Elektron Analog Four ‘An Analog Synthesizer For The Modern Age’

Elektron today officially announced the Analog Four synthesizer – a new synth that combines ‘the power of analog synthesis, enhanced with precise Elektron sequencing. This is an analog synthesizer for the modern age.

Here’s what they have to say about the Elektron Analog Four:

The Analog Four is a four voice analog synthesizer. Analog oscillators and filters ensure the most organic sounds imaginable and the Elektron step sequencer caters for the innovative sound control. With sequencer features like parameter locks and variable length per track, intricate Analog Four compositions can be created quickly and efficiently. Add the completely new and incredibly well-crafted effects to the mix and experience the next chapter in analog sounds. It just sounds right.

Not only a splendid sound making device, the Analog Four can also make other gear sing. Thanks to the CV/Gate and DIN sync outputs, legacy analog gear can be controlled in great detail. Sequencer features like arpeggiators and parameter locks will breathe new life into old equipment and make any modular synthesizer rig truly come alive.

Live performance features are aplenty. The special performance mode gives direct access to user-defined parameters and direct pattern change makes it possible to change patterns at any sequencer step. The arpeggiator can be instantly toggled on or off for swirling melody lines. Improvising when playing live has never been this easy. The Analog Four was born for the stage.

Here are the details.

Features:

  • 4 synth voices
  • 2 Analog oscillators per voice
  • 2 Analog filters per voice
  • 1 Analog overdrive circuit per voice
  • Multiple LFOs and envelopes per voice
  • Elektron step sequencer with parameter locks
  • Kit and Sound storage
  • All new hi-quality effects
  • 2x dual CV/Gate outputs
  • Dedicated CV/Gate and FX sequencer tracks
  • 2x External inputs
  • 2x Main outputs
  • 1x Headphones output

Audio Demos:

Here’s the Elektron Analog Four teaser video:

YouTube Preview Image

Here’s the official intro video:

YouTube Preview Image

Specifications:

The Sequencer

  • 4 synth tracks
  • 1 FX track
  • 1 CV/Gate track
  • 128 patterns
  • Up to 64 step patterns
  • 128 Sounds
  • 128 Kits
  • 16 Songs
  • 6× arpeggiators
  • Individual track lengths
  • Swing, slide and accent functions
  • Track transpose
  • Micro timing
  • Parameter locks
  • Live friendly Performance mode
  • Sound-per-step change
  • Instant Pattern, Kit and Sound reload
  • Full real-time control
  • Full MIDI support

Track Effects

  • Wideshift Chorus
  • Saturator Delay
  • Supervoid Reverb

Synth voice features (×4)

  • Fully analog signal path
  • 2× analog oscillators
  • Variable waveshape on all oscillators
  • Oscillator AM and Sync modes
  • 1× 4-pole analog lowpass ladder filter
  • 1× 2-pole analog multi-mode filter
  • 1× analog overdrive circuit
  • 2× sub-oscillators
  • 1× noise oscillator
  • 2× assignable LFOs
  • 1× dedicated vibrato LFO
  • 2× dedicated waveshape LFOs
  • 1× amp envelope
  • 2× assignable envelopes
  • 2× dedicated LFO fade envelopes
  • 1× dedicated noise fade envelope
  • 1× dedicated vibrato envelope
  • 1× dedicated autobend envelope

Hardware

  • 122×32 pixel backlit LCD
  • MIDI In/Out/Thru with DIN Sync Out
  • 2 × 1/4? impedance balanced audio out jacks
  • 2 × 1/4? audio in jacks
  • 1 × 1/4? stereo headphone jack
  • 2 × 1/4? dual CV/Gate outputs
  • 48 kHz, 24-bit D/A and A/D converters
  • Flash-EEPROM upgradable OS
  • USB 2.0 port

Balanced Audio Outputs

  • Headphones out level: +19dBu  (55 ? )
  • Main outputs level: +19dBu
  • Output impedance: 440 ? unbalanced

Unbalanced Audio Inputs

  • Input level: +19dBu maximum
  • Audio input impedance: 9 k ?
  • Digital S/N Ratio: 102dBFS (20-20.000Hz)

Electrical Specifications

  • Unit power consumption: 14 W typical, 24 W maximum.
  • Recommended power supply: 12 V DC, >2 A

Physical Specifications

  • Sturdy steel chassis
  • Dimensions: W340×D176×H63mm (13.4×6.9×2.4?)        (including, audio outputs, knobs and rubber feet)
  • Weight: approximately 2.35 kgs (5.18 lbs)

Release date for the Analog Four is expected to be Dec 3rd. It’s priced at $1149, and can be ordered at the Elektron site.


51 thoughts on “Elektron Analog Four ‘An Analog Synthesizer For The Modern Age’

  1. 8 analog oscillators and filters? Am I reading that correctly? This is going to be painfully expensive, isn’t it?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2
    • don´t forget the dsp effects. and inputs, which would mean you could use the box as a filter and an effects unit. this will be a killer box.

      man i am interested to hear the price.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0
  2. I have a fear that all the parameters are buried behind menu screens… it doesn’t look like a one-knob-per-function type synth, seems like there’s more focus on sequencing and patterns than on immediate toneshaping. I hope I’m wrong, something like this could really be a modern classic!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 6
    • In case you have money enough to buy one of these, you could buy a bcr2000 too, and you would have all the control you need… ;)

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
      • And/or X-Station

        Perhaps at least some manufacturers could try the old Rolands way of selling controller unit separately to those who don’t have controllers or iPad handy…or iPad app.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
    • That screen looks much smaller than any of the other Elektron gear so I think it is because most functions have dedicated multifunctional knobs.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
    • Ben has done nothing other than voice his opinion and has done so in a thoroughly civil way using good English and reasonable arguments. One may not agree with his views but what’s there to dislike?

      To the point in question – I have not seen the new synth in person but have and like a machinedrum UW so I hope my comments on Elektron UI have some validity.

      Nothing on the MD other than setup definitions (midi and audio routing etc) requires digging into sub menus. Parameters are divided into different pages and tweaked by means of 8 (the new synth has 10) endless encoders. You can access parameters belonging to different pages simultaneously by means of extermal midi controllers.

      The real power, however, is in the modulation options (16 freely assignable LFO / envelopes on the MD) and the ability to lock any one of those parameters to steps. IMO this is what makes Elektron machines really great.

      I always wished I could use those LFOs to control external gears and not just internal parameters – having CV outputs allows you to do just that. I assume Elektron has increased the resolution from 7 to 14 bits (what’s the point otherwise)?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2
  3. Love my Octatrack. Cannot wait for the release of their new Analogue Four! The two paired together? Brilliant.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  4. Not sure about the video, really sick of the whole Apocalypse is coming…….the sky is falling, chicken little and all that. But the synth/sequencer looks really interesting, a four voice analogue slash step sequencer……hmmmnn very tasty. I bet it will be really, really expensive though, not for the financially faint at heart?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1
  5. I want that 5:49 of my time back…what a waste of energy watching that BS?
    It must be rubbish…
    gC

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 28
  6. By using SMT components they could easily fit all those analogue vcos and filters in there and the cost should be anything from 900 – 1499 GBP. The MFB Dominion has 3 vcos and is around 650+ GBP but has no sequencer etc. I don’t know much about Elecktron gear but this has peaked my interest.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  7. I’m really excited by this. I love that companies like Elektron and Arturia with a history of digital/software/VA are now delving into true analog.

    Could an analog Virus be next?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1
  8. Kind of waiting for the cheery and light woman’s voice at the end saying: “If you feel like this you need our (insert name) medication, just one dose of this four times a year and then twice monthly and you will be able to survive even these kinds of feelings. Please advise your doctor before taking (our pill) as there have been side-effects”. (then in a slightly less cheery voice): “Not to be given to nursing mothers, can cause reoccurence of cancer in patients with a history of cancer, may give rise to other symptoms such as sore throat, headaches, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, blindness, loss of limbs and in some severe (sic) cases death” (then back to a cheery voice) ” Just take (our pill) and those gray moments will just disappear. Just use “our pill” “…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7
  9. Hmmm, I will wait to see the price and how (un)usable it is before I start jumping up and down. Elektron do not have the greatest of reputations for making easy to use devices. Who wants pages and menus on a screen? One knob for one function please.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7
  10. remember when I said probably $1200?

    I SEE THE FUTURE

    “A limited amount of units is now available for pre-order via Elektron.se at €1099/$1149/£899. Units will be sold on a first come, first served basis. Shipping starts December 3rd.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1
  11. Knowing Elektron, it will sound as great as it looks. But I can’t help thinking all this new fangled Analog gear coming out recently, won’t have the same charm and authenticity in their sound. Do these kind of synths not sound more ‘exact’ than their vintage counterparts? I personally want an analog synth with oscillators, filters and envelopes that drift in and out of tune and time. Surely that’s where the beauty and character lies?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6
    • true. discreet circuits will give you more “character” but a lot of that character has to do with the age of the components, as well. thing start to drift and go out of calibration. I bet that a lot of vintage synths when they first came out were a bit more tight and accurate.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
      • That sounds possible too. It is an interesting topic, especially for those people fascinated by analog sound (vintage synths in particular) and are about spend hundreds or thousands of pounds on gear. I recently read the specs for the Dark Energy II which states that it takes 30 mins to warm up before it is in tune. Macbeth instruments have some words on their site about using older style components similar to those found in all the vintage synths. So maybe there are manufacturers out there who have a certain philosophy in mind and end up making more organic and unruly sounding instruments. It always crosses my mind when I’m browsing the Moogs on their website. As great as they must sound, and as pleasurable as they must be to play, I would be a little bit disappointed if I spent a few grand on a moog and it turned out to sound slightly more rigid than vintage synths. Because I’m buying an analog to escape the rigidity of the digital domain.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
    • Thats true- I use a mix of old and new analogue gear, both discreet and IC-based and you can definitely hear the difference between them all – it makes for an interesting combination, as the differences mean they can each sit in their own space in the mix.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  12. The specifications and price are better than I expected. The sounds on their website leave a lot to be desired.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  13. That’s not a bad price. The Soundcloud demos are pretty freaking sweet, if you’re into sinister electronic growling. There would have to be something fundamentally wrong with the workflow for me not to get one now. I don’t like screens, my attention span is too short :(

    Also consider that the DSI Mopho 4X came out recently. Four voices, full analogue, which would you choose?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  14. yeah getting one of these for sure. my gf wont be happy for cramming our place with gear but fuck it.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1
  15. This is exactly the kind of news you don’t want to hear the day after you just bought the OTO Machines Biscuit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2
  16. The price is substantially below what I expected. I’ll probably have to wait until the second batch though if I want one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1
  17. Holy fucking shit! That price makes this irresistible. I was trying to not buy anything until 2013 but fuck that shit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1
    • To quote from the FAQ section: ”Both oscillators of each voice are analog, with all their elaborate waveshaping completely analog, and with their pitches controlled digitally.”

      I’d say this makes it DCO not VCO.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1
  18. Guys… I really don’t know what to do… I’m thinking all day about Analog For OR Sub Phatty. I know that they are totally different but I just don’t know what to get. When I watch Audiostar’s demo of Sub Phatty I think that it sounds great and after plugging it to Ableton I can do everything with this.
    But then A4 comes to mind as a Sub Phattyx4 + Ableton in a box. But not really shure if pure waveforms and those simple pure sounds like Moog is famous for will sound good enough.

    Please help by discuss.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

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