The Analog Rytm is a powerful and equally expensive drum synthesizer and sampler made by Swedish company Elektron. Given its features, price range and build quality, it is widely seen as one of the best professional machines dedicated to percussive sounds and beat making.
Now, what's so special about it? To sum up:
- Great analog sound, filters and effects (delay, reverb, distortion and compressor.)
- Synthesis and samples can be used simultanously on every track.
- Deep sequencing possibilities (parameter locks, polyrhythms, conditional triggers...)
- Live-oriented features (performance macros.)
Elektron users usually call it the AR. It is one third of the Dark Trinity.
Is the Rytm worth the price? Yes, if you're really serious about your craft and ready to dive into a complex but rewarding workflow.
Is it better than using a DAW? For me, yes. I find it much more inspiring. Twisting knobs with minimal visual feedback is a radically different experience than staring at a screen. But it's probably not for everyone, and I would't recommend it to beginners.
Being increasingly fed up with computers, and getting more interested in physical intruments, especially since I started to play the RAV vast, getting away from screens and DAWs was the logical next step for me. So, when I got lucky enough to have enough cash, I got an Analog Rytm MK II.
In November 2021, in order to teach myself the workflow, I made a quick and dirty track every day, using excusively the Rytm. I've barely scratched the surface, especially since I almost didn't use samples nor advanced chaining or macro features, but learned quite a bit about the general workflow and the different synthesis engines.
I didn't find it as complicated as I feared. I'd even say it's quite intuitive and pretty fast once you've grasped the Elektron logic. However, I was probably ready for it because I knew the OP-Z workflow. While these are two very different machines, the sequencers are rather similar, so many things felt familiar.
Another interesting point is Overbridge, the free software that allows you record anything from your Elektron devices to your computer quite effortlessly, with individual output for every instrument and various useful features.
One month later, I decided to get an Analog Four MKII to complete the Rytm. Unsurprinsingly, the two machines are made for each other.