A4 : self sufficient, difficult to pair with other gear?

I think the A4 is the best Elektron device I’ve ever had but lately I’m in a dilemma : when I want to use it with other gear or with softsynth (so with the sequencer with a very spaced and simple melodic or rhythm line or even without the sequencer) I always think that I could do this faster and better with a softsynth.

When I want to use the A4 like an Elektron device, to do things that are not easily doable with other gear (or even not doable at all with other gear), I always end up with a full, almost complete track with drums, bass, melodies, and plocks, slides trigs, conditionnal trigs etc, and I keep thinking “yep, cannot add anything without destroying the whole thing”.

So here’s my question : can you easily integrate the A4 into your music and keep what makes it specifically an Elektron gear ?

It sounds like you’re getting results and finishing tracks with the two configurations. Why force a different set-up you don’t need?


I rarely use my A4 together with other gear, but on the one track I finished I used the A4 as a normal polysynth to play chords (and bass) and Digitakt for everything else. If you pair your A4 with plugins, you could spend a voice or two on things like unison, then make up for the lack of voices with the plugins.

…and i always use the a4 to define the edges and foundation for a song and THEN record and edit and arrange those in the daw, where, of course, some further sonic elements join that very same sonic cake…

never used it as a polysynth…always a bumm…always a tschakk…always a bassline…always some harmonic free radicals…always some inbetween counter point shit…always some fx and filter plocking…always some weird makro actions…

fool around…record it…ed it…

sounds like a great thing to me :slightly_smiling_face: why add more?

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Mine pairs with my Digitone wonderfully.

8 tracks for all sorts of FM drums, effects or polyphonic leads. Sits nicely in its own frequencies and rarely clashes in the mix.

Control All on the Digitone and Performance knobs on the A4 both offer great on the fly tweaking.

I mostly use it with other gear. When I had an a4 and not an AK, I was primarily using it as an effects processor. Like an analog heat with chorus delay reverb etc
I play the AK alone quite a bit because I practice on the keys. But I still like hooking up my monotribe or my pocket operator to it for some easy backing drums
I find that it is very capable of enhancing other sound sources and sequencers. It can sync, control, or effect any other sound source or sequencer without compatibility issues as long as you have the right cables.

In the OP’s use scenario I would feel similarly though. The a4 isn’t the best midi controller. The ak has some additional midi features tho.

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