Elektron Model:Cycles


6 Track FM groove box

  • 6 Machines: Kick, Snare, Metal, Perc, Tone and Chord
  • 4 Controllers for direct sound processing depending on the selected machine: colour, shape, sweep and contour
  • 6 Audio tracks - can also be used as MIDI tracks
  • 6 Velocity sensitive pads
  • 96 Projects
  • 96 Patterns per project
  • Delay and reverb
  • Real-time and step input of notes and parameters
  • Headphone output: 1x 6.3 mm jack
  • Output: 2x 6.3 mm TRS jack
  • MIDI In: 1x 3.5 mm standard audio mini jack (TRS)
  • MIDI Out / Thru: 1x 3.5 mm standard audio mini jack (TRS)
  • Dimensions including buttons and rubber feet (W x D x H): 270 x 180 x 40 mm
  • Weight: approx.0.814 kg
  • Includes PSU-4 power supply, USB cable and MIDI adapter (5-pin to 3.5 mm TRS mini-socket)
  • Suitable case: Art.492899 (not included)
Available since February 2020
Item number 486110
Sales Unit 1 piece(s)
Sound Synthesis Digital
Pads 6
Effects Yes
Bass Yes
Display Yes
MIDI interface 1x In, 1x Out, 1x Thru
Number of analog outputs 2
Headphone Connector Yes
Mains Operation Yes
Battery Operation No
Fader(s) 0
Storage Medium Internal
Footswitch connection 0
Headphone Output 1
Extras FM based
Shape Desktop
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153 Customer ratings

4.7 / 5

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91 Reviews

An awesome FM groovebox if you know what to expect
Archion 25.09.2021
As a guitar player I needed a drum machine to add some beats to my ambient/minimalist pieces. At first I considered something different but a friend of mine who is quite a synth nerd recommended me this by saying it's more versatile than many others. When checking some Youtube demos I arrived at the same conclusion and ordered it.
To put it shortly, it fully met my expectations. Although some people have said it is quite limited, mainly when it comes to sound synthesis, in my opinion, if used as a drum machine with quite a lot of extra features, it is still quite a versatile instrument! But I'm a guitarist, so what do I know, haha.
The main magic lies in the sequencer, which has quite an extensive array of features. Parameter locking, conditional locking to name just a few. So you can build quite complex arrangements with it.
The unit is made of plastic, but it is quite sturdy. The only things I am a bit worried about are the pads and rubbery buttons, but we'll see.
To end my review I'd like to give my two cents from the blindness perspective. I know we are a tiny minority, but I'm not the only blind person who buys from Thomann, so maybe this part will be useful for some people.
As most of the things are done with knobs and buttons, it can be used quite easily if you remember what each of them does. A nifty trick for that is to make a recording of some sighted person giving you the overview of the layout, so you can reference it later.
The manual is well written and easy to understand.
There is some menu diving, that can get quite confusing for the blind, but unless you go very deep it can be done very easily by referencing the manual.
SO, to conclude this review in one sentence, I'm really happy with my first full fledged drum machine!


A new instrument where the sum is infinitive greater than its parts
Dimos B. 17.11.2022
Elektron's Model Cycles is not a sum of its parts; with 6 'machines' (sound generators), 6 tracks with 6 accordingly pressure sensitive buttons, 3 fx (2 of them send fx), LFO, repeat function, sound locks (set multiple different simultaneous sounds per track), macro function e.t.c. features a virtually limitless sonic arsenal.

Combined with the top notch Elektron' s sequencing capabilities, it would be an understatement to be considered just another drum machine, groove machine, synthesizer or even worse, Digitone's cut down version, which has a totally different 'produced', clean 'hi-fi-ish' sound.

Cycles is so more than that. An instrument with a unique character of its own. A chameleon of moods, mods and genres, where every tiny parameter change or combination of settings, makes a real difference.

A special 'expansion' tip:
Connect Cycles via usb (using an Apple camera connection kit) to any iOS device (simultaneous midi and audio live connection) and control it within AUM iOS app, randomize its sounds or generate genre specific styles with Tension iOS app and get crazy and ever evolving, controlling Cycles' parametres via CC, with the additonal 16 LFOs (!!) of the mLFO ios app.

Can you stand the madness?

For an around 300 - 340$ street price it's a steal. A no brainer for an amateur, an enthusiast, a sound designer or a professional producer. I'm thinking of getting a second one, to expand my 'digital orchestra' to 12 tracks!

P.S. I've put 4 stars in 'features score', not because it lacks in the field, but not to get Elektron too comfortable and push them to keep developing Cycles' features.


An intuitive and simple machine
Zhoujj 18.01.2022
I was afraid of diving into FM synthesis straightaway and wanted to get this as sort of an "entry-level Digitone", and I'm having so much fun with it. It can be a powerful drum machine or even a melodic synth if you want it to be. Of course the famous Elektron sequencer makes it even more powerful with the trig conditions and the ability to record parameter automations. It's made of plastic, but feels sturdy. Highly recommended for beginners!


Super fun but build quality is not the best
Giostrante 06.12.2022
Absolutely lovely groovebox, the workflow is very fun and deep, virtually endless possibilities.
The sound is really unique and wide, but the being a specific FM synth is not suited for everything of course.
What didn't convince me was the build actually. The unit itself is sturdy and well assembled, buttons are ok, pads are not the best and is a well known problem, but the really disappointing thing is the knobs quality.
I got two different units and they both have inconsistent knobs, some of them are stiff, some are very loose, all is very random. Quality control doesn't seem to be the best or they use cheap encoders, I'm not sure. The first unit I ordered had the Color knob with a sort of internal click, like the middle dent of a pan knob, really annoying.
I returned both the unit back at the end, but it was just me, I didn't like the knob problem, even if they were working properly. Also I'm more oriented to the Model:Sample, which can be more versatile. Or better an Sp-404, let's see.
Anyway, if making electronic music of any kind is your goal, this machine can do it wonderfully. Ambient, IDM, dance, techno, the only limits are imagination and skills. Price is fair, tons of options and most of all is very very fun, probably one of the funniest machines out there.


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