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


Ever since I got an A4, I kind of struggled with creating patches I would consider “warm.”
Someone on Elektonauts suggested I look for the sweet spots. I did, and I found satisfaction, but not for the “warmth” I was aiming for, I just found what I really like about the A4.
The A4 is kind of it’s own thing. It’s not going to do classic bread and butter sounds typically associated with “warm,” but it will make some of its own type of warm sounds.
Its taken me a bit to fall for the A4, but I did, yet I had to completely remove my expectations of what I already liked, and find out what it had to offer otherwise.


Don’t forget the chorus or the whole FX chain. Blend in the chorus with the third envelope and experiment with blend- times, chorus parameters … You can get some good stuff out of it


Thanks for that, but that pad is not what I’m after at all. It’s far too buzzy, probably thanks to the fixed volume sub oscs, which is another big impediment to getting warm and rich pads IMO.

OK - so here’s the Omni patch I mentioned. Straight A minor chord, no FX.


THIS to me is a warm pad. I challenge anyone to get close on the A4.


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Interesting how different we feel “warmth” …

For me this pad would be a little too harsh and gritty to go as “warm pad”. It has much bottom end and it’s very atmospheric and dark. I would use it in a film to announce danger … but not as a warm pad, which should be more cozy …

Ever heard something from a Polysix with ensemble? That would be my favourite of a “warm” pad.


Interesting, it’s all subjective as you say. You refer to the bottom end, those are thick low mids to my ears, and that’s the body I am trying to achieve. Can you post an example of the Polysix pad?


Yes you are right, it’s more mid, indeed.

Will try later, when I am in the studio again.


Still wondering if anyone fancies the sound design challenge to replicate the Omni pad :wink:


Here is my example … something … I think … is “warm” and “creamy” :wink:


Omnisphere 2 : Gorgeous Analogue Pad Dark

OSC 1= SAW (LFO modulates Pitch)
OSC 2= Pulse (LFO modulates Pulse width)

These two Oscillators make up the basis for the basic timbre but to get large buttery sound Omnisphere Unison mode is implemented with stereo spread. This basically doubles/trebles/quadruples etc the original Oscillator and also detunes these added Oscillators.
This basically makes 2 voices + extra voice per Oscillator for each Oscillator unison mode

That equals a total of 4 Oscillators minimum in use to create the required synth voice

Analog Keys can do this sound when played mono but there is simply not enough voices to play it polyphonically. The basic sound Timbre, Modulation etc is quite easy, but Unison with Poly…nope!


the chorus is the key for spreading or widening, even in mono


Thank you. Here’s the same sound with unison turned off, so two oscs and that’s it.


You’re right a lot of richness is gone, but I’d still be happy to make this on the A4.


How many notes do you play here?


Track sounds + subtle modifications that vary the modulation a little bit on each track is absolutely the way to go.

I also had a eureka moment when I played the A4 mkii using a linnstrument, with note-per-channel and four separate instances of a patch loaded to all four tracks. The micro-modulations in each voice—which, with the Linnstrument (or any MPE instrument) come from subtle, varying movements on each finger/note—are really what create that warmth that most people are looking for.

I was playing long chords through the built-in reverb and my warm-ambient-drone-obsessed girlfriend was like “what are you playing that sounds so pretty?”


that’s interesting.


Warmth starts appearing on the A4/AK once you decrease the osc level and apply slight pitch modulation IMHO. An initialized sound is aggressive by default on that machine. From there on you can take it anywhere and apply all the warm pad tricks you might think of. Plus, you can fine tune the timbre with the waveshaping option on all waveforms, which is a huge advantage, even before you start applying any of the two filters
Also, the A4/AK has a sound of its own, wouldn’t recommend it to anyone looking to emulate anything else


Gain staging the oscillators is key on the A4. The default is quite absurd IMO. My go to starting point for a two oscillator patch is 50-60. You can turn things down in so many places on the A4 you might as well…then record through a half decent pre amp…no probs bob…


Usually what I consider as warm sounds and pads is a plenty amount of bass (sinus like tones) with rather softened out mids and highs without many harsh formed timbre. While the A4 doesn’t do sinus on its oscillators it can get tricky to get warmer sounding sculpture into the sound. The thing I like on the A4 compared to other synths is that one explores so many different warm sounding timbres on the way creating a warm pad, that it mostly ends up into an evolving something ready to have fun with for hours :slight_smile:

I just posted an example on what I mean (take your time fo follow along the evolving sound).


I agree with your explanation but your pad is far too harsh for me.

I was playing around again tonight and I ended up in the same place as usual… the mid range just totally disappear below 60-70 on filter 1, it’s like there’s just no low mids at all regardless of the waveform, so you can only raise that filter and do these sharper and buzzier timbres.

You do get improvements from using F2 as an EQ, boosting resonance on low mids. This is similar to the self-oscillating “bass boost” trick.

In both cases though, all we are doing is masking fundamental weaknesses in the signal! This isn’t good. I am more convinced than ever that something is seriously off with the oscillators and/or filters on this thing. People said this ages go and after a year i finally see it.


Did you try a mid boost trick with peak? (1 octave upper with 32 for Keytrack)

Analog Heat should help you I think…