Am I the only one? [Machinedrum love]


Yeah the EFM one was my favourite, mainly with most parameters dialled back (so not much actual FM at all :rofl: ) then using eq and filter to scoop frequencies out. Could get some really solid, satisfying and not too pitch sweepy kicks - the AR kicks I find difficult to make sound nice, I don’t much like the response of the envelopes which control sweep, they also lack precision and finesse I think. But most people seem to love AR kicks so…


Coming from a totally different backround, I probabIy don’t fully understand what you want to acheive musically but I have a lot of respect for your knowledge and what you are able to squeeze out of the MD.

However, the above statement seems a bit unfair considering the Machinedrum was first released in 2001, which means the design probably dates back to 1998. A lot of other digital gear from that time looks way more dated and limited, today. IMO.

But if you like FM synthesis, the DN is probably currently the best choice anyway.


Not finished product because lfos don’t work on MID machines, and no lfos for CTR machines. You can’t send a CC1 (modulation) from MID machines…

Sound wise, I’m not a big fan of digital lofi sounds, I don’t especially like Autechre work with MD, even if I totally respect them.
I find kicks too clicky (except TRX B2), and even more when you add several several sounds. I don’t like its reverb. No envelopes, not enough lfos to use them as envelope and modulation.

I did my best to get the best of it, according to my tastes, controlled by OT, “tuned” with midi processing, even with sysex, but I was still frustrated.

I don’t want to have too much gear, I prefer AR analog drums, TRCs, tuning, chromatic control, perf I can control with OT…
I’d also prefer a second OT over an MD.

I should sell MD saturday, and buy an AR sunday. :slight_smile:

My black faceplate should be for sale separately.

Yes, planned. I think I’d definetely prefer drums on it, already tuned.


I love this. Nice work.


Hey, how much for the black faceplate, friend ?


I thought you’d already have sold it by now! (pretty sure that’s what I have at least mildly suggested previously :grinning:) if I’m focusing more on what a piece of gear can’t do than what it can do, it’s time to move on

there’s never a free lunch - my understanding is that the way MD is coded the LFO functionality is required to be cannibalized by the CTR machines as that is what allows the CTR machines to modulate other tracks’ parameters. In the case of using a CTR-8P machine it’s probably the best trade-off for sacrificing an LFO, since then you can use a single track to send modulation via p-locks (+slides) to 8 different parameters simultaneously on up to 8 different tracks, and then you have easy mute control over that modulation source, which I think is pretty cool

a bit surprised you haven’t tried going down @JustinValer’s Megacommand rabbit hole since you want to do lots of fancy stuff with it and he has already done most (if not all?) of the heavy lifting for a lot of the use-cases you seem to be interested in - but maybe you mainly want a challenge? :smiley:


Sorry to inform you the AR also only has 1 LFO per track. The MD can at least route them to other tracks. Not so on AR.


Yeah there definitely is that character to the MD. Doesn’t suit everyone. A whole lot can be done to it with a good overdrive/distortion though.


Yes this was very intriguing, but OT + midi processors were ok for me, but as I have already headaches I want to keep complicated stuff for OT only, and just not that happy sound wise.

I tried AR a few hours, know it a bit. Compared to MD I know I can have much more control with OT random hold lfos combined with AR perf, with tons off parameters I can control precisely, with min / max, machine targets, not ALL machines.

Yes, I think I made my mind. Tried it with AH.
Better, not great.
Btw my PO32 can sound good thru it too! So don’t worry for me, I have my Pocket MD, and it’s much easier to tune!


MD through AR is good.


Can’t let a brother just leave the Church of MD like that!

Jut kidding. Only sharing experiences. I’ve had the MD for something like 15 years, now have an AR2 alongside. The AR is a worthy, state-of-the-art successor for sure.


I see… I’m into electronic rock and industrial metal, thus digital lofi suits me! :smiling_imp:

Just spend about an hour yesterday evening trying to understand how the MD gain staging works.

Since I rack mounted the MD and want to use it as a fully integrated external instrument in Cubase, I tried to find out the best input settings on my RME ADI-8 DS to match the MD without overloading the converters and still getting a healthy average input level.

While doing that, I found that there was some occasional clickyness on repeated kick hits and on the reverb, which sounded a bit like digital clipping. But the AD input level was not the problem. So I started looking at the different level settings (including the Master Level) in the MD and found the following:

  • Master Level (Main Out): In genernal, the master level can be set to 100% without additional drive or clipping as long as the internal gain stages are kept in check. The master volume can be used to adapt the output to the input sensitivity of the AD converter.
  • Master FX - EQ: The default EQ gain set to +63, which equals about +12dB of gain compared to its 0 (unity gain) setting.
  • Master FX - Reverb: With the EQ gain on +63, it’s impossible to set the Reverb level above 100 without getting noticable distortion when sending loud low kicks to the reverb. Cutting the lows on the reverb, the distortion goes aways. Thus it seems that the mixbus runs out of headroom. By adjusting the EQ gain to 0, the Reverb level can be set up to 127 without any unwanted distortion.
  • Machine Settings FX - Volume: A volume of 127 will send a loud kick into clipping if the Machine Level (level knob) is above about 80%. Also, the Volume will affect the sound character: High Volume with low Level will sound fatter, low Volume with high Level will sound cleaner.

You probably already knew and tried that, but in my experience you can get rid of all the unwanted clickyness with careful gain staging. I found the best option is to first set the EQ gain to 0. Then start with a Machine Setting Volume between 63 and 100. Start with the Level at about 90% of the range, so you still have room to get louder (without going into internal clipping).


Thanks! I appreciate. :slight_smile:
I began Elektron with OT 4.5 years ago, so I have a different approach. I would have loved to have an MD 15 years ago!


Not until Autechre make an album with it :smile:


Maybe, thanks for you input, but even with one sound at low level, I find kicks too clicky.


Really ? Even without FX ? Mind sending a sysex of a sound you find clicky ?


TRX BD, EFM BD suffice, especially with a reverb.


The right outboard filter also works:

I picked up a Jomox M-Resonator a few years ago. It was a bit of a one trick pony for me, that trick being it blew up a pre-amp. Then I patched my MD through it. A very subtle bit of filtering and overdrive (yes, it can be subtle, it just doesn’t enjoy it) really warmed up the MD and with some modulation almost made it sound organic.

I have to give credit for one of the folk at Perfect Circle Audio for this nugget: The AR is Elektron’s best sounding standalone drum machine, the MD is Elektron’s best drum machine to use with other equipment.


When I had the first analog heat I’d run my MD through it with great results.


Yeah i like running it through AH as well. Lately i ve been giving it the EHX LPB2ube treatment, much to my liking : Machinedrum + analog filter/overdrive - experience