Elektron is one of our favorite audio production companies out there. It may not have a long-standing history like some of the more well-known brands like Moog, Korg and others, but it has been producing some of the more interesting hardware instruments in the game for a number of years from analog drum machines, effects boxes and synths, to digital beat machines and more. We have been lucky enough to go hands on with some of its gear in the past and we’re excited to hear about the launch of the new Analog Heat MKII.
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For those unfamiliar, Analog Heat is a hardware box specifically designed to process both external and software-based sound sources. It features 8 analog distortion/saturation circuits, a filter, EQ and various modulation possibilities. In our in-depth review, we found the box to be a fantastic sonic shaper any producer/musician would benefit from, but with a hefty price tag to match.
Analog Heat MKII is essentially more of the same but with an upgraded physical build quality and a few aesthetic upgrades. Once again we are getting eight stereo distortion circuits ranging from subtle and warm to complete madness, a basic 2-band EQ, stereo analog multi mode filter (7 filter types), a series of modulation possibilities with an envelope generator and assignable LFO and more.
Where the new model differs most from its predecessor is with a “larger and sharper” OLED screen, along with what is being described as more durable and precise encoders (they were quite good the first time around anyway) and backlit buttons similar to what we saw on the Digitone. It sounds like there have also been some improvements made on the actual OS as far as visual feedback via the OLED as well. We are once again getting that steel case from the first gen machine.
One thing to note here is that Overbridge functionality will be coming to the Analog Heat MKII, but it is not yet available. Overbridge essentially allows the machine to act just like a software-based plug-in inside your DAW. It’s an amazing technology and one of our favorite elements of the Analog hardware ecosystem.
It would have been nice, in my opinion, to see some additional effects and well, just more to separate it from the original box. This move basically means the company is leaving the MKI in the dust and replacing it with a box that is more or less the same instead of adding to its lineup of analog effects boxes.
I always appreciate a better build quality, but it’s hard to recommend the next generation Heat to anyone already happy with the one they have. Having said that, if you don’t already have one I absolutely love the MKI and use it on just about every project I work on.
And you can go hear it in action right here.