Elektron Intros Digitone Keys Polyphonic Synthesizer

Ahead of Superbooth 2019, Elektron today introduced the Digitone Keys, a new eight-voice polyphonic digital synthesizer keyboard.

Elektron Studios is a new showroom and studio in Berlin.

The company made the introduction at a special event at their new Berlin Elektron Studios, a showroom and studio at Friedrichstraße 17.

The company says “Our new studio will be a home to the creative engines of local and visiting musicians and manufacturers, where visual arts projects, exciting collaborations, workshops, and casual get-togethers offer a respite from the ordinary. We will be bringing together our favorite synthesizers under one roof and finding imaginative ways to use them together with our equipment and alongside visitors to the studio.”

The Digitone Keys features a 37-key velocity and pressure sensitive keyboard with aftertouch.

“We designed Digitone Keys to grant instant access to its stellar FM sound engine,” said CPO Jon Mårtensson Elmrud. “Whether it’s about creating sounds or playing them, the creative tactility offered by Digitone Keys makes the workflow very fluent and flexible. More performance oriented. We are very proud of this black monolith, and would like to regard it as a true link between our world and the equally surreal and recognizable world of FM synthesis.”

Specifications:

  • Synth voice features
    • 8 voice polyphony (4-part multitimbral)
    • Multiple FM algorithms
    • Multiple operator harmonics
    • 1 × multimode filter per voice
    • 1 × base-width filter per voice
    • 1 × overdrive per voice
    • 2 × assignable LFO per voice
    • Unison
    • Portamento
    • 2048 patch storage capacity on the +Drive
  • Sequencer
    • 4 × synth tracks
    • 4 × MIDI tracks
    • Arpeggiator per synth track
    • Polyphonic sequencing
    • Individual track lengths
    • Parameter locks
    • Micro timing
    • Trig conditions
    • Sound per step change
    • 128 × projects on the +Drive\
    • 8 × Banks 16 × patterns per project
  • Send & master effects
    • Panoramic Chorus send effect
    • Saturator Delay send effect
    • Supervoid Reverb send effect
    • Overdrive master effect
  • Hardware
    • 37-key semi-weighted, velocity sensitive keyboard with aftertouch
    • Assignable pitch and modulation wheels
    • 8 × user assignable rotary encoders
    • 2 × 1/4″ impedance balanced main out jacks
    • 8 × 1/4″ impedance balanced track out jacks
    • 1 × 1/4″ stereo headphone jack
    • 2 × 1/4″ audio in jacks
    • 2 × 1/4″ CV/Expression/Sustain jacks
    • 128 × 64 pixel OLED screen
    • 48 kHz, 24-bit D/A and A/D converters
    • Hi-Speed USB 2.0 port
    • MIDI In/Out/Thru with DIN Sync out
  • Physical specifications
    • Sturdy steel casing
    • Dimensions: W868 × D185 × H90 mm (including knobs, feet, and jacks)
    • Weight: approximately 6 kg
  • Miscellaneous
    • Dedicated MIDI controller mode
    • Overbridge enabled
    • 3 year Elektron warranty
  • Included in the box
    • Power Supply PSU-3b
    • Elektron USB cable

Video Demos:

Audio Demos:

Pricing & Availability:

The Digitone Keys is priced at 1299 USD/1320 EUR/1180 GBP. Availability is very limited but you can pre-order through Elektron retailers. See the Elektron site for more info.

25 thoughts on “Elektron Intros Digitone Keys Polyphonic Synthesizer

  1. Wait, what? That is not a photoshop? Hahahahaha! You have to reach across the whole interface to get to the mod/pitch wheels? Hahahahaha!

    1. You’re thinking like a designer from 30 years ago.

      This isn’t designed to be played like a DX7. This is designed with a short keyboard, tailored more to one-handed performance, and all the controls on the left.

      So it’s obvious the intention is that performers are expected be ‘playing’ the sequencer and track controls equally to the keyboard, building beats, bass lines, adding chords, etc.

      This is how people actually play electron gear, rather than more traditional keyboard performance.

      This might blow if you’re left-handed, though.

      1. “You’re thinking like a designer from 30 years ago.”

        High praise considering what they were turning out 30 years ago with relatively limited resources.
        I still think you’re going far too easy on them. This is bolt-on integration, not design. The problem presently plagues not just hardware but even moreso firmware/software.

    2. it makes more sense for the mod/pitch to be on the other end rather than in the middle. Players have the muscle memory to go to the left side of the synth not the middle to use pitch/mod, especially if they use their thumbs.

  2. 6 kilograms: Portable-ish.
    The design doesn’t make sense to me, but I’m sure that Elektron fans will find it genius.

  3. What a stupid form factor! A user would be better off with the original digitone any any midi keyboard, rather than this lazy frankenturd.

  4. This is just like the original Monomachine keyboard, which was indeed designed so that two people could play it at the same time. The idea was that one person could focus on playing while the other “ran” the machine. I admit it’s unusual, but it totally fits with the way they seem to like to do things.

  5. i think it is a nice design – even the mod section beeing to the far left is cool because you can reach there more easily, without looking, then when it woudl be stuck in the middle.

    The only thing they missed is the digitone “module” beeing detachable – that woudl also allow the origianal DIgitone to be upgraded with the keyboard.

    Many will just stick with the DIgitone & external 3rd party keyboard like it is now.

    Missed opportunity.

    (Will we see many 2nd hand DIgitones?)

  6. Will a 32″ grabbing pickup tool be sufficient to reach the pitch bend lever, or does the manufacturer recommend using the full 48″ model?

    Hopefully after-market accessory makers will release a fold up surface to go to the left of the pitch bend lever which would function as a built in echo effect.

  7. The narrow design makes complete sense to people that understand how Electron gear is used.

    Look up ‘MIDI Tracks’. This design lets you put the gear you sequence within close reach and sequence it from the Digitone, but allow you to tweak it.

  8. This had to happen now hopefully they can move one to make some thing new.
    Cool to see but not a very exciting product. I agree the design looks i bit DigiTone glued to keyboard but it keeps a minal footprint on the desktop and other devices can be easily placed around it.

    A lose Elektron keyboard with more mapple buttons/screens and the ability to switch between destinations (Elektron devices) would have been more exciting.

    I was expecting Elektron would release more products in the Digi form factor faster. I can imagine they have a good OS/App code base now that is “easily” tweak able into a new product. Its is like doing more of the same while designing new and exciting analog and digital voices.

  9. remember how the digitone was NOT teased before namm.

    so they might have a surprise present for superbooth as well!

    1. Yeah, agreed, if the Digitone actually supported DX7 sysex, it would be so much better. It’s like a FB01 with a sequencer. Meh.

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