I now got my DN. To be honest I’m not quite satisfied with it right now but this is maybe based on my years of experience with subtractive synthesis only. So I’m a virgin in FM. The sound is different from everything I’ve done on other machines, even the Blofeld sounds different with it’s FM-implementation.
The layout of the user-interface: It’s different but not too different from other Elektrons i have. First i was overwhelmed by it’s more direct access to synthesis-parts - that sounds awkward but on the other machines A4,AR,OT,AH there is some certain logic in menu-diving given more space for the user-interface … this one is one level below or up - don’t know how to express myself better… it took me some time to figure it out - now it works
The sound-engine: once again I was overwhelmed by the very different approach to synthesis. The very first patches i created, based on the logic of subtractive synthesis and didn’t sound very well - as a mater of fact i was thinking about sending it back immediately. Then i listened to the demo-patterns, a behavior i usually don’t do on any machines, and I’ve learned that the DN sound quite well but also with heavy use of chorus, delay and specially the reverb!
The FX: i don’t know how to describe it but the FX sound quite different compared to the ones in the A4 - the chorus on the A4 seems to thicken up the sound, on the DN it sounds more lightweight but also more artificial - but not bad. The delay seems to be improved and far more powerfully, more dark - i would say it’s easily in the league with the plethora of mid-range pedalboards out there. The reverb seems to be also improved - well sounding. In my opinion the FX-section must be seen as integral part of synthesis here.
The sequencer: on a small box like the DN the 2x8 layout seems logical (keyboard! and steps in one) - it took me some time to get familiar with. The lights, the new buttons and everything - a different look
The filter-section: it’s interesting that the base-width-filter found it’s way to the DN - a useful tool for removing some characteristics from the oscillators! The other filter is quite nice for some kind of pronouncing certain frequencies … it sounds different from everything I’ve heard so far. Also the resonance is hardly self-oscillating when maximized - more on the LP2 than LP4. It seems, that the filters can be rather seen as a add-on sound-designertools for frequencies than for ‘coloring’ the sound of the oscillators like on subtractive synths
LFOs: nothing to say there, maybe an additional modulation-target per LFO would be nice
Overall: there are two path i could go - either i send it back or i put in some efforts in programming this synth. I’m not quite sure what the DN represents, a small groove-box or a synth-module. I think there is still place for improvements:
parameter-slide: i miss it and it is a must-have, but i could also imagine this will eat up a huge amount of DSP-power, specially when used on the fine ratios - i guess FM is very DSP-hungry
envelopes: as modulator, with targets - on the BW-filter-page there is still place for a simple AR-envelope with looping-functionality detached from the sequencer or step/trig-locked
and: some sort of striped down version of a song-mode which can be saved with the project
as i said, coming from a subtractive background i have to wrap my mind around this thing. In case i keep it, it could become a love-hate-relationship or a love