Would like some thoughts/setup ideas for a Digitakt + Rev2 rig for simple video-gamey sounds


#1

Hey guys I could use some guidance and advice on a setup I’m working towards. I’m looking to make a small self contained rig to create some simple, video-gamey style tunes.

What I’m looking to do:

I’m an Ableton user but I suppose you could chalk this up to a “dawless” setup. I have no plans on ditching the daw for good but I really just want to make some simple music for fun and enjoy the process outside of the computer in a setup I could also bring somewhere for some live bleepin and bloopin.

https://soundcloud.com/pkmood/grassy - Here is an example track I made that I think will show what I am after.

This is a pretty simple song/arrangement I made with 100% synthesized sounds from my first synth, the DSI Rev2 including the drums. There is a delay on the master. It’s only 4 tracks or so of loops I made and then arranged on the fly, a workflow I think would translate very well to elektron gear…

My Elektron Experience:

I ended up selling my Rev2 to fund an Analog Four mk2 because on paper it seemed really perfect for this kind of stuff. I knew what I was getting into with the limitations and to be honest they really excited me. The moment the A4 arrived I knew I made a mistake and that I should have never given up my first synth, the Rev2.

I reverted the shipment on my sold Rev2, gave the guy a refund and an apology and ate the shipping costs but the Rev2 was back in my arms.

Nothing against the A4 at all but unfortunately I have a limited gear budget and could not afford to have both. Selling the synth I loved and learned on was not the right way to try something new so regretfully I didn’t get a chance to fully explore the A4 before returning it but I knew it was the right choice to make.

I have a little bit of experience on a DT but I never used it to sequence external gear. I really dug the plocking/retriggering for rhythmic stuff and pattern chaining works well for the way I like to build up songs and loops.

Things I’m wondering about:

The plan now is to save up for a Digitakt that I can use beside my Rev2 Keyboard, not instead of it. I’m looking for some thoughts on setup and workflow with these two units working as a standalone rig. 8 tracks of flexible sampling plus the ability to sequence and save program changes on the rev2 seems great on paper. Anything I should know?

Here are a few things that I’ve been thinking about.

  • Any suggestions for any essential tools to help this setup? mixer? special midi cables?
  • Rev2 is bi-timbral. I could probably sequence two totally different patches from the DT
  • Can I use the Rev2 knobs for one of these patches and the DT midi controls for the second one?
  • Could use two DT midi tracks both on the same midi channel to increase polyphony?
  • Rev2 keyboard as its own controller but also used to play/record triggers for DT sounds.
  • Rev2 outputs fed into DT inputs for live monitoring. (Have they given us a way to do this through effects yet?)

Open to hearing anything else out. Thanks!


#2

yes u will need a mixer, special midi cables, not that im aware off
yes just check your polyphony
yes u can even control patch 1 of rev2 on DT midi A and pacht 2 of rev2 on DT midi B
yes you can you also gain and lfo/ midi track
yes you can
no you can’t except with a daw and when you use overbridge et.;


#3

dope. appreciate it!

realized an issue I think I’ll have. Rev2 keyboard midi channel changes for send and receive. No matter what channel I set it to, Rev2 will sound.

I might have jinxed myself with the need for a special midi cable/translator for this.


#4

so when you produce sounds for games and you already have a daw for sequencing and sampling, what would you need a digitakt for?

I would rather go for some semimodular to produce unusual sounds for your daw.


#5

a few things.

I don’t produce sounds for games, I was just describing what I make as having a video-gamey vibe.

I’m not looking for unusual sounds. I’m looking for a new type of workflow for relatively simple sounds.


#6

#7

Very cool! I’ve been watching this project!

I probably shouldn’t have leaned so hard on the video-gamey thing in my OP. I mostly meant the stuff I make is pretty simple, in the background and kind of loopy like it could be in a simple game. Not really looking for any specific retro sounds or anything.

Mostly looking for a different kind of workflow with the digitakt and my Rev2 synth.


#8

You said your rev2 is multitrimbal So he should recieve different data on different midichannels

No need for special midicables
Check your midi settings on both machines.
I’ve you can give Some more details of your set up I can give you Some more details to help you to set iT up Correctly

I’m sequencing two multitrimbal and two mono synths with my digitakt thru Cubase


#9

Yes you can live monitor if you select your source in the record menu as external. You can then go back to using the rest of the machine and hear the audio coming through the inputs regardless of whether you’re sampling or not.


#10

ah sorry, I see

so you need something that does the job of ableton without sitting in the front of a screen.

well digitakt is more handson as Octatrak. octatrack needs as much attention as a daw, but it can sequence complete songs.

my workflow at the moment is, that I combine a digitakt with a modular gear to record interesting patterns. I then transfer these later to live for arrangement and mixing. So I get the intuitive workflow of hardware and the better overview of a daw later in a project.


#11

Nice man! Yeah I still plan on using Ableton if I come up with something worth finalizing but for the moment I’m looking for something a bit more hands on and “fun.” I enjoyed the DT when I used it standalone for a bit.

Oh btw, I saw your trick for microtrigger stereo spread on the DT. Very cool idea!

I definitely hear you on the OT. I had one for a while but it was too much for me personally, to the point where I’d rather just use a DAW. I liked how the DT had a lot of things pre-configured for you, even if it meant more limitations. It made it way more fun to quickly get something inspired going.

I usually have no problem coming up with sounds that are interesting to me. I have some gear that’s great for weird sound generation/mangling. My week point in my Ableton setup is arranging those sounds into something fuller. It’s always been the least enjoyable part of the process for me.

The performance oriented workflow of elektron is really what I’m after so I could essentially jam on a few tracks, change them on the fly, revert back to the original etc etc. I might then use OB to record the outcome into Ableton and then add finishing touches as needed but with the bulk of the structure and song laid out already.


#12

I’ll do my best to detail my ideal setup and the one issue I can’t wrap my head around. Some if this might be redundant but I’m just going to describe the overall setup I’m imagining.

Setup

  • I want to use Digitakt and Rev2 alone for a minimal setup.
  • Rev2 acting as master keyboard for itself and for the digitakt tracks.
  • Rev2 fed back into Digitakt inputs and live monitored.
  • Digitakt used to sequence two channels of the Rev2. (two patches)
  • Patch 1 of Rev2 to be controlled via its own knobs
  • Patch 2 (likely bass) to be controlled via the DT’s midi cc control.

The Problem

The Midi Channel setting on the Rev2 Keyboard controls both incoming and outgoing midi. In order to play a Digitakt Track, I’d have to change the Midi channel which would change the transmitted channel like I want but it would also change the channel it is looking to receive on thus preventing the Rev2 from being sequenced while I play other tracks of the DT.

This wouldn’t be an issue with an external midi keyboard and the desktop version of the Rev2 but since the keyboard is built in and tied to the synth, it makes it kind of weird for setup this way.

I’m not looking to use an additional keyboard with this setup so I’m looking into ways to alter the outgoing/incoming midi channels on the Rev2.


#13

put multi mode on on the rev2
When Multi Mode is on, the Prophet Rev2 responds to MIDI data on two consecutive MIDI channels — the base channel (selected in the Global menu) and the next highest channel
In global mode choose a midi channel for example 1
This is your base channel in multi mode, so the rev2 will now response to midi channel 1(prog x layer A)and to midi channel 2 prog layer A
on the digitakt midi A on midi channel 1 and midi B on midichannel 2
is local control off or on the rev 2?

  • Rev2 fed back into Digitakt inputs and live monitored
    Again without a daw (and using digitakt as an audio interface) you can’t monitor thru the inputs
    so you will need mixer

  • Rev2 acting as master keyboard for itself and for the digitakt tracks.
    I’ve you can set the output midi channel (of the keyboard)differently then the two midi input channels on the rev2 yes then you can

  • Digitakt used to sequence two channels of the Rev2. (two patches)
    yes when in multimode

  • Patch 2 (likely bass) to be controlled via the DT’s midi cc control.
    yes just configure the 8 encoders to the knobs you want (cc values)


#14

"I’ve you can set the output midi channel (of the keyboard)differently then the two midi input channels on the rev2 yes then you can"

Seems to be the biggest issue here. There is no way to have the outgoing channel differ from the incoming channels.

I’m looking into some DIY arduino solutions so I could take whatever channel the Rev2 is outputting on and easily switch it to different channels on the fly.