On the fence

Just sold my Monomachine and I have enough to get a DO (and send my wife on vacation!).

I’m trying to decide if it’s really right for me. I currently have a 0Coast, OT (which I may get rid of to replace with a MPC Live), A4, and Virus C.

I’m fully versed in the Elektron sequencers, and I’ve done enough reading to know the (stupid) omissions in this box (no MIDI arp, no p-lockable arp, no song mode) so I’m more curious as to how people like it for overall sound and as a sound module. I find that, except when I’m just dicking around, I use my A4 as a sound module more than a sequencer.

How are people digging the overall sound of the machine? I’m definitely interested in more organic or natural sounds. I’ve listened to as many demos as I could, some showing me sounds I dig and some showing me the “cheesy” FM type sounds. Many of the sounds also don’t seem to far off from what could be created with the A4 or VirusC (though there are def a few I could see not being able to achieve on those 2 machines). How truly versatile is the sound? I find the A4 is pretty deep in terms of getting a nice variety of sounds, and the Virus C is a complete beast of a synth. I don’t really write “electronic” music anymore (though I do enjoy making ambient soundscapes just for fun) and I’m looking for something that will be good to mix with more acoustic/live instruments (piano, guitar, etc) while still bringing a tinge of electronic to the sound.

Here are a few other questions:

  1. In reading the manual, it seems that it has 2 LFOs, but they each only have one destination vs. the A4 having 2 destinations per LFO. Is that correct? Does the LFO provide the same speed settings as the A4 (for example, the key tracking speed)?

  2. Since it’s an 8 voice machine, I could potentially play 2 sets of 4-note chords one after another without voice stealing, correct? Then, as long as the first set of notes decays before a 3rd chord, the 3rd chord won’t steal voices from chord 2?

  3. If I want to have one channel act as a drum machine, I figure I can put a Kick on trigger 1, then a hihat on trigger 2, but use the microtimnig to move it all the way over to trigger a split hair after the kick so it sounds like they’re almost on top of each other. Will the hihat cut off the kick drum sound? How noticeable is the latency given that the hihat will be a hair after the kick?

  4. I know the MIDI doesn’t have an arpeggiator (wtf, Elektron?!?) but is there a way around that?

  5. Given my experience with the OT and A4, is there anything else those boxes have on the sequencer that I haven’t realized yet?

Thanks in advance for all your advice!

I love mine as a sound module, most of the time I dont use the sequencer and im playing it with a midi keyboard into my DAW. Im not an FM wizard so I dont know all the fine details of what makes FM synthesis but the DN allows me to tweak stuff without getting too wild and un-usable. It has a large sweetspot if that makes any sense.

  1. Correct, 2 LFO but each one with one destination. You can set the rate.

  2. Correct, 2 sets of 4 notes will be fine. There are settings for voice stealing so you can arrange that how you want too.

  3. You can do this and they will not cut each other off unless the device that is receiving midi is mono. This is not a great solution though because in my opinion it is kind of noticeable and would take a lot of time to program. I would use T1 and T2 for this instead of just one midi track.

  4. No arp for midi and im not sure about a work around.

  5. The way effects are sent is the main difference for me between my OT and DN/DT. For example OT reverb will not tail while the DN/DT reverb does. The OT retrig (ratcheting) works a bit different than the DT in the way its programmed.