Elektron Digitakt vs Elektron Octatrack

Synthesist Cuckoo shared this video comparison of the new Elektron Digitakt and the Elektron Octatrack.

“Here’s a mega workflow comparison video, where I’m comparing them side by side in a number of aspects,” explains Cuckoo. “It’s a bit long, but if you’re interested in this stuff, I hope you’ll find the video interesting.”

Topics Covered:

00:00:00 1. Introduction
00:01:52 2. Octatrack MK2
00:03:18 3. File management
00:04:35 4. Streaming, preloading to RAM
00:05:28 5. File dumping and backup
00:06:24 6. Overbridge
00:06:53 7. Inputs and outputs
00:08:23 8. Recording and trimming on Digitakt
00:10:24 9. Recording and trimming on Octatrack
00:12:56 10. Slices
00:15:37 11. Saving files on Octatrack
00:16:26 12. Compact flash travel backup
00:17:01 13. Processing live audio
00:18:26 14. Loading samples
00:21:06 15. Recording a sequence
00:23:04 16. Messing with a sequence on Digitakt, Control All
00:26:34 17. Messing with a sequence on Octatrack, Scenes
00:29:16 18. Pitch shift, Time stretch, Playback rate
00:31:01 19. Reverbs and effects
00:34:01 20. The keyboard
00:35:44 21. Loop box (pickup machine)
00:37:04 22. Single waveform “synthesis”
00:40:06 23. LFO automation
00:41:32 24. The Arranger, pattern chaining
00:43:14 25. Simple vs Choice
00:43:54 26. MIDI
00:47:36 27. MIDI arpeggiator
00:48:05 28. Trig conditions
00:49:54 29. How I use Octatrack
00:54:28 30. How I use Digitakt
00:58:21 31. “Conclusion”
00:59:42 32. patreon.com/cuckoomusic + store.truecuckoo.com

13 thoughts on “Elektron Digitakt vs Elektron Octatrack

  1. Cuckoo is awesome. After watching a ton of Digitakt videos, he finally puts out one thats all inclusive, showcasing all of its features and answers the questions of many OT users all in one.

  2. Nice tut . But makes me happy I use ableton tho
    After things are set up looks like fun but both have to tiny of screens for me with that said the octotrack is a nice idea if it had bigger screen

    1. The let down is the patterns, and song mode. Other than that, it’s a box that does its own thing. I think it was an attempt at a standalone midi sequencer and they said “screw it, let them sample too and we’ll sell more”. 8 tracks is limiting until you get experimental then it’s more than you need. Elektron make experiment boxes in my opinion. If you want to make the same stuff everyone is making, stick to software, output plugins, serum, sugarbytes, and presets. If you want to sit in from of your gear and leave with something that sounds like nothing else and that you didn’t expect to make, Elektron has it covered. Very playful gear once you wrap your head around it with some good ol’ in-presented patience.

      1. I agree…experiment box…inspiration box….
        the downsides are real but the boxes themselves are playful and musical…

        I dont trust octatrack on a gig… or better said, to scared to press the wrong menu and blow myself up!!!!!

        but as a creation engine, where im building tracks and looking for idea,
        my octatrack is worth the trouble..

      2. Mate, must respectfully disagree with you on the following: “If you want to make the same stuff everyone is making, stick to software, output plugins, serum, sugarbytes, and presets.”

        There’s nothing in that soft-studio or the Digitakt/Octatrack etc that’ll make the user any more or less the same. Creativity & personality comes from the user, not the tools. Anti-software elitism gets in the way of addressing what each device/program can do objectively.

  3. This is exactly what I’ve been waiting for, I had been pining for an Octatrack for a while now but after the Digitakt came out the Digitakt seemed to do all the things I wanted an Octatrack for so I wasn’t sure if I should just get the Digitakt or keep saving up for an Octatrack.

    Frankly I think I am gonna get a Digitakt. It has all the Sampling and Midi features that I need in a nice quick and easy format.

  4. I gave my Octatrack a hug after watching this. The Digitakt looked pretty good but it seems like Elektron tried so hard not to have it step on the OT that they ended up with something that just plays samples. For all the complaining I heard online I didn’t think the OT was too bad to learn either. You do get a nicer looking screen/interface on the Digitakt and a slightly better MIDI implementation. But the OT offers so much more flexibility and is just as fast once you get to know it. This just confirms the OT is still the unequaled sample mangling king.

  5. Digitakt is more than a sample player and is half the cost of Octatrack. It sounds incredible how it handles audio.. I’ve never owned the octatrack but it looks dope. I understand the need to compare them but also both of them do things the other can’t and the one that costs twice as much for sure should do more and it does. If something does at least twice as much naturally it will be less streamlined in some sense because there’s more features. It’s odd to peg one as better but it makes sense to purchase the one that works for what you want to do with it no doubt.

    1. You’re right about the price and that’s something I didn’t factor in. The OT is almost double the cost, though used OTs tend to hover around $900 (still 40% more than the Digitakt). But the territory the Digitakt covers that the OT does not is pretty small. And the omissions for a groovebox are odd: no real slicing, no arranger, no way to back it up, can’t play long samples, etc. Hopefully firmware updates address some of these but there is no guarantee. I’m sure it’s a great machine and people will do awesome things with it, but if it was me I’d save up longer and buy an OT, MPC Live (don’t know much about it but it looks good on paper), or maybe wait a few more years for the OT2. Sorry for making it a Digitakt vs Octatrack thing. Reason I did is that I’ve been interested in the Digi since they announced it. This video made it clear that I should just be happy with my OT and my wallet was relieved.

  6. Simple i got them both, a great combination. Digitakt for Drums with great extra functions. Octatrack for more hardcore sampling (resampling pads and sounds coming from my modular setup). Yes, you can have it all 🙂

  7. Cuckoo, you rock man!

    I have been intrigued by Elektron products after meeting up with several veteran EDM producer musicians in San Diego who own and swear by them. I already have a keyboard synth but wondering if for a sequencer and drum kit should I get the less expensive Digitrakt now and later upgrade to the Octatrak or buy the Octrak? I use Ableton Live with Ableton Push 2 but am tired of hauling a laptop, controller and other gear for live performances.

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