Synth Site: Elektron ESI: Machinedrum: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.7 out of 5
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Pnedito a hobbyist user from usa writes:
I bought my MD used to save some dough. I feel guilty now... Elektron deserve every penny they get for this gear. It sounds good. Has a perfect UI and is built like a swedish tank (a volvo?). As another reviewer said, "I don't think I've ever been so unconditionally happy with something I've bought" So true. Be the first on your block to get a Machinedrum!!!

posted Saturday-Aug-24-2002 at 14:51
Shannon a part-time user from Canada writes:
Percussion synthesis has been a fairly neglected area in hardware development until Elektron unleashed the Machinedrum upon the world. For the most part, percussion in the electronic realm has been ruled by samplers.

As it is with any form of synthesis, there are some sounds samples can capture but not control in the same way a synthesizer can. I experimented using Reaktor to create drums, and while it had a good sound, it lacked the immediate interface I required, plus sucked up too much power from my computer. Tired of soft-synths and static drum samples, I sought after a suitable replacement.

Someone had mentioned that the demo's don't do it justice, and they were right. The sound of the Machinedrum is somewhere between digital and analog. It is pure and precise, yet still has body. Good amplifiers, DACs, and plenty of DSP power are responsible for this. The LFO section on this synth is powerful, you can create very unusual timbres for percussion, bass, and fx. Those desiring x0x style sounds will not miss their 808/909s. While the old TR boxes hold their status they do not have near the sonic spectrum of the Machinedrum. The Machinedrum is suitable for all electronic percussion styles and those desiring acoustic sounds should still consider the Machinedrum as it does have Physical modelled synthesis that generates tight, and punchy drums.

As far as interface goes, I have never worked with something as intuitive. while their are a few quirks (such as being able to change patterns with only one hand) they are very minor and can be remedied in an OS upgrade. It is almost near-perfect... Staring at the aggressive-red display and the simple yet stylistic graphics of the Machinedrums OS is very rewarding and addictive. This is an instrument that begs to be played.

My wishlist for the Machinedrum would be: some sort of Machine that let's you do lead/bass synth sounds (might as well put the nail in the coffin to the rest of the grooveboxes out there!). Higher-step resolution or the ability to offset drum sounds to allow for more complex programming. Individual track-lengths or timesignatures for each sequencer track (I doubt this one is possible and probably not within the scope of the machine).

Is it worth the money? Certainly. This instrument really has no equal right now. Not to say there aren't options and combinations of other gear that may arrive at a similar sound. Well I made sure I had enough money to buy it out flat. I would suggest you do to... This is a very professional instrument (very fun too) and is a serious investment if you make music of any kind that demands dynamic percussion.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Aug-21-2002 at 17:56
wendell a hobbyist user from us writes:
>trying to break out of hobbyist mode...< i've had my MD for a few months now and am extremely satisfied with it. initially i was put off by the action of the drum keys, as they felt "clacky" to quote another MD user. but as i used it more, they became preferrable to me, as you can slide your finger across them to un/mute all the tracks in one movement. this is something one could not do with rubbery buttons. i am still paying it off, but it is worth it.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Aug-21-2002 at 16:35
Matt A a professional user from London, England writes:
I don't think I've ever been so unconditionally happy with something I've bought. It's incredible. The user interface is excellent and the live possibilities are pretty endless. I've got the rest of my studio mixed through its inputs too, and it sounds great. It's exactly what I needed. No more boring drum samples! I've been using it to make deep electro and really hard techno and it does it all with style.

Well done Elektron...

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Aug-12-2002 at 10:18
Ntropy a part-time user from USA writes:
An addition to my review:

I just getting deep into the parameter lock sequencing. Oh my god. This machine can do anything. Now I can even get acid lines out of it. And melodies!! If you're into IDM ala squarepusher or aphex twin, but want to do it live.. then this is the only machine that will give you that. And you can improv! Come on everyone, lets get away from Pre-sequenced MIDI tracks being called "live". Jam baby!!!! Take it into the furthest realms of headspace!

I saw elvis on my MD. I'm not kidding.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Jul-23-2002 at 18:54
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