Digitakt as songwriter tool?

I would like to hear experiences of writing songs with digitakt.

I currently own Rytm, but I would need more a sampler style machine, that I could sample for example a 4 bar guitar loop. Also I would like to create song-performances / backing track with multiple parts. I would use also MIDI-synths as part of the performance.

How usable is the Digitakt pattern chaining to create a song structure? I mean I would like to have classical song structure: intro, A, B and C parts.

I’ve tried to find some videos on this topic but I cannot find anything. If you have any video-demos of how to use Digitakt as songwriter tool, I’m totally interested.

The chaining isn’t really suited for what you want. You can’t save chains. And the DT certainly isn’t a looper in the sense you’re thinking


Octatrack can do that all


Yeah, I wouldn’t recommend it for your purposes at the moment because it doesn’t have a song mode (can’t save pattern changes). This may or may not change with firmware updates, but we don’t know at the moment.


Yeah- if you’re going to go Elektron, you’re going to want the Octatrack. The Digitakt will not be suitable for your purposes


Thanks for all the answers, this cleared my GAS 110%. You are awesome.


I agree with the above, but would like to add that the only major blocker is the apparent lack of a proper song mode, that chains your tracks together. Other than that, the Elektron sequencer in general is very well suited for creating more complex song structures, and certainly for the kind where the separation of the different parts are clear.

I’ve approached them all with the same workflow, which is this, no matter if it’s an Octatrack, a Digitakt or currently an Analog Four MKII -

I come up with ideas. I put them into patterns long or short, and make variations of those patterns as far as it takes me. I’m very specific about their location. Section A is for ideas only, for example.

But once I got something that I feel, okay, this is the start of a song - I copy that pattern into a section of its own. Say, B? Something that’s not A. And whenever I’m in that section, I work on the structure, pacing, timing of the track, the details of the harmonics. That part is for structure and song design.

Whenever I need to go back and experiment, try ideas, and don’t want to mess with what’s already solid in section B - I go back to section A. Nothing can go wrong there, no experiments or attempts at whatever, are wrong. Anything that works, I lift out and put into section B.

So there’s a circular workflow between two defined parts, one being for experiments and ideas and sketches, and one for solid structure. Anything that ends up there, is part of something that should get finished. Anything that’s in the other part, can live or die by the second, mutate or warp, become something else, deleted or magnificent.


I see that the lack of saving pattern changes is the total blocker for me. I would like to work on “complete” songs like one can do with many Elektron machines. And when playing guitar and singing it’s quite tedious to change the patterns manually through the song.

Do you guys think that DT would work in this case if it had proper song structure saving? I’ve understood that patterns work well, but the problem lies now in the chaining / saving the chain? If so, I think there’s a clear feature request for Elektron!

I’m just trying to find a way to avoid DAW / working with computers. Octratrack might be the correct choice but it’s a too far reach in budget sense.

It would. It did for me, at least. Though it’s a clear position from Elektron to not include it. It does make the purpose of the Digitakt even more defined, as a more straight-forward live instrument. I wouldn’t bet on them implementing a song mode in the Digitakt.

But a second hand Octatrack MKI isn’t too far away from a brand new Digitakt in price. And the OT MKI runs the same OS as the MKII. The OT MKI is a smashing piece of excellent genius gear.

And in price, the leap between a new Digi and a second hand OT MKI isn’t huge. So that might be an option to consider.


If anyone wants to be too nice, please check out the MIDI commands coming from the machine when changing pattern? :slight_smile: Manual doesn’t mention any CC’s for pattern change but maybe it could be implemented still.

One idea would be to change the pattern changes by feet from pedal controller…

Each of the Elektron instruments that includes a sequencer allows the pattern to be changed using MIDI Program Change messages.


Woah! This is a big hmm :cb:

There’s apparently a problem with changing patterns, in that it changes patterns a bar too late or something, there’s a thread about it somewhere in here. But as i mentioned, the other thing to consider is that you mentioned looping, and as far as I know, and I would looove for someone to correct me on this, the digitakt is noe easy to create perfect loops with. It doesn’t timestretch, there’s no input for a foot controller, essentially you have to prepare loops in a daw or something else and then transfer them to the DT. You can create loops in the DT, but it’s not a swift operation.

But again, love to be corrected on this :slight_smile:

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I’m not really looking for a looper. I just would like to record a few bars from audio input and then program it into the sequence (which makes it in sync).

But that’s really valuable information that there is some kind of problem with pattern changing. In video posted by @bruin it seems to work well. And it also proves there is a CC command for pattern changing too, I was just too hasty to understand it first.

Yeah, that looping workflow should work fine. I would recommend you do a search on the forum about pattern change on the digitakt. There are some threads about it, and there is a bug mentioned about changing patterns from a DAW and some sort of delay. It will probably be fixed, but this seems integral to the workflow you’re imagining so you should make sure you know of any shortcomings and bugs before taking the plunge.


well said :slight_smile:


look this…i use the digi for master control…i used…Digitakt, AK, Korg R3 and Waldorf Streichfett