AK vs A4 : the sound is VERY different

I just switched from A4 to AK and found that the AK sounds more raw and in your face than my (ex) A4

I also found the sound louder, so I attached an oscilloscope and found that the AK got way hotter oscillators than the A4

A single oscillator, no sub, no modulations of any kind passing thru non-resonant filters (filter 2 in LP2 mode) starts to saturate at oscillator level 60 or so

It´s not clipping but kind of soft saturation

Also the filter overdrive sounds VERY different

So I guess that maybe my AK is defective or maybe I got a somewhat different callibrated A4…mine was one of the first batch

Any other forist found this big differences?


I think you’re probably right because from all the online demos I’ve heard, I could tell there was a difference despite the constant naysayers. There isn’t a single comparison online of the two units tested side-by-side with the same patches; only heresy. My theory is that most people are insecure about the difference, and don’t want to admit it or something.

Or don’t care


the differences (here) are HUGE! I can´t believe nobody tells (or cares)!

I sold the A4 to a friend so I still have access to it…I´ll try to make a head to head comparison

I afraid I think i preffer the A4´s sound but in the AK format… :zonked:

I remember an old topic in EU where I analized the A4´s waves and then used the filter 1´s overdrive and resonance to shape the wave into a more fat one…now this trick is gone and others too…also all my backuped patterns sounds like shit :sob:

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UPDATE: I found the overdrive parameter bad callibrated, so the zero is about -40 or so

I just run an analysis with no errors, did a factory reset with no change and reload the last OS…same story

So I did a (second) factory reset and suddenly it started to work as it should

Now it sounds much closer to my old A4 but still different…time to call my friend for this comparison

I´ll let you know

Can’t say I noticed much of a difference to be honest. In fact, no difference at all to me!

I don’t notice a difference either.

I haven’t recorded a head to head because it would require me to edit video and splice in audio from my hard disk, which is something that I don’t even do when I record a jam so…

I am not sure it is people that are afraid to admit a difference, it is probably people that are too lazy to record the same sound.

My opinion of course.

You try a Calibration?

to op : thanks for this excellent eplanation, and thorough analysis! … please keep posting! …

how bout you supply some sound recording with your phone cam even … better than nothing …

cheers buddy

is not the first time i hear about the audio differences between a4 and AKeys. Is this hersay a myth / legend ? or is it true ? Can somebody show a video or a strict audio-test between these 2 pieces of hardware ? thanks .

What about the extra low-end on AK, is that a myth? Can you compare some identical patch outputs? (not that I would ever get an AK - no room). - haha sixto, same q’s!

I was pursuing this exact answer before purchasing the A4. The reason I was leading towards the A4 more was it’s form factor. Finally I was told by many that yes they did sound different and the A4 had less lowend but this was until a patch came out (Don’t recall the OS v). Anyway this update came out around the time the AK came out and ultimately “fixed” some of these issues.

Not sure how accurate all this is but I would love to get my hands on an AK and hear it for myself.

I have both, and I’ve never noticed any difference.
It’s more fun to play with the Key version, but soundwise it’s the same, I think.

Will record them both when I have the time.

for me, even if they were different, I simply don’t have the extra room needed for AK vs A4 :confused:

I compared both briefly before switching to the AK. The osc’s with an open filter, have more low end. Filter 2 LP has a slightly more improved tone. I couldn’t tell any difference with Filter 1. Didn’t compare the overdrive.

Overall, I was pleased with the A4 but sometimes felt it was lacking something. Been more satisfied with the AK.

I used to have both, sold my A4.
Didn’t hear difference, although Elektron says the AK has slightly better sound.

For me the biggest difference is the layout. A4 is pretty unfriendly to my head. All knobs and buttons are a little too close to each other. The Keys feel very relaxed, well divided knobs and buttons, everything in the right place… I really love the keys, but miss the A4 when performing. I am afraid, one day I will buy another A4 again.

this is similar to what I heard after the A4 1.1 update. Everything sounded pushed up slightly.

cheeep cheep beep peeep sleep

the sound from Elektron on this matter

(crickets if you didnt get it)

well aside from the joystick & individual outs this makes me want to rack my A4 and buy an AK for my daily use. hnngh

yep as i have said in the past - different sound between the keys and standard 4 !!