I’m done with Elektron


#1

You know what? I think I’m done with Elektron gear, actually. As much as I love what their stuff allows me to do, I don’t enjoy working with them all that much anymore.

I’m coming to terms with the fact that I’m an old school guy. I like my knobs, wheels and buttons, not too many options, a defined character, wooden end cheeks, that kind of stuff.

The Heat’s an exception, which I now use for everything.

I guess I like what Elektron’s doing to the sound, but not so much the way to get there, anymore.

But you know me (well, some of you do). Tomorrow, I’ll be raving about how amazing the Digitakt is again. But not today.

Anyone else come to this point, at some point?


#2

No. The Digitone totally reinvigorated my love for Elektron a millionfold.


#3

I’ve come to that point three or four times… but they keep coming out with new points for consideration.


#4

Yes. Sometimes i really hate the fiddly rotary encoders of my beloved Digitakt. But i really like the simplicity and possibilities of it. I’d love to have a Digitakt with one knob per function interface.
It’s great to work with it for a while but it feels like work to hit the right parameter values sometimes.
I feel exactly like you. One day it’s pure joy next day it sucks. It’s not only Elektron’s devices that feel like that to me. But yeah, the interfaces of their machines are not up to the brilliancy of what the devices are capable of imo.


#5

I feel you. I’m constantly overwhelmed by the sheer amount of possibilities of my black boxes (specifically AK & OT), and end up using merely a fraction of the basics, while spending most of my time composing melodies with my one-button-per-function synths, which is immediately rewarding.
Then again I look at them fondly, knowing they’re a “live long learning” journey, anhilating every chance to ever get bored.


#6

If you are doing live and want complex-ish sound design with pretty awesome sequencers there is basically nothing but Elektron that will get you there in a single box.

But lately I’m thinking of going back in the box completely. I multi-track phrases and loops and do a lot of work in my DAW. I do plenty of live knob twisting when I record, but I do as much or more automation later. Hardware, at this point, feels like it is slowing me down.

Even the Moog Mother 32 I just got, while it does have a little something in the higher registers that no VST I’ve ever used has, I don’t feel like that is worth the price tag.

The U-he Repro bundle has be thinking if I liquidate my hardware and buy a more complex, sound designers synth from U-he and stop borrowing my budy’s Fab Filter creative package license he isn’t currently using…I’ll be good. I’ve recently gone all back in the box for drums and am loving it.


#7

I’m on the fence about being done with Elektron, but for other reasons. Mostly because of new products being released in an almost Beta stage -crashes, freezing, missing features. The lack of song mode on half of their stuff is also a sore spot with me. I currently own an A4, AR2, and an MD. I’ve also owned a DT in the recent past.


#8

I feel similar quite often.
I feel similar right now.
I enjoy working on one elektron box at a time. But some of them together or together with the laptop is exhausting for me. I can’t get it right.
I think having to set up a project on several different machines kills the workflow. I often think I might prefer if I had simpler machines, just a synth and something one or two hands on synths and something instant for drums that I record to the computer, instead of loading and saving on several devices.


#9

Yes I have felt this way often in recent years, mainly due to the lack of proper sample backup of the Rytm and Digitakt - I think Elektron should be embarrassed about it personally, not good enough.

There are other irks and things that can at times be infuriating about Elektron and the machines OS’s, and I think if I were an Overbridge user I’d probably be annoyed about that situation too.

However, also I am not one to cut my nose off to spite my face, I recognize that when Elektron get it right it just sits so well with me, I find using Elektron gear quite different than most other gear and often enjoy it more, at times it has made me laugh out loud at it’s almost apparent synergy with my brain, like it is reading my thoughts then going a bit extra!

I do also feel like @Unifono that often it is better working with one box at a time, or using them as separate entities synced rather than trying to make the same song across multiple boxen.
I think that the inconsistencies across the machines is a large part of the problem here, for example some can sequence external midi, some can’t, some have song mode some don’t, some have different song mode features to others, some have different pattern mode features to others, mute mode is not uniform across all machines, the list goes on, and none of these help in working with multiple machines together IMHO.

Still, I feel it is unlikely that another company will steal my love for Elektron, but like a relationship it takes work and effort from both sides to last.


#10

at least your mood hasn’t ruined your touch for starting provocative forum threads. :stuck_out_tongue:

i will never forget an old post from the user who convinced me to drop cash on my first elektron. while he was in the midst of what i considered an astonishingly creative period he remarked that he wanted to throw his monomachine at the wall on a regular basis. this from a guy who created some of the finest-sounding hardware techno i’ve ever heard. even he got frustrated.

i’ve been there with all three of my elektrons. in part this is because i get bored easily. these instruments require sustained effort — sometimes they remind me of playing chess, or some comparable activity where you can learn the basics in a day but need a lifetime for mastery. rarely do i get what i want quickly, or by a straightforward route. not good on days when i just want to bash out a banger. so i feel ya.

but every time i think i’ve exhausted these instruments (or myself) and think about moving on, i put them away for awhile. invariably, and i mean without exception, i have what i can only describe as an epiphany. i get a powerful vision of a dramatically new way to use them. i pursue it and — again invariably — i soon have an entirely new sound palette and new tools for composition and performance.

now i look forward to getting bored. it means my mind is about to teach me something. and when it does, i want instruments that can both generate and reward any kind of radical inspiration. so i have embraced the musical equivalent of studying chess strategy.

will be eight years in july. and i’m just getting started.


#11

In what way?

Every time I’ve fallen in love with an Elektron box, it’s always been “There’s no end to what this box can do!”, which in the end has usually been its end, the possibilities that only endless offer.

I’m pretty sure the Digitone would be the same for me. I’ll try it, love all the cool things it’ll help me do, I’ll come up with songs and tracks and I’m like “Yeah, this is it.”

Then, after awhile, I’ll just sit down and play a keyboard and remember what got me here in the first place, and put that Elektron box on sale, to join the others.


#12

Yes, that’s kind of how I feel about it, too. Except I only feel the good parts about a Prophet 6 or a Moog Mother 32. I’m just dying a bit, in a good way, whenever I turn them on. Smoking my pipe, having a bourbon.


#13

Haha :slight_smile: well, I feel pretty good about the whole thing, actually, so there’s no mood here to spoil the mood, so to say. I love what Elektron’s doing, I love their take on things and their creativitiy and ambition. This really is a all about me-thing, where I’m just realising that whenever I’m really pulled into an instrument, it’s been of the more traditional kind. A keyboard of sorts, or a fairly simple analogue affair, like the Tanzbar for example, and that’s just the way it is.

I am, however, done with this whole selling gear nonsense (my kind of nonsense - it’s not nonsense to sell gear, but my take on it was, for awhile, nonsense). I’m not selling my Digitakt, I’m putting it away, as you suggest, and then we’ll see.

I’ve used it mostly as my recorder, considering each sample like a snippet of tape. My samples are usually 15-20 seconds long, I do the actual legwork on other instruments. Then, I treat each sample like part of a reel and trigger it accordingly.

I can’t help but thinking that maybe an OP-1 would be better for me. I was actually on the fence of getting one not too long ago, but ended up with the Digitakt instead. You know what you’re getting with an Elektron, and I was familiar with it from before, so I guess that’s why.


#14

This. But in the end, it’s me not them. One of the things I didn’t take advantage of nearly enough was to (for example) set up the Monomachine to simply be a polysynth… and let it be sequenced by something else for once.

I appreciate that the main strength of the machines is the tight integration of their sound engine(s) and the sequencer, but sometimes the human pressure for any one box to carry all of the musical responsibilities can be a bit too much. This is a potential downside of any ‘minimal’ set-up. At the same time, duplicating similar setups across Elektron products ends up with a ‘trinity’ situation, which is a sort of admission of the breakpoints in such a workflow. But again, that’s me trippin’. No one ever said I needed to make music that way. So now I’m doing things differently.


#15

Overbridge would clearly help all those people that want a laptop hardware hybrid setup.
But, yes, I always had/have most fun, if I take one box out of the setup put headphones on and just deal with this single box


#16

Having started out with a Akai S2000 sampler in the late 90’s that had a tiny screen and a scroll wheel for most operations I feel blessed with the Elektrons :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


#17

I’ve finally gotten back to the point where i’m willing to try other stuff again. :grinning:


#18

Well i am a bit on the same side here but thats not only Elektron where I’m done with but all hardware boxes. I ended up doing always the same things, some were good things some frustrated. I am done with those all in one boxes and samplers. I sold a lot last months and bought a modest modular system (because I dont like ITB either) and man… thats so great and lets you think different. Every time I come up with something different. It opened up a lot for me and am not eager anymore to produce. Its all just sit down and do some patching, its like maditation. I still have some hardware… I like the small elektron boxes like digitakt and digitone and I love my Deluge.


#19

This 100%. It does indeed…or at least it did. My relationship with these boxes and my desire for a hybrid setup is contingent on OB holding it all together. I bought the AR and AKeys for this integration.

When it works, it’s perfect for this hybrid rig. Things like total recall remove the pain of the management of multiple projects across machines and just make the process intuitive. BUT…it’s not really working that well for enough people. Even my setup is starting to show cracks and glitches as OB has aged while my computer moves forward with updates. What once worked perfectly is now hanging by a thread.

My future with Elektron is contingent on them getting this right. Without OB integration I’d never tolerate trying to manage multiple machines and projects in the Elektron environment, for many of the reasons already touched upon earlier in this thread.


#20

I’m glad a I got ride of my elektrons just before the announcement of the MK2’s & got my money back. I saw it coming & I am still glad I did it, no regrets at all.

It all started for me when they discontinued the Md & mnm. They were my favorites then but now I feel like I have waste many years on elektron gear, the constantly menu diving & complexity to work, to save your work was no fun for me anymore.

I have an akai z8 dated from the year 2002 that has 512 mb ram memory, a compact flash card of 32 gb, works with aksys on wind10 & can handle samplerates of 96khz. What aksys can do, oh man overbridge doesn’t come close.
Not to mention my other gear aswell. No gas for me anymore!

I’m positive, I still like the forum & do check there new things but that’s it, no offence to other users or elektron at all!
With a limited setup & gear that you know blind is for me the key.