To keep or not to keep

Hi all!

I purchased an Analog Keys last December. And for the past 11 months I’ve been using it alongside my Op-1.

The goal of purchasing the AK was to really learn how synthesizers work, instead of just using plugins and pressing keys without knowledge of what’s actually happening behind the scenes. I feel like I’ve learned quite a bit about how synths work now, which led me to getting into the eurorack world.

However, I’m beginning to feel like I prefer using my modular system instead of the AK for creating new sounds. And as much (or little) as I know about synthesis, I still find myself not being able to make sounds I like from the AK. Eurorack is pretty advanced, but the functionality of the AK is complex in a different way, that doesn’t always feel intuitive to me.

Do you think it would be a mistake to sell my AK? I’m thinking I could get a Digitakt for playing samples which would complement my Eurorack and Op-1, or getting an AH to give my Op-1 some analog bite. OR should I just invest more time in learning how to get what I want out of the AK?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated :slight_smile:

Not sure what the going rate for AKs is these days, prices could take a hit if/when AK MK II (DISCLAIMER: mere speculation) is announced. Why not have one final session with it and focus on stuff you haven’t tried before. For the A4/AK to shine it helps to use the 2nd filter, e.g. to add some low end, check out some modulation options you haven’t so far. If you don’t get out of it what you want, let it go.

That makes sense. I’m going to try creating some music with it each night this week and see if I can get past my roadblocks.

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Hey, why not combine those two. If you are not forced to sell the AK to get some more EU-rack gear, keep it and use the various CV/Gate input/outputs. Think about having an Elektron sequencer with all it’s capabilities to drive your modular gear.

Do you have special sounds in mind, when you say, the AK is not capable of generating such sounds? Is your euro-rack more of a west- or east-coast system?

For typical east-coast subtractive synthesis, the AK should be a good candidate, which can be programmed with standard parameters quite easily, but has some nice additions up it’s sleeves and many “modern” sounds… remind you, it’s never supposed to be a Moog, Oberheim, ARP etc… If you are looking more in the direction of analogue FM-sounds and experimental stuff an west-coast modular would be much better suited rather than the AK.

Edit: corrected mixing up west/east coast

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you mean east-coast :wink: pedantic, I know

You can use the AK for drum sounds and sequence your modular. Route the modular into the AK, use it’s modulatable effects.

This is very true. It’s not that I think the AK can’t produce the sounds I like. It’s more so that I haven’t learned how to work very fast on it, as opposed to my eurorack and Op1. But you’re right, I definitely use it as a second sequencer for my eurorack often, and that’s been pretty nice.

This is very true as well. I haven’t had the best luck getting the sounds to come in correctly when I use the external ins. I can sound through the FX channel easy. But when it comes to one of the synth voices, sometimes I can’t hear anything, sometimes it’s super quiet, and then occasionally it works the way it’s supposed to. Granted, I should probably just get the settings right and save a preset in ableton via overbridge… but i like starting from scratch everytime I turn on the synth, so that I don’t forget how to go about the menus and tweak things.

long story short, i probably need to spend some time learning the proper way to use the external inputs!

Oops, you are so correct. :blush:
I will correct it in my post. Don’t want to confuse anybody

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Then I would recommend, to invest some more time in the AK. There are many analogue sounds possible, which other synths don’t give us. Yes, the AK has not the one knob one function interface, but if we become used to the function knobs to switch between the synth sections, the work flow can be pretty fluid.

the best synth is the one that works best for you… its all quite simple when you can clearly see the shortest path to your creation… which makes that kind of workflow more like a playflow, you know…


get back to me when you find the perfect one, im always lookin for new and improved perfections


Just sell it. If you don’t like it by now you never will.


The a4 /ak is whatever you need it to be

I have never found a synth to be so versatile. It’s got its shortcomings but which instruments don’t.

Keep it. Fall in love with it. Make children with it.

on second thought - this guy clearly knows everything already

just follow his commandments, you should be A-O.K.

I bought an A4 a few months ago used and didn’t gel with it for a while. I almost sold it, but luckily, the A4MKII was announced and the prices dropped so much that I was “forced” to keep it. It’s not one of my most favorite synths ever. The shit you can do with it is incredible. Controlling the CV of my 0Coast, routing the 0C through the filters and OD of the A4, and just overall sound design is enjoyable. Keep it and give it time.

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that’s not true for everyone. I’m a living evidence :wink:

Make sure you spent enough time/effort learning this thing, there might many surprises waiting for you.
I you don’t have any motivation or time for that, and are looking for something that works for you from the beginning, then yes, sell it…

I’m sorry if I offended you with my advice to plainjanefrancis4h to sell his A4. It’s just my humble opinion.

My asdvice is sell it, buy a second hand analog 4 mk1 and pocket the difference. The a4 is so portable u can leave it on your couch andbring right up to your face with your knees. That’s when u will learn to use it /like it the most.


They’re not mutually exclusive, you know… :wink:

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