Partner to AR; sequencer, A4 or Octa?

I hope this isn’t a boring topic that has been done to death. But I wanted an answer relevant to my needs. Hope you people can help. Thanks

I have the AR and I want to start using a sequencer along with it. I do wierd time sigs and most sequencing gear falls short here, so that is one of the things I like about the elektron range. But I have been sitting on the fence for ages about what I should get to partner my AR.

The purpose of the elektron machines for me is mainly to create interesting rhythmic backdrops for live improvisation on synth and electric piano, though also as music in its own right, of course. I’m a jazz musician by trade.

A4 pros - seems easier to get to know, built-in sounds, more direct? Easy to make basslines, pads? Looks like a lot of fun

A4 cons - I already have synths I like, Moog LP, Minibrute, maybe I don’t need another, maybe the basic sound of the A4 is not so warm? Maybe I would get as good a result using a general purpose sequencer like beatstep pro, engine or cirklon. No samples

Octa pros - gives me a much bigger sound palette, means I can sample the synths and pedals I already have (lots of moogerfoogers), seems very deep

Octa cons - scares me a bit, have no idea how long it would take to get the hang of it, have almost no previous experience with samples, discontinued by Elektron, will they suddenly make a new one?

I would appreciate any thoughts

Peace love and understanding :slight_smile:

A4 sequencer is a bit more advanced than the OT (conditional trigs) but it can not sequence external gear by MIDI, only by CV. A4 sequencer has only one track whereas OT provide you 8 tracks.

Sound-wise they are completely different.
The A4 will sound as you program it but don’t expect instant huge sound out of the box like a Moog, it requires some work to have it sounding right. After that it’s an excellent analog polysynth. It depends if you want to complete your other gear with a poly synth or a sampler.
The OT is completely different, extremely fun to play with especially if you resample your other gear and remix them on the fly but has a more difficult learning curve.
I have never used the other step sequencers you mention but for the price of a Cirklon I would prefer to have an OT for the sampling goodies. Not sure what kind of advantage the Cirklon can bring in terms of sequencing.
If you are not reluctant to software, Numerology is a fun step sequencer to play with, you can do crazy stuff with it and it’s quite cheap but it only exist on Mac.

You’re right about the OT learning curve, it’s the most difficult Elektron machine to learn in my opinion but it’s worth it. If I had to go on a desert island with only one piece of gear, OT would be my choice. It’s self-sufficient by itself. Even if Elektron suddently release a new sampler doesn’t make the OT obsolete, it will remain a timeless classic and still will provide lots of fun.
What puzzled me the most with the OT at the beginning was that there is no “one way to use it”. Its complexity is also what make it so rich.

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