One stop shop portable beat machine

Hey all,

Been a while since i’ve been here! Anyway as the title suggests I’m after a little all in one beat machine. I’m doing quite a lot of touring this year and really want something to twiddle on on those long drives between hangovers.

Is the master of this game still the OP1? its a little expensive for my liking but really fits the small lightweight multipurpose durable beat machine i need. any alternatives?

I would quite it to have sample support and some internal voices. I have a circuit but have fallen out of love with it and will hopefully have sold it pretty soon.


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OP-1 is still the master. Now and forever. Get one!


i know im suppose to say. hey how about a digitak!
how about patterning on an ipad? load all your own sampler. great / fun sequencer.
the size of just an ipad.
load all your own samples anytime your connect to your laptop. or download sounds into audiocopy or something, and load in that way.

well i had looked at the noise app and a roli lightblock which is still a contender. something about the ipad though that makes me not want one…

Digitakt im reluctant to get a piece thats so similar to stuff i already have and its not quite slim enough

hmm i thought this would be the case. so damn expensive though!

Honestly, it’s sooooo worth every penny. I used an OP-1 only for about 4 years, but ended up selling it to fund a Rytm. I missed it badly and ended up getting another about a month ago. It’s a true piece of art and just leads to so many ideas and so much fun!







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Yeah OP-1 is fantastic, even after 6 years of owning mine I never tire of them, for me the internal synths are just ok - they can cover a wide range of sounds but can be a bit unconventional in programming for a synth nerd, some knobs cover a range of parameters or even change function depending where on their range they are, at times it can be a bit limiting and tiresome.
However, the drum sampler, tape and fx are where the real appeal lies, the drum sampler can be used for lots of things like chopping up loops (manually) or for phrases to be repitched, or lifting from tape to do micro edits (be aware of the 12 second length limitation though) and so on. Once they become discontinued I think they will start to be very sought after - Its like a mini 80’s studio that you can take anywhere :rofl:


for “beats” I do not like the OP-1 by itself.
I prefer to use an iOS companion for beats (Patterning on iPad, iMaschine on iPhone, etc.), and get those beats into the OP-1’s tape, letting OP-1 do what it does best… tape tricks, sequenced synth bits,

I will use the drum sampler in OP-1 for more effected drum layers (COW is great) but the main beat I do elsewhere, mostly because the drum sequencer is ultra fiddly on the OP-1.

Having my OP-1 and an iPad Mini in my small Elektron ECC-3 bag, with an extra 10,000mah battery pack feels like I can do anything, anywhere. Where as my OT/AR/AK stay in the studio.

For a “one stop portable beat machine”, Patterning on a $300 refurbished iPad Mini 4 is hard to beat.


How about the Synthstrom Deluge? I’ve recently got one and I’m loving it. It’s battery powered, can take a 32GB card full of samples and is a hell of a lot of fun. I had to wait a while for one to come up on eBay, but it’s the best thing I’ve bought in ages. The dimensions are 305mm x 208mm x 46mm (12 x 8.2 x 1.8 inches).

The Deluge is kinda expensive, but I’m a one box kind of guy, so the Deluge and a 'puter is all I intend to have once I’ve sold some other bits.

If though you want something really cheap and really portable I keep reading good stuff about the Volca Sample.


+1 iPad all day, if you can get past touchscreenophobia so many people seem to have the iPad has some great sounds. found infinite uses for mine

@teamoth I had no idea the deluge was battery powered, that’s pretty cool

Yeah the Deluge uses a single ‘18650’ type battery, which you can easily buy online and replace if it starts wearing out. It seem vaping thingies use the same battery. I’m currently charging/powering the Deluge just with a USB cable, but it does take a long time to charge. You can also get a standard wall plug charger for it as well.

Which seq do you find fiddly? I use finger for drums which actually allows you to live play in the notes.

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Not a fan of that, or Finger.
Finger is less fiddly, but editing is still more of a chore than I would prefer, compared to iPad sequencers.


I am one of those people with TSP! hehe. But really only when it comes to music apps, as I prefer that tactile interaction.

But Patterning transcends that, for me.
As an app that can works best on the touch screen, its interface just works. I sold my iPad Air because the only app I was using was Patterning and it seemed like a waste. Now I’ve gone and bought another iPad because I miss it so much.
The level of UX in this one is high. It makes the iPad feel like an instrument itself, where as other apps (music and otherwise) feel like desktop apps migrated to a touch interface.


Plus one for the OP1 if you want to just let go and make songs. If you need detailed Elektron like control over sequences and especially drums maybe an iPad with something like Elastic Drums would be nice.

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Deluge all the way man!

Why the Deluge then? Well, i realize it´s perhaps a little bit over the top for your needs at least from your description, but it is not far from my own so bear with me…

I got my Deluge a few months ago, and reason for that was that i was stuck in the creative process. The whole DAW-software-hardware-repeat got to me and i could not make anything at all. So i needed something with a quick and simple workflow, a jack-of-all-trades, with which i could make entire tracks while on the road or being anyplace but in the studio.
So, a small device with sequencer, sampler/sample player, polyphonic and multitimbral synthesizer and maybe also drum machine. A groovebox of sorts.
Also, i could imagine the device as being the centrepiece of my studio aswell, depending on the situation. Sequencing everything else: my synths and drum machines, and even software like Maschine, Ableton, Reaktor and so on.

Enter the Deluge.

The machine just stepped in and basically solved all of my problems in one go. Suddenly i´m able to work faster and actually finish tracks! It´s capable of so much i hardly know where to begin.

However, usually i try to use the external gear for most of the sounds, and just use the internal engine for sketches. But when travelling the engine will come to good use. I´m in the process of preparing it for a trip i´ll be making in the end of February, so i´m preparing my 32GB card with samples for kits, fx and stuff. Most of it are drum samples but i think i will be recording some loops from my Rytm & Tempest aswell. It´s gonna be so much FUN! This is the first time i´m looking forward to 9+ hours in a flight chair… :slight_smile:

This will be my first longer trip with it so it´s a perfect opportunity to dive deep into it and experiment with the synth. Also i´m going to learn as much as i can about FM synthesis, it being one of the techniques used. For example, i will try to make a drum kit containing FM percussion only.
Hopefully i will come home with 2-3 finished tracks and fresh ideas and skeletons for a few more!

Ooops sorry about the long post, didn´t mean to take over your thread - it´s just that it´s such an awesome machine.
Good luck in deciding!