Elektron Machinedrum SPS-1
Elektron Machinedrum SPS-1

Machinedrum SPS-1, Drum Machine from Elektron in the Machinedrum series.

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All user reviews of 5/5 for the Elektron Machinedrum SPS-1

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FP User10/31/2008

FP User's review

Elektron Machinedrum SPS-1
The design is almost flawless...I say almost because it does have one glitch...I have to constantly reload whatever kit i am using because some of the sounds change when I am using midi(slave editing my sequences from my rm1x) BUT..not only can you use the machinedrum as a slave,but you can also trigger individual patterns individually AT THE SAME TIME! using the MD internal sequencer and paremeter locks)..killer feature..

Price paid: 1000 USD


Hell yeah! super easy xox interface.i was up and running immediatly...also I have had this unit for over a year and i am still discovering sounds i didnt even know where there.


Warning! This is definitly a digital drum machine...some of the basic sounds are a little "tinny" and a little bit thin..however the tweekability and the variety of sounds you can make more than makes up for it.if you are still set on using an analog drum machine,you would have to buy a whole rack of effects to do what this thing does...Reverb,delay,distortion,compression...this thing does it all...and the EXT inputs are awesome..I am still going to buy a Tr-909,but I will definitly keep the machinedrum.


Rock solid machine.played several gigs with it.the only problem i had is because i live in the desert and its super dusty.the machine just locked up one day.it wouldnt even load the OS..so naturally i took it apart.all i did was blow a bunch of dust out of it with a can of compressed air and its worked fine since.I even uploaded the latest OS.

All around a super piece of gear.Used by Roonan,Autechre and 440hz.If you want glitchy sounds and you dont want to use a laptop then this is the way to go! the timing and resolution is superb. esp. if you are using the MD's internal sequencer and syncing up.

Originally posted on FutureProducers.com
Posted by: Unknown ( 6-, 2005)
FP User10/31/2008

FP User's review

Elektron Machinedrum SPS-1
The Machinedrum is 16 multitimbral. There are 16 tracks that form a Pattern. Each track can use a single 'machine'. Configurations of these machines form a Kit. Kits are saved independently of Patterns. Patterns need not be saved as they are 'hot' in the sense that when changes are made, such as adding new steps or making a pattern lock, they are entered real-time. For this reason it is often a good idea to copy and paste your kits as your work on them. The pads are not velocity sensitive. Some people think this isn't good, but it is suitable to the functions of the Machinedrum. Creating volume and timbral changes is what Accent and the Parameter Locks are for. If you want live synthetic drums you can hook up a drum-pad to the Machinedrum. The OS can be updated through MIDI. Many new functional features have been incorporated into the Machinedrum since its inception. Even new machines have been added or improved. It has MIDI in/out/thru. Live performers will be happy to note that the Machinedrum will control external synths sending up to 3 individual notes per step. This is made possible by the MID machine - a great feature for programming basses, leads, and stabs that are in "groove" with the Machinedrum's precise MIDI timing and programmable Shuffles. Routing capabilities for the Machinedrum are flexible. A single sound could be bussed out of an individual output, back into an input, filtered and modulated, then sent out again out of another individual output. Such patching ability will allow you to set up your own insert FX send and return. The main stereo outputs can be configured to act as individual. The ability to define 8 Global settings will allow you to quickly load different sync, MIDI, and control maps for different environments. The kind programmers at Elektron knew you would be taking the Machinedrum on the road and to all your friends studios. It's packed with features and now with improvements. Elektron have listened to their fanatical fanbase and have incorporated requests (such as the ability to change a pattern on the fly with one hand so your other hand can still tweak parameters).

Price paid

$1100 USD


OS v1.12 I've owned the Machinedrum for a few months now. It is by far the most user-friendly piece of kit I have ever owned. All menus and knob controls are well integrated and are easy to access. The Machinedrum has two modes of operation - Classic and Extended. In Classic mode the sequencer merely triggers corresponding sounds from various kits. I use Extended, which allows for control changes and pattern locks to be implemented. The Sequencer is straight forward and can be used in Step mode, or Real-time record. The best thing is you can record and save on the fly. The Machinedrum is always "live"! Editing patches is simple and musical. Once you have constructed a general kit sound and have saved it (to one of the 64 kit banks) you can then proceed to use the Machinedrum's Pattern Lock feature to sculpt individual steps, radically changing the sounds in the process. The manual is good and is recommended to read to understand some of the finer points. For instance, when the Rec button is active and you use Function-Copy it will copy parameters from your active menu (LFO settings, machine, kit, etc) or will copy a single track (including the machine assigned to it and all the parameter locks) if there isn't an active menu. Other things are intuitively figured out on your own (for instance copying a single track in Classic mode, pasting it, then switching back to Extended will only copy the steps and not the machine or parameter locks). I have used complicated and powerful interfaces before (FS1R, ASR10) and simple ones (Roland-groove series). I appreciate a well designed OS and the Machinedrum is among the best. It will never get in the way of your music making, rather it will enhance it.

When I first recieved my Machinedrum, there was some "bleeding" on the main output (and headphone output). I returned the Machinedrum to Elektron and it was promptly fixed. It has only crashed once, and that seems to be a very rare occurence among Machinedrums indeed (I was trying to copy a Global setting, an unlikely procedure). As the OS is updated I'm positive that any remaining bugs will be ironed out. It is built very well. Brushed aluminum with a good weight to it. The Knobs are plastic, too bad they aren't metal. The Machinedrum could be used as a defensive weapon to ward off mesmorized rave kidz if the need arises.


Well this part I could go on forever about. Simply put I feel that this a very responsive percussion synthesizer. The sounds that the Machinedrum can make are constantly being discovered. In the right hands, the Machinedrum can create moving melodic and textured rhythms that are not typical of static samples. If Kraftwerk's ManMachine exists - this is it. Funky-robo beats at their finest! The synthesis consists of 4 primary synthesis types: TRX - analog emulation EFM - frequency modulation E12 - samples in memory (do not be fooled, these samples are fodder for sample start, retriggers, and LFO modulation) PI - Physically informed synthesis for acoustic sounds. Also: GND - provides SIN, pulse and noise waves MID - for external MIDI control. The Machinedrum has good EQ and filter FX. The Reverb effect isn't a Lexicon but is of decent quality and has charisma. Unfortunately, I find the distortion a bit weak though it remains effective on bassdrums and basslines. Some of the machines (such as the new 909-ish Bassdrum 2 from the TRX synth) has it's own distortion parameters that are more effective. The ADCs and DACs are absolutely pristine. They are "prosumer" grade, Crystal 24 bit 96kHz in an analogue subsystem. Low crosstalk Burr&Brown amplifiers. Most synths do not have this level of fidelity. There is no option for digital or S/PDIF out but isn't missed. The Machinedrum is essential for all electronic music genres and well suited for experimental music of any genre. Even with real-world percussion the Machinedrum is at home.


The Machinedrum is hooked up intravenously via a MIDI cord to my cerebral cortex. I would die if it were stolen! I wish it had sampling and even higher step resolution. Before I had the Machinedrum I fiddled with soft-samplers trying to get the right percussion sound. I love samplers but the Machinedrum has such a great interface and character that it begs you to play it. I have a modified camera case with room to pack a lunch that I store it in. I bought it instead of a laptop as I realized at the end of the day, sometimes I just want to hammer out a good groove and have fun. Highly recommended.

Originally posted on FutureProducers.com
Posted by: Unknown (January 1-, 2002)
FP User10/31/2008

FP User's review

Elektron Machinedrum SPS-1
Big list of features. I just wish sample-option would be cheaper..


Fairly easy to use. At first there was quite much trying and testing things out, there is so much to edit.

It's build very well. I haven't find any falws yet.


Fairly impressive sounds. I couldn't imagine it as only source for drum sounds.


As I said, I couldn't think it as only source for drums. That's because of my style and taste. Still it has added great things to my music (you can check my songs from www.download.com/deadzone).

Originally posted on FutureProducers.com
Posted by: deadzone (January 0-, 2005)
MGR/Sr. M01/22/2004

MGR/Sr. M's review"Elektron Machinedrum"

Elektron Machinedrum SPS-1
Paid $1150US
Store: novamusik.com
As a Techno producer looking for futuristic, high-end percussion sounds, the Machinedrum, loaded with effects, filters, LFOs, a kick ass equalizer and even a compressor (not to mention the best sequencer I've had so far), offered all I was looking for.

1- If you can dream it, you can make it: From cold,electro type percussion, to warm, deep tribal sounds and everything in between (including some filtered pads, LFO'd bass lines and more), the possibilities are endless. You can say anything you want about your 909s, 808s, JoMox, whatever, I've played with them all... NOTHING compares to a Machinedrum as a stand alone unit.
2- Sequencer heaven: When I made the concious desicion to make electronic music using machines, rather than a computer, I decided everything I bought would have a sequencer of some sort. Having said that, the sequencer in the Machinedrum is my favorite. 16 tracks for either internal sounds, external gear, and any combination in between thanks to ingenious "midi machines" that convert tracks into controllers that go beyond simple note imput sequencing to controlling effects, filtering BY NOTE (up to 64 different parameters per note, if not mistaken).
3- Better built than Angelina Jolie.

My one little qualm with the machine is the distortion. It's not as crunchy as I would like (in general the sound of the Machinedrum is rather clean, and you can get dirtier stuff, but it would be nice if the distortion were a lot more..."distorting".
Other than that, I'm really the wrong person if you're looking for somebody to diss' this baby.

Like a Volvo.

If you are a freak for techno, percussion and verything cool, you are a fan of the Machinedrum . If my machinedrum were lost, I would cry and buy 2 more.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com

tcharps's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" The ball!!!"

Elektron Machinedrum SPS-1
6 separate audio track and 3 midi (in, out and thru) with 5 effects per track!
all this coupled with Derierre effects processors and is well mumuse!


when I first got it, I had to take 30 minutes to learn to use me!
Editing the sounds is so simple that even a kid of 5 years could use the fingers in the nose!
for the effects as there's nothing simpler: one click, two knobs to turn and forward! as mentioned above with effect processors it becomes a monster! (Separate outputs y 'it real)


to which sound is a choice and a willingness repulpable!
I used to techno! at first it's a drum machine and the end was a pure analog synth!
for tech is the TOP!


I use it for 3 years and I know I'm not part with it!
I mpc 2500 a couple and a North rack and forward!
on the other hand never out in the woods on a generator or so with a big inverter and having an electrical installation nickel in nickel. (Not cool off the microphones, and it supports not bug in all directions)
the price today OCCAZ I rather twice That a board has a guy who wants to have a good drum machine to make tek!
You do again this choice? YES without hesitation.

C13303's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Elektron Machinedrum SPS-1
I'll just some details because the list is too long!

Everything is relatively top, here are two that I made a very intensive use, it's simple, it has become an extension of myself. THE bar studio, very versatile for aficionados of synthesized sounds. Minimal electro, acid house, hardcore industrial, beat question, she stands to death.

It is a machine which should please those who like a bit more complex their rhythm. Side tweaking, I am particularly a fan of the custom step by step (each step can be fully parameterized uniquely! It is in synthesis, effects ..) not to mention the LFO to swing over, this machine is completely unique to my knowledge, only one computer rivals such potential crazy! I see it as a futuristic robot, with a big pure sound and solid.

An almost perfect néobar .. if that was its incorporation of shit. Very nice metal and red screen, like a lot. But the knobs, name names .. it's a Rolls engine in a Lada plastic rotten! Is the m *********!


Top, intuitive, a true happiness except the knobs are pourraves. So, the big big flaw of this machine.
In fact I'm pretty disappointed, unlike Japanese indestructible, this bar is expensive each time I go out to play - not like it damp heat. It can even make it bugger. I ended up pots and I fart a good galley to fix it. SO! I'd say it's a machine that is made to stay in the studio.

Do not abuse and it can last a lifetime! It's not bad quality but it is frankly not sturdy (you can feel the fragility alone turning knobs)


Honest, pure, in a kind of perfect digital theory, yes, the sound is cold and metallic and basically it's not what I look - that said, there are so many possibilities that quickly finds what you want .
It is true that the integrated filter is not tip top, it means very digital. A small analog filter inside, like the old Roland, would have made a monster beauty! That said, there is nothing to add yourself to the desired output instruments (kick, toms, snare). And then, power is combined with the heat! This is my personal little recipe ...

So it is quite special and ready for experiments. Autechre fans (I am) can enjoy with it.


It is expensive but it is understandable. I hesitate to buy me a new one (because mine is damaged), and I would not take the sampler (UW) with as it stands like this, although it should be interesting to put the samples in all its effects.

Used regularly for 2 years, I remain completely in love.

leonski's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Elektron Machinedrum SPS-1
Well I can not believe the connection.
spontaneity of a sequencer at the top and at the same time obvious to a BAR.
The Bécanne seems unstoppable in its robust and compact design.


Very easy to use. For tout.Rapide, efficient, logical.


Unlike what I read below, the sounds are not that cold, just turn the right button ...
BAR is the big gap between the electrominimale German (I do not like) and very big sound. She can do anything.
Even (and especially) of enormous kicks (it's true some stopping at the presets have not included).
I see no inconveniant such use of the English or the deep break.


Enormous, become indispensable to me.
Before, I had a jomox xbase 09 who had a lot deu.

Since I, the rhythm became an asset in my music. (House / deephouse)

I concede, however, which is expensive.

Cid2Nice's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Elektron Machinedrum SPS-1
- Classic Trio twelve o'clock (in / out / thru) + a pair and 4 Stereo outputs additionnal.
- Sounds are rows into several families: TRX (rappproche is the roland TR, but not the mules, it is not the purpose of the machine as it is numrique, nothing see ...), E12 (idem, is close to the Emu SP12/1200 without imitating them), EFM (synthetic percussion) and PI (modlisation acoustic). We can also use the tracks in MIDI tracks (this is configured as a sound, we chose to drive on which channel the track instead of choosing a tone). Also three waveforms: sine, pulse (a square made with the hard phases of positive and ngatives is adjustable) and noise.
- Level effects, we must distinguish the effects available only on the main exit: compressor, reverb, delay and EQ 2 band. I do not use, I have an external processor. Otherwise, on each track there is a distortion, a bit rducer, a filter and an EQ band.
- The squenceur dconcertant is easy. His strength: the possibility to block a paramtres not particularly.

Only BMOL, a pattern can not excder two measures (circumvented with Song mode).

I would put 10 even when both the sound design possibilities perceived (and others) are great. Personally, I spend hours tweaking a rgal.


- Extremely simple configuration, visual trs.
- The edition sounds simple, it ncessite all of the same list of sounds paramtres each port dpart hand, the time to know them all, otherwise, c ' is a function button for the screen.
- The manual is quite clear and sufficient, if not errors of translation into francs. Nothing dramatic, you understand what am talking about.


- The sound is kind, I should have done (hardtek, tribe). Hardcore looking for big potatoes will love.
- Sounds are not ralistes is the numrique, and means. Trs not adjust the jungle and all the style that uses sound practitioner. For these types the one he probably prfrera sampler.
- I do not use the effects of the machines.
- For expression, particularly squenceur blockages paramtres open large possibilities. But indeed, it is not possible to DCAL sounds fine (well, some have the Settings, but not all).
- I like the sound of this machine, it knows how many buggers.


- I use it for a year.
- I love Lock Settings, express the sound that is offered but not least: I Do not press "stop". We can change everything as it rotates, including change from the "song" "pattern".
- I started with the good old MC 303 (I miss her, sisi I assure you), I continue with the 505, I state as the Korg Electribe (ER1 and EMX), the SPS1 is diffrent (it's a real bar, not a groove of course).
- Just when CHRE same, but it seems indestructible at the chassis, it's tolle. I say not as much on the knobs, but it is currently.
- I feel comfortable again, if I have not sold after a year is that I like it (in principle, has not last as long if I was not like ^ ^ ).

DEFINITIONS, this machine 10/10.

jamesdo's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Elektron Machinedrum SPS-1
Anyone know if the critics Liser below, or visit the site of elektron.


The most ergonomic machine that I used to date. A real gem. Read the manual once to get an overview of the possibilities. Then the manual serves as a reference for the characteristics of the machines (the generator). Then very quickly it was her information in mind and hop, it gets insane. this groove very quickly and it shakes hard.
The manual is very well done. He remains the standard English, but the French translation be good enough.
A little bit of a shame to have a master reverb. Hard to have a reverb that works well on kick and snare as well as on bleep or other strange noise.
The edition is of sound is very simple and easy to understand. There is just the compressor that requires a little practice to get something to correct.


I make electro, IDM, teak, this machine is made for that. Starting from the basic, you can quickly sounds very personal. The kick is a real massacre. Solid, well now.
RELAL The term does not apply to this machine. You can spend its very classic (TRX series or IP), but by seeking out the settings, we move quickly into another dimension.
The FX are good quality except distoristion which is not very convincing (it goes for a kick). I use a Sherman Filterbank for a distortion that has more potential. Given the number of output, it is very easy to use external FX.
I am a machine iconditionnelle GND (impulse, noise, sinus) in electro, coupled with the famous parameter lock function is excellent.
The Parameter Lock can be sequenced parameter changes in a pattern. With the slide, you can vary a parameter between two points. For example a closed low-pass filter on the last time a pattern. it gives the possibility to make very advanced rhythmic.
A small defect in the sequencer, we do not have a pattern of not more than 32 (or so you have to loop two pattern which pushes the limit to 64 steps).
Live, you can change everything, the OS is stable is the worst machine supports change without flinching.


I use it now for two months. She also used to sequence a sidstation (a perfect couple) and Reason on my laptop.
I love: ergonomics, sound, downsampling
I like least: a single master reverb, distortion a little cheap
I just try the Korg and the RS7000. If one compares only the synthesis of percussion, the MD is excellent. Sampler with a + next to a synth or two ... and go for great live.
FLUKS aka MUNZUK09/02/2004

FLUKS aka MUNZUK's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Elektron Machinedrum SPS-1
I will not return to the technical specifications dj evokes.
The strengths highlighted with dj, I'll rather tell you about the little things that leave DSIR (yes, I find ;-)

Section rverbe really trs cheap, it sounds trsmtallique, cold and is assignable to the entire kit, c - d that when the RULES for the SPECIFICATIONS, it should forcment not another type of son.Cependant, I do not keep him in rigor, as most of the BAR of this type have no effect at all and spares with 6 outputs, y 'a way to do it!

The squenceur TR is so easy to use, but personally, the "swing" is not intuitive, although relatively forcment interresting because not assignable to each individual, and you will not find the groove of the MPC! !
And a little more would not t not luxury, not a 32 because when you turn pattern 180 bpm is not much.
Note even if it is possible to run multiple loop pattern.
The single player mode is also default, that's a shame.


The use is very intuitive, the manual is just know abrgs The definition of terms for the rest it's going to rev quickly ... This tight deadlines that I d still covers! (I've had one month).
Everything is simple, even the midi and audio configuration of the machine that can s'avrer consuming on some machines. In addition it offers 6 memory slots for 6 DIFFERENT config diffrent, cgnial! No need to change everything when you take him to a friend or to move from studio to live act!
For each kit, you can set the equalizer and the compressor, but I find that the compressor is not my taste forcment indipensable and not very intuitive unless you have a good grounding in DJ techniques sound.


Personally, this machine is made for the electro ... hardtek or no middle ground! For the electro because you can go far in the creation of sounds, and the hardtek because this machine is really double trs e out enormous bass, korg in the closet and sisters ...
Being given that its sounds are very synthetic, it is my opinion not for the music samples as the basis of hip-hop or drum'n'bass, more importantly I think the snare drum sounds really miss the dynamic, they smack too.
That said, complment an MPC, you reach the peak of the rhythmic crtion!


I use it for one month, having had a very APRS-707, a Korg ER-1 and MPC 2000XL.
At the possibility of inception, it is incomparable, and the live is really the machine possder because you can change any time absloument rels, unlike the MPC.
If I had to buy it back, I would do without hsiter, despite its price a little high ...
Are strong point of his original sound, I think is also its weak point, because this machine is a need to know bte imptueuse tame!