Patch Base Adds Editors For Alesis Micron, Akai Miniak

Patch Base – Coffeeshopped’s patch editor for Mac & iPad – has been updated to add support for the Alesis Micron and Akai Miniak synthesizers.

Patch Base supports Program editing (the synth sounds), but not editing Setups/Multis, Sequences, and Rhythms.

Here’s an example of Patch Base in action with the Miniak:

See the Coffeeshopped site for details.

18 thoughts on “Patch Base Adds Editors For Alesis Micron, Akai Miniak

  1. Geewiz their GUI’s are horrible…
    All the same colour, no separation between the synth modules, a headache to navigate :-/

  2. These are very fun synths with tons of interesting sounds. They have some character in my opinion
    But they are not easy to program especially the Micron.

    Anything that helps is a good thing and I think I have to dust off my Micron and see what’s what

  3. I sold my Micron years ago and I still regret it. It’s way deeper than the MicroKorg, with endless cross-modulation options and layering. Multi-timbral as well. Programming it with the single encoder knob was a pain though, you really need an editor like this one.

    1. Agreed. I also got rid of mine a number of years ago. It was the first real full synth I bought, so it will always be an important piece for me. The synth sounded good, but I hated all the menu diving. Traded it in after not using it for a few years towards a Mother-32 and started my eurorack addiction.

  4. public service announcement:

    you can sort of do bass station 2 4.14 update ‘afx mode’ on the micron/miniak by putting a slightly different patch into setups A-Z and then mapping them to a single key each – some keys are left over from drum parts too.

  5. With all due respect, the Bass Station 2 wishes it could do what the Miniak/MIcron can.
    The AFX is cool for a mono/duo analogue,but the performance sequencer of the Micron/Miniak is in a TOTALLY different division. Night and day.

    On topic: coffee shop charge too much for their editors, and this one is indeed ugly, though I’m sure its usable.

  6. Anyone know if this will work with the iON as well? iON is pretty pleasant to program from the front panel but some stuff is finicky and requires a lot of menu navigation. Having it all on one screen has a certain appeal.

    1. > Anyone know if this will work with the iON as well?

      They specifically address that question at the product link provided.

  7. I agree with the criticisms of the color scheme and UI design. Totally fine for a prototype which it looks like. Absolutely not OK for production and needs a revision.

    The Miniak/Micron is an excellent synth and it’s completely true it’s extremely burdensome to program. I replaced my LCD with one of a different more reasonable color successfully and recommend that as a hack. I personally recommend the blofeld for a similarly featured device as the UI is slightly better, the filters are way more interesting, and it doesn’t have the problem of long latency and timing jitter that the older Micron design has.

    The UI deficiencies are understandable given the price point, but the VA engines latency make it really hard to maintain a groove. If you’re the type though that composes and performs by typing highly quantized performances in and not live performance with soul, then it’s fine, along with plugins. To be clear, the latency isn’t much worse than nearly all VST plugins and underlying general OS overhead dictates.

    Might as well mention that I am convinced the entire reason people like analog hardware these days instead of soft synths is not because of warmth etc but is entirely because of timing issues. If you play live you know what I mean.

    1. I think you are right on latency. I often find myself not doing the fast licks I would do on an acoustic instrument and I think it’s because the latency is putting me off.

      On the re:corder kickstarter they commented on latency: “This is not immediately noticeable in most situations but might require some adjustments from the player when working in close synch with other instruments at virtuoso speeds!” I guess this means I’m not the target market.

      1. Hi David, this was 5 years ago so I don’t remember the specifics mentally. Reviewing my purchase records just now I bought a dozen LCD modules from aliexpress for around $3 each after reading an article by a guy who bought a CFAH1602M-TTI-ET from crystalfontz.com. One of the ones I bought worked but I’m not sure which and no doubt the best path is to consult with crystalfontz. If I remember right the pin layout on these is not the most common for 16×2 modules but is the second most common, and much rarer. I have a link here: https://www.crystalfontz.com/product/cfah1602mttiet-text-16×2-display-module

        1. Thinking about this some more I’m almost positive that although I had great fun with the aliexpress ones and got them to work with microcontrollers they weren’t exact swaps for the Micron. I bought the crystalfontz one linked and it was a direct swap out replacement. There was a fair amount of careful disassembly to do the swap so while not difficult I’d also say it’s not for a casual modder. I do think it’s worth it though since the screen is considerably more readable now.

          1. Thanks! That matches the info below from the Ion/Miniak/Micron Yahoo group. Time to learn SMD soldering, I guess. 😀
            -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

            the lcd doesn’t come with the 16 pin header required to plug it into the miniak’s port, so you’ll need one of those also….

            when the LCD arrived i soldered in the header and gave it a whirl. i could see characters responding to the miniak’s LCD contrast setting but they weren’t actually illuminated, barely visible. consulting further with derrick [of CrystalFontz] it was worked out the replacement LCD had the wrong resistors on it’s board for this application, and would function as desired if i removed the relevant resistors from the miniak’s factory LCD and soldered them in the same positions on the new one, first removing of the resistors already on the new LCD’s board.

            this required a fair bit of patience and focus, since the resistors are very small. you’ll need a fine tip soldering iron and some tweezers. you can read up on how to do this by searching the internet for “soldering surface mount resistors”

            since you’re already in there, might as well shift the position of the screen a little so the case doesn’t obscure the bottom half so badly too. all you need to do is get some appropriately sized washers and use them with the top two screws securing the screen in place. the washers allow you to remove the bottom two screws and slide the board into a better position before screwing it tightly in place. you can only afford to reposition by a few millimeters at most, but it helps significantly.

            1. Wow, OK. I totally don’t remember swapping resistors or adding headers on that project but I guess I must have since it’s working. Maybe I read that thread back in the day?! I’m not great at desoldering or SMD soldering but the one thing I have been able to do OK at that scale is SMD resistors and caps. Place I used to work had this genius woman though who could solder and desolder absolutely anything by hand including huge MCU chips. I should have taken lessons from her. Didn’t realize at the time it would later become a big deal.

              1. Success! I see by the receipt that I ordered the Crystalfontz display a week after the last post in 2019. I finally gave myself permission to go ahead with the surgery today and came back here to check the procedure.

                I did indeed have to solder on a 16-pin header and move the two sesame seed-size resistors from the old display to the new one. There was also a fat grounding wire to desolder and resolder. But the new display is so much clearer. Shoulda done this years ago. The Miniak makes some great sounds, and now I can see what I named them.

    2. i’m surprised about the latency comments. I bought my Micron new, I’d guess about 12-15 years ago. Played out live with it dozens of times, never noticed a latency issue. By the way, it is an excellent companion to my Yamaha Motif XF. I did have to replace the volume control on my unit. My biggest complaint is the keyboard action. The keyboard action is horrible- I wonder if that contributes to the latency effect that you hear.

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