A4 External MIDI Sequencing Ability

I’m thinking of replacing my Digitakt with an A4 given the new firmware updates and what I understand to be the capability of the A4 for sequencing other devices over MIDI.

I have a Moog Grandmother and a Hydrasynth Desktop that I’d be sequencing. This means I’m only using two of the 8 available MIDI tracks on the Digitakt, which seems a little wasteful. If I could pick up 4 mono voices and still do some basic sequencing of the my other gear, that would be awesome.

So, I guess my question is whether or not I can do the following:

  • Have sequences for each of the 4 synth tracks
  • Send a sequence out to the Hydrasynth
  • Send a sequence out to the Grandmother

Any clarity would be super helpful! Thanks!

You can do that. If you use the FX track and the CV to send out to Moog and Hydra. Would you miss the digitakt samples?

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Maybe, but I think I can live with sampling in my DAW. It’s really weighing the loss of samples against the addition of the A4’s synth voices, I guess.

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Personally, I ended up keeping both. I use the Digitakt for all MIDI sequencing and sample playback (I use a lot of ambient and textural samples like choir sounds and lo-fi radio/news bites, etc) and I let the A4 focus on lead and bass sounds primarily. I find it easier and quicker to grab a sample quickly on the DT from my limited selection (which leads to happy accidents, and me “curating” my best samples due to the storage limit) vs. sitting there and scrolling through thousands of options in my DAW and losing inspiration. If I was forced to only keep one, I’d go with the A4. It’s just so powerful and unique once you really get deep with it.

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That’s a fair point and maybe something im overlooking. Maybe I just need to save up for a while and add an A4 later on. I just find the four independent monosynths with elektron sequencing super attractive.

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It’s great, it just isn’t as rich of a midi “brain” as the DT or OT which were designed with external gear in mind.

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With the A4 you wont have any p-locking capabilities for any cc’s/parameters on your external synths. The midi out is as basic as it gets.

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Let me jump on the train here:

what exactly does the A4 put out as a MIDI sequencer? Is there any documentation?

More specifically, can it send pitch bend?

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MIDI Note messages.

No.

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I can’t really recommend the A4 as a Midi sequencer, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get it.

It’s an excellent synth, and would probably go great with your Grandmother, but it probably can’t do enough Midi sequencing to control the Hydra too.

For that I’d actually say to consider the Digitone. It handles Midi really well, and has a great note/chord function, and very capable arpeggiator. It also has really solid effects and could work well with your Moog as well.

I’d definitely encourage you to get the A4, but not for the purpose of sequencing.

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Found this in another thread, it’s basically answering my question about documentation:

10.9.6 SEND MIDI Will, when checked, send the tracks note on/off (NOTE, LEN) and VELOCITY, sequencer data to the Analog Four MKI’s MIDI OUT for control of external MIDI devices. The MIDI data is sent on the track’s MIDI channel that is set in the CHANNELS menu. For more information, please see “12.5.3 MIDI CHANNELS” on page 55.

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This is actually what I ended up doing. I traded the Digitakt for a Digitone and am using the MIDI tracks to sequence the Hydra and Grandmother. It’s really, really great for this and has the benefit of being a really great sounding synth itself.

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Still irrationally want an A4 or AK haha

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Not irrational at all, it’s an awesome synth and could do really great things with a semi modular given the CV outs (so you’re talking 4 possible pitch, gate, LFO, or Envelopes).

Glad the Digitone is working out, it’s an awesome synth.

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As everyone pointed out, the A4 might not be the best MIDI sequencing tool, but I finally was able to get one and it’s an absolute monster of a synth. And the internal sequencer on it is so, so good. The song and performance modes alone are absolutely killer.

Would highly recommend.

I tried to control an external synth via A4 through an external midi keyboard, but I couldn’t figure it out. The embedded keys on A4 were sending notes to the midi out but although for internal voices the external keyboard worked fine for some reason it didn’t work for the external synth. I looked at the manual but it doesn’t say anything useful about such configuration. It seems that A4 can’t act as a midi selector the same way digitone or digitakt works.

What happens if you use the Midi Thru instead of the Midi Out connection?

It will work if you use AUTO CHANNEL.

I tried both auto and specific channels with the same result. I don’t want to use thru as I will lose the clock

Are you sure you are using the latest OS (because this got added very recently in 1.50)?

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