Say hello to Syntakt, Elektron’s new hybrid groovebox which has been one of the music industry’s worst-kept secrets, but it’s not until now that we get a glimpse of what Elektron’s newest groovebox is all about.
The Syntakt is a 12-track drum computer and synthesiser, or “a drum specialist full of percussive possibilities,” according to Elektron. It is based on their MachineDrum as well as bits and bytes from the Analog Rytm and Model Cycles. While it is focused primarily on percussion, it’s capable of handling bass and melody as well using the internal synth sounds. You can also control external gear by switching any of the 12 four-note polyphonic tracks to be MIDI.
The sound engine is built on what is known as machines, which can be compared to algorithms. Independent applications that package a variety of characteristics to make sound design relatively simple.
You may choose from 15 various machine programmes on the first three drum tracks, including a dual VCO synth, impulse, and noise generator and a diverse range of bass drums, snare drums, and rimshot.
Last but not least, is the fourth and last analogue track (cymbal) which has 12 various machines such as hi-hats, cymbal, cowbell, impulse, and noise. Then there’s an analogue overdrive, an analogue multi-mode filter, and two assignable LFOs for each analogue track.
The remaining eight tracks allow you to investigate and play with various digital gadgets. There are ten different sounds to choose from: bass drum, snare drum, cymbal/hi-hat, percussion, clap, and four tonal synthesisers. In addition, you can engage a digital overdrive, multi-mode filter, base-width filter, and two assignable LFOs per track.
Another advantage of the Syntakt is its adaptable audio routeing. It lets you route any of your synth tracks or external audio sources via the FX box, which includes analogue distortion, filtering, and a handful of LFOs. You may also push them via a delay and reverberation.
Aside from the multi-mode filter per track, you can also use two amplitude envelopes, one with an ADSR characteristic for rich synth lines and the other with an AHD characteristic for transient percussive sounds. There are also two fully complete multi-wave LFOs with separate modulation destinations per track.
Add some Synth
It’s not just a drum synthesiser machine, but also a full-fledged note synthesiser with 36 different scales courtesy of various well-known keyboard modes.
Syntakt has a 64-step sequencer with the time-honoured parameter locking capability. As a result, notes and parameters may be recorded in sequences very easily and it also supports individual pattern length per track, individual time scale multiplier per track, trig conditions & chance, retrigger, and micro timing.
On the rear, there is a 12VDC 2A power supply input with a dedicated switch, MIDI in, MIDI out, and MIDI through, stereo input and output on two 6,3mm mono jacks apiece, a headphone input, Class Compliant USB Audio but no CV/Gate for analogue gear.
All said and done, the Syntakt appears to be a very tasty new groovebox and we’d love to get our hands on one and take it for a test drive…..hint, hint, wink, wink Elektron 😉
Available in late May and expect to pay AUD $1799.00
More info via Elektrons website