Newbie to Elektron

Hi all-

Been lurking around, great forum here.

Been a rock guitar player most my life but have become more interested in electronic music in the last couple years. Broken Bells, Postal Service, Dntel, Gorillaz, Radiohead.

Using Logic Pro X with Arturia Labs as well as VCV Rack. They are good but I really like hands on.

With that, I have accumulated a TR-505, Casio RZ-1, Behringer Model D, PO-12, Beatstep, M-Audio midi controller and a tascam 464 that I use as a poor mans melotron ala Alessandro Cortini.

Looking to expand/streamline/improve and the Elektron line up seems to come up a lot in searches.

My workflow:
Since I am a hack, part time musician, I record midi in Logic, then tweak sounds. I like having the safety net. For drums I use Ultrabeat.

Looking at the Analog Keys as a synth to compliment the Boog. Be great to have a second controller as well given my home studio layout. Any thoughts on that pairing? Complement each other?

Also, interested in the digitakt. Really like the idea of consolidating drums to one area. I love the Casio, the sampling on it is great in a lofi way, can the Digitakt do that? The 505 is basic but reliable. Could 100% sample those sounds, no need to keep it. I also like the idea of the digitakt as a live tool. I have been using Mainstage, perhaps the Digitakt can take some of the load off that.

Just curios to chat with the crew here, get to know the products better as they seem to fit my needs. Sadly, no dealers in Colorado to put my hands on one.


Can only really comment on the Digitakt, and have no experience with any of the equipment you’ve mentioned, but will say it is a great machine. I’ve gone through a lot of equipment and have never really been so completely satisfied with one piece of equipment as I am with the Digitakt. It is a great quality instrument and has a lot of versatility beyond just being a “drum machine.”

However one thing you need to know, coming from a guitar player perspective, is that it is designed to be a very hands-on instrument. It has no song mode (does have pattern chaining, but can’t save the chains after powering off), it’s not really designed for “press play and forget it” usage. You mention the idea of using it as a live tool and that could imply two TOTALLY different things :slight_smile: If you mean playing the Digitakt live, then yes, that’s exactly what it’s meant for. Not that it has to demand ALL your attention, but I’m sure even for a “minimal attention” situation you would at least want to change patterns, tweak some parameters here and there, maybe use some fills etc. If you mean having the Digitakt play something while you play guitar, probably not the best option for that.

Regarding sampling, I don’t think there’s really much in the way of sample settings to get lo-fi sample quality. It’s kind of just, “hit record and go” and is actually a pretty high quality sound in my opinion. There’s a bitcrusher effect but that’s probably not exactly what you’re looking for.

1 Like

Welcome to the forum! I love the RZ-1. Had one years ago and sometimes wish I still did :slight_smile:

I love my Digitakt and the lack of song mode doesn’t bother me but it might bother you. Hard to say. I like my Octatrack even more and it does have a song mode. The A4 is also awesome. Wish I had one :slight_smile:

Thanks for the feedback.

The Casio is really great, the sampler just makes everything gritty.


Is massive. And takes up a ton of room.

I’m traveling to Chicago and LA soon, couple of dealers there I can check out.

1 Like

I have the AK and it is a very capable midi controller. The only thing I’d say is it’s probably bigger than a dedicated midi controller but the fact you get a killer synth with daw integration is a nice bonus :upside_down_face:

Edit: Also they seem to be the most common Elektron on the used market so there some pretty incredible deals. Not sure why that is.

1 Like

Last time I was in LA I went to Perfect Circuit. Went in to get an fx box, walked out with an Octatrack. Very dangerous place for the wallet :slight_smile:


Welcome to this place …

Having the AK myself, I would say that for me the unique selliing points have been that this synth is four independent synth machines in one box, each with very versatile sound design features, and each with a very deep step sequencer ala Elektron.

Soundwise it’s a synth engine in it’s own right. It’s not even trying to copy the old analogue legends of the past like Moog, Oberheim, Sequential, ARP etc. We have some posts here in the forum complaining about this fact. For me this was also a selling point, for others it was a disappointment.

The A4/AK has four synth engines and allows a 4 voice polyphony. It’s working fine and the voice allocation is very versatile. But, if I compare the A4/AK with synths like Jupiter-8, the Prophets, or one of the 16-voice poly-synths from Sequential or Korg, IMO, the A4/AK is better used as a 4 voice multi-timbral instrument, rather than a typical source for ambient long evolving pads, which often consist of more than 4 notes,

Digitakt is a lot of value stuffed in a little box.
Apart from being a very hands on drum machine, you can (mono) sample your synths, midi control external gear, fx are good!

That is why I’m interested, taking a load off logic and keep workflow same across the board.

This is a hard decision to recommend.

As a music player, you might get more use out of the Analog Keys- as it’s more performative. The keys and the jogwheel are going to be :fire: but one of the really magical things about the Analog Keys are the Perf macros- which, if you program them right they’re absolutely magical and take your patterns into space(the jogwheel macros will effectly be the same) but it might be tedious to actually configure them for each kit.

The Digitakt, less performative and the performance macro requires no prior setup- patterns can be more diverse as using samples and single cycle waveforms- in addition to that the thing is pretty on-the-fly and immediate.

Whichever you choose, you’ll definitely be pleased.

If you get that special Midi cable and a controller, you can rig the DT up to be 8 voice poly with single cycle waveforms(which you can push some boundaries with a little bit of creativity in configuring)


I’m thinking the AK AND the Digitakt to take the brunt of my work.

circuit bend the TR505 and the Casio, buy

1 Like

a cheap 2nd hand A4 and send triggers to tr and midi to others!

1 Like

That sounds to be a good idea: melody, harmony, rhythm … synth, sampler in a small rig.