The Elektronauts Community

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Elektron (the Swedish company behind the A4, the Machinedrum and many other great instruments) has officially announced the imminent availability of the Elektronauts Community.

Currently the Elektron user community is being served by a user-managed community at http://elektron-users.com, but with the launch of Elektron’s own community the site will be retired according to posts here.

The Elektronaut community has been eagerly anticipated by Elektron users for over 16 months, but other projects (i.e. the A4) taking priority has led to delays in the actual release.

The new community is rumored to open it’s doors on September 9.

Update: As expected the community is now (as of 9/9) open.

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Elektron Machinedrum has Arrived!

I have written about my ongoing work to design a pair of really nice side panels for my Elektron gear (here, here, here). I’ve also mentioned that I’m designing the panels to hold up to 2 machines, but at the moment I only own one (the Analog Four).

Well, rejoice as that has changed as of today. This afternoon my brand new Machinedrum (SPS-1 UW+ MKII) was delivered in the mail.

I placed the order yesterday around noon and in less than 24h the package was delivered by the Japanese postal service. Amazing speed! Below are some pictures of the machine and how it fits with the prototype panels I made.

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The good folks at Power Rec threw in a pair of BD headphones, an Elektron t-shirt and a bunch of stickers as well :). Who can resist that?

manualSince I bought it in Japan I got the Japanese manual :). Good thing I can read Japanese!

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Set up in the prototype panels I made. The dimensions and screw holes are exactly the same as on the Analog Four.

I will post some tracks and more info once the dust settles around here…

Echigoya, another synth power-spot in Tokyo

In January this year I presented the FiveG store in Harajuku, Tokyo, but the city is home to many other fantastic gems for synth heads. Today I’ll post some pictures from the Echigoya Music (えちごやミュージック) store in Shibuya.

Along with FiveG, I would list Echigoya as probably one of the best spots in Tokyo to go searching for vintage or just used synthesizers and other studio gear. It’s a small shop but filled floor to ceiling with some really fantastic gear. Prices are reasonable too, and the manager is more than happy to assist with shipping to just about any region of the world.

To get to this store you get off at the Shibuya station and walk towards Harajuku along the JR (Yamanote) line tracks. You’ll bump into Tower Records on your right side.

TowerRecords

Echigoya will be across the street.

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You have to take the elevator up to the 9th floor.

EchigoyaElevator

Inside you’ll find keyboards, synth modules, rack gear, accessories and tons of other gear.

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Look at that, a used Korg Volca Beats makes a surprise appearance. I would have bought it but my mind is set on a Elektron Machinedrum now…

E_VolcaBeats

Lots and lots of gear.

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If I had the means I would have picked up a SEM or two…

E_SEMmodules

Lot’s of MPC goodness. With some custom skins too…

E_MPCs

On a side note, when I was walking back to Harajuku I spotted this charming sign near the Yoyogi park:

Sign

It basically says that all unauthorized live music performances using amps are forbidden in the park. The background is most likely that this has traditionally been one of the most popular spots for amateur bands and performers to do impromptu shows. Thus, today the area was entirely devoid of any music and mostly desolated. Sad to see such a nice ‘tradition’ go, but I’m sure they will find other spots across the city.

Check out the Echigoya Music website here!

Elektron Side Cheeks / Panels Part 4

Today I had my third meeting at the studio building my Elektron side panels! I got a call in the afternoon that the actual designs / plans were ready for inspection so S and I drove down right away to check them out.

DSC01186Using the actual Analog Four to verify the angles, spacings and other details we went over the designs and sketches. I made one alteration, adding angles to the front cut-outs, which the carpenter seemed very happy with. Other than that his plans matched exactly what I had in mind.

Next the actual ‘production’ will start and in about 2-3 weeks I should be able to show you the actual results. Needless to say I’m really excited about this project and I can’t wait to see what the final panels will looks like.

More updates to follow.

Problems with Sound Locks on the Analog Four

While I intend to invest in a Machinedrum from Elektron at some point in the (hopefully near) future, at the moment I’m restricted to only the Analog Four for song production.

# I’m traveling so I do not have access to my full studio. Yep, I miss my modular…

Because of this predicament I have been learning a lot about the A4, and I’m getting really impressed by its feature set. Restricting myself like this has also proven to be a very exciting way to work, but that’s for another post.

Anyway, when you are limited in the number of ‘voices’ and instruments at hand, the Sound Locks of the Analog 4 can be a real killer feature. Essentially it allows you to ‘lock’ a sound to a particular step (or ‘trig’ in the Elektron parlance) in the sequencer. Thus you can use just one of the A4 sequencer tracks to play back for example a Bass Drum, Snare and HiHat, instead of using 3 tracks. Make sense?

However, while this works great for synthesizer lead patches and many other types of sounds, I’ve run into an interesting issue with one of the Bass Drum presets.

The following video actually explains it better than I can with words:

Essentially locking the Bass Drum with any other sound on the same track causes the ‘volume’ of the BD to drop sharply as soon as the other sound plays, only to slowly come back up over time. If patch 2 is continuously triggering on the same track the Bass Drum will never return to audible lands. Note that this behavior only occurs with certain kicks.

There is also a thread on the Elektron forum discussing the same phenomenon. Essentially it would appear to related to the filter, and an effect of kicks constructed by self-oscillating it. Here’s a secondary thread that provides more info and a few other angles.

I will continue to research this but if you have run into this problem, found solutions or have any thoughts on plausible causes please share in the comments!