Companion synth for A4

Looking for some suggestions, ideally it fits the below criteria,

  1. Analog
  2. CV inputs, so that I can sequence it with the A4 or has it’s own sequencer
  3. Great for bass, as I think this is a weak point of the A4
  4. Support for patch storage and program change so that it can be used in a live set
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Moog Slim Phatty.
You’ve basically described it to a T.
It’s compact, has all the features you’ve mentioned, is easy to program, and sounds incredible and, more importantly in your case, huge.
Plus it’s in a small form factor that’s perfect for live tweaking.
Still regret giving mine up for the A4, but I don’t need the bass.

The Minitaur may also be a good option, but perhaps less versatile.
Never used one, so YMMV.

For bass, you can’t go wrong with a Moog.

Just one to add to what might be a long list:

Waldorf Pulse+

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Thought about the slim phatty, the only thing that bugs me is that you cannot control the filter frequency and filter res at the same time as it shares one knob.

Will research the waldorf pulse+, thanks Peter.

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If you want something for bass I would try the Moog Minitaur. As written already not the most flexible synth, but bass it delivers :slight_smile:

Not to hijack but just to confirm, the Minitaur doesn’t have a setting for the square wave pulse width, correct? I generally don’t look for wall-shaking bass myself but the Kraftwerk influence in me likes their little thin-pulse basslines.

The A4 goes great with modular :wink:

That is unfortunately correct

I’m thinking of the Aira System 1M, not strictly analog I guess, but with the plugouts, a hell of a lot for the money.
Anyone else looked at this, I know zero about the whole CV thing, so any opinions would be great.

This is, in fact, not true, as you can assign any of the knobs to control any parameter via the “Pot Mapping” feature, so that, e.g., the Envelope knob can be resonance.

Boomstar 5089 - my first CV controlled synth. Works well with A4. Sounds phenomenal with A4 FX.
Its moogy tb303-ishness goes very well with A4’s modern analog palette to my ear.

Expensive for one voice but suits me as a compact better featured alternative to a sub 37.

Also debuting a minibrute. liking the steiner filter a lot so far.
seeing leafcutters mods minibrute cv control and the current discount from arturia pushed me over the edge into buy mode.
handy that it has midi out.

+1 on Minitaur. I was looking for a gig-friendly companion to the Analog Keys and chose the MT because it’s tiny, CV controlled, and has presets. Generally you can only find 2 of those in combination. (e.g DSI Mopho, Arturia Microbrute, SE Boomstar, Doepfer Dark Energy, Grendel Grenadier, Waldorf Rocket/Pulse 2…but the Pulse+ is a good used suggestion!)

Yes, it’s “limited”, but another way of looking at “limited” is “focused” or “specialized”. It does what it does very, very well.

You can get higher sounds beyond the technical limit by self-oscillating the filter.

And if you want a waveform it can’t generate on its own, route a wave into it via the external audio input. Granted, this last part works better with the AK than the A4. due to the availability of individual outputs.

There’s not a whole lot out there that is both CV-controlled and has presets. Slim Phatty is an option. I was also looking hard at the MFB Dominion X (apparently discontinued, get the remaining units while you can) and the Hypersynth Xenophone. But neither of those inspired me bass-wise as much as the Minitaur, and they are roughly twice the price.

If I were open to options with keyboards, I would have gone for the Moog Sub 37.

Yeah, if were talking the keys with individual outputs then I’d throw out just routing a voice out to the Moogerfooger low-pass filter… Hell the filter’s still a good way to bolt a Moog filter onto another synth – I use it with my Microbrute and MS-20 all the time.

If cash isn’t the problem … AK !
And I don’t wanne heare anybody say anymore that the BAZZZZZ is the weak point ! If you don’t master the machine … well who’s to blaim. ?

It takes years to be a good sythesist - ain’t no machine gonna do that for you.


Totally agree on that point. I don’t accept the premise that the bass is weak on the A4/AK either. The Minitaur offers some nice complementary sounds that are different from the strongest sounds on the AK, but to me it’s like mixing chocolate and peanut butter - two great flavors on their own, made better by being combined.

2nd the motion.
I got a Minitaur for same reason that I thought the bass was lacking.
But in actual fact the A4/AK can do bass just fine, it’s just not ‘insta-bass’ like the Minitaur.

Probably not what you want to hear, but hear me out…
This solution has

  1. No Analog
  2. 4 CV/trigger inputs
  3. Not the kind of bass you’re thinking of
  4. Support for both patch storage and midi program change.
    Here’s how I look at it…
    A4 can make great, powerful, deep, and full basses. It is definitely not the weak point, or even a weak point. It’s all there. It just takes some time and experience on how to get that low end working.
    FM capabilities of A4 are far weaker than its bass capabilities.
    With that in mind, if you’re looking to expand on your A4 via CV, and get the most capability out of its 4 internal voices, FX, and its 4 CV outputs, Nord Drum 1 or Nord Drum 2 should be seriously considered.
    This is not to imply that A4/AK is weak on the drum front. Not at all. Drums are a strength, even. But using the 4 CV outs in trigger mode going to a drum synth with trigger inputs means 4 more voices. That’s 8 voices between the synth voices and ND, as you can trigger all, or none (or any number in between) of the ND voices with each step of the CV track. Imagine polyphonic trigger locks per step, that’s kind of how the CV track can work with the ND.
    While you cannot transmit midi notes out of the A4, you can transmit midi program change. So when you change programs on A4, while triggering ND via CV, the ND changes programs as well. I do this, and it works wonderfully.
    Running ND back in to the A4’s FX track means you can p-lock FX sends per note, and panning as well.
    Lately, my A4+ND1 tracks have been Kick + Hat on an A4 track , Bass on a 2nd A4 track. 2 A4 tracks for synths and various soundlock flourishes and such, and then the CV track kicking out triggers for 4 synthesized drum sounds on the Nord Drum. This has been a very powerful combo, made more powerful with a few cheap pedals to go between ND1’s output and A4’s input. And if it weren’t for Rytm’s sample play-back capabilities, I would sell the Rytm to buy a 2nd A4/ND setup for the stage.
    Just something to consider.
    One thing to consider if you are swayed by this testimonial. ND1 will only give you 99 patches. So you’ll only be able to get correlative program change from A4 patterns A01-G04. Most of G and H pattern banks won’t react. But those patterns could be used creatively when you don’t want or need a program change.

waldorf pulse is a superbeast… good luck finding a plus tho

Currently leaning towards a Moog at this point in time due to the CV inputs and patch storage capability.

Hypersynth Xenophone is really cool too. It’s got the knobs, great sound and fx and CV