Elektron Syntakt - live user reflection

If you want to keep things in an Elektron ecosystem why not run with the Analog Heat on top of the Syntakt? I disagree that these devices are incapable of producing distortion and crunch.

And Pre / Post filter switch !


I think Analog Heat wouldn’t satisfy @Zeeandthelostboys. It has a kind of limiter, its high gain distortions don’t sound as good as Analog Drive. People don’t seem to understand the difference.


As a synth I think the SY is huge, but I find that there is a thin line to find the sounds I want, the smallest adjustments can take from sounding mega to sounding forgettable.

I get the SY sweet as and then as simple as 2-3 notches on the feedback (for example) and the sound is lost. It’s not like that on DN, it seems to have a wider bullseye. I’d say stick with it but longer.

I do agree that the ST’s drive/distortion doesn’t quite get to the levels I’d like it to, but one thing I like about it is that it doesn’t thin out the sound like say, a distortion pedal would. That’s my issue with the TR06/TB03 for example. Turn up the distortion and the bass just drops out.

I have the stereo one of these:

It’s a very expensive way to set up parallel effects and gain staging… but it lets you keep the bassy heft whilst you add the bone-crunching distortion. It might be worth it for some people.


Have you considered the MC-101 in your setup? It’s super small and comes packed with amazing lead sound design possibilities and has countless of distortions and amp simulation on board that can be set on a per track basis. You can sequence it from the Syntakt, or let it sequencer itself on one or all of its four tracks. It sounds so much better than its cheap looks suggest.

Would pair up nicely with a Digitakt too of course, if you really don’t like the sound of the Syntakt outside of the distorted leads territory.


@darenager may shime in ?

Sounds like you need external distortion in the studio for recording and a sampler for playing those sounds/stems rather than a groovebox. There isn’t a drum machine or groovebox out there that does distortion how I want it, it’s usually too lightweight and lacks hair. The only box I have that does distortion I like is the Virus TI, and that’s definitely not a groovebox. The closest all-in-one dirty groovebox I’ve found is the Digitone, the per-track and master distortions, though it is thoroughly digital and lacking the out of control filth of a Sherman Filterbank.


One thing to keep in mind, with high gain distortion come high noise levels. Clearly other options to limit that exist, but I imagine it’s just more stuff to bring to the gig.
For a live situation a sample would allow for that sound without that constant buzz while you are not playing

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Yes, especially Analog Drive, very noisy compared to Analog Heat. You can use noise gates for that. I have to try my HX STOMP…

Otherwise, from a ST Digital voice, theoretically no noise (unless added intentionally). Repeating myself, at least I’d like an extra gain switch because with certain settings (short decay) I found BD MODERN pretty weak, so I have to lower other tracks…


We need a box that converts audio over usb to individual analog outputs.
Until then an audio interface + iPhone + mixer + stomp boxes have to do.

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It is already possible to use any distortion as an insert for chosen tracks, but in mono. I already tested it with ST, and recorded an example with Digitone, same principle.

I recorded DN left output but I used an Analogue Drive as an insert distortion. :content:

Bassline panned right > AD > Input left (panned left + delay)
Other sounds panned left.
Listen to left output.
Delay can be panned, not chorus nor reverb.


It also possible in stereo with ST, feedback is surprisingly low.

You can monitor ST with MAIN, send headphones to a distortion, back to 1 input (External In set to Dual Mono).
Or use 2 distortions.


Not sure I entirely follow this, but since you mention iPhone, I thought I’d mention to all in this thread that ST (unlike DT/DN) can do an external FX loop for up to 2 tracks via USB audio—not ideal for most studio gear, but for hooking up to iPhone or iPad via usb audio, it’s great for adding effects to one or two tracks.

It’s in the audio routing menu, USB Out has options per track (take the chosen tracks out of main routing in same menu), and USB audio back in has Pre/post FX option.

I also think there are plenty of distorted sounding sweet spots in the DVCO, like the ring mod at +/- 7, overdrive cranked, modulating balance.


The analog distortion in the ST works on the amplitude of the input signal. So if you maximize the input volume of a track, then you’ll be able to hear what that circuit does.

That said, I agree that it could be more intense. I’d love to see more settings for the analog distortion added in the future (or digital hybrid), so that people could dial in what they want.


Hey all, I’m back and smashed the most out of the analog fx drive.

Direct audio, no post processing. Using sounds from my upcoming sound pack for the Syntakt.

Enjoy :wink:


Thanks a lot for this tip, which I saw when you posted it—I for some reason had been a little too polite with my track levels, and putting things through the drive sounded like … mild clipping.

Realizing that the drive, then filter, then amp level really allows for a lot of shaping and level control: but only when signals going in are near the max. Now I get it, and am very satisfied with the results!

… and then Velocity gives a little extra boost on top!

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Haha - that was AWESOME!

That’s a lot of grit!


Got more :wink:

& a quick one from just now …

both direct audio, except the video has a bit EQ on it.