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
john
February 23, 2009 @ 8:53 am
Micron happens to be my first "real" synthesizer, I bought used one from my friend for 200 euros after i got tired on tweaking vst synths in front of a computer. I find the sounds very decent, at least for a synth in this price range. And it offers also a lot of fun if you just want to screw around with the more obscure presets, while playing this in a band I mainly use just bass and lead sounds.

However, the patch/program change knob is very badly designed, it's already almost broken in the one I have. And also, if you want to create your own sounds for the very beginning, this is very nightmare-like to program because you don't get to tweak every single parameter with knobs like in Ion...but, in overall, I am not planning to sell this silvery beast because the preset sounds, especially the bass and leads, are very very usable if you're looking for Moog-like sounds in affordable price.
bill
February 8, 2009 @ 10:40 pm
one of the worst built synths i have ever owned. terrible feel to the quality of the knobs sliders and keys.
i do not think this synth will last for very long. i have it out of the main group of keyboards now. sounds hard to sit in the mix with other synths.
i would save the cash and buy a yamaha an1x before i would go for one of these again.
Josh
December 10, 2008 @ 3:14 pm
Stunningly beefy and crisp sounds from a tiny machine...I will never sell mine...BE SURE to get a Version with the latest OS though.

I had a ION that the previous owner had written over all the vocoder programs. The ION, no matter what I or Alesis could advise, would NOT update the OS over MIDI even though I did everything correctly.

Sold the ION, bought a Micron...SAME ISSUE!

And the Micron's latest OS adds some EXCELLENT features including being able to assign parameter changes to the three knobs.

The Micron I bought wouldn't update the OS over MIDI either...so I returned that one to the store I bought it at and found one with the latest OS.

Couldn't be happier.
Andrea
November 28, 2008 @ 1:02 pm
The Micron is one of the smartest synth ever made and probably my best buy. Very good sounds, incredible price, cool and useful presets and the very useful multitimbral setups. Many more expensive synth will pale in front of this little monster.
Mirt
October 25, 2008 @ 4:26 pm
The Micron is one of the most incredible synth I played. It's like a magic box, so very powerful and stimulating in despite its toysh look.
 
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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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