No external MIDI = sadness


I think the idea that giving the analog elektrons midi sequencer would kill some sales of their other machines is quite absurd, if that is what Elektron really thinks. The monomachine, machinedrum and octatrack all had midi sequencers yet many of us here had them all three at the same time. Same would happen with the new analog line.

These machines are supposed to be used for live performance. No midi sequencing is a huge flaw in that context, and these are not cheap machines.

Because many synths (most of them) don’t have a midi sequencer incorporated. Elektron machines have a focus on live performance. No midi sequencer means you can’t pair the rytm/ak/a4 with a virus, nordlead, etc… without another external sequencer. Even cheapo electribes had midi out, and it’s not an alien function to the machine since it already has an internal sequencing engine. In a live context you like to keep your setup as slim and as control concentrated as possible.

It’s really quite obvious why anybody would want midi sequencer: to midi sequence external gear.


yes I totally agree with him.

another big answer is that even if the md, MnM and octatrack have midi sequencer, none of these have that wonderful led keyboard (or mini keyboard like a4) wich can show you wich note has been entered on a specific trig when you press it.

I think it must be the same with the analog rythm, because it seems to have a chromatic mode, so it could be a step further in term of functionality.

I continue to think that this marketing decision is not relevant to a lot of users.

I would add that if they have given the a4 a midi sequencer, it has become a no brainer to a lot a people.


I would almost certainly have kept my A4 rather than selling it on, if it had been able to sequence via MIDI. As it stood, I knew I would be unable to use it as the centrepiece of my live setup when the other portable synths I have (Tetra, Blofeld, Virus Snow) are all MIDI based rather than CV.

I can see how the CV-only stance has a certain analog purity to it and would make the A4/AK instantly appealing to those with modular systems. However, I would have thought that market was relatively small in comparison to those of us with more MIDI-based setups. I have, I think, two synths that will accept CV input and close to a dozen that are controllable via MIDI. The CV-only thing was definitely a unique selling point, but that point has been made now for over a year. Surely MIDI sequencing would make the A4/AK/AR more appealing to those potential buyers out there who are sitting on the fence over “missing” features.

Overbridge looks cool and I’m all for seeing tighter integration to a studio environment. For me, though, the appeal of Elektron boxes is their potential away from the studio. The A4 was so close to being the instrument I could use precisely for that purpose but it was too much of a closed system.

I stuck with a Monomachine instead (and an external reverb and keyboard). :slight_smile:


If less people buy these because of no midi then great for us that don’t need it as much, as the market won’t be saturated with ring mod kicks for the next year :slight_smile:
But seriously I don’t think elektron see it that way and I’m sure they have thought this through from a keen market perspective… Who knows! We don’t yet have the full finished specs but the potential is almost certainly there I’d guess as has been said before I doubt they plan on painting themselves into a corner… I can’t imagine its realy worth despairing about. (Not like lack of audio only demos haha)
I’m glad A4 is CV only as it keeps the unit that bit simpler for those that use it… Edit - midi on the RYTM makes more sense to me.


Now I am learning a new to me Radikal Technologies Spectralis to have exactly that midi external sequencing and it happens to have three powerful synth engines, 32 tracks, multiple directional tracks, and multiple time signatures among also the massive analog filter banks AND sampling.
I do have a MnM Mk 1 and actually like it much better than the A4. Surely external midi note out could be copied to what’s going on with internal tracks just as the MnM does!!! Without having to use overbridge and a PC at that?! Again, not everyone wants/needs an Octatrack and have sampling covered already in our performance set-ups…if used at all.


It’s this exact disregard for others whom work a totally different way and compose musical compositions that do not sound just like repetitive riffs to ad nausea…this self-absorbed thinking indeed keeps the A4 a closed system and with the release of the Analog Keys as a performance instrument should actually take their marketing path to appease those that have a plethora of hardware synths and not just modular or cv gear.


^ Easy tiger… I do beleave you have taken my comment out of context and your aggressive reply is a bit silly. Even if you didn’t why you think I owe you special reguard I have no idea, Its just an opinion.

I think if you read properly you will see I reasoned there probably IS the potential there and we may well get it BUT if/when THEY see fit. Not sure at all how that is self absorbed? Its simply an intelligent observation. Also why do you assume I or people dont use midi for a plethora of gear simply because I or people like A4/K the way it is…? :-1:

Lastly if you look, I edited part of my reply imidiately (about having no midi button as I realised that’s a bit obtuse) but your obviously too quick for me…

All the best.
Have a great weekend too folks.


I don’t know if it’s intentional but it does seem Elektron is trying to appease to the elite and avoid the bedroom/local bar musicians with their latest few boxes. Maybe they only want big names using their gear. But I think you’re right and wrong; less people will be using the ring mod kick but you’ll still hear it as much because those people who will buy and use this box will be able to integrate many boxes together in the studio or on the stage as they will most likely be professional musicians.
For me, an AR seems like a truly (beautiful) boutique piece. It makes very good sounds IMO and that is what it’s all about, so kudos to Elektron. It’s just that I won’t be able to justify one because an OT with some samples, a synth and maybe some effects is all I can justify having as a hobbyist.


Pure guesswork here, but it could be that omitting midi sequencing is due to a technical reason, I don’t think it would be to avoid overlap with other Elektron gear, as 3 of the other machines have it.


All their first 3 machines had midi seq out, most probably with lesser processing power. The analog line has the same sequencer (or very close) as the octa, and those have cv out. I really don’t see what kind of technical reason/limitation would there be. I really, really doubt there’s any technical reason. The sequencer software is already in the machines, the physical output too.
This is midi seq out, it’s not that much demanding and has been implemented in tons of other cheaper and much older machines, like the electribe line.
It seems an omission by design.


I rather doubt there’s a technical reason, it’s not like they don’t know how to do it and MIDI is such a low-bandwidth signal that it’s very little workload for a modern microprocessor. Unless there’s some official explanation to the contrary I’m assuming this is a matter of choice.


I should clarify that I did not mean that I thought the midi implementation would be too taxing for the microprocessor, but rather how to implement it adding additional controls, or button combinations, and software and UI layers might be technically tricky to add once the initial design process is well under way.

But as I said pure guesswork on my part.

Probably best to ask Elektron directly.


I think we can all agree that having some kind of basic MIDI sequencing support on the A4/AK and the AR would be a really nice option, and that there are no real technical reasons why it couldn’t be done.

I don’t see the lack of a dedicated “MIDI button” as we have on the OT a huge issue. The MD also doesn’t have a button like that and it still seems to be able to do the job pretty decently.

I understand that Elektron does not want to give the impression that any of the Analog boxes can or should be used as the core sequencer of your MIDI setup. The easiest way to avoid any confusion is obviously to leave any MIDI sequencing out altogether.

However, for a minimal live setup, it would make sense to be able to dedicate one or two tracks for sequencing some pads and strings on a polyphonic MIDI synth module or small keyboard synth, especially since both the A4 and the AR come with audio inputs that allows you to set them up with one or two external synths without having to bring along a mixer.

For someone who doesn’t own any modular or vintage gear with CV inputs, not being able to use the CV track on the A4 for basic MIDI sequencing of my Ambika feels like a weird omission indeed.


for me it always seemed like a UI thing, nothing more, no conspiracy or denials - the processor is clearly capable because they can serve up excessive fx goodies, plus don’t forget it’s also handling a lot of parameters at occasionally 14bit, so there’s a lot of controller data coming out, whether it’s practically restrictive or not is debatable, likely not - maybe it’s held back for a feature boost roadmap !
the worst thing is the constant complaining and dramatic theories you have to wade through on here

on the upside, the A4 is nicely lean, there’s just a bit too much crammed into the OT imho - that stuff matters too - plus the cv sequencing is knockout


I’d have been happy with just a simple option on the setup screen of the CV track - output CV or MIDI. Just that one added bit of flexibility would have made the difference.

Anyway, it’s rather academic now. I sold on the A4 and dove deeper into the MnM.


As someone who wants midi out on the rytm and likes to argue for it I have to say most (if not all) the midi conversation is being kept inside this thread, conveniently titled ‘no midi out = sadness’. If you don’t want to wade through it you can just opt to avoid this thread.


can’t argue with that !


Anyway most people seem more astonished than anything. I’ll admit, I was complaining at first but to what end? Mostly though, I just can’t understand why Elektron would let themselves miss such an opportunity; thousand of users would drop their mpcs for this thing with a few tweaks.


It is strange. I have the first 3 boxes with sequencers and they are great, I just thought they would get better and better in that department but alas they seem to have plateaued.

I can see the logic of not having all boxes do everything. In the studio it really doesn’t make much difference, it’s just live where things get limiting. Over the years i’ve used different combinations of elektrons (as a set of 2 or just 1) live as the options where always there. I never got an A4 as it doesn’t do midi out so i’d lose that option for playing out and as I don’t need any analogue synths it didn’t interest me.

The AR interests me totally but without midi out i’ll struggle to justify it


Oh, I see what you mean. That’s very possible, indeed it sometimes feel like Elektron are running up against the limits of their user interface philosophy already. I love thier gearpartly because it reminds me of 1980s home computers with all those secondary functions…

…but I do think they could learn a bit from other synth designers, or even balance out features better themselves. For example, I really wish the OT had something like the CTRL-All machine on the MD, so you could get different tracks modulating each other. Sure, I could pick up an MD and someday I will, but I still won’t be able to make it work the same as if that feature were present internally.
To be honest I think this approach costs them more in lost sales than it nets them; while I’m fine since I have and love my OT, the absence of MIDI out on the AR rather sucks for the first-time Elektron buyer that might want to hook it up to a ROMpler or something.