Elektron Overbridge ‘Complete Erases The Line Between Hardware And Software Plugin Instruments’

elektron-overbridgeAt Musikmesse 2014, Elektron introduced Overbridge, a new technology that they say ‘completely erases the line between analog hardware and software plug-in instruments’.

Elektron Overbridge is designed to deliver seamless DAW integration of analog synthesizers and drum machines. Here are the details:

Full VST/AU control

Thanks to Overbridge, the Analog range of Elektron machines can be deeply integrated with PC and Mac computers.

The customized and machine specific software plugins, available in VST and AU formats, give direct parameter access over USB and allows efficient DAW based sound editing and sequencing. Overbridge merges the functionality of software plug-ins with the unmatched sound of analog hardware.

Bi-directional USB audio streaming

Overbridge makes multi tracking easy. Connect a USB cable and record multiple Elektron machine voices to separate DAW tracks in 24 bit quality. Or send audio from a DAW, process it with the analog circuitry of the Elektron machines and bring back the results to a new DAW track â?? all over a single USB cable and without timing issues.

Overbridge even allows the Analog range of machines to be used as multi-channel USB sound cards.

Total Recall

Any adjustments made either directly on the Elektron hardware or via the software plug-in can be automatically recalled when loading a DAW project. Overbridge offers ultimate convenience when handling Elektron machine data.

Pricing and Availability

Overbridge will be a part of a free OS update expected to be released Q4 2014. The OS update will work on all Analog Four, Analog Keys and Analog Rytm units.

49 thoughts on “Elektron Overbridge ‘Complete Erases The Line Between Hardware And Software Plugin Instruments’

  1. The Analog Four is fast becoming the best synth I’ve ever purchased, legit. First the poly update and now this, very impressed.

      1. Things I’m going to do:

        1. Buy a knob-laden midi controller (or several) and make this into a knob-per-function synth!

        2. Ask Elektron to make a dedicated USB audio breakout box for the A4 e.g it plugs into the A4’s USB port and has 4 1/4″ jack outputs. While the individual outs over USB is a great function (and will be MORE than enough for most users), it actually doesn’t improve things for me – I run all my hardware simultaneously through an outboard mixer and then into a multichannel interface. If I ran the A4 over USB audio – not only would it be out of time with the rest of my hardware but it would also bypass the coloration I get from the mixer and the preamps in the interface. I know this is a massive first world studio problem but it’s definitely something to consider. Also I don’t know how good the internal A/D converters are in the A4.. Once again, won’t be an issue for the majority users but for larger, full hardware setups this could be really cool.

  2. I own an A4 and I totally agree with Ross. Despite minor problems I had with my unit, this is the best piece of hardware I ever had. I use it mainly for my live but with this plugin I am going to do all my productions with it. Elektron is the best of both world, really.

  3. Super impressed also as an A4, OT, MnM owner – makes the RYTM seem like a far more appealing proposition now I must confess.

    1. I’m going to have to find a way to easily take my Analog Four out of my live rack to use at my computer. So, they need to make quick-clipping rack ears. YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST! 😀

    2. You did hear it here first. I never said I was right????. Now there’s one more reason Octatrack will be updated this year. Who wouldn’t love to send all tracks from octa over USB?

        1. Every single machine they’ve made has been updated roughly every 3 years, why would Octatrack be any different? It hit the shelves late ’10 or early ’11. They’re not going to use compact flash forever, analog filters would free up effects slots, and everyone wants individual outs. Why wouldn’t they update it? Also, get a friggin sense of humor.

          1. do you think that company sets their priorities on some arbitrary number?
            time change, goals change, personnel change, technology changes.
            a4 keyboard alone is a strong sign of departing from any fixed pattern.
            if you´d say OT will get a keyboard version, that might actually fit their current trend.

            you are just spewing bull as anyone of us but it bugs you are so matter of fact about it and actually know jack sh!t.
            and thanks i will get a sense of humour, but you know… waiting for that MK2 version.

            1. Geez, Dude. “I don’t know jack shit” “spewing bull” ? Why so harsh? I’m basing my opinion on actual observations of the company’s history. It’s been roughly every 3 years for every machine, so why not? You think individual outs, a plus drive or an SSD and analog filters wouldn’t sell even more Octatracks? “Analog” sells everything. Also, if the current Octatrack can’t support multitrack audio over USB with just a software update then I think it’s obvious where this is going. I imagine with all the time that went into developing Overbridge they’d want all their gear to support it eventually. It also makes sense that if they do introduce a new Octatrack any time soon it’d be after introducing Overbridge. Also, SSD is getting cheap enough that it could be an new Octas storage medium. Imagine being able to record performances internally to a high capacity SSD. Like you said, goals, time and tech changes. The Analog Keys example is a bad one since there was also a MonoKeyboard so that wasn’t a departure at all. Really though it’s just synths and samplers, why be so angry? Just because I don’t agree? Because I was wrong about yesterday’s announcement? There will be a MKII or an Octatrack+ and you still heard it hear first!! I won’t be returning to read your response because you clearly have anger issues and don’t seems to be very familiar with Elektron at all. Goodnight, angry little man! Try meditation!

      1. I’m assuming the Octatrack will be next. The A4/AK/AR all share (i’m assuming) a very similar OS so it makes sense to role out overbridge for them first. Also, I’m not sure why people assume it would need to be a MK 2 Octatrack to do this – surely it’s just an OS update as USB is already present in the hardware.

        1. do you think that company sets their priorities on some arbitrary number?
          time change, goals change, personnel change, technology changes.
          a4 keyboard alone is a strong sign of departing from any fixed pattern.
          if you´d say OT will get a keyboard version, that might actually fit their current trend.

          you are just spewing bull as anyone of us but it bugs you are so matter of fact about it and actually know jack sh!t.
          and thanks i will get a sense of humour, but you know… waiting for that MK2 version.

      1. Well i do have one and elektron is pissing me off. the fact that all you analog posers crave a digital audio out is extremely amusing. Analog. Posers.

      2. No the problem is I read passed title, it’s hardly the revelation the title suggests.

        Elektron welcome to the 21st century of integrated hardware

  4. Well after the recent major update for the A4 I didn’t think there would be much else added.. very happy to be wrong. This is amazing, it’s going to be a long wait.

    1. i don´t think so…. there is plenty of room for more developement ….. for example digital waves for the A4

      crunchy 12 bit waves or even lower and those filters

  5. “Overbridge even allows the Analog range of machines to be used as multi-channel USB sound cards.”
    Ho-leee-awesome. Thanks Elektron — firing on all cylinders!

    While Elektron is in generous mood, please perhaps a nice way to digitally connect stanalone Octatrack and A4 via USB (one becomes usb host?) to pull audio output of A4 into OT over USB, in a useable way with no computer in the loop. Actually, the analog re-sampling isn’t bad quality loss at all, and now we can use overbridge with a computer in the middle to accomplish same, but it’s the workflow that flummoxes me. OT is not the world’s simplest sampler to use 🙁 I know, I know, great power == great responsibility to read the manual, got it. Tried that. Tried videos. Falls out of short term memory. Need a good chemical for that problem.

  6. A supporting app that let’s you sequence multiple voices on the same page, with easy per step edits, clear pattern banks per voice, this would bring the A4 come out of the dark in a club environment , Studio Overbridge and Live Overbridge now that’s something I would pay for !!

  7. There’s no mention of midi sequencing, the one thing one would expect with full intregration with a daw, the thing I need as well, am I missing something or should I give up hope that my a4 will ever be able to midi sequence ?

  8. Great added features , though I wouldnt put it past Elektron’s obtuse design aesthetic to have the VST editor with tiny text so as difficult to read as the hardware screen .

  9. Somehow I missed this post and feverishly sent a mail to synthhead about it after the fact – heheh 🙂

    Agreed with all the posts above that get how amazing this really is. Elektron are setting new standards in product support and development!

    Also kind of amazed that some folks seem to be implying that they live in a purely analogue world, with todays possibilities with digital processing I’m all for analogue sounds, but I always record down to digital upload to sound cloud, rip to mp3 or whatever and very often process sounds digitally.

    I have a question, quite seriously, how do you record your music? Or perhaps more to the point, how do you ever share your music without using digital medium? Do you record to tape and send copies to people?

  10. Regarding its ever growing functionality; the A4 offers serious value for money. That said, I have to admit to not being entirely convinced by its sound (subjective I know and it’s not all bad, even to my picky ears). The thing is, I’m actually on the verge of selling a ton of gear to help fund a new setup and the Analog Four is on the flip list.

    My concern however, is that Sod’s Law clearly dictates that Elektron will go ahead and add midi sequencing functionality along with the Overbridge – and at that point I’ll be kicking myself for selling a potent CV/midi, bridging, sequencer toolbox that packs 4 voices and a bunch of other goodness merely as a convenient afterthought.

    It’s nice that Elektron stunned us with the secret +Drive and polyphony update – but now I’m just starting to wish for transparency as opposed to gimmicky, marketing driven obfuscation.

    It certainly seems possible to me that they’ll add midi sequencing as, since the polyphony update, I could have 1 track using up all 4 voices leaving 3 tracks doing absolutely sweet F/A. The only reason not to add midi would be to keep the A4 from stepping on the toes of a couple of its siblings. But if that’s the case then Elektron are just being f-ing stingy!

    First World problems indeed – but oh! How all these synthesizers torment me so.

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