Gearporn: Elektron Digitakt teardown


I did know about the Ball Grid array Flashes. As i said i dumped the FPGA thought pretty quickly. Good work SlowGrowth.

Other thing that crossed my mind is, i’d be nervous about sourcing a part that might be marginal. So perhaps this is a pin compatible knock off of some more common flash part. Just speculating.


This is a 4GB NAND flash memory from Toshiba.
Search for : THGBMDG5D1LBAIT


Thank you! Thank you – cj55! That’s very helpful!

So could one swap this out on the Digitakt and have a 128 Gig ‘+Drive’? Or perhaps there’s some hard-coded limit in the software – though there shouldn’t be.

But unlike the Octatrack you can’t play samples from the ‘+Drive’, the Digitakt only plays samples loaded to it’s memory from the ‘+Drive’. (I’m pretty sure of this, going from my memory.) So it’s not as big an advantage to boost the flash as expected.

As to the stability of suppliers – Toshiba has been facing some financial troubles with the Westinghouse nuclear business problems lately. This could be a headache for any project manager and purchaser.


Haha. No.
This is not plug and play computer hardware.

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how is it overrated? I think the word “overrated” is overrated


Interesting. I thought the Digitakt has only 1Gb +Drive. Might they unlock more Gigs later or do they save other data (pattern, settings, etc.) with the remaining 3gb?


I think considering overrated overrated is totally overrated.


I bent the OLED up a bit to peek at the writings on the microcontroller. It’s an MCF51QE96CLK 32 bit ColdFire mcu.

The endless rotation potentiometers are pretty neat and becoming more and more common on music gear. The Alesis Ion already had them, as does the Novation Circuit. I don’t know about the exact type in the Digitakt, but the ones in the Circuit seem to be Alpha RV112FF parts.


For your enjoyment, here is the main board of the Digitone:

According to people who are in a position to know, the Xilinx Spartan 3A FPGA was added to manage communication between the two Coldfire MCF5441’s.


Wow! Way more under the hood than I thought it would be.
Couldn’t this all been done with a powerful mcu, like a 600Mhz Arm Cortex M7? Given that there’s MPUs on the board, is there somekind of real time Linux running the Digitakt?

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I don’t think they’re running a Linux. The RAM is persistent at a power loss (as with all Elektron machines) and I’m not sure if a Linux would be capable of keeping parts of the ram untouched when booting after a power loss. I guess they have their own RTOS based operating system running on it.