Elektron's booth was buzzing this year at NAMM and jam sessions were abound with their hot new FM synth, the Digitone. We got an up close look at the Digitone's unique feature set so check out the video or read on!
The Digitone is an 8-Voice frequency modulated (FM) desktop synthesizer with four available tracks for sequencing it's synth engines and four available midi tracks (for sequencing other external hardware with the Digitone as the masterclock.) Elektron's goal was to create a modern and easy to use synthesizer and to do so, they've simplified the FM workflow and condensed the parameters of the FM synthesis engines of the past and fused them with a familiar subtractive synthesis signal flow.
Elektron is known for their intuitive sequencers and the Digitone comes equipped with a 16-step sequencer, with micro timing capabilities for programming a variety of styles for different genres, such a loose hip-hop drum sequences. Each track also comes equipped with it's own arpeggiator, which can also be programmed to play their own sequence as well.
The Digitone comes equipped with nearly 500 presets, which is in line with Elektron's vision of making it easy to fire up and get right to work. The ambient pads are glassy and delicate, while still being rich enough to sit nicely in the mix, straight out of the box with no extra processing. While Jake was jamming, one of the first things I noticed was the ease of editing important parameters to promote a really fun workflow, such as the envelope, filters, pitch, feedback, etc to effect the sound dramatically and immediately. Their on board distortion is heavy and dirty and everything you want distortion to be and even with all of the background noise at NAMM it cut through in all the right ways.
Elektron firmly believes that the synth engine in all of their instruments should interact smoothly and intuitively with the sequencer and judging by the speed by which I've seen Jake produce results, I'd say they achieved just that. You can add any sound per step, per synth track, which results in an extremely powerful sonic tool. Each step can be assigned your chosen number of voices and all parameters of those voices can be altered per step as well. Want to use the Digitone as a drum machine? No problem, simply store your chosen samples and save them to your chosen sequencer step. Instant synth, drum machine combo.
Jake took us on a journey with his jam session on the Digitone during the interview, but went ever DEEPER with a colleague and we got the whole thing on tape. Click the vid below and ENJOY!