Hey, software drum machines aren’t the only ones who get new synthesized drums – now hardware owners can, too.

If you had to explain the Elektron Analog Rytm drum machine to someone quickly, the answer was already pretty easy – it’s about the sound. Well, in an OS update quietly dubbed “1.30,” Elektron just added a whole lot of new sonic possibilities, in the form of twelve new machines and synthesis models.

Want bass drums? There are three of them.

Snare? Check.

New metallic and ride and hat sounds? Sure.

Impulse. Noise.

Not only are there new models, but loads of parameters inside each of them, so any one of those models gives you a lot to play with. You also aren’t restricted to using these as drums, per se – with all those options in there, you can also treat these as synth voices and make basslines or anything else you can think of. (The Elektron folks show off some nice options with the bass drum, for instance.)

Add in FM-style sounds in Impulse, and you can make some beautiful, ringing timbres.

Check out the video for some great demos and tasty noises:

I just love this machine; it’s been great to watch it come into its own.

For anyone finding dance music dull, I think a lot of the problem is lax creativity with sound design. Now, new toys aren’t necessarily going to make a producer who’s, uh, a boring person suddenly turn interesting, any more than a fashion makeover will transform you into a better conversationalist. But put these tools in the hands of anyone passionate about sound, and I think they’ll have a great, great time – with some results to show for it.

Listening to the Analog Four, I hear something that does sound really distinctive and modern – very Elektron. (Very Swedish, even.)

Check out this new 1.30 sound pack for more:

And there is some connection between the culture of the machine and the culture of the music made with it. If we only talk about 909 sounds, for instance, we are going to get a lot of repetition – that’s nothing against tradition, but tradition can be too narrow.

But I’m confident that the pendulum is about to swing back. Whether you choose some weird plug-ins or a Reaktor or SuperCollider patch or a modular or something like the Analog Rytm or just abusing some hardware, I think it’s time we celebrate unusual noises in both production and listening.

Sorry, off my soapbox now. Let us know what noises you make with 1.30, Elektron owners – we’d love to hear them.