No external MIDI = sadness


so now we know… right?



I will buy this product if it can sequence a external midi device(s).

I have been looking for a good midi / analog drum machine hub (studio centre piece) to bang things out on without a computer for some time and toyed with the idea of MPC, tried the xbase888 for awhile but never quite what I was looking for. If this device has the sample and the external sequence options it maybe the solution.


They surprised everyone with the built in +Drive on the A4, so who knows… There may be MIDI sequencing eventually. Unfortunately though, the fact that there seems to be no dedicated MIDI button does not bode well, imho. :thinking:


I honestly feel that elektron doesn’t want the AR to have midi. If the AR had 8 midi tracks I could see a lot of potential buyers bypassing all the other products and going with just an AR as an all in one solution.


I signed up just to express my sadness as well. I got hyped about this upcoming machine, but I have a Korg Electribe-EMX; the thing is from 2003 but it can still record external midi and play it back on up to 5 separate channels, layered with a synth on the same channel even, albeit monophonic, but with the possibility to layer midi-channels on midi-channels for some interesting combinations. Seriously, how hard is it to include midi sequencing in 2014? Such a loathsome disappointment…


I have absolutely no interest for the AR, but i feel why some people are disappointed about the lack of midi sequencing.

I don’t think it is a smart move from Elektron, just to sell some more Machinedrums and add that functionality later into the AR when it will be discontinued ?

It is good for Elektron to have some kind of synergy between all of their hardware, but there are some limits, and i hate it when commercial choices interfere with users needs.

There are a lot of choices in the drum machine / sequencer market, and for the lack of midi sequencing, i won’t even look at anything else from the AR.

I am much more interested into the LXR potions for that same kind of box, even though it is digital, it sounds SOLID! … and is a tight sequencer …

From another topic, thanks for the original poster:

The Analog Rytm will not replace the Machinedrum. They are two different drum machines.

The biggest difference is:
AR = Analog drum machine with sample support, meaning you can only LOAD samples onto it. On each of the 12 tracks you can then mix analog synthesis with a loaded sample.
DM = Digital drum machine with SAMPLING and it has got MIDI sequencing which the AR does not.

Also, they sound very different from each other. And this is of course a matter of personal taste.

Hope that helps
All the best



Not even the Machinedrum can record external midi, which is yet another disappointment. It’s that one simple feature that is intentionally left out, so that the Monomachine doesn’t become obsolete.

Sure, the MD can sequence externally, but it isn’t fun doing parameter lock after parameter lock when all you want to do is play those keys!


When you read the response from Uhik from Elektron, i read it like:

AR = Analog drum machine with sample support, meaning you can only LOAD samples …

Go buy an octatrack !!!

DM = Digital drum machine with SAMPLING and it has got MIDI sequencer which the AR does not.

Go buy a machinedrum to sequence your AR then !!!

Also, they sound very different from each other.

FCK !!! Go buy them all !!!



The way I see it is we have 2 groups generally (and some who belong to both)

1 who say “elektron hold back features so you have to buy them all”

Another who sob “I can’t fucking believe these features are overlapping so much and my X box is now obsolete” (again some seem to say both)

IMO you can’t totally avoid both circumstances and both are expected to some degree when a company wants to make multiple machines all with different angle/strengths. I’d say expect the newer black boxes at least to all have a secret weapon or unique approach to the next (OT MIDI-A4/CV-AR/PADS??) etc.

Its like Spider-Man would be a bit pissed off if marvel wrote wolverine to shoot webs from his claws… Sure its POSSIBLE given its 2014 and would be boss for wolverine if that happened but a bit shitty for everyone els and nobody would want to play with Spider-Man any more. :smiley:


Thing is Elektron’s signature is its awesome sequencer, so it should be there, the same on all boxes. So whatever piece of gear you get from them, you should still have that sequencer fully implemented …

They should make it as a stand alone box next time, so no complaints anymore ! Rm1x style !!!


^ they do all have awesome sequencers!! but not all designed to midi sequence other gear, they have 1 main box for that, maybe they should have implanted CVs into OT so then the A4 wouldn’t have that extra mojo and you could just use OT?!

I like the simplicity of each box having its strengths. Plus if they implemented a midi sequencer the next thing would be "why can’t it sequence like the OT… Basic midi sequencing on AR or A4 would be nice as I’m planning on using those 2 with the modular live, and can’t access some nice midi potential, but personally I’d expect a stand alone box before A4/AR get it…

I also really want my OT back so I guess the system works. :slight_smile:


to be fair every groove box until a4 had some kind of external midi control. and even the a4 has it’s niche with extensive cv control.

if i could have midi external control, i would want it one of two ways. the first and what i think would be the easiest to implement would be give us one track that sends all pads as twelve (or multiples there of) as notes one midi channel. We already know the pads can be used to trigger external gear so just let us have one more part. This wouldn’t really effect any other elektron boxes. no multi-channel, no arp, no plocks even just a way for someone (me) to control a lead synth or my so-404 to do drones, choruses or vocals. it really would add to the overall appeal and make this more of a hip-hop, mpc rival instead of just a tempest rival.

the other idea (though not as interesting for me) would let us send one (or all) tracks as a mirror thus lowering the internal sounds and only jamming some external synth, sampler, etc…

so here’s why i care; i have synths, samplers and effects but i don’t have a good sequencer. I won’t buy two Elektron boxes any time soon because I live in a small house with my family and I simply don’t have the room. I am planning on selling a few things just to get the rytm. more for the space than the money. i could get an OT but it just isn’t my thing. I do like the MD but just never felt the urge. I almost bought the A4 but then found out it can’t send external midi.

I’ll most likely get a rytm but just think about it; if the aira series comes out and can do simple external midi for a third of the rytm’s prices, how many would-be mpc/tempest/volca converts will go with roland?


I get ya… The A4 + AR would be the ultimate all in one sequencing synth and rythm machine I could imagine if AR sent midi sequencing messages but I’m trying not to agonise and understand there stand point… Even if it isn’t written on paper as such.
As for Roland’s new range tempting users with midi, if its the sequencer you where after over the sound/features id say just get a dedicated hardware sequencer like cirkolon or schrittmacher as they trump them all…


come on guys no external MIDI = sadness is so true…


I don’t mind too much if it doesn’t…but that’s partly because I have an Octatrack so I’m already covered.

I agree that it should have some sort of MIDI sequencing facility and think that the potential loss in sales without it is much greater than the potential loss in sales from people who don’t buy OT’s. Also, the AR has inputs for treatment with filters and effects…well, what are people going to have coming in on the inputs? Very possibly an older or less cool-sounding keyboard that they’d like to spice up with analog filtering, and which they might well want to sequence from the AR!

I think it would be OK to give up a track to use a MIDI machine in the same style as the MD. Otherwise the inputs start to look a bit redundant - you can’t sample, so if you also can’t trigger external gear, at most you could send out sync and either play by hand or hope the other machine had some decent arpeggiator that would sync up properly with the clock from the AR (questionable, many arpeggiators don’t).

PS obviously if you own an OT or some other Elektron machine, you can send the secondary outputs of he OT into the AR inputs for some analog filter/overdrive/distortion/compression - and there’s a good bit of other gear that will do neat things without needing a sequencer trigger from the AR. But there’s an awful lot more gear that won’t reach its full potential in the absence of MIDI triggering. I personally think it would be awesome to have the AR playing notes on and filtering some old Casio thing, and that for many people it would make an ideal first piece of Pro gear.

Discom, I think the sequencer is world class even if you’re not triggering anything via MIDI. Being able to use plocks, diferent pattern lengths, parameter slides and so on is really rewarding in its own right, and performance/scene functionality is one of the most powerful compositional tools out there.


I’m really hoping that Aira can deliver since AR dropped the ball. How is it a ‘world-class’ sequencer again? I won’t be buying it.


Sounds like you need a Cirklon :wink:




the midi sequencer is a big part of why i love the OT so much. it’s the only elektron i still own and a big part of its staying power is how well it works with other gear.

i don’t see any disadvantage to adding the functionality to their other products if it’s possible.

there may be some design decisions involved in adding that functionality… and perhaps higher cost??? no idea. just speculating.


Dropped the ball? :smiley: So its not going to be a great drum machine because of that one detail? If you used there stuff you should already know the answer your question.
If your just after a sequencer buy a sequencer?! Yamaha RS series seem to be getting lots of praise on here lately.

EDIT - RYTM or AIRA? Neither are out or fully specced. Both can and I’m sure will offer more than we know.