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Elektron Overbridge

Elektron Overbridge  ·  Source: Elektron

If you’ve bought one of the more recent Elektron groove boxes then you were probably disappointed to discover that it didn’t support the current version of Overbridge. Elektron have been promising a new and updated version for quite some time. It was due for release before Christmas, but then slipped to February and has now slipped again.

Overbridge

Overbridge is a very useful piece of software. It pulls all the data from your Elektron box and integrates it with a plug-in inside your DAW. The plug-ins GUI gives you visual access to all the internal parameters and lets you manipulate and modulate it easily within your project. It also lets you stream multi-channel audio from the device into your DAW over USB.

The new, yet-to-be-released version has some great features. First of all, it’s free! It has a new standalone version so you don’t have to use it in a DAW. There have been many improvements to the compatibility and stability. The performance and latency are improved. The GUI has been enhanced with better colour variation. There’s faster total recall and automation. And, most importantly, configuration-less USB audio streaming of all available channels simultaneously at maximum quality. Elektron have worked hard to address all the concerns of their users and to make Overbridge awesome.

Since its introduction in 2015, it is now compatible with most DAWs using both AU and VST formats. However, currently the only Elektron hardware working with it is the Analog Heat sound processor and the Analog Keys synthesizer and sequencer. Which leaves the Analog Four MKII, Analog Rytm MKII, Digitakt and Digitone all out in the cold.

Maybe it’s the leap in track count that is causing all the trouble. The Analog Heat is essentially stereo in and out, the Analog Keys has 4 tracks of audio, but these new boxes tend to have 8 tracks of audio and 8 tracks of MIDI. Maybe they are finding it too much for the plug-in to cope with over USB. It could simply be that it’s not quite ready yet. It’s just very frustrating if you’ve owned a Digitakt for almost a year and a key selling point has still not materialised.

In every video demonstrating of their new boxes from shows and such like they always point to Overbridge as being a key and very cool element. They just have to deliver it. Hopefully, that’ll be very soon.

More information

  • Status update on Overbridge.
  • Overbridge information page.

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Overbridge has never worked right. It’s a latency nightmare, just like the Access Virus TI was before it. Just make a librarian and editor instead.

Maybe some manufacturer can get this concept to work with a different protocol than USB (which just does not work), who knows?