Why can't the A4 do warm pads & chords? [SOLVED]


personaly I use AK mostly for percussion, beats, efx and crazy wierd sequencing, sometimes even for bass. I did also pads on it, but it took a lot of time for me to make one that suited my needs ( thats why i keep my strusty Juno106 through MPX500 or AK effects for some vintage warmth.
Keep experimenting with AK filter combination and amp ADSR, dont forget the effects(almost inf reverb + panned delay combo)


The only things that the new OB6 and Prophet 6 fail at compared to the vintage units is the lack of the 5th octave on the keyboard. In everyday use there is nothing lacking in either soundwise compared with old units.

It does however take a bit more work to get what is considered to be warmth from A keys If required.


I have a hard time with terms like “warm”, because they’re so subjective. A4 keeps reminding me that subtlety is key or as @Unifono put it somewhere above “sweet spots are narrow” on the A4. However, using all the modulation options ever so slightly and a dash of the FX and the overdrive can yield results that sound very pleasing to my ears. For patches with long release I pretty much always add a slow, shallow LFO on PW and or chorus send if I haven’t used all LFO slots yet and I find this makes the sounds come alive. Whether this constitutes “warmness” is in the ear of the listener of course.


as mentioned before the two filters are often the key. Often for me the most pleasing filter setting are a combination of different lowpass filter settings (and maybe the second one as 2 pole), one slightly closed one more closed, different envelope mod amounts etc. Using the peak filter on the second filter is always a great tool to boost certain frequencies, that are desired an can make a huge difference. Also the resonances of both filters and the overdrive are very important. Negative or positive drive makes a huge difference. I also noticed that filter one is more pleasing to my ears when resonance boost is turned of.
The fact, that you can set and modulate pulse width for all waveforms is also extremely useful for movement etc in the sound. For example I really love having a triangle wave on each osc with different PWs and different modulation speed and amount. They move between triangles and smooth saw territory and the different PWM speeds bring a lot of movement.
Oscillator retrig can be useful for pads sometimes, also Am when square or trapezoid waveforms are used.
And since there are nice effects on the A4 - make use of it! The Reverb settings can make the difference e.g. - use its lowpass to darken it, crank it up in volume and decay - maybe lower the amp volume of the track and raise the reverb send near to max etc. You can modulate the fx - try it - Lfo on the reverb filter settings or volume etc. can be fantastic.


“Whether this constitutes “warmness” is in the ear of the listener of course”

Agreed, but a room is either warm, hot or cold adding to a certain feeling for the inhabitant…
So many other terms like , buttery, smooth, soft, fat, round, etc can be brought into play.

On the A4 agreed, use of the LFO controlling aspects of the sound design is key. Careful positioning of resonance in relation to the cutoff of filters is also crucial.


I’m also struggling with the pads on the A4, especially when adding the A4 chorus. sometimes the pads are peaking out special frequencies, which i found dificult when it comes to mixdown.
But sending A4 pads to shimmer verb always works wonders :wink:

How do you guys like the Prophet Rev2 for pads?? all the demos I saw and heared were not as pleasing as Prophet 6 or OB6


The REV2 is my favorite synth. I’d say it complements the A4 perfectly. The P6 and OB6 are too weak for my taste. But I like really massive sounds. :slight_smile:


for pads and ambient, the reverb often might be far more important than the synth :slight_smile:


Case in point: ambient ‘synth pads’ which are actually just guitars through a massive effects chain.

If the sound of a metal string vibrating can produce lush tones, there’s no reason why the A4 can’t.



Can you post some sound examples of pads you are aiming for?


I will do once I get back to my machine, but in case anyone has Omnisphere - there are many pads in there that I’m aiming for.

One that comes to mind right now is “Gorgeous Analogue Pad Dark” which I believe has no samples, just straight digital synthesis, and it’s way more lush than anything I get from AK.

So I usually end up layering with Omni to get the required body, but it’s frustrating that I have to.


Because when you invest in a synth you want to get your favourite sounds out of it.


I don’t think any synth manufacturer in the world could ever manage such expectations.

The Analog Four is what it is. By all means try to make the most of it. It is absolutely capable of warm pads and chords. That part is known. But it’s not ever going to sound just like a certain VST.


I don’t think he wants the A4 to sound like Omnisphere, he is just saying he can achieve the desired sounds easier using Omnisphere. I can understand this, I can achieve beloved pad sounds easier and faster with Diva compared to A4. Still it’s possible on the A4 - and - the A4 can do many other great things. Omnisphere and Diva have no p-lockable hardware sequencer for example :wink:


kind of hard to NOT to do warm and lush pads with A4/AK…


Whenever questions like this come up I always wondering if folks are listening to sounds in isolation or in the mix.

Most synths Ive used more or less got what I need to get anything done. The synth is just the starting point. Once I get those multi tracks recorded and start mixing/trying out FX and automation a little lack of “warmth”… whatever that actually means…is rarely an issue. If everything is “warm” on its own I find I end up having to clean up lots of mud.

Id recommend trying “use track sounds” and do subtle modifications of the patch over the four tracks. With different modulation settings. Introduce a bit more irregularity in filter movements and overdrive as a start.

I also personally absolutely abuse the peak filter 90% of the time…


Have you ever examined that Omni-Patch in detail how it is created? Even if it is done without any samples I’m quite sure it uses much more than the A4’s simple architecture of 2 Osc. + 2 Filter + 2 LFOs …




Maybe you’re forgetting that the A4 is actually 4 x (2 Osc + 2 Filter +2 LFO). You’re also forgetting the hard-wired vibrato LFO and the sub-osc. There is nothing at all simple about the A4’s synth architecture. Quite the opposite, it is amazingly deep and complex.


Here’s a (raw/ unprocessed) clip of a pad (3 voices) & bass (1) taken straight out of the A42, last night.

Pad began from some similar param settings for one of the pads in @Unifono’s video, then tweaked to taste – some might not like the placement of the resonance.
The bass was started from a preset called “Edgar”.

This is what I mean when I say that I don’t find there to be as huge a trade off in sound (at least to my ear) from a higher priced DSI, considering everything you get with the Elektron sequencer. Frankly, this is more than satisfactory for me, and I’m fully aware that I’m still in the process of learning it, as I’ve only had it for a couple weeks now.

Additionally, the pad in this second clip is only using a single voice:

Using PWM to get each set of osc/ sub osc to cut in and out, as well as slow vibrato to make it a touch more ‘lush’. All in all, I’m only using 3 voices in ^this last clip.