In recent years Swedish drum machine manufacturer Elektron have retired some of the machines that made their name, revamped their product range and launched some exciting new products.
It’s very easy to get confused about which Elektron’s drum machines, synths and samplers are best suited for your needs especially as there can be some degree of overlap in terms of the machine’s capabilities.
In today’s post I’ll focus on the key differences between two of Elektron’s most popular samplers namely the Model: Samples and the Digitakt.
Electron Digitakt vs Model:Samples. Quick summary:
The Digitakt has a number of advantages over the Model: Samples including the ability to sample audio sources, more tracks and more effects. The Model:Samples is the cheaper of the two devices and is a capable sample player and groovebox with 6 velocity sensitive pads.
Consult the table below to see the key differences between the Elektron Model:Samples and Digitakt:
|Number of voices:||6||8|
|Velocity sensitive pads||6||N/A|
|Delay||1 (send fx)||1 (send fx)|
|Reverb||1 (send fx)||1 (send fx)|
|Filters||1x per track||2x per track|
|LFOs||1x per track||2x per track|
|Overdrive||N/A||1x per track|
Can the Model:Samples actually sample?
Short answer is: No. The Model:Samples can import your own samples via the PC/Mac running the Elektron Transfer utility but you can not record audio directly into the machine.
How much storage does the Model:Samples have?
The Model:Samples features 64 MB sample memory, 1 GB internal storage. You can store 96 projects with up to 96 patterns per project.
Does Model:Samples have Overbridge?
Overbridge DAW integration is only available on Elektron’s higher end products:
- Elektron Analog Rytm MK II (Drum machine)
- Elektron Analog 4 MK II (Synth)
- Elektron Octatrack MK II (Performance sampler)
- Elektron Digitakt (Drum computer + sampler )
- Elektron Digitone and Elektron Digitone Keys (FM synths)
Can the Model:Samples be powered by battery?
Yes but note that as of Summer 2021 Elektron are currently recalling their Power Handle BP-1 due to a manufacturing fault which affects a small number of units.
Does Model:Samples have built-in speakers?
No. Model:Samples has 1 × 1/4″ Headphones output and 2 × 1/4″ Balanced main outputs.
Does Model:Samples have MIDI?
Model:Samples acts as class compliant USB audio 2.0 interface and supports USB MIDI for syncing with music software and software instruments. You can send MIDI via the knobs and pads.
In terms of effects the Model:Samples features 1 × Resonant multimode filter per track (6 in total), 1 × assignable LFO per track, 1 delay and 1 reverb send FX.
Is the Model:Samples worth it?
At roughly half the price of the Digitakt the Elektron Model:Samples groovebox makes an affordable and user friendly introduction into the world of Elektron. Both newcomers to the Elektron way of doing things and old hands at working with hardware samplers will find plenty of inspiration in the Model:Samples.
While the Model:Samples has only 6 tracks to play with and lacks some of the features and effects of its bigger and older siblings it still delivers plenty of bang for the buck in an ultra-portable format.
If you’re looking to get started with sound manipulation and sample based beat making and you’re also on a tight budget then the Model:Samples offers a fantastic jumping off point on which to begin your journey.
At the heart of the Model:Samples lies Elektron’s powerful sequencing software complete with Elektron’s famous – and addictive – parameter locking. Once your samples are in the machine and ready to go the real fun can begin when you start triggering their playback via the sequencer. Sequences (patterns) can be programmed step by step, up to 64 steps in length, or you record your performance in real time.
Is the Model:Samples good for techno?
For the asking price the Model:Samples makes a great little techno machine. The Model:Samples does have its limitations in comparison to more expensive grooveboxes such as the Digitakt and the Analog Rytm but these limitations shouldn’t stop anyone getting creative and making interesting techno and electronic music with this little box.
The sequencer parameter locks can help overcome the 6 track limit to some extent and MIDI capabilities ensure the Model:Samples can be teamed with your other gear.
A few more effects would have been great, for sure, but the Model:Samples can take whatever samples you decide to feed it and tweak them into new directions via the various knobs including pitch, decay and sample start point so there’s still plenty of sound mangling options available.
You can of course prepare the bulk of your techno sounds in your DAW of choice before importing them into the Model:Samples and working in this way can free you up from the tyranny of the computer screen and mouse clicking away in your DAW’s pianoroll and timeline maybe helping you take your tracks in interesting new directions.