Most Flexible Machines for Techno?


I’m in a weird spot with my live techno sets where I feel like I’m too spoiled for choices between all the different machines for each track. I’d love to settle on one kit and never change the machines, to start out with, sorta like a normal drum machine. I don’t think I’ve quite gotten the “feel” for every machine yet, and sometimes I’ll get awesome sounds, other times I’ll get a mess.

Of the machines for each track, which ones do you guys think are the most flexible to get “good” sounds for techno - thinking mostly 909-like sounds here? Is there a list of what each other machines is supposed to “sound like” or emulate?


Most obviously: erica synths techno system… :wink:


I Not Sure of i understood the question? What are you looking For? A drum machine or a Sampler?

Rytm maybe?


seems clear the question is about selecting from the on board options on the Rytm


I have an AR2. I’m asking about the machines on each track, ie Bass Drum Classic, Bass Drum Silk, etc


Mate, don’t take this the wrong way, but it’s about what sounds best to you.

The Belleville Three didn’t use a blueprint, and that’s the beauty of techno- there’s no rules.

If it sounds good, do it. If it doesn’t, you have samples you can use to blend the whole shebang.



Aha! Maybe try some Soundpacks from Elektron for Inspiration?


These are samples :wink: My question is very specifically around the machines themselves.


I think, even a high level one-liner about the types of sounds each machine is meant to make would be helpful. Aside from the FM drums, I can’t even apply my normal synth knowledge here because the machines don’t have documentation on how they’re architected


I can then only recommend: browse the factory presets and analyze them and tweak them to your liking and built from there.


Your mind is the most flexible machine for techno.


Why are you not reading the manual?
Have you watched any videos?
Why have you bought a machine, that you’re not willing to explore and find out it’s nuances?

It’s pretty obvious what each machine is meant to sound like, you then use your ‘synth knowledge’ to create something of your own, should that sound not be applicable.

Am I missing something here?


Most flexible machines for techno? Use them all, don’t limit yourself!
One or two DVCOs should never be missing from your kit, this is the most flexible machine for me. You can do almost anything: kick, bass, lead, percussion, fx.
As for the specific machines, there really isn’t one more suitable than another.
BDCL it is one of the most interesting, due to the selectable transients but each has something special. I have the opposite problem instead, I would like at least another dozen new machines!!



To clarify: I’ve had the AR2 for about 7 months now, and already played it in 6 live shows with a 250+ person club. All of them have involved a not insignificant amount of prep work, and I’m looking to reduce that prep work by doing more live sound design, and narrowing down to 1 or 2 machines per track that I stick with. Without individual channel cue outs (and not wanting to go to a submixer for that because I lose the master compressor) I’m stuck with eyeballing based on what I think sounds good, playing it, and tweaking it from there.

Unfortunately, when I’ve practiced doing that from scratch (not using presets) it’s pretty hit or miss whether what comes out sounds good or not. That’s why I’m asking for people’s thoughts on the different machines, what they use them for, and which ones they find to be most flexible in crafting a wide array of “normal” drum sounds reliably well.

So maybe let’s stop assuming things when someone asks a question? I expected to see this attitude on Gearslutz, not Elektronauts.

(PS I read the manual cover to cover about 4 or 5 times before I even bought it)


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Hmm, I initially found the title and question a little misleading too. But as others stated: just use all the machines on the AR…


Just an idea. But maybe it’s not the AR machines, but rather how they are processed? More distortions, effects, LFOs, and tuning?

I’m learning slowly that it’s not so much about the root oscillator, but rather how it’s effected that gives it a “techno sound”


I think you are onto something here! I’ve had the machine for two weeks and I am having a lot of fun exploring the different engines. One aim was to nail a cymbal sound. Using just the synth engine alone wasn’t hitting the spot. Next, and chronologically on the panels layout, is the sample section. I add a sample to taste. I think I am going to try a different way after reading your good advice and try adding the sample last. Just for the purposes of one of my favourite things ever - experimentation. :+1:

At the moment, after adding a sample and getting closer to the cymbal I wanted to hear it was time to run it out of the RYTM to external gear. I tried it through the DD500 and into the RV500. It was sounding pretty good, unlike the hihats that I was also experimenting with at the time. Then I tried them on a THRU track on the OT and it was better still. I set up a neighbour track and hey presto… What d’you know… really, really nice cymbals!

My aim is to play live too, I’d love to just use one box and maybe through practice and experimentation I’ll be able to.

Using the OT and other fx boxes really helped me to nail sounds I wanted to hear. I thought my the hihats would sound top notch being ran through the DD500 and RV500 but I only got floating hihats using the OT’s delay and reverb.

To the OP, do you have any of your live set recorded? Where are you based? It’d be fun to hear them. It would give everyone a better idea of the type of techno you are shooting for… you say ‘normal’ drums but it doesn’t really define the exact sound.
It’s a shame to hear something like your Gearslutz comment btw.


Maybe, the answer is to load up the RYTM with 909 samples? Or have a jam on a TR8S judging by this thread… Performance Drum Machine Analog Rytm vs TR8