Creative melodic sequences and rhythms with Digitakt
Elektron’s hot new digital drum machine isn’t just for drum programming. Let’s load up some esoteric samples and build a personalised loop
To begin, we’ve loaded a bunch of samples from our previous PO-32 jam session into Digitakt via USB and the Elektron Transfer app. These sounds are strange knocks, tones, bleeps and glitches. We assign eight of these samples across the eight audio tracks.
Next, to add variation to individual notes, we employ Digitakt’s Parameter Lock feature. By holding a step and then changing parameters, only the selected note is altered on that particular step. We ‘reverse’ one of the stabs by raising its attack on certain notes, and we pitch every other splash sound down.
Another cool Digitakt feature we can employ is overall changes on a global scale. By holding down the Trk button and tweaking parameters, all the sounds are changed at once. Doing this with the Tune knob pitches down all the sounds together, and we completely change the loop’s vibe.
clear the current sequence so we can program a new 95bpm pattern. Using some of the weirder synth and noise stabs, we punch in a basic one-bar groove. This is made up of two distorted synth tones, a white noise splash sound, a tom-style knock, and other oddball samples.
Now to the onboard send/return effects. Using the Parameter Lock feature again, we send only certain note steps to reverb and delay. While we’re in the flow, we also apply bit reduction to the second splash sound, and layer a second crunchy snare hit on the 2 and 4.
To finish, we use Digitakt’s looping functions on our main synth stab, to cycle its tail and produce a bleepy buzz effect. And we also mute the snare part in the loop, which then gives us a beatless melodic sequence that can be bounced out and laid over drums to form the basis of a track.