Elektron Digitakt 1.5 review

The Swedish brand’s widely-loved sampler gets a significant overhaul. We take a not-quite second look

  • £829
Elektron Digitakt 1.5
(Image: © Future)

MusicRadar Verdict

By adding the ability to meaningfully work with loops, Elektron has breathed further life into the already excellent Digitakt


  • +

    Allows integration of loops into the Digitakt workflow.

  • +

    Capable of some neat lo-fi sampler effects.

  • +

    Free for current users.


  • -

    Digitakt’s sample management workflow is still rather clunky.

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Elektron Digitakt 1.5: What is it?

Given its continuing popularity, it’s perhaps not surprising that Elektron continues to update its Digitakt sampler

As we’ve covered in a previous long-term test, in the years since Digitakt first hit shelves it’s gained features including additional LFOs, improved filters and a song mode for sequencing full tracks.

Even by these standards though, the version 1.5 update is a significant one. The key addition here is a system of ‘Machines’ similar to those found in the Syntakt and Rytm drum machines

Essentially, each Machine is a specialised sound generator with parameters configured to aid its specific function; with those drum machines, for example, different Machines are tailored to create kicks, hats, percussion and so on.

Elektron Digitakt 1.5

(Image credit: Elektron)

Elektron Digitakt 1.5: Performance and verdict

Here, rather than creating a specific sound, each Machine is aimed at a different style of sample playback. There are four, the first being Oneshot, which is the existing default mode for Digitakt. Here samples are played from start to finish with each sequencer trigger, albeit with the ability to loop the sample playback. 

The first of the new modes offered by the Machines is named Werp. This allows users to timestretch samples to fit the length and tempo of the current sequence. Crucially, it also lets users alter the pitch of the sample without affecting its timing. Digitakt achieves this by slicing the sound into segments and then playing these back consecutively, with control over the amount of segments created and total length of the loop. 

It is, by design, a slightly old-fashioned approach to time-stretching, but it’s fairly capable when it comes to warping loops, and simultaneously great at oddball effects when applied to shorter one-shot samples.

The second Machine is Repitch, which also elongates sounds to fit the current pattern loop, but here does so by repitching the audio, resulting in a cleaner method of getting loops to match a project’s tempo, although one that will affect the pitch of the sound. 

The final Machine is Slice, which is a slightly crude loop-slicing tool, whereby a loop can be divided into up to 64 equally spaced segments which can then be sequenced, randomised or played chromatically.

A major upgrade to what was already one of the best samplers on the market

These Machines are significant because they mean that Digitakt can finally engage with loops in a properly meaningful way. 

Naturally, this opens up a host of creative opportunities, from the ability to lay a topline over your sequenced beats to resampling patterns or layering and modulating multiple looped recordings. 

Digitakt’s onboard sampling has been enhanced, too, adding the ability to automatically record loops based on the current pattern length.

Beyond this, V1.5 also introduces control over sample rates – allowing for some great ‘vintage sampler’ crunch. Overall, it’s a major upgrade to what was already one of the best samplers on the market.

MusicRadar verdict: By adding the ability to meaningfully work with loops, Elektron has breathed further life into the already excellent Digitakt.

Elektron Digitakt 1.5: Hands-on demos


Dave Mech


Red Means Recording Ambient

Elektron Digitakt 1.5: Specifications

  • KEY FEATURES: Version 1.5 firmware update. Adds four sample Machines, controller over sample rate, Loopcloud integration, BMP-based sampling and various other refinements and bug fixes. Firmware is free to current users.
  • CONTACT: Elektron 
Si Truss

I'm Editor-in-Chief of Music Technology, working with Future Music, Computer Music, Electronic Musician and MusicRadar. I've been messing around with music tech in various forms for over two decades. I've also spent the last 10 years forgetting how to play guitar. Find me in the chillout room at raves complaining that it's past my bedtime.