Elektron Model Samples
Elektron is making a move into the music technology mainstream with the Model:Samples sampler/groovebox. A more accessible and affordable proposition than many of the Swedish company’s other products, this is a compact device that’s designed to be picked up and played.
Model:Samples is a six-track groovebox that comes with 300 preset sounds that are supplied by Splice. These range from the familiar - kicks, snares, hi-hats, etc - to more esoteric tones. You can also import your own samples or buy additional sound packs.
This is arguably the most tactile and intuitive Elektron device yet, thanks to its one function per knob control panel. This makes sound shaping a breeze, and your tones can be played using six velocity-sensitive pads. Patterns can be recorded live, or via the step sequencer.
Where Model:Samples really shines is in its sequencing workflow, which is super-flexible and simple at the same time.
You can argue that, for the price, Model:Samples’ core sample engine is a little simplistic – with no direct sampling, no timestretching and fairly basic envelope shaping – but the creativity offered by the sequencer makes up for any sound-shaping limitations. What’s more, Elektron has mostly done a stellar job of keeping the workflow simple, with little in the way of menu-diving and a pleasingly shallow learning curve.
On the whole then, Model:Samples is a welcome departure for Elektron. It’s a far more streamlined instrument than the rest of its range but still has enough complexity carried down from those higher-end instruments to bring something new.