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
Prisoner of Mars
February 4, 2014 @ 9:58 pm
Totally underrated gem, one of the greatest hidden secrets of the 'vintage' analog synths... The presets are almost useless, but if you spend a couple of hours editing the sounds, you can get at least 10 totally different & usable patches. In terms of performance, you can assign the filter or lfo's to the pitch bend or the mod wheel and use the parameter slider to tweak the envelopes for example, that's enough to compete with the more 'knobby' synths around. In terms of sound it got it's own character, I would say it's a mix between the warmness of Moog and the abrassiveness of Korg filters.
September 10, 2013 @ 7:36 am
someone messing around with mine changed one key to another key, expl that if you didn't want to play black notes, for inst, you could change key to avoid it - I want it back to being correct - how do you do that?
Paul FitzZaland
May 26, 2013 @ 1:08 am
I have a PDF copy of the manual that I can email to anyone that needs it.


( I wish I new how to contact other members directly)
Volker - Tastronauten
March 19, 2013 @ 4:18 am
This one is a very, very, very, very nice synthesizer. It is really powerful, warm, it has nice basses but it has very special higher frequencies. They can sound as breaking glass with lots of sustain. Just listen to the Polymoog Vox Humana and you will understand, what I mean. I mostly use the AX73 for pads, but is also great to get fat solos. If I should rate within the 6-voice league of that time, the order would be 1. Juno60 2. Akai AX73, 3. Prophet600 4. Polysix 5. Bit99. Watch our Video and listen to our sounddemos on tastronauten.de
February 5, 2013 @ 5:48 am
Sorry for the mistake.

Did any one notice that M. Cretu used it often in late 80s while composing in studio and playing live ?
Ax73 can be even seen in his vids from that area.
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User Rating

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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