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EDIT* thoughts on AKAI 60

Posted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 8:47 am
by BLVCKRVDIX
new post------- so i have my eyes on the akai ax60 all of the youtube videos sound great. is anyone here a owner or has played with this guy enough times to give me your thoughts?
old post---------

so i have a korg ms2000 rack that basically i just want the sounds for. i would like to sequence it from something relatively cheap like a novation bass station II or the roland jd-xi. these synths ive already owned and for some reason ive sold my novation so iam looking for something that has a arpeggiator/sequencer that is as good or better than the novation. a full key is ideal but any suggestions are greatly appreciated

also does the Roland jx3p offer different rhythms for its sequencer?

willing to spend no more than $700 for a great full keyboard sequencer

Thanks!

Re: in need of a good SEQUENCER

Posted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 1:51 pm
by meatballfulton
What kind of sequencing do you want to do...step only, linear/song based, monophonic, polyphonic????

Will you be using it for live performance?

Does it have to have keys...there are many old standalone sequencers you can buy really cheap.

Re: in need of a good SEQUENCER

Posted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:44 pm
by ninja6485
If I get what you're saying, you don't want a good sequencer, so much as a synth with a good sequencer?

If you're looking at the JX-3p, the sequencer on the Radias will blow you away. You can have 2 polyphonic sequences, and the arpeggiator, and I think drums all st once. Some of the best classic workstations might have full blown 16 track sequencers as well.

Of course, if like meatballfuton suggested, a standalone sequencer can be enormously powerful and also way more affordable. It that's your cup of tea...

Re: in need of a good SEQUENCER

Posted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:30 pm
by arkotitus
Hey i got a question...why were analog synthesizers so expensive when they came out like (Linndrum, Roland CR-78, Roland TR-808, Fairlight, ETC.) and now i can find some samples of these machines for free? I know the sounds are outdated but still are very effective in new synth pop music and there seems to be a resurrection in vintage music...so not that i'm upset or anything it just surprises me that someone would pay $1500 for a drum machine.

Re: in need of a good SEQUENCER

Posted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:53 pm
by Crisp
Please let me know if I am breaking the rules here...

To the OP: I have a Future Retro Mobius sequencer that I have had for less than a week. Honestly, I like it but it has a bit too much horsepower for me and would rather go back to a CSQ-600. I only own two synths and one is a SH-101 which already has a sequencer.

Shoot me PM if the Mobius interests you at all. No faults, only have had it for two days!

EDIT: Added the sequencer to the classifieds.

Best,
Steve

Re: in need of a good SEQUENCER

Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 12:03 am
by ninja6485
arkotitus wrote:Hey i got a question...why were analog synthesizers so expensive when they came out like (Linndrum, Roland CR-78, Roland TR-808, Fairlight, ETC.) and now i can find some samples of these machines for free? I know the sounds are outdated but still are very effective in new synth pop music and there seems to be a resurrection in vintage music...so not that i'm upset or anything it just surprises me that someone would pay $1500 for a drum machine.
An off topic question that's probably been beaten to death at this point, but what the h**l, I'll bite.

I paid more than $1500 for a drum machine on at least 2 occasions, and it was a great decision each time.

I actually write with all varieties of their sounds: I use the 808/909 samples I got with Maschine, I use samples I've taken from my own instruments with my samplers, I use sampled loops from taken from the drum machines, and also the drum machines programmed and recorded like synths. Usually the real drum machines are the sounds that make it to my final recordings, but sometimes the others slip through, especially if I was sketching an idea with them and ended up getting attached to the sketch. Or of I'm doing a sampler only song using drum kits I designed from the hardware.

Basically, they're good for different things. The samples are portable, easy to use and readily at hand, but not so much fun or inspiring, and they sound bland comparatively. By contrast, the drum machines are not as portable, or easy to just throw into a composition (compared to loading a disk or program with your sample set), but they're way more fun to use, much much more inspiring, and sound perfect.

Sometimes I will just sit in my studio environment, and the sight of one of my drum machines will catch my attention. Thinking of the character of the machine, I usually get an idea and start imagining possibilities off of that idea. Those tend to end up directing the major developments in my songs, and you really just can't get that with samples.

As for the cost of buying a machine like the 808, my 808 is an appreciating asset. It's very different from spending over $1500 on a brand new drum machine that will depreciate as soon as it becomes "used." The 808 is cultivating potential income by just sitting there. Samples can't do that. If I would have held off, and saved my money instead of buying the 808, the pile of cash would actually have been worth less now than it was then, leaving me worse off financially! So not only was it a smart decision financially, but I get to own and play a real TR-808 and use it in my songs, which, as a die hard fan; amazes me even years later. How cool is that? Plus the songs that came out of playing with the machine would never have been written had I used samples alone. The 808 just behaves differently. Those songs are priceless.

So reflecting back, was it worth the price of admission? Definitely, and I'm taking my 808 to the grave.

Re: in need of a good SEQUENCER

Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 12:31 am
by BLVCKRVDIX
ninja6485 wrote:If I get what you're saying, you don't want a good sequencer, so much as a synth with a good sequencer?
i guess iam looking for a synth that i can record step by step with good patterns like the novation

Re: EDIT* thoughts on AKAI 60

Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 3:20 pm
by Z
The Akai AX60 was my first "real" synth back in '88. It's a great and underrated synth. It does sound a bit harsher than others, but can still sound smooth with the right programming.

The AX60 has features that many synths of its time (mid 80s) lacked. There's a separate LFO for PWM and PWM can be applied to ALL waveforms, not just pulse. There's VCO modulation to the VCF which will give you some NASTY textures if you want them.

Back in '88 until I had to sell it and other gear in the mid 90s, one of the most important features for me was its ability to split the keyboard with 2 different sounds for upper and lower parts. Since you could also put either or both parts in UNISON mode, my favorite thing to do was put the lower part in 2 voice unison for a thick bass sound and leave the other 4 voices available in the upper part for chords.

There's onboard arpeggiator, but it only syncable via external pulse trigger even though the synth does have MIDI. That wasn't a problem for me since I had Roland drum machiness with trigger outs.

Re: EDIT* thoughts on AKAI 60

Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 6:38 pm
by ApolloBoy
I had an AX60 over ten years ago. As zibbybone pointed out it has some interesting features that make it stand out, and to me it almost sounded like a single VCO Prophet-5. I actually kind of regret selling mine and I'd love to find one again in good shape (my old one had a missing key and one that was chipped!).

Re: EDIT* thoughts on AKAI 60

Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:19 pm
by themilford
I am a huge fan of the AX-60... I had one for a while... even when I got a Prophet 600 I still kept the AX60... they complimented each other well. I only sold mine when I got my OB8. I've since repurchased an AX60 a couple years back and couldn't be happier.

So, some things. Z mentions most of the cool stuff... I will add what I can. We have been using the AX60 with sequencers (MMT8, Dark Time) even in conjunction with the Arpeggiator which we sync to our Oberheim drum machines and JoMox via the Dark Time's ability to convert midi beat clock to sync pulse. Midi is limited but there are some work around for filter control via midi CC of the mod-wheel panel. The other AMAZEBALLS feature is the AX60 Voice Input that allows you to use it with the Akai S612 polyphonic sampler. While the S612 is a quirky beast it makes the AX60 a truly unique item I would suggest for any electronic studio... there's simply nothing else that sounds like it.
Some mention that the filter and resonance are on the aggressive side... but if you are careful you can get soft subtle sounds as well... you just need to work in the lower 25% range of the sliders. In the normal control ranges it does some pretty great video game type sounds as well as some wild almost FM-like sounds.

Once somebody upgrades the OS/Firmware for CC control of parameters and a few other bells and whistles this thing will have a new life like the P600 and JX3P are enjoying... in the meantime, scoop them up for under $700 when you can. Oh, and pick up an Akai S612 to go with it.

Re: EDIT* thoughts on AKAI 60

Posted: Sun Jan 29, 2017 3:19 pm
by philip
AX73=AX60(but with sliders and knobs)?

Re: EDIT* thoughts on AKAI 60

Posted: Sun Jan 29, 2017 4:05 pm
by Rasputin
themilford wrote:Once somebody upgrades the OS/Firmware for CC control of parameters and a few other bells and whistles this thing will have a new life like the P600 and JX3P are enjoying... in the meantime, scoop them up for under $700 when you can.
There are only 72 spare bytes or so in the original firmware to add MIDI SysEx/CC (discounting skilled trickery) so it might be possible but any extra features would be really thin.

If anyone is truly serious about getting CFW developed for the Akai AX60 then your best bet would be to sweet talk Bob @ Tauntek coupled with the enticing offer to ship a working AX-60 to him to tinker with. Aside from that, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for it to magically happen.

Keep in mind that I'm not speaking on behalf of anyone, but that would be an option at least worth exploring.

Re: EDIT* thoughts on AKAI 60

Posted: Sun Jan 29, 2017 4:13 pm
by themilford
Rasputin wrote:If anyone is truly serious about getting CFW developed for the Akai AX60 then your best bet would be to sweet talk Bob @ Tauntek coupled with the enticing offer to ship a working AX-60 to him to tinker with. Aside from that, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for it to magically happen.

Keep in mind that I'm not speaking on behalf of anyone, but that would be an option at least exploring.
I think that is doable... we should crowdfund this. Simply all chip in to buy a working AX60 and ship it to him then maybe sweeten the pot with a little extra money for his troubles. It's sorely overdue. Portamento, Arp midi sync, and Patch Layer/double (3 over 3, which I think the AX73 has) are really the only things methinks this beast is missing...

Re: EDIT* thoughts on AKAI 60

Posted: Sun Jan 29, 2017 4:59 pm
by Z
philip wrote:AX73=AX60(but with sliders and knobs)?
I'm convinced they have the same sound engine, but the AX73 & VX90 also add velocity sensitivity.

Re: EDIT* thoughts on AKAI 60

Posted: Sun Jan 29, 2017 7:22 pm
by themilford
Z wrote:
philip wrote:AX73=AX60(but with sliders and knobs)?
I'm convinced they have the same sound engine, but the AX73 & VX90 also add velocity sensitivity.
I think the VX90/AX73 adds Dual mode?