Considering Analog Four as First Hardware Synth


And this is something I have looked into, which introduces the OT vs Ableton/Push 2 argument. Does the OT even make sense given the capabilities of Ableton/Push 2 sampling flow.


I quit using Ableton after about a year with the OT.
The OT kind of reminds me of Live Lite, and I liked those limitations, it’s exactly what I was going for.
Granted, the flow is different (hardware), but for me it’s hella rewarding.
I work in animation, so I’m behind a computer all day. Trying to make music on a laptop became so boring to me.


Don’t underestimate the power of working this kind of music outside (when the weather permit it…) If you feel like Reaktor is kind of boring and want to have hands on an instrument… Well it’s the same between Ableton and Octatrack . But actually the Octatrack record, effected, transformed, reshape, mangle, and make all kind of crazy things … (without a soundcard) Pair it with an ipad a granular app and record some acoustic or electric instruments with both… change radically everything, field recording all kind of noise + and in addition you can walk around ! Trust me outside in this kind of music it’s such inspirations out there ! a lot more than ableton and matrix of buttons to push too… in your house in the dark or stick inside in a small room

In this kind of music you need to find the story telling and i’m not sure, alone in the studio is the best way . at least at some point you have no choice but try outside with small equipment !
(and worst by designing sound from the ground up on a synth it’s just a tiny part of the full piece of music at the end)

But hey, at the end do what you want, what you feel better :wink:


This would not be the strength of many mono synths. For me the A4/Ak is more 4 mono synths, which can be played together as a four voice poly optionally. For ambient music you need soundscapes a lot. The A4/Ak will give you many tones, but IMO it’s strength is not pads or soundscapes.

The advice of @William_WiLD is excellent, also a synth like the virus, a Waldorf wave table synth, or the upcoming Quantum would be an endless source for ambience sounds.



Ha! Yes this reflects what I’m interested in making. Makes my shiny new computer and ableton seem unnecessary, which is troubling…


Haha, true really amazing what you can do with 4 voices and tons of FX I would say though it isn’t the easiest thing to squeeze all that out of 4 voices in my opinion something else for drums makes work flow much easier


Really became much more accessible with the Blocks framework. It’s really fun


hi, started years ago with a real korg MS-20, blew my mind forever, still miss it even if i have a A4


I guess the whole “is the A4 a good first synth” question really depends on many factors. I totally get why some wouldn’t recommend it, but it was my first synth and a great move for me. Exploring it with OB in particular was a great lesson in begging synthesis.


Recording an instrument is now considered a “workaround”? :stuck_out_tongue:

Also @ whoever said the A4 has low levels… ??? I get plenty of signal from my A4 going into the line level inputs of my aging MOTU 828…

To the OP:

The Analog 4 is easily my favorite synth of all time. Basically I’ve boiled my thoughts down to the following when people ask if they should buy one: If you want a machine with pretty deep sound design possabilities and don’t mind a little menu diving, you like the character of the filters, you recognize that hte sequencer is what sets the A4 apart sound design wise from other synths then go for it.

There is plenty of wisdom in the suggestions saying to get a more basic knob per function synth as your first. Personally, I’ve always found that Elektron machines make a ton of sense ot me and that the work flow is really, really fast once one develops the muscle memory. The A4 can be as simple or complex as you want it to be—plenty good for your bread and butter sounds and is as more than a few tricks up its sleeve if you are looking for a little weirdness.

For me Reaktor was an uninspiring mess to use.


I am that person who said the A4 levels are low.
However, I was talking about when using the A4 ITB via overbridge, in which case the levels are significantly lower than the levels of VSTs.


Ah. OK. Fair play. I don’t use Overbridge anymore (haven’t in a while). I don’t remember that being the case, but it could have been : )


That was fucking awesome.


If you sell off your Ableton license, then it’ll be less troubling. Plenty of people out there make music without a DAW. Keep Ableton Live or get rid of it. Either way, you’ll be just fine.

Also, as the video you liked demonstrates, don’t listen to anyone who tells you that an Analog Four wouldn’t be good for ambient, dream pop, drone, etc.


thanks for sharing this


For the price point an a4 mk1 can’t be beat. I don’t think it’s difficult to learn, but the layout and architecture need to be learnt/memorized. If you’re the type of person to use hotkeys with your computer, then it’ll be fine.