Single synth obsessions


Work in progress…7 tracks of an 0 Coast sequenced with an OT. Kinda industrial disco, if that’s a thing…


It’s nothing special, but I made this ep using only the monomachine. Composing with song mode as well. :slight_smile:


SFX-6 only album here, played and recorded live, no DAW involved :smiley:


Limitation is Liberation. Yah, doin a track on a single instrument/device is definitely a thing:


Nice to see you take a break from ABBA to post a Jeff Mills video. His 909 outings is really cool, some of my favorite single machine work.


Interesting thread. I don’t generaly work like that, but when I first got Digitakt I did my best to produce entire, complete tracks using nothing but it. A lot of them weren’t very satisfying because I was just learning to use to machine, but I did complete a two track release that uses nothing but the Digitakt as a sound source:

I think it was a pretty fun and inspired experiment. Before I had gotten Digitakt I was just kinda getting back into making music. I had bought some Pocket Operators and they had broken a long artistic block I had. I had become really tired of working with a DAW, using the same synths, breaking the same breakbeats and I was desperate for a change of pace. Before that I had sold off a lot of my old synths which just didn’t really talk to each other or me. Only one I retained was a Sidstation, which has a lot of sentimental value to me. :smiley:

I have since bought a Digitone and a D-05 and I work with the four of synths I got now. I’m in a pretty happy Place with them now, but inevitably I’ll get bored and I’ll get something to complement those.

It might be fun to try to do something just in the Digitakt again someday, now that I probably have an even better handle on the device.


My current main live set (with a partner) is almost entirely sampled percussion plus Virus Ti. Sometimes it seems easier to use one poly / multi-timbral machine, in terms of getting all the tracks to fit together nicely…


finally got around to it! includes a bit more than I thought, actually. including a silly cover of “there is a light that never goes out.”


After watching these videos…i can understand Simon´s obsession with the MC-202…it sounds huge through El Capistan. I have to dig out the SH01a again…

He is sequencing the MC-202 via CV/Gate with the A4.


Just got an A4mkii a couple days ago. Obsessed is putting it mildly…I’m over the moon for that thing


then his mc202 needs to have the mods that bypass the chip as it lags! It syncs perfectly when making a pattern on the mc and via dinsync from A4 sending clock to mc!
I believe any synth will sound good through those high end fx’s like El Capistan or Bigsky,… even my circuitbend gear can sound very nice with my old alesis midiverb!


Very true. That prevented me from purchasing that new Minilogue xd. It only sounds good because of the new FX, which are really nice.
But in this case i think the 202 could also be great without those fx.


Yeah mc202 is a bit like the sh101, but has some other tricks like accent i think! It does not need fx but opens a whole new beautiful world with FX, especially a bit of reverb or delay! It’s a classic synth that lots of warp artists used and i love the sound but it’s difficult to program. I still have mine but also have sh01a which is easier. I wanted to circuitbend/modify my mc202 but I haven’t used it in years (so many gear) but I certainly will because it would be superb to let it sequence by the A4 with conditional trigs! cv mods for filter trigged by A4 and audio routed to A4’s FX which is also sequencable!

I would try out the XD when it’s in the shops, then you can make a better decision!


Very good vid on the difference when bypassing the chip with proper cv gate mod!

the triangle mod which Behringer added as a slider on the 101 clone, based on the nova mods for the original sh101.

And this also:

I would love to have all those mods, think you could also have a distortion switch or pot to let distort the filter/env so you can sound like Josh wink acid.

@Ess please make a topic on the love for mc202 only!


I tried it a few months ago, where I created a track only using 808 sounds and Soundtoys effects and a track with only 909 and Soundtoys. The results where pretty surprising to me, but ok, I did use chains and chains of effects to get these weird and psychedelic sounds. I learned that with the combo of filter, delay and pitch shifting you can do some pretty awesome sounds with percussive elements.

Edit: I Know that it’s not ‘One synth’ or ‘One machine’, but I guess that it’s sort of the same principle :slight_smile:


FX are essential for the one synth obsession.

Maybe Elektron take notice of this and will add in further OS update more options for the A4/Digi FX to tweak and fine tune. An additional pitchshifting mode, mmmm…


The mc-202 is also the main instrument of John Frusciante. He sometimes uses 6 together.


i’ve read through this thread as someone who originally comes from filmmaking/videoarts and the analogy to directors using a single lens through the entire film is quite interesting here:

(especially the work of yorgos lanthimos, who is maybe my most favourite director (alive), is outstanding!)

in time-based-arts, such as music/film/performance-arts, this approach is necessary to keep the focus on the subject matter, a kind of “meditation” by using as few “instruments” as possible.

in this sense i think it’s quite hard to achieve this nowadays: machines are getting more and more complex, functions are getting added and most modern tracks tend to sound “overproduced” to me.

after studying media arts, my approach to producing works is that limitation is necessary to push creativity, but from a certain stage it is necessary to add something, when one thinks that it’s definitely “this” that could broaden the whole experience.

(in fact, most of my works that i personally like to review are produced in very limited production conditions…)

i appreciate the work of Æ here: working with max/msp & touchdesigner myself i still can’t wrap my head around using it without getting “lost in the void”; finding coherence and harmony in chaos is what drives me, what i still seek and cannot achieve (yet)…


I think the Octatrack is probably the ultimate “one box to rule them all” that I have used, it has a great balance of limitations and possibilities, and I’ve found that there really isn’t much that can’t be done using just it and even a single sample of pretty much anything.

I think it offers a lifetime of exploration too.

“Do not try and bend the spoon , that’s impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth…there is no spoon . Then you’ll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.”


i have an OT, which i have formerly used for sequencing external gear to produce more “musical” stuff, leaning towards techno.

but now i am trying to use it as a hub for (re-)sampling generative stuff that i produce in max/msp (along with a ND2 & 0C) for using it in my further performances.

after being waay to overwhelmed by its capabilities it is going to the contrary side now: it’s getting more and more like a “prism” (sorry for sounding esoteric here…) that unifies the sonic worlds i discover with my setup :slight_smile:

and i think that the OT is a perfect example of forcing yourself to focus on something: otherwise you get lost in its complexity…