Syntakt or Not Syntakt

Just goes to show everyone is different.

My Tracker is probably my favourite purchase of recent years and I’m currently really struggling to make anything I don’t hate on the Syntakt

I suspect it’s just me not getting it yet though.

1 Like

Hmmm. MD is a classic, no doubt. But it feels pretty “old” in use when you compare it to modern Elektrons, especially in terms of the sequencer - especially no trig conditions and no different track lengths, but there are plenty of other little quality of life improvements the newer boxes have too. The UI is kind of charmingly dated, I guess. If you don’t think you’ll use these features and aren’t worried about the UI, then maybe the MD, if it seems like a good deal (they’re rare and getting rarer) and you really want that sound.

From a purely practical point of view I’d probably go Syntakt, I find it more fun to work with and you could argue it has a wider sonic range - remember it has the 4 analog voices and the FX block, plus “proper” melodic tracks (in that you can enter notes by playing a keyboard rather than dialling in numbers)

1 Like

Thé MD is quite challenging if you want to make melody. It’s a really cool Swiss Army knife.
If I had to choose between a tracker or a syntakt, it would be all chosen by far.
Don’t like too much spreadsheets :rofl:

1 Like

I’ve always been more into synthesis and the sounds you can create with it over sampled sounds. For a long time I avoided samplers and drum machines outright because of this.

That being said, once I got the DT to free up my DN and A4 strictly using it as a sampler extension for those, it is really hard for me to see the benefit of the Syntakt for someone who already owns a DT & DN. Maybe the master FX chain can be useful, and some analog drums are nice, but IMO you are way better off buying some synth modules or something to sequence with the DT over getting the Syntakt.

As an all-in-one groovebox it seems great, though. Or even it with the DN together would be a great all-synthesis setup… but I’d only consider it if it’s bumping off the DT completely.

These threads are interesting. I’m currently just using the Digitakt and since Ableton / Push is doing a lot of my sampling work I am mostly using my Digitakt to sequence the Nord Drum. It’s super cool but it makes me wonder if u can consolidate both in the Syntakt. The ND3 is great for percussion

It’s a Machinedrum Sps- 1uw with X05 OS (?)

hmm… nevertheless I would let my new PLAY go to fund an MD even MKI just for the sake of it :laughing:

tough call. the mk1 is getting somewhat long in the tooth now innit. bit of a gamble. I’ve had my eye on a few mk1 UW’s recently but I don’t think I’d end up taking the risk.

UW really is a difference maker. But the MK1 side of the equation makes it kinda :grimacing:

1 Like

New is always better? :smile:

I also agree with this. The MD melodic manual tuning is PITA. I’d like to have my MD UWMK2+ back, but I’d definitely use Syntakt more. Considering nowerdays prices, I made my mind as I’d only want an UWMK2+Drive :
Without +drive, only 128 patterns, 32 steps max for MKIs, UW is much better…

1 Like


The sequencer is dated in the MD compared to the modern options available in the current Elektron machines, unless you have a Midi Commander and are running the custom firmware. But unless you are already invested why would you spend that much on these items nowadays? I do miss the multiple assignable lfo’s per track on the MD. And the control-all was nothing like the current version of control-all. Something about the randomness of the control-all on the classics I much rather. But the analog engines and the fx block on ST are a win for sure, as well as keyboard fold. Having owned MD a couple of times in the past, I was one who was hoping ST was a MNM/MD in one box replacement. As much as I love the idea of reliving the nostalgia of owning either MD or MNM again, it’s not worth it in my opinion.


Yeah, I was already set on the Syntakt, but after so many comments from people praising the MD and stating it can’t compare to it, I wanted your opinion before pulling the trigger.

Possible to compare ST and MD. I definitely prefer ST, and I think I tried hard to get the best (for my needs) with MD. Much easier faster workflow with ST, no need to tune each step, more versatile synthesis. No particular regrets, appart from master fx maybe.

Anyway, having already an Octatrack, I think combining it with ST is much more powerfull than 2 MD UWMK2+…

Without a +Drive version, MD is limited to 128 patterns, 64 kits, a few samples if UW.


Long time since i owned a MnM, but Syntakts digital synth machines must be more flexible? Maybe not by a longshot but still… Thought MnM was kinda shallow the times i had it. But just thinking out loud here… :slight_smile:

I’d say the synthesis on the MNM was much broader than what is available on the ST. The ST is narrowed down and simplified but much easier to get to those sweet spots. It took a good bit of work to get some decent sounding stuff out of the MNM in my hands, might be different experience for others though.


I found that the Sugar Bytes Drumcomputer is kind of a good replacement for the MD mk1 at least, still…the Ctrl-Al on the all engines and retrig makes it kind of unique… actually I don’t think there is such option in the Syntakt Ctrl-all similar to the MD

1 Like

I feel like Syntakt is more of Dark Techno machine and Elektron guys like Dark Techno/ Industrial. I’m sure that music gear have huge influence on music genres and how music will sound.

1 Like

I’m loving the syntakt for beats and percussion, I love the fx block for external audio. However, I can’t coax out any ambient sounds, hard to write a good melody on it. I guess I’ll save that bit for dn.
I’m struggling with finding the right chords with the chord machine.