Analog rytm thoughts

any rytm mkI or II users around here?

trying to figure out which- if either - i should add to my studio and MW/elektronauts just seem to add to the confusion.

i need a perc synth that will let me write/sequence otb (i love elektron sequencing so i know this is a strength) and process midi from ableton (no midi send on the rytm is a confusing and big bummer but not deal breaking i guess).

i’d love to hear any overall experiences/caveats as well as insights on the value of upgrading to the mkII (i don’t really care about the samples, the new form factor/menu/pads is appealing but not $600 appealing)

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MkI user.

If you’re merely enquiring irt to the value bt the two, I agree with you that the upgrades are not worth the price. Plus the II is a monster and there have been tons of production issues.

The ability to resample, “better” pads (pretty low bar to begin with) and more powerful USB for OB are definitely interesting though.

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this, but also just trying to get a handle on overall satisfaction from seasoned users i suppose. elektron boxes are so polarizing that this is really hard to do.

a mkI for the going rate of ~$800 seems like a really good price for what you get but i guess im also feeling wary of getting an out of warranty discontinued elektron product at this point?

I have the mk2 and like the sequencing and the sound quite a bit. It plays well sonically and timing-wise with euro and other tools. Overbridge is interesting but I haven’t really worked out a way to make it useful in my process yet. The performance controls are great.

I haven’t used the mk1 so I can’t really compare them, but the used price on the mk1 is certainly attractive.

What exactly do you mean by “process MIDI from Abelton?”


writing drums in ableton and sending the midi info to the rytm/ableton as master clock

Rytm MKI user here. Been using it since 2014 and couldn’t be more happy despite the snare pad that has become a bit unresponsive over time.

It’s always been hooked up via overbridge and now running overbridge 2 beta together with a digitakt and havent encountered any problems so far. MIDI control works fine (empty drum rack in ableton and MIDI routed through a separate track). However, bare in mind that muting tracks on the rytm won’t work when recieving MIDI notes.

Can’t say anything about the mk2 though except that the size of it puts me off. If you’re looking for an Elektron percussion machine have a look into the Machinedrum UW MKII. Sold mine last year and reget it.


The A Rytm MK1 is an amazing machine. However, it doesn’t sample. You can load samples in but it is tricky. It should be simple, load card via USB, drag and drop, but Oh No! That’s not the Elektron way! other than that, for a drum machine it’s magic.

The MK2 can sample. If you don’t need that, I would save the money and get a MK1. Comes with bonus hipster points too! :joy:

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Yeah I sold my MDUW and regret it too!

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MkII user here. The size is definitely large, but it’s also very comfortable and playable. It fits in your lap for deeper work, and nicely on a tabletop or pedestal for studio companionship. It doesn’t have the ultimate backpack portability of the MkI though, if that’s a priority for you.

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If you were going MKII you would definitely need that warranty :slight_smile: But I think the MKI is pretty rock solid.

Its a blast to use. So immediately gratifying. I think it sounds real good out of the box but takes a bit of work to sound steller (using lotsa hp filters and closing envelopes, the distortion liberally and compressor conservatively is my jam).
Whichever unit you must get the app Collider. Takes the AR into modular territory real quick.


MK1 owner here. I bought it for exactly the reasons you described and it’s worked a treat. I feel it’s easiest to get great bass, kick and snare sounds and more difficult to get great hats and toms from it so I’d be interested to hear any other owners recipes for synth based sounds. Of course good samples through the analog filter, drive and compression are absolutely killer.


I had a MK I and it was a really fun machine. The screen on mine eventually started failing and this was (is?) a common issue (the edge of the screen will fade and will eventually get some LCD blotches). Replacement screen provided under warranty without much hassle so that was a plus I guess.

My screen is slowly fading on the right edge too I should mention. I’ve had it more than three years so so i guess ill have to fork out for a repair one day. Probably got another couple of years before I hit that point, still a bit annoying. Another long term hardware niggle is one of the pads gets some “phantom presses”. Not enough to make a sound but enough to take focus if I’m holding the select track button.

Been using the AR MK2 for my live sets over the past year and in this context I’ve found I appreciate the more spacious form factor (running it alongside a MK1 Octatrack).

I also use the fill button and performance knob gratuitously in my performances, in fact they’re my two favourite controls on the machine…

If it was just studio use however, I’d probably save the money and get a MK1… But for live work I’m really digging the MK2 - feels like a well thought out and refined interface…

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I have a Rytm Mk1 - I don’t get nearly enough use out of it, tbh. I used to have a Machinedrum, and would use it as a sequencer for my whole set; really let down by the absence of MIDI/CV options on the Rytm. It sounds GREAT though, and the pads feel nice. I’ve been really disappointed with OB, it feels clunky to me.

I got an OP-Z a few weeks ago, and I’m seriously considering selling the Rytm and just using that for drums/midi instead.

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Bought rhe Mk1 some years ago, traded it for some eurorack modules and bought it again last year for live gigs… Really nice piece of gear and workflow.
Recently i tried to use it for production but their “overbridge” thing isn’t working as expected. The sample transfer has been upgraded and is way easier to work with than in the past.

The added performance features of the MKII really help in a live situation.

Both are obviously fantastic. If you don’t mind missing out on proper individual outs, sampling and an enhanced layout, go for the MKI.

thank you very much. i didnt realize the mkI doesnt have true individual outs and this is important to my workflow

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aaaand i bought the mkii - control voltage memorial day sale actually let me apply the code to elektron stuff (many places wont)

thanks for the input everyone :slight_smile:


Enjoy it! I love mine. It’s a very flexible machine and a joy to play with the performance modes. Best drum machine out there imho.

My only complaint would be there’s only one LFO per track + performance modes cannot be controlled in song mode.

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