Elektron’s upcoming analog sequencer/synth is also an effects unit, and it was born to do the kind of rhythmic hands-on music manipulation you see here.
In the latest video from Elektron superfan and hardware-loving musician MrDataline, we get to see the combination of Elektron’s classic Machinedrum with the just-about-to-be-released Analog Four. And really, this is the kind of combination I think we can expect for a lot of real-world Analog Four uses: Elektron gear, combined in lovely harmony. (You lucky bastards.)
Here’s what Dataline has to say about it:
Wanted to show how you can make use of the inputs on the Analog Four. All drum sounds are made by the Machinedrum and it is being fed into the Analog Four, using filters, overdrive and FX. I tried to ‘abuse’ the FX so you can get a feel how ‘nice’ sounding these new algorithms are, especially when after assigning LFOs to FX parameters…
This machine feels so ‘right’ to perform on. Total hands on control for those squelching synth lines!
Seeing the two together, though, I think it’s necessary to point out the step backwards on MIDI capabilities on Elektron’s sequencer. The sequencer on the Machinedrum and Analog Four each have powerful, musical editing features and give you lots of hands-on control. But I think it really is a big demerit for the Analog Four that you can’t output MIDI from its sequencer. The Machinedrum can – from its specs:
Full MIDI support
384 MIDI controllable parameters
The sequencer on the Analog Four is directly derived from its predecessor, and the hardware has MIDI ports. Yes, of course, you do get the ability to sequence using analog Control Voltage. But there’s plenty of fantastic gear out there that has MIDI input and no CV input. If that’s what’s in your studio, the Analog Four drops in appeal, because you need another sequencer – so your Analog Four can’t be your main sequencing box. You can output MIDI clock from it, so if you have another sequencer, you’ll be fine, but that could be inconvenient in some rigs. It could also mean that finding a used Machinedrum could be a smarter buy first. (Then go sign some lucrative techno gigs, save up, buy the Analog Four. Or something.)
I have to say that only because everything else on the Analog Four looks fantastic – and this ability to use it as an effects box could, for some, make up for the absence of MIDI sequencing out.
The video brings it up again, though, just because if you do have a Machinedrum, and the cash, the Analog Four seems by contrast a must-buy. (Those of us with no cash and no Machinedrum, of course, will have to look elsewhere. So it goes.)
More important than that, though, this video is a reminder that you can make wonderful music with hardware and not only computers. And, Dataline is making some wonderful music you can enjoy free online or as a download or physical limited edition starting at just five pounds Sterling.
So, no money, no Machinedrum, no Analog Four? You still get some great music. Let’s listen…