Worth getting a Monomachine?

In terms of single cycle waveforms specifically, no, not really. The Digipro machines can do things like interpolate between different waveforms or scan through the wave table, or stack four different notes of the same wave to create chords. Plus things like the delay per track, three LFOs per track, and FX machines all factor into your thinking when making sounds. Some degree of that is available to the DT but not all that much of it.

I shouldn’t think there’s much the DN couldn’t do in FM that the MM can, but the DN seems to be quite a smooth and clean sounding instrument in general, whereas the MM FM+ machines get you into nasty / percussive stuff very quickly. Also there is maybe more LFO control on the MM.

It is technically a hard sync but it’s either synced to a fixed frequency or, optionally, the frequency being played on the neighbour track (the one above the current track). So if you want the traditional hard sync sound that you get when you sync one tracked oscillator to another, you need to use that setting and double up your trigs/pitch info on the preceding track.


What do you mean “double up trigs/pitch info”? If I want a hard sync sound I have to tell track 1 (for example) to send trig info to track 2? Like a neighbor trig kinda thing?

Eg: make the melody you want on track one, then copy it to track two so you have a duplicate. On track two then set the sync type to PRCH (previous channel). The machine on track two now uses the pitch frequency from track one as its sync source (you might want to alter or modulate the tuning a bit of course).


Oh don’t get me wrong, I’ve definitely done a lot of sound design with it, and it’s absolutely possible to get some great sounds out of it, but I just like the sound of my Nords more.

To be fair, I think a lot of it comes down to the sequencer not having the features of the post-silver Elektron gear. If they made a mk3 that was no different except for an updated sequencer, and Digitone/A4 style sound pool + poly allocation, I’d probably be able to get what I want out of it.


I’m a bit spoiled (er, the opposite of spoiled?) in that I only have and know the silver boxes. Not having an envelope for the filter on the MD drives me insane, so I can imagine someone not having trig conditions or retrigs or whatever would also drive them insane :stuck_out_tongue:

What is this “poly allocation” you speak of? Would that be like, say, three tracks of polyphony, three tracks of monophony? That sounds pretty nice…Gee now I want a Mk3 MnM

Yeah, not just that, but say, being able to make one track polyphonic, but then being able to set how the other tracks steal voices from it. So at any one time, you’re still only using 6 voices, but in certain gaps, you can have one track taking up all 6 voices. Obviously this would be handled differently when using effects tracks, but it’d be an awesome feature.

With all the routing options it’s a bit like a modular synth. You can for example use 3 tracks to create huge oscillator swarms with infinite sustain and no filtering, route them all to bus CD, set up a chorus track to listen to those, then use the filter, amp and eq to treat them all as one synth and monitor on AB. Stacking and layering tracks this way is the best way to get really huge complex sounds. I usually only have 1 or 2 elements coming out of a single Monomachine in a track, but you can make those elements really unique and big.


I feel like it is such an undeniably interesting synth… never actually spent time with one but I think the only thing that might hold it back is a lack of microtiming. There might even be a work around for that but it wouldn’t be as easy as in the modern machines. I know in the past I’ve modulated the attack on a quantized machine to give it a more human feel.

This was my modus operandi until I started diving in plocking the effects. One or two synth tracks routed through plocking on 4 effects tracks, magic. Plus the effect each have all the caveats of the synths tracks like the filters, delay, lfos, srr, etc. Effects eating up a track really starts to become worth it.

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I like running one or two tracks out of a pair of non-main outputs, into an external reverb, then back in via the inputs, with a kick track set to trig the input track, and a one-shot LFO set to volume in order to emulate sidechaining.


thanks for this one.

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Can you elaborate what you mean by “routed through p locking”?

I meant to say routed through 4 effects tracks, and plocking parameters on the effects tracks.
Is that a little more clear?

I will certainly have to try this…In fact I don’t think I’ve ever p locked an FX track. I’ve used the LFOs extensively but no P locking. There are so many different ways to approach the MnM it’s pretty wild.

This is the thing and it’s what @knobgoblin is talking about when he says it’s like a modular system. Only the Octatrack in the current Elektron range still has something of that kind of philosophy. I wonder if it’s soon to be a thing of the past for Elektron, or if they might surprise us with some hyper flexible digital desktop synth in the future. An Octamachine.


Yes I do think the MM is worth having. If I could keep just one synth it would be the MM. even over the DN. It’s just so versatile and is easy enough to jam with. Fx has never really impressed me. The chorus, flanger and ringmod I find to be ?! So an MK3 I think could be a 6 track with insert FX Octa style plus master fx. Dynamic voice allocation. Digitakt style sampling.

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Having freely-assignable FX machines gives you so many more possibilities than just per-track insert and master FX though. Having the three internal busses, neighbour trigging, p-locking & multi-LFOing them independently of the synth track, and then having track FX on your FX…

The thing with the MM FX machines is they’re often a bit underwhelming if you use them in conventional ways but when you start pulling them all over the place with more extreme parameter values / LFOs / p-locks they can produce some really unusual sounds.


Definitely worth having. Love its cartoonishly pristine sound. The portamento is just insane, and those delays!

Had an A4 and sold it (not even out of necessity, just felt weird having two fancy pieces of gear), but the MnM just keeps on surprising me.

I don’t even bother with its internal sequencer (having had a taste of later Elektron sequencers, I just can’t go back to this. I need independent track length!), since I’m practically married to Numerology – once you go down that sequencing rabbit hole, the possibilities are endless. P-locking? I just use velocity and CC. True that I tend use such tricks less often than I would with P-locks though.

My favourite new trick is messing with the semitone offset of a sequencer that’s linked to playing the BBox machine. Also: modulating the MnM’s internal clock via Sysex is pretty crazy at very low delay time values. Try it if you can!

As for single-cycle waveforms: there’s loads of goodies out there. Big fan of the organ tones by Adventure Kid.

You should be able to make it sound huge if you’re running all 6 outs into a DAW. But I’ll admit it was much easier to get absolutely crushing percussion out of the A4.

Great machine if you’re into not having too much gear. The MnM and a Yamaha 4-op FM synth is literally all the hardware I have besides a laptop and sound card. But a proper external sequencer is essential here IMO.


every mnm thread makes me want one again. some great ideas being posted on this and the tips n tricks thread too.