Why do you use the Digitakt?

Fellow nauts,

I’m working on something now that has a lot of grainy textures, dust and dirt, not all that many beats going on, lots of sampling and resampling. It occurred to me as I listened to some of my old Digitakt tracks, back in the days when I had one, that the particular sound and voice of that instrument would suit what I’m doing, quite well. But it could be that I’m romanticising the Digitakt sound, and that it was the source material that provided the vibes, back then.

If you’re a Digitakt user - what’s the reason you go to it these days? And how much does its particular sound, as far as filters, its fx, the compressor and stuff, have to do with it? Does it have a unique voice in that respect, or do you primarily stick with it because of workflow, Elektron sequencer and other such also cool stuff?

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I actually bought it to do sequencing and simple sampling. I’ve released some stuff using it mostly running chords sampled from other synths and vox samples. It’s nice.

I know it sounds a bit odd in this age of character mining, but where it shines imo is it’s high dynamic range and clean sound. That doesn’t mean you can’t dirty it up though. Get your samples right and load them in.

I mostly use it atm in a DT, AR, DN set up. The DT sequences a mono synth and runs any FX samples or Vox samples I need. This frees up the AR to focus on drums only. DN does most of the music.

You are right resampling is cool. It takes some practice though. Like LPF, resample, then add a bit of bit reduction to get some grit without the noise- similar to the signal path of old low-bit rate samplers.

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Thanks, that’s very helpful. It confirms to some extent the vibes I remember from it. I tend to sample long takes, tho, so the 33 second limit will be something I’d have to work around, if I go back to the Digitakt. But we’ll see, there’s always a way when the will’s present.

Got my DT in the first place for beats…
Now it has turned out to be my main go to instrument for ambient/granular… Go figure hahaha!!! I am actually seriously considering a GR-1 :slight_smile:

The fact it is lacking EQ to me is not a big deal.
Love the reverb on it as well as the compressor.

Also use it a lot for midi sequencing my hardware (Deepmind, MiniNova and MicroFreak as well as VSTi like Prism, Monark, Analog Dreams etc…).

Absolutely agree.

Furthermore, the fact it samples in mono does not alter its above characteristics.

To be honest I have not sampled a lot directly into it but the few times I have done it, I have always ended up with great results in terms of dynamics.

Came a time when I thought about swapping for OT but in the end, it suits me for the usage I have.

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Actually, I can be very specific in my case, maybe that might help -

I’m recording a lot of stuff into the Chase Bliss Blooper now. Field recordings, sequences from my Prophet 12 and such things. I rework them as much as possible within the Blooper before it becomes just too overproduced, and then use that as foundation for a track. On that track, I layer stereo field fx and loops, harmonics such as bass and chords and similar, and then mix it and master it through an SSL SiX. Here’s a track for ref -

I have a feeling the Digitakt’s character might add a lot to this kind of music. But I’d like to know how many actually approach the Digitakt primarily for what it does with the samples, sequencer or not.

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And another one, this is just the Blooper so far so haven’t evolved into a full track yet -

Not until now did I realize that your avatar is not an adult head

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I also tend to go for a very textured sound in my tracks, kind of like the sound when you push your feet up while walking on a gravel road (?). I use the Digitakt for that, because of it‘s precise sound, usually the texture comes from the samples themselves, although the overdrive and bitreduction are very much able to introduce their own special kind of flavour too!

What I especially like is the possibility to introduce various kinds of (pseudo-) randomness, that greatly helps me to reduce the length of samples – sometimes shorter than 16 or even 8 steps.
The random LFO on the playback start, or via a 50% trig and another NOT PRE trig microtimed to the same position, or sometimes kinds of hidden polyrhythms (like a 8 step sample with variations encoded to 40 steps) that drift in and out of sync with eachother – all these keep the texture moving.
I guess that‘s possible with other sequencers too, but I haven‘t tried many others, haha :man_shrugging:

Compressor is good too with the sidechain feature, in combination with other external machines. Especially that the track-amp volume doesn‘t stop the compressor from acting out, only the sample-source volume really effects the envelope. That way you can motion sequence some really custom sidechaining, along your external gear.

Edit: Oh and the gain on the master compressor gets pretty crunchy too when you drive it. Typically I resample that when I can’t be bothered to route the Digitakts output through some distortion unit, but occasionally I’ve used it also directly when performing a track. I have a feeling it sounds different too than the track-specific overdrive, but haven’t really tested that a lot yet.

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First @craig’s beard and now @circuitghost’s hair.
I just don’t know what’s real anymore…

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Please tell me you are a dog…

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I use the DT for the sequencing capabilities, like all Elektron devices its the happy accidents that stem from a plethora of possibilities per step that keep me interested…

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:joy:

But seriously though, I think the main reason I use my Digitakt so much is that it is so clean and dynamic that it makes an excellent blank canvas for you to achieve almost any sort of sound you want.
Also, I actually think that, for what I do at least, mono sampling is sooooooooo much easier to get sitting right in the mix.
Of all the kit I own and have owned, the Digitakt is by far the quickest and easiest to mix with.

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That was one of the main concern (mono sampling) before getting the DT but in the end, what @Fin25 says is spot on.

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Yeah, I don’t even look like that. My youngest son does, though :slight_smile:

Right, I’ll give this a go, make a track or two with it and see what it yields. Store’s kind enough to borrow me one for a brief while, so I can use it in production before deciding.

Thank you all for your advise as well as comments on hair, head size and stuff :slight_smile:

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I love the way drums sound on it. I gravitate to crusty vinyl drums and ultra sharp processed synthesized drums. The mix of those two types of sounds on the DT :relieved:

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I use the DT mainly for it’s workflow. I can achieve everything I want with OB + resampling. Now with trig preview is a step easier to make your track.
I love the mono sampling, choosing between left or right can change everything when you sample a record.
I like the possibility to use it in standalone quick beat creation recorded in 2 tracks or using with full midi sequence and tracking out 8 tracks in a DAW for better FXs and dynamics.
The sonic quality of DT is something unique too. The DT make something to your samples I really enjoy.
But, I found sampling an high end analog synth into DT loose something. I use a PERfourMER with the DT and when I sample it into the DT, It loose his analog magic. For everything else, sampling drums or records or instruments it really shine.
I will never sell this box, I can make a full track only with it.

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After using an OT to record very long samples for years, I would say you need to approach sampling differently with DT due to its time limit, lack of quantized recording, and mono samples. For me, that lends itself to playing more with the samples rather than simply playing them back, which I was often guilty of doing with OT because I was recording loops through nice outboard stereo effects.

I use the DT specifically for its sound and workflow (okay, the sequencer is great too). I really enjoy its clarity but also its ability to dirty things up with bit reduction, overdrive and the lfo. It’s my main hardware “drummer” because samples sound so punchy and clean (great when you’re working with less clean samples), but I also often do purely melodic ambient stuff with it and it can sound gorgeous. The filter is really nice sounding imo.

If you don’t mind working with mono samples and maybe relying a little less on loops I think the DT is one of the best samplers you could use. It can still do looped stuff but you really only need a good 5 or so second sample to get a wealth of variation once you start sequencing things.

I wish DT had the sampling features of OT, but I still prefer working with DT at this point. I love samplers and it’s my favorite I’ve used because it’s quick and sounds awesome. While I use it primarily for drums, it also excels at melodic and textural stuff, to the point I sometimes think about getting a second for that purpose. I think I’m rambling now so I’ll just say get one.

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Hah. You could be future me talking. So many of my boxes you ticked there, mate. I’m exactly in the loop recording through outboard fx camp, though the way I figure I’ll approach this now is to use the same workflow for recording - outboard stuff through Chase Bliss fx - but kind of embrace the fact that the sections are shorter, and instead make something out of that.

When I was on the Blackbox, I recorded entire complete sections as loops through pedals and stuff, it sounded great but was also a bit dull in the end. It’s like, okay. That was it. I’m thinking that the work I do now, could actually benefit from not even being able to apply that approach.

And it really is that special sound I’m after.

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