Just found out you can't play polyphonic on all four tracks

Just bought an A4 a month ago, and just found out that you can’t sequence/play 4 tracks with polyphony!

Here I was, thinking I could use 4 voices on all 4 tracks…

or can I?

No. Max polyphony is 4

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No, when the A4 was released, it was 4 mono tracks. Afterwords they added the functionality to use tracks combined for polyphony.

There are definitely some ways to get fuller sounds, but it takes a lot of programming and creative sequencing and FX sending. Even with all that, it doesn’t come close to 16 voices. For starters tuning the oscillators to create triads can help cope with the limits of polyphony. Reverb & delay can give notes or drum sounds the illusion of overlapping if you program things right. It can help push you into a creative head-space or become really frustrating easily.

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Looks like you’re gonna need an Octatrack to sample some chords into.

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Of course not. Its a four voice synth. 4 x 4 would be 16.

Split the 4 voices however you want, but you only have 4.

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Oh dear, it’s always worthwhile reading the manual of the piece of kit you intend to buy before hand.

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Well if nothing else you’ve cheered me up after a shitty day.

You could buy 3 more A4’s, then you’d be winning.

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Well, at least you can sequence external synths now too with it, so that helps.
(I want to use the A4 as a ‘brain’ in my setup)

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Its a great synth with lots of unique tricks up its sleeve.
For the first year or so I always started making sounds with it from scratch and only lately started to pay more attention to how the presets are made. That has been really beneficial for understanding the numerous sound shaping tools provided.

And yes, it can be a nice brain for sequencing other synths as well.

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The A4 is deep and makes a solid centerpiece. While not a full 4 voices per track, you can kind of fake polyphony by p-locking oscillator pitches.

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guess its also just a nice challenge/sport to try and make the most out of 4 voices. Just saw this:

pretty amazing to realize this is ‘just’ 4 voices!

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Here’s an A4 mki thingie that I made where I use oscillator tunings to mimic chords throughout the set.

Edit: This is the longest set I ever made with the A4 and I was really surprised how far you can push 4 voices in a single box. I can’t think of enough nice things to say about the A4 and Elektron’s vision (please excuse the fanboyism, I know the Elektron workflow/ A4’s not for everyone)…

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wow thats awesome! anyone know of a good tutorial somewhere out there showing how to mimic chords with oscillator tuning etc?

You just use them to build chords. 2 oscs each with a sub osc. The sub osc can give you one octave, two octaves and a perfect fifth below the main osc.

The manual has a section about it:

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Just curious: it took you a full month to find that out? :thinking:

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well, kinda, I guess I didnt notice yet, lol!
which shows how its not really a big limitation.

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Polyphony is for wimps, or was it breakfast is for wimps? Or is it polyphony is for breakfast? :joy:

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I see … :smiley:

Just for some inspiration:

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