Elektron instruments divide producers into two camps: those willing to spend weeks with heads buried in the manual, and those who develop sub-menu-overload anxiety and run for the nearest Juno 106.
The Swedish company provided industry conference NAMM with one of its hottest product releases in January. And it marked a change in direction: a new line of synths at odds with the company’s original ethos of deep, multi-layered machines.
Samples boils down all the best bits of Elektron into one easy to use, knob-per-function sampler. There are plenty of omissions and grumble points for ardent Elektron lovers, such as the lack of an ‘attack’ knob, but for beginners or live players who want easy-to-use machines, Samples could prove one of their most popular devices yet.
So what exactly does it do? It plays samples such as drum sounds or monophonic noises really well thanks to an effective sequencer and an interface that is easy to navigate for anyone with a very basic knowledge of using hardware machines. You can apply Elektron’s parameter lock functionality to bring your sequences to life and crucially, it has a tiny screen to make you spend more time playing and less time screen diving.
And the feature likely to be loved most of all? It’s the first truly affordable instrument in the Elektron range. No doubt a reaction to the tide of budget machine being made by companies like Korg, Roland and Behringer, in Samples, Elektron has given the masses what they want: an affordable machine with a modern edge.