I’m going to chime in just to bring this topic back from the dead so it gets more exposure to Elektron, and reaffirms to them what their customers want.
Most others here already said it best. MIDI sequencing on this machine (and the rest of the Analog line, for that matter) would put Elektron in a class all their own, far and wide. Not that they aren’t, already, but an omission like this isn’t an oversight. It was a conscious one for reason(s) we don’t know. Maybe they’re not quite ready to push away from the Machinedrum and Octatrack line, or they’re uncertain how MIDI sequencing would affect sales on those product lines.
I own the Analog Keys. I’m green as grass, but I love it. They’re touting the Analog Keys as their “flagship product”. That’s a fantastic sentiment, but to completely omit MIDI sequencing from their flagship product is not in their best interest. Especially since it’s clear that their past products are more than capable of delivering that feature. In fact, it’s pretty crippling to the device. Like Anigbrowl said:
I agree that it should have some sort of MIDI sequencing facility and think that the potential loss in sales without it is much greater than the potential loss in sales from people who don’t buy OT’s. Also, the AR has inputs for treatment with filters and effects…well, what are people going to have coming in on the inputs? Very possibly an older or less cool-sounding keyboard that they’d like to spice up with analog filtering, and which they might well want to sequence from the AR!
I think they’re better business strategists than we all realize, and I think they listen to their customer base more than we realize. Bitch and moan as we will, they’re listening, and weighing all of their options, deciding which feature set to focus on for the next update to the Analog line, and prioritizing. It’s very clear with the recent shipping delays of the AK, Octatrack, and no release date for the AR that the Analog product line is in it’s infancy and it’s keeping them busy. Not only that, but they’re struggling to meet demand. Meaning that they have limited resources for a growing user base.
So far with the AK and A4 they’ve been under-promising and over-delivering. This is evident with the latest update which added freaking POLYPHONY to TWO units! A hardware capability that’s HUGE which they kept close to their chest until it was basically released. Albeit it took over a year, but it came. What synth manufacturer adds polyphony in a software update along with loads of other fixes and features? Only one I can think of…and I bet they’ve got more tricks up their sleeves.
This product line is still early in it’s lifespan, and, hell, one of the units isn’t even released yet. They have a history of releasing updates which add a tremendous amount of new functionality and features. I’m sure they have more unannounced updates to release, not to mention the Overbridge update which IS announced. They haven’t promised to deliver MIDI sequencing with that update, but it’s very possible they do. Who knows, they may even do it before Overbridge comes out.
To me, it looks like they’re making development easier on themselves by consolidating this product line to very similar parts and functionality. Meaning these three new units are different, but cut from the same cloth. To be able release one update for multiple units is very freeing for them. The OS update is one SysEx file for two machines, and possibly soon to be three. I bet this makes things a lot easier on them as a development team, and allows them to focus on important features, like MIDI sequencing.
They’re going to test our patience, but I’m willing to bet that we get MIDI sequencing in the Analog series at some point. I’d love to get more direction from them on this, but I’ll be shocked if they alienate so many fans and users just to keep sales up on other product lines. Those other lines, like the Octatrack and MD, also do enough different stuff to stand on their own even if there is overlapping MIDI sequencing functionality on the Analog series.
I’d like to reiterate that to Elektron, again…MIDI sequencing on the Analog series doesn’t suddenly make the OT and others obsolete or irrelevant. In fact, it would help strengthen the brand and user-base as a whole. They stand only to benefit from adding MIDI sequencing, and I don’t think they’re foolish enough to not realize that.
That’s my two cents.