Help me prioritize

Hi all. I know I’m not alone in where I’m at…parent of two young kids with very little time to put into making music. I chose Elektron a few years back, in an endeavor to simplify and get away from my computer. I started with the OT, knowing that I’d have to put it aside as I had 8 months of rigorous studying to take on. As a reward to myself after the 8 months, and finishing my professional registration, I bought a used AR…and in the process of buying the AR somehow ended up buying a used DSI Tempest too.

Here’s what happened next. Over the next couple weeks after the two purchases (DSI and AR), I explored the Tempest and loved it. I didn’t get really deep into it at all, but it was a lot of fun jamming on it, and would often find myself getting lost in some grooves in that short time. Then I put it aside, because I was feeling a little guilty about neglecting the AR. Over a few months, once in a while, after the kids went to bed, I would watch tutorials, RTM, play and learn. I was having fun, but not hooked on it. Often it’d be a couple weeks between getting back to it, and I’d forget stuff, which was frustrating.

So it brings me to today. I have an AR, OT and a DSI Tempest, and I feel stumped on how I should approach learning these beasts. I know at the end of the day I need to commit time into it, and I will.

So I have a couple questions:

  1. If you were me (remember: two kids…very little time), what advice or strategies would you recommend to support me in my learning?

  2. Should I sell one of my machines to reduce my physical and mental clutter? If so, which one?

I know the post is kind of vague. I’m feeling just a little challenged with music making these days, and would really appreciate any thoughts from the fine people on this forum.

Thanks kindly.

I’ve been where you are. Here’s what I would do.

Sell the Tempest. It’s a great piece, but it’s the least flexible of the lot when it comes to finishing tracks.

Then, lose or stow away the OT. It’s an amazing piece, but you wanna focus and prioritise, and for that, the AR is your best bet. It’s great for completing tracks on its own with its combo of synthesis and samples, and has a fine balance of features that allows you to master the track within the box.

Once you’ve gotten to know it, bring out the OT and make them work together. And you’ve got a small but very powerful rig.

And don’t buy more stuff.


I agree with @andreasroman on the Tempest. I think thats your piece to sell off. The OT is super deep and a time suck, while the AR is more immediate and its cool to try new synthesis tricks with single cycle waveforms…and the drum you can make are pretty cool too. If its 2 machines, then you’ve got them the OT and AR to cover almost all music making needs and you’ll never stop learning new tricks. If its one machine you need and you like drum synthesis, then go with just the AR. I can jam for hours on the AR after loading tons of samples and waveforms.

Really appreciate the thoughtful replies. My time with the AR has been surprisingly intuitive, so I like this focus. I also appreciate the physical act of stowing away the others…for now. I can already feel the lightness.

Thanks again for your support.


@parmtree I am in a similar situation (very time poor), and I know that I bought too much equipment in a too short time span. Have been tossing up a similar question (selling something), and I think I would ultimately keep the piece of gear which gives me the most pleasure when using it - after all, that’s what keeps you going back!

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I’d say sell the tempest. There have been multiple comparisons of the temptest and the AR and the AR is known to be much more rewarding out of the box on account that you have to build all your sounds from scratch on the Tempest.

However, that makes the Tempest kinda like a 6 voice synth, I reckon? I you like to use the Tempest as a Synthesizer in addition to being a drum machine, then sell the RYTM on account that the second hand prices for the OT have dropped wit the approach of the DT.

OR! Since you already know the OT so well, and if you like big sounding things TRADE me your AR for my OT and you can have plenty of sounds to work with without having that learning between you and your music making :smiley: (I’m kidding unless you wanna do it)

Whats the rush? You have three great machines to learn everything on. I say keep all three, dont worry about time, and learn them over a longer period of time. Only sell one if you need to, it sounds like you dont need to, other than your worry about not using them as quickly as you would like.


At least try them all well before making a decision.
It’s such a personal workflow thing.
Some love Tempest, some don’t
Some love Octatrack, some don’t
Some love AR, some don’t
Not sure I’m helping but not sure I can :loopy:


These guys are telling him to sell the synth he gets along most with. That is strange to me.
He should only sell if he definitely knows he does not get along with the device, needs the money, or wants something else. Reducing 3 to 2 is a fair strategy, but I would only do this for the reasons stated above. However I dont prescribe to the minimalist approach others do.


If you aren’t enjoying the rytm, sell it. If you are enjoying it but it’s just taking time that you don’t have right now and if you don’t need the money/space, just take it slow.

I’ve been in couple of similar situations past few years and it’s frustrating but equally cool to feel like something you have is still kind of new/yet to reveal magic and its right there ready to be switched on without having to order/wait for delivery etc :wink:

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And probably unless you’ve owned all three to compare it’s a little hard to give advice.
FWIW I’ve owned both OT and AR but sold them both.
I guess that must mean keep the Tempest :thinking:


I owned a Tempest for close to three years. I loved it for its groove, its immediacy and its looks (I’m shallow that way).

But in the situation the OP describes, there are other values at play that influence your perception of what’s worthwhile in the end. There are kids in the mix, shortage of time, and so on. Just loving an instrument for what it is, is staying in the moment, and that’s great - but in the end, if you’re short on time and got other duties, you want gear that gives you flexibility as well. You want to find that mix of love and function. And the Tempest just isn’t it, no matter how much you love it.

Now, there’s the other side of that argument - for anyone who’s into this just for playing in the moment, it never has to amount to finished tracks, a post on Soundcloud, a share with your friends, a small private gig at your mate’s party or maybe even a club of sorts, then the above doesn’t apply. Then you go for the instrument that you love the most. If the sitting down and playing is the most worthwhile and perhaps only act that matters, then I agree, go with what feels best.

But had that been the case, you wouldn’t be here, posting what you did. Cause then, it’d be a non issue. And you wouldn’t have three pieces of high end gear. You’re going somewhere with this. You want to get somewhere with your music, and you want a rig that allows you to focus on that, and still manage balance with the rest of your life.

So given the nature of the post, it’s not just about what instrument you love the most, right now. That can and will change. It’s about getting the tool that will work with your ambitions and your overall life puzzle.

And I just don’t think the Tempest is it. If it had been, I would’ve kept mine. I loved it dearly, in the moment. But it’s not difficult to love the AR and the OT too, and once the honeymoon is gone and you wanna get down to work, those just take you infinitely further on your path to music making.

The Tempest is not difficult to love, which is part of its frustration and blessing.


I’ve owned 2 AR’s and never gelled with either. Get rid! Yes it’s nice to have the sequencer and all that but a Tempest/OT combo is killer. Having said that, I’ve owned and sold 2 OT’s too (and 1 Tempest…) haha.

Do you need to sell any of them? I totally get the “mental clutter” comment. HIts me heard repeatedly hence me trying to flog some gear recently. I’d pick one (Tempest or OT), stick the other 2 in boxes and hide away and just use 1 piece for a couple of weeks. If you miss one of the boxed pieces then you know not to sell.

For me, the OT is the one to learn and stick with. Once you get your head round that bad boy you will know what you need to add to take your tunes to another level. If a decision is to be made then let it be between AR and Tempest.

I appreciate your line of thought but respectfully personally I would not be taking your advice. I just do not prescribe to the bare desk approach you endorse regularly. OP may feel differently and thats fine, its his question.


Totally understand and respect that and I appreciate you saying so. There’s a lot of different perspectives in this thread, so the OP’s got plenty of material to take into advise.

In the end, none of us can say what works best for anyone else, only offer our own experience which may or may not be relevant to whoever’s asking.

As you say and I appreciate, as long as there’s mutual respect that we’re coming from different directions and we’re going to different places, we’ll all be fine in the end.


Sure, we are all different. I probably have too many synths but I do not think 3 machines is too many, but the OP is feeling the pressure with 3 so your advice is likely valid in this case. Rytm, tempest and OT is a killer combo. I would not be able to sell any of them as they all compliment each other so well.


Unfortunately, on that note, I agree :slight_smile: the three together is beyond awesome :slight_smile:


There is a little dilemma you are in, because the Tempest and the AR are at least supposed to do similar things. But be cautious to sell one of them, it might be just the wrong decision. If you are not short of money, put the one you are not in to right now on the shelf.

I would recommend, go with your feelings. All three boxes are musical instruments, after all. The one you like most, will give you the most. Focus on that one and learn at least the basics fluidly. Then carry on.

You can also use all three together. The OT is a nice little mixer too and can be used to work on sounds from external audio sources (see Thru or Neighbor Machines). You can connect your AR and the Tempest to the OT and integrate the various features of the OT step by step. You could also use the Tempest as your melodic synth, because it is not as specialised to percussive sound generation as the AR might be and use the AR as your drummer.

There are many options to connect and use your “Trinity”.

Sounds like you enjoy the Tempest most and that it gives you the most pleasure. You also seem to be getting some good grooves out of it.

Why not get rid of everything except the Tempest and only focus on that for now?

If you want to turn things into full tracks, you can do so easily by recording loops from the Tempest into a DAW of your liking and building arrangements there.

I should probably take your advice more. I want to buy more more more :grin: