I'm a Newb wrapping my head around a new A4

Hello everyone,

This is my first post. I just bought an Analog Four and an Octatrack. I’ve been reading the forum to get my head around the whole organizational structure of the A4.

KITS(128 per project): are the four synth sounds assigned to the four tracks (+ the other 2 tracks).

PATTERNS(128 per project): Are saved automatically but are not directly linked to specific sounds…but more like the recorded events within the pattern.

Each Project can have up to 128 sounds saved to itself though the Sound Pool.

You can have up to 128 Projects in the +Drive.

There are some sounds stored in slots A and B but you can completely fill up the +Drive with up to 4096 sounds. It is currently not full. Some additional sounds are available for free or for $$ at various sites and this forum.

I think I got this right?

The one topic I see all of the time here is the accidental loss of sounds due to not completely understanding the structure of the A4.

So my question to all of you today is this: If I alter a sound from Bank Group A, Save it as a new kit…save the track even… does that mean that I have permanently altered the sound in the sound pool?

Let’s say I have a pattern in C1 that has the original “The SAW” sound in track 1… and then in D4 I reuse the same sound but alter it quite a bit, and save a Kit specifically for D4… When I play the C1 pattern, as long as I load the associated kit, should still sound as originally intended? Is this overkill?

On a sad note, my Octatrack was returned yesterday to be fixed /replaced because it was stuck in DEMO MODE.

Oh well… It gives me time to figure out the A4, right?

Thanks in advance.


Hi rich,
It’s a good thing the OT is not on hand. This is a big bite to chew. For now ignore the plus drive and focus and sounds and kits. Make a pattern on all four track and program some sounds. Then save the kit to one of the slots. For sanity sake, save it to slot 1 if you’re on pattern a1. Count up as you go. If you make changes to a sound in your pattern you want to keep, save the kit again. There is no saving no patterns. They are always just as you see them. The kit that was attached to the pattern when you move to another pattern is connected to that pattern by the fact that you were there when you moved on. If you move to a blank pattern, the kit you were working on will also be connected to that pattern. Save yourself some trouble and save into a new slot. Now when you edit the soubds, your first kit won’t be impacted.
There are elektron training videos on YouTube. Take a good look at them. Also, our own cuckoo has videos for the RYTM where he digs into kits a fair amount. The metaphors are similar. I don’t know if he did one for the a4.
But take your time, there’s a lot of details and losing work is frustrating until you get the hang of it. Once you get it, you can leverage the particulars to musical advantage. I’m generalizing a bit and there are a million use cases.
Good luck and check back after you review the videos and try it out for a little, if you haven’t already.

Edit, to your q, sounds are only altered inside the kit. The sound you copied from the plus drive is un altered.
Sorry for the diatribe above, I got excited.


As mentioned already

Sounds on the +Drive are permanent records of sounds, the only way to alter those is to overwrite one deliberately
These can be used to populate kits whenever you need and to populate the sound pool whenever you need
Think of the +Drive as being something outside the normal working area, you pull things in from it, and importantly, you save things out to it (i.e. sounds you create that you want to have and use later elsewhere)

Sounds loaded into a Kit become immediately divorced from the source, these are now only part of that kit and that kit may be linked to any number of patterns, so changes made to the kit whilst working on pattern x will be reflected in pattern y (linked to same kit) - so you have to keep in mind that changes can affect other work in this way - every pattern is linked to a Kit (Kits can exist unused)

Sound pool sounds are best thought of as a source for sound locks, imho it is best to use sounds from the +Drive to populate the sound pool so that those sounds are always available to all projects (you can create new sounds and keep them solely in the pool if you wish) … sound locks need to work with sound pool sounds, so it may be advantageous to use drum sounds in the sound pool as these would not typically be used in isolation as the main track sound, but you’d use one of many to make up a drumkit … sound pool sounds can be any type of sounds, but if you are using the pool to load only track sounds as opposed to the +Drive then you gain no advantage from the speed with which sounds can be extracted from the pool

you can record realtime sound-pool sound locks and you can assign them in step record mode too + multi map mode

Oh, and welcome :thup:


It can be overwhelming at first, but follow the advice above and you’ll pick it up in no time.

Just something to remember - you WILL lose some sounds or patterns in the first week. This will happen because you’ll be getting the hang of things, getting excited, have an awesome groove going, then change to another pattern and turn the machine off.

Then you’ll shake your head and say to yourself “min0nim told me to SAVE MY KIT EVERY DAMN TIME”.

If you make changes to a kit, you need to save the changes (learn the quick save combo) or it reverts to the last saved kit. What will happen next is that you’ll save your kit, but it will mess up another pattern that uses the same kit. So to start - 1 pattern with 1 unique kit. Just until you get the hang of it.


Thank you everyone,

This was helpful.

Just a bit of further clarification…

  1. It is ideal to save a kit for every pattern. If I am playing a song or arrangement, and line up a bunch of pattern in a sequence, do the associated kits get loaded automatically?

For example. Pattern A1 has 4 tracks, each with their own sound. I save a kit called A1 :slight_smile: I want the song to move to Pattern A2 with 2 of the original sounds and I replace the other two with new sounds… Save a new kit: Kit A2 :slight_smile: . And then go back to Pattern A1. That would work? The Patterns remember the associated kits?

  1. Given that the patterns save automatically, and part of the A4 fun is to tweak the sounds/fx as the patterns repeat, how do you make it so you can ensure that the pattern will remember the original settings when you return to it.

Example: I am playing A4, on track 1 of Pattern A1, I want to mess with the resonance of a frequency. The songs moves to A2, when it goes back to Pattern A1, is the resonance still maxed out? (Assuming that each Pattern has their own kit, A1 and A2 respectively).

My Youtube suggestions are flooded with Elektrons. :slight_smile: Lots to take in. Thanks again for the warm welcome and helpful tips. I am looking forward to when I will be more of a contributor/showcasing music in this forum and on Youtube. :slight_smile:

I am taking this incredibly slow on purpose to ensure that it is all sinking in.


Part 1) yes
Part 2) if you tweak the resonance, that’s part of the sound and therefore the kit, the setting will be restored when you reload the kit. BUT if you plock the resonance tweak - that is - change the trigger and therefore the pattern, that’s forever. It’s my least favorite thing. Your options are to save the project then roll back to undo your pattern change, you can copy the pattern and paste it back after, or you can use the barely useful ‘save pattern’ command which is either very limited and doesn’t do what you hope, or I don’t understand it. I think it just let’s you roll back pattern changes to wherever you saved it at, but only while you’re still in the pattern.
My sop is to copy the whole thing to a blank slot to make edits. If I like them I copy them back.
Sorry for the cynicism, touched a nerve.

1 Like

Sorry. I didn’t mean to “trigger” you :wink:

So for #2, as long as I am playing, not recording, this should not be an issue?


Hey, you’re getting it already!

The p-lock thing is different. It ‘locks’ parameter changes on a trig. So you can hold down a trig, twist the resonance knob, and that resonance setting is locked on that trig step as part of the pattern. It’s an absolute value too, not relative.

So, if you’re playing A1, and dial up the resonance, shift to A2, then back to A1…the resonance should be the where you left it (as long as you don’t turn the A4 off, then it will go back to the kit default).

If you’re using the same sound in A1 as A2, then the resonance will be at the kit default when you swap from A1 to A2 (sounds in a kit are independent from the same sound in other kits). So if you’re trying to do a build-up, it’s best to do it in one pattern.

Also note that this is where performance macros shine. Rather than messing the the resonance button, setup a performance macro, you can be adjusting multiple parameters at the same time that way.


Correct. Playing, not recording. Good way to think about it.


There’s also a toggle which allows you to reload Kit on pattern change