« Digitakt – a limited, yet boundless product »Published on 02/01/18 at 03:15
I play IDM electronic music, and I chose this device as I was after a small mobile studio without having to sacrifice functionalities, so I don’t use it either to complement a set or as an addition to it. I sold my Circuit and gave up the iPad for this one.
Does it seem sturdy? Are its sequencer and various parameters well-conceived and easy to use?
It’s very sturdy, up to par with Elektron’s reputation. I feel the supply jack will need to be cautious while using it, though. The screen is awesome with a very sexy touch, even if you’re not yet used to the keyboard. Beware though, the keys are noisy: no way to use it without disturbing the neighbours, so go easy while having fun next to a TV set or bedroom. The more you learn, the fastest you go, a real pleasure – unseen as far as I’m concerned.
What do you think of its sound? And of its edition and processing capacities?
The sound is crystal-clean, but can easily be as dirty as you wish. No separate outputs except through the upcoming overbridge. Effects are limited to reverb and delay, but they’re typical Elektron fx so they take time to get used to. The lock parameters allow diving into that Dataline-like typical Elektron sound, and I’d say the 70 param. locks settings easily make you forget about the limits of the effect section. A little compression will still be needed for mixing.
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What are the pros and cons of this product?
The Digitakt can easily be turned into whatever you want – whether it be a drum machine, a sampler, an outboard sequencer through the 8 MIDI tracks, so in the end I’ll only judge it on the use that I do make of it, which is a mobile machine that works as a small studio. It has its own workflow with pure Elektron DNA, and considering the price I’ll say it can also be considered as a first step into discovering the brand’s universe.
- a trippy machine with a very tactile use
- very compact and rather sturdy
- very clean and Elektron-typical sound (see the Dataline video)
- designed for live, with a workflow which encourages experimenting
- the overbridge feature is very promising
- very good value-for-money considering the brand
- mono sound
- requires time to get beyond its apparent simplicity
- the 8 tracks are quick to fill
- a young, buggy OS
- as with the Octa, it easily induces a love-hate relationship with it, I’d say you shouldn’t expect too much from it from the start but rather let yourself go and discover the complexity which can emanate from its apparent simplicity.
- no “song” mode – it was really made with live in mind
- sample adding has to be done blindly
In the end : frankly, I could do everything that it does using Ableton, but it’s awfully sexy and features an amazing workflow. A real trip when in the end a loop comes out of it, you tweak it and have fun, so for the price it’s a real, big crush. A machine to be discovered at length, now as I said it all depends on what you want to do with it. And, shall I add, at last there is an affordable Elektron product, and to me it’s up to par with the expectations you would have from such a brand.
A little loop to conclude