Beginner: What do I need to connect to a DAW?


I really know little about DAWs as I love being DAWless. My home setup consists of a Digitone, Digitakt, Typhon Dreadbox and a Keystep37. No MIDI hub or mixer. I mainly use my headphones from the Digitakt.

I love to play live at home and use all the patterns to progress though my tunes as there is no song modes on this kit and I wondered what I need to connect to my laptop and which DAW software? I do have a copy Ableton Live Lite 10 that came with the Keystep.


1 Like

Ableton Lite is really good to get started. If you enjoy DAWdom, check out others (Bitwig (freshest vision) Reaper (budget powerhouse), so many)

You’ll need an audio interface (to get sound to and from DAW) with MIDI (to communicate to and from DAW) I always recommend RME: their drivers are the best in the business and build quality is top notch (used is absolutely still viable).

You can also get a USB mixer or a multitrack recorder if you like to perform live and capture separate tracks at once. Because simpler interfaces don’t have a lot of inputs.

Ah, and that Ableton Lite is very striped down it’s barely usable to be honest. There are other DAWs that are cheaper if you don’t want to buy a better version.

Or can’t you just use a USB with Overbridge which will interface the DT and DN (route the Dreadbox through the external inputs on the Elektron boxes). So 2 USB cables should do it provided you already have a computer.


And OB will allow you to record individual tracks from your two Elektrons

1 Like

Your Digitakt/Digitone can go via USB and Overbridge and support audio and midi interfacing directly.

To get audio from other devices either an audio/midi interface is needed, or one of the mixers out there, providing audio-interface functionality.

If a device has no USB/MIDI functionality you might need a MIDI-interface too, which is integrated even in the most affordable and decent audio/MIDI interface boxes.

If you want to save money:

  • check out Cakewalk by Bandlab. It’s a full blown DAW and free.
  • check out one of the audio/MIDI interfaces from 100,- $€ and above from Focusrite, Presonus, etc., estimate how many channels you really need and go from there
  • leave the expensive ones like RME, Antelope, Apogee, Universal Audio etc. for later, when you know that you really need them :wink:

In my case, I’ve suffered from “heavy” latency when using my Digitone as an audio interface between my DAW and my Octatrack (like ~90ms).
I considered buying an audio interface for sampling directly from DAW to my OT, but I have no idea if an audio interface at starter price would get me better results :thinking:

Depends on “starter” price … and how much latency is acceptable …

Check interfaces from brands like Focusrite, Presonus, MOTU etc. They offer even at small budget interfaces with pro-technology.

It’s like as with the huge analog desks. Each channel has equal quality and if you buy one channel, it’s affordable. But if you buy a 64 channel desk it’s more or less 64 times that cost.

For sampling into a device a stereo pair of channels for in/out should do the job. The latency should be okay for most affordable interfaces with up-to-date drivers.

1 Like

OK, it works for many, but not for some which is a shame. I didn’t have any problems with either an old iMac or 2018 MBP so I guess he could test out how it works for “cheap as chips” and if it’s too laggy then consider a standalone interface.

To be more clear about the situation I’ve described : I got latency when using DN as an audio interface purely for receiving/sending sound/midi between an OT and a DAW, so without OB. But it’s way more fluid when I just want to use the DN input and record it through OB.

I never tried USB audio on Digis, because I sold one long ago, but if it acts as a generic audio I/O you should be able to change generic parameters such as buffer size, sample rate, etc on your computer… Also Asio drivers?

Every interface works like that. It’s not that they’re truly plug-and-play. You have to adujst settings depending on the type of work you’re doing.

If it sounds like I treat you as a noob, excuse me, I really don’t. :slight_smile:

Lol, no offense. At all.

Yup, but I cant push settings as far as I do when just using asio drivers on my computer, it seems to consume way more ressources :thinking:

It may be the source of the problem as I cant use the DN through the “Asio” menu (computer tells me that I cant use asio driver with it cause I may need more output or some nerdycomputy-shenanigans like this), but as a direct output :thinking: but my post will be way more clear when I could add real and precise terms instead of approximation :sweat_smile:

ah, okay. What kind of computer do you own?

Amd ryzen 5 1600 six-core, 16go of rams, Windows 10 :thinking:
I’ll bring more info about the problem with using DN as “asio interface” when I’ll be home from work :slightly_smiling_face:

I own a Ryzen PC at home as well. A bit newer, though. Ryzen is known to have latency issues. RAM memory speeds are one of the main areas that cause these issues.

Also, is there an off-board graphics card?

To op: If you just want a song mode, you can send MIDI program change messages from digitone to digitakt to have a song mode, look for song mode hack here o the forum…

If you wanna try the daw, just use usb cable from elektron box to your computer and try class compliant audio or/and overbridge. There is an overbridge manual which shouls get you started. Just install the ableton version you got with keystep

So no need to buy anything at the moment…

Start with one box only and computer to keep it simple at the beginning and build up on it later, if you like it. With clever routing and use of the audio inputs of the elektrons you should be able to record everything without mixer.


Thanks, this is how I have it setup via the DT and can hear it all and sequence the Typhon from the DT too -

1 Like

Got a GeForce GTX 660, dya think that could make an interference ? :thinking:

But ok, I’m as noobish as I could be with OB : just realised that it could be used to get sound out of my DAW… And that works perfectly with low latency.
Adding even more value to my DN, making it as awesome as I were dumb about it :+1:

Oh yes. It can and it probably is. It’s the Nvidia’s curse… I have RTX 3060, it absolutely influences my DPC metrics. There are new Nvidia drivers for so-called “content creators” that are more suited for audio, video work, but they degrade gaming experience a bit. However, if you want top-notch audio production environment, you need to stick to onboard graphics… It’s a shame, because many videographers also work with audio DAWs. And in general, you can loose your hair dealing with these things sometimes. :sweat_smile:

So yeah, even if you have top-notch interface such as RME or UA you can still have a pretty bad time if your PC is not “calibrated” properly and have compatibility issues between components.

1 Like

@g0nz0uk Great. So you could just connect dt and dn to PC via USB and record all channels separately or just dt main out to your computer…

1 Like