How are people liking the Model: Samples?


#1

Either I’m not looking, or I don’t see too many posts about the new box. I’m curious if people are into it and why?

Thanks!


#2

I like it. It’s quick and easy to get something going and a lot of fun to tweak while the sequence is running. It’s most assuredly limited - enough that it might prove frustrating to the seasoned Elektronaut. In some ways, I think the limitations are a plus - yeah, everyone says that about cut-down stuff, but for instance, the Sample Start parameter changes in increments of 0-127, and you can only select whole numbers. Now, while that would be maddening if I were sampling directly on the machine (because then I’d need fine-tuning to trim samples), here, it means I can created sample chains or wavetables of, say, 60 or 120 samples and each turn of the knob will take me right to the start of the next/previous sample/cycle. Model:Samples requires that samples be brought in from a computer, so any fine-editing will already be done.

I also like the hybrid low-pass/high-pass filter that shares a single Cutoff knob. This means I can get some weird results by modulating that knob, sweeping smoothly from low to high pass. Pretty cool.

Do I wish there were more parameters? Heck yeah. Decay is the sole envelope control. Ouch. And that’s for the sole envelope - you can access another rudimentary envelope, but you have to give up the LFO. That means I can use an LFO to sweep the filter cutoff if I want to also have independent control over the filter’s Decay.

I suppose it makes a lot of sense, given that it’s marketed as a drum sequencer. Me, I’m using it more as a wavetable-based synth sequencer, and for that, it’s pretty danged sweet. I see it less as a standalone all-in-one and more as an add-on to my existing Elektron rig. It gives me six more tracks of basic Elektron sequencing for $66 per track.


#3

It looks like a fun addition but I’m keeping my wallet closed until Elektron has sorted out their software/firmware stuff. Having owned a digital for nearly 2 years and seeing new boxes with more and nicer features being released while there was still not even OB beta for my box was and still is a bit sour :expressionless:

It does look like a lot of fun. Temping, specially with he class compliant usb audio. I must be strong :smile:


#4

I have to say, I’ve not experienced a single issue with the Model:Samples.


#5

I will echo everything Scot_Solida said.

It’s a FUN box, which is the main thing. It’s pretty powerful for the amount of money, and sounds very good. I also really like the filter. Having the continuous sweep between responses gives some interesting results.

It’s very playable, which is nice. IMO the Digis are too, but with the pads, and being able to chromatically sweep the sound via the sequencer buttons on top of that, you can get some interesting results just messing around.

The Digitakt is more in most ways capability-wise, but they both have their own feel. For the money, it’s a lot of power though.

It’s really fun to just plug in some good headphones, and sit back on the couch with it. It is one of those devices, that challenges you to squeeze more out of less. (track and function-wise) What’s there is excellent though. If you’re one of the people who just prefer to have a metric ton of power and features at your disposal, I’m not sure if this would be appealing. For me, I love to see what I can get out of things like this. Coming from a SID and Tracker background it was like this for me from the beginning, where I just love to dig, and see if I can pull off tricks to make it sound like more is going on than really is.

(I also love to be spoiled with choices, which is why I build modulars, but with something like Elektrons and Rolands, the more with less thing is my usual MO hence me sticking with Digis, M:S, etc. instead of going large-trinity)


#6

Coming from the Digitakt I like it a lot for what I need it for. Also money wasn’t a factor for me.

I sold my DT because my intention was to use it as a somewhat portable sketch pad and for that function it was both overkill and not enough.

I really enjoy the Samples for this purpose though. It is really small and eventually I’ll get some kind of portable battery solution for it but most importantly I find it fun and immediate in a way that a sketch pad should be.

I also own the Analog Keys and its basically the exact opposite for me, its in my studio so I don’t always have access to it and its obviously huge complex. It works fantastically in the studio and there’s tons of “sounds” that I go to the AK to get, specifically Bass and “modular” sounds.

I tend to use the Samples much much much much less when doing actual studio work. I’ve basically been recording the output to it and then just continuing in the DAW, so unless I want a specific thing it only gets used in the first 20% of a track. There’s not much it can do that can’t be done better with a DAW in front of you.

If for some reason your intent is to use this to build finished tracks then even as a drum machine you might find it lacking with its 6 voices and such. I wouldn’t get it for that purpose at all and would probably go for the more expensive machines like OT or AR.

side note: the limitations of the Samples can be very interesting if you use it creatively and I’m looking forward to someone implementing some kind of sampling with the unit using an iOS app. I remember that for the AR someone did just that so if that functionality eventually exists then to me the Samples will beat out even the new Teenage Engineering synth.


#7

I think there’s probably not that many posts about it on here because it’s not primarily aimed at existing Elektron users. The M:S users that are new to the company (like me) will start to show up here over the coming months as they explore the device, the community and the company.

I’m probably the perfect example of the target audience for the M:S. I’m getting back into electronic music making after a long absence, only starting to get gear together. I spent the last few months looking at things like the Digitakt, the Drumbrute Impact, the TR-8s, Arturia SparkLE and the Tanzmaus, trying to figure out what I wanted from a drum machine. Obviously I wanted quality sound and a good sequencer, but sometimes it’s the little things that make the difference. I definitely wanted stand-alone hardware. I figured I wanted samples over a synth. I wanted it small. I wanted rubber buttons and liked the idea of 16 step buttons in a row, not two rows of 8. I wanted polyrhythms and parameter locks. And plenty of knobs.

When the M:S was announced, suddenly there was something that ticked all the boxes. I don’t really care too much about Sample Locks. I’m not concerned at all about not being able to sample onboard. Individual outs aren’t essential.

I’m only a week in, but I love it. It’s as light and portable as a book. I can pick it up and play it anywhere. I’ll be travelling for work soon, and it’s coming with me, with a power-bank and an iRig Pro Duo to hook it up to my phone. I’ve loads to learn on it, and am so, so looking forward to it.

I know the Digitakt and Octatrak have more and better features. I could have afforded either - even both. Maybe I’ll buy them in the future. I have a loan of my brother’s Machinedrum Mk I. Aside from the fact that the motherboard battery is gone, it’s too much. Too big, to complex, too complicated. For me now, at least, the Model:Samples is perfect.


#8

I just sold my Digitakt because I prefer the Model:Samples, despite the limitations. The DT is nice, and I kept it hooked up on the desk in my studio setup. But I realized when I’m sitting at the studio desk, I would gravitate to other instruments or the computer. So far I’m using the Model:Samples more as a portable instrument around the house, away from the computer. I’ll definitely buy a battery if they release one.

I use the M:S basically in two ways: as a straight drum machine with individual drum hits, and also for generating more random and surprising results by loading longer samples full of noise and manipulating the Start and Length parameters. It’s fun and easy to use, yet the feature set still goes pretty deep. It’s like an Elektron and Korg Electribe had a baby and it got all the “good genes”.


#9

I find the the fact I can plug it straight into the mains without the adaptor doobri whatsit thingamajig very refreshing.
Key when you have a busy home.


#10

It’s my first Elektron device, I’ve owned it for about 6 days and so far I’m on the fence about it as it’s so damn limited.

The bad:

6 Samples/tracks isn’t enough. Work arounds are a pain.

I’ve ran out of parameter locks and had the machine start removing modulations I’ve previously made to make room for new ones in 64 step sequences.

The screen is borderline useless. I load in a folder with a sample pack of drums on and all I can see are the first nine letters of the title - usually denoting the sample pack name and leaving out what the actual hit is called. I have no idea if it’s a kick/bass/snare/effect etc until I actually select it and load it. Do I really need to rename the 1TB of samples and loops I have installed?

Sample start/loop point resolution is limited to 120 step length divisions of the sample length. Load in a long sample of a couple of minutes and attempt to cut out a sound and your start and end loop point could be out by half a second each.

The Good.

It’s simple to use. Took about 10 minutes to figure out the basics and about 2 hours to figure out how to use every other function on it.

It sounds OK - once you get used to it being only 6 tracks.

It’s cheap but feels fine, pads are a joy to use even though others complain.

Conclusion:
If I knew what I know now I probably wouldn’t buy it again. It does serve a purpose which I’ll use (I’ll program just the percussion elements group on the M:S and leave the kicks/snare/hats to other samplers in my DAW) , but it also leaves that niggle that I should have just went ahead and bought the higher up version.

edit addition with more time to reflect: I’m actually not too sure where the Model:Samples fits in.

It’s not really much use as a dedicated drum machine as it has no way to string songs together automatically. You’re basically left with either muting parts or manually changing the pattern mid loop.

It’s not much use as a dedicated sampler due to it lacking in so many features, like ADSR’s filter envelopes, LFOs, polyphony etc of a regular sampler.

It’s not much of a glitch machine, the sample retrigger feature is quite sloppy with no simple way to automate the trigger amounts in any immediate way.

So what exactly is it, Can someone shed a light on it. You make a loop , match it to your track tempo with your DAW and then write it to audio, then make another?


#11

I tried it in the shop for the first time the other day. One thing’s for sure: the headphone output is very weak. I tried it with a pair of Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro headphones, which I own and love to bits. All the other Elektron boxes I’ve tried (Octatrack, Digis) and even iPhone and iPad can produce a decent listening level without an external headphone preamp. The Model:Samples is very quiet in comparison. Probably workable with most IEMs and closed-back headphones though.


#12

I think using a tracker/limited sound engine is a necessary rite of passage for every electronic musician. I see so many jam videos by people with tons of gear, but making music that could be handled by a single box, or two at the most. Nothing wrong with that I guess, but I personally find it a lot more fun exploiting the machines in order to squeeze as much out of them as possible!


#14

When I received mine I had the same reaction, but found out that you can limit the headphone volume in the parameters. By default it is limited, and after adjusting it the ouput is loud enough.


#15

That is good to know! Thanks for the info. The volume difference was so much that it really didn’t make sense.


#16

yeah, this is so cool! A huge reason for me why it’s so much fun to play with the model samples. Cutoff + Control All = :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


#17

You can chain patterns, you just can’t save the chain. Same as the Digitakt, no?


#18

And the song mode debacle continues…


#19

It’s the first piece of Elektron gear I’ve ever touched so I have no idea what the operation of the Digitakt is like.


#20

I’m a first time elektron user (coming from the Novation Circuit), and I’m impressed. It’s very easy to use.

The M:S is perfect for me. I record completely dawless as I am really limited on time, and just like to make jams on YouTube. When the battery option becomes available I’ll be able to use it on my lunch break at work, which will be really cool.

I like to use the M:S as an all in one box. So my six tracks will go something like this: kick, snare, hats, sample loop, sample one shot, vocal sample. I then use a TB-03 for the bassline. I also run the M:S through a mini kaoss pad, I highly recommend this, it’s so much fun.

So yeah, the M:S does have its limitations…but it’s immediate and more importantly it’s very fun to use. Take time to think as a user, what do you want from it? I hope my ramblings go some way to helping you decide :headphones:


#21

Couldn’t have said it better myself.