Just Picked Up An A4mkii, Now What?!

Got a great deal on a very clean A4mkii. Just hooked it up and listened to some patterns…sounds pretty darn good. The layout is unlike anything I’ve ever used…don’t really know where to start!
RTFM at the moment, but any tips on getting started, favorite tutorials, etc. would be greatly appreciated!

Not to cast aspersions on your abilities, but I’d recommend on getting right into the enjoyment and appreciation to the machine immediately. Explore the machine from the large downward to the microscopic.

Play with the already constructed patterns > make fresh patterns out of the kit presets > make a kit out of the already constructed presets(and develop your own perf macros) > and then start designing your own sounds from scratch.

It’s an affront to a person’s ego to not create everything- but it’s an awesome synth, but requires determination to get there. As long as you can immediately recognize the rewarding experience, you won’t be just another one that gets frustrated and sells it


There are tons of great videos (tutorials and others) out there.

Let’s get inspired :smiley:


Depending on your level of expertise - I hope I don’t step on your toes - a solid understanding of the elements of a subtractive synthesizer helps a great deal: oscillators and their wave forms, filter, envelopes, modulation. If you have those down I second the recommendation to watch some youtube tutorials. Additionally, I find it very important to understand the storage structure of the A4, because otherwise there’s a fair chance you’ll run into unexpected behavior. There is a nice diagram in the manual that describes projects, patterns, kits, sounds and so on. I recommend understanding it. When you hit a wall - ask. There’s plenty of knowledgeable people here.


Try Unison and other poly modes
Kit Menu > Poly

Soundlocks (hold a trig and choose a sound of the Soundpool with Level knob)

Perf Macros

Multimap, where you can assign soundpool sounds to any key / range, make a drum kit and sequence it with OT!

Btw, OT’s arp is better and plockable / lfo able.


Now tell me your address and what times you are out of the house.


First Elektron I got was an Analog Four mk1 and I’ve NEVER been so frustrated over any hardware gear in my life.

When you learned it, it’s easy and fast to use. Hang in there!

On other gear it would be a good advice to say “save often” so you don’t lose any sounds, patterns or entire projects. But with Elektron I would say you might expect to fail saving and loose stuff all the time while you’re learning.

The Mk2 might be better with more dedicated buttons and the firmware has evolved of course.

External control is a bit hidden away via the multi map feature. (Took quite a while before I found it back in the day.)
Here’s a example: Multi Map to transpose and switch patterns


Start with that profound enjoyment and then take it from there :wink:

The way I unlocked my A4 for me, was by starting out messing with one oscillator only. So turn OSC2 all the way down and mess with OSC1, Filters 1 & 2, and Env 1. then add some effects, delay, reverb. Eventually you can go deeper when you‘re comfy with that.

Tip: filter 1 is a fixed low-pass filter, but at least on my Mk1, I don‘t like the sound of it so much. Filter 2 has a 24db low pass filter which I feel sounds much better. Or try the peak filter and sweep the frequency band to see what that does to the sound.

If you want to add an LFO to the mix, try sending it to Filter Frequency 1 and/or 2 then move from there. Maybe modulate the pitch/tune setting with the LFO? etc etc.

Hope this helps!


I’ve been going pretty nutty with the OT’s arp. I’m in love with the OT midi sequencing in general :slight_smile:
Only been using Elektron stuff for a year . DT>>OT and now A4 (sold the DT last week to help pay for the A4. No regrets).

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Thanks for the link! I will save often :slight_smile:

After just one hour, I’m really enjoying myself a great deal. Great sounds and pretty simple to tweak. Glad I bought it. Now I just need to take some time to understand the structure of it, lest I wind up sampling single patterns into the OT :slight_smile:


the Macprovideo lesson on the mk1 was pretty great and covers all but a few things you will find changed on the mkII (I have the II). also, the guy sounds just like Niel DeGrasse Tyson so that’s a huge bonus.


Haha! I love that guy!

An example (I already posted too much) of Multi Map vs OT’s arp, with @taro drums sound pool. You can modulate Sound locks or Multi Map sounds with macros only.

You can record drums in A4 with Multi Map, they become Sound locks. Even if you record 4 tracks, it is still possible to play poly synth over it with minikeys, external keyboard, OT’s arp, the voice stealing isn’t shocking and it feels like you have more than 4 tracks !


hi @sezare56, off topic sorry but you seem to like multitimbrality a lot.
just discovered this one beast yesterday, 8 independant voices!!!
quite unique in many other ways!

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A second A4 would make 8 too!

Thanks, I’ll check that, for the moment I’m more interested in a 2nd Micromonsta or a DN.
I forgot MnM of course!

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Yes > Kit. Keep that button combo on your mind constantly! That was the biggest hangup I ran into at first (and occasionally still do…). I saved the project just fine, then went back and it was nothing but 4 tracks of sequenced initial patches.


A post was merged into an existing topic: A4 Feature Requests

If you feel stuck on the sound design front, grab all the free soundpacks from elektron.se to draw ideas and inspiration from. IME the A4 has its own quirks and approaching it can be challenging if you have a lot of experience and expectations from using other analog synths. The oscillators, envelopes and filters do abit of their own thing and need getting used to.

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Great advice, thank you! Since this this is so new to me, all the sound design stuff is still exciting and new, but in time I can see the need for more options, though I’m keen on making my own patches.
Right now, I gotta focus on the ‘boring’ stuff, like figuring out the basics of integrating this into my rig :slight_smile:

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