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Alesis Micron vs Akai Miniak

Posted: Sat May 07, 2011 1:58 am
by dchoi
So I know these synths are practically the same and they're basically the same price but I'm still having a hard time deciding between the two. One of my main concerns is that the Akai might not have aftertouch while the Alesis does (can someone confirm or deny this?) Also I want a keyboard that has at least a 3 +/- octave range so I can effectively move the entire keyboard up one (so that only one C would remain on the keyboard), does the akai have more range than the alesis (the website implies that the akai has multiple octaves while the alesis' does not). Any help with these questions would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Daniel

Re: Alesis Micron vs Akai Miniak

Posted: Sat May 07, 2011 2:05 am
by felis
dchoi wrote:So I know these synths are practically the same and they're basically the same price but I'm still having a hard time deciding between the two. One of my main concerns is that the Akai might not have aftertouch while the Alesis does (can someone confirm or deny this?) Also I want a keyboard that has at least a 3 +/- octave range so I can effectively move the entire keyboard up one (so that only one C would remain on the keyboard), does the akai have more range than the alesis (the website implies that the akai has multiple octaves while the alesis' does not). Any help with these questions would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Daniel

The Micron doesn't have aftertouch from the keys. It responds to aftertouch though, and you can assign it in the mod matrix.
You can shift the range of the Micron up or down 3 octaves. Don't know about the MiniAk, but it's probably the same.

Re: Alesis Micron vs Akai Miniak

Posted: Sat May 07, 2011 2:55 am
by gordwiebe
exact same synths (neither have aftertouch and both are transposable btw).
given the choice I'd go for the miniak - it has a bit better build quality imo (micron is known for faulty knobs and outputs) and has the gooseneck mic option right there.

Re: Alesis Micron vs Akai Miniak

Posted: Sat May 07, 2011 3:56 pm
by meatballfulton
As gordwiebe wrote, the Micron controls have a checkered history for reliability so the extra price of the Akai might be worth it to you. The main reason to buy a Micron is you can get them a bit cheaper, about $50 which is significant.

Do you have any preference for the vertical wheels vs. the horizontal wheel/sliders? As someone who has used vertical pitch/mod wheels for many years, the Micron's horizontal approach bugs me.

Re: Alesis Micron vs Akai Miniak

Posted: Sat May 07, 2011 6:13 pm
by gridsleep
In defense of the Micron, I have had no socket or knob problems. I have the blue SE model. Blue is cooler than red. I wish they had made a blue Ion. I guess I'll have save up for an A6 Andromeda if I want another blue Alesis. Although I would dearly love to have one of the red A6s. Yes, they exist. There's one on eBay now, and the next time I have five grand, it's mine.

The Micron case is heavy aluminum except for the end caps which are thick PVC by the look of them. I'd rate the Micron as physically tough as my Kawai stage piano. The Miniak looks to be solid plastic, and with those angles and thin bits, it's just begging to be cracked without a great deal of abuse. If gigging, I would feel more comfortable with the Micron, and use a Novation X-Station to control it and get full use of the aftertouch.

I use a set of Altec Lansing cans with a boom mike so the Miniak's gooseneck is no attraction.

Are the Miniak's keys full size like the Micron's, or does it have those annoying miniature keys?

Plus, the Micron is perfectly rectangular, so if you are using it on your lap and have to get up, you can pick it up with one hand and set it on the floor on its side and it will just stand there waiting for you. Name another synthesizer that can stand upright on its side.

My only complaint about the Micron is the lack of a power cable retainer hook. The power plugs slides out too easily, especially if it's on your lap and movement brushes the cord against your knee. The problem can be solved with a small self adhesive hook from the hardware store affixed to the back next to the power switch.

I am intending to get a knobby MIDI controller for direct access to the Micron's phenomenal power, a la Ion knobbiness only more so; hopefully a CME Bitstream 3X, but a Behringer BCR-2000 or Evolution UC-33e would do nicely if not as powerfully. Or, as mentioned earlier, use an X-Station to play the Micron, since the X-Station is almost as control laden as the Bitstream and has a keyboard equal to the Micron's that includes excellent aftertouch. And, actually, I just tried that it is splendid. The Micron has a lot of character and surprising sound in the aftertouch. I think for an extra few bucks Alesis should have installed a keyboard with aftertouch. 20/20 hindsight.

Re: Alesis Micron vs Akai Miniak

Posted: Sat May 07, 2011 10:09 pm
by loungedumore
gridsleep wrote:
I am intending to get a knobby MIDI controller for direct access to the Micron's phenomenal power, a la Ion knobbiness only more so; hopefully a CME Bitstream 3X, but a Behringer BCR-2000 or Evolution UC-33e would do nicely if not as powerfully. .
Good luck with that . BCR for me was a no go as the editor was abandoned beta on OSX
UC33/16/17 EDITOR can't do all that needs done in setting up some of the more complex NRPN stuff . Also the params I did get to work on the UC17 Were fine ,but the miniak and micron do not give LCD feedback . Best bet I know of is the midi touch app iOS ?

Re: Alesis Micron vs Akai Miniak

Posted: Sun May 08, 2011 3:27 am
by astroidmist
I tried out a MINIAK at Guitar Center and it was great! Very high quality sounds and still some simple editing facilities. I really really liked having two mod wheels. The vocoding wasn't really my cup of tea, but it really does work.

Re: Alesis Micron vs Akai Miniak

Posted: Sun May 08, 2011 6:09 pm
by DLovas
i remember the last time someone asked this question. i gave advice that was shot down on the grounds that - these synths are exactly the same. Alesis and Akai are affiliated companies and the miniak and the micron are identical in capability. so i guess it just comes down to looks.

Re: Alesis Micron vs Akai Miniak

Posted: Sun May 08, 2011 6:33 pm
by fh991586
gridsleep wrote:Plus, the Micron is perfectly rectangular, so if you are using it on your lap and have to get up, you can pick it up with one hand and set it on the floor on its side and it will just stand there waiting for you. Name another synthesizer that can stand upright on its side.
MicroKorg. I frequently use this feature...

Re: Alesis Micron vs Akai Miniak

Posted: Mon May 09, 2011 6:36 am
by Stab Frenzy
gridsleep wrote:The Micron case is heavy aluminum except for the end caps which are thick PVC by the look of them.
No.

The base is plastic painted silver. I'm surprised that someone who owns one made this mistake, here's a picture of the inside of a Micron if you don't believe me.

Image

Re: Alesis Micron vs Akai Miniak

Posted: Wed May 11, 2011 9:51 am
by ryryoftokyo
This comes down to build quality. Akai Miniak for sure...the sound engine is the EXACT engine in either, so there's no advantage to either beyond looks and build quality.