Whether or not you remember late 80s gear, you might well want a device that lets you record and sequence real-time patterns. Retrokits has a tasty-looking gadget coming to do just that. And if the words “Alesis MMT8” do mean something to you, well, you’re probably salivating.
The RK008 is instantly adorable. It looks like an elegant calculator from another age. It’s compact, friendly, and irresistible. So it doesn’t look at all like the Alesis MMT-8, which looked positively pedestrian by contrast. The Alesis box looks just generically industrial; this is Braun Dieter Rams chic. So thanks, Retrokit, for not cloning the look – well, or cloning the look of something else that’s prettier and more functional.
But as for functionality? Finally, Retrokits seem to have a spiritual successor for the most beloved standalone MIDI music sequencer of all time. It’s a category that’s been all-but-forgotten, except for the odd boutique specialist device. And heck, this seems already like a must-have just from a few seconds on Instagram or YouTube:
Sure, sure, there’s a trend around “DAWless” production. But don’t forget, standalone MIDI sequencers originally coexisted with software counterparts. There’s no reason not to want a piece of gear that does some sequencing if you own any MIDI gear whatsoever. (It’s especially useful if you’ve bought a small, dare I say underrated and brilliant synthesizer that, erm, sort of doesn’t have onboard sequencing. Cough, ahem, maybe we make one of those.)
And as for the Alesis MMT8 itself, it’s one of the few things from the era at home in a modern studio that isn’t a synthesizer. You can check out its storied past and famous users, or just knock on some producers’ studios doors and ask.
It’s multitrack. It seems to do USB host (from what’s connected to it). It looks like it’s got a reasonable amount of I/O and a pretty screen.
It is certainly coming to Superbooth here in Berlin next week, and I’ll certainly be there. So ask any questions you want, and be sure – something small and MIDI that looks like it was designed by Braun and is based on a classic Alesis design? Holy crap, that is up our alley.