Akai Unveils Miniak Micro Synth, Vocoder

akai-miniak-synthesizer

Musikmesse 2009: Like tiny synths? Vocoders?

Then Akai’s got you covered.

The Akai Miniak is the first synthesizer from Akai Professional developed in partnership with the Alesis synthesis team. The Miniak is extremely compact and portable, but is also a powerful instrument for creating sounds for performance and production.

Description:

The Miniak lets you create programs with up to eight multi-timbral voices, each with three oscillators. The Akai Miniak comes with more-than-600 preset sounds. You can create complex sounds using the Miniak’s two multimode filters, three envelope generators, two LFOs, stereo effects and 40-band vocoder with gooseneck microphone. The Miniak also has a comprehensive sequencer with step and dynamic real time phrase sequencing, a drum machine/rhythm sequencer and an arpeggiator.

The Miniak also contains high-resolution, 24-bit balanced quarter-inch inputs and outputs and a 37-key semi-weighted keyboard with velocity sensitivity. It can also be used as a sound source for MPCs, computer software and keyboards via MIDI.

The Akai MINIAK will be available from musical instrument and professional audio retailers Q3, 2009. No pricing has been announced.

This is the first synth announcement out of Musikmesse to get me excited. Let me know what you think of the Akai Miniak in the comments!

36 thoughts on “Akai Unveils Miniak Micro Synth, Vocoder

  1. This looks ultra-sweet, as long as the price is right.

    It looks a lot like the microKorg – but Akai’s controllers have a lot better feel and Alesis synths sound a lot better, too.

    What’s with the three mod wheels, though?

  2. The panel design is pretty much identical to the Alesis Micron in terms of types of controls. The actual layout looks a little nicer, though. Should be $399.

  3. If it’s based on the Micron, the hardware still looks like it will be a major improvement.

    The Micron sounds nice, but feels sort of cheesy.

  4. Akai and Alesis? I sure hope this isn’t some sort of bad omen. The only synth I ever liked from the Alesis camp is the Andromeda (big surprise). The fact that Akai is relying on Alesis to make them a knockoff of the Microkorg could be a bad sign. I’ve played the Micron, not a fan. 🙂

  5. The MINIAK is just an Alesis Micron with a microphone. Compare the specs and you’ll see. But it will probably cost more because it has the Akai logo, sad!

    And it’s NOT “the very first synth to carry the Akai name” as many sites are saying!!! I can think of at least three other Akai Synths, the AX-60 AX-73 and AX-80.

    1. I have a Micron and don't think it is cheap at all. The synth engine sounds better than my Virus KC. I just wish it wasn't hideous red and wish they put out a editor library that would access all the guts of the Micron.

    2. I have a Micron and don't think it is cheap at all. The synth engine sounds better than my Virus KC. I just wish it wasn't hideous red and wish they put out a editor library that would access all the guts of the Micron.

  6. There isn’t much information yet about the MINIAK, but I don’t think it’s quite identical to the Micron because the Micron is 4-part multitimbral and the MINIAK is 8-part.

    We also don’t know whether it uses the same MIDI signals for control, or whether there will be an editor.

  7. THE mICRON ROCKS!
    hope they fixed some of the software issues. The Micron yahoo forum made a list for them. no one listens to us no one no one

  8. I often toyed with the idea of buying the micron, but always wished Alesis had fitted it with three mod wheels just like the Ion. And guess what? The Miniak has them! Now as long as Akai hasn't screwed up the original design in some way, I think I know what I want for Christmas.

  9. I just got one of these in the mail and i am very impressed. It seems far more user friendly than the micron and has the same rich, punchy analog sound to it. Both the modwheels are very easy to use while playing creating constantly shifting sounds that warp and bend at your will and the third wheel is for pitch bending which is also fun to combine with the others. The miniak also actually looks like a proper synthesizer, while the micron looked like it belonged in a child's toy box. It seems like a definite improvement on the micron, maybe not an enormous leap forward but it was already an amazing product to begin with. I challenge anyone to find a better sounding new synthesizer.

  10. I recently got my hands on one of these superb little Synths and love it. I’m very impressed with the sounds and level of control, and love having that extra mod wheel, as Mod 1 is usually assigned to vibrato, whilst Mod 2 to Filter Cut Off. My only gripe is that when using the X, Y and Z assignable knobs, as soon as you stop turning them the LCD instantly reverts back to displaying the Program name or Multi name. Also when edit a Program but don’t store it, if you reselect the sound it plays the editied version. You have to go to the Edit page and select the Revert to Stored option to invoke the original sound.
    There is some confusion as to multitimbrality, as although the specs might state 8 part, that is made up of 4 Program (Synth Sound) parts and 4 Rhythm parts.
    Never used the Ion or Micron, but apparently the sounds are compatible. The Miniak’s user manual even has mistakes refereing the “Micon”, clearly a mispelling of “Micron” that slipped through the ‘Find And Replace’ utility in the word processor.
    One major difference between this and most synths is that it does not rely on a fixed number of banks, like say 128 sounds in Bank 1, etc. Instead you can delete sounds and create new ones by taking copies from existing ones, so can hold up to 1,000 sounds.
    Sonically it is very flexible, with some great unique filter types. I love the choir type sounds the Miniak can produce. The filter offers modellings of the Minimoog, ARP 2600, Oberheim 2 Pole and Jupiter 8, etc, but instead of sounding exactly like a Minimmog is more Minimoog-esque. The filter types try to capture the spirit of their famous synth, some will sound closer than others depending on what sound you set up. which is impossible in an Virtual analogue as the oscillators, amps and envelopes in each of the synths they’ve modelled are different to those in the Miniak. I’ve owned Moogs, ARPs, Rolands and Oberheims so have a good idea what they sound like.
    There was no voice editing software included with the Miniak, but I await a response from AKAI on the availability of one. The existing Micron/Ion software editor may work fine for the Program Sounds but not the Multis (Performance in Yamaha speak or Combination in Korg speak).
    Overall this is a great, very playable, tweakable little synth, and the Vocoder is great fun too!
    I will write a more detailed review, after playing more, but if anyone has any immediate questions I’ll try and answer them.

  11. Is it possible to layer synth patches over the rythyms on the Miniak? That's an important for feature for myself. Thanks so much in advance.

  12. Is it possible to layer synth patches over the rythyms on the Miniak? That's an important for feature for myself. Thanks so much in advance.

  13. Is it possible to layer synth patches over the rythyms on the Miniak? That's an important for feature for myself. Thanks so much in advance.

  14. The MINIAK does have some similarities to the Miron and Ion, including the sound, but i have found it to be overall completely different from either of them. I personally feel that it was WELL worth the extra money for the MINIAK over the Micron. If you don't like the Micron then you might not like the MINIAK but if your debating between the two the MNIAK is the definite winner.

  15. The MINIAK does have some similarities to the Miron and Ion, including the sound, but i have found it to be overall completely different from either of them. I personally feel that it was WELL worth the extra money for the MINIAK over the Micron. If you don't like the Micron then you might not like the MINIAK but if your debating between the two the MNIAK is the definite winner.

  16. this is just another stupid digital synth with typical presets and crappy editing interface. looks like a microkorg kind of thing..which no one else should be making. fuck those things. preset sounds with 3-6 editing knobs..and everything in the computer. all that just for digital, crummy sounds. come on everyone. buy something real. at least put real control ont here like a korg ms2000 which only cost a couple more hundred dollars when it was being produced. this thing will be just okay. like alesis, like low-end korg stuff..it will simply be just OKAY. not great.
    anyway, i am just sick of things like this. just my opinion. how about a doepfer dark energy..or cwejman vm-1…that is something to drool over.

  17. also – i am sure it will be overpriced like everything else..$500-$750 i would imagine..when really, it is worth about $350 AT THE MOST. and microkorgs..come on..those should cost like $275 tops. peace out

  18. editing on this thing is a pain, and the fact that it has no usb sucks, however having an on board sequencer more than makes up for it. also i don't quite understand why people call this thing a korg microkorg rip-off, it's looks nothing like the microkorg, and has a quite a different sound. by the way, if you spend enough time on this thing you can come up with some interesting sounds, and sequences. peace out. hey does anybody remember the roland mc-09, now that thing had a nasty; unique raw digital sound

  19. editing on this thing is a pain, and the fact that it has no usb sucks, however having an on board sequencer more than makes up for it. also i don't quite understand why people call this thing a korg microkorg rip-off, it's looks nothing like the microkorg, and has a quite a different sound. by the way, if you spend enough time on this thing you can come up with some interesting sounds, and sequences. peace out. hey does anybody remember the roland mc-09, now that thing had a nasty; unique raw digital sound

  20. I have a Micron, and I tried out a MiniAK in a store – they're identical. The MINIAK even has the same patches as the Micron for the most part. Also, IMO the Micron's controls are better placed, and the soft control knob on the Micron definitely feels better than the strong clicking of the MINIAK's. I like the Micron better.

  21. I have a Micron, and I tried out a MiniAK in a store – they're identical. The MINIAK even has the same patches as the Micron for the most part. Also, IMO the Micron's controls are better placed, and the soft control knob on the Micron definitely feels better than the strong clicking of the MINIAK's. I like the Micron better.

  22. I thought it was worth mentioning also while we're on the topic I think it's tragic what has happened to the Alesis/Numark synth line. The A6 was so well designed that it's still sought after today (and still stands alone in many regards IMHO). The ION, let's face it, was "okay" and the micron is just an ION clone in a smaller box (plus verb). The Fusion keyboard line is dead. It looked interesting to me were it not for the fact anything synth-orientated would see you editing all the parameters with just a few knobs. I guess that's why I don't own a micron and won't buy a Miniak either.

    What are Alesis doing these days in terms of keyboards and synths? Nothing? Making more clones? Such a shame.

  23. I thought it was worth mentioning also while we're on the topic I think it's tragic what has happened to the Alesis/Numark synth line. The A6 was so well designed that it's still sought after today (and still stands alone in many regards IMHO). The ION, let's face it, was "okay" and the micron is just an ION clone in a smaller box (plus verb). The Fusion keyboard line is dead. It looked interesting to me were it not for the fact anything synth-orientated would see you editing all the parameters with just a few knobs. I guess that's why I don't own a micron and won't buy a Miniak either.

    What are Alesis doing these days in terms of keyboards and synths? Nothing? Making more clones? Such a shame.

  24. Well it's out now with a MSRP of $399. I can't find any specs on the sequencer though.__How many sequences will it hold and can we build them/arrange them into songs? Anyone own one yet?____Havasu Mark

  25. I bought one and am trialing it for two weeks. Within this time-frame, I'm comparing it to the Micro-Korg to see which I'll end up keeping or swapping for. I'm new to the synth world & never dug over-digitized sounds so, my judgement will be determined by which synth can give me the best analog tones with user-friendly learning ability. I play guitar shit.

    _gustav brian de la rosa el segundo jamay

  26. yeah baby you love the MINIAK. It has a lot of hidden stuff you can do with it. There are a bunch of shortcuts to the menu and there is a software editor for it by ultrasynth. Love min and would never give it up, great fun..

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