Elektron Model:Samples

Elektron, the swedish manufacturers of some of the most iconic electronic music instruments of the past decade have just released details on their new offering for 2019; Model:Samples.  This release appears to be the simplest and most cost-effective instrument Elektron has released ever (although the Sidstation was possibly as simple or simpler, it was not this cheap).  Coming in at $449.00 USD, this several hundred dollars cheaper than the very popular digitakt.  This may prove to be one of their most unique designs to date as they’ve done somethings not seen on any other machine they make.

For example, the 5 pin din MIDI input/output jacks have been replaced by 3.5mm trs jacks with MIDI adapters included, the USB is actually a micro usb instead of the traditional standard size and possibly the biggest change of all will be the (to be released at a later date) portable battery accessory.

What they didn’t change though is just as important.  You get the standard 64 step (4 pages of 16 steps) sequencer with the beloved parameter locks, individual track length and individual tempo multiplier (ala Octatrack OS) that make the Elektron workflow so special.  You also get the “Control All” feature that lets you grab the same parameter on all the tracks for instant change (super fun with things like lowpass filter cutoff and such) and a “Chance” parameter that is also found in more recent machines but is often referred to as “trig conditions.”

There are a lot of “pros” when looking over this new device.  The only “cons” I personally see are the lack of normal MIDI jacks (obviously the smaller size of the machine limits this) and more importantly, only MONO samples.  I see this as the almost perfect companion for my OT mk2 to add a few more tracks as they seem to get used up quick.  I may still end up with one as it is fairly affordable versus buying the digitone but I probably would’ve preordered it had it offered stereo playback.  I said the same thing when the Digitakt appeared.  One can assume Elektron doesn’t want to step on the toes of its flagship sampler (the Octatrack) but I simply don’t agree.  Mono only samples are usually adequate but this limitation seems archaic and just silly to me, especially when you need to load up a huge, modulating pad, or evolving drone.  Regardless of this, Elektron pushes forward with something very few saw coming and if there previous machines are any indication, is not quite feature complete yet.  Maybe someday a firmware update will give stereo operation to both the Model:samples and the Digitakt.  Only time will tell.

Here is the official list of the key features:

  • Control All lets you twist your sounds to oblivion. Then use Reload to take you back to where you started
  • Use Parameter Locks to automate parameters. Each step can have a totally different sound
  • Load six samples at once – just like a kit. Great when you have made a Pattern with Parameter Locks, LFOs etc… Load six new samples to instantly experiment and come up with unique and unexpected results
  • Write basslines and melodies using Chromatic Mode
  • New Chance parameter. Chance determines the possibility whether the sequencer steps on a track are triggered or not. Combining Chance with the Control All functionality can lead to many interesting results and happy accidents
  • Record sequences with or without quantization. Steps can be micro-timed with individual Swing control per track
  • Individual Step Length per track
  • Individual Tempo Multiplier per track
  • Class compliant USB audio 2.0

 

elektron-model-samples-back

Specifications:

  • Price = $449.00 USD
  • 6 Audio tracks (all of which may be used as MIDI tracks as well)
  • 6 × Velocity sensitive pads
  • 96 Projects
  • 96 Patterns per Project
  • 1 × Sample playback engine per track
  • 1 × Resonant multimode filter per track
  • 1 × Assignable LFO per track
  • Delay and reverb send FX
  • Elektron sequencer up to 64 steps with unique length and scale settings per track
  • Real-time or grid recording of notes and parameters
  • 64 MB sample memory
  • 1 GB storage
  • Class compliant USB audio 2.0
  • 1 × 1/4″ Headphones output
  • 2 × 1/4″ Balanced main outputs
  • 1 × Hi-speed (micro) USB 2.0 port
  • 1 × 3.5 mm standard audio minijack (TRS) for MIDI In
  • 1 × 3.5 mm standard audio minijack (TRS) for MIDI Out/Thru
  • 2 × slots for attaching Powerhandle BP-1 (battery pack to be released at a later date)

Included in the box

  • Power Supply PSU-4
  • Micro USB Cable USB-2
  • MIDI adapter (5-pin DIN to 3.5mm TRS minijack)

Check out this video from Thomann Music for a short demo

 

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