Analog 4 (or Keys) thoughts

This is great, thanks a lot for sharing.

I’ve had a bit of a mixed relationship with my A4 - it was one of the first hardware synths I got expecting basically 4 lines of instant acid and seamless integration with my DAW. But it ended up that Overbridge wasn’t ready for another couple of years and I found the tone a bit underwhelming so it kinda got cast aside for other instruments that gave a bit more instant gratification, then got resurrected as a CV sequencer when I started getting into modular.

But I’m older and wiser now … right … and a bit more willing to put in the time and effort to get it to where I want to go. I still don’t love its character, but the amount of flexibility and sound design options between the synth engines and parameter locks more than compensates. Rarely if ever becomes a foreground instrument for me, but for bleeps, chirps, background textures and arps it’s really starting to come into its own. Seems like the internal gain-staging clips way earlier than you might expect, but I find if I dial it back I can get pretty nice “classic” sounds also.

One thing that’s bugging me, though - does anyone find that in overbridge mode it comes in ridiculously quiet? Like, unusably so? I usually hook up an overbridge plugin for easy programming and additional modulation from Bitwig if needed, but run in through my sound card instead of using the plugin’s audio out.

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@squarepeig I believe the headphone volume knob affects overbridge playback level. You might have to tweak that?

for me the main improvements from mk1 elektron to mk2 are the encoders. their switch to sin/cos pots is just WOW they feel so good. Good enough that I’m completely spoiled for normal encoders now :slight_smile:

This is by design as far as I know with overbridge. Should be -12 db if I’m remembering correctly, it’s the same on digitakt, digitone, etc.

I’ve been been playing around with trying to make the same patches on an analog keys mk I and a moog sirin and I’ve been struck by how distinctive the square vs. saw is on the moog and how similar they sound on the analog 4.

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Yeah, last night it was peaking at -31db but I just turned up the master volume knob as @zbs and it’s back to the normal behaviour of around -12db, so all good. Well, I mean it would be nice to have a -6db or even -3db option, but it’s usable again. Weirdly, the volume knob doesn’t seem to affect the output at all when I turn it now, so I’m really not sure what was going on.


I think that might be partly because at the default PW setting of 0, the pulse wave on the Analog Four is not a perfect square. Turning the PW to about -5 seems better and gives that hollow square-wave character.

For a perfect square-wave I use the -1 octave sub oscillator.

Also, some people seem to prefer the Triangle wave at -64 PW, for a more meaty sawtooth.