As a longtime producer who has used his share of software drum machines, I was highly impressed with the depth of sounds and the versatility the Elektron Analog Rytm has to offer. The drum sounds on this machine are much more full and rich sounding than any virtual instrument I've used. This drum computer is limitless - and with thousands of libraries and effects that I can integrate with my own samples, any sound is possible!
Don't like surprises?
This is an incredible piece of technology the sampling world has needed for very long time! But just two things to consider for folks who are used to more traditional hardware samplers, like myself.
1. It only plays back samples in mono although it has a stereo output for its internal effects.
2. No direct to machine sampling, everything has to be done through external sources such as a computer drag-and-drop.
I wish I have known these two facts before purchasing.
Rytm is King
I've owned this majestic beast for little over a year now and can confidently state it's my favorite piece of gear. With the introduction of Overbridge 1.10 it has opened the doors to a whole new workflow.
Want to add some flavor to those stagnant VST's? Route them through the analog circuitry (filter, overdrive, LFO, and FX) and be blown away! Using your DAW to send additional LFO's really expands the limited synthesis options too. Having 8 tracks all recorded over one usb cord is quite the breakthrough for an analog drum machine.
Surprised no one has mentioned anything about the on-board compressor! It can react crazy fast at .03 ms and smooths things out very nicely with the right settings. Add some p- locks and you can create pumping electro vibes in no time.
Bit of a shame theres no external sequencing, but thats just Elektrons model, niche machines done right.
Firstly my appreciation to Andy for his support on yet another memorable purchase. I am always tempted with lower market offers, but you can't beat Sweetwater's values and service
On Elektron, a great company offering so many non overlapping tools, maybe confusing at first, but their business model and range of products is quite unique. I am glad I got this one and intend to continue with their other products
The Rytm itself is an amazing analog drum machine, punchy or mellow, as you wish. The onboard effects are a very nice complement, and makes it ready for professional recording standard straight out of the box. The sound engine can do anything you ask for, layering analog or FM with and samples (or each individually. Although it is a drum machine, it does stretch a bit into the workstation territory. Very good tool for writing bass lines and sequencing parts (add some of the free JD800 samples and you can go even further, including pads and synth sounds)
It comes with a very small selection of preset and pattern, a bit disappointed at first, but eventually appreciated as it is very fast to program and find what you are looking for. The filing system can be a bit confusing at first, but very logical in the end. Spent two days loading thousands of samples and really enjoyed the results
The sequencer part makes you forget any DAW for sometimes, it is super fast and encourages creativity. Well done Elektron! Locking individual sounds or sound changes to each step of a pattern is the icing on the cake, I can't recall having so much fun with a piece of hardware. It's so joyful
Occasionally it misbehaves on long sessions of sample imports, but hard to say what the cause could be (including my laptop). A simple restart of procedure solves the problem. Same with synchronization and Ableton Live, as suggested on forums it could take 1 or 2 initial attempts and eventually just works
There is a lot of software governing the machine, some occasional issue are a normal thing as with every modern piece of equipment, and on the plus side it allows very easy workflow. But read on the forums, there are a lot of helpful shortcuts and additional functions not documented in the manual
There are so many layers to this instrument, it's and amazing tool and would recommend to anyone looking for an analog+FM+sample drum machine..and beyond
The only downside is that there are not enough hours in a day to play with it!
Blew me away
The Analog Rytm is a true game changer for me. As a person that grew up with Drum Machine and is currently producing with computers and very minimal hardware, moving back to a drum machine seemed insane. But it wasn't.
The Rytm makes me work faster, and stay focused. And to me, that is one of the biggest strengths of this machine. It's the first time in a long time that I have used a piece of hardware and my productivity increased.
Yes, there is a learning curve. But it's not steep, and going past it is rewarded with a TON of productive time spent on it. The user interface is very intelligent and is geared towards a fast paced workflow.
The file management system takes a little to get used to, but it never interrupted too mucdh. And considering that 'Over Bridge' is going to come out soon, I'm sure things will be a lot more smooth with file management.
Now to clean some of the discrepancies with the other reviews.
The RyTm is a Drum Machine. And although it cannot sequence external equipment, its internal sequencer is simply perfect!
I don't care about not able to sequence external equipment...I got my DAW for that. And there are tons of plugins out there that can extend the sequencing capabilities of the DAW. I don't need another way to do things...it's just obstructing the workflow in my opinion.
The RYTM's sound engine is simply magical! The Analog sound and synthesis options allow for a lot of creative control. One of the best things about it, is that it never sounds exactly the same. It's very organic and it adds a layer of authenticity and detail that you simply cannot get from samples.
The filters and fx also, are ver very high quality!
About the Samples Support. I wouldn't call it limited...I call it simple!
It allows you to loop, change start/end points, bit crush and give you access to the filters, master fx and, obviously, the sequencer.
With creative use of filtering, LFO and modulation of start and end you can create a lot of noise including granular-like reverse effect. Add that as a layer to the Analog sound generation and you've got a very complex sound design machine.
Again...if I wanted a dedicated sampling mangler..there are so many pieces of software that do a fine job.
Experimenting on the RYTM never takes you away from the creative flow, and it's allowing me to create beats a grooves and then chain them into a sequence or song faster and with greater joy than any Software I use.
Where to begin..?
The reason I bought this was because I had purchased the Volca Beats in hopes that I'd have a little module that can do drum synthesis and sound design away from my DAW. It absolutely failed in that. The Volca Beats is more of an old-school analog drum machine that gives you what it gives you, and you have to find a place to put it. And I'll tell you what, there are some tracks where you'll be so happy the Volca Beats is there. It's got that warm analog sound you want in a drum machine.
It's the short-comings that really kill that unit. Such limited controls, limited sound design... just about limited everything. That's why I got the RYTM. I wanted an analog drum machine that breaks the boundaries.
What I instead found is a pretty good Analog Drum machine.. it didn't blow me away at first... but as I used it more and more........ THE ELEKTRON SEQUENCER... it's so good. The parameter locks make you work in a completely different way than ever. I can make any one step do just about anything.
Then I discovered the Sampler functionality. I thought it was just a basic sample facilitation.... well it is... but combining it with parameter locks and the fact that it can share a channel with the analog parts.....
Then I actually tried to do real sound design on it...... the Distortion Effects allow you to create so many sounds.... And the analog filter..... and for the first time ever, I was able to fit filter squeals into my sequence..... I honestly could go on for hours about this machine.
You'll pick it up expecting one thing, and end up with a full plate of options. And none of this is even mentioning Overbridge, which has yet to release....
This is a killer purchase. I don't regret it one bit. Elektron's lineage is going to get bigger. 10 years from now, everyone will be looking for a RYTM in the used synth market for sure.
Most powerful drum/synth around
If you can get one of these .. Do it.. You wont be sorry.. Samples and FM .. COMBO
Great analog drum machine with sample capability
Pros: fun and easy to get started making beats. Tweakable and addictive.
Cons: Elektron's file architecture is consistent across its range of products but is initially confusing. The documentation isn't perfect and creating scenes from scratch took a few minutes to figure out. Song mode and chaining aren't explained in the manual.
Verdict: this is a great, deep module that rewards experimentation. Very creative and inspiring. I
Great Drum Machine
This thing is awesome!!! The ability to tweak the sounds, upload sounds, and all manner of manipulation is great. The different routing options (audio) is great. Going over USB or analog outputs is a great feature to integrate this thing into different environments. I only knocked off the 1/2 star because of the complicated MIDI implementation. It could be much better documented than it is.
I totally recommend it!
Great Drum Machine! I was looking into all kinds of things to feel the place of a drum machine, or to just get a good drum synth and this hit it out of the ball park. The machine really is a drum machine. The analog options are great, and they've even added fm options. On top of that there are also effects that you can use inbox, AND sampling abilities to layer your analog sounds with samples.
If you are looking for a great drum machine look no further!
Great machine but no real midi
This is the best drum machine I've owned. This thing sounds amazing. It will take you a while to understand the workflow but once you do you'll know the time invested was worth it. Whoever designed this really did a great job.
However...it's extremely upsetting that you can't use it to drive other pieces of gear especially given how amazing the sequencer is. You can't save patterns as midi files and import them into your DAW either, you can only send saved information back into the rytm were it is contained.
If it weren't for midi this machine wouldn't even exist. I'm not sure why elektron feels they can do this, I won't buy any more of their gear until this changes.
Not ready for prime time yet.
As an owner of an Analog Keys, Machinedrum, and Monomachine, I bought the RYTM thinking it would be as inspiring and quirky as Elektron's other offerings.
Arrived from Sweetwater, and three days later I have decided to return it.
First, the good.
1. It does a good 808/909 emulation.. 2. The sequencer is great.
1. The pads are horrible... I've owned most of the "high end" drum machines. MPCs, Maschine, Push, MV-8800. The RYTM pads are the stiffest, least sensitive pads I have ever used. They are sub-par and pretty much unusable for recording patterns. And the pad sensitivity cannot be adjusted.
2. The drum synths themselves are basic and the sounds are very boring. They don't stray very far from the cliched 808 and 909 sounds.
3. Many functions and features in the manual don't work yet. Ex. Recording retrigs with the pads. Expect to wait for O.S. Updates for some basic functionality.
4. The "sample support" is minimal. Not many options to shape them. Loading samples requires an arcane and outdated SYSEX dump and it took me over a half hour to transfer 40mb. This is unacceptable nowadays.
It gets a 2.5 from me because it seems like it was rushed to market. It has some serious limitations and doesn't have the synthesis or sampling power of Elektron's other products. The pads especially are the RYTM's worst feature. Those poor pads were the final deciding factor as to whether I should return the product.
Don't believe the hype.