Elektron A4- which MI Synth is right for me?

Ok, so I’m pretty much dead set on ordering a MI DIY kit.

My only concern is, which one! I know the Anrushi can be sequenced via CV to my A4, but I’m worried it would produce some redundant sounds and merely add a 5th track to my A4. Not that it would be a BAD thing (love those Acid tones!), but I’m also considering the poly abilities of the Shruthi or the Ambika.

Is it possible to chain those in? I mean, I know I can sync both to the clock of the A4 and play them on a set of keys (I have a few), but, beyond that, I don’t really know what I’d be tossing into my workflow with the A4/Ableton/Push. I assume I can apreggiate with both and sync them via midi, but will they go deeper than that (as in the ability to play in sequences, etc.?). I’m no “Elektron Master”, but anyone on here with one PLEASE let me know how you’ve incorporated any MI synth with the A4!

Aside from other A4 users, any help/direction from any of you dedicated MI users/builders/(inventors) would be greatly appreciated.


Ambika is a few Shruthi’s in one, with proper DACs on each voice so slightly better sound and expanded capabilities.

Can you solder well is the question?

Go with the Shruthi because the A4 seems to cover the same territory as Anushri in terms of analog tones. The Shruthi is hybrid so you get all these weird wavetable/FM/vowel/low-fi things that are out of reach by the pure analog A4… Don’t bother with sync or the Shruthi sequencer - just remote-control the Shruthi by MIDI form one of the A4 tracks.

I personally cannot but a friend of mine who lives in my apartment complex can. I’m intrigued by all the voices on the Ambika, but the Shruthi might just be that missing piece. The videos do it no justice; I can’t tell if I can get great leads out of a MIDI sync to the A4 and a set of keys.

I don’t know: I’m between biting the bullet and getting a Machinedrum like I’ve basically always known I would or getting a Ambika with all the cards + a different drumsynth that doesn’t cost $1500!

Who knew that I’d be letting my DAW collect dust and chaining all this stuff together. It just FEELS right. Too bad it’s obscenely expensive!

If you’re note afraid by DIY, the forthcoming Sonic Potion synth is going to be a suitable and rather cheap option for drum sounds.

Maybe I’m mistaken, but I don’t think you can sequence MIDI gear like the Shruthi from the A4.

> I don’t think you can sequence MIDI gear like the Shruthi from the A4.

What??? Seriously?

>Does the Analog Four have
dedicated MIDI sequencer tracks ?
No . In stead it features a dedicated
CV/ Gate track , controll ing the two
dual CV/ Gate out puts.


Indeed… I’ve got an A4… Sequence CV’s, yes… Midi, no…
A slightly strange omission, but they are pretty on the ball in terms of firmware updates, so it may well come eventually.
[edit] And yes, a Shruthi contrasts nicely with it :slight_smile:

> What??? Seriously?

Seriously. It also lacks individual outs.

This A4 thing is turning slowly but strictly monotonic ridiculous…

That’s a totally arbitrary decision which would have probably caused a software hack a few days after the release if this thing had been open-source…

Is this “no external MIDI sequencing” limit present in other Elektron machines?

Perhaps they look at the A4 more like a traditional Musical instrument. I mean my Piano doesnt output MIDI as well…

Hm, I thought I just didn’t know what I was doing! Good to know I’m not totally inept, it just wasn’t possible. Strange omission indeed, as well as the fact it only has 2 outs, but that box can’t do it all, and I’m ok with that because what it CAN do is simply incredible.

So if I want a piece of MI gear I can sequence, it’s going to have to be an Anurshi (I don’t think I can get one because my brain does not allow me to spell that word correctly…). BUT, I can sequence the Shruthi with my Alesis Micron (that old POS is still hanging around! I got it off some guy for $150 and it has way more uses than I ever anticipated). It’s a pain in the ass to do anything on it but it is a very capable little groovebox/syth.

I really love that Shruthi Polivoks and LP2+Delay board. Mentioning the lowpass filer of the MS-20 gives me goosebumps. And I could use the standard board too.

I guess I have to Get 2! OR 3.

Remember computers? Me neither.

I think a few very strong philosophies of different people got mixed up in one machine…

The Shruthi has a nice sequencer too…

@pinchenettes; shiftr:

The A4, as with all Elektron gear when it is first released, is a perfect little mess as of now. I learn new things every day, both good and bad. It’s WAY too easy to totally mess up your transpose locks and basically ruin 30 minutes of tweaking and make you want to scrap the whole kit you just spent an hour building.

You have to go in an individually “mute” all 4 other tracks transposability before you start tweaking a single track. The DEFAULT should be only the selected track is trasposable, not GLOBAL. That would be like if double clicking a mouse was set to “Select All” and you had to go in a deselect the worlds you didn’t want to change! It’s just the little things like that. But, boy, when you make something good on there it’s REALLY good.

The A4 is definitely an odd and quirky machine that takes some getting used to. But in my opinion, if it wasn’t odd & quirky it would be one dull box.

"Is this “no external MIDI sequencing” limit present in other Elektron machines?"

I own the Monomachine and it has 6 seperate MIDI sequencer tracks. As i know also the octatrack and even the MachineDrum are able to sequence external gear in seperate tracks.
So the A4 seams to be the only one which can not…

I personally think elektron product definition is spot on.
Do all the machines have the same MIDI sequencer? No. Why should they?
I mean, since its 90% software , they could do a megabox with machinedrum, octatrack and A4 inside. The boxes are physically very similar anyway. Add 12 individual outputs and some inputs.
Could they then charge £3000 for that?
So buy all 3 boxes if you want it all.
Its a compelling commercial proposition.