Elektron SYNTAKT is a new 12-track machine-driven drum computer & Synthesizer groovebox that creatively combines analog and digital synthesis.
The rumors that have been circulating on social media for the last year are true. The trademark from September (2021) gave us a very clear clue about the next Elektron product.
Yesterday then the leak from Reddit which is also true. Say hello to Elektron SYNTAKT, a new hybrid groovebox.
SYNTAKT is a 12-track drum computer and Synthesizer or in the words of Elektron: “a drum specialist full of percussive possibilities”. It is based on the legend of the MachineDrum but also on bits and bytes of the Analog Rytm and Model Cycles.
After Digitakt and Digitone, the new release is the first box to use analog synthesis again. But also digital. So a synthesis fusion. SYNTAKT gives you 4 analog tracks and 8 digital tracks in the same Digi form factor with the same clicky buttons.
Play With Machines
The sound engine is based on so-called machines that can be compared to algorithms. Independent programs that bundle a number of parameters that makes sound design very straightforward.
On the first three drum tracks, you can select from 15 different machine programs including different bass drums, snare drums, rimshot, a dual VCO synth, impulse, and noise generator.
Fourth and last analog track (cymbal) gives you another 12 different machines including hi-hats, cymbal, cowbell, impulse, and noise. Then for each analog track, you get an analog overdrive, analog multi-mode filter, and two assignable LFOs.
On the other 8 tracks, you can discover and experiment with versatile digital machines. There are 10 to choose from: bass drum, snare drum, cymbal/hi-hat, percussion, clap, and four tonal synths. Plus, you activate per track a digital overdrive, multi-mode filter, base-width filter, and two assignable LFOs.
As with the Digitakt/Digitone, the parameters are visualized with beautiful, animated icons that give you instant visual feedback and tons of tweaking fun.
Deeper Sound Shaping
Another highlight of the SYNTAKT is its flexible audio routing. It allows you to route any of your synth tracks or external audio sources through the FX box that gives analog distortion & filtering as well as a couple of LFOs. Additionally, you can also drive them through a delay and reverb. So the SYNTAKT is not just a powerful groovebox but also an FXTAKT for your external sources.
Besides the multi-mode filter per track, you can also work with two amplitude envelopes with either an ADSR characteristic for rich synth lines or the AHD perfect for transient percussive sounds. There are also two fully-featured multi-wave LFOs per track with different modulation destinations. So lots of creative tools to tweak the sounds in new directions.
Modifiers & Keyboard Mode
SYNTAKT incorporates four modifiers offering four deep levels of expression. The first two modifiers set the retrigger and velocity behavior of your sounds, while the other two are for custom intensities of other parameters.
The new Elektron groovebox is not just a drum Synthesizer machine but a full-fledged synth for notes. Thanks to the different keyboard modes, you can play right away with different scales. They promised that there will be some familiar faces and some maybe a little less familiar to try out.
Elektron instruments are loved by many musicians for their very deep and creative sequencers. This is consistently continued here. SYNTAKT comes with a 64-step sequencer with the all-time classic parameter locks functionality. So notes, as well as parameters, can be captured very quickly and intuitively in sequences.
Of course, it also supports individual pattern length per track, individual time scale multiplier per track, trig conditions & chance, retrigger, and micro timing. Much of what we know from older devices.
The new modifiers mentioned earlier that give you new expressive layers can also be recorded in the sequencer. The same goes for the effects. This way you can precisely plan the input and output phases of the delay or reverb. Or selectively modify the character of sounds.
MIDI is also on board and yes, the 12 tracks can also be switched to 12 MIDI tracks if required. Thus, SYNTAKT is also a 12-track MIDI sequencer with four-note polyphony, LFOs, and more.
On the backside, you can find a 12VDC 2A power supply input with a dedicated switch, a MIDI in, MIDI out, and MIDI thru, stereo input, and output on two 6,3mm mono jacks each and a headphone input. Too bad no CV/Gate for analog gear. Something I would have liked very much here.
SYNTAKT is also ready and able to connect to Class Compliant devices, meaning it can easily hook up to computers, smartphones, or tablets for USB audio and MIDI. Connect with ease. And the device is Overbride ready.
At first glance a very exciting analog/digital groove box. I’m happy to see that Elektron is back in the analog field. The huge selection of “machines” makes it very tempting. At least for me. Too bad that the modular people were left out a bit without CV/gate connections.
The same design for the third time is a bit boring, I would have wished for a new layout. The Digi design is certainly not bad, since you can work with it very quickly and intuitively. The ideas from the other devices (Analog Rytm, Model Cycles) are indispensable. Could the child be from an AR and MC marriage.
Elektron SYNTAKT is available now for $999,99 USD/949,99€
More information here: Elektron
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