Alesis Micron

Alesis Micron Image

The Micron is like an Ion packed into a compact 3-octave keyboard for the "on-the-go" musician. The Micron boasts the same analog modeling sound engine as the acclaimed Alesis Ion, offering breakthrough analog realism, high-resolution control, and tremendous value. The Micron is compatible with Ion programs and holds over 1,000 programs and multitimbral setups. It's therefor best used as a preset type synthesizer - either download your own Ion patches or others into the Micron and take them on the go. Sure the Ion is a hands-on synth programmer's feast, but the Micron gives you access to the same power as the Ion in a compact synth ideal for gigging, practicing, composing and just good old fashion playing around with!

Most obviously, the Micron has done away with just about all the real-time controllers found on the Ion, offering just three 360-degree endless parameter knobs, two assignable modulation sliders and one assignable backlit pitch wheel. Slim pickin's but enough for live performances (you only have two hands!) or quick tweaks. Sure you can delve deeper into patch editing and even the extensive twelve-route modulation matrix (with 114 sources and 78 destinations) but that's tedious with so few controls.

Despite its rather simple looking design, the Micron does house a beast inside - full of programmable functions! Just like the Ion, the Micron offers continuously variable wave shapes, plus osc-sync and FM synthesis. The Micron has 8-voice polyphony with three oscillators per voice, and is up to 8-part multitimbral. There are two multimode filters with 20 filter types (upgraded from 16 in the Ion), three envelope generators and two LFOs with multiple wave shapes and sample & hold. In addition to its powerful modulation matrix, the Micron offers a programmable step sequencer, an arpeggiator, a rhythm sequencer for drum kits, and a dynamic realtime phrase sequencer - all of which sync to MIDI clock. Effects include a 40 band vocoder that does not use up any polyphony, 4 insert effects, and stereo master effects. Stereo inputs let you process external audio through its effects, filters and vocoder - just as you can with the Ion.

So, if twiddling knobs all day is not your thing, but the sounds that come from such efforts are what you are looking for then the Micron may be the synth for you! Instant access to thousands of incredibly realistic analog synth sounds with all the power and programmability of the Ion. The Micron offers all that and more but for less money because of its minimalist design/interface.

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The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings with more images, specs and information. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace. Our marketplace gets thousands of visits every week so make sure to check back often if you want to buy or sell a synth.

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Are you looking to buy or sell a Alesis Micron? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

114 Visitor comments
May 19, 2014 @ 11:17 am
I Recently Bought a Brand New AKAI MINIAK and I Love it!
The Sound is Powerfull and the MULTI MODE (Setups in MICRON) are Absolutely Wonderfull!
I'll Buy Another one just for Extra Voices... I'll Try to Write different parts in the New One, let's say, the Verse in MINIAK 1 and the Chorus Part in MNIAK 2 for Creamy Pads... It's impossible to do it all in one Synth due to the Lack of Voices. But that's not a Bad Thing, I Guess, it means that the Engine is a Good VA.
The only problem is the inexistence of an Editor that could let users to save their sequences and Multis.
March 13, 2014 @ 7:08 am
Probably the most versatile synth - and I've had the lot! I don't know about 'warmth' (or even the desirability of anything which embodies this elusive term). What it has in buckets, is a facility for spooky-strange yet naturalistic 'warm-digital' style tones which could re-soundtrack a Vincent Price movie. PPG-like string pads are available, but the only thing it won't do convincingly is an analogue-style warm pad -- it doesn't have the creamy thickness or the gentle inter-oscillator vibe of a Pro-5 or Oberheim.
January 12, 2014 @ 12:12 am
A Brilliant and very powerful wee synth, a must have for anyone into synth's, top notch sound quality and relatively easy to program with some patents, being a bit of a synth collector i have a lot to compare the humble looking Micron to and it easily stands as a top end machine, great analogue sounds but it also excels at strange and weird sounds/effects and also has some good percussion and effects processing, i'm really glad i got my hands on one and you wont regret it either, and for those who dont know the Akai Miniak is the same synth in a different case with a vocoder mic built in.
January 8, 2014 @ 1:31 pm
For Windows-based Micron users (like myself) who can't use MicronAu, I wanted to let everyone know there was a Ctrlr panel for the Micron recently released:

I'm a big fan of the Ctrlr platform. I tried this editor out and it works like a charm. Only minor annoyance is you can't add a modifier in the modulation matrix straight from the editor, you have to add it manually on the synth then reload the patch in the editor. Other than that, beautiful operation!
November 16, 2013 @ 10:34 pm
Second synth I've owned, after starting out on a Rogue. I am very impressed with how well thought out and intuitive this machine is. I have only had to skim to manual to answer a few questions, otherwise, every function acts how you naturally assume it would. Design is great too, I love the horizontal sliders, the notched control knob versus the smooth parameter and volume knobs. Perfectly simple for live performance and great for creating too. I suspect this synth will only garner more respect over time.
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 4.21 (715 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 - 8 voices (up to 8 multitimbral parts)
  • Oscillators - Alesis proprietary DSP Analog Modeling: Three oscillators per voice, with continuously variable wave shapes (Sine, Square-Pulse, Saw-Triangle), sync and FM
  • Filter - 2 multi-mode filters with 20 classic and unique filter types.
  • Envelopes - 3 EGs: Pitch/Mod, Filter, and the Amp have their own ADSR envelopes.
  • LFO - 2 multi-wave LFOs and 1 S&H. Ring Modulator. FM. hard&soft OSC sync.
  • Effects - One insert drive effect per voice, Two master effects processors, with reverb and delay. Built-in 40-band Vocoder.
  • Keyboard - 37 keys (velocity, release velocity sensitive).
  • Memory - 1,000 Programs (500 preset programs, with space for 400 more) fully compatible with Ion programs.
    Over 200 preset pattern sequences and 250 preset drum rhythms, with space for hundreds more.
  • Arpeg/Seq - Arpeggiator: MIDI-sync-able multiple-pattern plus *random* feature.
    Sequencers: Programmable step pattern sequencer; Dynamic real-time phrase sequencer; Drum Rhythm Sequencer.
  • Real-Time Controllers - 3 360-degree endless parameter knobs, 2 assignable modulation sliders, assignable backlit pitch wheel.
  • Control - MIDI (4-part multitimbral) IN/OUT/THRU
  • Date Produced - 2004
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from Alesis.

    Additional info provided by Adam Lundberg.

    Reviewed December 2007.

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