Alesis Micron

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
Post Reply
User avatar
eucarya
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 98
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 8:19 am
Contact:

Alesis Micron

Post by eucarya » Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:18 am

I've been thinking about grabbing a new MIDI controller and was looking at the Akai MPK49 but for about the same price (if not less) I could grab a Micron. So instead of just a fancy control I could cop something that makes noise as well..

My questions and reasons for posting this are thus,

What do you guys think of the Micron as a synth?
What about as it doubling as a MIDI controller for my software setup?

I got a chance to mess around with one and it felt very solid, nice action and construction.

Thanks :!:

Image

User avatar
Huppo
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 485
Joined: Thu May 19, 2005 2:58 pm
Gear: V-synth, broken Fusion 6HD, HPD10, MP-7, 60+ guitars, etc.
Band: naught
Location: Western Mars
Contact:

Post by Huppo » Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:59 am

Great synth for the price, very powerful synth engine but hard to edit with the sparse controls and it doesn't respond to Midi CCs so there's no real simple editor solution unless you shell out for the one commercial one out there. Some people hate the sound but it does sound darn good for a VA and covers a whole lot of ground. Multiple filter types is nice.

For a controller it's missing some features. Its only 3 octaves which may or may not matter to you. I wouldnt use something less than 5 octaves for a controller and Im not even a real piano player type. Spread out pads come to mind as hard to do in 3 octaves.

The sideways pitch wheel is sort of annoying IMHO but that's jsut preference. The lack of a mod wheel isn't OK with me and the addition of another slider doesnt really make up for it.

it doesnt have aftertouch (I dont think..I had one and cant even remember) which any controller should have.

I didnt like the keyboard action personally but others have found it satisfying. The keys are shorter than 'regular' keys which contribute to it having a stiff feel. That can also screw you up if you are really used to regular keys.

I thought of mine as quite solid though lots of folks have complained about the fragility of the one very important knob.

Prices for a Micron used are pretty stable, so if you get one and dont like it you are likely to be able to resell it without a loss. Just dont shell out for a new one and you wont lose anything.
~huppo

Please feel free to add me to your Foes list.

Marching Pig
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 53
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 7:21 am

Post by Marching Pig » Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:59 am

yeah, as a synth it's superb, if a little tricky to get used to, programming wise, unless you're used to menu-diving (which i was, so i got to grips with it pretty quickly). It's not a synth you'll master quickly, unless you're very experienced; i've had mine about 6 months and i'm still finding out all it's little quirks, but it's well worth the time.

As a MIDI controller, I use mine with cubase and an Edirol midi-usb interface (the particular model name eludes me at this moment), and it works fine.

I believe, however, that you may experience some difficulties with recording controller movements from the knobs, as they use NRPNs, whatever that stands for; but basically, it means the MIDI interface numbers are parabolic, rather than linear, so it goes from something like -127 to 0 to (+)127. I haven't tried recording the MIDI-movements of the knobs, sliders or pitch wheel with Cubase, I basically just use it to play things and then edit them to tidy them up.

I hope I've been some help, and i apologise that i couldn't be more helpful.

Piggy.

User avatar
Zamise
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 2354
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 2:41 am
Gear: Rollhand P00
Band: Quantum-Source
Location: DenverMetroUSA, Quantum-Source.com
Contact:

Post by Zamise » Wed Apr 02, 2008 4:30 am

I don't think it would make a good controller either tho it does have a few plusses, being a controller is not one of them. It will send its Arps out tho which is nice since you can program custom user ones into it. Other than that its better off staying un-midied up or as a sound module if you do get one. However, one of the smaller Novation X-Stations, roughtly the same price, may be better for ya as a controller.
<ZQS> [....<OII>.....soundcloud player v2.42.....................link]

User avatar
ryryoftokyo
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 650
Joined: Sat May 05, 2007 1:19 am
Real name: Ryan
Gear: Metal, plastic, wood, and electricity.
Band: Tarot Sync
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Contact:

Post by ryryoftokyo » Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:01 am

Great synth engine...

...absolute nightmare to program.
MU Modular (Moog, Dotcom, STG, Analog Systems, and Moon modules), MS20 (x2), Microbrute, Electribes (EA-1, EMX), microKorg, AN1x, Nord Lead 2x, Blofeld, Alpha Juno 2, DX7, JX8P, Poly 61 (x2), Split 8, TR-505, Monotron Delay, Ace Tone FR-3, Paia Fatman

User avatar
thestreets
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 344
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2006 12:24 am
Gear: Maschine Mikro, Electribe ESX, KP3, Korg R3, Microkorg.

Post by thestreets » Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:33 pm

ryryoftokyo wrote:Great synth engine...

...absolute nightmare to program.

Co-signed.

I think that the copius amounts of presets is supposed to make up for the tough programming, and it kind of does in a weird way.

I think that its more getting used to the programming, than it being straight up aweful. Ive made some cool sounds on it.


I think its a good buy either way

JugJug
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 3:28 pm

Post by JugJug » Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:55 pm

Look at the "MIDI controller for Alesis Micron" thread in general synthesizers.
I thought of mine as quite solid though lots of folks have complained about the fragility of the one very important knob.
As far as I remember, there is a difference between older and newer microns. The axis of the parameterknob has been changed from plastic to metal. But this needs confirmation (I have the plastic one).

IMO, forget about using it as a controller. I 've bought it for the synth engine (in which it shines). The keyboard is indeed too small, the range on the pitchbend moving in the right direction suddenly stops halfways and the sliders have quite a clumsy feeling. The three main knobs do not respond to fine adjusting. (this might be also my model)

At this moment it has been set up: DX200 (or another sequencer) ==> BCR2000 ==> Micron ==>Evolver ==> EH LP2ube. It will stay like this for quite a while :)))

Totty
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:20 pm
Location: UK

Post by Totty » Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:07 pm

JugJug wrote:Look at the "MIDI controller for Alesis Micron" thread in general synthesizers.

IMO, forget about using it as a controller. I 've bought it for the synth engine (in which it shines). The keyboard is indeed too small, the range on the pitchbend moving in the right direction suddenly stops halfways and the sliders have quite a clumsy feeling. The three main knobs do not respond to fine adjusting. (this might be also my model)
No my knobs are also rubbish at fine tuning a sound. I haven't had my Micron for long and I'm still waiting to be convinced by it to be honest. It has a good sound engine but getting results out of it is hard work.

Post Reply