In what ways is the Monomachine workflow/sequencer outdated?

For those of you who own or have owned a Monomachine, is there anything about the sequencer capabilities/general workflow that you would say feels really dated compared to Elektron’s more recent instruments?

I know that it doesn’t have Overbridge or USB Audio which obviously means you miss out on a lot of convenience. And I know that it doesn’t have send fx tracks and that you instead have to sacrifice individual tracks for fx. But I also know that it has a pretty robust arpeggiator and parameter slides, which are pretty cool features to have. The syntakt for example has neither of these things despite being their newest box. Parameter slides haven’t been on any Elektron instruments since the A4/RYTM MK2.

So, whether it’s something about retrigs, controls, different time signature divisions per track in the sequencer, the workflow, or something else entirely, I would like to know in which ways you think the Monomachine really shows its age. I’ve read the manual but I have never used one myself so it’s difficult to judge.

Basically, this:

I find the MnM, A4/AK and OT to have very similar sequencers. Each is somewhat unique, but none of them feel outdated or show signs of age. Spend some time with an OT or an A4 and you will get a good sense of what the MnM is all about. Each seems like a different exploration of the same core design philosophy, to me.

I’ve never used Overbridge on my AK and rarely used it on my A4 Mk1: I have plenty of VA soft synths that are more powerful, in the box, than the A4, so why deal with a large external dongle?

The MnM is very much of its time, but like the TB-303 or the ARP 2600 the sound of its time is interesting, powerful and valid.

Much of the magic of the MnM comes from the fact that it is a complete box: synth, FX, sequencer. Just plug in headphones and power and you are good to go. You can sample it with a PC if you want, or sequence it from a PC, but why? Ableton’s Operator is a more flexible 4-op FM synth. I’m sure there are SID emulators that are as good or better than the MnM’s. Vocal synths are far better on computers - I can tell my Mac to $ say "I love the monomachine" in less time than it takes to move my headphones to the MnM and power it on. BUT I get an amazing level of control over the MnM’s vocal synth. While the FM engines are limited, those limitations make sense in the context of a groocebox. The FX are limited compared to modern FX, but form a complete and useful package as part of the entire MnM.

Taken as what it is, a groovebox with novel synthesis, good FX and a powerful sequencer, the MnM is still a great machine. It is fun to play with on the couch. It integrates well with a modern studio. It has DIN MIDI and 1/4" audio ins and outs, so plays nicely with other gear found in a studio.


I don’t have one but I think the MNM lacks trig conditions

Trig conditions and scale per track. On the other hand it has got the pitch data assignable for two destinations, unlike on any other Elektron device, unfortunately.


Microtiming as well, though with swing and the arp you can cheese it in some cases.


Oh yea, when I said “outdated” I definitely wasn’t talking about its general sound or synth engines as those are simply a matter of taste. But I think when it comes to sequencer feature-set some sequencers can feel more outdated than others. For example, a groovebox sequencer that doesn’t have parameter locks would feel outdated to me. But of course I understand that on synthesizers like the Minilogue XD the sequencer isn’t one of the spotlight features so it’s not a problem for me that it’s more primitive on that kind of instrument.
I think in terms of “sequencers as a full blown composition tool” it can’t hurt to compare them.

Microtiming is definitely a big one.

these are the big ones.

tho, i prefer the OT’s / MM’s song mode compared to a4/rytm.

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Not outdated! You can do whatever you want with a Mnm!

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If it had scale/length per track and trig conditions I would have kept it.

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Well, except for the things that you can’t do with it that have been mentioned in this thread.


There’s stuff it can do that’s still tough to beat also, like track trig forwarding and the effects routing capabilities. You get the latter to some degree in e.g. the Octatrack but without all the goodies the note-based tracks give you (LFO/env triggering, and that bodacious arp for starters). And the 3 buses make the routing that much more interesting for submixes, etc.


Its vanilla sounds, especially the beatbox samples are definitely “outdated”. Hence why a lot of people didn’t get it when it came out. It sounded outdated even then.
It’s not til you use those components in creative ways that the magic happens.

Also yes, lack of trig conditions, scale per track and microtiming. And no send FX without sacrificing a track. I also found the swing to go from 0 -> naff way too quickly.

Now let’s group together and create a “Monomachine Hate” thread and drive down them Reverb prices.


I don’t enjoy the fact that’s it’s either 6-voice chords or 6 mono, I miss DN voice sharing system.
I don’t use microtiming much, and you have 3 LFOs to make up for trig conditions.
The sound can be greatly enhanced with a pedal (a great reverb or an analog enhancer).
What I miss most is the ability to save and recall sounds, I always start from scratch and it is not a good way to go deep in the sound design.

Parameter slide is its secret weapon, no other Elektron does it this way.


but but but with track trigger chains you can have 2/3/4/5 note chords, fair enough they are all still individual voices but that can lead to crazy places.

a delay on every track…
trigless trigs
no ones mentioned multi trig yet (which is ridiculous)
pseudo microtiming achievable with fast arps and considered placement
key tracking modulation options
LFO interlace can be nuts…


Alot of the stuff Mnm is missing like individual track lengths and microtiming can be “faked” with creative use of the ARP. It has the best arpeggiator ive ever seen. Still a bit bummed as i sold mine when the price was the lowest. Got like $400 for mine…


Indeed, I forgot to mentioned that I love this!
But it’s not the same as recording a chord ^^

What makes its arpeggiator special in your opinion?

I won’t speak for @thomaso but in my opinion:

  • LFO, amp, and env triggering toggles can be set on a per-arp basis, which enables lots of tricks
  • Note offset for each step (some other Elektron arps have this)
  • Tick speed (OK other Elektron arps have this)
  • The UI is nice
  • It can trigger FX tracks which can sound absolutely bananas
  • When involved in track trig it has no effect on other arps, which opens up some nice rhythmic layering possibilities
  • Don’t forget those keytracking goodies too

Apparently a mega command will give you micro timing and trig conditions.

What are track trigger chains?