ElektronDigitakt 8-Voice Digital Drum Computer + Sampler
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Sampler, sequencer, and more—Elektron's Digitakt provides eight tracks of sampling and eight tracks of MIDI sequencing to serve as the centerpiece of your studio or live performance setup. Iterating upon years of product design and analysis of how musicians around the world use their machines, the Digitakt is the original entry in the Digi series, streamlining the more intricate aspect of Elektron file and sound management into a more straightforward package. The result is an interface that lends itself to immediacy but makes very few sacrifices in power and flexibility. It might be advertised as a "Digital Drum Computer & Sampler," but when it comes to sampling, the world is your oyster.
Digitakt cuts right to the chase when it comes to sampling. Simply tap the Sampling button under the OLED screen to enter the audio editor menu, dial in settings appropriate for your source, and you're instantly ready to record up to 33 seconds of material. Whether you're sampling from an instrument or synthesizer, resampling the Digitakt's main mix or an individual track, or grabbing audio from a connected USB source, you can trigger recording manually or activate recording when the incoming audio crosses a certain amplitude threshold. Digitakt will always sum stereo sources down to mono, but you can apply panning and spatialization once samples are loaded into a track
Once you've sampled and trimmed down a sound that you like, or chosen one of the many great sounds that are preloaded onto the Digitakt, working with a sample on a track is where the real magic begins. Digitakt provides numerous ways to manipulate and mangle your sounds, and thus create new sounds in the process—you can press each track's trig key outside of recording modes to manually trigger the sound to hear what you're doing. Adjust tuning, change playback direction, modify loop start and end points, and apply bit reduction. You can even scroll through up to 128 different samples that are loaded into your current project, should you change your mind on the sound you're working with. From there, a multimode and base-width filter allow you to sculpt, boost, and carve away frequencies, before heading to the amplitude section with its own envelope generator and settings for overdrive, sends for passing audio into the Digitakt's delay and reverb effects, track panning, and volume. Each track also sports two LFOs for modulating parameters over time.
But what would any Elektron product be without the most powerful sequencer on the planet? Of course, the Digitakt is loaded with one of the best sequencers out there, offering total control of how your sounds are generated. Once you've programmed a sound to your liking, tap the record button to enter grid recording mode and place event trigs within a 16-step frame. Once basic sequences have been jotted down, you're able to access some of the coolest features that Elektron instruments have to offer: independent step lengths per-track, micro-timing to nudge notes off the grid, and, best of all, parameter locks. Hold down a trig key for an active step and turn a knob to apply a per-step value for that parameter, and continue with as many steps or parameters as you like. In the case of the Digitakt, this can be a filter setting, the duration of the sample, or even the sample selection itself.
Digitakt stores sequences and sound settings within patterns, of which there are 128 in a single project. You can easily copy and paste patterns, make edits to create variations, and then chain patterns together to create longer musical phrases. Within the device settings, you can also configure the Digitakt's delay and reverb to maintain consistent settings across patterns, in order to facilitate musical cohesion within related ideas. Similar settings may be applied to Digtakt's master mixer, where you have control over the internal tracks, external audio inputs, and the levels of each effect plus a master bus compressor.
Audio is cool and all, but what about those eight MIDI tracks? Digitakt's eight MIDI tracks apply the same core philosophies of the Elektron sequencer workflow but applied such that you can control any external synthesizer or instrument with nearly the same level of detail. Each track can be assigned to a different channel if desired, and produce a number of different CCs via manual settings, parameter locks, or LFO modulations. It's rare to find a sampler with such incredible capabilities to control other instruments, so whether you're building out a live performance setup or spamming a sample source instrument with wild MIDI data settings, Digitakt offers the tools you need to accomplish a wide range of audio and MIDI tasks.
Digitakt seems like an incredible tool for live performance, but it's also a powerhouse in the studio, thanks to Elektron's Overbridge software. Once installed on a computer and connected via USB, Overbridge sends Digitakt's usefulness through the roof. Though it only provides hardware outputs for its main mixer, Overbridge allows you to individually record each of Digitakt's tracks separately for multitracking and mixing applications. And if the hardware's menu layout isn't jiving with how your brain works, Overbridge also operates as a plugin-style editor, in which settings may also be stored with your DAW project. Even beyond Overbridge, Digitakt can operate as a class-compliant USB audio interface, allowing it to be used with smartphones and tablets, or substitute for your computer's interface when traveling light.
All of Elektron's instruments are endlessly flexible, and the Digitakt is no exception to this rule. If anything, it's among the more personal devices in the lineup, as the sampling engine allows you to completely define your sonic aesthetic. And whether you're looking for a dependable addition to your studio or live performance rig, Digitakt comes equipped with the tools to bring your ideas to life.
- 8 internal audio tracks
- 8 dedicated MIDI tracks
- 1 × Digital multi-mode filter per audio track
- 1 × Distortion effect per audio track
- 1 × Assignable LFO per track
- Delay and Reverb send FX
- Sampling capability
- 64 MB sample memory
- 1 GB +Drive storage
- 2 × ¼” inputs & 2 × ¼” balanced outputs
- 1 × High Speed USB 2.0 port
- Overbridge support
- Dimensions: W 8.5"×D 7.2"×H 2.5″ / W 215mm × D 176mm × H 63mm
- Weight: 3.2lbs / 1.45kg
- MIDI IN, OUT and THRU ports
Other quality of life enhancements in Firmware Update 1.3 include an extended sample range to -60 semitones, Global FX/MIX settings which keeps your patterns consistent across projects, and several new notch-filters! Grab the firmware at https://www.elektron.se/support/?connection=digitakt#resources and let us know what your favorite new feature is!
Our pal Wes walks us through some surgical LFO settings to achieve very smooth synced sample action on Elektron's Digital Drum Computer : The Digitakt
Get your pen and paper ready because this is an in depth advanced trick !
We take a look at the Elektron Digitakt and Arturia Keystep and how combining their sequencers and arpeggiators can yield some interesting results!