Syntakt Vs Korg EMX1

People that has used (or at least heard) both, what are your thoughts on the sonic range of those machines? which one can explore more? which one can reproduce more classic stuff?


not sure about the last question (regarding the classic stuff), but anyway.
i have EMX-1, and today i got Syntakt.
they are pretty similar ideologically, but there were 23 years between them.
and Syntakt is literally light years away from EMX, even though it can’t do 8-bar patterns.

sonic range of Syntakt is incomparably broader, analog master FX are so good – and last but not least, Syntakt is about twice smaller.


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Syntakt Chord machine isn’t great for pads, it lacks waveforms having richer harmonics like saw or square…

Adding overdrive, eventually analog drive of fx track and it’s filter you can get something, but I’d rather combine it with 1 or 2 other machines like SY BIT to make pads (they have 2 tunable oscs, saw, square, pwm). Analog Dual Vco machines can be used too, problably better, SY TONE for more FMish root note…

the EMX 1 was my first piece of hardware, bought it back in 2009, sold it in 2014. Man i wish i had never sold it. I had such an emotional connection to that machine. Loved how it looked and felt, and it was sooo immediate for expressing yourself and exploring ideas.

But the syntakt is light years ahead of it like someone else here said, in terms of depth and sound quality. The EMX1 can record a lot of automation but it’s impossible to really alter that information afterwards IIRC. P-locks on the elektron gear are way better for adjusting after live recording, or precisely placing on specific steps. Syntakt also has four analog voices, the digital voices sound super clean, way more versatility in the machines than anything on the EMX. The korg tubes were always kind of a gimmick to me too - never really liked how they sounded even after swapping in better tubes.

Still wish i kept it just because it was so sentimental and it would be fun to boot up and enjoy, but the Syntakt is head and shoulders a better instrument.

Both are actually pretty good at getting classic sounds like you asked about, but the syntakts chord machine for instance is overall more pleasurable to use, more versatile, and sounds better.

Not a great pad machine IMO, partially because mono (although there are tricks to get mimic poly or get more voices in a single track), but also just the sound isnt quite lush or thick the way youd want for pads. At least thats been my experience, but maybe someone else knows better.


Talking about SY Chord machine, yes.
Talking about Syntakt, I think you can make really good pads using several machines. I’d combine SY TONE, DUAL VCOs, SY BIT and SY CHORD…
Edit : Tested and approved…

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i have not explored it yet, i rarely use chords in my tracks.

Still makes some great pads though? :thinking: :relaxed:

i feel the same way about the Es1. one of the first pieces of gear i ever bought, back in like the fall of 2019. and i have this constant nostalgia and urge to get another one. the crunchy warm sound of the adc from sampling direct through it’s input with 12 bit(?) audio combined with the small form factor that had plastic housing with that metal faceplate, rubbery buttons that felt awesome, and pretty cool green color.

always wanted the esx1 and emx1, but could never justify either after getting an octatrack and digitone. i always wonder if i would regret buying another one now. i wish they werent so overpriced, but they arent as bad as typical used synth prices i guess

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chord machine is better in unison mode as a mono synth imo. sounds amazing. unless you’re doing something unusual with the other chord modes it tends to sound like a demo imo, much like with the cycles. just my personal opinion.

I made this to illustrate SY Chord machine. It can be ok for a certain kind of pads…I added SY BITS for more filtered harmonics…



Very unsolved mysteries, love it

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