Learning OT... DT first?

Hey Elektronauts,

It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to spend any time making music with my Elektron boxes. Previously I didn’t get beyond the basic functions of the Octatrack, not for any lack of understanding (I’ve read Merlin’s guide and have the manuals printed out), it was more a function of lack of time.

With that being said, later in the year I plan on dedicating regular time to learning the workflow. I have an OTMKII as well as a Digitakt. I was considering selling the Digitakt as as a means of focusing on only one box, and I believe the OT will take care of most of my needs, but I’m curious if it might be worth learning the Digitakt first as a way of getting the “Elektron workflow” and sequencing down before deep diving into the OT.

Is there any validity to this approach or would it be more efficient just building the muscle memory up with the OT from the get go? Would love to hear your thoughts and perspectives.


Digitakt has new-breed non-linear multithreading coding techniques purpose-built to make one-shot samples be more awesome.

I hope to buy or rent a DT one day.
for the sound, the friendly interface, and the quicker interface access to fills …
another fun feature of the DT is the “function-tweak” option just like the Machinedrum has, and that feature is not available on other Elektron instruments.

the OT is next level and after the initial years of confusion, is a pleasure to work with every day.
that said, the DT has its own thing going on; the oled funky interface is quirky and quick.
also the DT filter and reverb are greatly respected/enjoyed, from all reports.

sorry but it wont work this way. Digitakt has unique workflow in Elektron universe and will not help your journey to Octatrack enlightenment. If you don’t want to learn both, you can change Digitakt for Heat or some other FX box that will compliment Octatrack.

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Don’t get rid of the Digitakt. It’s different, and both will surely play well with another.


I started with OT mk1 then got a DN and also played around with a DT for a few weeks. I have yet to even have to open the manuals on the DN or DT.

The way I put it is kinda like going from a Tenor sax to a Alto sax, the fundamentals are the same but there are also some small things that are unique to each.

This was more or less the answer I was after. I’m in no rush to get rid of the Digitakt. My motivation when I first got it was to use it as the beat machine to free up the Octatrack for sampling, sound design, and arrangement. I’m just finding I have less capacity to learn a bunch of different instruments at this point in my life so I’m leaning towards focusing on one for awhile before bringing the other in.

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There’s no better training for the thing you’re trying to do than doing the thing you’re trying to do. :slight_smile:


best strategy IMO. I usually dedicate one year for one instrument

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My theory is you could start digging into the digitakt by itself and once you get to the point where you think, “damn i wish i could…”, then it’s time to bring in the OT.


The OT is definitely worth learning well. I was ready to give up at first but stuck with it and love the machine. Really master patterns and arranger that can really make it shine as an all in one solution for live performances. I like the DT as well but wanted long term potential and the OT does way more. Merlin’s guide is very helpful to go through after you have read the Elektron manuals. That is where I am now learning how to use parts, banks and arranger to create wacky tunes.

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This is sort of the way I did it. They are both great instruments. Once I felt comfortable with the DT, I concentrated on the OT alone for around 8 months. Now I feel more comfortable on the OT than the DT, but jumping back into using the DT is much easier and takes much less practice. I think the DT only took me around a month to learn the basics. The OT will always be a learning experience, but in order to use it the way I want to use it, I need to practice and repeat procedures constantly.
And in the end, your plan to use the DT as a drum box and the OT for sample manipulation is what I have decided to use as my workflow after using both together for the last year…so, you are ahead of me already. But, honestly, learning the OT requires a lot of alone time and and hair pulling. Good luck.


DT running into OT for additional audio manipulation is excellent!

Then start messing with the DT via OT’s midi tracks, and you’ll be cooking up a strange brew in no time!

You could use one OT midi track per DT track and get some really crazy results.


Can you give a few examples what to control with the OT‘s MIDI tracks?

That would be like learning the bass so you can learn guitar.

Nothing is going to get you to learn the OT other than using it every damn day.


I tried out a DT and DN today after having my OT for a while. My goodness, I hate the crowded interface on these smaller Elektron boxes! It is too busy. Well I much prefer the layout on the larger Elektron boxes like the OT, A4 and Rythm. Plus the OT does way more.

You can use the lfos of the OT midi tracks on the DT tracks to control various parameters.

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I suggest the DT first - it is just dang fun to play and it is lower cost…
If you don’t like the DT for the workflow you may not like the OT…
But heck, i’m reasonably new to all of it and I really dig my DT.

Jut now learning the OT (last week+).
Knowing the DT really helped because the OT takes many things to a deeper level.


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last time I mentioned LFO and MIDI as a possibility someone said it‘s not a too good idea because it is just too much data and clogs signal paths.

That was in a part of a discussion regarding midi loopback, I believe. Which involves plugging the midi out of a device into the midi in of the same device.
There is no issue sending midi data from the OT to the dt.


sending nonstop 3x LFO data to all machines is not a problem? Doubt that…