Alesis Micron or Microkorg?

A forum for comparing two or more synths against each other. Also known as "versus" threads.

Alesis Micron or Microkorg?

Postby sepiakeys » Wed Jul 23, 2008 4:52 pm

Looking for a small and portable VA with a Vocoder. I'm Thinking about an Micron or a Microkorg.

Which one could you recommend? Alternatives?

Thanks!!!
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Postby Stab Frenzy » Wed Jul 23, 2008 5:00 pm

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They sound quite different.

Get the one you like the sound of the best.
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Postby synthesizerist » Wed Jul 23, 2008 5:22 pm

Yeah, definitely try them both. And really think about if you can stand those tiny microkorg keys if you go in that direction. That's honestly the ONLY reason I got rid of mine.
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Postby OriginalJambo » Wed Jul 23, 2008 10:24 pm

I had an ION (same engine as the Micron) and now have a microKORG.

I prefer the microKORG's tone myself (bright, harsh) - it sure has plenty of balls for something so petite. The ION engine is much creamier - definitely less edge to the sound until you process it although it can still sound thick. I'd say the ION is probably better at nailing analogue tones of the two, although that really isn't saying much.

Also the Micron is much more flexible, although the microKORG is still no slouch. The microKORG also has a bit of a reputation for being a pain in the ass to program - it's a cinch really once you learn where everything is. You'll be flying about in no time.

Anyway, if possible try to demo the two and see which one you prefer the sound of. Don't know about the Micron but IMO the ION's factory presets are awful for the most part so don't judge it on that alone. The microKORG's are a little dancey for my tastes, but there are still some gems in there.
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Postby Summa » Wed Jul 23, 2008 11:46 pm

The microKorg comes with the better FX section, but when distortion's turned off it sounds rather unimpressive and muffled, PWM is avaiable for one oscillator only, FM restricted to Sine waveforms. I think of it as the worst Hardware Synth in my Collection...
Micron is rather mighty synthesis wise, especially when compared to the microKorg, but one is having a hard time getting the Oscillator dirt out of the sound, and softness into it and the rather unimpressive FX-section isn't helping very much.
Even so it sounds different, a talkbox might be an alternative, with a bit training one can reach a better intelligibility (hopefully the right word) compared to those rather basic vocoders...
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Postby basssdude34 » Thu Jul 24, 2008 1:16 am

In the end its what sounds the best and works the best for YOU...so i guess the best advice is to just try em both and see...if you want to compare specs just find em online....
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Postby crystalmsc » Thu Jul 24, 2008 6:02 am

sepiakeys wrote:Looking for a small and portable VA with a Vocoder. Alternatives?

let's add another micro here. the Nord Micro Modular is just about the smallest and got a nice vocoder with a bunch of processors you can link with the vocoder.
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Postby andrew13 » Thu Jul 24, 2008 2:26 pm

Well I own both of these machines but firstly I will start off with the MicroKorg. The MicroKorg is purely analogue and settings are easy to make, especially on the vocoder, although the vocoder is not the best, and as a downside the small keys are hard to get used to because of their small size. The Alesis Micron I quite like actually but menu's can be hard to navigate.

Maybe you could try the Korg R3. That has some nice sounds on it and it is heavily marketed with the vocoder. I would probably say try out the R3 more than the MicroKorg or the Micron. The R3 is about as small as the MicroKorg too.
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Postby Summa » Thu Jul 24, 2008 2:55 pm

andrew13 wrote:The MicroKorg is purely analogue


Hmmm? :shock:
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Postby Syn303 » Thu Jul 24, 2008 3:36 pm

andrew13 wrote:The MicroKorg is purely analogue


:shock: :shock: :shock: ermmm digital.... me thinks
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Postby shaft9000 » Thu Jul 24, 2008 3:57 pm

novices that compare both tend to slag the mKorg because of fewer polyphony, no multitimbral mode, and the tiny keys. while the keys are indeed an issue for me, the poly is not so much, and the 'which sounds more analog' is a retarded argument through and through. They're both totally digital. The micron has more weight to it's sound, while the mKorg cuts through a mix a bit better. Micron is smoother; the mKorg more brash and buzzy.

this subject has been done to death a million times, so imo what it boils down to is mostly this:

for 70's style sounds...mKorg
for 80's style sounds...micron

the rest is just specs & interface style blah blah blah

possible dealbreaker: micron is lousy for tweaking w/out a PC editor. And most of the 3 knobs are preset to 'fm amount' (sometimes good), filter pan (wtf ?????) & noise level (wtf???... unless it's an fx patch this is usually a waste)
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Postby Summa » Thu Jul 24, 2008 3:59 pm

Syn303 wrote:
andrew13 wrote:The MicroKorg is purely analogue


:shock: :shock: :shock: ermmm digital.... me thinks


Yep, when I had to opened it to replace the keyboard, used it to control Softsynths but the Keyboards wasn't resistant enough, it looked completely digital/DSP based to me...
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Postby Alex Hamilton » Thu Jul 24, 2008 5:32 pm

I think perhaps Andrew is saying that the uK only really does 'analogue' sounds, whereas the Micron is a bit more capable sound-wise. Not wanting to put words in his mouth, but I'm sure he knows that the uK is a VA.

With regards to the original post, you really can't go wrong with either, they both pack a lot of bang for the buck; most people tend to prefer the Ion/Micron sound, but it's horses for courses, as OJ says above. Both have relatively limited interfaces. Personally I'd just buy whichever I came across first if I was in your position.
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Postby OriginalJambo » Thu Jul 24, 2008 6:41 pm

shaft9000 wrote:novices that compare both tend to slag the mKorg because of fewer polyphony, no multitimbral mode, and the tiny keys. while the keys are indeed an issue for me, the poly is not so much, and the 'which sounds more analog' is a retarded argument through and through. They're both totally digital. The micron has more weight to it's sound, while the mKorg cuts through a mix a bit better. Micron is smoother; the mKorg more brash and buzzy.


Yup, that's it pretty much summed up.

for 70's style sounds...mKorg
for 80's style sounds...micron


I don't know about this - I'd say most iconic 80s synth sounds are quite buzzy and bright compared to the 70s stuff, which is usually more often than not warmer and thicker. Think Jump versus Wish You Were Here. There are even some good factory 80s sounds on the microKORG. However it's true that the microKORG can sound quite 70s if you make use of the ensemble effect.

With the right programming and processing I'm sure both could cover a lot of 70s and 80s ground though.

In the end you're best off just picking the one with the sound that appeals to you most. It also helps if you click with the interface too.
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Postby ryryoftokyo » Thu Jul 24, 2008 10:21 pm

I've had both...

MICRON PROS:

The micron has a great sound engine.

Full keys if that matters to you.

Tons of patch storage too!

Neat pitch wheel that glows brighter as you move it more.

MK PROS:

Micro Korg's vocoder is quite a bit of fun. It actually works really well.

Running other external signals into the MK sounds really good too.

The keys (assuming you don't mind mini keys) feel really good to play.

Very small and runs on batteries.

Great arpeggiator.

The knobs have a really good feel.

MICRON CONS:

Cheap knobs and sliders. Feels like you're going to break them all the time.

Vocoder sucks (IMO).

Feels odd to play towards the edge of the synth.

Making sounds on there is a total pain because of the need for menu navigation.

MK CONS:

The sound engine is not so good. A lot of people don't mind it...I did.

If you don't like mini keys, this synth will not be a joy to play.

The editing matrix is confusing to some.
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Hope that helps.

And if you want my 2 cents.....get the MK.
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