I just purchased the Syntakt last week. This is my first ever Elektron device and I’m honestly loving the sequencer and tactile feel of the box. I want to know if I made the right decision with this purchase though. I bought this primarily as a drum machine. I have a Polybrute and tons of soft synths to do my synthesis that I’m sure I will use for bass, chords, melodies, etc. I mainly wanted a piece of hardware to easily create and record drums into logic. Using logics sequencer is not fun and it’s more time consuming to create patterns. I have a Machine Mikro Mk3, but absolutely hate the Maschine workflow. Sampling with the Mikro Mk3 is great though. I feel like I should have my sampling needs met minus the great elektron sequencer. But, my question is, do you think the Syntakt is worth 1k and will be a great long lasting drum machine providing a wide array of great drum sounds when there are other cheaper options like the Roland TR8s and others. I’m trying to decide if I made the right choice…I do really love my experience with the elektron workflow so far. It’s really fun!
I know jack shit, so feel free to disregard.
But thoughts would be that you should make it work for you.
There will always be other gear.
And people recommending other gear.
But I sense some people are more interested in gear than music, and will always find a production rationale to disregard the thing they have in their hand and go hunting the next unicorn, ad infinitum.
I really like Syntakt for its versatility and immediacy. It can’t do everything perfectly, but the palette of sounds it can provide suits my needs, for the moment.
(I had MD, AR, DT, DN, have A4).
Many other options of course, check also Korg Drumlog, think about samples or not, analog circuitry…
I think that if you are enjoying it, then relax and lean into it. Who can say what will be long-lasting? Your tastes change, and in fact the experience of owning and working with a particular machine could well change your tastes.
I don’t own a ST yet, but based on the Elektrons I do own (MD, MNM, OT Mk2, AK):
- From a financial perspective, Elektrons start out feeling a little expensive. There are various sales, and then they drop in price further after they are discontinued. And then there is a slow climb in value that spikes when Autechre or another act That We Like touches it (or reminds us that they previously touched it once). From a utilitarian perspective, Logic is all you need. From a fun / workflow / creativity perspective, Elektrons are always good (for me). Worth $1k? Probably. Depends on your budget though.
- I have a TR-8s and enjoy it even though I have the famed MD Mk2 UW+. I would prefer not to give up the TR-8s or the MD.
- Only you can tell if you made the right choice. There is very little truly bad gear out there.
Some other threads you may find helpful:
As the A4 thread suggests, any Elektron can be a drum machine if you try hard enough.
To me, the point is: in 2022, samples are always the better choices if you want a “wide range” of sounds. When I buy hardware synths or drum machine the “wide range” is not the primary thing I think of.
Adore now. Explore forever.
For me it was too limited as a drum machine. I prefer Digitakt or other sampling devices for drums.
Even Analog Heat !
I’m using Syntakt and Digitakt almost daily at the moment - really digging into them.
The results are that I am constantly being surprised and finding new things I love with the Syntakt, and I’m only just scratching the surface.
As a counterpoint - the more I use the digitakt, the less I like it I’m missing a features I would get in an MPC or machine. I’m still going to plough on for a bit though as I still don’t understand it fully.
I’m just illustrating a point which backs up what others are saying. I’ve done so much gear swapping, and always find myself in the same struggle of not understanding my gear and the lure of other gear always hampering me from getting on with making music.
Spend a bit of time with what you have
This is your answer. Don’t fall into the grass is greener trap because it is never ending.
You made the right choice. And if you like the elektron workflow stick with it make music.
First of all, I would learn the syntakt inside out, and if you can´t get some nice drumpatterns and -sounds out of it you like, it is probably you, not the machine.
On the other hand, there are so many fun machines out there.
Again and again, I´m tempted by tanzbär, alphabase, perkons, vermona…but I´m so pretty much covered with gear I have not learned to the depths and moreover financially I can´t justify to myself buying more gear atm.
Octatrack is a really good drum machine if you like samples.
I use one that way after owning lots of stuff. The only other I kept is tempest. But I sample that one in octatrack too.
Only downside for me is no fingerdrumming and recording multiple percussion sounds in one run like on a mpc or ar.
Imo, Digitakt will be the closest (cheaper) thing because it has 1) very broad sonic territory and 2) the same exact OS and form factor. If all you care about is drums, you don’t need deep synthesis and just load it with samples. It can however still synthesize to some degree.
That said if you are interested in exploring its depths, then I think you should keep it. I might have bought one if I didn’t already have other Elektron boxes and I think it’s a great box for beginners or those of us who don’t already have boxes that overlap with it too much.
With the Maschine and all of your soft synths, you absolutely do not need a Syntakt. Workflow is something that you get used to, no matter which instrument you are using. I have both Maschine MK3 and Syntakt. I I only bought the Syntakt as a nice to have. I like how it feels and how it sounds, but personally, I like the workflow of Maschine better. It’s so much smoother and I am way faster on it.
Hardware synths are luxuries. They are not necessities. When you choose to use them, you are only adding complexity to your system, which can take away from your creative process. Don’t get stuck in the thought that you need them in anyway to make sound.
If you want just an analog drum machine, Arturia Drumbrute Impact is perfect. It’s one of the coolest, most fun to play drum machines I’ve ever had. You can’t beat that.
fm engine of the drumbrute impact is really nice