Syntakt vs LXR-02

Hi all,
I have been looking for a digital drum machine for awhile now before Syntakt was released. I have ARmkii and DN and have been looking at the Erica synths sonic potions lxr02 for a long time. I like some sound demos that I’ve heard from it. I am hoping to add some crunchy digital drum sounds to sequence with the analog rytm. I know rytm doesn’t have midi sequencing as nicely as the digi line and my DN midi tracks are currently occupied. Now that the Syntakt released, I have been interested in it also.

I like features of the Syntakt like the fx block and midi sequencing but those are not essential to me. I feel like Syntakt may be redundant already having the rytm.

My question is how does the lxr02 compare to the Syntakt with sound design capacity. Which one will have more depth? Again this is primarily for digital drum sounds. I do like the chord machine on Syntakt but I have other synths for that.


I have both and have recently taken LXR-02 out of my live setup in favor of Syntakt. However they are very different and I have seen no reason to get rid of the LXR-02. I will try to gather my thoughts (easier said than done!) and come back with a more detailed comparison this evening.


I sold the LXR-02 and kept the Syntakt.

LXR-02 is a quirky device that can sound great. However:

  • it’s limited in number of tracks and each track has fixed “machines”
  • faders aren’t that useful (for me)
  • sequencer is inferior to Elektron’s
  • effects are a bit “meh”

The only thing I (kinda) miss from the LXR-02: Kits and kit morphing.

But you’re comparing two machines with very different prices.

My question is how does the lxr02 compare to the Syntakt with sound design capacity

I think Syntakt has a broader range and is also much easier to use. You get good result faster.

I feel like Syntakt may be redundant already having the rytm.

Totally redundant if you consider only the analog tracks. But then you have 8 digital tracks.


I do like the way elektrons menus are easy to use and have graphics for what parameters are modified. The sound shaping and menus on the lxr do seem less intuitive to me.

I could use those extra analog tracks for midi sequencing…

They’re both excessive if you just want extra sounds to trigger from another drum machine. Get a Volca Drum.


I owned a LXR-02, sold it yesterday. I bought a Analog Rytm MK2 some time ago and not touched the LXR-02 since. The AR can do similar sounds, but if you like to play around with such machines give it a try, as said it is fun to use but, for me, not really needed if you own a AR.


Very good point lol.

Another point with the syntakt though is the analog filtering that can control all tracks similar to the heat which the rytm is lacking… I know I can set a performance macro to all filters but thats not really the same and it would not affect inputs. Its basically like an analog heat lite if im not mistaken.

Volca drum is a great option too, but I think the other two I mentioned would both have additional functions that would be useful.

The Volca Drum is not very easy to actually play or modulate live without having some crazy high pitch noise etc due to jumping encoders. This can be good in some situations but bad in most.

Yep, this is pretty cool. You can do similar in Performance Mode on the AR, but it is nice to simply load another kit and morph between them.

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Some of the machines on lxr are based off of analog drums right? Drum 1-3?

I have been using performance macros to morph between samples and analog drums or somewhere in between which is awesome

Good question, they all sound digital to me. You’re be able to give it some dirt with the overdrive…it can sound very nasty but so the AR can.

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Yep…the AR definitely has some strenghts. I’m really glad to finally got one.

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Yes I am very happy with mine too. I was able to get a good price on it. When I first heard about syntakt after looking for a digital drum machine to add, I briefly considered selling the AR for syntakt to have best of both worlds but there’s too much I enjoy on rytm that syntakt does not offer to do that. Thats mainly what brought me to this thread still searching for a digital drum synth.

I see. I was in a similar situation, the Syntakt came out not long ago after my purchase of the AR. If you see the introduction video for the Syntakt you may think “Maybe better than the AR?”, but i don’t think so. It’s different, but i’m not sure if it’s different enough for me to get one…i definitely would not trade my AR for a Syntakt. I also bought the A4 (before i bought the AR) and i’m really in love with this combination.


…totally different machines…

and given the fact of what u got, the lxr2 will spread out ur sonic pallette and some overall funfactor with no doubt way more than the st…

if ur superhappy with the rytm, keep it…if not so much, u might wanna consider to trade it for a st…

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So so right.

I decided to swap out LXR-02 for Syntakt in the live rig because of twice the number of tracks and the much more detailed sequencer. Those are fine things that the LXR-02 will never have and I’m glad to have made this move. Layering machines on ST is a fantastic way to get sounds you’d never get from one voice. The variety of machines is also fantastic and certainly offer a much broader palette than the LXR-02. Lastly I like all the info the screen conveys at any given time. Elektron have a smart little interface there.

But LXR-02 is weird, aggressive and special. First of all it has its own kind of punch. I don’t have any good words to describe it with but I think it’s like when people speak of MFB drum machines having their own certain punch. ST is no slouch in the punch department but LXR-02 just hits in a special kind of way. I also actually use the step repeater. I have yet to gel with the four ratchety repeater buttons on the Syntakt. It seems they just start up all unquantized and often sound stupid. (I’m willing to admit that it could be me that’s stupid here!) But even though the LXR-02’s instrument repeater only goes to 1/16 note resolution I do use it because it’s always on time. Then the user interface is weird (at least to me) and I will frequently find myself off in the weeds with a totally unexpected sound and I just love that. For an example there, the LFOs are freely assigned but exactly which voice you’ve just assigned an LFO to may elude you for a minute and in the meantime you may hear something you’ve never heard in your life. The effects are fiddly and if you’re trying to dial that delay in to sound like any normal tempo sync’d delay you will lose your fucking mind. That being said I’ve gotten some real cool results out of it by just noodling my way to joy. It’s also tiny, barely bigger than half a Syntakt. Lastly it makes some fantastic synth tones that also benefit from the aggressively punchy nature mentioned above. I thought I was going to sell this thing because ST is so much more ‘complete’ but no way. LXR-02 is its own thing and an awesome one at that.

The ST will give a person more in just about every department. Surely there’s no doubt that it offers more sonic variety and drastically better sequencing. But the LXR-02 is a special little beast and its aggressive punch and bizarro UI with the unusual results it can often yield are nothing to sneeze at. As long as I can afford to I believe I’ll keep both.


Have you considered trying a a Model:Cycles? You can find one used for $250, and it’ll give you a chance to check out many of the machines that the Syntakt uses. If you like it, maybe it complements your AR as it is, and you’re good to go. But if you want to go deeper (get those dual filters and LFO’s, sequencable Analog FX track) then you can sell it again for little loss and upgrade.


I was asking this my self, the Syntakt seems like a great machine, but in my case (owning DT, DN and OT) I just want a replacement for my Volca Drum, love the sounds but is a bit of a pain with the jumpy encoders and lack of memory. So, as much as I love the Elektron workflow, I think I’ll get the LXR-02, precisely to have a change of mindset/workflow which can be a good thing.
Also the Kit Morphing can be used as a scene-like feature, different from Control-All, since you have a point of departure and a point of arrival, and the happy accidents are in between, which means you don’t have to reload the same set of sounds after you are done exploring.


Based on everything you just said, I think you’ll dig the LXR. Plus it’s no bigger than the Volca so that’s nice too :0)

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I get annoyed at this as well but it’s supposed to be timed by you as a performance tool. Makes it feel more live I guess? :man_shrugging: I wish there was a toggle to quantize them.

Felt the same way. Was really on the fence about selling the LXR but chose to keep it once I got more used to the workflow because it does sound unique to me and it’s fun to play, though limited.

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