Analog Four as a centerpiece midi sequencer?

For context, I basically have no studio atm because I’ve moved countries. I have a small modular with a squid salmple as a drum machine/sample mangler, a volt 2 interface and ableton, thats it. I am looking to start building a setup which is relatively compact.
I thought the best way would be to start with sequencing and as im not much of a keyboard player, ignoring the keystep pro atm. The squarp pyramid is at the top of the list however as I do not have much gear it seems a waste, however it would be future-proof and extra lanes could just go into ableton.

That brings me to the A4, It could be both my polysynth and a sequencer. However i’m wondering how well it would sequence my squid (my mmmidi will handle midi->gate) as they arnt many examples out there. An OT would be cool but I want to keep sampling exclusive to the squid.

What’d you guys think? any other recs?

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The A4 has CV outs that could handle this. MIDI from the A4 is really basic; note on/off and velocity (maybe). Plus you would be consuming one of the 6 tracks to do this. It can do MIDI sequencing but it’s hardly ideal. I’d leverage the CV outputs to manage the euro rack and do basic MIDI sequencing of other synths as a last resort from the A4.


The key thing to realize is that the analog four sequencer does not have dedicated midi tracks so you have 6 total tracks (four synth voices, fx, and cv) total to work with for sequencing the internal synths/ effects and any external machines you are sending midi data to. Whereas the digitone has 4 tracks dedicated for it’s internal synths and four tracks dedicated to midi sequencing. The digitone all in all is a more capable midi sequencer with a dedicated mode for that task.

That being said, the analog four is a monster in other categories. It’s fantastic as an external effects box and integrates very well with minimal eurorack setups so that might make it a better fit for you.

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I have an AK and play keyboard so my use is a bit different but I basically think of the AK as the ideal “core brain” for just about anything I might want to expand into. And it’s far more than it’s midi sequencing, it’s got CV, audio inputs, Overbridge and many ways to use as a midi controller.

On its own it’s incredible too.

In addition the synth is one of my all times favs.


Can’t say anything about modular gear but I’m using the Digitone for exactly this use case and it’s great! Apart from this: Digitone key filter modwheel and pitchbend of external midi controller

Overall I think it’s the better alternative: You’ll get polyphony and with the filter, it can sound a bit analog :wink: But you have to like the sound characteric of the Digitone. I ended up keeping the Digitone for all its great things and now added a Behringer Deepmind as a real analog polysynth…

I would caution against thinking of the OT as primarily a sampler. It can sample, but it isn’t a traditional sampler. Better to think of the OT as a combination MIDI sequencer and sophisticated streaming audio mangler-manipulator.

With its CV out, the A4 may be a better choice for this case, but don’t automatically rule out the OT just because you have something else that also samples.

A few more points to consider: the A4 is also really good for synthesized drums. Each track (including the FX and CV tracks) can fire off four MIDI notes at a time. The A4 also sends notes from the internal arpeggiator out on CV.


will keep in mind! its so hard to imagine how gear will add to your workflow so I tend to ignore some based of face value as I try to think of its basic function and treat additional features as icing on the cake

Rather than thinking in the long term considering future addons to my setup I am thinking how I can optimize it with a single piece so I am aiming to have my squid creatively sequenced while having all the benefits of an A4. I dont mind sacrificing a single track if it saves me the cost of a pyramid or other sequencer.

I do use the Analog Keys as my main Sequencer for my DAWless setup and it works quite nice though it has it limits. This functionality came with the latest firmware update and I love it. E.g. you can use the FX and CV channels to sequence external synths with upt to 4 polyphonic voices, but you cannot plock any CCs or similar. You do not have a MIDI Arp. But playing some pads or stabs or whatever on my Virus or System 8 works really nice.

Other issue is that unlike on the DT or DN you do not hear what you play on the MIDI channels when you sequence, which I actually appreciate. So you go into record, play a chord on a step and play it back and listen to the results.

Before that you have to set the MIDI channels as well as activate MIDI on the track.

Playing a second mono synth via one of the first 4 tracks and play it back via the inputs as a sound source is also cool.

So yes it is possible if you accept the limitations. Give it a try.

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My planned setup is:

A4 controlling modular over CV
Digitone controlling 4 tracks of Midi
Digitakt controlling the 8 main tracks of the A4 and DT

This is a pretty compact setup that gives 16 synth tracks, 4 midi tracks and CV control with 4 out and 2 in

Yes, AK is so good as a centerpiece, MIDI is basic but u have 6 midi channels. A “trick” is to use 2 midi ch to mimic an arp (or other effect). I use ch 5 for my mono bassynt (erica) and ch 6 sometimes kick in with the “same” midi seq but transposed and moved 1-2 notes.