I think Ableton still do a 'lite' version - might be worth installing and seeing if it works for you.
Yea, maybe I’ll do that. If I can figure out the basics without too much trouble, then I could suffer through a DAW switch.
I’m still eying up Elektron stuff as well - both the Rytm and Octotrack appeal. The latter is more tempting to me than Push 2 but both make me hesitant about the learning curves involved as my time is very limited.
I totally get the minimal thing. I recently bought a new synth and its made me realise that I’m a one-box-at-a-time kind of guy. I’d rather have a well chosen pencil than a whole art cupboard.
I can only speak to the A4, but I’ll share a couple things, in case some of it could be mirrored in the AR or Octotrack.
The usability of the A4’s synth is, along with the OP-1, the most immediate and intelligible of the synths I’ve tried. The sequencer is reasonably understandable—aspects that require manual explanation are ones that should. Where the popular critiques of the Elektron learning curve exist is in the powerful, flexible save system and file/data structure. It seems like the A4/AR/Octotrack OS are similar, and this aspect of their OS may be identical.
It’s not that the save system and file structure are poorly implemented. They’re fairly well done, but it is either poorly explained or, more confoundingly, not explained at all. I’ve had to spend several hours with trial and error to figure out when/why/if/how something gets saved. That should be in the manual. It’s not. It’s a shame, because after you understand how the save system works, you realize it has much of the save/undo convenience of a software-based instrument.
So I imagine the Rytm may be similar: accessible drum machine/sound shaping, inaccessible everywhere else; accessible core function, inaccessible complementary functions. Since I’ve acclimated to the Elektron ways through the A4, I don’t expect similar frustrations on the Rytm, and it could replace my Maschine Studio.
What new synth did you get?