Elektron Syntakt (and other grooveboxes) advice

The Jamuary thread has got me interested in getting a groovebox type device to play around with knocking up synth based tracks. Really like the look of the Syntakt, both in terms of sound and just what a nice looking bit of kit it is.

I don’t have any hardware or much experience with doing electronic music, but I can play and read music so I am not starting from nothing. I should be ok with the technical side of it (up to a point, I realise synths can get really complicated).

Am I going over the top if I dive straight in and get a Syntakt? I have a 10% code for Bax so I can get one for about £630.

I realise that I am probably better advised use a DAW on my Mac or iPad, but I pretty much know I would never use those, whereas an all-in-one box with physical knobs to twiddle looks more fun.

Or is a Model:Cycles a better place to start? Or any other boxes that might be a better bet? I did see the Novation Circuit Tracks but I think I would want a screen.

Thank you for starting this thread.

I have been on the verge of getting something like this for years and am close to just doing it korg volca and adding to the setup as I get used to each bit. But I’m still a giant shrug about where to begin. BITT will be invaluable here if he has time to do this again :smiley:


If I could afford a Syntakt I’d get one for sure, they look v cool
A budget (kind of) substitute might be a Korg Electribe. I’ve not used the current generation ones but love the workflow of the old 90s models, and still use them a lot
Volcas are fun and pretty good on a budget, but a bit too fiddly for my liking


That’s a great price - paid a lot more for my Syntakt

The sequencers on the Elektron boxes have a bit of a steep learning curve, and the manuals are a bit dry and light on the “why” as to what everything is for - but there is loads of YouTube content out there to help

Digitone, Digitakt and Syntakt are all great as standalone boxes but also work really well as the hub of a bigger setup , sequencing other hardware etc


Have gone for it an ordered a Syntakt. They only had 1 (B-stock) one left in stock and I was thinking it might sell so I just went for it rather than wait 7 weeks for new stock to come in. Should be here on Tuesday. Looking forward to having a play.


Worth checking if you’ve got the latest firmware when you get it - song mode and some extra machines have been added recently

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Yeah, will definitely do that. Song Mode in the new firmware was one of the things that finally convinced me to go for it having watched some videos about the new firmware features earlier.

I was so pleased to get it finally - I had convinced myself it was never coming and then one day there it was :grinning:. It’s a massive gap filled

I really hope they add a compressor like the one on the Digitakt to the Syntakt (and the digitone) as that’s super handy too

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I’m sure you’ve probably encountered this while doing your research, but Loopop is the best for tutorials IMO:

I tend to give his stuff a watch a couple of times as I learn a bit of gear.


That looks perfect, thanks. Will definitely give that a watch.

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No worries! Looooooong video but worth dipping in and out while you get to grips with it I’d say.

Isn’t Cycles an FM synth groovebox style?

I have the first Octatrack. Bought it a couple of months ago. The interface is like navigating blindfolded through a maze. Luckily I’m friends with one of the guys who created it and wrote the manual. :smiley:

I actually only used it as an 8 channel looper, which is really cool live. Bought it with the intention of using it for backing tracks, but haven’t gotten around to that yet.

Earlier I had the Korg ESX sampler, which is really hands on, but lacks sufficient memory to be used for backing tracks. If you’re in it for the grooving, I can recommend that, though it’s pretty outdated and may colour your sound slightly.

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How is life with the Syntakt. Got a digitakt similar time to you and absolutely love the thing

I have only used it a couple of times if I am honest. Had great fun just making noises and fiddling with the sounds but I need to set myself aside a couple of blocks of time to really get into it.

It is a lovely bit of - really well built and satisfying to use.