Analog Modeling Synth

This is one of the cutest, smallest, yet most powerful synths I've ever put my hands on!  The Micron is the sequel to the popular Ion, and while it can be considered as the Ion's younger brother, it actually has a few enhancements that are absent on the big bro.

This is a very clean, precise, sparkly and definitely virtual analog (or analog modeled) sounding synth.  Eight voices of polyphony are plenty for these types of units, but we would always want more.  The synth engine is the same as the Ion though, but extra and welcome features include sequencing, arpeggio, and great on board percussion, and the ability to build patterns.

The Micron really sounds bigger than it looks: while personally I feel that the character of its synth engine leans on the more digitally precise DSP side of virtual analog technology, it's certainly capable of huge, warm and fat sounds.

The main panel is logically laid out and easy to understand.  At the very left, a big red knob offers volume control; the two "m1" and "m2" sliders provide useful modulation control, typically (but not always) vibrato and filter cutoff.  The three knobs labeled "x", "y" and "z" also offer way of modulating sounds, and can (ought to) be assigned to your favorite parameters.  Two octave buttons, and other useful commands such as tap (tempo) and latch (sustains the notes) occupy the space at the left of the two-line backlit green display.  Finally, a multi-function matrix with push-down knob serve as the central nerve system of the machine, letting you easily access programs, setups, configurations, patterns and rhythms.  You do the programming by turning the knob to view the various editing pages.  In all, it's simple to program, and the manual does a fantastic job of being easy to follow and easy to understand.


Alesis Micron factory programs audio demos in mp3


Stream all audio demos

Factory Programs audio demos

Program name with audio demo My comments
Bass 01-47 - AcidAndOilBass Enormously fat synth bass, very modern and aggressive
Bass 02-47 - Alien Womb Cool electro bass sound, reminds of Mr. Oizo a bit.
Bass 05-47 - Big Bass Pedal Analog modeling at its best.  Note how tweaking sliders and knobs can alter the base sound quickly and effectively.
Bass 09-47 - Closet Bass Remarkably realistic analog bass, very Moog.
Bass 14-47 - Growl Bass Another excellent modeled synth bass.
Bass 15-47 - Hacker Bass Deep techno bass
Bass 17-47 - J00p1t3r Very nice representation of the Roland Jupiter bass sound
Bass 23-47 - Machinery Bass Perfect for trance
Bass 24-47 - Mini Twin Bass The Moog filter in action...
Bass 27-47 - Old Favorite Of course by old favorite Alesis means the Roland TB-303.  Excellent emulation.
Bass 34-47 - Rhythmo Nice panned synth bass, similar to sounds Depeche Mode used in the early '80s.
Bass 36-47 - Spit Bass Nice reverse synth bass
Bass 38-47 - Sub Bass Woooof...
Bass 42-47 - TaurusBassPdls Obvious reference to the Moog Taurus pedals
Bass 44-47 - TomSawyerBass From Rush's song, a good emulation of the sound used in it.
Lead 02-43 - AquamarineLead Killer analog, screaming lead
Lead 04-43 - Cars Sync Classic oscillator sync patch
Lead 07-43 - Flatulent Duck Love the name of this patch :-)
Lead 12-43 - LeadOfSixSines Perfect recreation of Rick Wakeman's 70s Mini sound
Lead 13-43 - Lucky Porta m2 The usual ELP "Lucky Man" lead.  Quite good.
Lead 17-43 - Micron Flute Very realistic, actually - great use of noise parameters.
Lead 18-43 - Mini 5th Incredible emulation!  Nails the Minimoog tone.
Lead 19-43 - Mini Classic Another classic Minimoog emulation
Lead 20-43 - Odyssee Lead Very similar to the ARP Odyssey used by Herbie Hancock in "Chameleon".
Lead 24-43 - ScreaminWarpLd Eminently useful trance comp/lead.
Lead 32-43 - Tarkus Carcass Another classic ELP patch
Pad 05-127 - Aeon Choir Very, very nice filters in action -
Pad 06-127 - AnotherLongDay Beautiful sparkling, moving pad, Wavestation-like
Pad 07-127 - AstrologySweep Classic, solid filter sweeps
Pad 09-127 - Backing Vox Exquisite, ethereal vox pad
Pad 118-127 - Vocoded Ents A bit digital but okay.
Pad 120-127 - Voices Nice Mellotron-like program
Pad 15-127 - Classic Vox Sounds like an early 8-bit sampler vox sample
Pad 19-127 - Deep Space Cool LFO-based patch
Pad 26-127 - Ecology Gorgeous synth that works as pad and also for melodies
Pad 33-127 - Ghosty Voice Very good analog voice emulation
Pad 49-127 - Kirumamoru This is a actually a screen name for a guy on the Harmony Central keyboard forums
Pad 65-127 - Morten'J This one too, although I have not seen Morten'J around for quite some time
Pad 71-127 - Oberpad Nice and analog string pad, with Oberheim filter
Pad 91-127 - Silver Lining Beautiful, moving reso pad
String 09-18 - Nervoso Strngs Meaty analog strings
String 12-18 - SilkyVerySilky Ravishing, warm and supremely analog sounding synth strings
Brass 02-26 - AnalogHorns ff Classic analog brass
Brass 19-26 - Regal Horns Variant of the above
Key 01-36 - 60's Organ Great organ patch
Key 14-36 - GroovyAuto-Wah Filter in action
Key 32-36 - StreetsOfParis Charming button accordion
Key 35-36 - Vintage Piano Cool ana-digi electric piano
Key 36-36 - Zorgan Excellent patch - the sliders add Leslie
Comp 01-113 - 1and2andComp Very 1980s and cool
Comp 02-113 - Ai-ya! Outstanding vocal emulation
Comp 05-113 Baba O'Riley The classic sound from the Who song.
Comp 100-113 - The 80s Absolutely
Comp 113-113 - WontGetFooled The other famous Who song
Comp 19-113 - Dude! Powerful!
Comp 44-113 - Laryngitis More voxy foxy
Comp 69-113 - Punchy Harp Particular, different.
Drum medley-118 This is a walkthrough of the many on-board percussion sounds.  Excellent sounds.
Sfx 01-50 - 101 Vocoder Decent but not too intelligible.  I'm saying "This is the vocoder on the Alesis Micron... x2".
Sfx 02-50 - Deep Vocoder Okay... I'm saying "This is the Deep Vocoder patch on the Alesis Micron... Deep Vocoder patch..."
Sfx 07-50 - Goblin Talk Cool!  I'm saying "Hi, this is the goblin.  How are you all doing? x3"
Sfx 10-50 - Airlock Door Nice sound fx
Sfx 12-50 - Bombs Away Incredible emulation of a propeller airplane!!!  Outstanding!
Sfx 14-50 - Close one! Bombs
Sfx 17-50 - Dead Pack,Man The famous Pacman sound fx
Sfx 27-50 - Howling Dogs Fantastic programming job!
Sfx 41-50 - The FM Police FM beauties
Sfx 49-50 - Windy City Classic, standard wind effect

Factory Setups audio demos


Setup name with audio demo My comments
02-146 - 1982 This is what you can achieve with the Micron by itself... very impressive.
03-146 - Albion Fantastic setup that truly recalls mid-80s synth-pop.
10-146 - AnalogWorld 05 Another excellent all-analog synth setup.  The Solina-style strings in particular sound great.
105-146 - RhythmWorld 07 A synth setup typical of the mid 1980s
15-146 - AnalogWorld 10 Great 909 beat + various synth
37-146 - Easy Beat Marvelous soft pad setup, with pumping sub bass
53-146 - Ice Incredible pad, with lush strings and sparkly overtones
62-146 - Micronox Classic retro synth setup
70-146 - PadWorld 01 Stunning, melancholic and hypnotic pad/lead split.
99-146 - RhythmWorld 01 Delightful bass/synth split - the synth truly sounds analog.




Features at a glance
Year of release:  
Polyphony: 8-voice
Responds to velocity: yes
Sound generation method: VA
MIDI: yes
Sound expansion capabilities: no


Alesis Micron pictures (click on thumbnails to enlarge)


Alesis Micron manual

available at www.alesis.com



Alesis Micron Alesis Micron HC demo  this is a demo I did a few months ago for the Harmony Central keyboard forum.


Micron features from Alesis:


Industry-leading analog-modeling sound engine in a lightweight and portable keyboard

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. 20 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 32-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.

Download the Micron Vocoder Tutorial now.

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

Key Features and Benefits
1) Powerful virtual-analog synth engine
Compatible with Ion programs
Superb analog realism
Inspiring other-worldly sounds
Absolutely no “zipper” noise or aliasing

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

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

4) Powerful DSP effects
4 simultaneous mono/stereo “overdrive” effects
Stereo master effects, including reverb
40-band vocoder

5) 24-bit balanced I/O
2 TRS 1/4” outputs
2 TRS 1/4” inputs for processing external sounds

Sound Engine
_Eight voices of industry-leading analog-modeled sound
_Three oscillators per voice, with continuously variable wave shapes, sync and FM
_Two multimode filters per voice, with 20 classic and unique filter types
_Three envelopes, two LFOs, and sample and hold per voice
_Twelve-route modulation matrix, with 114 sources and 78 destinations
_One insert drive effect per voice
_Two master effects processors, with reverb and delay
_Full-featured 40-band vocoder

_Programmable pattern sequencer and arpeggiator
_Programmable drum rhythm sequencer
_Realtime or step recording, with controller motion
_Live realtime phrase capture -- one-button record and loop

_32-part multitimbral -- up to 32 programs per setup
_Up to 26 simultaneous patterns or drum rhythms per setup
_Quick splitting and layering

_Over 500 preset programs, with space for 400 more
_Over 200 preset pattern sequences and 250 preset drum rhythms, with space for hundreds more
_Fully compatible with Ion programs

Audio Input
_Input Connectors: 2 Balanced 1/4” TRS jacks
_Maximum Input Level: +5.2dBu (1.41VRMS) = -0dBFS
_Input Impedance: 10kohms

Audio Output
_Output Connectors: 2 Impedance-Balanced 1/4” TRS jacks, 1/4” 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 endless parameter knobs, 2 assignable modulation sliders, assignable backlit pitch wheel
_Pedal Jacks: Assignable exp pedal jack, sustain pedal jack
_Input/Output: 24-bit stereo analog outputs and inputs
_MIDI Connections: MIDI In, MIDI Out, MIDI Thru
_Dimensions (WxHxD): 22.2” x 2.75” x 8.0” / 563.88 x 69.85 x 203.20mm



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Alesis Micron review with audio demo