Analog 4 vs Monomachine?


I’m curious if anyone who owns both the Analog 4 and the Monomachine has any advice on which one is preferable as a stater Elektron synth? I got an Octatrack recently and am looking to buy it a buddy, but I am really torn between these two.

It seems like the Analog 4 is warmer and sounds better overall, but the Monomachine is a lot more versatile and has a much larger sound palette.

I know this is a bit of a “depends on what you’re looking for” question, but I am still curious if anyone has any strong feelings either way.


It really does depend what you’re looking for …
Maybe you could check out the demos of the AF and MM on this site and on YouTube to see which kinds of sounds you like best.
It would also help us to help you if you told us what kind of music you might like to make, and what kind of things you’re using the Octatrack for. Also, do you already have other music-making gear?

i started first with the MD, then got the MnM, and recently picked up the AK, which is nearly identical to the A4. i mention this as my purchasing order likely shaped my perspective…

if i had to pick just one for the non-drum sounds, i think i’d go for the MnM. before i had the AK, i yearned for that warm synth sound (i also have antiques - fizmo and jx-305)… but, when i play exclusively with the AK, i miss the MnM’s synthesis (especially having 1 LFO vs 3) and it’s own unique sounds.

playing both, i’d say that i have an easier time making sounds on the MnM that sound like they belong on the AK than making sounds on the AK that sound like they belong on the MnM.

that’s just my view though. in my case, i feel i have the best of both worlds. OT looks awesome, though i don’t think i personally need it given the other gear i own.

elektron does make some great toys though.

I prefer the MNM when it comes to synthesis. All the different machine types can be a great springboard to creativity. I use mine exclusively in a home studio setup and it works perfectly in that environment.

The A4 has a much better and more refined sequencer, whereas the MNM is a little quirky in its handling of things like note lengths. I found to get the best from my MNM, connecting an external MIDI keyboard was essential. The A4 is much more self-contained and the mini keyboard buttons work well enough for composing melodic sequences.

The other area that sets the A4 apart is the quality of the reverb. I tend not to use the MNM effects, although the individual track delays are very useful. Although I never got to try it in that environment, the A4 is built more for live performance than the MNM.

The little tricks I have learned from folks on here have definitely improved my understanding of the MNM. By comparison I found the A4 a little limited. If anything, I can make more analogue-like sounds with the MNM!

As a former MnM owner and a current A4 owner, I’d say that the A4 is a much better product, at least the way I use it. I owned the MnM for 3 years and I never really got it to sound the way I wanted to. I always felt if lacked a bit of something, it didn’t sound “like a record”, lacking a better explanation. The A4, on the other hand, sounds a lot more like a finished product, something you could hear on a record.

Not saying that playing with the MnM isn’t fun, it’s just a bit difficult to get professional quality sounds out of it.

i dont think the mono offers a whole lot,

most the synths are ok, the fm is great.

the way it handles voices is retarded., the fact u can only do mono or all 6, and an effect takes a track, hate that,

i found the a4 sounds better, more interesting modulation, better effects,

the new chords are killer, plus u can run the ot thru the a4 and get analog filters, and even a trance gate effect… no midi, but great cv,

i think the mono is better at glitchy stuff, but for regular stuff, i like the a4 a lot better.

best think to do is to listen to them, then figure it out,

old set up

new one,

The A4 is a standard analog synth, tied to good effects and very good seq, with cv out, and stereo outs

The MnM is a complex digital synth tied to okay effects and a good seq, with 12 trks (6 shared) of midi out and separate outputs

Coming from 7 yrs on the MnM, the A4 is easy to me, but having got some pretty wild stuff out of the MnM I’m still some time off pulling that out of the A4, (owned 2 mths)

Elektron, as is their motto, have tried to differentiate them enough as to not cross over much.

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Thanks for the replies everyone! Very helpful info, however my brain is still arguing over which one to get (“Monomachine! No, Analog 4…No! Monomachine!” and so on hehe).

To answer PeterHanes, I am actually very open about the kind of music I want to make, so something that yields unexpected and surprising results is probably best for me. If I had to describe it though I am mostly into atmospheric yet quirky/melodic stuff.

I am coming from a computer-only setup running Ableton with a ton of soft synths/samples (I mostly use Motu Machfive and izotope Iris). I also have an old Ensoniq SQ-80 synth + a Nord Lead 2 as far as hardware goes. I am trying to replace the computer with the Octatrack for sequencing (but I’ll still do sound-design/sample-making on the computer).

I guess my main dilemma is that while the MnM sounds like it may be more versatile for my needs, it also covers a lot of what my soft synths can already do…Analog 4 can avoid that, but then I worry it may be a little too “ohh hey look this is that analog synth sound that everyone likes.”

Anyways, not to rant! I am grateful for the replies thus far.


Thanks again y’all! I ended up going with the Monomachine, but I have a feeling I’ll eventually end up getting an A4 as well (once money replenishes!)

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I assume you meant two LFOs on the AK but even that isn’t technically correct as apart from the two assignable LFOs (which can modulate two destinations each) you get three more hard-wired LFOs with the two pulse width and the vibrato LFO.
Yeah, they’re not fully featured LFOs but they’re adequate for their purpose and you can get plenty of movement into a patch, hitting seven destinations simultaneously.
Having said that I wouldn’t complain if Elektron added another LFO, you can never have too many LFOs.

Did you mean analogue synthesis is basic compared to multi-engine digital synthesis? I could understand that view but think it would be unfair to call it basic when compared to other analogue synths as I think the A4 is very generous, feature-wise, and out-does many virtual analogues. I couldn’t believe the feature set when I first read the specs.

new one,

That pic, omg :smiley: … sry for OT.

Yep, the a4 is far away from being a basic analog synth and that is one of its strengths. Alone all the mod destinations you get with the envelopes and lfo s gives it a huge potential.
It feels close to a (semi) modular synth.

Not to spam, but I made this a while back in my own experiments in comparing the two of them. I basically made a patch on one and tried to recreate it on the other then used the octatrack crossfader to fade and blend between the two.

They are both nice but I love the A4 the most. It sounds huge and is really fun to program. Performance mode and the awesome reverb make it a killer machine for me.

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Did you mean analogue synthesis is basic compared to multi-engine digital synthesis? I could understand that view but think it would be unfair to call it basic when compared to other analogue synths as I think the A4 is very generous, feature-wise, and out-does many virtual analogues. I couldn’t believe the feature set when I first read the specs.
Both, I’ve owned more complex analog synths, xpander, chroma, tons of modular and semi modular stuff,
though probably should have used another adjective like ‘standard’, sounds like I’m dissng it, but I’m not.
I’ll go edit it.

Took it using the background replace effect on the iMac, it was the fish tank.
And about the a4 being simple, I wouldn’t agree, it’s a sum of many parts,
The ability to p lock an analog is amazing and makes it on another level,
U can have one seq line where every trigger has dirrent settings,
Being able to change a low to hi pas pass filter per trig is amazing, changing osc tuning, even sync per step… That’s pretty awesome,
Not many analogs have 4 oscs a sub and 2 filters, 3 env, velocity modulation ,

Get both. Just get one first, and if you like that, you know you’re going to want to save up for the other one. It doesn’t really matter which you go for, if you like the Elektron-concept, you’re going to want both. :wink:

I got the Monomachine first, fell in love completely, resisted the A4 for a long while (because I thought a lot of the demos of it sounded cheesy or thin), but once I got it, fell in love again. They’re like brothers. I felt I’ve written something similar not too long ago, haven’t there been a lot of threads on this issue lately?

Anyway, both are amazing machines, get the A4 for Analog sweetness and the Mono for digital madness. :slight_smile:

They said yesterday that they went with the MnM and have a feeling they will end up with an A4 as money allows.