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
Dr. Schluss
September 1, 2010 @ 11:55 am
Used one of these for a while. The sound on this is often gauzy and dirty, and sometimes it's hard to get a well defined tone out of this synth. The ace up its sleeve is its ability to make wild, noisy sounds and grungy analog effects. I really love its 'tubular bells from hell' sound, even though it's a bit difficult to control sometimes. No, this shouldn't be your frontline analog synth, but you may find it filling in some sonic gaps that you didn't know needed filling. Still, I'm glad to be reunited with my Juno 60 (moved back to Japan) while I've passed my Akai AX-60 on to other hands.
August 23, 2010 @ 2:46 pm
Used on both Code Industry albums Method of Assembly and Young Men Coming To Power. The AX60 was one of their favorite boards.
July 25, 2010 @ 2:46 pm
Depeche Mode used this synth on their last album.
July 17, 2010 @ 6:33 pm
The splits can also be assigned different MIDI channels.
Rob Ocelot
January 23, 2010 @ 1:21 am
I have to agree with others here about the resonance being so over the top that in some ways it's non-tonal and in other ways non-musical (not necessarily a bad thing). It also seems that this synth would have been easier to tame if it had sliders that had a logarithmic response.

In a lot of ways it has a wild and unpredictable quality like the Jupiter 6 where it's far too easy to create sounds that are harsh and grating (again, not necessarily a bad thing) with only a small change in a single slider. Those who want a more forgiving synth should stick with a Juno 106 or a Jupiter 8.

I don't recommend the AX-60 as your first synth or as the only piece of analog gear in your set up. It works better as a contrast to 'safer' synths like the Junos.
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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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