Akai AX60

Akai AX60 Image

The AX60 is among some of the last true analog polysynths of the mid-eighties. It was Akai's answer to the hugely successful Roland Juno series and Yamaha's new digital DX-series. The AX60 is a programmable six-voice synth with a nice LFO, lowpass (VCF) filter, envelope sections, and more. An eight-voice version, the AX80, was already available.

Akai AX60 Image

Programming this synth is easy using dedicated sliders, knobs and/or buttons for its parameters. It also has a useful noise generator and some other cool functions that include auto-tuning, chorus, a multi-mode arpeggiator and a keyboard that can be split into two key-zones, making it somewhat bi-timbral. All six voices can be stacked in unison mode for a powerful and thick lead sound. Its features and sound make the AX60 a worthy alternative to Roland's Juno 106. The AX60 may have been used by Bjork.

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58 Visitor comments
September 21, 2008 @ 4:33 pm
Great machine, sliders have a plastik feeling to it and tend to get a bit dirty over time. Please check the whole frontpanel layout before you buy this machine, look for unwilling buttons and sliders.
Case is sturdy and made of steel, great memory.
Lovely polysound (i think it is CEM technology under the hood), has a very Noisy and not so impressive chorus.
Can be found for lesser money than other polysynths of the same era.
Sounds Improve hugely with some external FX processing.
Turn some heads when you show up a a show with this board!!!
Niklas R
September 9, 2008 @ 5:33 am
I love this synth. I still have mine that I bought new in 1987.

It should be added that there is also a highpass filter, and the filter section has a VCO mod function that can produce some nice growling sounds. There are also 8 additional split keyboard programs. The two key-zones send and recieve MIDI on separate channels and the split can be set to 0-6, 2-4, 4-2, or 6-0 voices, making it possible to use the AX-60 as a rudimentary MIDI master keyboard when set to a 0-6 or 6-0 split.

The only thing missing from this keyboard is a portamento function, and perhaps a velocity sensitive keyboard.
September 2, 2008 @ 9:11 pm
The article fails to mention that the same sampler hookup present in the AX-73 is also present in this model.

That, and don't underestimate this machine. It's durable, it's got real sliders, and sonically it blows most everything else in my studio away.
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  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 6 Voices
  • Oscillators - 6 VCOs
  • Memory - 64 Patches
  • Filter - Lowpass analog filter
  • VCA - Standard ADSR
  • Keyboard - 61 keys
  • Arpeg/Seq - Arpeggiator
  • Control - MIDI (2 parts)
  • Date Produced - 1986

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