I know it’s been said a thousand times already but the lack of midi output is such a massive fail.

I love elektron’s sequencers and the flexibility (I have an OT, MD, and A4) so why have they been so selfish with the A4’s MIDI output?

I’ve read plenty of upset users’ posts but I haven’t seen a single good reason or explanation for it from elektron (which I assume means they don’t have one because it’s for some misdirected financial reasons)

  1. I like to jam with my instruments and record the midi output, then edit out the dodgy bits or capture and loop the moments of incidental genius ( :wink: )

  2. I also like to layer sounds or double track synth lines with other instruments to create variation

These processes are not unique to me - these are fundamental production techniques. Without these my A4 stuff just ends up being too ‘safe’ or repetitive, or I just get angry having to record so many takes and then having to spend a day editing it all together afterwards.

Come on elektron - we’ve spent a small fortune on your instruments. We know the MIDI data is in there and you’ve just chosen not to let us have it (possibly to sell more OTs but that’s unlikely to work, especially not with me considering I already have one)


I’m certainly going to hold off buying an AR until this is resolved, and my trust in elektron giving their customers what they want is restored.


If it’s been said a thousand times, why does it need to be said again?

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snore… I want cv gate on my octatrack :slight_smile:
and an umpaloompa

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because, sleepy head, if it isn’t reiterated, it’ll be ignored - and that’s not reasonable considering the cost of the synth.

My theory is that MIDI out for the sequencer is missing simply because there’s no way you could ever send out all the CC Messages needed for the number of plocks supported and get any kind of repeatable result.

It would be unreasonable if they promised MIDI in the first place, which they clearly did not. Like it as-is or buy a different instrument. You will be happier in the long run.

I don’t think anyone minds Elektron’s design choices being questioned but constantly beating the same dead horse over and over is unproductive and wastes space on the forum.

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This seems reasonable - if this is the case though it wouldn’t hurt elektron to detail it. After all, midi has been around long enough for everyone to know it’s limitations and it would clarify things once and for all.
Having said that, this is not what I’m asking for - I just want midi note data - which is not too much to ask for - every other fucking sequencer in the world does it… (including the other elektrons…)

Why would it be unreasonable to promise MIDI?! Their other instruments have midi out so why not this one? It’s a simple feature that would add a lot of usefulness to the instrument and elektron should be encouraged to add it.

These aren’t budget instruments and the hardware is there to do the job (as far as anyone can tell) - there’s no excuse for not giving your customers what they want in these situations.
As for wasting space on the forum - lol…

In another post one of the Elektron folks confirmed that most (nearly all?) of the CPU / DSP power is required to control the analogue circuits generating the sound.

So basically there isn’t any CPU left to guarantee good timing for the MIDI sequencer.

Which is fine by me, there are other boxes for doing that (Elektron or otherwise).

CV output is class, though. Very useful.


There are various flavours of lack-of-midi-sequencing-gripes out there, I would really like for the CV track to be switchable between CV and midi so I could add a cheap sampler full of drum sounds and have a great little two piece system but, as it stands, I’m confined to the most minimal of compositional methods without spending money I don’t have.

Yes, I knew, when I bought the A4, that it was the analogue machine which you use to sequence more analogue gear via CV but I always secretly hoped that some form of midi sequencing would materialize at some point, based on the “what, no midi?!!” reactions which have been around since the feature set was first announced.

I doubt it will ever happen now but you can’t complain about people complaining about this, they have every right to because it’s a shitty design decision, Elektron machines are expensive and if you want an Analog Four in your life you’d better have some spare cash for another Elektron machine or similar because you sure as hell can’t use any of those midi devices that you already have with it.

Everything about it is class, imo, apart from this glaring feature omission.
If this is the case, that they forgot to include this feature in the initial design and therefore failed to spec enough hardware resources for it, than that is quite a failure - especially considering the prominence of their sequencer in all their propaganda.
The thing is though, the digital sequencing (midi) data does already exist inside the synth - it merely requires multiplexing and serialising to the midi output port. This should not be too processor intensive, because there is no processing, bar maybe a lookup table and some buffering.
Ok, I don’t know their internal processing architecture of course and I’m speculating slightly (although they’ve always claimed their internal comms is midi based), but with todays electronics capabilities, generating a midi stream from already generated data is absolutely trivial…

absolutely trivial

It’s not this …

I actually didn’t check to see whether it generated midi-out before I bought mine - I just assumed it would because of the other elektron products I own and because it seems implausible that it shouldn’t be there.
I bought one of the first batch of A4s, so when I realised, I just assumed they would add it with the next major firmware revision, which they haven’t - hence my somewhat delayed frustration.
The more I think about it the more bizarre it seems. Even a crappy £100 volca can have midi out if you want it to for gods sake…

Yes, their sequencers are fully midi controllable…thats what was in their advertisments… it never promised a fully fledged midi-sequencer… then again… I agree, it was written down a bit ambigiously…

Keep in mind, you got that overbridge thing coming for the analogseries… I wouldn’t be surprised if you could use that vst to stream the midi/sequence to some other part of your computer, via your daw.
that’s something the other boxes don’t offer…

And in all fairness… this isn’t the first hardware solution where you need other machines for different functions… I had an all roland studio for about a decade… and I had a machine for each dedicated task.
nothing overlapped either… (well small parts, similar to the overlaps in electron)…

Its easy to blame somebody and say :What a shitty job you did… what a failure… while it might just be
your not the right person for this type of machine. I don’t blame electron for making the octatrack so versatile that it took me bloody 2 years to figure out how I was suppose to use it in my own workflow … and you should not be saying :Oh they made a failure, because they didn’t insert a function you wanted to use…

I do understand if you said: Darnit… if they made an A4, that didn’t do cv… and didn’t do overbridge… but it does do multiple outputs and midi … That would have been worth my money… and it fits my workflow…

I don’t always get along with my monomachine… not because its a bad synth… it isn’t… its great… but it doesn’t fit in how I work with synths… and I don’t think its worth 2 years of my life to figure out how I want to use it… So that one might go on the for-sale list… instead of me screaming elektron has dumb-asses as employees…

The lack of MIDI note out was one of the main reasons I sold my A4. Whilst a number of the other Elektron devices have full MIDI output, none of them matched the A4 for being a complete package,with the mini-keyboard buttons making it great for improvising tunes on the fly. Using the MD, MM or OT for the same task is nowhere near as intuitive or needs an external keyboard.

For me, a MIDI out option on the CV track would have made the world of difference.

a minikeyboard and a small touchpad (like you have on laptop) instead of the joystick… Instant kit/synth reload and a patchsystem like a4.
And I would have loved my monomachine…
So I do understand, its frustrating when your shoe doesn’t fit on your feet… makes them “useless”.
Good news though. there is a keyboard mode on the octatrack… so you can play melodies with the if you really want to.
but how to get there is in my muscle-memory… not active hey press this to get it memory… sorry (and yes, that means you cant press a trigger and then set the note… like you can with that mini-keyboard)

I didn’t say they made a failure - if they had I’d have sent it back.
If they planned to have midi out and can’t for any design limitation reason, then that is, by definition, a failure.
As I said before, I’m yet to see a useful response from elektron regarding the matter, only lots of complaints - they’d look far smarter if they clarified the situation. Noone is going to hate them if they planned something and weren’t able to deliver - this is not about ‘ego’, corporate or otherwise. Or at least it shouldn’t be - it’s supposed to a tool for musicians ffs and should be as useful as possible and as expected…

snore… I want cv gate on my octatrack

and an umpaloompa

Oh man I’d sample an umpaloompa all day long!

it pretty much is though.
the hardware - coldfire + fpga for processing, lots of memory to hold the data, serialiser ic: All they need to do is look up and send the note data to the serialiser in the same way they are looking up the same data and sending it to the dual serial 8ch DAC chips.
ok I’ve only had a cursory glance at the pcb, but it’s all there waiting to be used. this is not rocket science, it should be included…

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Fair enough… for educational purposes, I would love to hear a story on how/what/why they made whatever design-choice… and I would think its wrong of me, to try to stop you from getting this info… that’s different then moaning about stuff… So I do hope you find your answer… and its an answer that makes sense…

I don’t exactly buy the “its a money making/non overlapping” choice…
cpu trouble… makes more sense… but still doesn’t cut the cake for me.
but, then they came with that overbridge stuff… could well be that THIS is the reason they use so much cpu-cycles to keep that all going… or the combination of AND vst-communication AND external communication via midi and all that crap, was just to difficult to put in 1 nice giant workflow that was upkeepable they did keep this overbridge stuff as a surprise… almost makes me wonder if that was keeping them to be clear on things…

I don’t know buddy… I wish I had details to share… would sure save us on allot of discussion and speculation.
just remember I might sound more angry / a jerk then I really am… and I do wish you all the fun you can get out your machines…