machinedrum - still nice in 2023?

Anything about hardware musical instruments.
Topic Starter
327 posts since 13 Oct, 2015

Post Sun Feb 26, 2023 3:05 pm

thinking about buying one of these. they are fairly expensive but a friend has one he would sell me for a fair price since its collecting dust.
I usually produce in the box but last year have started to get a bit more interested into hardware, more for like idea sketching and getting a break from the screen, since i spend almost all my day on it.
I always liked the elektron sequencers when i tried them. i realize the machinedrum is a tad older but maybe someone here has some opinions on it - would I be better off getting a newer elektron box or something else entirely? I watched some demos and demod it at my friends place and I liked how sounds generally, but am worried that i will stumble onto some annoying quirks

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9118 posts since 18 Aug, 2007 from NYC

Post Sun Feb 26, 2023 3:25 pm

You might want to look into posting on the Elektron boards: ... inedrum/10

I don’t have any input because I purposely avoided learning about it, since don’t want gear envy (considering the usual 2nd hand price for one).

I do know on their boards people who love Machinedrum, really love it. One of the top threads linked is from people requesting Elektron to re-release it.

I love my Elektron gear (Syntakt, Digitakt, Analog Heat). There’s others here with more Elektron boxes and likely some hands on experience with Machinedrum if you don’t want to post there.

EDIT: I will say this… Elektron gear is a great way for the get-out-the-box feeling. I love overbridge for getting things back into my DAW (Live). Not sure if that’s an option for Machinedrum or not.

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9302 posts since 7 Sep, 2006 from Roseville, CA

Post Sun Feb 26, 2023 11:36 pm

I've never owned a MachineDrum, but I own several current Elektron boxes (RYTM mk2, Analog Four mk2, Digitakt, Syntakt, and Digitone). The MD has always sorta appealed to me, but I like the modern conveniences, especially Overbridge. I don't think anything in the current lineup is really a direct replacement, since they're mostly analog, sample-based, or FM-based synthesis, but I think either a Digitakt, Syntakt, or Digitone might get you in the ballpark. Sorry I can't be much more help than that, but I'd think you'd have a great time with a MachineDrum if you can buy your friend's unit for a cheap price, so that would be a great way to get out of the box IMO.
Logic Pro | PolyBrute | Prophet 6 | OB-6 | Rev2 | Pro 3 | Subsequent 37 | Slim Phatty | SE-1X | Polar TI2 | Blofeld | A4mk2 | RYTMmk2 | Alpha Base | Syntakt | Digitakt

Topic Starter
327 posts since 13 Oct, 2015

Post Mon Feb 27, 2023 3:54 am

thanks for the input! yeah, I think overbridge is a good argument for a more modern elektron box. Ive also tried the analog rytm and sounds great, but im intrigued by the digital and wacky options that the machinedrum can give you.

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49 posts since 13 Apr, 2009 from Belgium

Post Mon Feb 27, 2023 7:50 am

The disadvantage of the MachineDrum is indeed the absence of Overbridge.
But like you said, there is some wacky stuff in that box, like the RAM machines (only on the 1UW MKII if I'm not wrong) and the neighbour tracks (you can use up to 15 neighbour tracks to modulate track 16).

930 posts since 29 May, 2011 from Germany

Post Tue Mar 28, 2023 11:52 am

I had one, sold it during one of my "studio upgrades", and have come to regret losing that sound ever since. Most newer Elektron boxes are fancy instruments in their own right, but nothing gets close to the digital grit of the Machinedrum.

I have nevertheless refrained from buying a used MD, and will keep it that way. Not because of the crazy prices, but for the simple fact that back in the days, my MD had two major defects within a year (and I heard similar stories from quite a few other users), and I´m not sure for how long in the future Elektron will be able to do repairs (spare part availability, etc).

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23681 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Post Tue Mar 28, 2023 3:41 pm

The Machinedrum sequencer is missing some features of the recent Elektron boxes... for example, being able to have steps off the beat.

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