Holy smell ! What a brand-new scent. I love it. I open the box and I
am engulfed by the smells from the Akai factory wherever it is.
That's one of the joys of buying new over vintage. Those very first
box moments with the original factory smell.
Day 1 went by:
Ha ha ! U got me AKAI !
Ha ha ! Or Numark, because Akai and Alesis are pwnd by Numark. They
just repackaged the Micron into a new black box. Somewhat naive and
short-lived marketing maneuver that could take its revenge on the Akai
So now I have 3 IONs in da
Well, at least it's a repackaged Ion / Micron and not a Jay-Pee-8 or something, that would
throw me off my balance. Really smart interface
you did there Akai, I have to admit that. I know nothing about Micron's
interface but this one with three mod wheels and keyboard keys serving as
menu gateways seems to be really effective. I like the pushable data
knob. But tell me, how the fuck do I set the arpeggiator on. The
manual doesn't hint at anything concerning switching the arp on and off and I don't
really want to read it inside out.
recollecting those formant filters, this great weird-ass FM engine...
holy shit even the mod wheels came from the same mold as Ion's wheels.
I'm holding in my hands the baby of my beloved IONs !
(Just read the Ion
review if you want more details on the sound).
OK, here's this email I
got from Remy. It might shed
some new light on the "greatness" of the Miniak:
Well, after having
watched your very good "sonic delirums" with synths, I decided to
take a look at your website. Just to see your thoughts on some
synths, that sort of things.
In you gear list is featured an "Akai Miniak". A synth which I own
too, unfortunately ! (I'll come a bit later on the reasons of this
In its description, you write "Just read the Ion review if you
want more details on the sound". Well, it's true that Ion /
Micron (and, subsequently, Miniak) share many things. Basically,
Micron is a Ion in a smaller case (and a crappy interface). So
should be the Miniak, because it's just a repackaged Micron.
At least, it seems to be just that. In fact, to my ears,
the Miniak is somehow a "stripped down" version of the Ion (and
probably the Micron). I mean, the Ion sounds nicely (although its
effects are sometime kinda questionable, as are those of Micron
and Miniak), no doubt about it. And it probably does not ouput
aliasing as quickly as the Miniak does when using sync and/or ring
Here we come to the reasons of the "unfortunately" : for some
unknown reason, the Miniak, as good as it seems to be "down on the
paper", is not as good as it seems to/is marketed for. Being also
a player and sound designer, after more than 1 year of intensive
daily use, well… Miniak pisses me off. This synth is not
finished/optimized at all : engaging oscillator sync on this synth
makes aliasing appear quite quicky. This kind of thing does not
appear on Korg MS2000, Yamaha AN1x, or Roland JP-8000 or Clavia
Nordlead 1 (all these synths being released years before
You'll find an
audio example showing that "f*cking aliasing" in the MP3
joined to this email. It's a patch I made, emulating what people
describe as "Laser Harp sound"… Elka Synthex preset, you know
;-) As you'll hear, it's not
playable rather quickly, and there's no extreme programming at all
in it. The same "aliasing thing" appears on ALL sounds involving
those highly classic sync-sweeps, especially in upper
registers (C5 and above).
In the end, Miniak does not really sound like a Ion… It's a "good"
synth on the paper, but a "barely okay" in practice (to me, that
is). Miniak is like a "low-cost stripped-down" Ion/Micron. I
believe the DSP chips are not the same in the Ion/Micron and the
Not that I care much about
this aliasing, because as you can well imagine I quite rarely play
"Laser Harp" patches or sounds as high as C9 on the
keyboard, but you know...it'll be good to keep up the appearances
of this site being a comprehensive and serious resource, haha :P