Elektron might have a reputation for making expensive digital instruments, but it's hard to look past the Model lineup if you're in the market for a groovebox. The Model:Samples and Model:Cycles devices are currently on sale at both Amazon and Sweetwater. They're down from $299 to $249, making them an even better option for beatmakers, newbies and veterans alike.
Elektron brought much of its knowhow to the entry-level Model:Samples in 2019. You can add your own samples via the microUSB port. In our review, in which we gave Model:Samples a score of 86, we called it a "best-in-class sequencer" with lots of controls and "tons of opportunity for happy accidents." However, we had reservations about the lack of onboard sampling and "mediocre" quality of the pads.
On the whole, though, it's a great groovebox. Given that Model:Samples cost $449 just a couple of years ago, $249 is an excellent price.
Model:Cycles, meanwhile, is a more recent model. It too is a six-track sequencer, but it adopts some of the features of Elektron's Digitakt sampler. It uses FM synth sounds rather than samples. In giving Model:Cycles a score of 88, we found that it offers an "incredibly fun hands-on playing experience." We found the lack of filter and arpeggiator a little disappointing, but it's still a terrific groovebox. On its website, Elektron notes the two devices are on sale until September 30th.