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
mypetsleep
August 20, 2009 @ 9:38 pm
one of the most analogish sounding VAs on the market and the weird part is its dirt cheap! the controversy is of course that its crammed interface makes it hard to program. it's not tough to program, but it just takes longer to do. therefore, its not something i'd recommend to the lazy. in many ways though, i really wish i would have just gotten the ion. its still more fun turning knobs then flipping through menus. great bass and pads, and the modulation routing matrix gives lots of variation potential to your sounds.
Matt Young
July 16, 2009 @ 10:35 am
For the price and the features that come with it, you really cannot criticise. It can sound deep, lush and brutal. The drum sounds are pure electro funk - just great. My only complaint and it is the most prevalent amongst users is the minimal interface - it would be lovely to have all the knobs of the Ion. You could get the Ion, however it does have less functions than this little monster.
radiowaves
July 15, 2009 @ 6:30 pm
I get great sounds out of this little beast. If you are familiar with subtractive synthesis, the sound architecture is not really hard to understand. Editing is tedious on its own, and a few design flaws on Alesis's part exacerbate this unnecessarily. For example: no compare/recall button is included on the front panel to easily compare sounds, instead, users must menu dive to do this. A few more buttons on the front panel would make this synth a joy to use.
Tom
June 3, 2009 @ 12:16 pm
I have no Idea why people say it's difficult to program. Just as hard as using - if anyone remembers - Ericsson T10 Mobile
This video will show some of the things possible with this little big synth
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VVcTr9cLEg
paul
May 18, 2009 @ 12:04 pm
I just got this a few days and go Im very happy with it. I didnt research it much before buying and didnt think itd be that great (got it on ebay for cheap). After trying it out and reading reviews all I can say is that its the best buy ive made. Almost every preset is worth playing. Ive had it for 4 days and I still havent tried to create my own sound from scratch. So many editing options. I love how you can recreate roland and moog sounds amongst others. Ill probably post another review a little later on when ive had some more time to play with it, but right now its my favourite out of the 3 synths I have (Roland SH32 & JX8P)
 
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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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