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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56 Visitor comments
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.
January 12, 2010 @ 5:14 pm
As far as I know, the picture above came from the official Akai website as it was online about 10 years ago. It was featured in a Akai company history timeline. Since it was a clear, high res picture it is the picture you see often in articles like this.
However, I've never seen this AX60 in any other photo nor in any real life studio, so I reckon the picture came from the Akai prototype archives or something like that. Of course I can not be 100% sure, but I doubt this particular pictured AX60 ever went into production.
November 13, 2009 @ 10:08 pm
in 1985 ..i bought one of these because i could not afford the esq 1 which both had just come out from Easy Music in Honolulu Hi...and i never knew that there was another model..i loved that board
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  • The link above will take you to a 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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