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Elektron Analog Four MKII Review - is this Synth for you?


It has been a while I posted a review, but it was finally time again for it! So here's my extensive review and thoughts about my latest purchase, the Elektron Analog Four MKII Analog Synthesizer. I got it like 8 weeks ago and I can already tell you that it was a very good choice and a perfect addition to my (Elektron-ish) setup.


So here's a table of contents:

  1. Introduction and overview

  2. Construction and Hardware

  3. Consonance and Execution

  4. Capacity for Performance

  5. Important Functional Characteristics

  6. Strengths and Weaknesses

  7. Analogy to Competitive Offerings

  8. Conclusion

Disclaimer: I'm not connected with Elektron in any way, except that I really love what they do. I got no payment to write this review and I purchased the machine with my own money.


1. Introduction and overview


The Elektron Analog Four MKII is a well-known synthesizer among those who create music. This instrument's blend of analog and digital parts makes it suitable for both novice and seasoned musicians thanks to its flexible sound design and extensive set of features. In this review, I will examine the Elektron Analog Four MKII in greater detail to assess its build quality, sound, performance, features, and overall usefulness. By the time you finish reading this, you'll know exactly what to expect from this synthesizer and whether or not it's the best fit for your music-making needs.


The Elektron Analog Four MKII is unlike many other synthesizer because of its hybrid analog/digital design. It has a digital filter component that can mimic vintage analog filters or create entirely new sounds, and it has four analog oscillators, each with its own sub-oscillator.


The device's sequencer, several LFOs and envelopes, and wide variety of modulation sources provide up a world of creative potential for sound production.


The Elektron Analog Four MKII is a strong tool for any artist or producer wishing to add depth and character to their music thanks to its flexible sound engine and wide feature set.


2. Construction and Hardware

The Elektron Analog Four MKII is a stylish piece of gear that features a solid metal case and an overall solid feel. The unit is lightweight and "portable", making it convenient for use both on the road and in a studio. In my opinion the size of the Digitakt is much better in these terms, but still many features of the A4 are only possible because of its big housing. All of the device's functions can be accessed via the front panel's distinct parts, each of which has its own set of controls and indicators.


The controls have been thoughtfully laid out, with a natural progression that facilitates the use of the device's many features. There is a nice amount of resistance when turning the knobs, and the buttons click solidly when pressed (the standard Buttons they use in any other machine of their current Digi and Analog range). The LED indications are clear and easy to see, giving you instant information about the device's current settings and operation.


Elektron Analog Four MKII features many assignable Knobs and Buttons
Elektron Analog Four MKII features many assignable Knobs and Buttons

The high-resolution OLED screen is a standout element of the Elektron Analog Four MKII's design, since it provides instant access to all of the device's settings and parameters. This display is legible even in dim lighting, making it a convenient tool for accessing the many menus and settings.


3. Consonance and Execution


The Analog Four MKII from Elektron is a powerful sound source, allowing for a broad variety of tones and textures to be created. The device's four analog oscillators, each of which is accompanied by a sub-oscillator, enable the creation of rich, multilayered tones. A variety of digital filters and effects are also included to help mold and improve the sound.


The sequencer and modulation tools on the Elektron Analog Four MKII make it possible to create complex and evolving sounds. Both the sequencer and the modulation options provide a great deal of latitude in terms of shaping and modulating the sound.


The Elektron Analog Four MKII is an excellent analog synthesizer, producing tones that are both warm and rich, with a level of depth and character that is difficult to achieve with digital instruments. The oscillators are reliable and accurate, and their many waveforms allow for the creation of a wide variety of tones, from traditional analog tones to cutting-edge electronica. The device's filters are particularly noteworthy, with a large selection of both vintage and cutting-edge filter types that can be utilized to subtly or radically alter the sound.


The rich and complex tone of the Elektron Analog Four MKII makes it suitable for a wide range of musical styles. Particularly useful for musicians and producers who want to craft distinctive and expressive sounds, the device's sequencer and modulation capabilities allow for the creation of evolving and dynamic tones.


Elektron Analog Four MKII backside with its numerous outputs
Elektron Analog Four MKII backside with its numerous outputs

4. Capacity for Performance


The Elektron Analog Four MKII is a high-quality multi-purpose instrument that may be used in either a live situation or a recording studio. The sequencer is a crucial part of the device's performance capabilities since it enables the user to program intricate, ever-changing patterns that may be triggered and altered in the moment. Furthermore, the sound may be shaped and enhanced in real time using the device's comprehensive modulation capabilities and effects, opening up a wide range of creative possibilities for performances.


The Elektron Analog Four MKII is a potent instrument for creating sounds and melodies in the studio. Because of its sophisticated analog sound generation, this instrument may be used in a wide range of musical contexts, from retro synthpop to cutting-edge electronica. The device is ideal for producers who want to make complex and nuanced compositions because of its sequencer and modulation choices, which allow for a wide variety of dynamic and changing pattern creations.


The Elektron Analog Four MKII's intricacy is one of its possible drawbacks. It may take some time to become familiar with the device and its features, despite the fact that the UI is well-designed and simple to use. Those who are just starting out or who prefer simpler instruments may find this difficult.


Here's a performance I created with both Analog Four MKII and Analog Rytm MKII:


5. Important Functional Characteristics


The Elektron Analog Four MKII is a versatile instrument with qualities that let it shine in both the studio and on stage. Some of the most striking characteristics are as follows:


The Elektron Analog Four MKII's sequencer is capable of producing intricate, developing patterns. The sequencer's flexible features allow for the creation of complex rhythms and melodies, including step sequencing, note and parameter locking, and polyphonic sequencing.


The instrument features a variety of modulation capabilities that can be used to alter the sound in various ways. Some examples are low-frequency oscillators, envelope generators, sample-and-hold, and cross- and frequency-modulation. The sound can be made more dynamic and evolving by using the modulation settings, or it can be given minor variations.


Digital effects such as delay, reverb, chorus, and distortion may be found on the Elektron Analog Four MKII. The sound can be molded and improved with the help of the effects, which can also be employed to give the sound more dimension.


Controllers for Live Performance - The device features a variety of controllers for live sound manipulation. The pitch and modulation wheels, as well as other assignable buttons and knobs, allow you to adjust a wide range of sonic characteristics.


The Elektron Analog Four MKII is able to connect to a digital audio workstation (DAW) with the use of a software application called Overbridge. Overbridge allows you to stream audio directly into a DAW and access all of the device's settings and features.


One of the most notable aspects of this instrument is the high quality of its audio output. The Analog Four MKII's analog sound engine generates warm and rich tones well-suited to a wide variety of musical styles, from ambient to techno.



6. Strengths and Weaknesses of the Elektron A4


The Elektron Analog Four MKII is a robust and flexible synthesizer with many useful features. The advantages and disadvantages are as follows:


Strengths:

  • A warm and resonant analog synthesizer with four voices.

  • Superb sequencer that lets you lock parameters and set triggers, as well as do step sequencing and polyphonic sequencing.

  • Overbridge connects to your DAW without any hassle and integrates with "total recall" feature

  • assignable buttons and knobs are included among the performance controls.

  • Once you get used to the device, the interface is well-designed and simple to use.

Weaknesses:

  • Inexperienced users or those unfamiliar with synthesizers may feel overwhelmed by the device's abundance of features and customization choices.

  • The initial investment required to purchase the device may be too much for certain customers.

  • The device's limited polyphony of four voices may be an issue for some users


7. Analogy to Competitive Offerings


The Elektron Analog Four MKII is a one-of-a-kind synthesizer with a wide variety of capabilities that set it apart from the pack. The Elektron Analog Four MKII stands apart from other available synthesizers because to the following important distinctions:


While both the Analog Four MKII and the Elektron Analog Rytm MKII feature a variety of performance controls and analog sound engines, the Elektron Analog Rytm MKII's primary focus is on percussion synthesis and sequencing, making it a drum machine. However, the Analog Four MKII is a four-voice synthesizer that excels at both sound design and melodic sequencing.


The Moog Subsequent 37 is another well-liked analog synthesizer, frequently pitted against the Elektron Analog Four MKII because of their similar feature sets and sound quality, though the Subsequent 37's sequencer is less robust at 64 steps as opposed to the Analog Four MKII's 128. When compared to the Analog Four MKII, which has four oscillators, the Subsequent 37's two oscillators are a significant drawback when it comes to sound design and layering.


While both the Analog Four MKII and the Novation Peak provide a wide variety of performance controls and polyphonic capabilities, the Analog Four MKII's analog sound engine provides a warmth and richness that is difficult to replicate with digital synthesis. The Analog Four MKII is a more powerful and flexible tool for music production thanks to its built-in sequencer and Overbridge integration.


Although there are some similarities between the Elektron Analog Four MKII and other synthesizers on the market, the device stands out due to its innovative combination of performance controls, analog sound engine, and sequencer functionality.


Elektron Analog Four MKII has the same form factor than the Elektron Analog Rytm MKII
Elektron Analog Four MKII (right) has the same form factor than the Elektron Analog Rytm MKII (left)

8. Conclusion


The Elektron Analog Four MKII, in conclusion, is an advanced analog synthesizer with a broad variety of features and capabilities. Its robust sequencer, including step sequencing and polyphonic sequencing options, parameter locks, and trig conditions, and its four-voice analog synth engine produce warm and rich tones, making it an excellent choice for sound creation and music production.


If you're an experienced user, you'll get a lot of use out of this gadget. However, I wouldn't recommend it for novices. It's a joy to use and a powerful instrument for making one-of-a-kind sounds thanks to its intuitive interface, Overbridge integration, performance controls, assignable buttons and knobs.


The Elektron Analog Four MKII is an excellent choice for electronic music producers and musicians who need a powerful analog synthesizer for sound design, composition, and live performance. Its sequencer and performance controls are especially useful for creating unique textures and layers in electronic music genres like techno, house, and ambient.


To sum up, the Elektron Analog Four MKII is a premium synthesizer that stands out for its innovative feature set and powerful capabilities. The Analog Four MKII is a fantastic option for anyone wishing to expand their sound horizons, whether they are a seasoned synthesizer player or a producer.


Need help choosing gear for your own setup?


Book a free coaching session with me and see what I can do for you - getting tracks done, produce sounds, arrangements or get gear to work.


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Guest
Jan 11
Rated 1 out of 5 stars.

What a silly and superficial article looking like a product of someone lazy who prompted the ChatGPT to write some content to advertise their coaching.

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Guest
Jan 08
Rated 3 out of 5 stars.

Nice review however a few points, the filters are all analog not digital, it has a 64 step sequencer not a 128 step sequencer, and to describe the oscillators as "warm" seems a stretch. I own it and love it but the oscillators are cold as ice and need a fair amount of work to carve out something desirable, not a "sweet spot" synth by any means but the versatility and modulation leaves everything else in smoke. Great for working with eurorack also as it has cv ins and outs.

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