The One Box Challenge


Hello Everyone,

Welcome to the One Box Challenge. In brief, the One Box Challenge asks forum members to choose a single “box” to make a song on. The purpose of the challenge is to challenge yourself by using just one groovebox, just one sampler, just one synth to make your song. This won’t be a competition with a winner.

For now, we ask participants to sufficiently limit themselves. Choosing a single groovebox style sampler like an Electribe, Elektron is great. For more powerful samplers like new MPCs and Maschine/Maschine+ figure out some limitations on track count and FX, maybe a single synth for sounds or samples only. For people choosing their DAW we think that using just one or only a few instances of a single VST instrument and very limited mixer/arranger track count with limited fx is a good start. Likewise if one wanted to use a single hardware synth for all sounds you might choose a simple sampler or very limited DAW usage for arrangement. The idea is limits. If we feel we need specific limitations in the future we can have that conversation.

Master bus polishing is encouraged; via DAW or otherwise.

Often there will be a theme to guide the vibe, mood, structure or genre of the songs we make. For now, I want to run a challenge about every eight weeks. Many of us are quite busy and can only snag an a few hours here and there. The challenge here isn’t time but rather gear. Everyone should post their song along with a few words about what you did, how you did it, your inspirations, and stating your own imposed limitations.


So, I think it is a good idea this month to let people just go their own way and concentrate on their limitations/the music.

Should the pattern be 4 week time limit and 4 week cool down?


Seems reasonable to me. I’ll def need 4 weeks to make something happen with all the other stuff I’m constantly in the middle of. haha!

This will be cool, it will give me a good excuse to deep dive into Falcon 2. :slight_smile:


Yea, hard same. I’ve got so much going on. And if I’m going to the trouble, I’d rather end up with something fairly polished if I can.


BTW, Falcon 2 looks amazing. Kind of reminds me of Alchemy.


It’s SICK so far, a fair bit like alchemy but deff seems more powerful. I’m most excited for being able to write scripts for it. I’ve been wanting to work on some generative stuff for some time.

The Hardware Megathread

Cool idea, I’ll definitely try to come up with something. Now the question is: Octatrack or Monomachine? :grinning:

Octatrack almost feels like cheating so I’d probably limit myself to only using one sample for the entire track…


I definitely look forward to hearing what you all come up with.


As this isn’t going to be a competition style challenge, which is good, how about making it a learning and getting out of you comfort zone a bit challenge. Most of us tend to stay around our own genres and styles, which are all different. So collect these from the different participants, write them on slips of paper, put them in a box, and lucky dip them at the beginning of each new challenge.

You also mentioned “minimal” as a topic. This would actually be a good one to start off with, as this by it’s own design, is going to limit everyone to a degree.

Just a couple of thoughts.


@TheTeknomage that’s interesting…you make a very good point.


Yes, good point but how would you go about it? I personally have absolutely no idea what makes a (for example) Psytrance or Deep House or whatever track “good” as I don’t listen to that kind of stuff at all. I probably couldn’t even tell the difference between those things… :upside_down_face:

So instead of a set “genre” there could rather be a more broad theme to keep the contributions a bit cohesive, like “steady 4/4 beat”, “between 80 and 100 bpm” or “no reverb or delay”.


Same as me, when it comes to IDM, DnB,Trap, or anything that ends in Core bar Hardcore House. That’s why it would be the different genres and styles of the people who are participating in the challenges. They are then there to guide those who don’t know.


I totally agree with you. @TheTeknomage

Mkay. :wink:


As far as any of the genre restriction ideas we can provide example tracks and even tutorials for some of tye basic sounds.

All good ideas. For the this first one I think.we are going to forgo any kinda of theme or extra rules. But feel free to keep spitballing.


To be frank, I have zero interest in adding themes or genres to this otherwise it would just turn into a hardware version of the beat battles.


Agreed - the less restrictions, the better.


Im down for ditching that entirely.


This is what I have so far, just a pattern, but a solid start I think…


Oh my. I hear a chord!

Curious to see where you take it. I like the dubby feel.


I’m also down for ditching it. I feel like we can set rules for ourselves if we so desire on our own. I think the whole concept is already a good enough challenge and exercise as is.