(Digitone vs Model:Cycles) with digitakt

I own digitakt and love the workflow. I have been interested in digitone since getting digitakt however with the announcement of cycles I’m wondering if that would be a nice alternative to allow me to buy some effects pedals or something.

Is the digitone very deep compared to cycles when you already have a digitakt, or is digitone still worth it?



It’s extremely deep compared to M:C but it’s more a question of immediacy versus sound designing power. Both would be great with your DT, especially as you can pass the audio through the DT’s master compressor too. Though I do prefer (when I still had DT) to go the other way to preserve the DN’s stereo effects. I’ve never owned M:C, btw, for full disclosure.

Edit: DT inputs don’t go through compressor. DN send effects and master distortion definitely affect inputs tho

Depends on where you want to go. Either would be a killer choice to go with the DIgitakt. Do you want more immediacy and something which feels more geared towards rhythm? I’m seeing a lot you can do with the Cycles than just beats though but it’s light compared to where you can go with the DN. I’m getting the Cycles because I can’t get enough of sculpting my own percussive hits, and then I can use the DT for more sound mangling, longer samples and getting more into chopping vocals.

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If you ask me… totally different machines DN and MC. Different approach. If you can afford it get a DN if you have a DT. The MC has some really nice sound - but I wouldn’t say that DN and MC sound similar at all (to my ears).

Agree they are different machines. It could be said though that the tone machine might be useful for someone just getting into FM. “2 OP ehhhh… wonder what I could do with 4!”

Again it’s the immediacy of percussive sounds I think is where this one will shine. I don’t see many people buying the DN exclusively for percussion duty (but I do see LOTS of peeps -ending up there- )

The DT can do both pretty well. sample based percussion and mangling and with single cycle waveforms you can make some awesome melodic stuff.

So I guess the question to the OP is: where do you feel the DT either needs a boost (for your style of producing) or where do you want the immediacy that you don’t get on the DT that either the DN or the M:C will help you get to?

I’m a fan of FM since using operator in ableton a lot.
I prefer to use digitakt as a percussion sampler and then I was hoping to use digitone as a polyphonic tone box. Chords etc and also maybe some lead sounds.

I have a bunch of other gear but I’ll probs sell it as I dont use much. I use the digitakt every day and wanted something similar. I’ll probs get a keystep to play too, does cycles actually allow for polyphonic input. I’ve seen the “chord” machine but cant see of that’s still just mono trigging a preset chord

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Yeah, if you want to be free in your choice of chords instead of picking from a list, there’s no question that you’ll want the DN out of the two.

Edit: not to mention the depth in sound design and potential.

If you wanted to sample stuff onto the Digitakt, from the Digitone you’ll have much more to feed it


When was audio through DT compressor added, I thought it was low level mono monitoring only,( still dont understand why it has to be so quiet compared to the audio tracks).

@digimatt Yeah I was wondering the same thing. The audio in on the Digitakt is totally useless to route external gear through other than to record mono samples on the Digitakt.

It’s pass-through and mono only, while the Digitone offers full stereo pass-through with FX.
My Analog Four Mk2 offers this too.

It’s actually a bit dissapointing that the Digitone has this and not the Digitakt, so I hope they manage to add this to the Digitakt in a future firmware update.


No polyphonic input / output IIRC. Chord machine is preset chord types and inversions based off the root note. If you want polyphonic tone then I think the DN is the way to go for sure.

For me, I’m not a KB player, and plan on using the M:C for percussion sculpting and very light bass / melody duty. I think with you, already owning a lot of other gear, and wanting melody and chords and polyphony, you might be disappointed in the lack of depth of the M:C - so I’d recommend DN all the way! I really doubt you’ll be disappointed. The muscle memory is pretty much already there if you already get along with the DT. That’s the path I took and was pretty blown away. I still have not learned to harness 1/4 of the Digitone’s power and it’s still pretty quick if you want it to be that way and deep if you want to dive and explore.

Good luck with your choice and hope you make some great bleeps and bloops when you get either!

The thing is, if you use overbridge you can actually use the digitakt inputs as 2 mono ins. So it defo can work, as in the stereo isnt summed by hardware alone. They just need to make it possible in the digitakt itself!


@JPM That is exactly how it’s currently implemented on the Digitakt.

You could connect two Analog synths to the Digitakt and it will then pass it through as one combined mono signal.

The difference is that on the Digitone ( and the Analog Four Mk2, which I actually own) the Inputs go through the FX track as two separate Mono channels and via the Panning option, you can pan the left Mono to hard left and the right Mono channel to hard right and so effectively pass through a stereo signal from a Stereo device.

On the Digitakt this does not happen. It just converts the stereo signal to the outputs as Mono to both L/R when enabling monitoring in the Sampling section.
It bypasses the FX track completely.

So even if you see two separate Mono tracks in Overbridge, I doubt it’s a split signal, since the two inputs get immediately converted to a single Mono signal. At least that is my understanding and people’s complain about the Digitakt compared to the Digitone’s Line IN capabilities.

You do get the 2 separate mono signals in overbridge with digitakt which is nice. But it also shows that you could in theory get the 2 signals in the digitakt too if they can figure it out!

I sincerely hope this is in the works for them. Not being able to send the line in to the fx is a maddening decision. I would gladly sacrifice the ability to sequence on one of the 8 tracks if it meant I could run a synth through the compressor! Please Elektron!

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@YKK I think before Digitone, Elektron might have thought the LINE IN through FX was reserved for their high end line-up like the Octatrack, etc.

But then they included the feature to the Digitone. Then it really doesn’t make any sense anymore to not add it to the Digitakt. Since this feature makes much more sense for the Digitakt to have than the Digitone.


DN is vast. Buy it and sample it’s drum sounds into the DT, then you have retrig (which you can totally do a work around on the DN and make that happen, it’s way easier to sample it)
The DN is an immensely gorgeous instrument.
It stands alone. Paired with the DT it’s well runs so deep… it’s like standing on the edge of a huge height and getting vertigo looking down into the chasm…
Get the DN.


Its probably mostly down to what you are most interested in from a device. While the MC isnt only a for drums it is certainly drum focused, percussion and fx focused, it is a bit crunchier of an FM than the Digitone and a bit less transparent on how the waves are actually interacting to make a sound. Digitone is more focused on melody, chords, lead, bass but it can also do percussion. It can’t do the exact same percussion as the MC to my knowledge but it can get close to many of the sounds. Cycles seems like a weirder more limited device which attracted me too it but it might frustrate you if that isn’t what you are after. Really you can already make awesome full songs on a Digitakt on its own, it pretty much pairs great with anything so just pick whatever seems like the most fun at the moment.


Thanks for that! The melodies/chords part is what I’m drawn to as I find I can do full songs on digitakt but would like some poly without having to resemble everytime a chord changes shape :slight_smile: looking like DN is for me! I just bought a keystep in preparation for gettin a DN next month hehe

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Great thread!
I was banging my head on the wall all day trying to decide between these two… think I’ll go for the DN.

You are wrong. They are 100% seperate in overbridge