Best Addition to Digitakt/SP404 set-up?

Hello Everyone,

What would be a good piece of affordable equipment to pair with the SP404 and Digitakt? My girlfriend just got me a volca beats, but I am afraid that it will be redundant in my current set up. Am I correct in this assumption? If so, I would ideally like to replace it with something more useful. The price does not have to be the same as the volca, but ideally it would only be a couple hundred more. Any suggestions/advice here would be very helpful and much appreciated!

Also, I forgot to mention earlier that I also have the behringer td-3, but I am not very attached to it and would consider selling it to help fund a better 3 piece set up.

Lastly, this is my first post so I apologize if I failed to follow any of the usual forum protocol!!


hi, welcome to the forum. :slight_smile:

simple answer: i think you could need a synth, cause you have 2 samplers already. if you like the digitakt/elektron workflow i would get a digitone… if you sell volca and td-3 it is not too pricey…

other answer: think about what is missing from your music/workflow and what you can not do with the current setup…


If it’s a synth you’re looking for, there’s a large thread with lots of opinions worth reading:

as well as interesting discussion here:


With the DT/SP combo you have all the sampling, sequencing and fx you need covered very well.

I would personally go for a simple to use keyboard monosynth and one of those retrokits cables you can use to turn your DT into a polysynth. That way you can use the keyboard to both sample into, and play the sounds in the dt through midi (either mono or poly, this can be set in the dt), and go midi out of the DT to the sp, which can in turn also be used to route all audio through for fx.

Synth(audio and midi)—>DT(audio and midi)—>SP

This allows for all kinds of workflow options, including making a cool patch on your synth, sampling it in the DT, and playing it polyphonic through the sp fx. This simple setup can basicly do most of the things you can imagine.

There are plenty of options for small keyboard synths in the sub 400 pricerange, including the korg monologue, behringer ms-1, arturia microfreak, novation bass station 2 etc. You should check if they work well as a midicontroller for the DT though.

Good luck with your setup!


You can bought a second hand monologue which give you a synth a keybord and a cool and special seq for 150 e! Black is so sexy!

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I’d say you’ve got sampling and sequencing very nicely covered.

Don’t bin the Volca Beats just yet. Aside from the snare it’s a great sounding true analog drum synth with some hands-on control which can be sequenced by or sampled into the Digitakt. Digitakts need drum food and the Volca can supply some nice beet salad (see what i did there?).

With the gear you have, if i wanted something new using the cash from a td-3 and a couple hundred extra moola, I’d get something polyphonic with it’s own effects like:

  • Microkorg
  • Ultranova
  • Blofeld

If you can squeeze another couple hundred you’re into Minilogue XD / Digitone territory which are arguably better, but there’s always something better for 200 extra at every price point :joy:

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Thank you for all of the great responses!! It seems to me that the general consensus is that I should get a synth, which I agree is probably the best route to go. I think I am going to have to cap my purchase at $500, despite how much I would love a digitone. With that in mind, it seems like I have some research ahead of me, starting with some of the various suggestions made here. Does anyone have any particularly strong feelings towards mono or poly being the better option for my situation? It seems like there was about a 50/50 split in the responses. Also, is anyone familiar with the 0-Coast? I’ve seen some recommendations for it as a companion to the digitakt and it looks pretty sweet… might not hurt to learn a little about modular as well…

Thanks again for all of the help - this is an awesome community!

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You can go in the middle with a paraphonic synth like the Microfreak.

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I would personally go poly if you can, when using Single Cycle waveformson the DT you can get some really nice mono synth sounds. If you’re capping at $500 I’d give a look at the ROLAND MC 101 used or on sale. Small, tons of presets, and flexibility for track choice. Plus you could use it with Batteries along side the 404 for a banging travel set up.

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do you own an ipad? lots of great synth apps for that that will beat out most sub-500€ poly synths in my book. You could get an audio interface for it (ideally with midi in/out ports. Such can be had from 100€ onward) and then you could sequence (and tweak!) your synth apps from the Digitakt.

For 500€ however you can get some nice analog monosynth options. The mentioned 0-Coast is an interesting companion to the DT. Personally, I LOVE the Dreadbox stuff. So a Dreadbox Erebus (great for bass and leads) or a NYX (great for pads and sfx) will each come in sub 500€ and are LOTS of synth for the money. Heck, for 500€ you could possibly even find a used Elektron Analog 4 Mk1, which can be four mono synths or one 4-voice polyphonic synth in one. Plus it can also be repurposed as a nice drum synth. So you’d cover most bases. At the used prices A4s can be had for, value-for-money is almost criminally good. (This would probably be my No. 1 recommendation if you can find one)

On the polysynth side of things, a Waldorf Blofeld could be a good option. Some people love them, others hate their UI as it isn’t entirely hands on (depending on what one expects from a hardware unit here). Personally I like the Blofelds and they are versatile.
if you don’t mind the toy-ish feel, a Novation Mininova or a Korg MicroKorg could also be an option and you’d have some money to spare. Or a Korg Minilogue maybe if you like the sound of that.

Depending on where you live (ie is there a market or not), I’d highly recommend considering buying used. With the synths recommended here, you’d have to be cautious only with the Blofeld, as that one tends to have issues with its encoders.

Tell us a little more about what sort of music you enjoy making and then maybe we can provide you with more focused recommendations :slight_smile:


I was in this same position recently. Started with a DT, wanted a poly so got a used Blofeld. It sounded great, and being able to fill up the 8 midi slots was awesome. But I didn’t click with the UI, so I traded it for a circuit ms.
I like the MS, and it has been a better “starter” synth for me, but I miss the polyphony, and I’m ready for more again, so I have a digitone coming any day. I’m giddy.
Bottom line, Waldorf Blofeld is a great option, but double check that you like the UI.

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Volca beats snare is sweat imo. I would suggest to buy recorder like zoom h5 for example if you really feel you need to spend some money.

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Field recorder is not a bad shout at all. Neither is just making some music with the current setup. I’ve made plenty of stuff with only my Digitakt.

The mono / para / poly debate is really subjective. Whatever suits your style of music and your workflow really.

I suggested a poly because of flexibility. You’d get a convincing ‘mono bass’ sound out of any of the synths I listed, but you wouldn’t be able to do a 6/8 voice evolving pad on a mono/para without time spent layering long samples and using external effects… But if what you need for example is a dedicated bass or lead machine with balls, then a Blofeld isn’t the perfect solution.

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I’ve seen the Bassststation 2 on a few brilliant you tube performances recently with your type of small setup 404 etc.
It’s not a groove box and has more of a 1 knob per function ,plus the keys - and it sounds good! I’d go for this over microkorg or monologue. Digitone is amazing but you may have more variety in ui with BS2.

Most important is if you like the sound and ui rather than if its mono/poly.
Get into a shop and check out some of the suggestions like micro freak/korg etc.

I’d keep the volca beats a while and sample it up before selling, I also liked the suggestion to get to know this set up straight away without the need to buy immediately, then add your synth in 2 months or so.

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Digitone all day everyday. The DT, and DN are one of the greatest couples in the history of time (Marc Anthony and Cleopatra got nothing on them, Romeo and Juliet only wish they could have what the DT and DN share). Amazing amounts of power and versatility, and can fit in a briefcase. Now, with that said, less is more, and as someone who has done the complete opposite early on, learn both machine you have inside out. It’s not exciting, but you’ll find that with what you’ve got, you have an amazing amount of production possibilities. The DT can be anything you want it to be. It’s one of my favorite bits of gear. If you loop a sound wave, you can turn it in to a synth. If you use the plocks, you can make really interesting and evolving beats with just one track. Explore all that is possible with what you got, then…buy a DT.

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Digitone - super pairing with DT and you can use its master overdrive to great effect. Suggested routing: DT > DN > 404 to use 404s fx at the end and then route 404 back into DT for resampling. I have the same setup including AH at the very end - both composition and sound design options are endless!

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Wow, so many more great responses, thank you!! I think the last several have pushed me in the proper direction - which is that I need to master what I have first before aimlessly searching for the next piece of gear. My girlfriend will also be happy to know that I’m going to keep her gift for the time being and sample up some drums from the Volca. I think I’ll have a better idea of what will fit best in my set-up once I know it inside and out. Given my current love for the DT, I might just have to hold out for the Digitone like others have suggested. Wish me luck and thanks again :slightly_smiling_face:


Goodluck J
And I’m glad your girl will see you using the gift too ,I understand :relieved:

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Good luck J Wilson and good decision!

Almost a year of practically daily use and the Digitakt still surprises me all the time, and definitely get into the single-cycle stuff with it… it’s a very respectable mono / bass synth that makes my Minilogue XD quiver in it’s boots.

Good idea to keep the Beats, I’m thinking about getting one myself for battery operated drum/beer sessions in the garden while I’m off work!

Dust the td-3 off too and dive into it, p-lock it with the Digitakt via CC I bet it’ll blow your mind.


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Broke out the beats earlier while sitting outside and it was fun as hell - you should definitely get one!

Thank you for the tips by the way, could you go into what you were saying about the td3 a little more?