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…

  • http://twitter.com/VirtualFlannel ᏉᎥᏒᏆuᎪᏞ fᏞᎪᏁᏁᎬᏞ

    Great vid as always from the homie D/L. I don’t think the Machinedrum is as necessary as important as Peter makes it out to be(although ideal). With a the ability to load a patch per step, creating drum patches and then sequencing them per step should make drums very possible on the A4. I’ve been buggin D/L for that demo!!!

  • Jarman

    This sounds great, but opting for more robust CV implementation over MIDI in the Analog 4 is a downer, although not surprising. Elektron has a long history of idiosyncratic design choices for their sequencers. One big one is that the MD sequencer doesn’t send velocity – anyone thinking of buying an MD for driving other gear should keep this in mind. Meanwhile, the Octatrack sends velocity, but doesn’t respond to it, from what I understand. I’m sure the Monomachine has something weird about it too. Elektron likes to talk about its famous sequencer as if they have a standard for all their devices, when what they really mean is that they implement parameter locking on all of them. That’s great, but each machine has its quirks. Hopefully, they’ll implement some standard MIDI sequencer functions in future OS updates to the Analog 4. Shame about the screen as well. Not too impressed with the smaller format.

    • pm

      All machines are have different implementations of the same sequencer concept. P-locking happens to be one feature shared among them 😉

  • Robert Halvarsson

    That’s one sweet vid. Dataline really nailed this one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chrisstack Chris Stack

    Great combination. Would love to see how they play with my toys.

  • n8sum

    Honestly, I don’t see the lack of an external midi sequencer as a deficit. I think this is a great machine to generate interesting/creative new riffs. It would be sad to see them turn this an all in one box. I got the feeling that is what happened to the Octatrack – too many options with nothing that translated into an intuitive work flow.. spreading itself too thin into many tasks and failing to any particularly well. This unit has a lot of character as it is. That being said, I could see Elektron implementing an OS update with midi out. I wouldn’t want to sequence my entire midi rig from one of these but I would love to use the A4 to layer or drive a 5th voice using my MeeBlip 😉

    • Dylan Hill

      octatrack’s diversity is what makes it a great, deep machine.. that you can dive into for YEARS and YEARS before hitting the bottom.

  • AD

    jeez, like you need a friggin MD to make the A4 appealing… Everything drums related i sequence and output via laptop. I found that works the best for me. A second laptop is used to mix everything together and record audio. Rarely I see some pasable compositions made with hardware. Hardware sequencers just suck in that regard, all of them.

    • Dylan Hill