Virtual spaghetti! Yeah, that’s my patch.
This app is pretty much what sold me on getting an iPad. When iPads where first released, I had figured there would be some really cool music apps to get on it, but when it comes to this one, I had no idea how cool! If this was just a quality emulation of a classic vintage synthesizer, which this is, it would have been fun enough. It would have made me happy. But it comes with a wide range of extra features as well, not the least of which is a 6 track drum sequencer, the sounds of which are all separate instances of the synth engine, all near to fully editable. They can be used to add extra sounds or melodies of any kind. That’s cool.
I’ve had this for a couple of years now, and over that time I’ve composed a few songs exclusively for it. My next release will likely be entirely songs and pieces done with it. Recording has been an interesting challenge. The mix is done all within the app. While the mixer screen is quite functional, you don’t get the option of giving the tracks individualized EQ and compression like what you would need to get a really good quality mix. I’ve been experimenting with ways to get what I want out of the 2 track output with post possessing. I’m getting pretty good results but I’m still messing around with it. We’ll see how that goes.
Thanks to Benj we have videos from my CD release party in August. The show ended up going really late, and my set got cut short. Seeing me play some of these songs from an external perspective now has me resolved to be more focused as a performer. I hope you find the time to watch and enjoy. Thanks.
I’ve had it for a few months now, and I’ve played a couple of gigs with it so far. I got to say that my Elektron Analog Four is a dream come true for a synth player without a car. It looks very similar to previous Elektron devices: digital groove boxes that offer a lot of flexibility for make all kinds of techno music, but with this thing, the sound is generated by four genuine analog synthesizers. (just in case you didn’t get that from the name) The great thing about it is that with the on board sequencer and effects, it has all the tools that I need for my own characteristic approach to experimental music. Yes it’s that versatile, its light and compact, and it sounds awesome! Having it makes me feel like my musical abilities are something more akin to a super power.
It’s hard to think of options that went left out: Many filter types, waveform shapes, just about any parameter can be modulated by the LFO. There is no form of Ring Modulation available but that’s about the only part of the synth architecture I find missing. The sequencer can be set to an ‘Advanced Mode’ where the length of each track can be different lengths and with any number of steps up to 64, allowing for any crazy kind of time signature you can imagine. I like the way the effects are set up on this as well. The effects (Delay, Reverb and Chorus) are on a whole track of their own and each synth track has it’s own send to each effect so it works like it would if you had three send/returns on a mixer.
I do have a few gripes about it. No piece of gear is perfect. One thing that I find strange is that most parameters have a positive and negative value. What that means depends on what it is and in most of them I don’t understand enough to explain myself, at least not yet. It’s cool to have so many options but one side effect of this is that it’s hard, with the encoder knobs, to get a parameter to an even 0. Sometimes, when I’m improvising like I do, that’s what I will want to do really bad and fast. I’m starting to learn the technique of pulling it off anyway but it’s a sight pain.
Overall, this thing is really cool and fun to play. I definitely will be wanting to play out with it more. I’ll probably be wanting to use it in a more expanded set up later, but for now, all I need is in one tiny box!