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analog 4 mk2 or rytm mk2 for.. idiosyncratic drum synth
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> General Gear  
Author analog 4 mk2 or rytm mk2 for.. idiosyncratic drum synth
timeforest
trying to figure this out and the elektronauts forum is... not helpful. no need for elektron flaming (probably impossible) or tempest endorsements in here - only looking for insights about which of these two would better suit me.

considerations:
- i’m not super concerned with getting 808/909 very punchy/trad drum machine sounds, rather i want to be able to shape interesting/unique percussive voices
- i make footwork-y, detailed experimental post dance music
- i will be using ableton as master clock (writing in ableton generally) but also love elektron sequencer
- i may be able to get a rytm mk1 for a very good price soon
- i’m on the pulsar 23 wait list
nectarios
I don't like Elektron but Rytm is the best box ever and delivers for interesting percussive voices, basslines and leads.

Get a cheap mk1, imo.
GuyaGuy
With all of the p-locks and soundlocks the Analog Four can be a pretty versatile drum machine. But the Rytm goes beyond with the sample capabilities, dedicated pads, etc. The main advantage the Four has as a drum machine is its ability to be the hub for sequencing other gear. But if Ableton is your clock that probably isn’t important.
suboptimal
Between those two I would get a Rytm, myself, for perc. The A4 can do it, but the Rytm is designed for it.

But I'd take a Machinedrum UW over either of them, without hesitation.
tioJim
A4 - a synth that can do drums

RYTM - a drum machine that can synth and sample

Machinedrum - a drum machine
gentle_attack
You really can't go wrong with A4 RYTM Machinedrum or even Monomachine for sucha task.


They all have their own strengths and quirks, but any of these will fit the bill, IMO. If you buy an mk1 of the black boxes you can get them dirt cheap right now too.


I'd personally vote Rytm just because the layering of samples + synthesis is really cool and unique but at the same time the A4/AK engine can get way weirder, especially when you're not locked into it as a melody based device.
blipson
Coming from a different point of view: I got an A4 for playing electronic percussion live (I already have stuff that plays a wide variety acoustic percussion and drum kits that I like). Since I like the other stuff about the A4, I haven't really used it for percussion yet. But I went to get an Analog Rytm as well because why not, and I found the playing pads a total dealbreaker. Completely unplayable unless you whack them much harder than the drum controller I normally use. Real disappointment there, as the ability to finger drum substantial drum lines for at least several minutes at a time is essential for me.
Panason
Quote:
i make footwork-y, detailed experimental post dance music
this is roughly where I'm at, maybe not particularly experimental.

IMO:

I'd just wait for the Pulsar and get something else if I wanted a drum synth right now. Nord Drum 2 seems popular and affordable... The Vermona DRM1 is fully analog and sounds great but possibly expensive and you cannot save anything, you'd have to be sampling it.

The elektron analog stuff is OK if you can get it cheap - the sound is pretty weak out of the box and they need significant amounts of processsing to beef things up. The A4 MK1 is particularly lame as an analog synth and outclassed by pretty much anything else in that price bracket.

The Rytm can do good snares, kicks and bass toms, while the hihats and cymbals are garbage compared to the classsics. Both Rytm and Machindrum require extensive tweaking to get the good stuff out, in my experience, and the UI does not help.

A good chunk of what you pay for with the elektrons is the sequencer, which is clever but at times too clever for its own good, and the synthesis is pretty fiddly with those encoders and tiny screen. if you plan to sequence on Live there seems little reason to get an Elektron machine but the Machinedrum continues to be the most powerful drum synth until the Pulsar comes out.
XXXEsq
I have an ARMkII. It is a spectacular machine. I've found it very easy to generate cool percussive sounds and you can sample your modular into it and then use those sounds through the on board processors. It works very well as a DAW slave (and with Overbridge, better with Ableton than others). As mentioned above, p-locks and sound locks make for some very interesting ways to generate shifting patterns. I found the learning curve to be pretty steep. I've had mine for a few months and still need to go back to the manual from time to time.

The ONLY major drawback is that it doesn't send midi data out from the sequencer. (It does send and receive clock and position data, but no note or trigger data.) They don't disclose this in any of the advertising. I found this really annoying at first and I still do. But for me, the pluses far outweigh this annoying shortcoming.
nectarios
Yeah I have an A4 mk1 too. I find the Rytm to be much better sounding, but the amount of programming on the A4 is brilliant.

The sound straight out of the box is a bit "meh"...so its like my production training ground...its like the most generic sounding analog synth and the challenge is to make it sound interesting with pedals and EQ, which of course might not be what you want.

Also its one of the best synths for live sets.
The performance macros, are pure gold on stage.
Panason
XXXEsq wrote:


The ONLY major drawback is that it doesn't send midi data out from the sequencer. (It does send and receive clock and position data, but no note or trigger data.) They don't disclose this in any of the advertising. I found this really annoying at first and I still do. But for me, the pluses far outweigh this annoying shortcoming.


Actually it does send out program changes (only from the MIDI DIN port) when changing patterns...
Ableton Live doesn't even recognise incoming program change messages. lol
inoshi
To answer your question, if I had to choose between an OT and an MM, I would get the MM.

Just kidding. I haven't dug very deep into the A4, but I'm proficient enough with the RYTM that I can say it is not 'idiosyncratic'. It's very straightforward and useful if you don't already have a drum machine that can do trig conditions, direct change between patterns, scenes, and perf-locks.

If you're looking for idiosyncratic, the best thing would be to make one yourself in Max / MSP. The best way to learn how to make drum machines is to buy one and learn it inside and out. You can re-create the features that you like in Max, and add all sorts of fucked up shit. That has been the best part of the RYTM, for me. It taught me how to build sequencers, 'design sound' with extremely limited options (seriously Elektron, ONE LFO per sound? oh the things I could do with two....), and compose probabilistic polyrythms.

The A4 has not been interesting to me. I only use it for pads / drones. It seems to have a 'thin' sound (pls correct me if I'm wrong, I don't want to spread FUD on a great instrument). I must be doing it wrong, so ignore everything I've said.
th0mas
tioJim wrote:

RYTM - a drum machine that can synth and sample

Machinedrum - a drum machine

Machinedrum UW is a more versatile sampler than the Rytm. You can live sample into a RAM slot and then replay it, changing retrig rate pitch etc etc with p-locks. Endless possibilities. But in some ways it's also more limited than the Rytm, because of very limited sample time (interchangeable banks but still annoying)

inoshi wrote:

The A4 has not been interesting to me. I only use it for pads / drones. It seems to have a 'thin' sound (pls correct me if I'm wrong, I don't want to spread FUD on a great instrument). I must be doing it wrong, so ignore everything I've said.

Set the poly mode to unison, add all four voices to the poly configuration, adjust unison detune and pan spread to taste. Now you have a massive mono synth, enjoy.
anselmi
this tracks are ALL Analog 4 in 1 stereo take, no overdubs, external fx or any kind of post process...not EQ, compression, nothing

all of them have some kind of drums on it as well as tuned sounds...I programmed this drum sounds myself, but I remember there´s some preset drums to try in the factory bank too

[s]https://soundcloud.com/anselmi/a4-dub[/s]

[s]https://soundcloud.com/anselmi/a4-06[/s]

[s]https://soundcloud.com/anselmi/a4-05[/s]

[s]https://soundcloud.com/anselmi/a4-03[/s]

I owned all the Elektron boxes, but I keep the Digitakt and the Analog 4 (and the Analog Heat). The Rytm is more focused on drums, of course, but as I don´t like the analog engines I sold it and use the digitakt for samples instead, that for me it´s way more straightforward to use...and I don´t like/use pads anyway

The Analog 4 have a way more complex synthesis engine than the Rytm but you have to work harder since it isn´t confined to make drum sounds. The results are more vast and (to my ears) more enjoyable.
I really dislike the Rytm sound character that many people love. Just a matter of personal taste.
WilDFire
I also owned the rytm and grew weary of the sound. I think you should seriously consider the machine drum. 16 tracks. Lfos for days. It is a proper digital synth.
calaveras
One thing in the A4’s favor is price. They are selling for stupid prices as if they are defective or something. Considering that you can sequence CV gate stuff next to its internal voices and sync up DIN sync gear. The question really should be what else do you have, and how much in your bank?
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