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Elektron MkII Analog Four, Analog Rytm & Octatrack

Analogue Synthesizer, Drum Machine & Performance Sampler
Published July 2018
By Simon Sherbourne

Elektron MkII Analog Four, Analog Rytm & Octatrack

Elektron have treated three of their flagship instruments to a major redesign. We see what’s new...

When Elektron released their Digitakt sampling drum machine last year they promised that a refresh of their three flagship instruments would follow soon after, bringing them the same slick look and feel. They didn’t disappoint. Alongside the physical upgrades are a few feature additions and a general clean up of panel operations facilitated by some extra controls. Notably absent from the ‘what’s new’ list is Octatrack MkII support for Overbridge, Elektron’s DAW integration software that provides streaming and control over USB. I initially thought this was a major misstep, but I’ve softened on this the more I’ve thought about it.

The MkII line‑up comprises the Analog Rytm, Analog Four, and Octatrack. The Rytm is an analogue drum synth with sampling. The Four is a four‑part analogue desktop synth. The Octatrack is the daddy of Elektron’s range, a sampling and sequencing hub that embodies the company’s ethos of real‑time performance and deep expert‑level workflow tools.

System Common

The MkIIs all have aluminium bodies, and a lighter grey finish than their predecessors, contrasting them with the darker paintwork of the Digitakt and Digitone. They all have the new style ‘trig’ buttons with internal red‑yellow‑green lighting. Legibility of the controls (something noted as problematic by Paul Nagle in his original reviews) is improved greatly as functions are now printed in bold white on the buttons themselves, with secondary functions below. As I said when reviewing the Digitakt, I love the old‑school feel of these chunky buttons, although their consistent, light action comes at the price of velocity sensitivity. The Rytm alone offers built‑in dynamic input via its 12 drum pads.

All knobs have been replaced with the new high‑resolutions encoders, checking another item off of Paul’s MkI wishlist. These have...

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Published July 2018