Buying a used Rytm mki, mkii or ? to pair with octatrack

Hello. I really want to add an analog drum synth, though it must have samples as well, to the octatrack. I’m looking at the mki, mkii and maybe the tanzbar 2 (though in the US that may be a pain to import and difficult to return if I don’t like it, I’m not sure, never done it).

Price both is and is not a factor. I can afford a second hand mkii up to about 1300, which would get me one, but I’d be happier paying 750 or 8 if it won’t be a big difference.

I’m not sure I need the ability to sample, not with an octatrack, and I am likely ok importing samples from my Mac.

I worry about about screens dying in an mki, as well as the lackluster pads (i know there is no fixed button on this one, but is the option available in a menu?).

With the mkii the issues are the $4-500 price difference, and the issues reported in the past with pads triggering in unexpected ways.

Also, on the AR in general, for tuning BD to specific keys and playing chromatically, does the lfo trick I read about (though did not understand fully, not having one) allow you to track accurately up to an octave chromatically?

Again, another option is something like the tanzbar, but I strongly strongly prefer to stay within the elektron eco system.

Thanks for any and all help, and Happy New Year.

Take the jump, get the rytm, you won’t be disappointed. You can play the analog sounds chromatically. There’s also a duel vco bass. The compressor on the analog rytm is legit and really sounds good not only on the analog engine but and samples and audio piped in.

Thanks. I most likely am going to, just can’t decide which one. I know there have been threads in the past, but most seem old, and not up to date with where things are now. They also don’t take into considerations yet current gear and things like that.

Get a mk2 for the audio in and the audio in alone.

Isn’t there audio in on the mki? A single TRS stereo line in? I know you can’t sample.

MKI : audio in goes thru the compressor only. No fx.


I’d say depends on the type of music you want to make with it. If you make techno/house or maybe modern hip hop I’d definately go for the Tanzbar. The RYTM kick is good, but for that type of music I find there are better options (best option for me tanzbar followed by a 808 or a 909, depending on the style). For everything else a RYTM, no matter which one, will be great.

if we consider all the aspects… and you have notions of synthesis and drum layering, groove…

we will never repeat it enough the analog RYTM (and Elektron Devices in general) is what has happened to us the best in the last decade

(not only there’s few more brand and devices depending on music genre, if you do perform your music live and not, if you only build tracks to release it etc…)

PS: . One decade before this current one, i have Roland groovebox series, Yamaha RS7000 in mind as well as Akai MPC and before the classics no need to mention…

I owned a mki for a number of years. with an OT you won’t need the sampling input I suppose, but it might be nice to have on the Rytm anyway if u wanted to quickly offload stuff / sounds from the OT at the press of a few buttons. I’ve often thought about picking up another Rytm, and have thought I’d probably just get a mki again. I’ve seen the mkii in person, I just love the old boxy form factor I suppose. U do miss out on that quick performance knob on the mki tho, which looks to work wonders. I think if quick performance and sampling aren’t important then go a mki, that said the extra lights on the buttons on mkii are something to be mindful of too if u plan to play a lot in the dark. You also get a full compliment of outputs on the mkii where as things are more limited on the mki.

I always wonder if elektrons next move is actually a couple limited edition mkii’s in the mki form factor lol

Only other thing I’d say is there’s something nice about buying second hand, more inexpensive gear, over the latest, most expensive stuff. U might not be as precious about it as u would shelling out for a brand new beast. Whether that’s the idea of it getting flogged, broken, or generally just being more rough with it on the road: Something I’ve thought about lately anyway.

I make hiphop. For modern stuff I use my akai Force, and the Rytm in that scenario would just be for creating percussion samples.

The stuff I want to do with the octatrack/Potentially Rytm is more synth heavy, dirtier sounding hiphop. Almost a cross between old east coast stuff mixed with early 90’s southern stuff like dungeon family/organized noize, with a little bit of Neptunes.

The problem with the tanzbar, for me, is both importing and wanting to ideally stay within the elektron eco system. I want to run the sequencers in parallel, clocked to one or the other.

Thanks everyone for all of your help.

That stuff doesn’t have any wild modulation so you wouldn’t need the quick performance knob.

Unless you must sample on the machine itself, an MKI is perfectly suitable.

The AR + samples and its great dirt would be wonderful for that job.

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…u got an octatrack…need some analog drums but with the option to underlay samples within that groove box…?

no doubt, u go for a rytm mk1…doesn’t sample on the fly, but got sample underlay otion anyway and fits perfectly to ur octatrack…same footprint, same colour, way cheaper than mk2…while the mk2 hast a way bigger footprint…

and u got finacial headroom to give that live rig at least one synth voice to add…because that’s all it needs…the ot, one groove box and one synth…ur good to go, no matter what…


With all written I also think a RYTM mk1 would be just right. You have the octa for sampling.

I have a mk1 and love it.


I have plenty of synths, in prophet x, hydrasynth, grandmother and euro. I think I’m going to add a minilogue XD module too, as I don’t have room for a keyboard. Have to see what namm holds as well.

Thinking mki.

FWIW, I don’t play live. Never have. Studio producer. Live is something I’d consider in the future, though.

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…then…mk2 rytm is the more fun shortcut…

What makes you change your mind from the mki to mk2 if you don’t mind my asking?

Thanks everyone for the help, btw.

Edit: oh, because I have synths. Yea I get you, but if I don’t need the mk2 I’d still be happier saving I think. I just don’t want to make a mistake by trying to save money. What that money I save could go to is an analog heat.

…the mk2’s shortcuts in handling for less menudiving and direct outs and direct sampling…
if footprint does’nt matter…and matching optics…then it’s totally ok to spent some more bux…
because then, on long distance, it’s defenitly worth it…
mk2 is way more a studio tool for enduring fun to work with, than the mk1…

I say go with the Rytm MK1.

You already have an OT so no need for sampling.

Same form factor means you can mount them together if desired.

I wouldn’t worry too much about the screen dying. Never had any screen deaths on my Analog MK1s. Those are the exception, not the rule.

As for pads, they’re still usable on the MK1. But if you’re a finger drummer you’d probably get on with a dedicated midi pad anyway. The MK2 isn’t a giant leap forward in this regard.
And yes if you turn off velocity to volume, this is equivalent to a “fixed” button.

Of course the MK2 is better and has more features. But do you need them?
Save a few hundred bucks and have fun with the classic combo.


Not a bad idea to get pads. It would be one more thing to take up space, but if I get the RYTM and find I need pads I’ll just make the 15 minute trip to guitar center and get one.

I do like the idea of how both mki’s will look. If I have to be honest, the biggest factor may be the display. How much bigger is the mkii display?

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Not much. Not even sure usefull informations are bigger.

Or an A4 MKI…(better than AH on certain points, especially filter control, additional fx).