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Should I buy an Elektron Machinedrum SPS-1UW MKII?
Old 18th November 2009
  #1
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mamero's Avatar
Should I buy an Elektron Machinedrum SPS-1UW MKII?

I've been thinking about buying an Elektron Machinedrum SPS-1UW MKII . I'm looking for unique drums sounds for Trance production and prefer hardware. As far as drum sounds go I already own a Jomox Airbase 99, Novation Drumstation, Korg Electribe ER-1, TR-707, and have a Jomox MBASE 11 on order for my main kick. I think I've got the meat N' potato sounds covered pretty well. I'm now looking for a serious machine for different, non "909/808'ish" sounds. I was originally thinking of an XBASE 999 but realized that would just be more of what I already have. From watching some YouTube videos it seems like the Machinedrum may fit the bill. It sounds great! (the best you can tell off YouTube) and looks very versatile.

My challenge though is I don't know if the machine drum will fit my workflow. I use Sonar Producer and do all my sequencing within Sonar. From what I've seen the Machinedrum looks like it has a very powerful sequencer. If I do my sequencing in Sonar will the Machinedrum still be a good investment? Are there any other alternatives? The Machinedrum is a lot of money but I don't mind investing in it as long as there is a payoff. Unfortunately there is no where local for me to test drive one. The only way for me to try is to buy. Thanks for the input everyone.
Old 18th November 2009
  #2
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If you are not using the Machinedrum's sequencer it is not worth buying. You can easily integrate the Machinedrum into a DAW setup and the sequencer is very easy to learn but I wouldn't buy it just for drum synthesis and sampling.
Old 19th November 2009
  #3
Gear Nut
 

i agree

i owned this for about a year, while i did like it and use it frequently, i found that the sound/timbre is not exactly my thing. it's alot more lo-fi sounding than you may get the impression when considering the pricetag

Alot of people buy it thinking they're getting an Xbase999 or Vermona but that thing is more about experimenting/getting freaky than getting some warm/fat electronic drums

my korg emx-1/jomox mobase is much more pleasing sonically than the Machinedrum

i say go with an Xbase or Vermona mk3
Old 19th November 2009
  #4
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Entrainer's Avatar
 

Vermona DRM-1 MKIII and Korg ER-1...

The Machine Drum is amazing and versatile.
But I had to process it to get what I was after.

The combined cost of the Machine and Processing
is a lot : (

The Vermona makes nice kicks and claps...
The ER-1 makes some cool random perc.

If the sequencer isn't an issue, then these
are great little sound boxes that will offer
sounds you don't currently have with your rig.
Old 19th November 2009
  #5
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mamero's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Entrainer View Post
Vermona DRM-1 MKIII and Korg ER-1...

The Machine Drum is amazing and versatile.
But I had to process it to get what I was after.

The combined cost of the Machine and Processing
is a lot : (

The Vermona makes nice kicks and claps...
The ER-1 makes some cool random perc.

If the sequencer isn't an issue, then these
are great little sound boxes that will offer
sounds you don't currently have with your rig.
Thanks for the advice. The thing though is I already own an ER-1. From what I understand the Vermona doesn't allow you to store presets which is very important to me. Is the Vermona analog? I'd kind of like to find a machine that's a little more digital sounding. My Airbase 99 has got the analog sounds covered pretty well. And the MBASE 11 on order should take care of the Kick once and for all.

Processing would not be an issue. I own 3 TC-Fireworx and an M-ONE and have a couple compressors available too. Doesn't the Machinedrum have built in FX though?
Old 19th November 2009
  #6
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The Machinedrum has built-in effects but you are almost always better off using external effects.
Old 22nd November 2009
  #7
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mamero's Avatar
I've been putting thought into the sequencing dilemma and whether the purchase of a Machinedrum would be justified if I do software sequencing. Have any Machinedrum owners had luck recording their groove on it first? Then, syncing it to their sequencing software (Sonar, Cubese Logic etc), recording the midi data in and triggering the Machinedrum from the recorded midi data? Maybe this sounds a bit backwards. This way you’re using the Machinedrum to create the original feel and sound of the groove but using the flexibility of a DAW for arranging. Ideas...?
Old 22nd November 2009
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamero View Post
I've been putting thought into the sequencing dilemma and whether the purchase of a Machinedrum would be justified if I do software sequencing. Have any Machinedrum owners had luck recording their groove on it first? Then, syncing it to their sequencing software (Sonar, Cubese Logic etc), recording the midi data in and triggering the Machinedrum from the recorded midi data? Maybe this sounds a bit backwards. This way you’re using the Machinedrum to create the original feel and sound of the groove but using the flexibility of a DAW for arranging. Ideas...?
if you are gonna do it that way then you might as well just record the audio and then edit the audio. i do that a lot. get a bunch of patterns i like in the MD and jam and record it all then piece it together.

or i'll use the song sequencer in the machinedrum which is really cool but takes some getting used to.

you can just sync up the MD and your CPU and get the settings right in your MD and computer and jam and tweak knobs etc and your computer will record all the midi CC info and then you can just a have your way with the CC data and edit it to your liking.

there are a lot of ways to work w/the machine.
Old 25th December 2012
  #9
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what is the big difference between the mk2 uw and uw+?

I dont need to many patterns and kits etc, but I want to use as much .aif files as possible!
Old 25th December 2012
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disco judas View Post
what is the big difference between the mk2 uw and uw+?

I dont need to many patterns and kits etc, but I want to use as much .aif files as possible!
UW is the User Wave (Sampling) capability
UW+ is the above plus the special drive for increased storage of sounds and sequences

I'm not sure about the difference between a Mk1 and a Mk2. I have a Mk1 without the sampling upgrade. I didn't invest in the sampling upgrade because I have 5 samplers that can do drum sampling. I still like my Mk1. Its relatively easy to program once you elektronise your mind. I'm never selling mine. Its too much fun, too versatile, too easy to get a beat going and it sounds good. When I can't make a sound (like a 909 kick) I just go to the sample library or use the 909's in my virus or mc909.

The machinedrums are an awesome tool. Love mine.
Old 25th December 2012
  #11
Gear Nut
 

Difference between + and non + models, differences between mk1 and mk2 models and a lot more answers : FAQ | Machinedrum UW | Elektron
Old 25th December 2012
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cixelsyd View Post
use the 909's in my virus
cool!
does it sound similar or can it use the same synth architechture
Old 26th December 2012
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disco judas View Post
cool!
does it sound similar or can it use the same synth architechture
I like the 909 kick sounds from my Virus C. I usually just mix them with the output of my MachineDrum. You can control it with 1 channel (sound) in the MachineDrum.
Old 29th September 2016
  #14
Gear Addict
I'm getting a like-new MD UW+ MK II tomorrow for around $950 USD. Wanted an MD for many years, happy to finally get it- don't find the sound dated at all.
I'm wondering how do I find out if it has +drive or not? It doesn't come w/ the midi box.
I'm assuming it doesn't have +drive, but just want to know for sure.
Is the upgrade worth it?
Old 29th September 2016
  #15
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jbuonacc's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by smitty.west View Post
...I'm wondering how do I find out if it has +drive or not? It doesn't come w/ the midi box.
I'm assuming it doesn't have +drive, but just want to know for sure.
ask the seller maybe? if it was factory installed it'll have the "UW+" printed right on the face of the unit. otherwise maybe check the pdf manual for the save/load procedure and try it before buying (if that's an option)?

Quote:
Is the upgrade worth it?
as far as i'm concerned it's totally worth it, bought the MD a second time only because they came out with the +Drive.

besides acting as x128(?) "save states" for patterns, etc it also does the same for sample banks (and they can be "separate" from the pattern states). the UW only lets you load 2mb of samples, so you're constantly wiping/loading the sample memory if you want to change things up at all. the +Drive lets you save x128(?) 2mb "banks" of samples in the machine and you can swap between them. IIRC, you can transfer samples from one "bank" to another as well to mix and match samples.

as far as the UW option being worth it over a standard MD... i wouldn't dream of bothering with the MD without it. was never too interested in the MD until they added the UW. besides just normal sample playback, the live sampling/re-sampling features are just killer.
Old 29th September 2016
  #16
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbuonacc View Post
ask the seller maybe? if it was factory installed it'll have the "UW+" printed right on the face of the unit. otherwise maybe check the pdf manual for the save/load procedure and try it before buying (if that's an option)?



as far as i'm concerned it's totally worth it, bought the MD a second time only because they came out with the +Drive.

besides acting as x128(?) "save states" for patterns, etc it also does the same for sample banks (and they can be "separate" from the pattern states). the UW only lets you load 2mb of samples, so you're constantly wiping/loading the sample memory if you want to change things up at all. the +Drive lets you save x128(?) 2mb "banks" of samples in the machine and you can swap between them. IIRC, you can transfer samples from one "bank" to another as well to mix and match samples.

as far as the UW option being worth it over a standard MD... i wouldn't dream of bothering with the MD without it. was never too interested in the MD until they added the UW. besides just normal sample playback, the live sampling/re-sampling features are just killer.
Cheers, appreciate your insight very much. The front does indeed have UW+ printed on it in red- does this mean it has the +drive?
Old 29th September 2016
  #17
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jbuonacc's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by smitty.west View Post
Cheers, appreciate your insight very much. The front does indeed have UW+ printed on it in red- does this mean it has the +drive?
yep, you're good to go. after they released the +Drive, Elektron only made the MD-UW with the +Drive installed, as well as the standard MD SPS-1. if it says "UW+" on the front it has the drive installed. cool.

too bad it doesn't come with the TurboMIDI box though, that's really useful.
Old 29th September 2016
  #18
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ImNotDedyet's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbuonacc View Post
yep, you're good to go. after they released the +Drive, Elektron only made the MD-UW with the +Drive installed, as well as the standard MD SPS-1. if it says "UW+" on the front it has the drive installed. cool.

too bad it doesn't come with the TurboMIDI box though, that's really useful.
Indeed it is. I was lucky enough to get one with my purchase when they slashed prices. Might want to look into that if you'll be copying samples to it.
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