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Elektron Analog Four MIDI question Desktop Synthesizers
Old 29th March 2017
  #1
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Meriphew's Avatar
 

Elektron Analog Four MIDI question

I have an Analog Four incoming. I've seen some stuff online where people are saying that you can't control external hardware synths via midi from the A4's sequencer.

Is this the case? If I want to use external synths for sounds (midi'd up to the A4), am I screwed? If so, I think the A4 is going to be returned immediately.
Old 29th March 2017
  #2
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KlangGenerator's Avatar
You can start filling out the return shipments label...
Old 29th March 2017
  #3
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Meriphew's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KlangGenerator View Post
You can start filling out the return shipments label...
Wow! Thx... I guess. When I ordered the A4 the thought never crossed my mind that it would be unable to do such a simple thing.
Old 29th March 2017
  #4
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KlangGenerator's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meriphew View Post
Wow! Thx... I guess. When I ordered the A4 the thought never crossed my mind that it would be unable to do such a simple thing.
Yeah, quite a bummer. Should be easy for Elektron to implement this feature, but they want you to buy other products for this purpose (MD, Rytm, Octatrack).
Old 29th March 2017
  #5
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So does the midi out only send on/off start/stop mssgs?
Old 29th March 2017
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meriphew View Post
So does the midi out only send on/off start/stop mssgs?
This and clock signal of course.
Old 29th March 2017
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meriphew View Post
Wow! Thx... I guess. When I ordered the A4 the thought never crossed my mind that it would be unable to do such a simple thing.
Buy the Octatrack if you wish to externally sequence gear. But plenty other midi sequencers out there cheaper than the OT.
Old 29th March 2017
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KlangGenerator View Post
This and clock signal of course.
Thx for the info.
Old 29th March 2017
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syn303 View Post
Buy the Octatrack if you wish to externally sequence gear. But plenty other midi sequencers out there cheaper than the OT.
I actually mainly wanted an analog synth module, and the sequencer was a big plus that tipped me towards buying the A4 vs something else.
Old 29th March 2017
  #10
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everyone kinda wishes the A4 could sequence externally via midi, but elektron thought otherwise. they just didn't want a crossover between their instruments.
Old 29th March 2017
  #11
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Yeah, Analog Four is a nice device but it has been crippled by disabling MIDI sequencing, probably to secure sales of their other units. It's unfortunate and makes me think twice before buying anything else from Elektron.
Old 29th March 2017
  #12
Gear Maniac
 

It will sequence external gear using CV, Gate, triggers, and analog modulation (LFOs, envelopes).
MIDI out is only for sync.
Old 29th March 2017
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randomized View Post
Yeah, Analog Four is a nice device but it has been crippled by disabling MIDI sequencing, probably to secure sales of their other units. It's unfortunate and makes me think twice before buying anything else from Elektron.
I'm not defending their design choice, but let's not call it crippled. It does what it's supposed to. Not being a MIDI sequencer takes nothing away from a very capable machine in its own right.
Old 29th March 2017
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heckadecimal View Post
I'm not defending their design choice, but let's not call it crippled. It does what it's supposed to. Not being a MIDI sequencer takes nothing away from a very capable machine in its own right.
Oh, it's crippled. MIDI is very basic feature in 2017, the device has a digital sequencer and a MIDI out port. It would be very easy to add MIDI sequencer to it but it has been intentionally left out.
Old 29th March 2017
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heckadecimal View Post
It will sequence external gear using CV, Gate, triggers, and analog modulation (LFOs, envelopes).
MIDI out is only for sync.
Was about to mention this big plus, too! Besides using it as a drum source this is the main reason why it still sits in my studio. It's a wonderful device for controlling CV gear..
Old 29th March 2017
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KlangGenerator View Post
Was about to mention this big plus, too! Besides using it as a drum source this is the main reason why it still sits in my studio. It's a wonderful device for controlling CV gear..
I have had issues with CV using A4. It is bugged, sometimes only sends one pitch across all keys and also seems to drift a bit. CV is no substitute for MIDI.
Old 29th March 2017
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randomized View Post
I have had issues with CV using A4. It is bugged, sometimes only sends one pitch across all keys and also seems to drift a bit. CV is no substitute for MIDI.
No it isn't. But I have other gear for this purpose, so it doesn't bother me that my A4 is missing this feature. Nevertheless I am with you that it would be easy to implement a midi sequencer. But that's what is called business.
Didn't experience those CV issues you are talking about and I am using this feature for almost three years now.
Old 29th March 2017
  #18
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donato's Avatar
I permanently control/sequence my Minitaur and Micromac with an AK and haven't had any issues once properly set up. And yes, would love to have even just one midi sequence track. Super annoying and lame of Elektron. Really disenchanted with their way of doing things these days. Still, the two CV tracks (using FX track for the second synth) is better than what the RYTM has, which is nothing.
Old 29th March 2017
  #19
Gear Maniac
 

Calling it crippled is absolutely wrong, it's sensationalist, and it's so very gearslutty.
The synth works. Because it doesn't have a feature you want does not make it broken.
Old 29th March 2017
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heckadecimal View Post
Calling it crippled is absolutely wrong, it's sensationalist, and it's so very gearslutty.
The synth works. Because it doesn't have a feature you want does not make it broken.
Nothing sensationalist about it, it is the correct wording. It is also worth remembering when Elektron releases new boxes. I bet Digitakt will be crippled in several ways to prevent overlapping with Octatrack and Rytm.
Old 29th March 2017
  #21
The second I stopped wishing the Analog Keys had MIDI sequencing is the second it became an indispensable, fun and inspiring instrument. The week or so that I had it, wishing it did MIDI, was not very fun.

The Analog Keys does have fantastic MIDI capabilities outside of sequencing, though. Multimap is super cool, and it has a simple button that I have longed for on countless keyboards: a single button that simultaneously turns local OFF and midi ON.
Old 29th March 2017
  #22
When a person who is supposed to be ambulatory cannot walk, they are crippled. The A4/AK was never supposed to sequence MIDI, thus it is not crippled. There are plenty of CV-equipped synths out there that the Elektron can sequence, and those don't take away from the internal voices, as a MIDI track would.
Old 29th March 2017
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ihearanewworld View Post
When a person who is supposed to be ambulatory cannot walk, they are crippled. The A4/AK was never supposed to sequence MIDI, thus it is not crippled.
Also when a synth is released with intentionally missing feature, it is crippled (verb). Their previous black box (Octatrack) has MIDI sequencing, A4 does not so it was obviously intentionally left out, which means that A4 was intentionally crippled to support sales of Octatrack.
Old 29th March 2017
  #24
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Rob Ocelot's Avatar
There's always hope in the future that Elektron will relent and offer MIDI sequencing as a purchaseable firmware upgrade much like Waldorf did with the MicroQ Lite.
Old 29th March 2017
  #25
MIDI sequencing is not gonna happen on the A4. Accept it or move on. And once you move on, feel free to let inquiring minds know that it cannot sequence MIDI, but also accept that many are fine with it not sequencing MIDI. Elektron is not for everyone. I have found their machines extremely exciting and challenging after spending my whole life making music with very different tools.
Old 31st March 2017
  #26
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Thx for all the info/opinions everyone. I think I will go ahead and keep the unit, and just see how it works out. I think that Elektron either didn't plan this unit out very well,or purposely crippled the capabilities of the A4/AK by not allowing it to sequence external midi modules.
Old 31st March 2017
  #27
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there could be a way around it by getting a cv-gate to midi interface, ie: a doepfer A192 CV to Midi module. You could just buy a doepfer minicase and put the A192 module in it.

Doepfer A192:
A-192 converts 16 control voltages into 16 arbitrary MIDI controllers on arbitrary MIDI channels. 128 different assignments (Presets) of the 16 CV inputs to MIDI controller messages are available. MIDI messages appearing the MIDI Input are merged to the MIDI controller messages generated by the A-192.

The snapshot button transmits the 16 momentary states of the 16 inputs as MIDI controller messages.
Old 1st April 2017
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randomized View Post
Also when a synth is released with intentionally missing feature, it is crippled (verb). Their previous black box (Octatrack) has MIDI sequencing, A4 does not so it was obviously intentionally left out, which means that A4 was intentionally crippled to support sales of Octatrack.
The A4 has no missing features. When you call it a missing feature, that is just referencing a self manufactured list in your own head of what you think it should have.

The Octatrack has lots of features the A4 does not. By your thinking, the A4 should include every feature from the Octatrack plus more.

My guess is that the decisions of what to include in the A4 is more to do with hitting a particular price point.

Anyway, the Analog 4 is an awesome creative device as it is.
Old 1st April 2017
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meriphew View Post
Thx for all the info/opinions everyone. I think I will go ahead and keep the unit, and just see how it works out. I think that Elektron either didn't plan this unit out very well,or purposely crippled the capabilities of the A4/AK by not allowing it to sequence external midi modules.
Only the Elektron peeps know for sure. In their forum, they said that it was mainly a price consideration.

I've had my Analog Keys for a few years now, and I have never particularly cared about having midi sequencing out. Much of the pleasure of working with it would not translate anyway. All the hands on realtime p-locks fun would be gone.

Take the power of that away and I've got better midi sequencing elsewhere anyway.
Old 1st April 2017
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by draig View Post
The A4 has no missing features. When you call it a missing feature, that is just referencing a self manufactured list in your own head of what you think it should have.

The Octatrack has lots of features the A4 does not.
It's missing MIDI support which to me is certainly a missing feature. MIDI has been a basic feature in electronic music equipment for decades.

By comparing MIDI support to some obscure OT features shows you deliberately misunderstand my point.

That said, I enjoy using A4 too, it's a nice device. But I still think it was intentionally crippled and that annoys me.
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