Elektron Model:Cycles

Much like the Model:Samples seem like a stripped down Digitakt the new Model:Cycles seems like a stripped down Digitone with the focus being on FM drum sounds. I’ve always tried to coax sick percussion sounds out of my FM synths over the years so this one was a no brainer. Took me a while to find a used one since I missed the initial first batch and who the F knows when and if they will even ship a second batch with this global health crisis.

This is the demo that sold me even more on this little guy.

Anyone else using this sick box?


Yea, got it right after launch. As background, FM is my favorite drum synthesis method and I thought I’d love the Digitone for its somewhat simplified take on FM, but quickly found out that it was still very much in the way of me creating music. So I sold the Digitone and got the Model:Cycles.

First I was worried they went too far in simplifying FM but I’ve now grown to love the immediacy of this thing. Such direct control and wonderful width of timbres you can get out of it. And at that price, with the Elektron sequencer, in my opinion it’s a steal for a drum machine.


  • Playability and directness
  • Class compliant USB for stereo audio out and midi I/O (works like a charm on iPad Pro)
  • 5V power, so you can use a power bank (or in my case JBL Charge speaker) with an adapter for jams on the go
  • Track probability is a beautiful rhythm tool
  • Control all shines in FM as you get to weird and bat shit crazy territory in a blink


  • Only one LFO (ipad solves this and suddenly you have hundreds of LFOs)
  • No envelope (unless you sacrifice your only LFO)
  • No individual outs but hey…

I think I’ve said this about several Elektron machines before, but at the moment this feels like one of the most fun machines I’ve used. Brilliantly limited and endlessly playable.


Oh and it’s perfect fodder for Analog Heat to filter and mangle. FM overtones and punchiness sound amazing when sent through the AH filter and saturation, creating a beautiful gnarly mess and some superb artifacts.


Does anyone have this in stock, or is it completely sold out until the 15th?

I had one on pre-order with Detroit Modular before the global pandemic happened. They said it was supposed to ship April 1st, but then I noticed that day getting pushed back more and more until now it says the 16th. Seems like it goes up a day each day for the ETA. LOL. So they have no idea when or if they will get a shipment from Elektron.

I found a used one on Reverb, bought it and cancelled the pre-order.

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I need to know more about this! How does the ipad add hundreds of LFOs?


I do the same for the Samples using https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/bram-bos-rozeta-sequencer-suite


Yes, like @chriscaines said, Rozeta is a very good one at that but any MIDI generating app will do. I also use Ribbn and Modstep quite a lot to add automation to hardware synths, including the M:C.

It’s taking a little longer than I first anticipated to get going and get creative with my Cycles but I know that there is so much there just waiting for me to unlock.

Does anyone from the forum have any samples of recordings using the Model:Cycles and any little tips or tricks that you’ve maybe accidentally stumbled upon?

There is now a pretty cool VST/Standalone editor for Elektron Model:Cycles.


looks interesting, have you used it? is it lacking in anything?

Tensor for iPad greatly opens up and amplifies some features of Model:Cycles.


I just tested it. It’s very comprehensive. Each parameter can be controlled individually and automated in the DAW. I highly recommend it.


Has anyone shopped from Oversynth before? Just bought this neat overlay.

No, not yet. I’m thinking of buying that overlay, too. This 90s computer gray of Cycles is incredibly boring. The quality of the overlay would interest me.

I’m in Australia so may be waiting for my shipment for a little while, but will be sure to report back once I receive it :vulcan_salute:t3:

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Never got mine still waiting for a full refund. How do you like it?

I liked it when I had it. Ended up selling it to this guy who sent me a message on Reverb asking to sell it through personal transaction instead so he could save a few bucks in taxes. The package ended up stolen from my front porch while it was awaiting USPS pickup. I’m still waiting for my refund too. I bet that guy won’t send money to strangers on the internet again! And I surely won’t be leaving any packages on my front porch again! Live and learn!

When used as a class compliant USB interface with an iPad Pro, does this mean that audio out of iOS apps can be routed out of the model:cycles outputs, mixed with its own sounds?

Sadly no. Audio over USB is one way only, main stereo out from the M:C, no input to the M:C. This has an unfortunate side effect on iOS and iPadOS: as you can only have one ‘audio interface’ in use, you can’t use headphones to monitor what’s coming from the M:C, unless the headphones are wireless. Wireless headphones can coexist with an audio interface.