Machinedrum UW vs non-UW + octatrack

hey folks,

as i’m looking at getting a machinedrum i’ve been reading a bunch about the whole UW vs non-UW debate. ideally i’d buy a machinedrum UW+, hwoever theyre quite hard to find so im onsidering a non-UW instead (i also own an OT). obviously a lot of people swear by the UW functionality (apparently even when theres an OT involved!) but im not sure what the actual difference would be. i was hoping if someone could explain to me where the differences might lie if i’ve got a MD UW+ instead of running a MD output into an OT input for live resampling apart from needing an extra cable.


You add very little if you already have an OT.

These topics may be of interest:


The 12-bit sampling engine of the UW does have its charm.

Also, this dude’s trick can be done with the synthesis engines, but the real badassness happens with the sample engines:

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MDUW MKII : 2.5MB RAM, mono, 44.1khz 12 bits, 4 recorders, 4 players
OT : 85.5MB RAM (8m28s), stereo, 44.1khz 16/24 bits, 8 recorders (1 per track), 8 players

MD rec/play requires 2 tracks, but it allows feedback easily. Higher pitch for MD. You can do more complicated things with OT, like playing up to 8 recordings on 1 track (sample locks).


very cool video but i dont really understand what he is doing with the sampled audio apart from that he is plocking it… the same can in principle be done with the OT right?

He’s using control-all machine to make changes to all tracks simultaneously. But the way he does it recording the changes over 32 steps of the control-all machines gives him almost like 32 presets controlling the ‘same position knob’ on all the tracks. As it changes the parameters of sample machines some really cool sounding artifacts start to reveal themselves.

Mostly it’s just a cool quirk of the UW workflow. You can do equally awesome things with scenes in the OT, but not this exactly.

BTW, if I were in your shoes (and money wasn’t a factor I guess) I’d get a model cycles to hold me over on the cheap until a MKII UW+ popped up. I have both and the Cycles is awesome! If you found you didn’t need or want the maxed out MD you obviously wouldn’t have any issue getting rid of it. Also, the plus drive makes a pretty big difference if you want to save multiple projects.

Edit: overly redundant, and it’s still pretty bad…


thanks for the insight!

I’ve got a friend who also went the cycles route and is really happy with it… but ive only got about 1000 euro to drop, so i guess i’ll just have to be patient :innocent:

I have both the MDUW and OT, and while I’m glad I got the UW version, it’s not really something I end up using a TON of. It’s not the same as the what the OT can do, but I kind of like the OT better in a lot of respects for that real-time sample mangling sort of stuff.

There are others who swear by the UW features and who can get really crazy results with it, but especially with the prices getting a little out of hand these days, if you found a MDmk2 non-UW for a good price, I’d say go for it.

Also, if you’ve got an OT, you might want to think about the Nord Drum too as a drum machine, it does a lot of weird stuff, and looks like a nice pair with the OT, if you’re not dead-set on an Elektron or beat box with a sequencer.