Akai AX60

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Re: Akai AX60

Postby smoothcriminal » Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:21 pm

urgetoplay - I did note the build quality issues in the 3rd paragraph, although I can add the information you pointed out. The thing with the LEDs/Displays glue failing and falling into the case is annoying (my AX has this symptom, i'll see if a tech can't fix it while i'm getting the tact switches replaced) but I still find it hard to fault Akai's build quality since the circuitry itself is solid and not prone to failure.

About the sampler connection, I can't really review it except to note that it exists, since I don't have the hardware. What do you mean by "mini disc availability?"

I should also note that my estimated value for a good conditioned AX60 is $400

edit - as an aside re: the discussion earlier in this thread about the "prototype" AX60 vs the real one, I'm fairly certain the difference is that the prototype has 1 slider per function, whereas the real AX60 has rudimentary LED "menus" which let you control two or more sets of parameters with the same set of sliders. For example, the far right side of the prototype has 2 sets of ADSR controls, one for VCF EG and one for VCA EG. The real AX60 has a single set of ADSR controls plus buttons which allow you to toggle between editing the settings for the VCF and editing the settings for the VCA.
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Re: Akai AX60

Postby urgetoplay » Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:52 pm

IIRC the "prototype" existed only as a picture mockup. The labeling had some inconsistencies that made it suspect.
The disc issue is that the S-612 (as well as the MD-216) uses quick discs [sic ?]; a format that hasn't been available for quite some time.
As this "second OSC" feature is a big plus for the instrument I feel that it deserves mention.
Last, and this is just my opinion, build quality refers to the entire instrument. I own a number of synths from that era as well as 2 AX60s ( one carcass), an AX80 & the S-612/MD-216. The several AX60s I've come across have all been in horrible shape physically. They have their fair share of electrical issues as well but no more than other synths of their class and era ( Junos, Seil models,Polaris etc). The casing on the 60s have been bad enough to gain my attention. The AX80 has something similar with its end caps.
All in all your review was dead on, concise and informative....
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Re: Akai AX60

Postby smoothcriminal » Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:03 pm

I'll revise the review with your input (probably move "build quality" into the Cons category :D) and submit it to VSE as soon as I work up some audio samples. The current audio sample on VSE is good, but I want to see if I can't come up with some acid-y 303 sounds, as I think the AX60 is suited for that style, and maybe some Juno-y sounds just to see if it's possible.
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Re: Akai AX60

Postby themilford » Sun Aug 29, 2010 4:23 pm

So, I've had my AX-60 for about 6 months now... and I must say I've grown more and more fond of it as I spend more time with it.

Surely it's a fantastic alternative to the Junos... sound isn't too far removed from the single osc SCI stuff... super easy to program, the interface is fantastic, the aggressive VCO MOD is pretty awesome... the single EG is a little lame and it would be nice if it had a sub-osc and chord memory but I'm finding it to be pretty flexible for the rock band I play in... I wonder if we'll ever see a DIY upgrade to the midi for this like the Poly-800 and JX-3P have gotten.

And it's seems that nowadays they go for around $250 all day long... this is a STEAL and I highly recommend that people here take advantage of these low prices while they last.

I'm currently making some nice maple or walnut end-caps to replace the plastic ones... should look pretty nice. ;)
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Re: Akai AX60

Postby themilford » Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:19 pm

Started on the wood sides for my AX60... they were a little more complicated than just simple slabs. I had to route to create a little ridge and drill dimples to make room for the non-uniform surface of the chassis end.
Image
Just need to sand, finish and attach.
Image
I would make these for folks here but I have no idea what to charge... if you really want some PM me... I have more of this old reclaimed maple and some walnut.
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Re: Akai AX60

Postby computron » Tue Nov 23, 2010 5:37 pm

Solderman wrote:Anything crazy? That every slider produces zipper noise if you move them too fast? That it makes a lousy Midi controller.

!00% correct the zipper noise when moving the sliders and not a good MIDI controler
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Re: Akai AX60

Postby themilford » Tue Nov 23, 2010 8:15 pm

Coupla quick questions:

What does the Cutoff freq knob over the mod wheel do? Mine seems to do nothing.

Also, when the voice oscillator is in square mode and you have the PWM turned up over 25% or so... the rate slider seems to work like a switch in the bottom 10%... where the sound is very thin and almost sounds broken until you hit about 10% up and then the sound kicks in.

Anybody else have these issues?

Can anybody post a video or audio of these functions.

Thanks!
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Re: Akai AX60

Postby themilford » Wed Nov 24, 2010 4:40 pm

Finished (mostly)

I also added some accent to the sliders... I think it looks more complete now.

Image

Here's Miss Charlotte testing it out for me.

Image
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Re: Akai AX60

Postby Solderman » Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:29 pm

themilford wrote:What does the Cutoff freq knob over the mod wheel do? Mine seems to do nothing.

Also, when the voice oscillator is in square mode and you have the PWM turned up over 25% or so... the rate slider seems to work like a switch in the bottom 10%... where the sound is very thin and almost sounds broken until you hit about 10% up and then the sound kicks in.

1) I think it's positive increase depth of freq. cutoff when you raise the modwheel.
2) This is common to any rectangular waveform. Turn the pulewidth control past a certain point and the entire duty cycle is cancelled(zeroed) out. A slower rate is going to keep the pulsewidth in this "dead zone" longer.

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Re: Akai AX60

Postby Computer Controlled » Thu Nov 25, 2010 4:37 am

Looks nice with the wood ends. I still want to get one of these.
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Re: Akai AX60

Postby smoothcriminal » Fri Nov 26, 2010 3:52 am

The cutoff control over the mod wheel actually determines how much the pitch bend wheel alters cutoff. You can set the pitch control to 0 and the cutoff control to 10 to modulate cutoff only using the pitch bend. This can be useful if you want to control cutoff over MIDI, since the AX60 responds to pitch bend and modulation CCs.

CompControlled - I'll be putting mine on the market within the next few months, after I take it to a tech to replace some faulty tact switches.
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Re: Akai AX60

Postby Hair » Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:57 am

I'm a little jealous of y'all - I have an S612/MD280 and I picked up an AX60 for $60, but I only got that price because the only sound it makes right now is WEOWSHOWEOWSHOWEOWSHOWEOWSHOWEOWSHOWEOWSHOW no matter what I do.

It sounds like that on every preset (though slightly different iterations of the sound sometimes), the rate of the WEOWSHO doesn't change when altering the speed/routing of the LFO, and the keys do absolutely nothing to gate or change the pitch. It needs wooork, or maybe just to lend it's better parts to another AX60..

I want to use it with the S612 so badly!
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Re: Akai AX60

Postby themilford » Thu Dec 23, 2010 2:49 pm

Hair, did you ever sort yours out?

I was wondering how modifiable the OS would be on the AX-60. Like how that guy HAWK did all that extensive work on the Poly-800... I would love to see some simple improvement on the AX-60... like how about Chord-Memory when you hold a chord and hit the Unison button (like the Prophet 600). Or "stacking" instead of splitting for a 3-voice mode with a sub osc or two patches layered. Maybe Portamento or EG control over the LFO...

Really these, to me are the only flaws of the synth... since is a single osc synth it would have been nice, and easy, had they implemented a few "cheats" for a beefier sound... Sub osc, doubled/stacked mode, chord-mem...
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Re: Akai AX60

Postby themilford » Sat Jan 22, 2011 7:56 pm

Just got this for free from a friend:
Image\

It's minty and has 50 quick discs... 11 of which are original factory Akai samples.
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Re: Akai AX60

Postby themilford » Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:40 pm

To all that are waiting for wood endcaps...

I got very behind in my work due to holiday's, recording an album and waiting for my finger to heal after a small workshop accident.

I'm now back up and running. Also, wife has next week off so I'm free of daycare duties for the week which gives me time to wrap up your panels by the end of next week... hopefully. Thanks for your patience!

I'll post pics and info when I'm done. I'm considering making extras and will post in the classifieds if I do.

Cheers,
David
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