Elektron Model: Cycles is a comprehensive groovebox with six FM synths

At $299, could this machine help Elektron box out its competition?

Elektron has unveiled Model:Cycles, a new sibling to the Model:Samples groovebox, this time with a heavy focus on FM synthesis.

Model:Cycles features six FM-based ‘Machines’, each with their own primary use: Tone, Chord, Kick, Snare, Metal and Perc. Each Machine is represented by a pressure and velocity-sensitive pad, meaning you can tap a pad to trigger a sound or press down on a pad to play the sound continuously. This range of instrumentation is designed to have you playing percussive and melodic sounds to create full compositions with ease.

Below the six pads is a series of 16 smaller buttons, which can be played as keyboard notes, or used to set up a sequence of up to 64 steps. Five of the Machines are monophonic, but the Chord Machine features polyphony, so the 16 triggers could be really useful in this mode.

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Designed with an instant, hands-on approach to beatmaking, Model:Cycles’ parameters avoid complexity and confusion. Instead, four core Synth Controls will get you where you want to go in your sound design, with Color, Shape, Sweep and Contour. Each of these alter several under-the-hood parameters at once. However, 12 dedicated knobs are on offer just above the six Machine pads to give you full control when you need it. Delay and Reverb send channels are featured here too, allowing you to add a touch of spatial processing to the channels you desire.

A 128×64 pixel LCD screen in the top left of the groovebox lets you swiftly flick through presets, settings, Projects and Patterns. 96 Projects can be stored in Model:Cycles, and up to 96 patterns per project.

“This little groovebox is designed to bring something new to the table,” said CPO Jon Mårtensson Elmrud. “Immediacy and excellence. Minimalism and soft brutality. An otherworldly flair maybe? All are part of its essence. Its alignment is definitely chaotic neutral. Ideas and sounds realized through the tactile interface, the streamlined workflow and the refined FM sound engine will be of a different kind. We welcome the strange and wonderful Model:Cycles to the world!”

Elektron Model:Cycles Controls

On the back of the device is USB audio 2.0, 3.5mm dual polarity TRS MIDI In, Out/Thru jacks, two quarter-inch balanced audio out jacks and a quarter-inch stereo headphone out. Model:Cycles features 48kHz, 24bit D/A converters, and a USB 2.0 Micro B port for data transfer, although is not powered by USB but by a 5V barrel jack.

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Model:Cycles is now available to purchase from the Elektron website or from retailers carrying the Elektron range of products. Pricing is 299 USD.

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