Alesis is the contender in new breed of synthesizers that has benefited greatly from the development and improvement of microchip. Alesis Micron is based on award winning sound engine of Alesis Ion. Micron is an eight voice analog modeling synthesizer having three oscillators per voice. The Micron features two LFOs with multiple wave shapes, 20 filter types, 32 multitimbral parts and a 3-octave velocity sensitive keyboard. The silver paint job and red trim augmented sides have enhanced the instruments visual appeal. The instrument features a programmable step sequencer, a rhythm sequencer for drums and an arpeggiator.
The rear panel of this instrument features all types of connections you can expect from this class of synthesizer: balanced stereo ¼-inch TRS jacks for both audio input and output, MIDI In/Out/Thru, jacks for sustain and expression pedals, a ¼-inch headphone jack and a 9V/1.5A power connection with switch (AC adapter included).
The Successor to Alesis Ion
Alesis Micron can be called an impressive successor of Alesis Ion. The evolution emphasized on trimming process, which resulted in disappearance of Ion’s expensive and high-resolution knobs. Micron has an elegant simple control structure, which includes 2 sliders, 5 knobs, 13 buttons and a pitch wheel. The navigation has been simplified to a level where even a novice would get the feel and grip of what is stored in Micron within short period of time. The Micron has dedicated effects chip offering delay and reverb effects, plus a built-in sequencer, plus a high versatile multimbral mode and a rhythm programmer.
The Micron presents a healthy assortment of sounds that sound great as well as inspire you in the making. The Micron features dozens of sexy analog drum sounds that can be used with rhythm sequencer. The sampled drums are pleasure to hear bringing alive the vintage memories of Simmons and Linn Drum.
In a Class of It’s Own
The sounds of Micron are second to none in its class. It features screaming leads, fat basses, really deep pads, singing sines and old analog school drums. The programs are split into categories with numbers of patches listed for every individual category: Lead(43), Bass(44), Pad(127), Keys(36),Brass(26), Comp(113), Drum(118), and Sfx(50). The bass sounds offer span wide range of texture from warm and silky to throaty and dirty. The featured pads run from simple drones to complex sounds with evolving textures. The Latch mode allows the user to play a rhythm continuously without holding the key.
The Micron allows you to store preferred programs in your favorite bank while it automatically stores 10 of the recent programs in Recent Bank. The powerful setup’s function comes with 70 presets that can be combined with multiple rhythms, programs, keyboard splits, patterns and layers. The setup function allows using 26 different programs and 26 different rhythms simultaneously.
Good: Excellent sounds and presets, step sequencer
Bad: Limited polyphony, No digital output
The Rubber Meets the Road Literally
The rubberized knobs and wheels give a great feel to the fingertips when operating it, while the two-line LED and back light buttons make the identification easy. The brightness of pitch wheel increases as the attenuation level is increased. Navigation of Micron becomes a bit tedious when compared to synthesizers having more knobs to control independent features. However, the manual furnishes all information you need. It will still take time to compose sequences, which can be done within short span of time on other synthesizers.