Akai AX73

Akai AX73 Image

The AX73 is a surprisingly good analog synthesizer that is still considered to be widely underrated and deserving of some recognition. It's a six voice analog synthesizer with an almost identical architecture to Akai's AX60 keyboard. It also came in a rack-mount form as the VX90. It has one oscillator (VCO) per voice and allows for 3 playing modes: Poly mode uses one VCO per voice for six voice polyphonic pads, chords and strings. Dual-VCO mode stacks 2 VCOs per voice for a thicker three-voice sound. Unison mode stacks all six VCOs onto one monophonic voice for a screamin' lead!

Akai AX73 Image

The AX73 has a simple 24 dB/oct VCF (filter) and it has an interesting feature that allows the cutoff to be modulated by the VCO. It also has a flexible LFO with many variable waveforms, chorus, portamento, and a standard ADSR VCA envelope generator. But unlike many other analog synths, this machine is MIDI equipped for easy integration and use in today's modern studios. The sounds are quite nice and are adequate for use in any style of music production. It also had special inputs for use with Akai's S-612, S-900 and S-950 samplers, allowing you to run those samples through the AX73's analog filters and envelopes.

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44 Visitor comments
February 5, 2013 @ 5:45 am
Did any one noticed that M. Cretu used it in late 80s while composing in studio and playing live ?
Ax73 can be even seen in his vids from that area.
February 4, 2013 @ 8:55 am
You need to re-load all the program data via the Tape In jack on backof synth. Use this audio/data here - http://bit.ly/Yxb6KW Connect computer audio out to AX73 Tape In, press LOAD button (bottom right) on controls, play data sounds from the web link. If the AX73 programs are not loaded, try increasing/decreasing the audio volume going to Tape In jack.
I have an AX73 for sale £295 ono http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/130845934485
January 30, 2013 @ 5:35 pm
I have one that's been on the shelf for years.
Would like to have some good Rhodes, Organ, Strings, and Analog Brass patches.
Just don't have time to try to work from scratch.
Mine came with all kinds of crappy sound effect noises on board.
January 24, 2013 @ 11:07 am
Crazy filters plus oscillator waveform modulation for some cool filter FM sounds - just set the keyboard follow at 73... makes sense, doesn't it? VCO and MIDI is a rare combination and what makes that synth even more special is the "sampler" input. Just find any old AKAI sampler (S612, S700, S900 or S950) to get any type of sound used as oscillators (yes, you can make it polyphonic as opposed to some false assumptions I read on the net). Fattest beast in my setup no doubt!! Underrated is an overused term but not in this case. Been using it for 2 years so keypad editing became second nature.
Robin Hunt
December 5, 2012 @ 1:38 pm
This synths is one of my favorites. I love this unit. So much warmth and fatness. Love it for bases, pads keys etc etc. It can be rave al over the place! Not a lot of controls but hey that keeps you creative :) Lately I prefer it over my virus TI, but hey totaly different synths ;)
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Rated 3.82 (301 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • 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 - 1 VCO per voice with saw, tri, pulse, saw+tri and noise generator
  • Memory - 100 patches
  • Filter - 1 24dB/oct resonant 4-pole filter with highpass
  • VCA - ADSR
  • LFO - 1 with variable waveforms
  • Effects - Chorus, Pulse Width Oscillation, Detune
  • Keyboard - 73 keys with velocity
  • Arpeg/Seq - None
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1986
  • Resources & Credits
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