Elektron Syntakt

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Nelson Baboon
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Re: Elektron Syntakt

Post by Nelson Baboon »

My problem with the OT was that i never used it enough to remember how to do stuff. I picked up another one from a nice mw member a few days ago, and i hope to really learn it this time. i have no problems at all with the sound quality, and (since i started with the midi sequencing since i remember it the most vividly) the midi sequencer is really top notch. I will no longer accept from myself that an instrument is too difficult for me - i just need to show it some dedication.

it's funny how a few years away from something can bring a different perspective. I'm more relaxed about learning it now, and while i realize that it will take many hours to get comfortable with it, i am just so impressed with the depth of the machine from rereading some of the docs.

that is true that when an instrument is difficult to learn, one might question whether it exceeds some threshold of it being worth the time. If there were other machines that went as deep as the octatrack and were easier to learn, well then i suppose that i wouldn't be so into it. But i find that i'm more annoyed with myself than anything else. No excuse for laziness anymore. I'll just ask for help here, or from a friend, or the elektronauts site, or wherever if I get stuck.

there is obviously overlap among elektron instruments. It seems to me that the syntakt is probably the perfect complement to the OT if I wanted another one. looking to sell some stuff to finance it. that's the thing also with elektron stuff - there is that overlap, but then you know what you're getting into.

hah - i think, out of frustration from time to time, i've probably vented that i hate elektron gear, but most of that stemmed from my old experience with the OT. I will have to be more organized this time, and keep some log of my frequently used key stroke combos that i will inevitably forget if i don't use it enough. but i guess this time i plan to use it 'enough'.

trying to psyche myself up. and you know, i really did like the digitone - i can't recall why i sold it. probably to buy something else.
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Re: Elektron Syntakt

Post by Back Down the Path »

I’ve had every Elektron box except the Digitone (and the low end ones), and I can say with ease that this is the most immediate and fun box they’ve ever made. Sure, it would really sing with individual outs but, with some other gear involved, I’ll be having too much fun to care.

I like it so much, I am also trading some euro for another Octatrack, something I’ve been missing since I sold it (for euro) 9 years ago.
Last edited by Back Down the Path on Mon May 09, 2022 12:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Elektron Syntakt

Post by 22tape »

Nelson Baboon wrote: Sun May 08, 2022 9:43 pm it is an interesting question though - if they were to design a tool that would help you discern as much as possible how a complex set of p locks was set up, what would it look like?
A tracker :)
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Re: Elektron Syntakt

Post by Dragonaut »

Nelson Baboon wrote: Sun May 08, 2022 9:13 pm i I mean, it's ok for you to post that, but personally i don't give a fuck that you hear "dullness and flatness" from other people's music posted on youtube.
Huh. You’re right. This is starting to look like a Gearslutz thread.
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Re: Elektron Syntakt

Post by jonne74 »

I'm not sure this forum can handle another Elektron release. I ordered this third collectible yesterday.
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Re: Elektron Syntakt

Post by Xmit »

dug into the Syntakt a bit over the weekend.

Think it's going to work out fine for me : it's sequencing the Easel Command beautifully... & whilst I've only just scratched the surface I'm getting some very nice sounds from it. Like a lot of Elektron, you've got to put a fair bit of work in to get it to sound really stellar. It's definitely go that 'Elektron' sound to it..where everything sounds a little boxed-in. I think a lot of this is their onboard FX : interestingly when I spin some Eventide SPACE on to the output & use less of the onboard reverb, it really opens out.

One thing that's really cool on this new unit though is the Analog FX Block. the ability to have tracks routed in or out of this is very cool & it sort of reminds of the input machines on the Monomachine where you could treat tracks with their own filter & processing. It's yielding some very cool results.
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Re: Elektron Syntakt

Post by mor4sso »

got mine finally, love it. sounds really great and is fun to use. the trig modifiers are a nice add and make it a bit more performative. hybrid sound engines let you get into a lot of zones. sounds great paired up with my octatrack and rytm.

great job elektron!
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Re: Elektron Syntakt

Post by skunk3 »

My only issue with the Syntakt is that out of all of the demos I've heard for it, it just doesn't *sound good*. Even Mr. Dataline's demo (which was brilliant) didn't sell me and that guy is like the MASTER of Elektron devices.
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Re: Elektron Syntakt

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skunk3 wrote: Mon May 09, 2022 11:28 am My only issue with the Syntakt is that out of all of the demos I've heard for it, it just doesn't *sound good*. Even Mr. Dataline's demo (which was brilliant) didn't sell me and that guy is like the MASTER of Elektron devices.

This one was pretty great I think
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Re: Elektron Syntakt

Post by DOTSmusic »

skunk3 wrote: Mon May 09, 2022 11:28 am My only issue with the Syntakt is that out of all of the demos I've heard for it, it just doesn't *sound good*. Even Mr. Dataline's demo (which was brilliant) didn't sell me and that guy is like the MASTER of Elektron devices.
I've always had an interest in Elektron devices, but I have never purchased one until Syntakt. I wasn't as concerned with the sound quality, as I was with the music being created on Elektron devices. I still have yet to hear anyone make any music that really captures my attention in any of the hundred or so youtube vids I have watched featuring Elektron devices. I hear a lot of people trying to sound like Aphex Twin, Autechre and Boards of Canada. I love all those acts, but the copycats don't impress me. It's either that or some cold Techno stripped of everything that made Techno special to begin with, aka SOUL. People have forgotten that experimentation can still have soul. The 3 artists mentioned above are proof positive of that fact.

Maybe I'm just a jaded middle aged Black man ,and I just don't get it. Who knows. I've come to expect shit music from the Synthfluencer's, I watch their vids for reasons other than to hear the music they make, but I do expect to hear at least one song I like from Elektron heads who are not influencers, just fans of the devices.
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Re: Elektron Syntakt

Post by Amk21093 »

Elektron and a eurorack brand like Verbos both make incredible instruments, but 99% of the demos are totally unremarkable, and that's not an exaggeration. You can tell people get them because of the aesthetic or trendiness, only to make really boring music. The stale synthfluencer tracks, the rehashed 1 bar 4/4 techno. Both brands were a leap of faith for me and i really enjoy them, but if someone was just going off demos... i wouldn't blame them for disliking them. The dublab radio syntakt demos were a step in the right direction, but that box is better than even those suggest.
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Re: Elektron Syntakt

Post by subLimb »

Keep in mind though the tracks of those great artists like AFX, Autechre, BoC, etc are finished tracks that weren't limited to being constrained to one single groove box. Plus many of these vids are just starting to scratch the surface of what is possible.
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Re: Elektron Syntakt

Post by DOTSmusic »

subLimb wrote: Mon May 09, 2022 3:29 pm Keep in mind though the tracks of those great artists like AFX, Autechre, BoC, etc are finished tracks that weren't limited to being constrained to one single groove box. Plus many of these vids are just starting to scratch the surface of what is possible.
Yeah I hear you, but I still don't think that's an excuse for mediocrity. There's been entire classic albums made with nothing but an MPC. I've seen many vids of people using numerous Elektron devices as their set up, and they're still making some forgetful ass tracks.

Regarding the Syntakt (which is my first Elektron machine BTW).. Now that I've spent a few hours with it, I can honestly say that I was mostly wrong with my prejudices. I think it's a dope little machine for what it is, and it has the potential be a f*ing incredible, absolutely essential machine, but the lack of some very basic features like song mode still prevents it from being truly great IMO. For $1000 I absolutely want to be able to compose and arrange a track in it's entirety on the Syntakt alone. I don't like being forced to use a DAW or another piece of gear to do so.

Elektron know what they're doing by not including these very basic features. They want us to spend more money on another one of their machines that does have those features. That's f*ing wack in my opinion, and the fact that so many people keep making excuses on Elektron's behalf when they do this to us, insures that they will continue to do this.
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Re: Elektron Syntakt

Post by Wubz »

DOTSmusic wrote: Mon May 09, 2022 3:57 pm
subLimb wrote: Mon May 09, 2022 3:29 pm Keep in mind though the tracks of those great artists like AFX, Autechre, BoC, etc are finished tracks that weren't limited to being constrained to one single groove box. Plus many of these vids are just starting to scratch the surface of what is possible.
Yeah I hear you, but I still don't think that's an excuse for mediocrity. There's been entire classic albums made with nothing but an MPC. I've seen many vids of people using numerous Elektron devices as their set up, and they're still making some forgetful ass tracks.

Regarding the Syntakt (which is my first Elektron machine BTW).. Now that I've spent a few hours with it, I can honestly say that I was mostly wrong with my prejudices. I think it's a dope little machine for what it is, and it has the potential be a f*ing incredible, absolutely essential machine, but the lack of some very basic features like song mode still prevents it from being truly great IMO. For $1000 I absolutely want to be able to compose and arrange a track in it's entirety on the Syntakt alone. I don't like being forced to use a DAW or another piece of gear to do so.

Elektron know what they're doing by not including these very basic features. They want us to spend more money on another one of their machines that does have those features. That's f*ing wack in my opinion, and the fact that so many people keep making excuses on Elektron's behalf when they do this to us, insures that they will continue to do this.
Were the killer tracks made on the MPC, because of the MPC, or the individual behind it?
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Nelson Baboon
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Re: Elektron Syntakt

Post by Nelson Baboon »

damn. i'm going to sell all of my gear in the price range and above that doesn't have a song mode. Good bye violin. Good bye modular.
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Re: Elektron Syntakt

Post by 22tape »

I agree about song mode. I’m no programmer but isn’t very easy to implement, especially since there is already pattern chaining? (it’s not like we’re demanding something hardware related like multiple outs) Isn’t it as simple as being able save/playback the chain order from a simple list? If so, it seems as if designers purposely leave that out so you have to buy another one of their other products that have song mode. And it seems rather presumptuous to think that the customer would automatically buy another one of their products for that single function and don’t need the rest of the functionality. I’m more likely to not buy either one of their products at that point, and go with another company’s product that has that functionality.
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Re: Elektron Syntakt

Post by Hovercraft »

I've had the Syntakt for a little over a week and I'm impressed with it so far. I had a fat credit at a music store and was looking for some kind of standalone sequencer box, maybe the Hapax, but decided to go with the Syntakt. I played a show on Saturday with it, plus the Make Noise "easel", Soma Cosmos and a Boum. I combined Syntakt digital and analog tracks with a midi track to sequence the 0-coast--which ran through the Strega--and took the Strega output back into the Syntakt fx chain for some overdrive/delay/reverb. A few early thoughts--

Wouldn't be too quick to judge the "Syntakt sound" because there's a lot of room for sound design and the range of timbres is much wider than you might think. I'm happy with the quality of the sounds I'm getting. Signal chain is excellent and the analog fx block adds a lot.

--I learned the basics in a week and although I previously had a M:C, I didn't spend much time with it. It'll take some time to get really comfortable with most of the functions, but it seems reasonable.

--Having 12 tracks is fantastic--so many options for building sounds.

--The impulse machine pinging the analog filters is super useful and sounds great.

--As a sequencer alone, it's a nice option. Love keyboard mode, and the option to have 2 octaves in a scale/key in the folded keyboard option. Plus easy recording into the sequence--so playable.

--The form factor is perfect--small enough to fit easily on a desk or transport, but big enough that the controls are easy to use. Screen is easy to read and the animations are helpful.
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Re: Elektron Syntakt

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DOTSmusic wrote: Mon May 09, 2022 3:57 pm
subLimb wrote: Mon May 09, 2022 3:29 pm Keep in mind though the tracks of those great artists like AFX, Autechre, BoC, etc are finished tracks that weren't limited to being constrained to one single groove box. Plus many of these vids are just starting to scratch the surface of what is possible.
Yeah I hear you, but I still don't think that's an excuse for mediocrity. There's been entire classic albums made with nothing but an MPC. I've seen many vids of people using numerous Elektron devices as their set up, and they're still making some forgetful ass tracks.

Regarding the Syntakt (which is my first Elektron machine BTW).. Now that I've spent a few hours with it, I can honestly say that I was mostly wrong with my prejudices. I think it's a dope little machine for what it is, and it has the potential be a f*ing incredible, absolutely essential machine, but the lack of some very basic features like song mode still prevents it from being truly great IMO. For $1000 I absolutely want to be able to compose and arrange a track in it's entirety on the Syntakt alone. I don't like being forced to use a DAW or another piece of gear to do so.

Elektron know what they're doing by not including these very basic features. They want us to spend more money on another one of their machines that does have those features. That's f*ing wack in my opinion, and the fact that so many people keep making excuses on Elektron's behalf when they do this to us, insures that they will continue to do this.
Yeah. All valid concerns for the most part. I'm not sure I'd be super excited (at first) about the Syntakt if it were my first Elektron. But having a lot of experience with Digitakt and my other Elektrons really makes this box come alive very quickly. And I'm really not sure why they don't include a song mode. But if they had some master plan to make you buy other boxes in order to have a song mode, you'd think they'd make it easier and better-documented on how to actually implement that with your Elektrons that don't have it. I've never been able to figure out how to, for example, have my Analog 4 sync up so that my Digitakt changes patterns at the same time. But I also quickly came to a realization that I prefer not to use song mode at all. Thats just me, but I'd rather build patterns and mute / unmute stuff that i don't want to be playing. Record into DAW and sequence the overall track there. That being said, I don't know the technical reason as to why a song mode would be hard to add to the 'takt' devices.

MPC comparisons are interesting because this is not a sample-based device. A sample can (and most likely IS) going to be very heavily processed before it ends up being triggered and further processed by a device such as the MPC. Something a 100% synth-based product is never going to be able to do.
Last edited by subLimb on Mon May 09, 2022 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Elektron Syntakt

Post by DOTSmusic »

Wubz wrote: Mon May 09, 2022 4:03 pm
DOTSmusic wrote: Mon May 09, 2022 3:57 pm
subLimb wrote: Mon May 09, 2022 3:29 pm Keep in mind though the tracks of those great artists like AFX, Autechre, BoC, etc are finished tracks that weren't limited to being constrained to one single groove box. Plus many of these vids are just starting to scratch the surface of what is possible.
Yeah I hear you, but I still don't think that's an excuse for mediocrity. There's been entire classic albums made with nothing but an MPC. I've seen many vids of people using numerous Elektron devices as their set up, and they're still making some forgetful ass tracks.

Regarding the Syntakt (which is my first Elektron machine BTW).. Now that I've spent a few hours with it, I can honestly say that I was mostly wrong with my prejudices. I think it's a dope little machine for what it is, and it has the potential be a f*ing incredible, absolutely essential machine, but the lack of some very basic features like song mode still prevents it from being truly great IMO. For $1000 I absolutely want to be able to compose and arrange a track in it's entirety on the Syntakt alone. I don't like being forced to use a DAW or another piece of gear to do so.

Elektron know what they're doing by not including these very basic features. They want us to spend more money on another one of their machines that does have those features. That's f*ing wack in my opinion, and the fact that so many people keep making excuses on Elektron's behalf when they do this to us, insures that they will continue to do this.
Were the killer tracks made on the MPC, because of the MPC, or the individual behind it?
Point taken. But c'mon! I've been watching Elektron related vids on youtube for years. Why have I yet to hear one track that I think is dope? I love Techno, House, Industrial (c'mon I grew up in Chicago.. Wax Trax anyone), Ambient and Soundscapes, Hip Hop and Downtempo beats, I don't f*k with Trap (haha) You catch my drift. I'm very open when it comes to music, especially for a Black man that grew up in the inner city. I never really met many people who were listening to a lot of the music I liked until I was way into adulthood.

But yeah, sticking to the subject, watching those Elektron vids throughout the years got me intersted in their devices but the prices and lack of key features that I think are important always kept me from investing in one. Syntakt was a late night impulse buy for me. I justified it by telling myself that if I think it's wack, well, the Elektron stuff seems to hold it's value very well so.. Do I think it's wack? Not at all. I thinks it's dope. Do I dislike that they excluded song mode? Yep! Do I think it's worth the $1000 price tag? Hell no!. Will I keep it? Only time will tell.
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Re: Elektron Syntakt

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To be completely honest, it's rare that I ever see ANY dawless videos on youtube that really impress me as much as a fully mixed down and mastered track. It's become so incredibly easy to upload even a slickly-produced video to Youtube showing off your latest sketch...but making great art is something else.
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Re: Elektron Syntakt

Post by DOTSmusic »

Nelson Baboon wrote: Mon May 09, 2022 4:09 pm damn. i'm going to sell all of my gear in the price range and above that doesn't have a song mode. Good bye violin. Good bye modular.
A violin is one thing, but if you don't haves song mode on your modular set up, well, that's yo own damn fault, as I'm pretty sure you can achieve that with an Eloquencer or something similar haha ;)
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Re: Elektron Syntakt

Post by DOTSmusic »

subLimb wrote: Mon May 09, 2022 4:54 pm To be completely honest, it's rare that I ever see ANY dawless videos on youtube that really impress me as much as a fully mixed down and mastered track. It's become so incredibly easy to upload even a slickly-produced video to Youtube showing off your latest sketch...but making great art is something else.
Very true. I know from my own tracks, post production plays a huge role. I'm not anti DAW at all, but the only one that I've used that I get along with is Reason. Unpoular opinion, I know, but I love Reason. It really just rubs me the wrong way that Roland, Elektron and some of the other companies have made a conscious decision to leave out song mode on some of their more expensive devices. That shit just doesn't make any sense to me.
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Re: Elektron Syntakt

Post by subLimb »

I should mention Ehsan Gelsi though. One artist on YouTube who consistently wows me with DAWless compositions. And who also happens to make use of Elektron gear quite frequently. But really what I'm impressed by is the depth of composition and musicality. They still always sound a bit rough around the edges because they aren't being mixed by a powerful mixing device or DAW at the end.

https://www.youtube.com/c/EhsanGelsi/featured
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Re: Elektron Syntakt

Post by dumbledog »

With the DT and DN, you can jury-rig a song mode using a short midi cable plugged into the in and out, and setting the routing appropriately. You can then use a MIDI track to issue pattern changes. With planning you can in theory make some wild aleotoric compositions, a different one each time you hit play from pattern A01.

I assume the ST has the same functionality. There used to be a problem with MIDI loopback causing the machine to freeze but Elektron fixed that in a patch last year.
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