Use midi from A4 to control 2 other synths, and use keystep to play them: almost there, please help!

Hi friends!

so I have an analog rytm MK2, analog four MK2, Roland JU-06a, a dreadbox typhon, and an arturia keystep.

What I’d like:

  1. to be able to control the analog four with the keystep
  2. to be able to play/sequence the JU-06a and dreadbox with the analog four
  3. to use the keystep also to play the JU-06a and dreadbox
  4. to send midi clock and start/stop to the rytm from the analog four

What I’ve done:

  1. connect keystep midi out -> midi in of A4
  2. connect A4 midi out -> midi solutions midi thru
  3. from the midi solutions midi thru, an out goes to the rytm (for clock/start/stop) and another goes to the JU-06a, and another to the dreadbox


  1. set the rytm to clock receive and transport receive, set the A4 to clock send/transport send
  2. configured the midi settings on A4: midi out via midi, and the A4 channels on 1-4, and FX on 5, and CV on 6
  3. set the JU-06a channel to 5, set the dreadbox channel to 6
  4. in the notes menu of the FX and CV track, set both on ‘send midi notes=on’

What does work:

  1. when i press play on A4, the rytm starts too, in sync (awesome)
  2. when I use the keystep and selecht channel 1-4 on keystep, I can control track 1-4 on A4
  3. when I use the A4 built in keyboard and select the FX and CV track, I can control and hear the JU-06a, and dreadbox

However, what goes wrong/doesnt work:

  1. when I change the keystep to channel 5 or 6, I don’t hear the JU-06a or dreadbox
  2. When I enter a sequence for the FX/CV track on the A4 and press play, I don’t hear the JU-06a or dreadbox.

what am I doing wrong? since o I can play the JU-06a / dreadbox with the built in keyboard on the A4, I must have my connections and channels right. So why can’t i sequence them with the FX/CV sequence track?

Also, If I can play track 1-4 on A4 with the keystep, the connections must be right. Why can’t i play the JU-06a or dreadbox with the keystep when I select the FX/CV track then? (and why does the built in A4 keybed work?)

I’m happy I came this far, hope you can help me with the final steps.
if there is another/better way to set this all up, please say so.


It might be better and easier using the auto channel and set the keystep to the same channel then whichever track you select you will control via the keystep without having to change channels…

As for sending midi from fx & cv tracks have you checked the midi out box
in I think it’s the note setup?
it’s not in settings menus pretty sure it’s note setup

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thanks for the reply!
the autochannel tip is handy!

But still:
I’ve checked the note setup and checked the ‘send midi’ for FX and CV.
this works, since I can then use the A4 buit in keybed/octave to control the 2 external synths ‘live’

so why can’t I control them with the keystep?
with your autochannel tip, selecting T1, T2, T3, T4, i can play them with the keystep
selecting FX and CV, I can play the connected external synths with the A4 keyboard, but not with keystep. Strange! Do you know why?

Also when i record a sequence on T1 - T4 all is fine, but when I record a sequence on the FX track or CV, I don’t hear the external synths (while playing them in real time with A4 keybed, I do hear them).


the keystep is going to the A4 midi in so to pass that to the other synths
it needs to be passed on with the midi thru not the midi out…

The out doesn’t pass what is coming in through the in, that’s what the thru is for…

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Thank you. will try…

do you also happen to know why I can’t sequence the external synths using the FX and CV track, but I can hear them/play them using the A4 keyboard when I select those tracks? this has to be something within the A4 settings right?

Maybe in midi config - port settings you have some settings set to int instead ext
and USB instead of midi+USB possibly as a guess?

Have you turned on send midi in note setup on the actual cv & fx tracks you have to turn it on each track?

Yes I have turned send midi on (note setup), only for the FX and CV track, since those are the only ones I want to send.

There is another problem regarding the connections now.

I tried keystep to midi in on A4, midi out on A4 to rytm (for clock) and midi thru on A4 to the external synth. Indeed, now I can use the keystep to control the external synth. However, obviously, now I can’t send A4 sequencer data anymore.


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Haha I know, I realised that shortly after it wouldn’t work,
sorry dude it’s late and my brain isn’t working correctly.

I use a few midi mergers in my setup for these type of problems
but there must be a way to get it to work without one I’m sure

Maybe @PeterHanes might be able to help,
I’ve seen him give good advice on this type of thing…

Which version of the operating system is your Analog Four running?

@DanJamesAUS my brain is tired too now.
Hope to try again tomorrow with some new hope and energy.

@PeterHanes : perhaps you can help me out; you seem to be very knowledgeable.

So, to summarize, what I’d like to achieve:

  1. connect my AR (MKII, black, 1.60A) with my A4 (MKII, black, 1.50A) so that they are clock synced and starting playback on one of them starts te other.
  2. be able to use the FX track and CV track on the A4 (+ the A4 sequencer) to control/sequence two external synths (JU-06a and dreadbox, or whatever actually).
  3. be able to use the arturia keystep to play the notes for the A4 tracks, and the FX/CV (and thus external synth) tracks (not necessarily need to control the AR tracks with it).

These three are in order of importance.
So far I’ve succeeded at point 1, but can’t get point 2 and 3 to work properly.

Hopefully someone can find the time to talk me through it. Perhaps I’m missing something so just a step by step would be great!


its stated in the post above, 1.50A

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Make sure you’re using your original configuration with MIDI Out of Analog Four (NOT MIDI Thru) connected to the synths you want to control.

Have you muted the FX and CV tracks?

Regarding your other problems, it would be useful if you double-check all your settings, and post which MIDI channel numbers you have set for:

  • the Keystep
  • the six tracks of the AF
  • the auto channel of the AF.

When you record into the AF’s sequencer, are you using LIVE RECORDING or GRID RECORDING?

What have you set for LIVE REC ON TRACK CHANNEL in the AF’s GLOBAL > MIDI CONFIG > PORT CONFIG menu?


I think your first setup was correct. In order for the midi to pass thru from the KeyStep to the Roland and Dreadbox, you will have to use AUTO CHANNEL for it to work. In other words, midi thru only passes the midi out when using AUTO.

When used this way you can have the functionality of the THRU port, but also still use the sequencer.

Am I right that you didn’t use AUTO until you had already switched the original setup?

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Thank you all, for your tips and patience.
I got it to work, with the first setup (ins/outs) and the AUTO CHANNEL-setting.

It feels like a great victory, thank you Elektronauts!


just realized an alternative potential setup by the way; if i also would like to control the rytm with the keystep, or have the rytm as master clock.

by using the midi in of the keystep too.

  • Arturia keystep midi out -> AR midi in
  • AR midi out -> to keystep midi in (sending the clock to keystep, but also again to the midi in of AR)
  • AR midi thru -> to A4 midi in (thereby sending clock + keystep notes).

would this work?

I’ve never tried out - back in then thru, you might run into midi channel problems maybe?
I’ve got a few midi mergers in my setup because with Elektron gear you often want both the out and thru for program changes & midi and it makes it easier with mergers to work out.

might be trouble haha, will try it out soon.

never change a winning team so keeping it like above for the time being.
only thing now is that I can’t play the rytm with the keystep, but this is not a very big deal as I use it for drums mainly.

what kind of merger do you have/like?

I have a few of the midi solutions 2 in 2 out mergers…
they do end up adding in cost I will admit…

I’ve got my midi keyboard and squid sequencer running into a merger then into a midi thru going to everything, I needed another merger for the Octatrack to receive program change and another so the digitone can sequence a synth :laughing:

It took a bit of trial error, but everything is flexible now, can have anyone of the Elektrons as the master sending program change, and get midi to everything I want now

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Great work. you like the squid?

this might also have been interesting for you: