Machinedrum workflow - UW vs non-UW?

just snagged an MD from reverb. very excited to hop in.

i ended up going with the non-UW version, mostly due to price difference & availability (already have a DT for sampling). however, was wondering - for those of you who do own the UW version - how essential do you find the sampling capability to be in the context of your own workflow? how often/in what ways do you use it & how profoundly would you miss it if it were to one day suddenly disappear?

just trying to gauge how different the two machines actually are in practice, and how the presence (or absence) of that extra functionality impacts your own approach to making music.

thanks! n-n


I got the non-UW not long ago as well … it was a good deal
but my understanding is that with UW you can resample on the fly … which the DT doesn’t do

also interested in this question. I’m eyeing at the MD but already own the Octatrack.
Most people seem to recommend the UW nonetheless

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i have UW…youll be FINE without.
its just as easy to load samples from your computer. you miss out on resampling…but…in my case…i dont do that that much, if at all.
MD machines are way more fun than it’s sampling.

not having UW wouldn’t make a lick of diff for me. but thats just me.

have fun with it. you got yourself a sick machine!


I have UW, but I wouldn’t be heartbroken if it was Non-UW. I typically just use the on board machines for most percussion. Although now that I have a TT-606 as a secondary drum machine, it is extremely fun to resample it from the MD inputs. Gets that lofi 12 bit crunch and then you can layer it with the original input source.

With layering, lfos, on board fx and Ctrl machines, there is plenty there to keep you occupied with a non uw MD.

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I’d say the most valuable element of the UW is the +drive. It’s an inspirational machine and you will fill up patterns near instantly.

Samples sound great in the machine and it’s nice to have that ability applied to the machine, extends the sonic terrain. But, ultimately, the machine is about the synthesis


Interesting that the opinions so far tend towards the non-UW.

I’d definitely recommend the UW. Crunchy dirty drum sounds, more controllable CTR-AL (synth machines to spice things up), crunchy dirty resampled layers, sample replacement from the +drive via an easy button combo as an additional dimension of variation.


Coming from OT that was inspired by UW, I really like the realtime sampling mangling possibilities of the UW!


any major advantages over OT or different techniques that OT doesn’t cover?

I first owned the non-UW unit. For me it’s the real one that obliged to focus on the synth engine. So that permit me to really went deep in the mastering of MD.
Then I realised that my work was essentialy based on MD+a synth. So the UW became a plus to enlarge the sonor palet. I bought it, selling my first unit.
Then I understand two things :

  • first, the sampling abilities offers widest sound possibilities by importing samples.
  • second, the sampling abilities appears like a new electronic machine that makes the MD deepest. I think that you can makes things really interesting in live perspective, generative music and sound design and that put the MD to the pinacle. This statement is reinforce if your set-up is mainly based on MD.

It’s true that you have plenty of power with a non-UW MD. It’s also true that a UW model is absolutely worth having.

The internal synths are an endless source of sounds. Based on my past 9 years, I can say with confidence that you could explore them every day for the rest of your life and never get bored. Early adopters launched a version of our “science labs” where they’d make a kit out of 16 of the same machine and tweak each one to a different flavor of unrecognizability.

Combine this with its other strengths—16 freely assignable LFOs, control machines, a powerful sequencer—and you’ve got lots of capability.

That said, the UW engine is something I’d never want to be without.

It’s a shortcut to immediately useful sounds if nothing else. Feeling lazy or impatient? Want to just bang out a beat to go with that synth melody you just wrote? Load up some new samples and you’ve got instant gratification. It also opens up the MD to single-cycle waves, which are great for basslines, and melodic samples, which can turn the MD into a more or less complete workstation once you learn it.

Personally I’d want a UW if it only offered the resampling feature with no sample loading at all. I’ll spare you, but I could talk your ear off.

Some people gravitate toward one approach more than another, so of course there’s no single right answer here. But put samples and the synth voices together, all interacting in a single environment, and you can go a mind-boggling variety of directions.


I don’t see any.

Examples? Loop option is only with C6 isn’t it?
I wish I could loop what I record on the fly.

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No, I don’t think so. The OT is the gear for mangling. But MD sampler is really different beast with differents flavor, the whole in a drum machine.

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Sorry, i don’t really understand. You can record on the fly and loop it instantly.

Loop the sample? How?

Ok, I misunderstand. You mean loop the sample with loop point ? So you don’t have to put another trig to repeat it ? Ok you’re right. Have to use trig and locks.

Yep, in order to do single cycle like things.
I tried retrigs but it wasn’t satisfying.

I see one scenario where UW is a necessity: that’s when one really needs a set of samples and doesn’t (want to) have other devices that play samples. Say you’re a techno musician and you really need that 909 ride or snare but wish to only use an MD for beats.

Apart from that scenario the MD is perfectly usable without UW. That said, for anyone into glitchy electronics, the live resampling functionality is a real treat. It’s an endless source of sliced up glitch textures. I personnaly wouldn’t do without. I really miss it on the AR. Recently I set up my MD to work as a send FX sampling and cutting up what is sent into the audio inputs.

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keep trying @sezare56 , i’ve got some really satisfying single cycle waveform synth sounds using the retrigs. especially sliding pitch and retrig time together for lovely pseudo pitch bending.

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Ok, maybe you can detail some settings here?
Looping ROM samples (MD UW)?

Yep. Internal resampling, pitch up one octave can make a really efficient pitch delay.