I was in the same headspace about 10 months ago, and thought I’d try an ARMKii to see if that “fixed” it - it didn’t. Since then I’ve acquired a case and some modules so it is less of a leap this time.
I’ve had my hands on a few drum machine/groove boxes recently, and sound design on all of them is just tedious. I know I can make great sounds on most of these machines but I don’t enjoy doing it. In particular, whenever I spend time with the AR MKii I end up using samples once I am fed up with the analog machines and it annoys the hell out of me - why do I have this device if I’m just going to work with samples? I know that’s not the case for everyone, but the pages and encoders are just not working well for me and I feel like I’m programming a tracker more than I want to be. I want some more immediate results and I tend to want things to go nasty and aggressive more quickly than most Elektrons will do (The LXR does this, at least, but I could take or leave the sequencer - I could see replacing this with a module version down the road).
In particular, I want more envelope types and shapes, I want chainable LFOs, and I don’t know why but I feel like I get better kick results cv controlling the A-121-2 at high resonance than I can doing the same thing on the A4, the ST, or the AR:
I am this close to abandoning the lot in a closet (save perhaps the Digitakt and possibly one other elektron) and going Euro. As a note: I already have a 104hp 7u case and a smattering of modules (MCO, Doepfer 2 pole SVF, A145-1 LFO, Studio Electronics Levels mixer, Intellijel dual ADSR, some utility 1u modules), so some of the initial expense is already sunk. And, really, this is more about time than money.
Probably thinking something like a DFAM (or DFAM+M32), an ASQ-1, and the newest iteration of a Noise Engineering BIA, maybe a Batumi, and then adjusting from there. I’ve touched a DFAM briefly and didn’t entirely hate it; I know the internal sequencer is limiting but I plan to add external sequencing when I need it and to just use what’s there when I don’t. I like that it just goes Unn Tcha when I want it to do that with pretty minimal work.
This all seems like utter madness, but so is buying yet another drum machine and expecting different results, right?