Chord Machine sounds dull

I regret not buying one for £730 when they were on sale at KMR. It’s become my new price anchor too so now I need to wait for another big sale …

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The M:C produced for me useable sounds only with external distortion, so it had to go.

Syntakt has distortion built-in and can be gritty af, and it can be even more brutal than those examples).


I’m not talking about distortion. Read the thread I posted earlier.

I did. But all the sounds in the first vid are done with a machine that the Model Cycles desn’t even have, and doesn’t even require distortion to sound huge. But being able to change volume and overdrive independently, and being able to decide what goes into the analog distortion opens worlds.

Treating Syntakt as M:C probably only leads to grief.


To some, not everyone.

You mean the Digi standard another LFO, a proper envelope per track + 2 more tracks and some more digital machines that Ess probably created during Cycles development?

++ your arrogant “Didn’t think so…” :joy: but anyways…

From my perspective, owning Cycles first, it felt like they added the analog to motivate the Digi price point + extra 200 euro when the only thing I was after were real envelopes + another LFO.

Then again, different tastes and opinions of what matters to us. That’s why we are here, right?

What can sound gritty to some, can sound trash to others. :wink:

In regards to the track count it is probably based of the capacity of the CPU that they use in all Digi hardwares, not generosity on their side. I therefore don’t see it as added value when it comes to two more digital tracks at the higher price point. Specially not in a tracker machine like the Elektrons.

Don´t get me wrong, I love the Digi machines. Specially the Digitone. Loving the Syntakt as well even though they changed things. :wink:

I don´t thing nobody is nor will be that stupid at that price point but there are always corner cases.

So I don’t know what ”grit” means for others, usually something else for any person in a thread. If it’s some kind of “punch” (another one of those words) … well, most machines have a parameter for pitch envelope. so it’s possible to set octave lower and make one’s own hard hitting pitch envelope with one of the LFOs and still have one left. And so on ….


anyone knows how to achieve this kind of stabs on the Syntakt ? (even with another machine than Chord Machine)

With grit, I mean the quality of the original, un-pitched, sound source. Punch is related to dynamic compression. A lower bit, sample rate, noise or feedback can create “grit” or “crunch” depending on taste. But I guess you already know this.

Closest would be SY DUAL VCO + another SY DUAL VCO to add the third voice with the balance turned to only hear 1 OSC and track volume turned down a bit to balande the first SY DUAL.

2x SY BITS would also be a good option.

I don´t care what it should cost since it is the added value to me, that defines what I think it is worth.

I rarely pay full price for elektron machines. I buy them seond-hand in mint condition. Digitone for £399 + lid seemed reasonable. Same could be said for a Syntakt without the analog part.

You buy them at full retail price and I at second-hand prices. Perfect. Everyone is happy. Lets get back to the topic since we are way off.

Depends if you want it to sound good and/or be useful. It really doesn’t take that many harmonics to make aliasing a huge issue with wavetable oscillators that aren’t oversampled or anti-aliased (both would be costly in terms of processing power)


Thanks for precision !
What about a second Chord machine using SY BITS Waveforms ?

Btw since I had satisfying results combining a Chord machine with an SY BITs with fifth tuning…(tracks 6-7, beginning).


I think SY BITS is generating its waveforms and not just using a lookup table. Seems likely that a polyphonic version of SY BITS would be too resource intensive.


And I hate it. While there’s something to be said for a machine with a personality, artificial limits force you into complex setups with multiple boxes that I’m just not into. I want another big box that doesn’t hold back!

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I think it’ll get updates, it’s one of their best sellers. At least Glide.

I was messing with a scope and spectrum analyzer the other day (mainly to check out D.VCO), but poking around the SY Chord machine, yeah, it seems definitely to be additive (a handful of cleverly positioned sine waves per tone) and that, as Ess has written here and elsewhere, definitely solves the upper harmonics mystery.

In case it’s fun to see:


I’ll add: I use the chord machine all the time, but generally do something beyond synth and filter pages to add depth: give it a 2k exp LFO to tune for an organ-like noise transient, delay-based chorus, or double-and-pan (and detune, and alter a wave) it onto 2 tracks.

I ended up using it solely for fx processing. It’s kind of more worth it than AH mk2 imo. The extra filters, lfo, envelopes and all that stuff just makes it a great fx box. I like how stable and “clean” the sound processing is. Very surgical before it goes into more of the wild vintage stuff. You can sequence the FX block which is nice and p-locks… saving project program and you have a complete setup of fx ready. Most effects are achievable when you know how even beyond its spec. I would welcome more digital FX built in though! It’s same guts so easy copy paste. Bit crusher, comp… maybe an another delay type, chorus and I could go on. Modulation time based effects would be most welcome. Even some kind of multi type effect of more stuff in one kind of deal. Like when you combine delay with other modulation effects etc…


Random stuff:

This was quoted in the current M:C thread, Q&A with the developer of the chord machine and the chord machine’s wavetable:

And my “hihat machine sounds dull” thread:

On another note, I LOVE the direction Elektron has gone with the Swarm machine, just for the fact it’s organic and it’s crispy, not at all dull or lo-fi.