Musikmesse : my AR testing feedback

Hello Elektronauts,

I had the chance to be in Frankfurt, and meet Elektron team, especially Dataline, who made me a personal demo of the AR. He show me the huge possibilities, and the big sound of the unit (he was close to a “warning ticket” during the demo) :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Moreover, I took around 2 hours after to test it deeper, alone in the booth. Here is my “fresh” and personal feedback, with some mistake for sure, because 2 hours is fast for testing a unit like that.

Sound :
-> Analog synthesis : it sound huge !
Each pads have a different fix sound type (BD, snare, hh …). But the first row of pads (BD to clap) can handle different “machine”. Exemple, the BD can be a classic style of BD or FM style of BD. A little bit like the “machine” selection on machinedrum.
For each kind of sound you have obviously different parameters to change the sound.

-> Sample : layering possibility and more.
On each pads you can add one sample, choose on the 128 slots available. (OS still not finish so may be we will have more slots on future update).
You can tune, loop, move the start and end of sample, add bit reduction, and adjust the level.
This fonction is so crazy, because you can layer any kind of sound with analog synthesis. For me it is equal to limitless creative possibilities.

-> Effect : that Reverb !
Reberb : that one :smiley:
Delay, nothing special. I didn’t use so much during my test.
Compression & dist : this is the new feature. You can completely detroy the sound or just had crispy/fat/hot atmosphere to the sound !! I didn’t have time to go deep on it to find some sweetspot. It will need time to be mastered.

Sequencer :
We have all the possibility offered by the A4, and of course the same “easy” way to fast sequence your sound ! And of course the well known P-lock. You know the story !

Live performance tools :
-> Mute mode
You can fast mute, unmute a sound with the pads. A color system is used to fast recognise which one is muted (no light) or not (green light), and different color, of course for the one selected : red if mute, yellow/green if unmute).

-> Scenes mode : fast kits transformation.
Here is a very creative feature. Each pads become a scene, and on each scene you can lock up to 48 parameters (Dataline will confirm this point, if I made mistake), and you can change scene as fast as you press the pad : I let you imagine the possibilities !

-> Performance mode : pressure is the new encoder !
Same concept than the A4, but this time, performance mode is not using the encoder but the pads pressure to move the parameters ! Each pads can modify 5 parameters, and the depth is linked to the pad pressure. Live woobling will be easier :smiley:

-> retrig : MPC retrig in more powerfull ?

For finger drumming experience, each pad can automatic retrig or not, in sync, with the resolution you define. You can have a hat that retrig at 1/8, and a tom at 1/20. Very nice future.
One small regret here : I tried to record in live record mode, a retrigged pad, but it only recorded the first note (not each retrig).

Hardware :
-> Pads : awesome feel.
I had experience of pads with MPC1000, MPD, and maschine. The pads are very nice, better than MPC/MPD, and quite same feel as maschine. They are very responsive to velocity.
I was afraid about the size, but finally it is enough to be comfortable.

-> Encoder, screen, button … If you have an A4, you know the story.

I surely forgot features, but to conclude, it is the most powerfull (in ergomic, features, and sound) analog drum machine I ever see. I will buy it, and put it with my other Elektron machines. Moreover, I will not sell my MD, because it is completely different sound, and I am even thinking to put the both unit together to create huge techno tracks mixing 16+12 tracks of pure perc sound.

I made some recording with my zoom H4n, I will clean the recording and try to upload them here to let you hear my first creation with A4. :smiley:

To finish, I want to thank again Cenk, for his time and passion ! But I will created an other thread to share my first meeting with elektron team and the crazy Cuckoo at Messe.

nice review, i was standing right next to the booth during that demo and i saw the soundlevel police too, they didn’t had happy faces :slight_smile:

thanks for the detailed info @twyce! looks like it was magical!

rytm time is nigh :wink:

Thanks for the details.

Super happy to hear about performance mode. It’s the way I hoped, but then I saw the demo video showing scenes with no morphing. So you get morphing with performance and instant switching with scenes. Gonna be a fun box!

Thanks for the updates.

Different retrig resolution for each pad is nice. I would hope they will add the record functionality to it though.

Are scenes and performance modes recordable?


@Jayphonic : hahaha, happy face were inside the Elektron booth not outside … :smiley:

@Nirun : Yes it was !

@StinkyBeat : Performance mode is not ready yet, that why you did not see video about it. I got the information directly from Dataline and his A4 (that seems to have an other OS than the other AR on the booth)

@tsv : I did’nt try it. Maybe Elektron team can answer ?

Twyce - You’re making it harder to not buy one, you know! :joy:

I’m really interested in seeing how the chromatic function works when it’s finally done. I’m wondering if you can play a tone with a keyboard (or the pads on the bottom) and record that (make bass lines). If so … it’s all over as far as I’m concerned.

Does it have dynamic voice allocation or fixed voices per pad. Can I just use a sample on a pad and free up a voice to use on another pad?

Mr Dataline get another sound ordinance?!?

Any hints as to WHEN it will be available??

@bluemonster : To be honest, I took the decision to don’t buy any gear this year … This was before my visit to Musikmesse.

For chromatic function, the pads are the notes, and you play with them directly. I supposed it will record the melody in the sequencer but didnt see in function, so I can not confirm.

@Mannity Joseph : There are 8 voices, 4 are fixed to one pad each (BD, snare, bass tom, low tom), and 4 others are share between two pads (RS/Clap, mid tom/high tom, closed hat/open , and cymbal/cowbell). This is all I know …

@dimi3 : Almost !!! I think he is building a collection of ordinance :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

@Old Dub Dude : I heard “spring”, but no precise date. From one side, I prefer they take their time to fine tune the OS. But in an other side : I wanted to picked one and bring it with me … :disappointed:

Thanks for the infos twyce :slight_smile:
Since I heard about the Overbridge, I did something I never did before and I bought the AR in advance.
In the store I bought it, they say it will be available March 25.
But I in fact I think they don’t really know either…

Thanks, Twyce! I’m hoping Elektron has a rep at Sweetwater’s Gear Fest this June so I can pick their brain as well.

Live woobling will be easier

That is good to know, I was worried about this :wink:

It sounds like the scenes are switched (no pad aftertouch) but the performance does allow aftertouch, and the performance controls are relative where the scenes are absolute?

@MerlinOne & bluemonster65 : you’re welcome :slight_smile:

@Anigbrowl : To confirm your post, scene are switch to a fixed position of the parameters. And in performance mode, the pressure value (aftertouch indeed) is moving the parameters (depending on depth on performance setup), and relative to the initial position, as you said.

Ooh, sounds nice. Controlling sample parameters with that…

Cool Thanks.

[quote="“Mannity Joseph”"]

Cool Thanks.[/quote]
so no RS and clap triggering at the same time or just not via the pad?

@PES : :joy: Creativity box ! As usual with Elektron.

@Mannity Joseph : You’re welcome

@subq : No triggering at the same time either with pads or sequencer. This is the limitation of using 8 analog voices for 12 sound.
But I don’t know if there is any limitation regarding RS + clap samples triggering.

I just get files from my Zoom H4n, I am cropping it to let the “best” part of my test, and I will upload it on elektronauts.

Thanks a lot for the info! :slight_smile: I’m much looking forward to the day when I can afford this beauty. :slight_smile: