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
Bohemian86
February 15, 2011 @ 9:56 pm
IMO The Miniak is not the best VA for doing beefy Moogish leads. It also sounds a little too thin for fat basses. However, it excels at deceptively analog sounding brass, Jarre-ish strings, warm JX pads, retro-themed keys, and sequenced basses. If programmed well, it can be very versatile and warm. Play with the filters combinations and be sure to use the analog drift parameter! The drum section is also a plus for someone who doesn't have a dedicated drum machine.
Eraser
January 12, 2011 @ 6:23 am
GIVE THIS SYNTH A CHANCE! I returned my first Micron years ago as it sounded plastic and dull to my ears. Only after getting the Ion with instant access knobs, that I realized the potential.

Using both filters seems to be the main cause of it sounding a little plastic and muffled (i.e. most of the presets). Use only 1 filter and it shines brightly along with the Nord, MS2000 and Supernova (though it sounds more analog than any of them).

You WILL need an editor and the Hypersynth one is the best.

Best sounding VA.
krzeppa
December 16, 2010 @ 9:27 am
To me this is the one of the better VAs that I've heard. I prefer the SN2 over it, but this thing is pretty amazing for how cheap they are. I don't like programming it though because the interface is awful. It takes far to long to make anything worthwhile because you pretty much have to use 1 knob for everything. I also think the presets are pretty weak, which also makes this machine a little down. Your starting point with sounds aren't that great and in order to create something good you have spend far more time than you would with another synth. If you are willing to spend the time, however, it can be a monster of synth. I don't recommend to a beginner though.
Jonno
December 4, 2010 @ 5:20 pm
To the post before me who indicated that the Miniak and the Micron are obviously "related," I say that they aren't just related - they're the SAME damn ENGINE! It's obvious! They didn't even bother to change some of the patch names!

Basically, you own two Microns. It's time to stop living in denial that you got ripped off by Akai (Numark).. Ugh.. I can't even respectfully call it Akai anymore since those British bastards mucked about!
Micron+Miniak= Magic
December 4, 2010 @ 12:02 am
I think Numark should have released the Miniak much earlier as a Micron MkII. The Miniak is obviously related and has a smoother sound to it. I own bith the Micron and Miniak and think the Miniak is very underrated and diidn't get its debut timing right. The way these synths deal with rythmn is the key to getting the coolest sounds out of them. The Miniak isn't a copy it is more of a next generation. Both are excellent and the price for either makes them a must have for any project studio /get both.
 
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  • 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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