I have a choice between two Elektron machines, looking for some second opinions


#1

So, as the title says, I’ve been firmly sitting on the fence between two pieces of kit: A new Digitone, or a lightly used Analog Four MkI.

I think they’re both incredible (albeit very different) synthesizers from what I’ve seen and researched. That being said, I know for damn certain the folks on this sub have much more experience with hardware and Elektron gear than I do, so I’d really like to know what you all would personally choose and why? Price is not a factor in this decision for me since I’d be getting either of these for roughly the same cost.

For some context, right now my only hardware gear is an Arturia Microbrute run through a pedalboard.

So what would you choose? The slightly older, robust Analog synth or the new, slightly quirky FM synth?


#2

The “best” instrument for you is the one that fits your purpose. What do you intend to do with whichever instrument that you eventually buy?


#3

would you rather be capable of sounds like

or

not just right now, but long term

not a question, btw. just something to maybe consider


#4

I would pick both. Oh wait… I DO have both! :smile:


#5

I’m biased, but I vote Digitone. Especially since you anyway have a Microbrute, which covers a lot of the Analog territory. Digitone can do so much and makes awesome sounds, with a great learning curve. It also has 4 MIDI tracks for sequencing other gear, if that helps.


#6

How do you feel about kits? Specifically a kit browser and kit copy/paste?

Kit Implementations are different on these two instruments and that can influence workflow.


#7

I didn’t consider using the sound packs as a sampler of the tonality of each instrument. Thanks for the tip, it helped me choose the Analog Four! I realized that I definitely connect with the process and tone of analog more than with FM/digital.


#8

If you’re buying a 2nd hand mk1 will likely keep its resale value better than something new as well


#9

The A4 has CV-out, and the microbrute do have some cv-modulation options. I can see very well that these two machines would do very well together.

But in the end…get all of them :slight_smile:

Cheers

Thomas


#10

the digitone is 8 voices whereas the A4 is four. 8 voices goes a long way.

the digitone is a nice entry level Elektron device, and it has the more modern style Elektron UI which ultimately results in a faster workflow

Personally, I found the Digitone to be absolutely wonderful, dreamy creamy sounds, the Analog is primarily an analog synth, so if u want that dirty or warm analog sound go for it, although it certainly doesn’t have as much bottom end or elasticity as the mk2.

the Analog four has more options and features, the dtone is more compact and focused

no midi sequencing on the a4, but as others have mentioned, CV

think about what you want then make your choice, both are valid for x reasons


#11

Digitlne is 8 voice and has 4 tracks of midi sequencing. Nice big oled display. Love it.

My band mates A4mkii is very nice sounding though.


#12

I’ve found the A4 mk 1 to be much more open to various sounds than the Digitone(though it takes a bit of work to get to those avenues).

The Digitone sounds nice, and it is more suited to harmony and the like.

Things like Analog synthesis lends itself to being more Mono-based(though you can do a lot with the Poly mode).

I might be the rare person to vote A4 mk 1 on this thread because I tried both and preferred the A4, personally. I found that, with the presentation of the DN, there are a lot of avenues that slip through the cracks considering Elektron’s decision to provide the user fixed ratios on the machine.

Meanwhile, the A4(while only four “voices” max(you can do some tricks with the oscillators to create chords with a single voice outside of poly mode) you’re much more free to create whatever weird twisted sound you may want to create(subtractive speaking).

The DN is nice and simple, has 8 voices, and midi sequencing abilities- if you chose this, you’ll probably be very happy with it.

The A4, though- the arp editor is much more fun to poke around with(currently)(surely Elektron are working for a way to make this easier to explore)(I would think). Nothing is simplified- Elektron may have learned from the A4 and with people selling them and rebuying them and selling again(but always rebuying) and thus created the DN so that people have a much more favorable portion of freedom than complete. But, the popular consensus of sound leaves a lot to be desired if you want to “get weird with it”. Control-All on the DN is good in a pinch and is an easy enough concept. But the Performance Macros on the A4 REALLY, REALLY can take you to another world(but they take a lot of thought to set-up). You also have much deeper control of the FX on the A4 than the DN- and the FX track has it’s own(p-lockable) track to sequence

If you’re committed to putting in work and not flaking out of your purchase in frustration, I’d recommend getting the A4.

If you want something that you can get good sounds out quickly or if you want to play keys or if you love popular FM sounds- get the DN.

(Disclaimer: I’ve sold/traded 2 A4s, and now possess my third, and I am considering getting another DN- because it DOES sound really nice- and I can fit it into my setup easily)

Edit: sorry for the novel


#13

Song Mode too…


#14

That’s a tough choice and depending on how much you value individual features those two have or have not, your decision could flip either way. Personally, I would lean towards the Digitone, because using it standalone comes easier to me than with the A4 (MK2). Also I’ve come to prefer the MK2 design over the MK1’s, so I’d rather save up for an A4MK2. But again, highly subjective, this.


#15

OT: what i miss on both…Independent Delay on all Tracks. That was awesome about the Monomachine.
But…individual outs on A4 fixes this.


#16

Get both.


#17

I had both and would buy again an A4. Both are great, it’s just the A4 sounds more like the music I want to do.


#18

It’s a good choice! (well, they both are good choices, but I think you made a good choice for you).

I bought a cheap used Analog 4 last year, mainly to sequence and modulate my 0-coast and provide some synth drums, but I’ve grown to love it as a machine in its own right – it’s hugely powerful for sound design.


#19

A4 has a functional version of overbridge, performance mode, CV sequencing, and full song/chainmodes, plus heaps of superuser goodie features. DN is aight and does have MIDI sequencing, but is more of a “toy” tbh. Both have their uses, so its up to the operator to decide…

do you want to go deep? go A4. Or do you just want to turn it on, yank out some pattns, and worry about arranging, tracking, mixing later, if ever? go DN.


#20

Not mk1