Does it make sense to buy a Machinedrum if I own a Digitakt?

Hi guys,

Local guy is selling Machinedrum for 400 EUR (around $500). I love how it looks, but I’m not a fan of synthesised drum sounds in general — I own a drumbrute (which is a disappointment) and I hate 808, 909 type of sounds. I own Digitakt, which I use as a drum machine + it drives my eurorack, but I really miss separate outs for drums (I have a lot of outboard gear to wet into). I know Machinedrum is different beast from Digitakt — one is a sampler, the other is a digital synthesiser.
I mostly work on ambient/IDM kind of tracks (no hip-hop/techno/house) and I really like glitchy/lofi type of music: Aphex Twin, BoC, Plaid, etc.

Things I love in Digitakt:

  1. Sequencer with conditional trigs.
  2. Separate 8 midi channels to run my eurorack.

Things I hate about Digitakt:

  1. No separate outs to run bass, snare into the mixer.
  2. No separate mute buttons (a lot of menu diving and different overlapping modes)

My questions basically are:

  1. Is 400 EUR a good price for it?
  2. What am I missing if I replace Digitakt with Machinedrum (for certain tracks only)?
  3. What is UW? How to know if it’s a MK2 UW?


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The model name is on the faceplate right next to the screen.

I have one and also the digitakt.

I think the live-sampling with the Machinedrum is worth it.

Only thing missing (for me) on the MD is conditional trigs and maybe microtiming.

It also seems to keep its value. So why not just go for it :slight_smile:

As you say they are very different beasts. I have both and wouldn’t part with either. The flexibility of the in and outputs on the MD along with the lfos being assignable to different tracks is great. The MD has its limits but it gets interesting when you start to push its limits.
400 euro seems like a great price. I doubt you would lose money on it if it doesn’t click with you.

Lofi/glitch/ambient/idm? Get it. You won t regret.

Preferably UW for the RAM machines. Glitch heaven.

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For this price, take it (if unit function normaly) you won’t regret it. If you don’t like it (would be surprising if you like glitch) you always find a buyer, cause this drum machine is one of the best :slight_smile: on earth.




Recently Auteche released whole project files for the Machinedrum. Checking those out might encourage you even more.

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The machinedrum is still the best product elektron has made. Fully set of features (looking at you rytm with no midi) and its elegant to use. It can serve as a brain of a set up or a switch army knife of functionality. You should find this very helpful.

I currently only use mine as a fancy midi controller for a few synths and limited sampling of things (thru aux send). 16 lfos is no joke if you have a synth with lots of cc control. Drums have been moved to the rytm if youre wondering why i dont use its synth engine often.

Differences between the models are explained here :slight_smile:

IMO it’s way better to get your hands on a mk2 UW+drive.

Oh, and MD synthesis has nothing to do with Drumbrute or Roland.
This is the kind of stuff you can do with MD only :


woa MD was discontinued nearly 3 years ago, seems like less. Time flies :pensive:

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Love my MD! It was one of the first machines to get me back into making music. The workflow is pretty quick when you’ve used one for awhile and the live resampling on the UW is great for layering percussion, getting glitchy wid it. Digitakt looks dope, but MD has a lot of depth to it.

One of the best Drum Machines ever made, hands down.

  1. Overbridge
  2. 7.1.2 USING MUTE MODE

You can mute any of the sequencer tracks in this mode. Unlike the CHROMATIC mode, it makes no dif- ference which track is active when this mode is activated. You can access all tracks simultaneously.

  1. Make sure a pattern is playing.
  2. Press the [FUNC] + [BANK] key to enter MUTE mode.
  3. Press any of the [TRIG] keys to mute the corresponding track. Press again to unmute. The light of the [TRIG] keys indicates the mute status. Unlit keys are muted tracks. Lit keys are active tracks.

You need to spend more time reading the manual…or watch some vids on Youtube! I had the MD for a while, and it is going to take LOT of time spent with it to vibe on it! The Digi on the other hand, is fluid like mercury in comparison.


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You have to like MD drum synthesis.
UW version, you can resample, change pitch / retrig realtime with RAM machines.
I’d sequence it with the DT for cond trigs.

I sequence my MD with Octatrack.
I much prefer OT (48 lfos, crossfader, 8 recorders, looper, long stereo samples, trc…)
Glitch heaven.

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Thank you for your input. I’m aware of the way it works and I’m just not happy with the way Digitakt approaches this.
I’ve been using Drumbrute for about 6 months before jumping to Digitakt and as much as I appreciate the Digitakt’s sequencer, I think Drumbrute is much more performance oriented. Usually I play guitar and/or keys and switching patterns and muting would be much more convenient with single button press:

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I love it, it sounds a lot like Monolake which I’m very fond of.

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Perfect, thank you.

conditional trigs are an amazing feature.

This is just sick! Thanks for the tip.

Thank you!

I really appreciate your everyone’s input guys. I’ll probably take it if I won’t get beaten to it. I just don’t like 808 and 909 sound pretending to be a real drums. I love that MD can create totally weird sounding percussion.


That track made a lot of people get a Machinedrum. Including me.
Doesn’t mean I can recreate it, btw :wink:

My own pure MD track is more like

This instrument is pure pleasure.


I just asked the seller and it seems the front plate just says SPS-1. Does it make sense to buy it for 400 EUR without UW?

It does. The PI machines emulate acoustic drum in a weird way :


On AudioFanzine, French référence for second hand gear, 400€ is exactly the price for a SPS-1.
So price is right, I believe.
But if you are ready to put up to 700€ I would definitely go for the finest mk2 UW+

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