Machinedrum - Still relevant or a nostalgia piece?


Others have mentioned the most interesting aspects. To me it’s: the emphasis on digital drum synthesis and unabashedly digital timbres, which hasn’t been trendy for a decade or so but is set to have renewed interest; the live resampling and looping machines which can get really crazy while still staying musically “of a piece” with whatever you’re doing; CTRL-all sequencer tracks; plenty of free-floating LFOs; etc. But even aside from the specifics, there’s just some kind of magic dust in the machine. It’s never been anything less than interesting to use and rewarding to learn, and it always produces results I like.


Yeah. I’m glad I made this thread and slept on it before bidding. I think I’ll hold off a bit and keep my eyes open for a deal on a UW in good shape. It seems like there are a lot of MDs out there in Japan, so it’s probably just a matter of timing…and the truth is that what I really want is for them to release a MKIII, so I don’t have to worry about the stuff you face with old electronics (my old Yamaha SU10 just kicked the bucket suddenly a few weeks back).

I listened to @Bobeats YouTube video on GAS the other day before falling asleep and it has some good points about getting the most out of existing gear whenever possible. I want to see if my MD itch can be scratched to some extent by sampling a bunch of Microtonic drums into my Digitakt and then experimenting with resampling to free up tracks as needed.

One of the problems I’m facing at the moment is that I just sold off about $5G worth of gear, so I’m finding myself REALLY tempted to pickup pieces of gear that have been on my radar for a long time, the MD being a prime example. Must. Stay. Strong.


that’s the video that convinced me to buy one and I wouldn’t trade mine for any other piece of Elektron kit


This is a fantastic idea. At the very least, it’s worth a try. @darenager said it better, but if I bought a Machinedrum again, it wouldn’t be for its sound machines per se (which reminds me why I sold it), it would be for all of the little weird things that make it more than just a drum machine.


still use Machinedrum on the reg


Ha - I had a hot streak of downsizing and minimizing myself. …at which point, I saw a good deal on an OT mkII and couldn’t resist. :man_shrugging:t3: And then I picked up the Volante… At least I sold 7 pieces to bring in 2 bigger ticket items…

I say try to hold out until you find just the right item. Then again $5 g’s might not miss what it would take to get an MD… :evil:


This thread got me wanting to put together a demo of what the MD can sound like doing breakbeats. There’s a few samples at work here (vocals, a wooden windchime, snap patch from my Digitone) A little bit of ctr-al, lfo modulating the delay time on a few sounds, retrigs, another random lfo for pitch on toms, etc…Don’t judge too harshly, just put together about an hour ago.


Rytm and MD seem to have some inherent synergy benefits… The MD can sample and SDS the result to a rytm, the rytm has a nice analog comp for plugging the MD into… Should certainly pair em up one day!

OP: If you can, go for the mk II UW. I’m still kicking myself for skimping out and getting a mk I


The only thing I’d change about my UW is the faceplate. Think the non UW looks totally sexy.

First world problems haha


Here’s an ancient track of mine that is MD-UW only, except for the bloppy synth fx sound. Heavy use of UW resampling for glitch sounds.

Yes I know the low end is way too heavy. I wasn’t so good at mixing then :slight_smile: (private link)


I came to this thread for this answer


OP is a ridiculous way to look at making music.

I’m honestly dumbfounded.


That 's a very cool jam/method! When I got my MD mk1 it didn’t even have CTL machines yet :slight_smile:

What sold me was a live gig recording of Valve, I think playing on 2 MD’s. Sadly I cannot seem to find it now.


Yeah, i feel you. I think using the inputs of the elektron boxes has many uses but not for recording; for jamming and live use - great. And for keeping a small mobile setup without the need of a mixer.

Also when using the main outs you have access to all the effects, that´s nice.

I recommend something like Antelope Orion, 32 ins and 32 outs. Plus 32 more of each available via madi/adat.

Rytm is the killer since you can split those 6 outs into 12 whopping mono channels! That really eats interface channels though… :smiley:


I had my mk2 repaired at the end of last year as I damaged it in transit so seems they are still repairing them. I believe they are not repairing mk1 units any more as the parts are not available. When I had a faulty mk1 they did try to offer advice regardless though.

Not sure on the common faults thing. I hope not as I love my mk2, such an inspiring box! Would be all over a mk3!


Parts are always available, they´re not using unique components - it´s just standard electrical ones that you can get similar ones at any electronics shop like Mouser and such. Besides the case and circuit boards and perhaps some custom microprocessor, nothing there is unique and difficult to obtain.
I think they always will repair them since it´s also good money; i just repaired my Rytm for about €75 and they just switched the whole board out. Guess they still have a good stock.


I have 2 encoders knobs wearing out: knob E (the filter freq one…) and the large track selector dial. And I have had to get a power supply component/board repaired/replaced previously. This is an mk1.


I can’t find the ticket now as they are migrating the software but I am pretty sure Elektron said they no longer repair mk1s - although they may have just been referring to the issue i had (seemed one of the DSPs had died as a result of crappy packaging when shipped second hand).

I’m sure independent repair shops can fix many common issues like encoders etc though.


just sold my mkII non-UW. there’s no doubt about it, it’s fantastic. has a unique sound and it’s immediately enjoyable to use. I just wasn’t using it in conjunction with other gear, so I was happy to pass it on to someone who will. but it’s still very much relevant.


Oh, that sucks. But unless it´s a catastrophic meltdown, as you say it can be repaired by a technician with enough soldering skills - or by a hobbyist given it´s not too advanced repair.
Encoders should be an easy fix.
Though i understand Elektron don´t want to repair things for all eternity, obviously they have enough to do with non-legacy products.