release a hotfix within 48 hours at the latest. It does not hurt to admit mistakes, we’re all human. However, leaving your customers in the dark is not the way to build a good reputation, it’s a way to destroy a decent reputation.

I have ordered the DT anyway, and I am giving the Elektron team the benefit of the doubt. I am sure they are doing their best to fix the reported issues. Now, if only they would let us know about the progress in a proper way.


I think this is a good thing to discuss. About 10+ years ago the gaming industry started releasing unfinished games (usually for full price) as “beta” releases on a large scale. For some reason, that became such a successful business strategy that it is being adopted worldwide by many other industries.

As owner of multiple businesses (both products and services) as well as a customer of many companies, I see both sides of the coin. If you go to the store and buy a hammer and the head falls off while you’re pounding a nail, it was released too soon. A company should be expected to learn how to put the head on the hammer before charging money for it. But of course a piece of electronic music equipment is far more complex than a hammer, so it is not so simple to understand.

If we want to truly understand the roots of this debate, I think we have to step back from the Digitakt itself and think about the bigger picture. What reasonable expectation can a customer have when they make a purchase? Throughout history there was only one answer: what is advertised is delivered. Now there are two competing answers: what is advertised is delivered, and what is advertised is eventually delivered, probably, mostly.

The question then remains: is it a good idea to release unfinished products for full price (or a slight, often negligible discount), or to wait until the product is solid and polished before charging customers full price?

Ethically, no company should ever release a product that they know will definitely not deliver what was advertised–no matter the reason.

Financially, the changing landscape of business (especially online) nearly dictates a beta-release model due to the overwhelming benefits to the company.

So the question then becomes, should companies act in the way that is most beneficial to them at the expense of their customers (life blood of the company and whole reason for its existence), or should they act in a way that is more expensive/painful for the company, but treats the customers as the #1 priority?

Companies will always do what’s best for them, which is especially true for publicly traded companies. Customers will always want what’s best for them and won’t care too much about what’s best for the company itself. This is for the same reason: selfishness is built into all living things from birth.

So who gets to be selfish, the company or the customer? It depends on whether you agree with the golden rule of business or not: The customer is always right. Some companies like Virgin believe that “the customer is always right” and it is very clear. When there is a problem, they take responsibility, apologize, fix the problem immediately, and generally offer compensation for the inconvenience.

The alternative is “the customer is always an A-hole,” as per Ben Affleck’s character in Kevin Smith’s Mallrats film. Apple has based their entire company on the idea that “the customer is always an A-hole,” and it has worked for them very well so far. They have 0 respect for their customers and screw them over on every product in every way imaginable. But they make lots of money and people love their products so they get away with it…until people no longer love their products (which is happening as we speak).

Elektron has struck me since the beginning (original Machinedrum release) as a company that thinks “the customer is always an A-hole,” because every decision they make is centered around what is good for THEM, not the customer. I’ve never felt anything but mild disinterested contempt from my customer service experiences with Elektron, despite 100% of those problems being entirely their fault. Never once have they apologized, admitted fault, or made me feel like they care at all. They made ME pay return shipping for sending me a faulty machinedrum unit and it took 3 months to get it back after repair (and a $120 shipping fee because they sent me a broken unit). In other words, I dislike strongly their business practices, though I enjoy immensely their products (like Apple).

It’s an age-old debate. Back when most countries were ruled by kings, there were two competing theories for how to rule a nation: with an iron fist or an open palm. Both approaches have their strengths and weaknesses, but one thing is clear: the iron fist makes everyone hate you, so you’d better not ever make a mistake or the people will hang you in the public square. Elektron has made their own customer base hate them, despite loving their products. If they make one mistake too many, their customers will turn on them and it’ll be game over. Plus, there is a case to be made for treating other people how you would like to be treated. I doubt anyone at Elektron would appreciate the kind of customer experience they deliver.

As for the Digitakt, it was released too soon for “the customer is always right,” but just on time for “the customer is always an A-hole.”


That’s what I would like from them. A “when”. It’s not like some secret product launch thing anymore. Be transparent on the progress without over promising. At least let us know if the next fix is coming in days, weeks or months. I have a gig 4 weeks from tomorrow and I would like to know if I should keep writing the Midi parts for my set or not waste my time.


True. What we have done for several years now (we do have an annual release cycle) is release the game for pre-order customers about a week prior to the official launch, calling it a beta pre-release. So, people who pre-ordered (good for us, we get some early cash flow) know they are getting a beta product, but they still have fun with it early (usually we deliver a rather stable beta) and meanwhile help us with their feedback to iron out the last little kinks. Then when we hit the official release date we come out with a very solid product which went through a 2-month beta period with about 150 internal testers and then a pre-release public beta period with thousands of customers. This has worked very well for us, everybody is happy.

[quote=“42, post:188, topic:40544, full:true”]
As for the Digitakt, it was released too soon for “the customer is always right,” but just on time for “the customer is always an A-hole.”[/quote]

It feels that way. Although I have to admit that my first (and so far only) Elektron product (Analog Heat) was very stable from the start and I simply love it (just like Apple products). Let’s see how I feel about the DT once it arrives early next week.


Off-topic @tinytempo- What’s your gaming company? It sounds like just the type of company I like to support. I’m very much in favor of your approach to beta vs. full release. It seems you may have found the middle path that works best for everyone. Kudos for that, seriously.

On-topic- I love the Digitakt, but even from the first NAMM video I got this vibe like “We MUST get it out immediately,” but I never understood why there has been such a hurry. It feels almost like a reality show where there is always an imposed deadline to make the show more exciting. Why was it so important that the Digitakt get released so soon? Who was served by this decision?

I think when all the dust settles, everyone will be very happy with the Digitakt as a finished product. I think the main cause for debate/concern is that it was sold before being anywhere near a finished product.

I’m in the position of never having to think about the cost of things (I do anyway), but back when I had very little money, I would have been forced to return both the Digitakt and MPC Live until they were finished. As it stands, I’m happy enough to learn the workflow while the two companies iron things out. I won’t be doing it again, though. In the future I will wait until a product is at least 95% functional before buying. I’m not into buying gear very often, so I like to buy the right gear and then keep it for a decade or so before thinking about an upgrade. Now I’m in the position of having to wait several months to know whether keeping the MPC Live and Digitakt were wise or unwise choices. All signs are good, but there is still a risk.


sorry you’ve had bad customer encounters with elektron. I’ve only ever had excellent customer service with them.
I’ve only ever had minor issues like lost / broken buttons from me messing around with my units but they’ve always sent me free replacements without quibble and free postage.
it’s consistently makes me feel like a valued customer. I have owned every one of their products apart from sidstation, most of which twice too, so damn straight gimme me free buttons :rofl: gnomesein

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I see your point, but I’ve got to say my experience here in Japan with Elektron’s customer service has been excellent.

Simon at Elektron Japan is a great guy, extremely helpful, knowledgeable and generally a real pleasure to do business with, as is everyone in his office. I’ve never felt like I was being treated as an arsehole, even though I probably am one. :wink:

Maybe I’m an old fart, but I remember when Apple had excellent customer service too. In fact, last year I had a problem with my iPad which was out of warranty and they fixed it free of charge.

I agree that overall, communication needs to change. I don’t mind being a beta tester as long as I am asked first.


To add on the Elektron CS.They shipped me a missing PSU from Sweden and got here to FL faster than Sweetwater from 4 states away.
That gives me confidence that hopefully this is the same way they treat their software/hardware.
I’m a new Elektron customer so this is the part where I learn if I want to support them or not.
So far I see them as reliable and professional (at least their CS).

Lack of communication though is worrisome.

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It’s 2017 and they can’t get midi to work. Wow midi was better in the 90’s

Well, it’s exactly the other way round. The “machine specific stuff” forms the basis of everything and is anything but “high level”. I don’t know anything about the hardware built into the DT but it is clear that those components (CPU, DSPs, etc pp) would be the most different to any other Elektron hardware and thus require the most basic, low level programming, i.e. C/C++. Furthermore, are those components off-the-shelf? If yes, good, there are IDEs and abstraction layers available. If not, then the effort to program all that hardware could be much bigger. Even if they have a MIDI sequencer working on the OT, what kind of OS is running on it? What kind of architecture? Porting software from one platform/architecture to another can be a major headache and sometimes you’re better off starting from scratch…

Lots of generalizations, here. I’m not comfortable with this (I’m speaking as a Naut, btw)
I’ve come to think most of sentences with “always” and “never” are just wrong.
You just need one counter exemple to invalidate the speech…
E.g. : ants or bees are not selfish, they only live as part of the community, as cells of a larger body.

I can’t think for one minute Elektron has a mind set on screwing customers. Each word of each member of Elektron staff showed a will to do good, and a deep respect in the way they speak even to disrespectful people.
It hurts a bit to see one bring his own darkness on their acts and supposed motivations.

Elektron instruments have brought me so much joy these last few years that I have full confidence the staff will sort out the actual problems very quickly.


I agree. I think they could have spent more time getting DT right, but i do not think they have this view of their customer. I think some of their actions is done through naivety. They have always been great via their support to me.


How has Apple done that? I own several Apple products but have never felt that they have screwed me over. The stuff Apple releases is solid. I wish Elektron could match their products in quality (actually, the earlier Elektron units are high quality in my opinion but Digitakt seems to be ruining their reputation).