Elektron Digitone a new Era for FM Synthesis

digitone FM synth

Remember the Yamaha DX7? Many people still crave that FM sound, the clean, sharp, spacey FM sound can make electronic music go to new dimensions.   But when you work with FM (Frequency Modulation ) you need to be very precise in how you move the parameters and make your sounds.  The Digitone is a new attempt to bring FM to your studio, but in a far more user friendly futuristic sounding way.

 

digitone FM synth
digitone FM synth

FM algorithms

The Elektron Digitone arrives pre packed with many FM algorithms that give you unique control over the way you shape your synthesized sounds using power filters to get it just right to create a synth soundscape.  The Digitone does not re invent the wheel of FM synthesis, what it does is provide you with an unprecedented way of intuitively shaping your sounds via the Elektron style sequencer and interface which has proven over the years to be user friendly and feature rich.

The Sequencer

Like other Elektron devices, the Digitone allows you to establish trigger conditions, parameter locking.  Each and every step can have a different set of parameters creating an extremely unique sequence of sounds.  It can also do timing adjustments on a very subtle/micro level that creates a feel that is difficult to do otherwise, taking the computer sequencing feel out of pattern and making a more organic feel.   The sequencer has 8 note polyphony, within that you get 4 synth tracks as well as 4 midi based tracks.  Each of the 4 synthesizer tracks contain one sound. The midi tracks contain the parameter information for the synth tracks.

What is a Digitone Pattern?

A Digitone pattern contains the following elements:

  • 4 Synth tracks
  • 4 Midi tracks to control the parameters of the four synth tracks
  • All sequencer data of triggers and parameter locking data, bpm, swing, as well as time signature settings.

What is a Digitone sound?

A Digitone sound is defined as the following:

  • Synth 1, Synth 2, Filter, Amp, and LFO parameters
  • All other sound settings and arpeggiator settings

 

What can be done with FM Synthesis?

FM Synthesis opens up a whole new world on sonic creation, timbres, putting life into your synthesized creations.  FM can create sounds that simly do not exist in the real world, this is why so many people like it, you can literally invent a sound after getting to know this type of synthesis.  The Digitone gives you an intuitive way to explore this world in a fun workflow.   FM synthesis was created decades ago, many electronic musicians were intimated by the complexity and other difficulties involved in FM sound design. The Digitone does a great job of simplifying yet giving you control over in depth aspects of FM sound creation.  This is a delicate balance to achieve and we’re lucky to have such an ineradicable machine available.

 

Sequence Step Locking

The Digitone gives you the ability to lock parameters at each and every step of your sequence, this means from every block or step you can have a sound dramatically change, this creates a potential for making very unique sequences that have a non repetitive feel and keep the ears tickled as the track moves along.  This may sound like a small side note but when you can have each new beat, stab, or *woosh* take on a different feel from each note to the next you can get ultra futuristic, digital sounds and tracks that really make a unique impact on the listener and grab their attention in a pleasing way to their brain. Which is usually the goal of the digital musician, creating futuristic, science fiction style soundscapes.

 

 

Features

  • 8 voice FM sequence synth sounds per note
  • 4 synth tracks (2 synth sounds per track)
  • 4 midi tracks  (control external midi gear)
  • Elektron sequencing engine, proven in their many other drum machines, micro timing adjustments for dynamic feel creation
  • Each voice features 2 LFOs
  • Every track contains it’s own dedicated arpeggiator
  • Built in effects send
  • Overdrive master effects

Elektron Overbridge

Elektron’s Overbridge is a way to integrate your Digitone synth directly with your DAW computer workstation (Digital Audio Workstation). From there you can control the nuts and bolts settings of your Digitone synth using a graphical user interface.

Effects

The Digitone’s effects are fit the FM environment very well, they complement the rich textural synth sounds of the various voices.

  • Panoramic Chorus
  • Saturator Delay,
  • Supervoid Reverb,
  • Overdrive

512 Pre Programmed Factory Synth Voices

With 512 factory sounds to get you started,  from your typical classic tried and true FP presets to new experimental soundscapes created by current artists (Blush Response, DivKid, Hizmi, Mark Fell, and Zabutom) you’ll likely have a great place to start to match your project or inspire your next sonic endeavor.

 

Who is The DIgitone For?

If you’re bored with all the typical synth and dum machines out there and want to explore a new world of sound creation, you are a perfect fit for the Digitone.   Sound designers wishing to create futuristic sounding music with a totally custom feel are best suited to the Digitone, it is not a “drum machine” so much as a synth engine and sequencer with a unique way of experimenting with the tools of sound shaping and sequencing you simply cannot find anywhere else.