Instant gratification seems lacking on the AK

Thats how i did it - and just simply tweaking simple things like filter cutoff and resonance to change the basic timbre of the sound. If its too bright or whatnot. Also amp release, amp attack and filter attack can do dramatic things to sounds just by changing values. Plock some of these changes to a nice sequence and it can sound awesome. Im a hamfisted guitarist who done exactly the same as you so welcome to a new world haha!! :slight_smile:

best synth ever.


The A4/Keys, while subtractive, isn’t a straightforward old school analog key board. Its a sound designer’s synth. And the sequencer is a major part of that sound design.


It screams at me to design with it. A designers playground, but for those not so much into design, not so immediate.


Give it time, as you’ve set yourself s bit of a challenge starting with the A4… I can’t imagine how I would have coped if I had bought the A4 without some synthesis knowledge as it’s got so many different parameters and options.

Maybe try reading up a bit on the fundamentals or try Syntorial software as that is a great tool.

Enjoy getting Used to A4. I’ve found it a great synth but it takes a while to reap the rewards!

Kind of had a hunch, but it ticked all the boxes for me: I wanted something with a multitrack, built-in sequencer, with keys, so I could have a self-contained unit behind my kit vs. a collection of desktop synths, laptop, etc.

Lugging the drums around for shows is bad enough!

Truth time!

The AK and other underrated synths out there get a bad wrap because the presets don’t have instant gratification. The key is to sit down and dedicate learning synthesis on a specific patch.

I have my physical notepad that I doodle with and write my findings. If you need to draw a weird comic strip while practicing on the AK you’re doing it right!


The AK has a sound on it’s own. It works great for layering sequenced percussive voices. And it can do distressed pads.
But it can’t do classic synth sounds like Roland or Moog.
It’s a lie to say that it can do all and it’s only about the right programming.

I think my recommendations should be :

Learn the basics :

  1. Syntorial



Then listen every PATCH-PRESETS from your favorite VST and Hardware

Reverse ENGINEERING your super-mega-favorite one and take notes organized by family, at the end you will have start-preset for Bass, subbass, drums, lead, pad, texture, pluck, stab, keys, organ, acoustic-mimic presets

Then TRY to recreate those on your analog four with A/B comparison, and try to get closer as you can. You will learn everything like that.

Now i will mention something, probably not so much people will say (i guess) Sound Synthesis is important if you want to have your sound signature, but there’s is a lot of other way to get it. There’s not only Sound Synthesis. Sound Synthesis is Science and Experimentation. It can be very time consuming, and very self rewarding at the end of course. But all the time you pass, to learn, to experiment build you. But along that time you actually not making music. So TRY TO KEEP A BALANCE and try to divided your Dedicated Time to learning, making music, mixing, experiment… on a day basis, or week basis… don’t put all your time by STEPS in the Curve Progression, but instead make small amount at every stage. If it sounding not as you dream (don’t be discouraged !!!), at some point you will reach it.

Are you using Overbridge at all? I’ve just tried to copy a classic prog lead patch from my vintage Minimoog over to the A4 and it sounds pretty darned convincing. Maybe it’s time to do the tutorial I’ve been pondering for so long.


Took me a year to feel like I really know this synth.
You’re not arrived yet, quite a journey ahead :smile:


Had mine about 12 months or a little longer and I totally agree. Not something most people are going to pick up on immediately. I owned a MnM and an MD before the A4 and while the workflow as familiar, really getting to know everything the A4//AK can do still took a long time. If one is also new to Elektron, you could effectively add some solid months on top just to learn the way they do things.

Though I’ve always felt, for myself, Elektron’s workflow has always made a ton of sense. Some people hate it. I struggle with anything that is disimilar from it (unless its one knob per function more or less)

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Its fine. OP should get an OB6.


Not sure if serious.

Don’t be in a hurry to give up on the A4. I’m working on the above-mentioned tutorial video on a Minimoog-like prog lead and will tackle a classic Prophet-5 style patch next with more to follow if they are helpful to A4 users. I will discuss the basics of synthesis in these tutorials to help viewers get an idea of how the sounds are made and why they sound the way that they do. I’ll ask again: do you use Overbridge?


Well it can do those sounds, just not very well:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Its a bit like groundhog day for me:sleeping:

I was forever hearing how weak the MnM sounds:laughing:
I just kept repeating “Easy to use, hard to master”:wink:

And with that I still havent reached my MnM chops with my A4, its a work in progress.:grimacing:

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You got a YouTube channel or SoundCloud so I can hear those mnm chops?

Sure, this is a live recording of a 1 note tune, as in I put 1 middle C note on the first step of track 1 and nothing else.

I used the track trigs and arps, plus a PCR 500 controller set up to mod sounds.

There are a few other MnM only tunes there



That would be great.

Strangely i actually prefer to program the AK to my P6. Odd i know… :slight_smile: