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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114 Visitor comments
Mithras Sol Invictus
November 28, 2010 @ 10:14 pm
The Micron is an awesome little's a big bang for the buck. I love the analog warmth of it...and the patterns and
rhythms are awesome. This is a mean machine. Only if there were more quality synthesizers like this one out there in the current market.
November 13, 2010 @ 1:12 am
Is it possible to use the Behringer BCR2000 with the Micron? This would make it a kiss [beep] machine!
October 4, 2010 @ 1:23 pm
Brilliant & feature packed, but if you are thinking of getting it - get the Akai Miniak. It's pretty much the same synth with added gooseneck microphone and a steal now they are selling it off at £229.
September 23, 2010 @ 11:24 am
Did you ever see a monster dressed up in a cute package? Well, now you have.

Formidable. Capable. Affordable. In a word, Gorgeous. I am so in love with this synth, from the simplicity of the interface right down to the assignable controllers it seems to speak one thing to me every time I sit down with it: "Go, be inspired".

Very rarely does something this cool come along and I feel that there are those that do not truly grasp the capability of this machine.

Bravo, Alesis! Bravo!
August 3, 2010 @ 5:29 pm
The basses are great and the leads greater, this synth actually contains some great and inspiring presets that won't need to be tweaked at all, and many of them display firmly the abilty of the mod matrix to create blissful and colourful sounds.

however, your moneys worth lies in the mod matrix and the sequencer, both of these tools together used in perfect harmony (after much experimentation mind you) can lead to an out-of-body experience if you're driven and talented enough. Powerful and unique. Restrained and controlled.

This is arguably Alesis' final phase of hardware technology, this synth can be considered the last 'analog' product of theirs after going completely virtual in 2009 with the discontinuation of the Fusion. Everything Alesis was ever known for is inside this synth, thirty years of innovation gifted to the public in the form of the Micron.
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 4.21 (717 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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