MATRIXSYNTH: Elka Drumstar 80

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Elka Drumstar 80

Kory Westerhold

"Just a brief sound demo for a Reverb listing.

The Elka Drumstar 80 is a thick sounding, punchy vintage machine from Elka that came out in the mid-80s. Known by many as the Italian Linndrum, it features 20 banks of different presets —with 3 fixed and 1 programmable variants for it a total of 80 presets. It’s also programmable, in the vein of an Oberheim DX or Linndrum. There are also intro, outro and fill patterns for each preset, as well as a programmable fill. Feature wise it has 8 individual outs and the main outs are mono OR stereo, as well as a mixing section at the top for individual sounds that takes them up and down in the main mix. It has a cartridge slot for RAM memory as well, though I don’t own a cartridge.

A couple quirks of note on the Drumstar 80. One is that it actually has an internal fan to help cool the machine, which can run quite loudly during operation. It doesn’t affect the sound output at all, but is kind of an odd trait of the machine. I left at bit of the room noise in at the beginning of the video during power up to give a sense of it, and cut in a bit at the end of this video that hopefully is a more accurate capture of the noise.

The second quirk (and this happens on the Drumstar 64 as well) is that the tempo/bpm doesn’t move up and down in linear increments. It may clock to midi fine, but it moves in fixed increments. Just something to note."

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