Help me prioritize

I always liked the idea of a seasonal machine. Pack the others up and focus on one at a time. I’m doing that at the moment with the Rytm, while the A4 is up on the shelf, and its lovely. Its making me focus on samples more and not just synthesis, and also diving into some deeper functions and programming. I feel like I could make a complete track on the Rytm, but bring the A4 into focus when I need to pepper a track with this or that, or sample it to get it into the Rytm. I also recently sold an OT, and my Ableton Push 2, and the simplicity I find very rewarding. In fact one of the things I love about Elektron boxes, and this is probably true of other hardware, is the muscle memory factor. I couldn’t quite get that with Push. I remember when I first tried an Elektron box in store and the buttons seemed so plasticky and flakey, a friend of mine comments on the strangeness of it too from time to time, but in practice its perfect, it makes total sense. You literally press them hundreds of thousands of times. There really is a big difference between a tap and a push, and I really love that taptic type quality to Elektron hardware. You’ve really gotta Push down those Ableton Push buttons to advance through menus and, funnily enough, its winds up either very preparation based, or directory divey. And the main reason I got rid of the OT was really it was just getting in the way of the AR and A4. Stripping the focus back to these two boxes is amazing, and with Push and the OT out of the picture, I’m barely using anything else to compose, which is to say, Ableton has become less of a focus and more of an assistant. I’m still yet to finish much, but I feel something bubbling up soon. In the end, you have to bounce something out. And I think the mix might be right in a track when you have a bunch of patterns with enough room to move for a performance, and enough variation to keep things interesting. Anyway I think I’m waffling, and not sure if any of this helps, but good luck :slight_smile:


I’d say unless you need the money, keep all three and just take your time. I understand the desire for simplicity, but personally I like to be able to focus on different equipment at different times. Does this mean that, even after nearly two years, I still don’t know the tempest and octatrack inside out. Yes. Do I care. No.

The tempest is potentially 6 monosynths, 3 monosynths and 3 note poly (sequenced from the octatrack), a drum machine, or a bit of all three. I am mid reorganisation of music stuff and have ended up with just a tempest and octatrack connected in my living room. I would love another dedicated drum machine, a la AR, so I could use more of the tempest for synths.


I did listen. Though sometimes, there’s just more to the words than what’s on the paper. Not saying it, doesn’t mean it’s not there.

But you’re right, I’m making assumptions, which is arrogant of me. Apologies offered, I meant only well, and I know this isn’t about my personal journey, but about the OP’s situation. I projected my own wants onto someone else’s situation, typically something you won’t notice until someone points it out to you.


Re-reading the OPs post he is asking for strategies to learn the three machines. I am not an expert in these things, and also feel the pressure of not being able to learn fast enough to produce quality with the time allowed. Only suggestion I can make is consider it a longer journey, you have 3 great boxes that will allow a lot of growth over many years. Try not to force things. Learn each box individually, then work with two together, then with three. At this point you should be close to know enough to integrate them together but give yourself time during that integration phase. There is frustration to be had along the way but it should ease with time. Have a nice creative space that invites you to sit with the machines comfortably, without it seeming like work, but moreso fun.


Interesting to read the various replies, I am in a similar situation, bought an OT and an A4 a few months ago and have first child on the way… Time is limited and I really want to focus on having fun but being productive at the same time. After a bit of time learning these 2 machines here are my main reflections…

  • You don’t have to use the OT to its max potential. The OT is a beast and it can do so much that I find contemplating it all and learning all the various bits can kill the creative impulse. I am having much more fun with it simply using it as a basic sampler and just messing with p-locks and the effects… I know it can do crazy stuff with scenes and parts but I can do that further down the line, for now I am finding it more fun to operate within some self imposed restrictions, ditching the manual and tutorial videos and just figuring it out.

  • Don’t get too absorbed with reading the manuals cover to cover and watching loads of tutorial videos - I find this just fills my head with possibilities and then I don’t get anything meaningful done. Use the manuals and videos as points of reference… Get stuck in and try to make a tune and then refer to the manuals when you come up against a block. A quick Google search on any particular issue will find lots of answers, the difference with this approach is that you are deciding what you want to do and then finding out how to do that rather than being immersed in all the possibilities in advance.

  • Set challenges for yourself and self imposed restrictions. For example decide to write a tune using only one track, or jam it out using just one pattern, or make a track with just one sample or pick a feature that you are not too familiar with and go crazy making a track that uses that a lot… Focus on making and finishing tracks rather than learning mastery of the instruments (that will come naturally over time anyway)

Not sure if these are helpful as everyone is different but this approach is working better for me and I seem to enjoy it more in the limited time that I have.

As for kit, it’s a tough call on which to sell, personally I would find 3 machines a bit too much and would keep the Tempest and OT. The Tempest as your go to ‘fun’ machine and the OT as something to explore and experiment with.

Just put the other two in the closet in their boxes. Make it a hassle to get to/unpack them.

1 Like
  1. Seeing that you have 2 Elektron boxes, this forum is a fantastic place to learn. The Tempest forum has quite a few grumpy users, but it’s still a great place to learn about the Tempest, so is this forum.

  2. Tempest AR OT, is an incredible combo.
    Don’t see a need in selling any of them really, you have everything you need to make amazing tracks.
    Yes, this particular combination of gear is prone to mental clutter.
    Each machine is unique, and 2 of them are really deep, OT & Tempest.
    Take time to write tracks with each machine individually, and that clutter will start to become focused.
    Try pairing them and experiment. 4 voices out of Tempest into OT and lots of neighbor machines.
    Bottom line, don’t sell the Tempest unless it’s no longer fun.
    Have fun, don’t forget to hit record.

I have the OT AR and A4.
With 3 machines like that, it just takes time to settle in on how you like them all working together.
Totally worth it.
I’d add that machines like this and making music are a perfect way to bond with your kids.

Put the kids to bed exhausted last night (partner is out of town for the week :frowning:) after reading the 6th post. I then woke up this morning, fed/cuddled/dressed/played with the kids/took them to daycare…and came back to 30 posts, from very kind people who I feel genuinely want to support me in being successful. In the end, more important than the final decision/strategy I move forward with in the interim, is the fact that I feel that I’m not alone, and that there is a community of good people to support me in the ups and downs of my journey. I honestly took bits and pieces from everyone’s advice, and really enjoyed hearing all the varied perspectives.

Thanks all.