2021 Gear Purchase: Hits & Misses

What about the HX Stomp is a miss for you? I’m looking at getting one to emulate a dual amp/cab setup, and already have the HX Effects which I like.

1 Like

HX Stomp is great for this, particularly if you get some decent IR’s to use for cabs (I got the Own Hammer ones…). The only issue I could imagine someone having with the HX Stomp is the UI, but it’s workable… using HX Edit for any deep diving is the best bet though.

Have you/will you unload your modular, or keep it for now and then?

Yeah. Never seen a really negative review, and HX edit is a breeze to use.

Always one of my favorite threads of the year!


0-Coast + 0-Ctrl: Got one as a demo from Perfect Circuit, the other as a good deal from someone here. Lots of fun, and a good way of dipping into modular without going euro. Encouraged me to make use of more cv inputs on other gear as well.

B2600: Got the basic model and am very happy with it. I think it sounds great, and has helped me understand more complex routing and mods that helps me with mod matrices on other gear. I personally love the form factor and think it looks great in an 8U stand. I use external effects anyway, so I’m not bothered by the digital spring fx.

Typhon: Another demo deal from PC (which always come in great shape). I have other traditional monosynths–this is great for more complex tones and textures, but can do basic bass or leads as well. I haven’t dived into it as much as I could yet, but this is a keeper.

Hydra desktop: This was almost a miss, since the first one I got had a faulty display panel out of the box. In the end, returned to original store and found a much better deal at another, so saved $100. I love the UI, presets sound good, and insanely easy to get cool patches going from an init with minimal effort. Can do so much, and I find myself turning it on more than many other synths. Not sorry I didn’t spring for a keyboard model or wait for the mini version, but do wish I had a poly aftertouch controller. Maybe an Osmose or Continuum someday (I got to know Lippold Haken this year (we teach at the same university) and tour his workshop–my fantasy is that he has an extra one lying around he gives me–dream on!)?

Keylab 49 MKII: Decided I wanted a quality controller for VSTs and hardware modules. Found this on Reverb for cheap, and am very happy with it–feels good, easily integrates with V Collection, user templates are useful for controlling hardware.

Polymoon: Does what it does and does it well. Can end up sounding a little samey, and it’s not always clear what knob adjustments do, but I like the sounds it makes.

Jaspers 3-tier synth rack: perhaps my best purchase of all. Really helped me organize my studio, feels very secure. Ordered from Thomman to US with minimal hassle, but no idea why nobody carries these in the states.

Patchbay: Like the Jaspers stand, this has really helped me organize. My mixer/interface doesn’t have enough returns, and this is much quicker for routing pedals and swapping stuff in and out. Should have done this years ago.

On the Fence:

Yamaha TX7: Bought from the wonderful @Scot_Solida in great shape. Sounds… the way it should. Haven’t really dug into this one, but loads plenty of patches with Dexed. We’ll see if it ends up in much music, but doesn’t take up much space and I don’t see myself passing this on.

Beebo: A lot I like about it, but I can’t keep up with all the updates and haven’t used it as much as I’d expected.

TR-6s: Sold an 8s last year because of size, missed it, got a demo deal on the 6s. Sounds good, but interface is definitely less immediate. I have other drum options, so we’ll see if this lasts, but at least it tucks away in a corner of my desk.

Pico System III: Yet another good demo deal. Got it mostly to avoid the eurorack rabbit hole and learn some patching. Not especially useful in my setup, but I took it to my office to use to teach students, and is a nice tool for that and for messing around when I want to avoid other tasks.


Lyra-8: Definitely a very cool machine, and I was a little torn, but in the end I just couldn’t justify keeping it in my current setup. I may repurchase someday, though.

Every year I comment that I seem to have bought a lot of stuff. I’m taking a page out of @rob_lee’s book and accepting that I’m middle aged, I finally make good money, and it’s ok for me to indulge. This year I seem to have kept way more than I sold, which tells me I’m making better purchases.

On the horizon:

I don’t really feel like I need anything at this point, but knowing me I’ll find ways to spend money. Curious about trackers, but don’t want something as big as the Polyend, so may wait for an M8. Might also just give this a pass–Renoise is fun but not really what I gel with. Am still jonesing for a really classic forever poly, and may eventually take the plunge on a P5/10. Was initially intrigued by the T5 but that feels like a half measure, and haven’t been blown away by demos. Someone was selling a Rhodes Mark V in my area for $2500 and I was tempted, but I reminded myself that was 2/3s of a P5!




I’ll hold on to it to sample for the next month or two but want to use the funds for other things. I’m grateful I’m at a place in my life where I can afford such an experiment, but I’m feeling the urge to move on to other things which quicken my workflow. I’ll always get to hoard pedals at least.

More hits:

Minikorg 700FS. Its the beefiest sounding mono synth I’ve ever encountered and always delivers super deep bass sounds and beautiful leads.

MCL 4.0. It makes the MD with the 0.5 fw even more enjoyable and basically endless.

Erica Synths Syntrx. The VCS3 has been my most desired synth ever since I got into synths and having an instrument that is IMO in many ways an improved modern derivative of it is so nice.

I feel grateful for not making any dumb or unlucky decisions this year and confident that no matter what comes up I will not need any new gear in a long time.

I must add that selling my modular was a hit too, maybe my biggest hit this year actually. :slight_smile:


Eric Synths DB-01 - there is nothing that doesnt sound incredible with this little box.
Zen Delay - I’ve lost far too many hours just tweaking the feedback on this thing. Excellent companion to the DB-01.

Korg ARP Odyssey - Sounds great and is fun to jam on every now and then. Admittedly I purchased this out of nostalgia. I’ll probably never sell it but after the initial excitement faded, I found it didnt fit into my workflow at all. Essentially you can only send MIDI note parameters. So I might just trade this in for the Behringer 2600 or I may just put in in a display case.

Ableton Push 2: I’m doing so much more in the digital world and I prefer creating my sounds and then orchestrating through Ableton so I’ll probably grab a Push 2 in 2022 as it will compliment my DJing setup.

Waldorf Iridium: Been intrigued on the Iridium for awhile now. Toss up between this and the Access Virus.


Octatrack. Owned one for many years but upgraded to the MK2. Supplement with another small sample player and you’re making quality house and techno jams.

Pioneer SP-16 and DJS-1000. What can I say, I love sampler/sequencers. I’ve had these for a while too but for some reason, something this year clicked and I’ve discovered a workflow that just makes house and techno so fun and easy with these things.

Roland SH01A. Had this one for a few years as well. But once I turned the LFO speed setting to audio rate, boom. Techno. Combine that with the simple, yet awesome, step sequencer, jamming for days!

Novation Circuit Rhythm. It’s sounds really quiet, and it’s very uninspiring. It’s been boxed up since the week I bought it and no one wants to buy it on CL. Lame purchase.

Near miss
Sequential Take 5. Something’s wrong with the midi clock in my device and the step sequencer does not stay in time when sending it clock from an external source. Sequential support is working with the software team to see if there’s a fix. The store where I bought it from is also offering a refund. I want to see if Sequential can figure it out. I like the synth. But I did buy it because it has a step sequencer. I love sequencers. It’d be a shame if it doesn’t get worked out.


Hits: OB-6 keyboard



Selling my DN and OT


Rebuying the DN and the OT



Listing all of my purchases and resales would be embarrassing, so one of each:

Hit: Dirtywave M8. I feel like this might be the only piece of gear I need for my modest musical aspirations. I only wish there were a larger format version with some note entry keys and a bigger screen, though headless mode works well for this.

Miss: Nanoloop FM. I love nanoloop in concept, but the LED matrix makes this one is just too cryptic for me to get on with. I also think the build quality is pretty bad. Still looking forward to nanoloop on the Analogue Pocket.


Only bought the polyend tracker this year.
Has been a hit and a miss


Glad you’re still in love!

1 Like

I bought tons of stuff this year and feel ashamed for it but anyway, here it is:

teenage engineering OP-Z
Loved it (you know where this is going). Portable, fast, fun, beautiful, great stuff. However, after a while, I got tired of the synth sounds, the lack of control one has over them, and poor build quality. I ran into issues with the hardware and ended up selling mine to finance the purchase of a laptop. I don’t regret getting rid of it, though I enjoyed my time with it. It was great while it lasted, and it would have worsened, had it kept going.

It’s a bit of a miss in my book, though it was my first real sequencer (the only one before was PO-20).

Elektron Model:Samples
Love it, my favorite machine to jam with. It just inspires me a lot because of how fast the workflow is. Absolutely a hit for me. I don’t mind having to put samples into it because of the limited storage anyway. It joined my setup alongside my OP-1 and my OP-Z. Though the OP-1 was great because of its floaty, off the grid workflow (let’s call it organic, rather than straight up calling the sequencers useless) and nice sounding synth engines when processed. The M:S gave me insane control over samples, sounded great, and was so much more fun to play than the OP-Z. It became the de facto new best friend for my OP-1 and pushed the OP-Z to its early retirement. It was my first Elektron device and really blew me away with how much control they give you.

It’s a hit!

Elektron Octatrack MkI
A few months after getting my Model:Samples, I wanted to get something more powerful and durable. I was eyeing the Digitakt, but something seemed wrong to me. As if it was not enough of an upgrade. Again, the sampling did not seem that good for the music I make (you could not sample for long enough) and the same storage, same mono tracks, same RAM, lack of interest from me to get Overbridge… I just could not justify the expense. It was a nice upgrade, but not a 750€ upgrade, in my view, or even 500€ with a good deal used (note : this was before DT’s 1.3 OS upgrade. It could have been enough to change my mind I think).
Instead, I got interested in the Octatrack, as I could get a used MkI for a little more than a new DT. As a guitar player, I loved the idea of the looping stuff, long samples, and of course the crossfader.

I finally got one after reading Merlin’s guide, and I liked it a lot. Then I got to use it more, and I ended up loving it. In fact, I’m using my Model:Samples less and less because of how much fun I am having with the Octatrack. I love the way it can be a sample crafting workshop and an arranging station all at once. Its workflow(s) is so freeing to me, I just love to find new ways I can use it and combine machines and settings together to turn it into something new.

I know for some, problem solving is a creativity killer. I also prefer to just get in the flow sometimes (which I still love the M:S for). But for me, most of the time, problem solving is creativity. To sit in front of the machine and think “how can I make this device make that sound?”, and always find an answer that sounds good is the fuel that makes me come back to it every day. I made a gated reverb snare today. I never thought it could do it, but thinking about how it can be made is enough to inspire a whole track using that sound. Not that it’s complicated, but the OT doesn’t have a “gated reverb” button, nor does it have a “scratch effect” setting. Yet, all of it can be done by understanding what the Octatrack can do and imagining how it can connect. Digital modular in a way that really impresses me everyday.

Like everyone else, I have a list of insane things I wish the Octatrack could do. However, realistically, I feel like I am not missing anything from the OT. There will always be that thing that it can’t do that some other sampler does, or some plugin does. But at the end of the day, the feeling I get from the OT I don’t get from anything else. The time I spend on Youtube looking at gear always seems infinitely lame every time I stop and turn on the OT instead. I love love love love it.

It’s a definite hit for me, of “life-changing” proportions. It makes me feel challenged yet empowered in a way that motivates me to grow as a musician like I have never experienced before. So, OT gang rise up woop woop.

Elektron Digitone Keys
I wanted a synth (the kind you sit in front of and play with keys, the grand piano of the studio), I love FM, I love Elektron: the Digitone Keys, what could go wrong?
Well a B-Stock model that went untested and turned out not to have functional Aftertouch? I guess that is what. After returning it and buying a brand new one instead, I gave it its place on my synth stand.

The Digitone sounds amazing. It’s really impressive how versatile it is. There is a good chance that when I think “it cannot make this sound”, I am only contemplating my lack of skill and manual reading. Speaking of, the rtFM pack reassured me a lot. I love melodic synth lines and pads, and the default patches are often very aggressive and techno-ey. I mean, I will not blame Elektron - of all brands- for that. Still, it made me a bit worried at first that it would not entirely be for me. The rtFM pack made these worries disappear.

However, I feel less drawn to the Digitone Keys than I feel I should, considering it’s the most expensive Elektron thing I bought, and second most expensive instrument I’ve ever owned. I know, maybe it should not matter all that much, but despite this list of purchases, I am not comfortable enough with money that this is not a consideration.

I don’t know if it is my anxiety around static OLED panels or rubber coated buttons, the fact that the keys distract me a bit from the actual synth and sequencer… It could also be that I was getting out of a plateau with the OT when my DNK was delivered to me, and so I had momentum with other gear that I didn’t feel like breaking… At any rate, I am not spending the time with it that I hoped for considering the money and the “brand new toy” effect.

I hope this changes. I love the sounds of the DN, and I mean LOVE. I am cautiously optimistic in that I believe with time, I will get to know the DN better, learn to value it, and it will make more sense to me than it does now.

It’s a… well it’s a hit I guess? I feel like it may be a bit too soon to tell, but there is a good chance I will love it more in 6 months than I do now.

What next?
Hopefully nothing! At this point, all I’m considering is “quality of life” gear. A better tuner for my guitar, an RK-02 cable to play instrument libraries on the OT using the DNK, that kind of stuff. In the distant future, I think I also want to save up to replace my OT with a Mk2 when it dies. Even though the OLED DISPLAY AND THE RUBBER BUTTONS, UGH.

I hope this helps anyone with anything. I am also welcoming any thoughts, especially on the DN/DNK. I am curious to know if anyone has had a similar experience, with the Digitone or any other piece of equipment.


Hit: Korg Opsix, because I love experimenting

Miss: nil


I wish I knew enough local cool and trustworthy cats and kittens to have a lending group.

I think it’d really help with GAS and appreciation for what we have and what we don’t need without the cycling.


Despite GASing, at various moments, for a Bluebox, a Polyend Tracker, and a Microcosm, I was able to go the entire year without purchasing anything in 2021.


I’ve got some cats i could lend you.