A4 mkII questions

Hi all!

I am a proffessional keyboard player an A4 Mk II is maybe next unit in my rig. From those of you familiar with A4 Mk II I’d like to ask following:

How good A4 is when you play with external MIDI keyboard? Does it perform accurately with for example moog-type mono lead sound for fast jazz passages? Can you use all those normal CCs, PB and Aftertouch messages to control it?

In live stage I send MIDI program change messages to my synths when song changes. Can I do this with A4 too? I mean choose whole set 4 sounds and settings (I believe I am talking about “kit”) via midi?



What @t said.

How about sustain pedal? Out of the box or do you have to tweak each preset?

As per MK1 the MIDI CC message for Sustain Pedal is used for another parameter - imho that’s not an oversight, it’s a conscious decision based on the way the sequencer is expected to be used - no doubt it annoys keys players

It’s worth repeating (for op) that pitch bend and after touch (breath too) are performance parameters - they can’t be recorded, only played live, but all conceivable modulations are pretty much possible via the seq

I you want to use program changes you need to know that you are not directly selecting kits, you are selecting patterns - the patterns will only be linked to a kit if the pattern has content and is therefore savable - but the content can be as trivial as an inconsequential parameter lock anywhere


Thanks for replies. With synth sounds I can live without sustain pedal…

If I understood right, with some MIDI Program Change Message you can select a pattern with special Kit (with 4 individual sounds). So this way you can have a kind of a 4-part multitimbral synth module which can be played with external MIDI, right? How about if you would like to have splits or different channels for individual sounds. Do you get these settings too with “kit” or are they higher level settings?

check out Multimap in the manual or browse forum for info on what can be done with that for splits and much much more

But yes - unique Kits can be thought of as quick ways to dial up four sounds (and much more) - if you set the controller keys to the A4 auto midi channel, then to jump between sounds you select tracks - or - just use the direct midi channel for each track by swapping on external keys (which also may support splits in its own right)

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I don’t know about the mkII, but I’ve used an external keyboard (Roland JP8000) with my OGA4, and it worked perfectly fine.

I have found that the my A4 (Mk1) responds very well to MIDI PCs. Normally a 16th advance of the PC message is enough to guarantee the sound changes when required. I have other synths which require a greater advance.

Hmmm… Seems little complicated, or is it?

What I’d like to have is to get a fast (MIDI controlled) way of changing from one “multi preset” to another. For example, let’s say Multi preset A is ‘all 4 sounds respond to different midi channels’ and Multi preset B ‘all 4 sounds on same ch but splitted’ and Multi preset C ‘all sounds layered together’ etc. Can I change fast from A to B to C etc. and do this with external MIDI program change?

Thanks for your help and patience :wink:

P.S. It’s not easy to find ANY decent multitimbral analog synth… A4mkII is one rare species!

No you cannot do what you have suggested.
MIDI PCs can be used to switch patterns and kits can be allocated to patterns and therefore kits can be switched using PCs.
Track MIDI channel is a Global setting, not a pattern or kit setting.

Edit. You may be able to achieve some of what you want by using MIDI note messages, via Multi Map, in addition to PCs.

A4 architecture is a bit cryptic for a beginner. What is exactly a “Multi map”? Is it something you have to choose “by hand” or is saved to Project or Song or Pattern or Kit? I believe it’s Project level feature but just to make sure…

Neither, it’s global - there are 4 global ‘presets’ - global is highest level


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Well to be clear, in manual p.15 there’s a picture of “A4mkII structure”. From this you’ll get an impression that “128 Projects” is actually a highest level. Every project can have 4 globals, right? And if you load “project A” you’ll load also its global settings?

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that’d be handy - must look at this - but tbh i’m a one project kinda guy - reuse the tape, so to speak

I am closer and closer to buying A4mkII… :grinning:

Few more questions, if someone can clarify:

first, about USB-audio. Overbridge-infopage (https://www.elektron.se/products/analog-four-mkii/) says that you can “Use Analog Four MKII as a 2 in/2 out sound card (CoreAudio/ASIO/WDM)”. What that actually means? “2 out” means probably that you can route your main-stereo to mac/PC via USB, right? If it’s like that, does analog outputs still work? What about “2 in”? Does it mean that (in mac/PC) you can choose A4 as output device and A4 treats this signal like its analog L/R-pair? In other words, I’d like to know what A4 does with incoming USB audio; does it substitute its analog input, or what?

second, @Stickhit said “MIDI PCs can be used to switch patterns” (…). Is this normal simple Program Change message on some special channel (?)?

Many thanks for your help! I am a kind of a guy who wants to learn quite a lot about the instruments before I even have them…

Overbridge : FEBRUARY 2018 …

2 in/2 out = like a soundcard with 1 stereo pair of input and with 1 stereo pair of output

But with Overbridge you can get T1,T2,T3,T4 as separated + the Main outputs (Stereo) and the Inputs (Stereo) all separated… by the USB.

No Analog Outs work as expected even with Overbridge USB in used… (if i remember well…)

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Does this 2in/2out sound card feature work already? (Without upcoming Overbridge)
And still wondering that does A4 handle this “USB 2 in” same way like those analog ins?

btw. Just ordered my own A4mkII unit, so soon I can check these things in real life. One major reason to purchase this was having this lively forum. I really appreciate this!


Yes normal PC messages can be used to switch patterns. On the A4 Mk1 (and I suspect Mk2) you can set on which MIDI channel PC messages are received.

Per project, there are 128 patterns. PC 1 selects pattern 1, PC 2 pattern 2 and so on. It is not necessary to use bank select messages.

The A4 can also transmit the corresponding PC message on pattern change. Furthermore, when you switch the A4 on it will transmit a PC message corresponding to its startup pattern (which will be the same as the pattern at switch off).

Is it possible to loop envelopes on the A4 MK2?

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