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|Synthesis type||Virtual analog Subtractive|
|Keyboard||37-key Velocity Aftertouch|
|Left-hand control||8× Rotaries
Joystick (SFX-6 only)
The Elektron Monomachine is a synthesizer and music sequencer by Elektron. The Monomachine is available as SFX-60 model, which is a desktop sound module, and was available as the SFX-6 model, which has a keyboard and a joystick controller. During the last quarter of 2007 Elektron released the SFX-60 MkII, which is a revision providing higher signal-to-noise ratio, a slimmer design and the ability to add user waveforms, introduced with OS 1.20 in July 2008.
The Monomachine's major difference in comparison to other synthesizers is its sonic flexibility. The unit offers five synthesis methods: SID, VO, FM+, SuperWave, and DigiPro. It also offers multiple effects, which can be applied both to the internally generated voices and to external sources using the two audio inputs. The sequencer offers six tracks[nb 1] programmable either in real time or via a step input method similar to classic drum machines such as the Roland TR-808. A key feature of the sequencer is what Elektron refer to as "parameter lock", whereby each sequencer step can be associated with a snapshot of all the editable parameters for a sound. This too recalls earlier machines such as the Roland TB-303, though the range of parameters available in the Monomachine is considerably greater. Signals can be routed externally to three stereo or six mono outputs.
According to its designers, the Monomachine is designed to be a creative synthesizer and is not following the specs race as is common for today's synthesizers. The user manual states:
Synthesizers are available in many different types and forms. Nevertheless, for most part they follow the norm how a synthesizer of its era is expected to be. Development for musical tools generally comes in the form of new synthesis techniques or an increase in polyphony, memory or other quantitative elements. The advances in the music machine world have brought numerous good inventions for musicians. However, we believe usability is easily lost in the hunt for the highest specifications.
With the Monomachine we have tried creating a synthesizer free from prejudice, and focus on what actually spurs creativity without letting technology stand in your way. We want to inspire you to make sounds and music you haven’t even thought of.
The SID emulation method is based on the sound processor from the Commodore 64 home computer (Elektron formerly offered a separate product known as the SIDStation, each unit of which was built around a SID chip. However, the company has now ceased production, indicating that chips are no longer available). The parameters available in the Monomachine are considerably more limited than those in the SIDStation, employing an interface editable in more conventional terms than the SID's wavetable approach. Saw, triangle, pulse, mixed and noise waveforms are available, and the sounds produced tend to be sharp-edged and gritty in character.
The VO engine is a voice synthesizer similar in sound to the Speak & Spell of the 1980s.
SuperWave is a synth engine. Elektron states it is "based on the analog world of synthesizers."
DigiPro is a machine that offers raw, 12-bit digital waveforms. DigiPro-Wave offers 32 waveforms, with interpolation between adjacent waveforms. DigiPro Beat Box is a drum machine, featuring 24 12-bit percussion samples. DigiPro Doubledraw allows the user to create an oscillator by blending two different waveforms. DigiPro Ensemble resembles the SuperWave Ensemble machine, but is built for use with the fixed DigiPro waveforms or those loaded by the user. The Doubledraw and Ensemble machines are only available on the MkII.
Bands and Artists that use Monomachine
- Avey Tare
- Boys Noize
- The Chemical Brothers
- Hot Chip
- Jimmy Tamborello
- The Knife
- The Postal Service
- White Town
- Zombie Nation
- Offers six internal tracks and six external tracks for controlling other MIDI equipment