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
Vinnie
September 30, 2012 @ 5:12 pm
@Marty, yes the micron will work as a module, just like nearly any Midi keyboard when you set it up correctly to do that.
The Alesis Micron or Akai Miniak is a superb synth, easy to program imo and capable of some great sounds, from real good analog emulation to scary freaky FM distorted craziness, i had been thinking of getting one for many years and finally found one at a reasonable price, truly awesome.
as far as people saying the sound of a synth is still current well imo most any synth is current if you program it correctly, it is only the presets that get dated.
Marty
September 18, 2012 @ 4:46 pm
Hi im wondering if the Alesis Micron will work as a synth modul if i just wanna use the sounds and play on a larger midi keyboard?
Cats Pajamas
September 10, 2012 @ 12:57 pm
Having spent the last few months reading up on synths and checking Craigslist and found a Micron for $200, got him to lower the price a bit for cash. It's in excellent shape considering I'm the 3rd owner. As a hobbyist and purveyor of early eighties syth based bands I'm really impressed at the quality sounds this thing generates with ease. Kind of a weird company Alesis. Unlike other companies they don't release a ton of keyboards. Despite this model being over 7 years old it is still one of their fairly recent models.
elroy weebler
August 29, 2012 @ 3:35 pm
very good synth. at the prices it's going for these days, you've got to have one. i paid $100 US for mine earlier this year; you can't even get a microkorg at that price (and the micron is better). be warned that if you're expecting it to actually sound analog you'll be disappointed. very gritty and dark, like a beefier microkorg kind of sound. my roland gaia is lush and bright and actually gets in the ballpark. don't forget that besides the synth engine, the micron has a usable vocoder (plus other effects) and a nice set of drum presets. still a very useful and versatile studio tool in 2012.
sid
August 12, 2012 @ 2:29 am
I bought one of these beasts about a years ago now for $350. (Australia) Didn't even bother bargaining with the guy, absolute steal at that price and never regretted it, if your contemplating a purchase, just do it.
 
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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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