Shame they’re different case sizes and colours now.
Wow, thanks! I have loved Ryuichi Sakamoto since I saw the film Merry Christmas Mister Lawrence a very long time ago. To be compared at all is a huge thrill!
It would be kinda neat if they were the same size. Both of mine are mkii’s. Not too put off by it though.
That jam is pretty esoteric, I suppose. I was just starting to get into using the OT as a midi sequencer. It’s such a fun, creative sequencer as you know very well! If memory serves, I sequenced the drums on the A4 first, then sampled them into the OT. Then I loaded up 4 synth patches on the A4 and sequenced them trying every crazy LFO trick I could think of. I recorded all of that into Logic, cut it up into smaller chunks I liked and loaded em back into the OT for sequencing.
I am also an OT + A4 fan/user.
I think the main advantage isn’t any specific workflow, but rather all the different workflows the combo can give you.
OT makes the A4 better by having loads of MIDI LFOs to modulate A4 in more and more complex ways (send an LFO to a performance macro even).
And, as mentioned, A4 makes OT better as a sound source. It’s a great drum synth, I prefer A4 drums to Rytm drums, and they respond to OT FX very well.
For most folks not much else will be necessary. Maybe a low cost drum machine for instant gratification (tt606, tr-09, tanzbar lite, etc).
Two Elektrons is a perfect number of Elektrons and OT and A4 are the most powerful of the bunch.
Lovely tracks, I actually wouldn’t think it was just A4 and Octatrack if you hadn’t mentioned it!
Agreed! Love em both, but together, it’s pretty formidable
Thanks! My goal for this year was to buy less machines and learn the A4 and OT better. I’ve pretty much stuck to that with the exception of getting a MicroMonsta for pads. A buddy loaned me a Moog Minitaur, but I’m not really knocked out by it. I also have an ancient Korg Trinity nearby, but I rarely turn it on. Anything I’d be tempted to add this year will just be something simple, to be sequenced from the OT, hence the MicroMonsta. Tempted to add a 1010 BlackBox as well, but I’m in no rush.
My biggest temptation is the Digitone Keys, but it’s going to have to wait awhile. Just noticed I said ‘tempted’ twice and ‘temptation’ once…never ends! For now, I find the A4/OT combo covers a lot of ground
Yesterday I drove to the nearest store (1h30 away…) that could demo a A4MkII. I had decided that if I felt the “wow” factor I would drive home with it. I found the A4 definitely has the Elektron sound signature but it didn’t trigger the wow-reflex. In the same pricerange I was more impressed by the DSI rev2, sound-wise. BUT I only got to try the A4 using the tiny onboard keyboard switches which really doesn’t do the synth justice I believe, and the two factory soundbanks which are very meh in my opinion. I would love to love the A4 though, it seems indeed a great partner to the OT (I might let the Digitone go if I got a A4… 3 Elektron sequencers is not really necessary). As @Snipecatcher’s videos show, it’s a inspiring combo! If only someone could show me that the A4 can be brought a bit into DSI territory… just a tiny bit…
The Rev 2 is a beast, so it’s not like you blew it
Can you show some examples of the DSI Sound you want to achieve?
For me it completely depends on my mood and the track I want to make. That’s the cool thing about these two boxes… both are capable of a big variety of sounds.
I tend to use the OT for drums and the A4 for melodies and pads/drones. Usually about four drum tracks on the OT with sample chains, and on the often A4 a bass track, a pad (tuning the oscillators to chords, played with single notes) and two lead melody tracks. Then I sample some lines from the A4 into the OT either to make space for more stuff on the A4 or to manipulate the sounds on the OT in order to create additional elements. I love slicing, pitching, reversing melodies.
Since drums on the A4 sound so great I also often start with a drum beat on the A4 and sample it into the OT. Then slicing it up, make variations and glitches, applying effects etc.
I sequence the A4 from its own sequencer most of the time, cause it’s more direct (less time to setup - I’m lazy!) and I love the little keyboard.
Lately A4 and digitone share a lot of their tasks. Digitone is also great in every department, even better for ambient stuff imo
I know this trick from @sezare56, I used it a lot. Really powerful
I sometimes ask myself almost the opposite…If only someone could show me any other synth which can be brought into the A4 territory !
I was about to sell my AK a few monthes ago and even @500 euros, nobody wanted it…
It’s now the central piece of our live setup…Go figure !
Here are my few cents … having an AK and a DSI Prophet 08. The Prophet 08 is the predecessor of the Rev2. If they didn’t change the filter of the Rev2 dramatically, it should produce the same sounds as the Prophet 08.
Soundwise there is some common ground, which is shared by A4 and Rev2, but IMO there are many differences too.
If you played the A4 and the Rev2 using the factory presets, I am not surprised that you liked the Rev2 more. The presets are just much better quality. The factory presets of the A4 have disappointed many, including myself.
But … let’s dig deeper … (significant differences IMO, not a full list)
- Obvously the A4 comes with 4 voices and the Rev2 with 8/16 voices. This can make a difference for pads. But if we compare single voices only, the A4 is much more versatile in many aspects compared to the Rev2.
- The two oscillators of the P08 are quite standard, the two oscillators of the A4 allow PWM for all waveshapes and there is this Transistor-Shape, which is unusual. Additionally we have one tuneable sub-oscillator for each oscillator. The A4 provides more options for sync/crossmodulation.
- I like the 24dB/oct filter of the P08, but the 12dB/oct lacks character and its resonance is too weak for my taste. That isn’t an issue for “my pad design”, because I use very small amount of resonance for pads if any, but comparing this to other mono-synths, it really sucks. The A4 provides 2 filter, which can be used in parallel and sound great.
- The P08 and the Rev2 are very versatile giving us 3 envelopes, 4 LFOs, and the mod-matrix. But from a sound-designers view I would say that the A4 is even more versatile. The A4 has 3 envelopes too, comes with 2 LFOs, but provides additional LFOs on various pages. Example: PWM for each osc and vibrato speed and depth.
- The Rev2 has more or less standard envelope shapes, but the A4 provides a couple of different shapes having linear, exponential, logarithmic, and even mixed slopes. For me that makes a huge difference, particularly if the sound shall be punchy or very smooth.
And there is more, but the post is already too long
Thanks for your insight! That’s helpful, I appreciate it. The rev2 and P08 are supposed to sound the same (patches of the 08 will load into the rev2 and are supposed to sound identical). The rev2 is fully bi-timbral (2x 4 or 8 voices according to the model) with independant sequencers and arps (and midi channels), and the rev2 has a sub oscillator for each oscillator plus an extensive effects section, and much more modulation options than the p08. It’s quite an upgrade…
Yes, the A4 factory presets really aren’t huge selling points. Most of the time I had the impression that I was playing a Digitone (with all due respect), apart from the sub oscillator that is beyond the DN’s range. Having a DN already, I didn’t have the impression I was about to expand my sonic palette in a significant way… when I changed from the A4 to the rev2 (or a P6 which also on display) it was like I removed a blanket from the sound. There is some sort of airy and clear character I couldn’t find in the A4. Still, every time I hear music made on the A4 I find it inspiring. And if I hear videos demoing the rev2 I find them bombastic and uninspiring! Maybe I should look for a used AK… I was bothered with that tiny keyboard, even though I’m not a keyboard player at all it didn’t feel right.
But I’m afraid this is drifting off-topic (even if my point is also to find a companian for my OT)… so sorry hijacking the thread, guys
Thanks. Thats very helpful.
Hi! In my setup I have all 3: OT, A4 and the rev2. I explained here in detail why I ended up with this setup. To make a long story short: The A4 is very flexible and useful in many ways, while you need to fall in love with the rev2 to really appreciate it unless you need instant thick cinematic pads. But, once you do, and it seems like you did, I guess there is no way around it, although an A4 would be the rational choice if your only other machine is an OT.
When you say ‘rational’ choice. Do you mean the A4 is better as a companion or…?
The rev 2 is a beatifully sounding relatively “classic” analog polysynth ! Huge sound, beautiful sound ( even If i’m more of an Ob-6 guy myself ) ! And that’s it ! It is a beast in its category but you won’t be able to move as far as you want, you’ll finally hit a wall.
Tha A4 is much more a programmer sound design tool.
You can go deliciously wild with it exploring an almost infinite sonic territory…Some it will excel at and some where it will be a rather ok synth.
With sound lock you can produce full tracks in it.
You want a huge classic sounding poly ? Rev 2 !
You want a extremely versatile sound design tool ? A4/K.