Alesis Micron 37-Key Analog Modeling Synth

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8-voice, 4-part multitimbral, holds over 1,000 programs and multi-timbral setups.

The Micron boasts the same sound engine as the acclaimed Alesis Ion in a compact 3-octave keyboard, 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.

The Micron offers continuously variable wave shapes, plus sync and FM synthesis. 16 filter types are included, along with 2 LFOs with multiple wave shapes and sample & hold. The Micron has 8-voice polyphony with 3 oscillators per voice, and is 4-part multitimbral. In addition to a powerful modulation matrix, the Micron offers a programmable step sequencer, arpeggiator, rhythm sequencer for drum kits, and 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 drive effects, and stereo bus effects, including reverb. For assignable realtime control, the Micron offers 3 knobs, 2 modulations sliders, and a pitch wheel.

Synthesis and sound design
Keyboard performance
High-resolution MIDI control
Tempo-synched audio filtering, vocoder, and effects

Powerful virtual-analog synth engine:
Compatible with Ion programs
Superb analog realism
Inspiring other-worldly sounds
Absolutely no 'zipper' noise or aliasing

Programmable features that sync to MIDI clock:
Step sequencer
Rhythm sequencer
Realtime phrase sequencer

Assignable, high-resolution realtime control:
2 modulation sliders
3 360-knobs read more operate at 32 times the resolution MIDI
Pitch wheel

Powerful DSP effects:
4 simultaneous mono/stereo 'overdrive' effects
Stereo master effects, including reverb
40-band vocoder

24-bit balanced I/O:
2 TRS 1/4 in. outputs
2 TRS 1/4 in. inputs for processing external sounds

Power Supply:Power Cord (Included)
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Sound Engine
Sound Generation: Alesis proprietary DSP Analog Modeling

Polyphony and Parts: 8-voice, 4-part multitimbral

Oscillators: 3 oscillators per voice, with continuously variable waveshapes, sync, and FM

Filters: 2 multimode resonating filters per voice, with 16 different filter types

Modulation: 2 LFOs with multiple waveshapes, sample and hold, tracking generator, freely-routable modulation matrix per voice

Effects: 4 drive effects (1 per part) plus master effects (shared)

Patterns: Step sequencer, arpeggiator, drum rhythm sequencer, and phrase sequencer

Program Memory: Over 1000 programs and multitimbral setups

Audio Input
Input Connectors: 2 Balanced 1/4 in. TRS jacks

Maximum Input Level: +5.2dBu (1.41VRMS) = -0dBFS

Input Impedance: 10kohms

Audio Output
Output Connectors: 2 Impedance-Balanced 1/4 in. TRS jacks, 1/4 in. TRS Headphone Jack

Maximum Output Level: +18dBu (6.17 VRMS) = -0dBFS

Output Impedance: 1kohms

Keyboard: 37 keys (velocity, release velocity sensitive)

Real-Time Controllers: 3 360-degree parameter knobs, 2 assignable modulation sliders, assignable pitch wheel

Pedal Jacks: Assignable exp pedal jack, sustain pedal jack

MIDI Connections: MIDI In, MIDI Out, MIDI Thru

Dimensions (WxHxD): 22.2 x 2.75 x 8.0 in. (563.88 x 69.85 x 203.20mm)

Power Supply:Power Cord (Included)

For support or warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer:
Phone: 401-658-5760

Reviewers gave this product an overall rating of 4 out of 5 stars. (85 ratings)
Submitted December 18, 2009 by a customer from

"You don't gotta look good to sound good..."

Overall: 4 out of 5 stars
(see rating details)
This review has been selected by our experts as particularly helpful.
I'd prolly buy it again if I thrashed it. I do most of my stuff with plugins anymore, but it sounds great and, more importantly, I can get the sounds I want from it. It has about 15 different filter models, and so many routing possibilities that it's nearly a little modular synth. The only synth I've owned (and looking back, I've owned a few) with such comprehensive routing is the Waldorf MicroQ rack. That's a sick little synth, and totally worth the used price these days, but I digress... Lots of routing, lots of filter modules, even decent effects, something that it's big counterpart the Ion lacked (well, at least decent verb and delay... which are key) So yeah. Good work alesis.

The sound really is impressive. I put it next to my Evolver keyboard, and it holds up. It's beefy and shows very little aliasing. One could wish for more polyphony, but most of the ample processing power of this board goes to ensuring high quality sound.

For such a small synth, this thing has a huge amount of routing and sound processing capabilities. Its unfortunate that there aren't more independent outputs, and more knobs... but hell, it is under $400.

Ease of Use
This thing is a right pain in the ass. Yeah, yeah, yeah... it gets easier as you learn it, and there's a slick method to assigning the 2 sliders/3 knobs available to you, but most of the editing is done through that one read more little knob on the right side. Ugh. At least there are VST plugins available that give you easy access to all the programming parameters.

I'm split on this. The aluminum case feel solid, and the knobs have nice action, but the keyboard is pretty spongy. Its not the worst I've felt, and it'll do as a master controller for a mobile setup, but it ain't good. The master controller knob is pretty weak sauce too. I'd hate to bust that off. On the other hand, they did pay attention to details, like actually screwing the in/outs to the case, rather than just relying on the mainboard solder to hold it in place, so its much less likely that it'll develop nasty output crackling in the future. The red sides, while being made of a fine polycarbonate plastic, are ugly as hell. I'd like to mod mine with some wood panels.

I got mine new for about $320. Probably the best $320 I've spent on my studio. These things are being blown out to make room for the Akai MiniAK, which is the same synth engine in a different (slightly better, IMO) body. Get one.

Manufacturer Support
Dunno... Never had to deal with it. Alesis made a good product, so that's worth something, right?

The Wow Factor
It's kinda ugly, and the keys are squishy, but the sound is top notch, and it has a bunch of weird programming extras. Tons of modulation, a loop sequencer and drum kits I'll make the comparison to the microkorg here: The microkorg is basically a 10 year-old synth (the MS-2000) in a little body. It sounds like a 10 year-old VA synth. I owned an MS-2000, and it was fun, and had some pretty neat sequencing capabilities (not sure whether this is in the microkorg or not) but it aliased like a mo-fo and was pretty thin sounding. Now, I know that lately the microkorg has been all the rage with the kiddies, but, well, the micron just sounds so much better. Also the keybed is also micro. Annoying. The microkorg is a bit easier to control, owning to its dedicated knobs, and more comprehensive programming matrix on the top panel, but its not half the synth that the micron is at the end of the day. On its own, the micron is a powerful, and impressive sounding synth engine in a small form factor. Yeah, corners were cut keeping it cheap, but not in the sound department. Like I said before, I'll probably swap out the plastic end panels (UGLY, IMO) with some custom wood ones. That'd increase the sex-appeal. Wow, did I really say "sex appeal" regarding a synth? I doubt any keyboard would ever get me laid, but putting wood ends on the sides on the sides of this one? Still probably not.

Musical Background:

Musical Style:
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