Newbie - Cant get my Keys to play another MIDI synth

I thought the OP was talking about the A4K… I’ll get my coat! :rofl:


Fair enough, some forums are pretty harsh. So maybes I took it wrong. I’m pleased if so.

Ill get settings soonest.

What setting do you all want exactly? Everything on the MIDI config pages?

Like I say im not a newbie to music tech. Been around since the 90s. So I’ve done all the obvious stuff. Like set MIDI out to MIDI not din sync, set up different channels and such and experimented.

If I plug in another synth and it works right off the bat. Not sure why the Keys being problematic

Ok, so I press the MIDI button and T1. If I press the MIDI button again then I get a sound from the DT as expected as its triggering its internal sound. So I hit MIDI again and nothing from the DT whats good as it proves im in the right mode however nothing from my drum machine either.
So now I unplug the MIDI cable from the back of the DT into another MIDI keyboard and trigger drum machine from the other keyboard. Instantly the Drum machine plays.

So Now I re plug the cable back into the DT MIDI Out and now plug into another MIDI keybaords input. Again just like with the drum machine nothing at all. I play on the other keyboards keys and it plays first time. Only when I play it from the DT keys is there nothing.
This proves to me its not the cable and its not the instruments. Its the Keys.

So, onward with the keys settings.

Not sure what settings you fellas are after and there seems to be many. So here goes

Func > MIDI config

Ignored for now.

Turbo Speed = Off
Out port Func = MIDI
Thru port func = MIDI
Input from = MIDI+USB
Output from = MIDI+USB
Output Ch = Auto
Param output = CC
Encoder DST – MW/PB = Int
Receive Notes – Receive CC – Ticked

Track 1-4 = 1-4
MIDI 1-4 = 5-8
FX Cont channel = 9
Auto channel = 10
Prog CHG in and out = Auto
Multi Map ch = off

Slot = 1
MIDI Ch = Auto
Control Knobs = CC
Data Knobs = CC
Keyboard – Data Knobs = Int+Ext
MW PB – Transport = Int

From those 2 posts, you are sending on Channel 10 (Autochannel) but your Drum machine is on Channel 1.

What if you set the MIDI Ch to 1 in the MIDI EXT menu or the Autochannel to 1 in the Channels menu?

I’m sure this will sound ridiculous, but have you physically selected the track key associated with the midi channel that you’ve set up for the drum machine by pressing the midi button and then choosing the track key which the midi channel is assigned to? you should be able to verify the channel using the syn1/syn2 keys

Did you switch the keyboard to MIDI controller mode? (See post #4 or #5 in this thread)

And then press Func and press down the first encoder on first page (Syn1), to activate the Channel control, set that to the channel you want to send on.

All the other MIDI settings in the menus are irrelevant for this.

(This is the most common problem people hit on Digitone, including me)




This has to be the most un-intuitive thing I have come across in 30 years of music tech!!! I speak Roland, Yamaha, Akai, Casio, Lexicon, Aleisis, Ensoniq, Nord and many more OS’s fluently. But this is crazy!!
Why oh why do you have to enable an encoder when I have at this point no intention of using an encoder???

Yes thanks its all working now. Thanks so so much Johnl. I feel relived as I would never in a million years have come across the the ‘fix’ for this.

This should be a sticky! Surely this catches everyone out?

Dont mean to be a dick but not sure why this wasn’ the first answer? Its obvious no one new to Elektron will know this as it makes no bloody sence at all.

Thanks to all who tried. Thanks to Johnl for the most obvious fix. Big THANK YOU too all.

On another note. (pun)
Another thing thats bugging me. Someone here mentioned Auto channel is channel 10. So how is that Auto anything? Its just channel 10? No ? I mean, whats auto about that?

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that’s how you set the midi channel on every other elektron machine to SEQUENCE external gear.
if you want to PLAY another midi synth with your keyboard (not sequenced) there are methods mentioned before.
auto channel = the keyboard always plays the selected track

no one is a mind reader. just people guessing at what the first guy didn’t do.


Eh? Surely the sequencer and you playing live are one and the same? No

Gear hasent a clue what tells it to play. It thinks of MIDI as the same as a human hitting keys. So surely they all have to be set to the same channel?

So now I play into the sequencer where I can hear my drum machine and record it in the DT sequencer. When I play back the sequencer it plays the exact same thing I just played in.

But forget it.
It seems, you are happy now - that’s the most important

Yeah been making some music tonight instead of bringing on a migraine trying to get MIDI to work haha.

Ive had a few other hickups. Couldnt work out how to get delay and reverb off the separate channels. I knew they were sends and not inserts. But could I hell find the menu. As you probs know its Amp but you have to hit it twice. I couldn’t see anything on the LCD to say there was another page.

So getting there. Must say it’s way more fun than an old FM synth like a DX100 or DX7. Thoroughly enjoying the DT. It doesnt do anything new sonically, but it does it in a much better way. Loving the sequencer too, now that I can use it for MIDI. Think ill sell my MPC JJOS.

It’s caught me a couple of times. The Octatrack and Syntakt both require this step for the MIDI output channels. Presumably the Digitakt too.

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Digitone keys user here: Yes, the way midi is implemented on the dtk seemed very odd to me in the begining too, but now i love its flexability. Couple of things to watch out for…
. midi controls can be set to internal only, external only, or both. This can be set seperatly for keyboard, encoders and the mod/pitch wheel.

The other thing that confused me initially, and this is specific to the dtk, that it has a seperate ext midi performance mode with its own setup menu. The idea being that ext midi can be sequenced and playing in all 4 tracks, and you can still run a performance on the ext mode on a midi channel of your choosing. Even one that is already on a track.

It does take a bit of getting used to toggleing between digitone track 1-4 sequencing and midi track 1-4 sequencing, but its worth it for a total of 8 tracks.

oh and i’d reccomend reading the manual on global mutes and pattern mutes which is all done on the 4 track keys for both dtk seq and midi seq and i found that super confuzzelling.

Hi mate,

Thanks for the tips. Ill look into all of them that you mentioned. Appreciated.

Yeah I know in these days of infinite everything and forums like gearslutz that perpetuate owning everything im the direct opposite. I like a very minimal set up.

So it has to be the MPC or the DT for me. I dont want two sequencers. The MPC is a way better sequencer in many respects. But the DT much better live. But either way I don’t want two.

I really like the sound of the DT. Awesome. And I have a good hardware sampler (like most my gear, I have owned since the early 90s). I acctually like the 4 tracks of MIDI limit. I always work better within limitations. Give me a DAW and ill twiddle my thumbs. The sheer power in one bog standard version of Ableton Live 4 is way more the any studio of the 80s. Yet I just get no where fast. I hear Fatboy Slim is exactly the same. So there is two of us haha

Id have loved a DT with separate outs whilst were disguising overlap. Only way to get this was with the keys version hence my purchase. Iys yet another keyboard grrrrrrrr. Think I may sell it and buy 2 x DTs just for the outputs. Not sure why Elektron dont make expansion boards. Like Akai used to for their budget spec’d samplers. Such as the S2000 and such.
Separate outs a must for me. Dont care how good the FX are built in. I dont spend a fortune on a hardware reverb to be confined to a box.

EDITED - Before any replies below.

yeh i hear you. 4 stereo outs is a major deal for some. Although personally i’ve discovered through trial and error that i work best staying within the confines of all the elekron boxes just chaining audio+midi in and out untill i’ve got a few finished compositions i want to print, and then i record using overbridge into bitwig. I’ve managed to get latency down very low to the extent where i can multitrack every channel from the dnk, dt, syntkt and use ah2 as an insert all over usb. No editing, just tidy it up with better fx.

Yeah different folks different strokes. I know about overbridge but have no interest in computers. To me computers are everything these days. I just dont want it in my music also.

I was thinking I could use my sampler to bail me out. ha. Thats what it has been for 25 years to me now. A bail out machine. Use it for saving sounds on analogues I own that don’t have patch memories. I dont see why I couldn’t sample loops of the DT and use the samplers outputs… As said I have analogue filters and FX up to my eyeballs for what I need. So don’t need to be confined to the box of DT with its (in my view) stingey stereo outs.