The Syntakt has been one of the worst kept secrets in the music world. But it wasn’t until today that the world finally got to see what Elektron’s latest groovebox is capable of. It combines the company’s legendary sequencer with four analog four analog synth tracks and 10 digital tracks. While the Syntakt is focused primarily on percussion, it’s capable of handling bass and melody as well. And, if you’re not happy with the internal synth sounds, you can control external gear by switching any of the 12 tracks to be MIDI. Those MIDI tracks by the way are four-note polyphonic
The Syntakt takes an everything and the kitchen sink approach, and borrows a bit of its sound design workflow from previous Elektron instruments like the Machinedrum and Model:Cycles. It starts by selecting a “machine,” of which there are 37 spread across the three different core types of synthesis. There are 10 digital synths, 15 analog drum, and 12 analog cymbal machines. Each one is designed to do a specific thing, just like on the Cycles, but the level of control offered here is far greater.
Each engine also has a specific set of effects and parameters associated with it. The digital tracks each have a digital overdrive, a digital multimode filter and a digital base width filter, in addition to a pair of LFOs. While the analog tracks each have an analog overdrive, an analog multimode filter and a pair of LFOs. There’s also an FX track where you can automate an analog overdrive, an analog multimode filter, as well as digital reverb and delay.
In addition to controlling external gear with the Syntakt’s MIDI channels, you can also feed external audio through its master effects, allowing you to treat it as both a master sequencer and a mixer — it can be the brains of an entire performance setup.
The entire thing lives inside the same chassis Elektron uses for its Digitakt and Digitone instruments, which means it’s small and portable(ish), but also quite rugged. It weighs just 3.6lbs, but is housed in steel casing.
Of course, all that power and roadworthiness doesn’t come cheap. The Syntakt is available now in limited quantities from Elektron and to preorder from select retailers for $999.
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