Will the monomachine give me what I need?

Hi everyone. It’s been a while since I’ve been on the hunt for gear but its good to be back and run ideas past you.

I currently have an Octatrack that I’m using as an effects processor and looper for my guitar.

I know that’s not capitalising on it’s capabilities as an all powerful mystical box so I started diving into using it with samples and have managed to lay down some cool drum patterns.

I’m missing a synth in this setup and don’t really have space so was thinking another elektron box in a two tier rack.

I’ve been obsessed with the monomachine for as long as I can remember but is it really worth its price tag in 2021?

Will this setup leave me content or should I look at something else to go with the OT

This really is about your personal taste and your personal obsession.

What other synths have you used in the past and rejected this time around?


I liked Nord’s synth but have issues with space which is why I didn’t think about it. The blofeld had really low volume. I found the micromonsta uninspiring and couldn’t create anything worth while on the A4, everything was so dark sounding. Could just be me lol

I don’t see myself as a Digitone guy so that’s why I’m set on the monomachine for now

If you’ve got money to burn then go for it, but make sure you understand what you’re getting into. In my experience it took a long time to get anything out of it that I enjoyed, much much longer to actually understand how the parameters actually work (AHDR env for example).

On the other hand it is really nice to have so many different synthesis types in one box. I think it does make a nice compliment to the Octatrack, both are kinda quirky and don’t always take you down the path you thought you wanted to go, for better or for worse.

I’m glad I already have one so I don’t have to think about used prices anymore :sweat_smile:


I don’t know - asked myself the question and am looking (occasionally) for a MM.

But: Insane 2nd hand prices, an old sequencer without trig conditions(!) - and finally - an old machine itself.

Bought some months ago a used MD (looked better on eBay than in reality). Expect the encoders to be wobbly and the buttons to be sticky. I am very happy that the machine is now serviced and the encoders are swapped.

I am very happy with my analog A4. Or just give the M:C a try! (Currently I hooked the M:C to the MD - cool combo).

yea thats what I just did. can get the A4 to go pretty experimental if u want, it’s newer, cheaper, and for me has more the sound I want in general.
not the same obviously but a decent alternative

I hope I don’t sound rude but if I remember correctly you rushed through quite a few synths fairly recently, didn’t you? Maybe the ”a while” part is relative, as is ”need” quite often in these parts. :grinning:

Anyway, it’s hard to say if the MnM will give you what you need. It is a very special synth and while it’s very deep and can be versatile, it also has a characteristic sound that only you can decide whether you like it or not. A deep dive into Youtube videos might be in order. What the MnM is NOT, in my opinion (I’ve owned one for a year), is an instant gratification machine. Not a whole lot of short cuts available either, like soundpacks or the like. It’ll demand you to sit down with it. (When it comes to sound design, I can be lazy at times so I’ve definitely had my struggles with the MnM.)

The hefty price tag is a whole different thing. If you can find a regular mk2 close to 1000€, then go for it. With a +drive mk2s usually climb closer to 2k. If you’re looking for a synth and that’s your budget, that kinda money will give you almost any desktop synth on the market.


Do you have cash to burn?

Go for the Monomachine

Having owned both, I’d argue the digitone is the better value proposition in 2021. Modern features, effects, more rounded and powerful synth engine. Unless there’s something specific about the MnM sound you require, consider the DT


If it’s only “one box” with as much as possible options … there are a couple of desktop synths in the market. Important is to consider whether you want a groove-box, which is sound generation AND sequencer, or a sound generator. Do you need polyphony or even multi-timbrality?


I can’t complain about the output volume of my Blofeld. It’s as loud as others. It would be a nice small instrument, which allows many different timbres from smooth to rough and provides multi-timbrality as well. The OT could be the sequencer to drive 8 Blofeld tracks simultaneously. I would give it a second look. But TBH … the matrix UI is not everybodies tea :wink:

The Novation Peak would also be a working horse for versatile sounds and it’s easy to operate.

Keep in mind, the most synths I know may come with some nice patches, but most of them are to show off the instrument and often not suitable for real-live use in a track. It takes some time to explore and exploit a synth and gain some skills of sound design until the machine is doing our bidding :wink:


its hard to determine what it is you need… but id say that it probably isnt. my experience of the MnM was that despite absolutely loving the sounds that i could eventually get from it, the learning curve in using it to get those sounds was steep. its by no means an instant gratification machine, and initial patches need to be worked from the ground up- youd be spending a lot of time not making music and scratching your head. if youve struggled to get the A4 working for you in an inspiring way then i really really doubt the MnM would be a good idea. and as others have pointed out, the sequencer is old by todays standards, and the condition is likely to be less than optimal. the digitone is prob the closest Elektron decendent, and despite not having the cool factor that a MnM has, its bloody nice, versatile, sounds amazing instantly, is deeply programmable, and a hell of a lot cheaper. i dont really know what being a ‘digitone guy’ means, but id say that unless youve tried it you shouldnt knock it. i love mine, its ace


You can get an analog four mk1 & a Digitone for cheaper than what monomachines go for. I’ve heard from people who have all 3 that a Digitone & A4 combined blows the MnM outta here. I’ve also heard vice versa. But money is a factor & personally as much as I’m waiting in line for a monomachine just like everyone else, I’m about to just get an A4 while I wait. If you see a Digitone or A4 for a good price, grab it. Elektron devices don’t seem to lose much value. (Except the model boxes)

I have a love and hate relationship with my MnM sfx6
Like christianlukegates says it has a deep learning curve, and still now for owning a mnm for 20 years, I’m sometimes still scratching my head :wink:

When I compare it with the DN, the DN is more intuitive and still deeply programmable
I found it much easier to create sounds than with the monomachine

And you can buy the DN brand new for a cheaper price

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I gave up hunting for a MM. Insane pricing, probably wobbly encoders, no conditional trigs.

Bought a DN instead and have been using it for a week now being hooked up to my MD.
Really an awesome combo and for sure one of my Best Buy items in 2021!

Unfortunately I cannot compare DN to MM. But: since nearly every online store offers 30 days money back options, you could give it a try without having any risk at all.

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If I would keep only one of them it is the DN over MM. Once discontinued and “discovered” will be as hyped as MM.
DN + MD is my current favourite combo as well. Nice contrast of smooth, mellow and harsh, raw sounding but also complementary, easy to mix, kind of similar digital world.

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I really need conditional trigs.
(One of the reasons, why I prefer AR over MD…)…

I think all of the advice here is spot on, but I would add that, because you own an octatrack, the limited mono machine sequencer is partially mitigated. I sequence mine from the OT so I get conditional trigs, scale per track etc.


If you want a more classic sounding synth you might want to check out the new Roland Verselab or MC-101. Sequence with OT and save the money.

I’ve also been obsessed with the MnM.

Yesterday I could have purchased one locally for a good price.

I decided to rewatch & listen to everything I could & read the manual while doing so to make sure I ABSOLUTELY want the monomachine.

After some amount of time, I realized the sound is not for me. I didn’t need any of it’s key features. All my FOMO & GAS slowly drifted away & I finally thought realistically that the MnM is good for some, but not for all. And it’s not good for me sadly.

This is after I literally drooled over the MnM obsessively & wouldn’t shut up about it.

If it had more of a track splitting feature (ability to share & allocate voices)and had the more advanced sequencer, I would say yes. But it doesnt. Even with the A4 lack of synth engines & 2 less voices, I would personally probably prefer it over the MnM. Getting an old A4 & a Digitone would open up your sound a lot.


Sounds like you really thought it though and will have no regrets. :brain: :+1:

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