It may lack every feature of the Octatrack or the digital drum workflows of Machinedrum. (At least that’s what some of you have told us – attached to your gear, perhaps?) But I’m betting for many, Analog Rytm’s combination of dedicated analog architecture and sample support is attracting some interest as a balanced solution for hardware drum machine design.

And now we know roughly when we’re getting it. Analog Rytm is due Q1 2014, with “preliminary” price at US$1549/€1489.

And we know a bit more about the architecture.

The sample engine is “customizable” and “highly bendable” and can be layered with analog sounds.

There are eight digitally-controlled analog voices, with dedicated circuit designs for classes of sounds.

And for those of you complaining that these boxes just produce the same music over and over again, Elektron promises you can push “rhythms to extremes” (whatever that means). There’s also some interesting timbral potential here, with an analog multimode filter and analog distortion circuit per-voice, plus dedicated analog compressor and distortion on the master voice and effects sends.

8 drum voices, each with: Specialized analog percussion sound generator, sample playback, analog multimode filter and analog distortion.
12 velocity & pressure sensitive pads
Analog master compressor & distortion
Expressive FX section
World class Elektron step sequencer
Chromatic, Performance, and Scene modes
Performance oriented beat control
Individual voice outputs

Let’s look at pictures, then. Click to embiggen.

Analog-Rytm-By-Elektron-Side-Front-Angle-View-1 2





  • Nagasaki Nightrider

    Could you elaborate on how you arrived at this statement?

    “It may lack the depth of the Octatrack or the digital drum workflows of Machinedrum”

    The feature list is sufficiently general enough that, as a longtime Machinedrum user, I couldn’t say how it will compare. I can’t imagine it being much less robust. Surely, it will have at least one LFO per voice, probably more. The sequencer should incorporate things available on the Octatrack or Analog Four, like variable pattern length per channel. I do suspect that the sample size and options for manipulation will be less than what the Octa offers.

    • Peter Kirn

      Heh, well, I just tweaked that wording because I feel *exactly* as you do. But yes, my understanding is that the architecture is a little more extensive on the Octatrack (sample manipulation, details of the architecture). It was Octatrack users who chimed in with this disappointment, but I tend to agree more with you than them. We’ll get specifics.

    • Bruno Afonso

      You can’t really think of it as an independent “sample-mangling” voice. The sampling here is really geared at overlaying with the analog sounds. Of course you can mute the analog voice but… basically, you’ll get simple sample manipulation such as pitch, sample cutt-off. It then goes through the same filter as the analog voice, so it gets triggered at the same time as analog voice. I’m not even sure there is a separate LFO for the sampling voice.

      This machine will be immediate and straightforward. This is a modern analog drum machine, capitalizing on the goodness of digital. They even say this digital brain will be able to fully flesh out more the analog voices they have there.

      It’s a big unknown as to how capable each voice is. The good thing is that custom tayloring each voice to a sound you can pack 8 voices for 1550. The bad is that each voice is limited. This downside is Tempest’s great upside. There are 6 fully fleshed out analog voices. Tempest’s sample usage is limited to the factory ones but we don’t know how much sample size you can put in the Rytm. Uploading samples via midi dump brings us back to 2000s MD, which is not a fun way of managing samples… I actually prefer to record samples on the MD to get the 12-bit goodness, but here, we don’t have that option. And nobody asked how much sample memory there is, which I am surprised about. :-)

      It remains to be seen how much better Rytm will be at making analog drums vs A4. :-) There are some great A4 drum sets out there that will likely not be terrible in comparison.

  • Feelthefill

    Best dramachine ever

  • Henry

    1500 instead of 1800 (for the Tempest), 8 instead of 6 voices (as in Tempest) – now the only thing that would really be interesting to know is: Can you use that “world class” sequencer to run external synths, because that is – for me – *the* shortcoming on the Tempest. Sampling? Well, yeah, but I don’t mind. The waveforms on the 4 oscillators per voice on the Tempest can keep you quite busy for a while…

    • jbomb

      check out the video on sonic state at 3:45 for more sequencer info

    • TROS

      No word on whether they’ve included an external sequencer.

      I would hope so but I don’t see a button labeled “midi”like you would
      see on Octatrack or MonoMachine.

    • Geissler

      There’s no external sequencer, according to the guy demoing it at NAMM. This is a real shame, you’ve got that lovely elektron sequencer there but no way no make it talk to anything but the onboard analog voices. Seems like as a ‘brain’ of your studio, the Machinedrum is still a better choice.

    • Henry

      Well, that’s what they’re selling us the Octatrack for, apparently…

    • Geissler

      I know, it’s just an arbitrary distinction that they’ve made to ensure maximum sales. Why restrict external sequencing to their other gear? All they’ll achieve is pushing potential buyers of the RYTM to find used Machinedrums on eBay for half the price.

    • Henry

      Naah, the Machinedrum has other “shortcomings” instead, so it is not really comparable (no analog, no pads…) But yes, it feels a bit arbitrary at times. On the other hand, from a product portfolio aspect, it does make sense that not all products can do everything.

  • Feelthefill

    It sums up the best of different worlds, analog synthesis, digital sampling and advanced sequencing.
    Th best dramachine right there.. You can do a remix of darkside of the moon only using tuned cat samples on an arpeggiator.. Octatrack and Machinedrum has less cats imho 😉

  • goerserr

    microtime but still no microtune :(( ;))

  • Tim Checkley

    Interested to know more about the dedicated analogue circuits … are we talking t-bridge oscillators for the kick drum?

    • Peter Kirn

      Yeah, lots of missing details. I’m going to let them get back to Sweden and then we’ll talk!

  • Jesse Jensen

    there is ZERO reason for me to want this, but it looks sexy.

  • Dan Findlay

    Take my money.

  • drumssss

    One thing that I especially like about this and Elektron in general is that they tend to give a lot of people (especially on other forums) what they want. This is pretty close giving seemingly pretty long sample time along with the ability to really give good mixes on overdubbing or adding body to the analogue voices.

    The things that are missing on the tempest (sample support especially). I am looking forward to real details on the voices though, but this is looking pretty great for a modern drum machine that can double as mpc if you really want it to.

  • oh/ex/oh

    I love Elektron machines but that price! C’mon – why does Europe have to pay €350 more than the USA.

    • Matt Avent

      it’s called VAT…

    • oh/ex/oh

      Ok, if that $ price is pre-sales tax and the € price includes VAT then fair dos. Screw The Man instead 😉

    • Matt Avent

      well they’re outside the EU so they’ll pay import duty, the same as us brits pay if we buy ‘cheap’ from the states. annoyingly our import duty is 22.5% so more than VAT, whereas theirs is probably a lot lower… :(

    • Henry

      Errr, Sweden is part of the EU… They just don’t share the Euro, but keep their Swedish Kroner instead – just like Denmark and Norway (while the latter are indeed not in the EU).

    • Matt Avent

      we were talking about the USA being outside of the EU, not Sweden…

    • Henry

      My bad. Obviously, being a German living in Denmark, I forgot to take off my European glasses before following this conversation…

    • Peter Kirn

      Right, correct. Swedish manufacturing means that there’s no import duty on Elektron to EU customers.

      But they still have to charge VAT. And the US doesn’t charge a 3.7% import duty, on top of it. And the US doesn’t charge VAT. (sales tax, but then sales tax is state-by-state and is assessed only *after* list price / street price, whereas European numbers include this)

      And they may still wind up doing currency conversions, because any Chinese-bought components (which even on a “Swedish” synth are probably a few) are purchased in USD, so having your EUR isn’t as useful.

      Maybe this should be a blog post, addressed to my fellow European residents. :)

    • Peter Kirn

      On the upside, in Europe, we have working trains. 😉

    • Henry

      It is definitely an ongoing theme in many a comment, and it is definitely also difficult to understand for many people. I, myself, have completely stopped even contemplating about purchasing any gear directly from the US and get it sent to Denmark (where I currently live). The import tax is so ridiculous that it completely makes up for the price difference to the added Danish (or any other European) VAT – plus shipping is of course much more expensive from US to Denmark than – say – Germany. And then, no hassle, if anything goes wrong, because you’ve got the store right around the corner.

      The only reason for someone in Europe to purchase any instrument outside Europe would be that it would simply not be available here. I did that several years ago with a lefthand model (!) of my beloved Fender Jazzmaster in sunburst…