Elektron Model:Samples

I’m genuinely not trying to be negative here. I really just don’t see the target market for this. Volca users aren’t likely to pay 3x for the extra features, Roland SP404sx users get line-in sampling and input effects for the same price, and Electribes are a sort of cult on their own which offer a very compelling mix of competitive features without being really crippled.

I love Elektron (have a RYTM mkII and a Digitone) but this seems like a misuse of resources which will only leave potential buyers more confused and possibly even unhappy after purchase and thus not likely to consider another Elektron box… which IMO would be a really sad thing since the other boxes seem much better aligned with the features needed to make them really sing as a unit.

So, I want to understand how this fits for its own target market, so I can tell my friends who are on the budget side of gear what it’s really for.


I’m not sure I understand the reason for volca sample comparisons, other than it is a portable sampler. There are more differences than similarities.

1GB +Drive with 64MB project memory.
USB audio
trig conditions
trigless locks
micro timing
tempo scale and length per track

That said, this thing certainly makes Octatrack MKII their clear flagship sampler.

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I think this is the most appealing interface Elektron has designed so far. The feature set of Elektron boxes is enticing for me, but I can’t gel with the abstracted interface and the reliance on screens (previously owned the MD, OT, and AR). At a certain point using a computer is easier IMO. Still, seriously doubt I will be an adopter.

this seems cool. i will absolutely not be buying it which is quite fine w me

I’ve owned a Volca Sample, and found it fiddly, underpowered (no effects beyond master eq & reverb I think?) and generally not much fun to use. Roland 404 doesn’t have sequencing, does it? Electribe is the nearest competitor / best example of price imbalance, but doesn’t have Elektron-style sequencing, param locks, or that particular Elektron sound (possibly more of a subjective thing). Elektron is also obviously a more boutique brand - whether you think that should or shouldn’t affect the price, it clearly plays a part.

I bought a Digitakt because I wanted an easy route into Elektron hardware, sequencing and sampling. I realised it didn’t have the same breadth of functions as other gear (the new MPCs came out around the same time) but was happy with it focusing on a smaller feature set and doing that stuff really well. I can easily imagine people doing the same thing with this, particularly in a year or so when you start seeing second-hand units for £200 or whatever.

Roland SP404sx definitely has pattern sequencing, a la Digitakt, although with a different set of features. Whether one is better than the other is really up to the user.

But I suppose for a rather narrow niche (people with just enough money to get something better than a volca, who want the elektron style workflow, and don’t want to pay for a digitakt) this could work. And I guess if “sequence the samples you preloaded” is what it does, it could be seen as doing that really well.

It’s a new market segment for them, sure.

But if their cost to entry is low (porting the digitakt playback engine, sequencer, and withholding OB support entirely), I could see why they’d like to take a stab at an Electribe of sorts.

Not for everyone. But neither is every groovebox instrument made by Korg, or Roland, or Yamaha, and I think those are the competitors they are gunning for.

Well, I’m not all for capitalism, but I do wish them success and I wish all the purchasers of these new toys a lot of fun and hope they lead to a whole crop of new music and not just rehashes of the same old same old!

I hope I didn’t come off as negative, if anything, it felt super nice to me to NOT want a new gear announcement from a maker whose tools I happen to enjoy. Thank you Elektron!

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Seems like the year where every company is trying to break into the lower-midrange budget format, which I think is a great thing to get more people making music. Can’t say I really understand this specific thing though, but I’m sure that’ll become clearer when people get their hands on it. Love my RYTM MK2 to bits so I trust they’ve thought it out well enough.


I don’t know a ton about Elektrons so I trust that y’all are having shrugged reactions for good reasons. But my first reaction to this was, “Cool!” and then when I saw the $399 street price, “Even cooler!” So, I’ll share the (possibly misinformed) perspective of someone who is excited about this!

I can’t know what I don’t know, and I have no experience with the Elektron workflow, but what appeals to me about the Model Samples is the apparent lack of a dense workflow in order to really drive this thing. That’s something that I’ve heard isn’t true of their other offerings, and along with price tags, has prevented me from taking the plunge into Elektronland.

I shy away from instruments that require too much organized thinking while playing live. I work so much better under intuitive (a vague notion, I realize) and direct control of an instrument. The Volca Sample is fun, but after a short plane ride, I felt like I had kind of reached a wall with its features and the toylike aspect of it became apparent. I loved the simple and direct workflow of the TR8 but also felt limited by its sound potential. The TR8S and Digitakt are both exciting to me but are nearly twice the price of this Elektron.

If I had ~$700 right now I’d have a hard time choosing between the TR8S and the Digitakt. I’ve read plenty of TR8S vs Digitakt threads, but I’m curious based on the described feature set of the Model Samples why saving up a few hundred dollars more for them would even be worth it to me.

This appears to combine a simple workflow with hands-on playability and the ability to mangle and design both the sounds and sequencing on the fly. Seems… fun!


Once upon a time I bought a monosynth for that exact reason: the interface had knobs that corresponded to what was going on, and that was, more or less, it. Through that synth I learned so many things that now I can take a synth which layers much of its functionality (like the DigiTone) and comprehend it almost intuitively and immediately. So if this wee little thing does that for you and opens up a new world beyond it, and you’re aware that you might also hit a wall with it one day and want to move beyond that and that’s ok with you, then it sounds like the perfect next step.


I followed a similar path with understanding synthesis, so you’re spot on! I definitely see it as a stepping stone towards hopefully getting to a more “intuitive” place with Elektron’s workflow, BUT:

You seem emphatic here, and sequencing is a crucial piece, so would you be able to explain a bit more about what is lacking in the sequencer? You describe it as being crippled, and I’m curious what you mean by that. Perhaps I missed something you explained earlier, so feel free to just copy and paste! :slight_smile:

$400 is not a small amount of money for me, but if saving up another $300 for a Digitakt will spare me from wanting to ditch . and upgrade in just months (instead of being a piece in my stable for years), please let me know your thoughts. I realize the choice is mine to make here, but I do appreciate helpful input!

Ultimately this would probably be mostly useless for me as I’ve got a Digitakt and some other samples, and uploading samples via usb is usually not good for workflow. But I think the knob per function aspect is great and I’m also into it being a little limited, working within limitations can be a lot of fun and good for me creatively.

And I love the look! Very Dieter Rams inspired I’m sure

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Was not really digging it before, but now I want one. I have a Rytm MKII so the Digitakt would have been a nice little extra, but the hands-on stuff you can do with this is way more exiting for me. This wil be the perfect companion for the Rytm.


Well, my honest feelings are that this device is too expensive for what you’re getting. The sequencer for the internal samples is as full featured (from what I can tell, mind you I haven’t read the manual cover to cover!) as the Digitakt, in other words all the p-locks, trigs, trigless locks, and other tricks seem to be there. However, when you’re sequencing external gear (e.g. a Minitaur, a Volca FM, any external sound module) using the MIDI tracks, you cannot sequence the one thing that really matters: MIDI CC (and I think you cannot send program changes either). Even on the Digitone you can sequence CC, and this is important because CC controls things like the modulation wheel position and filter cutoff, as well as any parameters you might want to change such as note repeat, lfo rate changes, etc. In short, all it will really sequence are notes, nothing else. To me, this is more or less useless since part of the fun of a sequencer is sequencing the parts you can’t really play the same way - if you’ve got both hands on the sample box, you can’t also turn the filter wheel for that dub wobble or mod wheel up to get whatever effect it has on the other synth. And sequencing things like cutoff or oscillator on/off for gated synth action in tempo are a huge part of certain genres.

Now, this omission is in line with the principle of one knob per function, since they’d have to make the interface much more complex (effectively adding a second layer of meaning to various knobs) in order to implement this, so it’s understandable in that context why it’s not included. But it’s such an important function for an external sequencer that it’s rather astonishing, at that price point, to leave it off. Even the diminutive Korg SQ-1 is used as often to sequence non-note parameters as it is pitch.

So this is one of those cases where a new-to-sequencing person might go “so what, I only plan to use this with the internal sounds like a groovebox” and to that I say “amen, if you’re willing to pay that much for a groovebox, go for it”. But there are many people for whom the idea of an Elektron sequencer in a separate affordable box is a sort of holy grail, and this is definitely NOT that box.

Hence my concern.


banging my head over hear
just wish it had sample recording. still good for the price. i might get one to have next to my old mpc 2000 for a more playable sampler

I’m not sure what you mean by this, having a RYTM MkII myself and finding it incredibly playable and performable, I can’t for the life of me see what this little guy does that the RYTM can’t, and the workflow on the RYTM needs no improvement to my view. Am I missing something?

The “new” OT MkII was mainly a hardware update, with the exception of the introduction of conditional trigs. The other substantial updates (pickup machines, more effects) happened within the first one and a half years after the original OT’s introduction in 2012. So this is a pretty mature instrument, I would not expect any more substantial updates.

It feels kinda like… the Ferrari of music gear made a super cool consumer commuter car that’s still kinda expensive. The enthusiasts want a new high end machine, or an update to a current line. The current market has been hearing about something new and now they find out it’s not for them. The disappointment of seeing r&d (or lack of) going into supporting the new consumer market instead of high end functionality. And it may hurt monetarily as it’s not much less expensive than the next line up Ferrari.

I wouldn’t fault anyone for getting this. In fact I think it’s kinda cool. It’s just a little disappointing to feel like the future efforts of Elektron are supporting entry-mid level rather than furthering the high/deep end. The Model:Samples is kind of a Digitakt lite, the Digitakt is kind of an Octatrack lite. Incepta-lite.

Maybe I’ll change my mind at a later date. Current thoughts as I’m out and about.

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