Should I get the M:S?

Hello, everybody. First post here, I would like to hear your thoughts and opinions whether or not I should get the Model:Samples.

Some background first. I’m not entirely new to making music by electronic means. Back in the late 80s I used to program a TR-505, I was a vocalist in a band and did also do the programming. The machine was not that expensive, easy to use, but also limited and the sounds weren’t the greatest.

In the 90s I worked for a while with computer, using MicroLogic and a soundmodule. It was tough, for some reason using screen and mouse kills all creativity. Recently, I gave it another try with Ableton Live, and I played a little with FL Studio. After all those years, I still don’t like to work with a computer, creating music. As a tool for other things, a computer can be great. I like to use Adobe Audition (I started wayback with Cool Edit) and did some editing and processing for friends who are in a band and record stuff in their homestudio.

Today I would like to have a tool to play with and work out some ideas. I don’t want to start with a lot of boxes all at once, just one keeping me busy for a while, that would be great. So the M:S looks really good, it might be just what I’m looking for.

It has limitations, some are not a problem. The M:S is not a sampler, but it’s not a problem to do some preprocessing with Audition, then upload it to the M:S, and afterwards do some postprocessing. The crucial step is, of course, what’s in between, the actual creation of music. I hope the M:S has enough features to do this, away from the computer. No screen, no mouse, but knobs and buttons!

But I’m a bit hesitant to buy one. From what I’ve read and heard about the M:S, almost everyone thinks it’s a really cool box that’s fun to use, on the other hand there’s a quite long list of features users are asking for in another thread. That worries me. I’m not saying the M:S should give me all I need or want the next 10 years, but I also don’t want to hit a wall after a few months already. My options seem to be: 1. just buy one and see what it does; 2. wait a while and hopefully some of the wishes current users have to get more functionality are included in a future firmware update; 3. forget about the M:S and buy something else.

What would you do? Any thoughts, ideas, very much appreciated. :slightly_smiling_face:


Watch some on-line videos to see the kinds of thing that it can do, and whether you would like that kind of thing.

Don’t worry about the feature requests unless there is something there that you know you will need.

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Write down what you want in a device.

Watch videos of the M:S and DigiTakt.

Read the manuals.

Watch videos of other similar devices.

Read the manuals for those devices

Write down what you now know you like and don’t like after doing the above.


I don’t know if it’s because musicians are skint, or spending money they don’t have (or both!) but depreciation of new hardware seems really, really low compared to other technology products.

All you have to lose is the small time investment in learning the machine.


Get an Octatrack.

Just kidding, you’ll find that’s almost the “default” answer around here. :smiley:

M:S might be a good entry for you into the Elektron workflow, but you also might want to do some A/B comparisons with something like a Digitakt, which is a more “mid-range” Elektron device in terms of cost, but has more power under the hood. That said, there’s something to be said for the immediacy of the “knob per function” workflow on the M:S and its overall ease of use. Also, velocity sensitive per-track pads and the separate linear 16-step sequencer toggles are nice too.

Before you buy anything, watch some videos THOROUGHLY to get comfortable that your chosen device WILL do what you want. If you’re interested in the M:S and maybe even the Digitakt. Cuckoo’s tutorial videos are pretty comprehensive.

Personally, I tend to buy devices for what they do now, not what they might do in the future with updates, so I’m never disappointed.


You’ll love the M:S. And in time, yearn for the Digitakt or Octatrack. It’s where we all end up, eventually. Welcome to the community :slight_smile:


It’s the most playable Elektron IMO. The dedicated knobs per function and the 16 rubbery step keys are a blast to play with, judging by what you want you should enjoy it. Just don’t let those Octatrack fanboys talk you out of it they’re still trying to figure out their own machine.


Regarding the features request list, it might be worth reading through and seeing what features, if any, matter to you. It might be that the concerns raised aren’t relevant to your needs.

I’m generally having a lot of fun with the m:s. There are some things I might like added, but it’s a handy introduction to the Elektron workflow (and a more affordable one than some other devices). It has an immediacy that makes it good for just sitting on the sofa/train and working out some sounds.

It’s also new, so you’re probably not going to lose too much if you decide to sell it on :wink:

I don’t have one (finally bought a Digitakt but I hesitated a lot between both). But I do think you should grab one, just for the sake of testing the Elektron way of thinking. It’s a lot of fun, those devices are real instruments !

Anyway, you’ll be able to resell it quickly without loosing too much value, should you want to invest in a Digitakt or choose another brand…

I say pick one up. As others have pointed out, it is a good entry into the Elektron world. I picked up a Model:Samples when they first dropped, and I do not regret it. I have other Elektron Boxes, and this one did not feel like a downgrade in any way. I picked it up with the idea of using it as a small, easy to carry groovebox. And while I had fun with it for a while in that fashion, I had shelved it for a minute, and then it made a strong comeback as my current go-to drum machine. It is very immediate, and very fun for me. I have griped about a couple limitations, the biggest being that it only has stereo outs. But hey, sometimes limitations are they keys to unlocking the good times. And you know what, it’s summer here, and I am out and about riding my bike and enjoying the world. So when I grab a little time to jam out and make some tunes, it’s a bit lighter, and a bit more off the cuff than perhaps other times of the year. So at this moment, my tagline for this box would be “Summertime beats for those easy, breezy jam sessions.” (Taglines and feelings about instruments are subject to change. Rules and restrictions may apply.)

Ah this strikes close to home! TBH I would have learned far more of the Octatrack’s ins and outs if I hadn’t been distracted by these pesky Digi boxes!

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Wow, great replies, thank you all! :smiley:

Very useful suggestions, interesting videos by Cuckoo I’ll watch them thoroughly, and also a good idea to make a list what I need and see if the M:S can do it. Reading the manual of the M:S (and the Digitakt too, for comparison) also a great idea.

Definitely not buying the Octratrack at this point. If it turns out the M:S is missing some features I need (not want, but need) then perhaps the Digitakt. It probably has to do with psychology that I don’t want to buy someting with a pricetag >500 euros. One more thing, it’s not that important and I don’t care about it really, but the M:S looks like a medical device or something like that. Just saying.

Again, thank you all for your time and effort to reply. Well appriciated.

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If you’re unsure, buy it second hand. M:S is new so it should be in good shape, and you can resell it if you ever feel like it’s not the right instrument.

Ah, the irony. Brought mine out now and was reminded that I love it.

One quick question (well actually two questions, but related) about the M:S I thought about just now. Likely to use the wrong terminolgy, so I describe it this way: is it possible to play a sample at a higher or lower pitch, preserving duration? And, playing a sample with a longer or shorter duration, preserving pitch?

No, there’s no timestretch.

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You can play a sample at higher or lower pitches. This can be p-locked per step using the pitch knob, or you can live record in chromatic mode playing the trig keys (the ones labeled 1-16 at the bottom). Or, you can affect every tracks pitch at once using Control All. But to answer your latter question, there is no timestretch.

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I think your best bet is to save for a Digitakt. Too many compromises on M:S imho.


agreed, you ll have immediate fun with it. you ll be making cool beats in no time, you’ll have fun mangling samples for quite a bit…

It packs more punch than most people think, but it still cant shake off the fact that it is a sample player, not a sampler.
Its limitations are also well documented by now. The pads also arent the greatest. I’d put a quneo or a mpd226 next to it if I want to finger drum, which isnt ideal as it was the main reason I bought it initially…

It is an entry level gateway drug to the elektron world, it leaves you wanting more.

At this point I’d save a couple more hundred dollars to get a second hand digitakt.

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