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Sonic State just release full review of Elektron Analog Keys
Old 6th March 2014 | Show parent
  #61
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barryfell's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogma ➑️
I'm actually having a harder time wrapping my head around the a4 than I am the ot - supposed to be the other way around!!! So I'm putting the a4 away till I'm accustomed to the ot. I've only been using them for 2 weeks if that but there is most certainly a learning curve
I got about half way through the manual but it was quite hard going, then I found this: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the...430?ls=1&mt=11

Running through that, especially the step by step start to finish track part made it much easier to pick up. I'm pretty happy with my knowledge of it now since reading that.

Download this cheat sheet as well which has all the key shortcuts: Elektronauts
Old 6th March 2014 | Show parent
  #62
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rockreid's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by barryfell ➑️
It can do soft/lush just as easily as it can do harsh/hard. (Judging by the A4 that is)



I actually find the LCD highly functional even as small as it is. Certainly a lot better than the big Pulse 2 screen which tells you almost nothing. Most stuff if not already on screen is just one button push away, and most the typically used menu selections can be done with key combos.
that is the most aggravating thing about my Pulse 2. It has been enough of an issue from review sites that I'm willing to bet Waldorf will address the LCD screen issue on the next OS update (it's been awhile since one). Silly choice to make the patch number so large. The Blofeld in comparison has a nice big well laid out screen.

As far as the A4K vs A4, there are large enough differences between the A4 and A4K specs to warrant saving up for the Keys. Otherwise I would have bought an A4 already. The revised circuit "tweaks" that Dataline (Cenk) states do make a difference in the sound is only part of it. The individual outputs are HUGE to me in my studio as well as the mucho-assignable joystick for messing around with parameters. If only Elektron would start shipping to retailers!
Old 6th March 2014 | Show parent
  #63
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barryfell's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockreid ➑️
that is the most aggravating thing about my Pulse 2. It has been enough of an issue from review sites that I'm willing to bet Waldorf will address the LCD screen issue on the next OS update (it's been awhile since one). Silly choice to make the patch number so large. The Blofeld in comparison has a nice big well laid out screen.
Indeed, i've got a feeling they will make it more like the Blofelds screen in time. Maybe they just ran out of development time getting it to that stage before they felt they had to release it, and always intended to update it later?

Quote:
As far as the A4K vs A4, there are large enough differences between the A4 and A4K specs to warrant saving up for the Keys. Otherwise I would have bought an A4 already. The revised circuit "tweaks" that Dataline (Cenk) states do make a difference in the sound is only part of it. The individual outputs are HUGE to me in my studio as well as the mucho-assignable joystick for messing around with parameters. If only Elektron would start shipping to retailers!
As much as i'd like the joystick and individual outs, I couldn't justify the extra Β£500 for them.
Old 6th March 2014 | Show parent
  #64
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greenlights's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockmanrock ➑️
In about a year there will be a ton of them on Ebay with mashed up keys.
Yeah, from guys who don't take care of their ****. I don't understand how people buy nice gear, then **** it up! I'm really OCD(CDO(lol)) with my ****, I dust before, and after use. I keep a dust cover over it when not in use. I even wipe fingerprints off the keys when they start looking too cloudy!

Side note: if I ever sell something, know that it will be in MINT condition(really).
Old 6th March 2014
  #65
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owensands's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I have an a4 and x4. A4 is head and shoulders above an x4. It's not even a contest. For my tastes anyway. Even though they are in the same price range its kind of apples to oranges though. The a4 just offers so much more.
Old 6th March 2014 | Show parent
  #66
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owensands's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acid Hazard ➑️
A lot of people like to claim the A4 is thin and digital sounding. They are either too busy sucking on Moog's balls, or they just don't know how to program a bass sound. If you're having trouble making wall shaking basses, try these settings:

OSC1:
Level: 80
WAV: TRP
SUB: Off
PW: -20

Filter:
Filter1: Fully open, no rez, overdrive, tracking or EG depth.
Filter2: Frq: 36
Res: 45
TYP: LP2
TRK: +16
DEP: +5

AMP:
ATK: 0
DEC: 127
SUS: 127
REL: to taste. I have it at 30

EnvF:
ATK: 0
DEC: 55
SUS: 0
REL: Match the VCA EG release.

If that isn't enough, mix in the Sub Osc, or Add OSC2. See if that helps

The key is VCF2 in LPF2 mode.
This post should be stickied on the gs forums. So many people that have no clue how program a synth to do what they want it to do, and then they just spout out bad information.
Old 6th March 2014
  #67
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cr73645's Avatar
 
6 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Pure GAS here....... I wasn't very impressed with it, mainly due to the selling price, but I have to say: I'm amazed by it!
I'll probably buy the original A4 after this review. It seems to me that this is exactly what I needed: a compact module with a lot of possibilities in a nice interface for creating music on the fly. I still think that the A4 Keys is a bit overpriced. It would be a instant buy if it had 8 voices (also would be nice to get a direct competition to the Prophet 08).
Old 6th March 2014 | Show parent
  #68
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slaughtrhaus's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenlights ➑️
Yeah, from guys who don't take care of their ****. I don't understand how people buy nice gear, then **** it up! I'm really OCD(CDO(lol)) with my ****, I dust before, and after use. I keep a dust cover over it when not in use. I even wipe fingerprints off the keys when they start looking too cloudy!

Side note: if I ever sell something, know that it will be in MINT condition(really).
Seriously, who buys something for $1850 and doesn't take care of it? You people whining about the keys are just whining for the sake of it. Elektron build quality is second to none in my experience, except maybe moog. The AK is rock solid. True, mine showed up with a problem, but it was obvious shipping damage and was fixed immediately.
I will have to disagree with the "metal feels like plastic" comment in the review. Nothing on this synth feels cheap.
Either way, if you can't take care of gear properly don't buy it. I just don't understand how people break knobs and keys on gear. If you want to bang on something go play drums.
Old 6th March 2014 | Show parent
  #69
Quote:
Originally Posted by owensands ➑️
I have an a4 and x4. A4 is head and shoulders above an x4. It's not even a contest. For my tastes anyway. Even though they are in the same price range its kind of apples to oranges though. The a4 just offers so much more.
Thanks for answering one of my original questions. I know there are significant differences, but just as a 4 voice instrument

I like DSI stuff, and love my Evolver keyboard. That thing will go to my grave with me. But, DSIs sound, the filter I really mean in particular is sort of bland, IMO. I'm just not looking to add any more DSI stuff and am glad there are other polyphonic options with reasonable price tags.
Old 6th March 2014 | Show parent
  #70
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by slaughtrhaus ➑️
Seriously, who buys something for $1850 and doesn't take care of it? You people whining about the keys are just whining for the sake of it. Elektron build quality is second to none in my experience, except maybe moog. The AK is rock solid. True, mine showed up with a problem, but it was obvious shipping damage and was fixed immediately.
I will have to disagree with the "metal feels like plastic" comment in the review. Nothing on this synth feels cheap.
Either way, if you can't take care of gear properly don't buy it. I just don't understand how people break knobs and keys on gear. If you want to bang on something go play drums.


It's a modern, compact keyboard with live 'jamming' features. It will be gigged, and when your gear gets taken out **** happens.
Old 6th March 2014
  #71
I misspoke in the OP, I beg your pardon.

The Analog Keys (AK) have DCO's not VCO's.

I misheard Nick Batt in the video and haven't really given Elektron gear a hard look before this. His nasally voice and the Queen's English takes a few more milliseconds for me to process. .
Old 6th March 2014 | Show parent
  #72
Lives for gear
 
slaughtrhaus's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockmanrock ➑️


It's a modern, compact keyboard with live 'jamming' features. It will be gigged, and when your gear gets taken out **** happens.

I knew someone would go there. The keys don't stick out like that. There's just nothing underneath them. They are flush with the front, not like the horribly-designed ARP.

And anyone who can't gig without messing up their **** isn't doing it right. I've done a national tour without breaking a guitar string for 23 shows, and I don't molly-coddle my guitars. We took a laptop and a bunch of midi stuff too. Nothing broke the whole time, not even a cable. Hell the computer didn't even crash. I hear what you guys are saying, but I just can't relate, because I take care of my gear.
Old 6th March 2014 | Show parent
  #73
Lives for gear
 
slaughtrhaus's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acid Hazard ➑️
A lot of people like to claim the A4 is thin and digital sounding. They are either too busy sucking on Moog's balls, or they just don't know how to program a bass sound. If you're having trouble making wall shaking basses, try these settings:

OSC1:
Level: 80
WAV: TRP
SUB: Off
PW: -20

Filter:
Filter1: Fully open, no rez, overdrive, tracking or EG depth.
Filter2: Frq: 36
Res: 45
TYP: LP2
TRK: +16
DEP: +5

AMP:
ATK: 0
DEC: 127
SUS: 127
REL: to taste. I have it at 30

EnvF:
ATK: 0
DEC: 55
SUS: 0
REL: Match the VCA EG release.

If that isn't enough, mix in the Sub Osc, or Add OSC2. See if that helps

The key is VCF2 in LPF2 mode.
Holy **** that bass sounds good. Thanks a lot. I named it "Hazard Bass" for posterity.
Old 6th March 2014
  #74
Lives for gear
 
aleyas's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I think I just might start saving for one of these the good old fashioned way I've been buying far too much gear on a whim lately and not giving it enough attention. I want to work for something again and use it to it's full potential, just like my first synth. It'd certainly be my first piece of 'luxury' gear. Much more intriguing than the A4 I'd say!
Old 7th March 2014 | Show parent
  #75
Gear Nut
 
steelcitysi's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
OK I'm a straight up keyboard player and I think I'm ALMOST sold!

Can anybody with an A4/AK answer these questions:

1) Is there real-time polyphonic recording into the step sequencer? For 7th chords I guess this would simultaneously record into all 4 tracks.

2) Can the oscillators of a single track be played paraphonically? So in combination with polyphonic mode I guess this would give me pseudo 8 voice polyphony + sub oscillators.
Old 7th March 2014 | Show parent
  #76
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greenlights's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Buy an Octatrack with it, and you won't have to worry about polyphony. You can record all the chords, basses, pads, leads, and efx you want! Just sample them(loops) into the Octatrack. On top of that, sequence what ever you want in the AK too! OH, and don't forget, use the Analog Rytm for all of your drum/percussion duties! Now that's living life!!!
Old 7th March 2014 | Show parent
  #77
Gear Nut
 
steelcitysi's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenlights ➑️
Buy an Octatrack with it, and you won't have to worry about polyphony. You can record all the chords, basses, pads, leads, and efx you want! Just sample them(loops) into the Octatrack. On top of that, sequence what ever you want in the AK too! OH, and don't forget, use the Analog Rytm for all of your drum/percussion duties! Now that's living life!!!
thanks greenlights! I think I'll start with 1 thing at a time lol ... that's a bit too much elektron at once for someone like me! I've never even used a step sequencer. I can't even understand what the Octatrack does to be honest.

I take it from your response that the answers to my questions are
1) no
2) no
Old 7th March 2014 | Show parent
  #78
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barryfell's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by steelcitysi ➑️
OK I'm a straight up keyboard player and I think I'm ALMOST sold!

Can anybody with an A4/AK answer these questions:

1) Is there real-time polyphonic recording into the step sequencer? For 7th chords I guess this would simultaneously record into all 4 tracks.
Yes you can record real-time with polyphony. It doesn't record to 4 tracks though, it records to one, using up to all 4 voices. It uses voice stealing so with certain arrangements you can have 4 voice polyphony on one track and still use other sounds on other tracks simultaneously.

Also, with multimap every track can have 64 different sounds on it, so you can actually have 256 sounds at your finger tips mapped over the keyboard! Only 4 are ever simultaneously playable of course.

Quote:
2) Can the oscillators of a single track be played paraphonically? So in combination with polyphonic mode I guess this would give me pseudo 8 voice polyphony + sub oscillators.
A single voice has two oscillators, each with a sub oscillator which can be set to a 5th, so rudimentary 3 or 4 note chords can be created with just one voice.
Old 7th March 2014 | Show parent
  #79
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GeorgeHayduke's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by owensands ➑️
This post should be stickied on the gs forums. So many people that have no clue how program a synth to do what they want it to do, and then they just spout out bad information.
Ok, let's hear a sample of the patch then, that would be great!

If you did the patch on both synths it'd be even more helpful, to hear the supposed difference in the bass cuircuit of the two synths.
Old 7th March 2014 | Show parent
  #80
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Acid Hazard's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by slaughtrhaus ➑️
Holy **** that bass sounds good. Thanks a lot. I named it "Hazard Bass" for posterity.
Ha! Awesome
Old 7th March 2014 | Show parent
  #81
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Acid Hazard's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeHayduke ➑️
Ok, let's hear a sample of the patch then, that would be even more helpful!

If you did the patch on both synths it'd be even more helpful, to hear the supposed difference in the bass cuircuit of the two synths.
That patch is the basis for this bass sound:


I don't remember is it's the exact same parameters, but it's real close.
Old 7th March 2014 | Show parent
  #82
Lives for gear
 
GeorgeHayduke's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acid Hazard ➑️
That patch is the basis for this bass sound:


I don't remember is it's the exact same parameters, but it's real close.
Alright, thanks! Is it the 303-like bass that comes on after about a minute, or the very low sub? If it's the low one it's certainly low and wall-shattering, but it's so subby I don't know if I can really get a feel for the 'bass' sound from it. (I thought it would be a more classic synthbass example).
Old 7th March 2014
  #83
Lives for gear
 
ModularOverkill's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Question about A4 tracks and p-locks. If I'm using p-locks to change instruments, what happens if the release of one sound overlaps with the start of another? Does the first get choked? For example, boomy kicks followed by high hats on a single track?

AcidHazard: what did you use to make that track? What other instruments?
Old 7th March 2014 | Show parent
  #84
Lives for gear
 
greenlights's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Buy a Rytm for boomy kicks/bass, and snappy snares! All of your percussion!
Old 7th March 2014
  #85
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Breaks Dude's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
This thing or a Sub 37? Choices choices...
Old 7th March 2014
  #86
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LiveFromKyoto's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I want to demo one of these, but there are none around, I've been told Elektron are having production troubles. Not sure in what regard.
Old 7th March 2014 | Show parent
  #87
Gear Nut
 
emoji's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
How quick are the envelopes on the A4? Also curious about the p-locking and tails
Old 7th March 2014 | Show parent
  #88
Lives for gear
 
Guns N Dope's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by emoji ➑️
How quick are the envelopes on the A4? Also curious about the p-locking and tails
Envelopes are incredibly quick. Great for percussive sounds. Lots of wave shape and re-trig options as well.

A new sound lock will choke a previous sound lock on the same track.

This is when locking a different preset sound from the sound pool to a step and is different from the more standard parameter lock which refers to locking specific synth & sequencer parameters to a step. You can slide between parameter locks but not sound locks.
Old 7th March 2014 | Show parent
  #89
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Breaks Dude ➑️
This thing or a Sub 37? Choices choices...
The A4 does not give you 4 voices of classic moog sound. It also doesn't give you 4 voices of a minibrute, boomstars, etc.

It gives you instead 4 voices for great sound design and performance that does not have an overbearing personality (imho). The modulation abilities based on velocity, aftertouch, etc are quite vast and well beyond what sub37 and others synths will allow you, except maybe the DSI stuff. This makes it a great performance synth..

I personally find that the A4 does not have the immediacy of knobby mono-synths but if your workflow is ok with some menu diving, then it's very rewarding. You just have to think of it as a deep and complex synth with possibilities you have not thought of yet.

I wouldn't trade an A4 for a sub37 unless I needed the moog sound for some very specific reason/love. And if you want the ladder filter only, you can get it for 400$us, it's called a minitaur.

The A4 is a great machine overall with the sequencer abilities and CV control, and the FX are pretty nice. I can see that you wouldn't be interested if you have all those needs met and don't find the A4 sound inspiring for some reason.

Maybe you could wait until you can try a sub37. It looks like a great new generation moog - they are really embracing digital possibilities - , but at the end of the day, more limited synth-wise compared to ONE voice of the A4. I guess it becomes important to also figure out why you want the sub37.
Old 7th March 2014
  #90
Lives for gear
 
blizt's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Those keys flying in the air. Recipe for disaster.
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