New EP Made With Digitakt + Workflow Tips

Yesterday I released an EP of some songs made on my Digitakt since I first bought it 6 months ago. About 90-95% of the sounds are from the DT, with a few layers added in the DAW. There are often questions around here about workflow for finishing songs on the DT, so I’ll share what I did this time around as well as my thoughts about what worked and what I’d change. First, here’s the project for anyone interested in listening:

I started by just playing around at first, with no intention of releasing anything I made. Because of that, most of the music was made in single pattern loops (as I progressed, I started adding new patterns with variations for some of them). I used Overbridge to record the patterns into Studio One, looped them and played around with muting various parts to create the basic arrangements. In retrospect, I’d spend more time fleshing out different sections/variations on the DT during the writing phase, then finishing the details of the structure in the DAW for ease of arrangement.

Once I had the basic structure for the song, I made any final tweaks to the sound of the tracks on the DT and recorded them one at a time, essentially re-creating the structure I laid out in the DAW and adding some minor performative elements to some of the tracks. I used quite a lot of effects and dynamic panning in the DT, so I often just recorded the main out using OB with all other tracks muted to preserve the stereo image.

Sometimes if a dry source was mono I’d record the individual track from OB and use the main out to record the reverb/delay sends at the same time. Pro tip: since OB does some weird things with gain structure, I discovered that setting your track level on the DT mixer page to 74 will output the dry signal in the individual OB track at the exact same level as the main output (with master buss compressor off). This can be used to print dry and effects tracks at the same time, retaining the balances you set in the DT. Not sure if I explained that very clearly, but it came in handy a lot.

Because I was recording individual tracks, I turned off my master buss compressor on the DT and used Vulf Compressor in the DAW instead. Most of the other mix processing in the DAW was basic EQ to clean things up and some tape + console style saturation, but I actually did very little to most of the tracks. For as reverb and delay, I’d say I ended up using about 75% DT - 25% DAW. Mastering involved a little EQ to match the overall tone of the tracks and some clipping for volume.

Alright, probably going on a bit too long but here are a couple final thoughts:

  • I wish I had performed the DT more as I recorded the parts. When I did it was lots of fun, and when I didn’t I ended up spending a lot of time on the DAW trying to add movement and variation to parts.

  • Going forward, I’ll likely start writing with the DT hooked up to OB so I can include the DAW in the writing process as soon as I work out a basic idea on the DT. Since I know that’s where I’ll end up, it just makes more sense. The DT shines for laying out ideas, but kind of sucks for finishing them (as you likely know).

Hope this is helpful info for someone! Feel free to ask questions about the process, I’ll do my best to answer.


your EP sounds great! Really nice vibes.

Ah, thanks, a really good tip! I often find I lose some of the feel after tracking stuff into the DAW and have to work super hard to bring it back, and often don’t quite get there.

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Thank you!

Wow. That’s just great.

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