Technology

Overbridge 2 tears down the wall between your PC and your synth

For die hard fans of Elektron, Overbridge is both a boon and an endless source of frustration. Overbridge is the company’s software suite that’s supposed to seamlessly integrate their musical instruments with your computer. By all accounts, when it works, it works pretty well. (I don’t own any Overbridge-compatible gear, so I can’t personally vouch for it.) But Elektron has also been promising a significant update to the app for sometime, and it’s been mired in a seemingly endless beta. But now Overbridge 2 is finally and officially here.

The biggest features of Overbridge are the ability to control Elektron instruments from your computer, integrate them with your DAW and stream multitrack audio from them over USB. A standalone app version allows you to tweak controls, send MIDI notes, change presets and even record your instrument directly to your computer without a separate audio interface.

Things get even more interesting, though, when you fire up your DAW. VST and AU plug in versions of Overbridge give you access to your Elektron gear from within apps Ableton Live, Logic, Bitwig or Studio One just like it was any other virtual instrument. You can save settings a presets to a project, so you don’t have to remember where you had all your knobs set every you pick back up that half-finished song. And it will even capture multi-track audio. So, if you’re using your Digitakt for drums, you can easily capture your bass drum, snare and high hat separately. You could even do something like use a complex sequencer or LFO in your DAW to control your external gear.

One of the more exciting uses is to route your computer’s audio out through your Elektron devices. So, you could take an all-digital, in-the-box creation and feed it out through an Analog Heat or Analog Rytm, for instance to get a little bit of analog warmth and edge on it.

Overbridge 2 is available now for free and is compatible with the Analog Four, Analog Rytm, Analog Keys, Analog Heat, Digitakt, Digitone and Digitone Keys.