Elektron Digitone Polyphonic Synth

Anything about hardware musical instruments.
db3
KVRAF
1850 posts since 22 Aug, 2012

Post Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:28 am

Yeah, Cuckoo's 30min video with the guy behind Digitone is really interesting. https://youtu.be/a1K95OHVzhQ
To be honest I would never have thought about purchasing FM based hardware, but this little thing with a subtractive twist is growing on me. Very tempted.
-dthree-

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BONES
GRRRRRRR!
7064 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Re: Elektron Digitone Polyphonic Synth

Post Sun Jan 28, 2018 5:24 pm

deastman wrote:I think the real question is whether these specs were the best they could do at their target price point.
Do you think they'd deliberately shoot themselves in the foot and not put as much in as possible? Given how much they tend to pack into their other products, it seems unlikely to me.
Two more operators and a lot more algorithms would have introduced more complexity which they’ve stated they were trying to avoid in making FM synthesis more accessible to the average user.
If that was their goal, they'd have been much better off doing it the way Maxx Claster does it in Toxic. That provides every possible algorithm, yet is much simpler to get your head around.
I’m not sure what design decisions might have led to only 8 voices on 4 tracks and 4 tracks of MIDI, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was driven by factors other than price/processing power.
Those are EXACTLY the things that are limited by processing power and they probably save money by re-using the sequencer from Analog Four and Analog Keys.

In the end, the thing you have to look at is who is offering more for less? Hardware is never going to be able to go toe-to-toe with software so there is no pointing wishing that it would.

I used to think Elektron stuff was stupidly expensive but when you look at what they manage to pack into their little boxes, they are mostly decent value. e.g. Analog Keys is basically 4 synths like an Arturia MiniBrute or Korg Monologue, shoved into a single box with an amazing sequencer and on-board effects. It's a modern day analogue take on the workstation synth for $1400. Yes, $1400 is stupid money if you are used to working on a PC but when I think about what I paid for my Korg M1 and Trinity workstations back in the day, it's absurdly good value for a hardware synth. (My Trinity was well over 5 grand AUD with all the add-on boards [which is more than my car was worth at the time] and, from memory, my M1 was about Au$3500 new, both including my usual 20-25% discount for being a good customer.)
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deastman
KVRAF
6743 posts since 7 Aug, 2003 from San Francisco Bay Area

Re: Elektron Digitone Polyphonic Synth

Post Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:32 pm

BONES wrote:
deastman wrote:I think the real question is whether these specs were the best they could do at their target price point.
Do you think they'd deliberately shoot themselves in the foot and not put as much in as possible? Given how much they tend to pack into their other products, it seems unlikely to me.
I guess what I'm really implying is that perhaps they were holding back on the specs so that in six months they can offer us a Monomachine MkII with better features at a higher pricetag. I have no evidence that they're going to do that, but it would be one reason not to give us more in the Digitone.

In general though, I'm in complete agreement that Elektron offers pretty compelling products at a fair price. Yes, it is stupid money compared to software, but the fact that we're even discussing their new box suggests that we aren't making that comparison. I mean, the new Sugar Bytes synth is also a pretty unique take on FM synthesis. Personally, I'll be happy to have both.
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BONES
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7064 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Re: Elektron Digitone Polyphonic Synth

Post Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:29 pm

Fair enough. I was thinking this morning that they could possibly add the FM engine from Digitone to what's already in the Analog Keys/Four and then double the no. of sequencer tracks. Even at three grand, that would be quite a beast.
NOVAkILL 3.0 : Acer Switch5 (Core i5, Win10), Zoom U24, Orion 64 bit, Maschine Mikro, Elektron Analog Keys, Ultranova, Rocket, MicroMonsta, Uno

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DJ Warmonger
KVRAF
2812 posts since 7 Jun, 2012 from Warsaw

Re: Elektron Digitone Polyphonic Synth

Post Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:13 pm

this thing looks just like Digitakt, which sampler was replaced with FM engine. However, it's hard to tell what FM features it actually has and how does it do as a FM synth alone. The whole point of making hardware FM synth is to make sure it's easy and fast to operate.
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deastman
KVRAF
6743 posts since 7 Aug, 2003 from San Francisco Bay Area

Re: Elektron Digitone Polyphonic Synth

Post Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:31 am

DJ Warmonger wrote:this thing looks just like Digitakt, which sampler was replaced with FM engine. However, it's hard to tell what FM features it actually has and how does it do as a FM synth alone. The whole point of making hardware FM synth is to make sure it's easy and fast to operate.
Did you watch any of the dozens of NAMM videos? They make the features pretty clear. It’s a four operator FM synth with eight algorithms. The waveforms start as sine waves, but there is an additive function which adds partials to morph it into a saw, square, etc. But rather than my listing all the features yet again, go check out some videos!
Incomplete list of my gear: 110V AC to 12V DC 1.5A power supply (+ tip)

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Stupid American Pig
KVRAF
7048 posts since 25 Nov, 2002 from not sure

Re: Elektron Digitone Polyphonic Synth

Post Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:39 pm

I saw the video, heard the demo, I think it sounds really good. That said, I just sold my digitakt because Im not a fan of that form factor.

transmetropolitan
KVRist
281 posts since 24 Nov, 2014

Re: Elektron Digitone Polyphonic Synth

Post Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:37 am

Daags wrote:digitone: 8 voice polyphony, 4 operator, 8 algorithms.
I was also quite surprised when I saw these specs when you consider that the volca fm for roughly one sixth of the price has 3 voices, 6 operators and 32 algorithms, and can be polychained.

With that said, there's a lot of Elektron magic happening in the rest of the machine.

Lotuzia
KVRAF
9697 posts since 19 Feb, 2004 from Paris

Re: Elektron Digitone Polyphonic Synth

Post Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:39 am

I think the main interest is between the interaction of these quencer and the synth engine + a few bonus like the analog filters etc. Strictly FM wise, it's far from having the possibilities of old FM Yam modules (or Korg etc). ( I think it's even not 4 ops, as opB seems can be used twice in the algos, but still seems to be a single and unique op -if I'm not mistaken-). And I did not heard any sound in the demos that triggered even a vague 'want' button in my ears.

Then ... the instrument should be seen as a whole, and looks to be fun to play and mangle sequences in real time. Probably still not enough for me though. (Due to the fact that I already have multiple FM hw and sw units)
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stikygum
KVRian
871 posts since 1 Mar, 2007

Re: Elektron Digitone Polyphonic Synth

Post Sat Feb 10, 2018 6:03 pm

Anyone know when this is shipping?

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V0RT3X
KVRAF
6978 posts since 4 Jul, 2012 from Canada

Re: Elektron Digitone Polyphonic Synth

Post Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:17 pm

It would have been nice if Elektron combined the Digitakt and Digitone into one regular sized unit.
Developers please focus only on 64bit development. Let 32-bit finally die and become a thing of the past.

stikygum
KVRian
871 posts since 1 Mar, 2007

Re: Elektron Digitone Polyphonic Synth

Post Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:33 pm

I think it works out for a lot of people that Elektron kept them separate products. People like to buy cheap stuff and this way people can choose if they only want one. But I'm sure Elektron will make a super product in the future. These little guys' sales will help fund that for them I think.

db3
KVRAF
1850 posts since 22 Aug, 2012

Re: Elektron Digitone Polyphonic Synth

Post Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:03 am

stikygum wrote:Anyone know when this is shipping?
Already shipped, but in very limited quantities so far.
-dthree-

stikygum
KVRian
871 posts since 1 Mar, 2007

Re: Elektron Digitone Polyphonic Synth

Post Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:35 pm

db3 wrote:
stikygum wrote:Anyone know when this is shipping?
Already shipped, but in very limited quantities so far.
That's good to hear. Then we may have more demos of it coming online soon.

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DrGonzo
KVRAF
1989 posts since 24 Oct, 2000 from A Swede Living in Budapest

Re: Elektron Digitone Polyphonic Synth

Post Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:27 am

Stupid American Pig wrote:I just sold my digitakt because Im not a fan of that form factor.
Never tried any of the Digis, but I kind of felt the new form factor to be quite nifty.
What was it that you didn't like?

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