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Elektron MachineDrum

Posted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:01 am
by bhrama
Wondering about people's opinion of the Elektron Machinedrum. Is it worth it's price tag, or would an investment in an older analog piece, i.e. 606, 808 or 909?

I've heard some mixed reviews of the OS, and difficulties associated with programing drum tracks. I was waiting on getting a LinnDrum II, but that seems to be vaporware.

Any opinions?

Re: Elektron MachineDrum

Posted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:55 am
by RobotHeroes
People that buy Machinedrums do so because they want a Machinedrum not because they want a classic analog.

The interface is well thought out and not hard to navigate. You can probably figure out how to get around in an hour or two but you will need to read the manual to get the most out of it. I am guessing people that find it difficult make the assumption that it is like an analog drum machine instead of a percussion synth. So when they turn it on and the kicks don't bang right away and can't figure out why it's all over.

I have an MDUW MKII and a 909. When I turn on the 909 and make a rhythm you can feel the power right away just like when I play an analog synth. It's possibly a psychology thing since the 909 is so recognizable and it just has that weight. When I use the MD its a different story. I can get whatever percussion sounds and then some plus more since I have the UW. It took me a while to get into but I dig the MDUW now.

If you can try it out although I know not a whole lot of stores carry them. I wouldn't even consider a Linndrum II since it isn't even out and the final specs aren't even out. Personally I haven't liked the sound of anything from DSI but the Linndrum II is always an eye catcher when I see it. Get the one you want and not the one you think will sound like something that exists.

Image

The choice is yours and yours alone.

(Why is it in your gear list already :?: )

Re: Elektron MachineDrum

Posted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:20 am
by bhrama
Well said, I do indeed come from the old analog regime. I actually have owned my MDUW for about 2 months, hence the equipment list . Really have had some difficulties getting my mind around it, to be honest I haven't given it, nor myself enough time it seems. Watched a few tutorials tonight, and had a few "no sh*t!?!" moments. Should have ignored the instant gratification lusting. Thanks for the opinion and alternate viewpoints, ,much appreciated.

Re: Elektron MachineDrum

Posted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:23 am
by bhrama
wait is that the Tiki guy from the Brady Bunch Hawaii vacation??!!??

Re: Elektron MachineDrum

Posted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:52 am
by RobotHeroes
It's actually been up and down with Elektron for me. 3 years ago when I first got the original UW I went nuts. I thought it was very rockin' but then I couldn't get into it. Took a break from it and kind of had a hate thing for it because I hadn't found the right sounds. Then I got back on it and learned some more and started to get sounds that pleased me.

It's like when you first get into synth and the lack of knowledge rains on the parade. You know twisting knobs on analog gear can do no wrong but eventually you want to know whats up. Then you start to dive into what does what and everything starts coming together. How many old analog drum machines can do this? Music style aside what he is getting done is pretty rad.



Olmec is from the old Nickelodeon "Legends of the Hidden Temple" game show. "The choice is yours and yours alone." Was one of its catchphrases.

Re: Elektron MachineDrum

Posted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 8:56 pm
by bhrama
I completely understand the Analog synthesis example. Took me 3 years, with several breaks inbetween, to come to grips with it and the Voyager. I recently have been given the opportunity to purchase some classic Rolansd gear, and was on the fence as to sell the UW for the Legends. For now i'll hang tight, do my time, and give Elektron a proper chance.

Re: Elektron MachineDrum

Posted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:42 am
by aeon
I've got an Elektron MachineDrum SPS-1UW. Simply put, I think it is the best digital drum machine ever created. Algorithmic Percussive Synthesis + Real-Time Sampling and Remix + Sample-Based Synthesis + The Best OS and UI Ever.

The MDUW fooled me at first because it was all there, so easy to see and understand - my sense was that "I got it." I was so wrong. The parameters may be relatively few and they may be right in front, but what isn't is the way that they interact and affect one another, between and among themselves. The contextual relationships, once explored, will begin to yield gold nugget after nugget. Suddenly, things you once thought the synthesis could not do become possible - as well as things you never thought of before.

It is a whole different world from an analog drumbox or simple digital one. It has a different workflow and more and different possibilities. It offers the potential of giving you a unique timbral voice - something the analog classics cannot.

Don't get me wrong - I love the Roland TR-808 and CR-78 too. That said, they give a certain sound that suits certain moods and recall certain tracks. The MDUW gives sounds that suit many moods and pave the way for future tracks.


cheers,
Ian

Re: Elektron MachineDrum

Posted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:18 am
by RobotHeroes
bhrama wrote:I recently have been given the opportunity to purchase some classic Rolansd gear
Unless they were below market value and in great shape I dunno. It isn't much of an investment if you are paying close to 2K for an 808/909 unless you are all about sounding like said drum machines.
aeon wrote:It offers the potential of giving you a unique timbral voice - something the analog classics cannot.

The MDUW gives sounds that suit many moods and pave the way for future tracks.
This thread just reminded me that I was going to sample the 909 into it to compare how it sounds out of the MD and to layer it with the MD's other machines. Probably some cool next level s**t.

Re: Elektron MachineDrum

Posted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:08 am
by Stab Frenzy
I thought the accepted wisdom was to get an M-Base to go with your MD for big analogue kicks?

Re: Elektron MachineDrum

Posted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:53 am
by TrondC
kicks on the MD was my first gripe too. I don't know exactly what happened, but right now I am getting pretty massive kicks, and a wide range of different ones at that. I considered to get the m-base, but atleast for me, the problem was not the machinedrum bassdrum, but how I incorporated it in the mix. basically, some pseudo-sidechaining ( http://elektron-users.com/index.php?opt ... 9&id=72496 ), and turning the other percussive elements down (volume) did the trick for me, and I honestly think that if the m-base sounds any bigger than this, there won't be much of a track left once drowned in massive bassdrums....

and I got it confirmed when I played a gig with the MD. I hadd various basslines and all kinds of swirls going on when the MD kick...uhm..kicked in, and I got goosebumps right there. I could even see the audience reaction as a kind of "woha, didn't expect that"

as for "getting it", that took some tme too. the pseudo sidechain (in the box) made it really come alive, as does the reverb and filter. I can't say how it would compare to a 909, but I guess they're different beasts. both can sound massive, the 909 will probably always sound like the "bigger" sounding machine, but that's probably because of the legacy, everyone knows the sounds, and the sound is everywhere.

if you have the UW, why not grab a good 808/909 sample pack and see if that does the job for you?

Re: Elektron MachineDrum

Posted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:05 am
by ThinkTanx
I've never understood the gripe some have about the kicks... the kicks on the MD can be massive!!! The TRX-B2 and the EFM-BD can both bring serious boom or punch, whatever you want. I have to think, like Trond says, the complaints have something to do with headroom and the way peeps are mixing within the MD.

My buddy sampled a kick from my MD, and ended up using it all over his album and some remixes... I've never, ever heard so many people ask about a single element in a track as that kick. Everyone asks where that bass drum came from. It's f**k gut-wrenching deep.

Re: Elektron MachineDrum

Posted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:57 am
by synthnoob
Man, this thing has been tugging at me also. I feel like there re so many possibilities with this thing. I have a 909 now and I love it (like my name says I am a complete noob. I started this past summer gettin into synths and stuff so its all ind of new to me). But I feel like it is limited. Specially if you dont have effects that you can run it through (which I dont).

But to the guys that may know, can the MD get close to the sounds of the old rolands. I wouldnt mind not having the 909 if the MD could do a pretty good 909. How close do ya think the MD can get 80%, 90%?

Re: Elektron MachineDrum

Posted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:57 am
by synthnoob
Man, this thing has been tugging at me also. I feel like there re so many possibilities with this thing. I have a 909 now and I love it (like my name says I am a complete noob. I started this past summer gettin into synths and stuff so its all ind of new to me). But I feel like it is limited. Specially if you dont have effects that you can run it through (which I dont).

But to the guys that may know, can the MD get close to the sounds of the old rolands. I wouldnt mind not having the 909 if the MD could do a pretty good 909. How close do ya think the MD can get 80%, 90%?

Re: Elektron MachineDrum

Posted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 3:44 am
by ThinkTanx
Get some nice 909 samples. Drop 'em in the MD. Done.

Or just use some nice 909 samples inside your DAW (if you're using one), which is what I do. I've had a 909 before. For me, using samples makes no difference. Of course, that's a whole other debate. I'm not saying I don't see the merits in sequencing the 909 internally, but just for my music, it made no real difference. That said, I love drum machines of all ilk and if I had money hangin from trees and endless amounts of studio space, I might have them all: 808, 909, 606, and the Machinedrum.

Re: Elektron MachineDrum

Posted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 3:46 am
by RobotHeroes
ThinkTanx wrote:I have to think, like Trond says, the complaints have something to do with headroom and the way peeps are mixing within the MD.
And having the instant gratification of old school drum machines in mind. If someone didn't spend the time I am sure they would be pissing themselves off with kicks and snares that sounded like the flicking of paper.

When I started to get kicks with the right weight and feel I had a smile on my face. Success!