Elektron Accessibility Keys


I recently suffered a pretty bad stroke and lost the use of my left arm and left leg. As a result I decided to sell my guitars and amps and re-invest in some “small box” synth hardware that I could control using one hand.

I’ve been noodling about with quite a few different boxes, M-32, Pro-1, Volca FM & Beats, Strymon NightSky & Timeline plus a Korg SQ-1 which I really enjoyed. The issue is that all these boxes, although compact, still require lots of desktop logistics, cable routing etc and even with one good hand, a multi-box synth setup is still a pain to setup and use.

I had a deep dive into Logic too, that was fairly straightforward but I much prefer the outboard gear.

I’ve been contemplating a Digitakt/Digitone setup for some time as the form factor is great and the onboard effects and sequencing really appeal to me.

So I recently bought a Model:Cycles to try out but I just didn’t truly get along with it; it sounded good but didn’t suck me in as i’d hoped and it felt vague, plasticky and unfriendly.

Will my Model:Cycles experience be similar with the Digitakt or are they quite different beasts?



Welcome here!!

The Digitakt experience is quite different: the sound is ace, and you basically get what you feed it with (plus the mangling possibilities, which are many).

The workflow is IMO a bit better, but it’s still a step sequencer, you have to accept how it works (e.g. a bunch of values triggered at the same time for one step, not more).
Live Recording is fun, and editing in Grid mode is rather cool, so if you’re ok with the workflow, it should be good.

One thing though: there are shortcuts that require, or at least are easier with two hands, e.g. holding a trig and entering the value with an encoder, that is used a lot…

I am unsure how possible it is to use the machine totally one-handed, but for this the fact that the Digi series as two rows of trigs instead of 1 long one should be better than, for instance, the Analog series or the Octatrack.
Maybe you can find your own way through, though.



Thanks for the response. I’ve looked at the size of the Digitakt and I think I can manage…just. There’s a bit of a functionality trade off but where there’s a will…buttering toast is a comedy of errors!

Anybody know if the FUNCTION/ALT keys can be latched in the setup menu?


Unfortunately func / tRK cannot be latched. But reading your message I immediately thought you could try to position the digitakt slightly skewed. That way it will become easier to use your thumb to hold FUNC or a trig and move an encoder or press another button. Might take bit to get used to looking at a slightly angled screen but it would still be readable of course. I think you’d be able to use most if not all function this way really.

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Alas not, a paperweight is a workaround some deploy for convenience (rather than necessity)

I’d honestly say that so much of the Elektron workflow leans on shortcuts (often two handed) that it could be restrictive - however, using an external controller can help with some aspects

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It might be worth looking at an iPad plus a midi controller. iOS and macOS are amazing for accessibility, and have settings that can definitely help if you’re using them one-handed.

Sticky Keys, for example, lets you hit a modifier key (shift, etc), and it sticks until you press the subsequent key. It’s built in to the OS, so should work with all software.

Drambo, on the iPad, is also usable without two hands simultaneously. And almost everything in it can be assigned to midi, or QWERTY keyboard, with a tap and then a twist.

Plugging the midi controller in will be a pain, but then again, there’s always bluetooth midi.

Thanks, I’m a web developer and use MacOS, you’re right, its brilliant for restricted use but I already spend way too much time on screen as it is.

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That’s definitely something I’ve considered and necessity is truly the mother of invention. I’ve even resorted to gripping a pen with my teeth in times of ALT key desperation!

Be great to see more manufacturers offering key latching as an option in the setup config.



Thanks, there’s always going to be a few functions that will require the wife to be dragged in to my world but its usually not a dealbreaker…

I don’t think there’s anything to rival the Digitakt/Digitone/Syntakt compact form factor that packs more functionality and does literally so much and I do scour the marketplace for stuff that looks easy to manipulate one handed.

The NDLR midi arpeggiator/chord controller looks very interesting to me as well but I really want to commit to the Elektron workflow to see how far I can push it.

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Is that an official Elektron accessory?


It’s officially some Elektron users’ accessory :sweat_smile:

I figured that it could be possible for you to hold something like this with two fingers while turning encoders with the other ones, so that you can press Func with this at any time…

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Ive only got four fingers and a thumb…lol. I’m not a bloody octopus!


I have small hands (I can’t play a tenth on a standard piano) and I can press the 9 trig with my thumb and rotate the D encoder with my pinky finger. Since the FUNC button is the one most in need of latching, and it’s on the side of the unit, perhaps a mechanical latch can be rigged (same idea as the weight, but more stable). You should contact Elektron support and see if they have any ideas; they might enjoy brainstorming.

I also got into Elektron boxes to get away from macOS, but for some reason I find using an iPad for music quite acceptable (I have a knobs/faders MIDI controller to add to both, but haven’t done so yet) and iOS apps are a real bargain. If you haven’t taken a look, you might try it and see if it also works for you.

I was also disappointed in the Model:Cycles, and the Digitakt is so much better to use. A Digitakt/Digitone combo, especially with recent firmware upgrades, is powerful and enjoyable.


Thanks mate, appreciate your response.

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I think it would be a bit hard to get secondary functions like delay, reverb etc… and use the randomizer with it because you need to hold function down then the page and then hit yes to randomize all at once… but if randomization isn’t your thing then no worries!

Writing basic tracks for recording might be easy to do but I think the more in depth performance side will be really difficult. I don’t know if there is a way to route the function key to any kind of MIDI controller. I have the digi combo and sometimes I feel I need more hands to control it sometimes.

I spend a lot of time on the Digitone. It is pretty unfriendly, imo, for one-handed operation. If you can span the key combinations between the thumb and finger of one hand, I suppose it’s doable. I will experiment with one-handed operation next time I use the Digitone, then reply to this thread. Sorry about your predicament.

I do this with one hand often actually :wink: (delay+no) it’s possible to operate digitskt pretty much entirely with one hand. And I have small hands. Though left is easier than right. But if you set up the digitakt slightly turned to the left this can be solved and will actually be easier then with right than with left :). Takes some finger gymnastics but I’m sure if you oractise that a lot it will become second nature.

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Really appreciate the honest responses and good wishes. I’m not trying to make groundbreaking live performances, I just want to keep my brain working as much as possible.