New here – Hi!
My musical background is mostly acoustic instruments, strictly on a hobbyist level. Some time ago, I started to dive into making electronic music, which so far was completely ITB.
Frankly, it’s not going so great. My job is centered around the computer and the 'net, often 12 hours a day, and I find it hard to snap out of work mode when I sit in front of a large screen in the same place where I do most of my work. I also feel that the abundance of choice (DAWs, plugins, and so forth) is overwhelming to the point where it has a paralyzing effect on my creativity. I don’t really make much music, and the little I do certainly doesn’t feel playful or expressive.
I believe I would do better with a more “tactile” approach (just like I can grab a uke or one of my entirely-too-many kalimbas and mbiras and jam with it), and the inherit limitations of a dedicated device are appealing.
There are cheaper options than Elektron devices, but everything I have seen and heard about them is impressive (I love the sound), I’m not turned off by the learning curve (as it’s not as limitless as a computer setup), and the machines seem to hold their value well. I don’t want to buy something cheap and then keep wishing I had just gotten the “real thing” that I actually wanted.
Ideally and eventually, I’d like the Octatrack, Analog Rytm and Analog Four (perhaps the Analog Keys), but I can’t afford to buy them all at once, which would probably cause learning overload anyway, so I’m trying to figure out which device to get first and then spend a few months with it before deciding what to get to expand it.
The style of music I’d like to make falls in the techno-ish, experimental corner. In the beginning, I’d like to only use the device that I’m getting, no additional gear beyond headphones/monitors or a recorder (can be Reaper on the laptop, though the Zoom H6 I have is likely to work just fine?), so the ability to make full tracks/songs is important. From what I’ve seen, they can all do this.
The two devices that I’m the most torn between are the Analog Rytm and the Octatrack. I think both of them would meet my needs, and the Analog Four too (Analog Keys costs a tad more than I can spend in December, and I don’t want to wait yet another month!).
I had wanted an Octatrack for quite a while, but the more I hear and see about the Rytm, the more appealing I find it. It also seems more groovebox-y (would you say this impression is somewhat accurate?). The pads came up in some discussions as the object of criticism, though I imagine they would further enhance the tactile experience for me. Whichever device I don’t get now, I would probably pick up later.
So anyway, I just wanted to get some thoughts from you guys for orientation and guidance. Thanks for your time in advance, I really appreciate any input you may have.