Well shucks, my first post to this lovely forum and it's hardly about the Electribe
I have a 505 and even after getting more and more into software, nothing really compares to all those knobs. I use it as the brain of my setup when I want to play with sounds live. Recording on just 8 separate channels might seem limiting to todays standards, but if you're triggering and editing more than 8 different gadgets at the same time you probably have more than two hands.
Fun 505 Nuggets:
1.) I use the ESX1 for percussion so the rhythm track on the 505 isn't to useful as is. HOWEVER, the eight buttons normally assigned to different drum hits are now used as toggle/mute buttons for when I record steps from my sp404. Each octave is a separate bank. Holy wow!
2.)The arpegiated notes are recorded as individual notes so the arped notes trigger the arp in my xstation and microKorg for double arp madness. Hotttttt!
3.)The cheesy and gimmicky d-beam makes you look like a douche live, but those wild sweeps can be recorded in the sequencer and/or trigger any other parameter you assign it to. In my case sometimes I just want to scramble noise in various Reaktor patches I'm fond of. Sometimes multiple parameters at once! Keen!
3.) 6 audio outs, 7 including the headphones. MAIN will utilize internal efx, 1-2 and 3-4 are stereo pairs but hard panning... timbres (?) left or right on a patch assigned to either of those will act as separate mono sounds into your mixer. Real talk!
4.) Any patterns can be cut, copy and combined with anothers fairly easily, stock or user. Even better, a patterns data can be doubled or halved in time. Turn that 4measure 180bpm "gabba" into an 8measure 90bpm march, record more notes and layer it twice onto a 16 measure pattern. That whole process takes about 12 button pushes. You can waste months just mangling and repurposing the stock patterns and reassigning stock patches. Delightful!
How I use the setup:
Rhy > SP404 (using the method mentioned above I can record trigger and mute data into 505 with out even touching the 404s ugly mug)
01 > ESX1 (slaved to start/stop and tempo)*
02 > microKorg (I rarely record the knob data, just triggered notes. I prefer twisting the knobs on the korg in real time. *
03 > novation Xstation (used the same was as the micro)*
04 > custom 505 STEREO MAIN (any patch I play on this channel utilizes any of the onboard efx. Like a third synth with plenty of knobs to tweak live.)
05 > custom 505 STEREO 1-2 stereo sent to dedicated effects unit (In most cases to a Lexicon VorTex. Awesome piece of gear!)
06 > custom 505 3-4 (split bass or lead sound. Usually a dry mono (L) into mixer channel with 100% wet effected version (R) in the mixer channel next to it.)
07 > custom 505 3-4 Miscellaneous. Sometime send it to another mixer channel as a pair, sometimes as two separate sounds, plugged into micros vocoder and/or into ESX-1)
08 > This is a work in progress, and mostly pain in the ass. * (see 08 Addendum)
Channels with an * are disconnected from the 505s sound module and deliver midi only in order to conserve polyphony for channels 4-7
505 Channels 1-8 transmit and receive from midi channels 1-8. 505s Arp default is 16, if I remember correctly and the RHY is 10 at default.
Addendum: I have a Roland TR-626 that I use as a midi bridge to the arp of my classy Juno-06. (midi to CV) The 626 isn't the most intuitive device when it comes to programming. In theory, I could have the 505s channel 08 trigger the rim shots (either step programmed or with the 505s arp in real time) of the 626, thus triggering arp data of the juno. The Juno won't receive note data, i'm well aware, but would keep the junos arp in time with the rest of my rig. For now the 626 just receives tempo data and it's internal patterns trigger the Junos arp. Every rim is a note message (more like a note trigger) that corresponds with whatever keys you hold down or latch on the juno. This is frustrating because, in theory, I can hold down and latch an Aminor chord on the juno and trigger the notes in that chord from the 505. No such luck as of yet.
All audio sent to a Mackie vlz3 2404
midi chain is:
Axiom 25 [OUT] > [IN] 505 [OUT] > [IN] microKorg [OUT] > [IN] ESX1 [OUT] > [IN] Kaoss pad 3 [OUT] > [IN] Roland EF-303
microKorg [THRU] > [IN] Xstation [THRU1] > [IN] sp404
Xstation [THRU2] >[IN] TR-626
Changes occasionally when I want to experiment with something.