The Hardware Megathread


Despite my current lust for a synth, the MPC Live just reminded me that for the stuff I do I don’t need much more than a sampler, I just made a super nasty wicked pad just with a few rounds of repitching and resampling…


Arturia Microfreak!

When it was announced and Arturia put out that terrible teaser video w the douche in the elevator I was like… meh, and THEN Stemming put out a review/overview and now i want one… Loads of strange digital and expressive timbres.

and one cant beat the price (or size as a person who is constantly on the run)


It’s on my list too, small, reasonably priced and fills the nice I need, a synth that can generate plenty of sampling materials.


Yes the Microfreak sounds great, knowing my luck I’ll buy one then Arturia will announce the MiniFreak with more synthesis models, more modulation slots and onboard FX (reverb/delay) :grinning:


I was looking at these manual for the Waldorf Rack Attack, The drum synth I always lusted for.


I didn’t really see the gear too much…looked like a Nord keyboard not sure what all for drums but apparently a guy named Paradox does a live PA for modern DnB…not really something Ive seen before.


The sequencer on the Microfreak feels really overlooked to me. Nobody mentions it! Up to 64 steps with glides and rests. 4 note polyphony and 4 lanes of automation. It looks much easier to edit sequences/replace individual recorded notes than a 101/sh-01a/keystep as it has visual feedback. It has clock in so im almost certain you will be able to do the clock advance from triggers trick that you can do with the 101/keystep. Thats evolving polyrhtmic polyphonic sequences galore! I go nuts for those type of sequencers/capabilities.

One thing i have to get off my chest is my gripe about the name… recently ive been lusting for the malekko manther (just bought it) and the arturia microfreak but honestly the name nearly put me off both of them. The arturia has jazzy coffe shop designs on it!! I want synths to be called ESX-1 man. Or TR606. I have no idea why this bothers me. Its like the sound that comes out of a microfreak is coming from the wrong place. I dunno.


Out of curiosity, what pushed you towards the Manther? I was looking into it a bit, but didn’t seem that great.
And how can you complain about the name MicroFreak when you bought something called Manther?


I was complaining about both of the names being terrible lol honestly i decided i wanted one because from the demos i just thought it sounded really very nice. It sounds like it has lots of sweet spots too. The sequencer offer so much plus with the delay i think its a decent price. I paid 400 quid and tbh i think it will get cheaper at some point and become really worth it.

I was looking at the Analog Four for the longest time but ive made a conscious decision to move towards having more limitations and it seems like that can do literally everything whilst probably making you work quite hard to get great sounds out of it. Thats my judgement from afar. Thats why i got the manther.


I think most Elektron stuff is like holy crap all the wild stuff it can do but also sometimes simple shit is buried.


Definitely some menu diving. I think the other day, I was trying to import samples into my default project and couldn’t remember how to. Had a serious brain fart. Then I remembered there was a right arrow… . :yum:


I do have to say that at least once you’ve learned one Elektron, you’ve learned them all–once I had the Monomachine under control years later a Machinedrum and an A4 were no sweat. Some how though, I dunno, there is a magic to getting lost in an Elektron but that other half of the time I feel like somehow they’ve managed to make feel like I’m working with a DAW in a box : ( Maybe it is better to say the Elektron feels like a hammer instead of a paintbrush–you need the hammer to make the canvas, but it isn’t the inspiring tool in that process.

I’ve had the TR8S for the better part of the 2019 so far and knowing the everything I’m “missing” in the Digitakt from what RFJ has been telling me about it I feel like the TR8S–for what I want to do–is fucking perfect.

I’ve owned a lot of grooveboxes–almost all the Electribes. People often speak of them as “sketch pads”. I didn’t get it until now with the TR8S. It is brilliant for jumping write in to write a hook/loop/beat whatever you want to call it–the arrangement of the essential elements for house, techno and other dance floor genres.

Fuck it, I don’t even care about using it over USB. Then I have to turn on my DAW lol. I can flip it on, write that hook, record it and get going with the full arrangement in my DAW–I then also have a stripped down playable live version already on a piece of hardware for DJing purposes. Oops, ain’t that a treat!

It has enough cool little extras up its sleeve that let me come up with things I bet I would never have thought of in my DAW–just as an example I’m working on this 808 break beat and assigned the LFO to the fine tune of the cowbell, then also changing the pitch per step with the fine tune. The LFO length is step to three steps. Got this cool af pitch shifting alien cowbell.

It samples–so I’ve got my bass patches in there that I work with most. I’ve got some synth stuff. And vox. With the per step automation sequencing anything at C is a breeze. Two octave range on coarse tune.

It has the sounds from all the Roland x0x drum machines and I really haven’t been straying for that lately.

Roland just struck a really good balance for me and the music their classic machines made with this one.

Anyway, please ignore my random TR8S love letter. And I’m not ripping on Elektron. This is very much a YMMV thing.


Oh no, I’m still fresh to the idea of a drum machine/sampler as hardware. Elektron or anything else. And I read somewhere Guitar Center has them at a discount right now…

I think that is what it is for me. Beyond the midi control or whatever else it can do. It’s a sketch pad at the end of the day.

I’m glad you’re enjoying the TR8S. And really, that’s what it’s about. If you don’t like the bit of gear you got, what’s the point of having it or even using.

I haven’t gone as far as to hook all my stuff up because I can’t pull the trigger on an external mixer or more capable AI yet but I did set my workstation in the corner and opt for a mini launchkey. So at least currently, I have better access to my HW. Which has been nice.

Also, like Auto really likes his MPC Live.


You read that on Elektronauts, you cheat, I’m sure you were there “for research purpose”…

I’m kinda having a second honeymoon with the Live, after I’ve owned since it came out, it feels like the less time I have for music, the more I liked, starting to look into the presets was really nice too.
I still can’t warm up to the internal synths, but they are a very good starting point.


Ive watched a lot of videos of the A4 and i know from my knowledge of the octatrack i could jump on it and be at home straight away. It just does too much. I want more limitations!

PLUS i want more outputs and it only has a stereo pair.

Im turning into boring 90s sounding techno guy and honestly even though it feels right i hate it


Techno guy? Weren’t/aren’t you hip hop guy?


I was but that was a good few years ago. Before i was the hip hop guy i was trying to make oldschool hardcore tracks and also trance at ine point lol in fact i was a dubstep guy for a bit :shushing_face: for a long time i didnt really like anything but i listened to old house music. At work i had my own room so i listened to hours and hours of NTS radio which woke me back up to music quite a bit. I just like the sound of good drums and weird rhythms. I dunno. What gear do you have? Digitakt?


Hey, I somewhat went a wub wub phase as well. Like the drums in dub but don’t really wobble anything at all or attempt screechy stuffs. I just remember a long time ago you were talking about Electribes, I think, and you and Kong sort of starting up the Beat Battle stuff, maybe even threw out the Beat Tapes idea together?

So long ago…

I have a Digitakt, DFAM(which you might like specifically), Blofeld, and a Red Sound Darkstar. I also have a Casio 66-Key Workstation but I only really use it for playing. It does have some sounds I’ve pulled from it but no where recently. I also bought a Korg SQ-1 but haven’t used it in months. And then a few rack items…Multi-fx and a compressor. Which again, I haven’t used in a long time.


I liked the keys emulator one. Some cool Rhodes type sounds, that I really dig in general.
Otherwise I mostly agree.


I’ll jump in with some thoughts on the MPC Live. I’ve only used last weekend but enjoyed so much about it. Haven’t felt this way about a piece of gear in a long time. The main thing is the sound. The machine just sounds ace. I a/b’d it w the digitakt in various ways. Ran the output of the DT to the inputs of the MPC, MPC to DT, played them side by side through a mixer, etc. The MPC just kills the DT sound wise on all fronts. I was trying to record a short jam through Overbridge because I wasn’t to wanting to mess with figuring out the MPC software and I’m lacking a proper interface. But honestly I couldn’t stand how it sounded ran through DT after composing the jam while monitoring through the MPC. Maybe it’s just a stereo vs mono issue, not sure, it just sounded noticeably less than when through the DT. This is obviously something I hadn’t noticed before with the DT. The MPC is just crystal clear, great punchy audio.

I also like the compositional style w the pads much more than I had anticipated. Much quicker than step sequencing actually, I think. It’s also much easier to experiment with various things by tapping them in on the fly as opposed to waiting for a step sequencer to cycle through prior to hearing a phrase.

And the presets are pretty good too. Not all of them, but there’s many very good sounds. Most on line comments I’ve seen, people say they hate them. Some of them have a really mainstream flair to them (which I actually don’t mind) but once you start modifying things you can really make them new and usable.


Most of the drum sounds might be worth the price of admission alone. I don’t know if it’s the samples or just what the MPC has going for it at the output stage but they’re phenomenal. I have countless sample packs and none of them touch the drum sounds on the Live.

Oh and there seems to be nearly nothing the MPC can’t do that I’d want it to so far. Really loving the longer sequence capabilities. Such a great box. Build quality lacks in some areas but, that sound totally makes up for any complaints I’d have there.