The Elektron Machinedrum

Elektron’s Machinedrum SPS-1 is a state of the art drum machine and drum synthesizer. It builds on the features of the best classic drum machines, and adds improved drum synthesis technology. 

In his EM review of the Machinedrum, David Battino said:

Although it builds on the time-tested features of classic drum machines, the Machinedrum leaps off in a wonderful new direction with its distinct synthesis and live-performance capabilities. It may seem expensive, but a couple of noisy, unreliable vintage rhythm boxes would set you back a lot more, and they would have far less creative connectivity. You can control all 384 of the Machinedrum’s tone-tweaking parameters with MIDI.

The Machinedrum is a specialized instrument, but it’s one of the easiest to personalize. If you’re tired of the sampling bazaar, get to know the Machinedrum. Frequent EM contributor Todd Souvignier once advised, “Let machines speak with their own native tongues.” When the Machinedrum speaks, it’s so joyfully synthetic that it verges on being alive.

Here’s another video, via Zane Brzezinski, of the Machinedrum in action:


  • 16 voice polyphonic drum synthesis
  • Oscillators
    • Sample Playback and Synthesis; 39 drum sounds via 4 synthesizers:
    • TRX (12 instruments), EFM (8 instruments), E12 (16 instruments), and PI (6 instruments).
  • 16 LFOs (2 per voice); dual-waveforms assignable to various destinations
  • 1 Multi-mode resonant filter per voice 24 dB/oct (4-pole)
  • 4 Master Effects: Rhythm Echo reverb/echo, Gate Box reverb, 3-band EQ, Dynamix compressor. Each drum sound has 2 independent echo and reverb Sends.
  • Instrument effects: Amplitude Modulation, 1-band EQ, Sample-rate Reduction, Distortion.
  • 16 Trigger pads for triggering sounds and/or programming patterns
  • Memory: 64 Drumkits, 128 Patterns (up to 32 steps each)
  • MIDI IN/OUT/THRU, External Audio Triggering


8 thoughts on “The Elektron Machinedrum

  1. yeah, didn’t this come out like 8 years ago? or was that the monomachine? anyway, i’ve always liked the idea of the machinedrum, but it just doesn’t seem to make the sort of noises i expect it to. i expect more 8-bit sounding distorted noise-based drums and instead people always seem to make uninspiring fm and old midi type sounds.

    i don’t know, i guess that can be cool as well… but eh. I wish my sidstation had a drum machine mode built into it. that would be cool, except for all the line noise that runs off the damn thing.

    at least the machinedrum seems to control like how i would expect a synthesis based drum machine should work… unlike the newer korg electribes for example, which annoy me a bit. or at least as far as getting the synth parts to work like i expect. although i guess only trying it in the shop doesn’t help. though i have one of the older, sampling electribes, so i thought it wouldn’t be that hard.

    okay, i’m ranting and off-topic now, so i’ll stop.

  2. god


    We’ve been posting profiles, with videos, of classic bits of gear lately. These are some great instruments, even though they may not be the latest news.

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