To buy or not to buy: four vs rytm

hello all,

first time poster and soon to be a first time elektron owner. however, i am having trouble deciding which piece of kit to buy; analog four or rytm. i was all but sold on the rytm, but at the last moment i started to question myself. ultimately i would like to own both, but for the moment one will more than suffice.

so, i am looking for any suggestions, anecdotes, or opinions that any motivated members care to share. i understand that these boxes are very different, and that most responses will be opinion based.

my current studio setup includes… mc202, tb303, tr606, tr909, juno106, jp08, jomox mbase11, korg volca beats, a bunch of effects and ableton live. i make various kinds of techno.

any help would be greatly appreciated!

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You seem to have drums covered. I’d go for Four.


RYTM is really low end, it makes samples sound warm, and cue to its limited controls(in comparison to the four) you can get good sounds pretty quick.

Four is deeper for sonic exploration, has a lot of room for learning, you can create a bunch of different sounds out of it. The filter on key keys is beefier so you should be able to get deeper sounds out of that closer to the RYTM even some good percussive sounds(if the size isn’t off putting) and you can layer percussion on a single voice.

Performance macros are better on the rytm.

I agree that you have lots of drums for the moment.

A4 would be perfect for your set up, with the cv gate you can also connect your vintage synth with the a4.

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You have already lots of gear? Why another machine?
What are you trying to add or improve in your music with this new gear? What do you want to achieve?

If it is just for fun (best kind of reason) it is HIGHLY suggestive as you mentionned.

If your techno is not too melodic: go for the AR, you will be able to mix drums and samples, layer them, jam by playing with the pads…Add voices and samples to your tracks…The AR makes samples sounds very very good.

A4… well it is fun too but more dedicated to melody or cv/gate control. You can have very gooddrums but their control will be more limited imho. And no samples…which is missing in your setup…

Maybe wait a little for the new akai MPC. If the Hype is half right, it could be your missing tool.


You have a lot of analogue kit (both synths and drums) already.

What is missing in your music?

Why does the Elektron brand appeal to you?


Don’t matter what you to buy , soon or latter you will have both :slight_smile:


Both are equally great, they are just answers to 2 different needs.

The RYTM became my go-to machine for the base of the drums in any track I make at home, and I’m learning the basics of synthesis and sound design on the A4 that I find inviting for that. If you MUST own both, as others said, the A4 is probably a better fit for your current setup. You could even consider selling a few machines to pay for the RYTM as it could be duplicating some of those…

Ultimately, it all boils down to what you need to make the music in your head. If you’re like me, you have no idea what you need, but with a Rytm and an A4, I don’t really have to wonder what I’m missing, because those 2 machines combined with Overbridge and Live are already more than I can chew :wink:

Welcome to the community !

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elektron appeals to me because their instruments are geared for techno producers.

my current studio set up is largely comprised of vintage kit. i love all of my pieces, but for the most part they are not built for 21st century functionality. i’ve had my 303 quicksilver modded, which turned out to be a great decision; it can now be used as a live performance piece.

i like the idea of the a4 because it’s clearly a powerful sound design tool, and i think it could have an awesome partnership with my 202 (one of my favorite synths). if i am not mistaken, the cv should allow me to safe patterns for the 202, which is the biggest issue that box has.

the rytm on the other hand would be a straight up fun machine to have. i love the idea of the chromatic function. i don’t have a drum machine that can do the whole melodic drum thing, and chromatic toms would work well with my style. i also like the idea of the rytm, my 303, and ableton.

one rytm question i’ve trouble answering is: can i apply it’s internal effects to an external synth if i route it through the rytm?

If you want to sequence the mc 202 with the A4 be careful. If I have good memory it will create delay to the MC as it goes through the roland internal sequencer.

And no you can’t apply the AR fx to the sound of your input.

you are dead on with the memory delay. when run via sync the 202 has perfect timing, but that means only 1 pattern at a time. the 202 is a killer synth, imo, but much of the appeal comes from the dedication required to creatively programing it.

right now i am leaning towards the rytm. my 909 is the only portion of my studio id consider parting with, and the rytm could nicely replace it. am i correct that the rytm can be used to sequence via the midi out? i like doing detroit style stabs with the 909 controlling the juno. if i can have the rytm sequence my juno, then i should be good. i can sample or sequence the jomox with the rytm, and use its sync out to drive my 909,606 and 202. that way i can leave my sbx roland thing in the studio when i play out.

thanx for all of the input, thus far, everyone has been most helpful. any further info would still be most appreciated.


No. Sorry. Biggest flow of the AR machine:
You CANNOT sequence external gear with it!

Same for the A4 with the midi.
It can sequence with cv/gate tho.

With all you’ve got, I’m thinking if OT should also be one of your considerations. Feeding the OT resampling madness with what you got, and giving you samples (of any lenght via the static machines) could work nicely as well. You seem to have so many drum machines that a rytm is not a must-have, and you also have many synths which can do a part of what the A4 does… Whereas you don’t really have much that can do what the OT can bring to the table. Admittedly the learning curve of the OT is a steep one, but also very rewarding.

One thing though - If you ever struggle with setup recall, then the rytm and a4 can help immensely, as everything you do with them can be easily saved/loaded. This is among the biggest benefits of using elektron gear IMO.


I would go for the AR. A used one, so that you can resell if you don’t gel with it.
It’s the simplest of all the Elektron (yet deep), for me it was the one that really helped learning Elektron workflow.

A4 is largely deeper, but you might feel a bit limited at first with the 4 tracks. And to learn Elektron workflow it’s not as straightforward IMO, as you really have to know what you’re doing to make good use of the plocks :slight_smile:

My 2 cents.


Totally agree, AR is a good starter to understand Elektron workflow and touch, I started with AR me too, then A4 and finally OT !

Regarding to your machines I would take an OT to lead and samples all them but maybe it would be hard to start with this one :kissing_cat:

A4 is not so hard to understand and fun to digg.

What kind of techno do you use to play with your machines ? Acid techno ?

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A4 goes lovely with the 606 sound, and can trigger your Mbase11 via CV.

love the idea of the a4 and my 606. the cv jomox is an interesting idea; the 606 kick can be a drag for live gigs. plus, i like the idea of the 202 being run through the a4’ effects.

still, i am thinking the rytm is the way forward. i like the idea of sampling the jomox into the rytm, and the fact that it can’t sequence other synths doesn’t really phase me. it;s hard to imagine replacing the 909s swing when sequencing my juno 106. that pairing is really a match made in heaven, imo.

sounds like you need a pros / cons table for each

lol, what i need is someone to put a gun to my head and force me to buy one. which ever way i go, i will undoubtedly think that the other option would have been a better choice, and ultimately end up owning both.