Alesis Micron

Discussion in 'MASCHINE Area' started by alexbuga, Apr 20, 2011.

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  1. alexbuga

    alexbuga Forum Member

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    Anybody uses it ?
    I'm planning to buy one. I like it very much. I was curious how it feels, since I can't seem to find a store to test it.
  2. Mr36

    Mr36 NI Product Owner

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    4,302
    I had one for a while. It's a good little (fairly) VA synth. However, be warned if you don't want to only be using the presets (and will only want to every tweak the pre-assigned parameters), sound design and making your own patches on it is less than fun. It's all in menus on a small LCD screen. And largely using buttons page through the menus and the one main white knob to change values. That knob, apparently, wears out and breaks fairly quickly. I didn't keep mine long enough to find out. It sounds good and there are quite a few decent presets anyway, so it is certainly a good choice for some people. Not so good for others. My opinion of course. You might like or be fine with that method of patch creation.
  3. Blue Monster 65

    Blue Monster 65 NI Product Owner

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    109
    A couple of things:

    1. There is a software editor available: http://www.bizune.com/index.html

    2. I'm not sure the knobs on the Micron are any more susceptible to breaking than any other machine. Some will and some won't - but they are fairly easy to replace for any decent tech.

    3. The Akai MiniAK is the same engine in a slightly different case. I personally like the layout of it better than the Micron - you may want to look for one of those, if you're just trying out the engine.

    4. Mr. 36 is right: dig into programming. While it may take you a little bit to get your head around it (depending on your experience), the engine within is quite powerful and logically laid out once you get used to it. READ THE MANUAL! Once you get it, you'll have a blast and its very easy to make some great sounds, no matter which version (Micron or MiniAK) you go with.

    Good luck! I'm sure you'll dig it when you get it.
  4. Mr36

    Mr36 NI Product Owner

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    The omniscient Internet (yes, a capital 'i') and other people's experience suggests that that main knob is a more frequent issue than otehr synth's knobs. Even if you don't look it up, it seems quite likely from the way the Micron works, as you use that one knob A LOT, so it will get more wear than the average synth knob anyway.

    But I'm not saying that it WILL break, just that it is a common issue with the Micron.

    And I should have mentioned the software editor. Though that itself says something.
    Though it might not be the way you like to work with synths, otherwise you'd probably just get a good soft synth and MIDI keyboard.

    And it is true, it is powerful and many varied and different sounds can be got from it with the right time, effort and expertise.

    The Akai MiniAK is also a good call. I think if I wanted such a thing now I'd be looking at those too.
  5. Blue Monster 65

    Blue Monster 65 NI Product Owner

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    109
    Oh, I'm not doubting the net :)lol: ) and I've replaced a fair share of them myself - I'm just saying it's a problem Alesis is aware of and has done some work to fix (no pun intended). I've seen fewer of them come in these past couple of years than I did when they were newer.

    Frankly, I really wish Alesis would have addressed the issues they had with the Ion and updated that. Much, much more fun to play with! I'll take knobs over menu-diving or staring at a computer screen anyday, but I'm old, soo ... :D
  6. Mr36

    Mr36 NI Product Owner

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    I'd heard that about you. ;)

    But seriously, I'm the same. Tweaking parameters can be fun, but setting values and sliders/knobs in software with a mouse doesn't have the same appeal at all.
  7. Blue Monster 65

    Blue Monster 65 NI Product Owner

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    109
    Grrr ...

    :lol:

    Yeah - it's hard to be the pure fun value of twisting knobs ... wait ... erm ... I didn't mean it like that! Can we get back to bitching about the Alesis, please? :eek:
  8. blondepeterson

    blondepeterson NI Product Owner

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    ...I had the ION big brother to the MICRON....didnt feel the sounds, didnt like the editing....I would bag a second Microkorg, or one of the new Microkorgs/R3
  9. Blue Monster 65

    Blue Monster 65 NI Product Owner

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    109
    Again, the MK is a great engine - personally, I just couldn't deal with the feel of the keys. That said, the waterfall keys on the XL are just fine. If I could get those on an MK, I'd be good to go with that one.
  10. soosh21

    soosh21 Forum Member

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    282
    i had the micron for a while, its capable fo some great sounds and its relatively cheap as well. but programming was a nightmare, submenus and using one knowb to do most things.

    Ive just got a roland gaia and its the opposite...no submenus, everything has its onwn fader, or encoder...a hands on dream. while it does not have as many presets as a micron i can sound design with ease!
  11. flux302

    flux302 NI Product Owner

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    2,952
    I had a micron and loved the sound of it. kinda regret getting rid of it. if I get another I would prolly go for an ion (more knobs same engine) the main knob on min did get bent.
    I like the vocoder in razor more though.
  12. Airyck

    Airyck NI Product Owner

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    163
    The Micron most importantly sounds really good and unique, it's got it's own charactaristic bite and you can get a large variety of sounds out of it.

    The menu and editing is actually very intuitive for the setup. You can get to almost any control with a press of a button, key, and/or one or 2 clicks on the knob worst case. Most controls can be accessed with just a button press and key press.
    Assigning the current control to one of the three assignable knobs is as easy as holding a button and turning the knob.

    That said, I use a vst editor for full on sound design but If I just need to edit preset it can be done very easily from the onboard controls.

    I think it's a great synth that probably gets lets credit than it deserves.
  13. Mr36

    Mr36 NI Product Owner

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    4,302
    I'm not taking away from its abilities... But the menu set-up and access to it is not intuitive. Maybe it's something that would become natural eventually and wouldn't seem as arduous as it did when I first used it. I didn't keep it long enough to find out really though.

    But yes, I agree, they do sound really good and you can get a large variety of sounds from it (not so sure about it having its own characteristic bite though).

    To the OP, buy one second hand, try it out, if you don't like it, sell it. You probably wouldn't lose a penny, cent, nickel or dime. Perhaps a few dollars though. :p
    But you might even make a profit. I know I did. Just.
    Basically, trying is often the only way of knowing.
  14. soosh21

    soosh21 Forum Member

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    282
    ive had a microkorg, and microns.... and now gaia, seriously nice synth.doesnt even have a screen, looks very retro which i like as well.
  15. alexbuga

    alexbuga Forum Member

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    792
    Thanks guys. I didn't knew about the MiniAK. Makes sense, since Akai = Alesis.
    Although I like the layout of MiniAK too, it's ugly. I hate the designer of Akai products. they're too bulky and plasticky.

    I was thinking of using an iPad app that sends midi through my Camera Connection Kit to the Micron's MIDI input for better control ;)
  16. Airyck

    Airyck NI Product Owner

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    163
    Does that mean you're getting a Micron ?
  17. free hat

    free hat Forum Member

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    147
    I spent over an hour at GC playing the micron, microKorg and microKorg XL and ended up going with the MKXL. I just couldn't get passed the editing on the micron, as much as I loved the sounds. The XL is similar in that it's a small display, but it's easier to know what parameters you are adjusting.
  18. alexbuga

    alexbuga Forum Member

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    792
    Man it's a tough choice!
    I would've bought the Mopho Keyboard as.. it's the cheapest pro synth out there... but it's MONOPHONIC :(
  19. Blue Monster 65

    Blue Monster 65 NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    109
    Congrats, Free! Enjoy it.

    I know what you mean about the Mopho Keyboard, Alex - I keep coming back to it, but the mono part does get to me. If only DSI could be convinced to make a Tetra Keyboard, but they swear they won't. I suppose one could easily chain the two, but that's just not "it."
  20. Airyck

    Airyck NI Product Owner

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    163
    You could just get the Tetr4 instead...it's polyphonic and around the same price. I'm pretty sure there is editor software for it too.
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