Analog Keys is Elektron's flagship analog synthesizer with digital controls, and unprecedented playability making it the ultimate instrument for the expressive musician. The Analog Keys is a four voic... Read More
Analog Keys is Elektron's flagship analog synthesizer with digital controls, and unprecedented playability making it the ultimate instrument for the expressive musician. The Analog Keys is a four voice polyphonic analog synthesizer, capable of generating some of the finest basslines, chords, leads, and sounds imaginable. The warm and deep tone represents the pinnacle of analog synthesis and the acclaimed Elektron sequencer stands ready to arrange and warp the analog sounds in real-time. Complete the experience by treating the four voices with incredibly well-crafted master effects. A new world of sounds awaits.
New functionality with Overbridge
Overbridge is a new function that has been added to several Elektron analog instruments, including Analog Keys. It unites your hardware and your software via a USB connection with unprecedented seamlessness and organizes your workflow into a simple, easy-to-use graphical interface that displays all of your Analog Keys's parameters. Overbridge allows you to sync your Analog Keys to your VST/AU-compatible DAW, enables bi-directional multi-track audio streaming, provides editing and automation mapping via the Overbridge plug-ins, and offers an organizational scheme for sounds and samples.
Design sounds using Overbridge’s dedicated plug-in, or control parameters via the knobs on your Analog Keys. Exploit the attributes of your Elektron sequencer within your DAW sequencer, tweak sounds on your Analog Keys via the Overbridge GUI and transport them to live performances in the instrument. It's a whole new world of sound design, sequencing and production functionality that sets Elektron apart.
The Analog Keys is tailor-made for the stage. The 37 semi-weighted keys of the keyboard give instant fingertip control of the analog tones. The special performance mode offers direct access to user-defined parameters, and the joystick, capable of controlling up to fifteen parameters, allows for extreme morphing of sounds. Improvising when playing live has never been this easy.
Heart of the rig
Compatibility with other instruments is well catered for. Simply press a button to transform the Analog Keys into a MIDI keyboard, ready to control external MIDI gear. Thanks to the dedicated CV sequencer and the CV/Gate and DIN sync outputs, analog instruments of both today and yesteryear can be played, sequenced, and controlled with precision. Use the multitude of control options to breathe new life in vintage and modern rigs alike.
Reviewed by 2 customers
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this is the best piece of gear I have ever owned. The step sequencer is extremely powerful. The analog synthesis does anything you could imagine. The four part mono/ unison stack/ polyphonic nature of the keyboard makes it perfect for any application. I also have an Elektron Machine drum and one of buds has the analog rytm. If you stack this with a drum machine from Elektron you'll have the ultimate foundation for a live or recording rig.
Right, where to begin... I got the AK because I was in the market for a playmate for my Korg MS20 and Roland TR-8, ultimately with a view to moving things to more live focussed work. I also needed a new midi keys controller for my DAW... Lo and behold, found this machine which does all I needed. It looked a little pricey at first glance but considering its a capable polyphonic analog synth, cv sequencer and midi controller all in one I reckon is a good deal - the keys are great feeling, nice to play and is all round pretty rock solid. I output midi clock and transport to the TR-8, and sequence the MS20 pitch/gate via cv, leaving 2 cv channels free to control the various synth parameters, cutoff, oscs etc. Flakey unsynced free-running filter lfo's are now a thing of the past - the AK has breathed new life into my other gear. The MS20 audio then runs into the external input of the AK, for use on its own or as an oscillator source (so can be AM'd, sync'd, filtered etc). Ill give a quick rundown of the ups and downs I've found; + Great sounding engine, up to 4x poly + capable of some really interesting and non linear sounds + P-Locks and S-locks, performance mode, multimap mode and scale locking make live tweaking and playing a dream + space for literally thousands of presets + Overbridge vst (usb audio and vsti midi front end) set for release any day now + stereo master and 4 individual outs, one for each track, which the analog 4 doesnt have + Good quality internal fx, the reverb is lush and big - and the fx section has its own lfo, envs and cv trigger track! + one button press and its a midi controller, easy on the fly switching + CV setup is easy enough (though some people seem to struggle to get the idea - is commonly asked on the forums, but is actually as simple as tuning two different notes and a video to follow is provided) + There does seem to be good, ongoing, active development of the os, also free sound packs released fairly regularly etc + Good online community and plenty of tutorial vids on youtube +/- Steep learning curve for various workflow things like project file management, what saves with what etc (e.g. the sounds you actually play are in kits, which exist in the project not the +drive - the sounds you browse are like back up files in a way). Whether you think the learning curve is a bad thing or not depends on your view point - I see it as a sign of a deep instrument, but the less technical among us may be a bit put off. You may find some lessons learned the hard way, will freely admit to accidentally saving over kits more than once in the first week or two - once you get the workflow it all makes sense though. - Cant sequence midi which isnt necessarily obvious, cant output arp notes via midi - The sequencer lacks some functions that'd make it to die for (e.g. reverse direction/ping pong, tempo division, any glitchy type controls to mess with the sequenced triggers) - Some omissions modulation-wise - has kb trk for filters but not available as an assignable mod source, so no tracking lfo speeds etc. - Is going to end up costing me a lot of money, I like it so much I now want the Octatrack and Rytm to go with it :-D Overall is definitely a 5* synth - the omissions, whilst sucking a bit do not detract from the awesome power of it to warrant marking down. I've made more and better music in the last couple of months than I have in years - instant inspiration, each time I fire it up. Now just need a few $k to completel the set elektron boxes XD
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