Syntakt Pre-purchase Questions

I’m slowly building up to buy a Syntakt. This would be my first Elektron box. I’ve heard some lovely demos but there are a few things I have questions about, especially the tonal synths. I’ve read there are 4 digital tonal synths, are the chords included in this?
Can any of the analog machines be used to create tonal melodic parts, or is all the tonal stuff digital ? Are you restricted to the amount of tonal melodic tracks vs drum tracks you can use?
The closest thing I has is an OP-Z but I’m looking for something with better sound design, to compliment it.

Syntakt has three general purpose analog tracks, and one analog metal/noise track (it only hosts the hihat and cymbal Machines). It has eight digital tracks.

Each track can hold one machine and play one tone from that machine. The analog tracks can host the analog machines, and some of those can be/are tonal. The digital tracks can host the digital machines, and most of those can be tonal. The Chord machine is digital, and a workaround for the monophonic nature of the tracks. It can be configured to play a fairly wide range of chords with up to four notes, but you have to set this like setting a synth property. Elektron’s Parameter Locks let you change the machine settings per step, so you can change the chord per step.

Tracks can also host a MIDI machine, which trades noise-making for the ability to send MIDI. You can send up to four notes per step, programme and CC changes, per MIDI track.

Thanks for your quick reply, so melodic analogue synth tones are possible? I could create a nice analogue bass track for instance, with some monophonic analogue melody lines on top?

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Aww hell yeah you can. I do all my main synth melodic leads on the dual vco but even the analogue engines for bass kick, hi hats, snare, noise etc can be easily tweaked into melodic synth sounds. It’s super flexible. So you can have 3 melodic analogue tracks doing whatever you wanted

Although the digi tracks make some totally awesome bass sounds aswell, more so when you run em through the effects block

Wow, so you can play back drum and percussion sound melodically if you choose?

Also one more question, something I love about the OP-Z is recording a pattern using a midi keyboard - once you arm the track it can be set to start recording when you play the first note - rather than having to count yourself in, is this possible on the Syntakt?

Don’t think it can be set to start recording when you play, no. It will start when you hit Rec+Play, with an optiknal count-in.

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Thanks for that, I guess I will get used to doing it a different way, but it works so well on the OPZ.

One last question, the OPZ has a master track where you can transpose chosen patterns up and down so they fit to chords in a scale. I know on the Syntakt you can choose what scale you work in - can you then transpose pattens so they stay in scale? ie transpose a bass pattern up a 5th or down a 4th? Thanks again for all your help.

Unfortunately this is not possible, tracks can only be transposed chromatically. Elektron should work on more features to make their devices more accessible and live tweakable imho.

So you can transpose but not to scale, so up one semi tone at a time?

You could copy to a new Pattern and set the NOT value for each track up/down. That would get you some of the way.

yes, up to 3 of 4 analog tracks – if you’re fine with mono.
i even pair Syntakt with Jpmox MBase 11 to keep one more analog track for Dual VCO machine, which is a mono synth.

4th analog tracks is different (hardware-wise), so does not have Dual VCO machine.

Mono is good thanks :slight_smile:

Yeah, once you tweak the sound and filter enough you can get some cool sounds, bass kicks make good deep basses, make snare engines into flute sounds or whatever etc etc the more you play and tweak the more stuff you find

That sounds great, just saw a youtube video on the Dual VCO machine, looks like just what I was hoping for.

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Sounds like there may be a work around which is good to know, something to explore when I get the machine.

They detune a little at the very top end of their range, but are generally very flexible. The digital machines (Buts, Tone & Toy) are also great for melodic content.

Yes toy looks amazing.

I didn’t know there was a Fart Machine.

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