Which to buy first - Digitakt or Digitone

So I’m planning to get both eventually (+ maybe A4 in more distant future), but which one should I start with?

I’m aware of the differences, mind you:

  • Digitone is an FM synth, which really appeals to me because I love the sound of FM synthesis and the way it’s laid out and (smartly) constrained makes it pretty easy to dial up interesting sounds fast, at least this is how it looks on videos :slight_smile:
  • Digitakt on the other hand is a drum-machine & sampler (up to 33s per sample), that can also be used as a simple subtractive synth due to its ability to play samples chromatically and even coming with a library of single-cycle waveforms.

Both have great sequencers with P-Locks, Conditional Triggers, per-trigger swapping of samples/presets, etc. making them much more powerful & versatile than what’s on paper. Both have the same data & project structure with +Drive, SoundPool and individual per-pattern settings, both have the ability to MIDI/CV-control external gear. The main difference is Digitakt is 8 tracks, Digitone is 4; but both have 8 voices of polyphony, so with Digitone being able to play chords and Digitakt not (unless you sample them) they’re both pretty much on par in this respect too.

I’m looking at them, because I want to liberate myself from the computer a bit & be able to use free time - of which I have very little - productively. I found two things help me get things done: a) tactile interaction with the gear and b) limitations. I discovered that when forcing myself to write some music in Live 10, but using Push2 only which encouraged me to stick to native devices (due to Push2 integration) and to use only 8 tracks so that I don’t have to scroll the session. It was a revelation to me! Now, if I can do it even without Push2 and my Surface Pro, then it gets me all excited :slight_smile:

So, which one would you start with and why? When I use a DAW I very rarely use samples (other than percussion / drum loop or occasional spoken sample). If Digitone had 8 tracks / 16 voices I’d likely not look for anything more, but buying 2 of them sounds silly hence the idea of getting Digitakt as a companion that excels in something else and has different sound. And I can always re-sample Digitone to the Digitakt when I run out of FM voices / tracks.

I’m also aware that I’m the best person to answer that question, but then maybe someone has some experiences with either (or both) that I’ve not taken into account?

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I would go with Digitakt first.
Good path to learn the Elektron way (relatively) quickly, without bothering too much about synthesis, and come up with tracks you’re happy with.
The sound is really good, even more with the compressor that was added lately.
And you can load it with the sounds you made from your computer.

Be aware of the memory limitation though : it’s really conceived as a drum sampler, with rather small samples.


They’re both awesome machines. I started with the Digitakt, but I’m really into sampling. Again, if you can only own one (for now), the DT gives you access to practically any sound you want. That was my reasoning, but I don’t think there’s a bad choice to be made here

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Thanks @LyingDalai and @Snipecatcher!

Digitakt and then Digitone seems to make a lot of sense! BTW, can one - upon connecting them via USD, I guess? - make one of them slave and the other master, so that when I’m triggering patterns in one the other follows with the same pattern in its respective project?

While I really want a Digitone at some point, my humble hardware setup is a Digitakt, Octatrack MK2, Make Noise 0 Coast and an iPad. I would think you could link DT and DN via midi and make that happen, but I’ve never tried. Never even used the arranger on my Octatrack yet, so I just switch patterns in real time by hand on both machines when they’re playing together. For some goofy reason, I just enjoy doing it that way


A couple of misconception I’m going to kinda clear up hopefully helps your decision.

The digiboxes only sequence midi, no cv capabilities.

On the digitakt the 33 second sample limit only applies to direct sampling. Utilizing the transfer app you can put far longer sample on the machine. And with conditional trigs it is possible to play these longer samples in their entirety.

At this point it is not possible to connect the boxes together using usb. They need to be connected through midi. Once connected like all elektron boxes you can make one the master and have the other’s patterns stay in sync with the master.
Additionally, you can use a midi track of the master to send program changes to the other box and creat a makeshift song mode.

I would personally go digitakt first. It’s an enjoyable and versatile machine.


Wait - you can? I was under the impression that you could only trigger program changes via midi. I need to read the manual to see how to link program changes from master to secondary. That would be neat.

Back on-topic: I’m kinda surprised everyone said DT first. I have both, and love them both. I did get DT first, but that’s more due to it being released first. Had I waited and had the choice, I’m not sure which way I would’ve gone first. Specifically, when I picked up the Digitone, I was amazed at how capable it is on its own. With the sound pool and p-locks, you can do drums on one track and use the other 3 for bass, lead, etc. That almost made me think the DT was expendable, but it’s not. The two together are really all I need for the foreseeable future (well, combined with analog heat, hehe). Bottom line is either would be a good first choice; it just depends on what your immediate need is. One is sample-based and slightly geared toward percussion, the other FM-synthesis based. You can craft full songs with either. If you like FM, Digitone makes wonderful sounds. The Digitakt has the compressor and is so intuitive and (slightly) easier to dive into than Digitone.

I guess that’s why I would agree that Digitakt is probably the better one to get first. Pick it up, learn it, then decide where you want to go.


Generally the options for this can be found under the midi settings. It definitely is there on the dt/dn. Under those setting there’s is program change send and program change receive. The “master” would have it set to send program change and the “slaves” get set to receive program changes. Then put the machines on the same auto channel (except the OT which has a prog change channel). The patterns will then stay in sync across machines.


If you plan to get both start with the DT. You have more options to create a full track available to you. The 4 tracks and 8 voices total is not enough in the DN.

Just want to make it clear that there is no timestretch in the DT since you mentioned that you work with drum loops. You will have to edit the sample in a daw before you transfer to the DT.


The Digitone is more of a stand-alone composition device, since it can do basic drums and doesn’t need outside sampling to create other sounds. You can then add better drums and other samples to your tracks later on once you have a Digitakt.

Long live team Digitone-first!
Down with team Digitakt-first!


I have and love both. If I had to get one before the other, I would probably get the Digitone.

I really like sound exploration and find myself constantly gravitating to it to create everything from drums to weird ambient soundscapes.

The Digitakt is great too and has a “sound”, but depending on your style, may or may not be the better first pick. If you are mostly sample based, it is great. There are definitely ways to make lots of synth type sounds, but no where near like what you can do with the Digitone.

Whenever I travel and pick one machine to go with me, if it’s The Digitakt, I often wish I had a synth with me. If you are a sample master though, this probably won’t be an issue.


I’m a synthesist, so I would start with the Digitone.
If you don’t consider yourself a synthesist, you may want to begin with the Digitakt instead.


I personally would go digitakt, you can always load in FM samples if you want some FM sounds before you get a digitone. I like FM but I think tracks made fully with FM sounds weak sound design wise, lots of digitone only tracks I really like but I also can’t help but feel they would be much nicer with one or two of the parts replaced with a subtractive synth or some interesting samples. With subtractive I feel like it stands on its own better, same with sampling.


Both are great. You can’t go wrong.
What do you use more, samples or synthesis?
I’d made my decision on the basis of this answer


As someone who just got a Digitakt today, I am very happy I got this first. The Digitone is something I want to get down the line, but Ableton already provides a pretty good FM synth (plus Wavetable) that does the job for me with lots of flexibility. On top of that, unlike the Digitone, you can set up Operator to function like Roland’s Linear Synthesis technique which I find much more rich sounding and strange than DX7 style FM synthesis.

I got the Digitakt as a companion for more lively sequencing and weird hands-on sample mangling, while Ableton is my sound-design sandbox. If you haven’t seen some of the more recent videos out there of the creative ways people have been using the Digitakt, you should check them out.


I dont have the Digitone so i cant tell. But if you are more productive when you are restricted, you are probably like me :slight_smile: I would definitely start with the Digitakt! Its awesome. Hell, i once made a Cinematic Score with this little beast - just to show that its possible (if you drive it to the extreme!) :smiley: The limits force your creativity and the structure is so clear that it doesnt take long to get whats possible - and what not. And best of all: The Digitakt delivers results! Because its just a Sampler. So you cant drift away by fiddling here and fiddling there and trying this and trying that … its straight to the point, you stay focussed all the time! I love it! :heart_eyes:


Does this mean that the bank and pattern numbers that you’re using have to be the same on each machine?

Yes, that is what is meant by staying in sync. If a1 is active on master it is active on all machine.

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I specified that in the OP - I’m a synth guy 95% of the time, with samples mainly being one-shot percussive stuff.