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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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
paul uk
May 29, 2011 @ 10:30 am
im not a keyboard player but i bought it for the analogue sounds which are convincing .the progamming is a bit of hassle but i love the sweeps.until i can afford a fatty i,ll stick with this.300quid a bargin!
March 23, 2011 @ 9:03 pm
What does error code 5b06e mean on the micron?
March 22, 2011 @ 10:22 am
also, people usually complain about the interface. God, its great! I would prefer one knob per function, but giving the huge amount of parameters and posibilities for this synth, that would make the synth much bigger and would increase the price A LOT!

If you know how a synth works, if you have programed one before and if you READ THE MANUAL then you'll be fine. Its not that hard to program, its actually a very inteligent interface and if you know what you're doing you'll have hours of amusement and great music.
March 22, 2011 @ 10:19 am
I own Akai Miniak, which is basically this synth, I just decided to go with akai because it seems to be built stronger and I prefered wheels over faders
It's a great synth. At first it kinda disapointed me, because the preset sounds are very lame. It tries to emulate classic synths and although it may fool some, the sounds dont really stand out. Once you start making your own sounds from scratch then you'll see the power of this synth. It is capable of tons of convincing sounds. Mod matrix!
Sequencer is GREAT tool. It takes the synth to another level, very fun and great tool for songwriting
February 22, 2011 @ 9:32 am
The Micron is the best synth or groovebox I've ever owned. It is easy to tweak ARP-ish and Jupiter-ish pads and tons of other useful sounds out of this machine. Sure, there are much better synths out there but the micron has that killer sequencer and can combine and remember your ideas in what Aleses call a setup. It is a never ending source of inspiration and also good for recording and songwriting. Got it for 4 years now and it never gets old. Simply awesome.
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Rated 4.2 (710 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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