How many synths are too many synths?


i have both RM1x & Command Stations.
Command Stations are superior, but RM1x sequencer supports polymeters properly.


I’ve never had my hands on the command station but I seem to remember they came out around the same time as the Yammy? I can deffo remember reading reviews for both of them in SOS. Over the years I’ve seen the Emu pop up on eBay on occasion but the time was never right for me to get one. Plus I’ve had the Orbit V2 since the earlyish days so I always guessed I had some of the sounds covered. Still wouldn’t mind trying the midi sequencing out tho. Didnt they have dual midi output ports?

I didn’t used to use the internal sounds much if at all in my stuff, I used it pretty much purely as a hardware sequencer but that said… the RM was such a hoot t write on. Headphones on, sat on my lap I could write for hours, substituting the internal sounds of external gear for tracking. I’m still a sucker for anything with an onboard sequencer for the same reason, hence what brought me to Elektron gear in the first place.


no, RM1x (1999) was the cheaper competitor for Roland MC-505 (1998).

E-Mu Proteus 2500 series (rackmount Proteus 2500 itself and desktop Command Stations) was released in 2001, and has much deeper synth engine. it’s definitely the deepest engine of ROMpler type, and one of the deepest digital synth engines ever created — that’s why i bought the spare unit.

they also have advanced sequencer with a lot of features (polymeters not supported though — but can be done via arpeggiator), 2x16 = 32 MIDI channels (dual MIDI Out, but single MIDI In), and 32-part arpeggiator.


Cheers dude! A guy I used to do stuff with bought the MC303 when that came out. It’s limitations put me off the Roland’s and when a second hand RM came along at the right price I went for it.


RM1x is a lovely machine.
its synth sounds are dated and have no much use nowadays, but drums/percussion is another kind of stuff, so i use it as advanced rhythm machine now.
i’m planning to buy something smaller to replace it on stage soon, but decided to keep it anyway, at least until i sample its drum stuff.

P.S. i don’t have any experience with Electrons so far, but would love to buy Digitone someday.


I just find it so intuitive to use and to get an idea down quickly I’ve yet to find a route that’s faster (discounting looper pedals etc). You’re right about the drum sounds too. With some external treatment they can hold their own. Some funky loops in there too.

Love the Digitone. it’s been one of my Favourite synths since I got it. Sounds so full and the sequencer and simplified workflow make it a joy to use. And it gives the RM a good run for the money in terms of speed of getting ideas committed to machine. Go for it, you like your hardware sequencers clearly and the Elektron one is a real game changer. Quite a few used DN’ s starting to pop up on the market too. Oh and it’s just had an OS update!


@Bunker it sounds like you have some really cool gear and know what they’re about, have you ever thought about making some youtube videos of them? I’m not suggesting you become a “synth youtuber” and all that entails but like theres a lot of people who love synths and would love to hear how they sound/what they do. Think about making some videos 2-3 mins each of your favourite stuff, just playing with them twiddling some knobs and chuck it on youtube, I guarantee you theres a lot of people that would love to see and hear them in action.


Cheers Dizzy. I have thought about it but to be honest I can’t think of anything I’ve got that someone hasn’t already YouTubed! I do keep toying with the idea from time to time. Stick some subtitles over the top (trust me no one wants to hear me waffle on!). I’d need to invest in a camera and a bit of time learning some simple editing software. I can’t stand doing things half assed!


Well, I’m selling right all of them, excluding my loved octatrack, lxr, monostation, and some strange guitarpedals. Tencho boing boing doesn’t need more, and samples must be enough for that other things. If I want to make serious stuff I’ll go back to vst’s and my midikeyboard. I’ve got some GAS problem, but - god thank you - only storage wise.


I say 12.


1 is enough, 2 is acceptable, 3 is too many.


Any more than 2 polys, 2 monos is probably too much for me to keep up with. Anything they can’t cover, I’ll settle for software or samples. Although I’ve owned/tried/sold many bits of hardware over the years, I’m certainly no collector.

Sometimes it can take years of trying tons of different gear to eventually realize what types of sounds you enjoy and what gear can cover that territory.

For me at least, I can make most of my favorite sounds with 3-4 versatile bits of hardware plus some software. If I can’t, then it’s not new gear I should look for, it’s the manuals and tutorials for the gear I already own.


I find that when I have very few synths/drum machines/samplers/etc, I want more. when I have a bunch, I want very few. it’s weird. so I’ve oscillated back and forth between those two states many times. at the moment I’ve got a bunch and I’m OK with it. I find that with many options, even if I don’t use something in a track for a while, I’ll still find time to play it just for the sake of enjoyment, even if nothing comes from it. and that’s a good thing.

I feel like I could make do with about five total though. probably two mono, two poly, and the OT. which ones to choose, though, I’d need a few years to figure that one out… but if you don’t have such a limitation, then there’s no right or wrong answer to this question.