Wednesday, 24 March 2010

No more Alesis Micron - Patch a Day

This is going to be the last Alesis Micron - Patch a Day post and I'll tell you why...

I created this blog to learn about synthesis and learn how the Micron operates. It's a great synth which has its admirers, particularly regarding the power hidden within its funky silver and red (or blue) shell. But it is also not without its detractors who mainly complain that it is a pain to program. And, having spent the last couple of months trying to generate original patches from scratch I have to agree.

Now there are editors for the Micron, and I personally use Micron AU and find it very useful when I have my synth connected to my computer. But I work in a very limited space and so use a laptop, which I don't always have set up. Sometimes I want to be able to power up and start playing music, or designing sounds straightaway. The Micron is great for playing, there is a great library of user patches, and the mod sliders and 3 rotary knobs are probably just enough to make creative performing a pleasure. But for designing sounds, without the software editor the Micron does not do it for me.

So I intend buying a synth that is easier to program with lots of knobs and sliders to work a sound. I may keep my Micron as I still really like to play on it. Creating a patch a day on it though has proven to be a chore.

Cheerio and thanks for taking the time to read this.



  1. Please, don't stop !

    Your blog has been quite useful to me.
    I know how programming the Micron can be boring ; but you can quickly assign every parameter to one of the control knobs, and then modify your sound quicker than with just a mouse...

  2. Thanks for your kind comment! I really enjoyed doing the post and despite only lasting 16 patches (pathetic I know!) I feel I have learnt a lot. But I have just bought a Novation A Station and building patches on that thing is just so much more fun!

    My Micron still has a special place in my heart and the mod matrix in particular makes it a very powerful synth so I am not going to get rid of it quite yet.

    So while I won't rule out adding a few patches to this database I am not making any promises either!

  3. That's too bad, Ghostly! I really enjoyed dropping in to see what you were up to, even though I don't have a Micron of my own and couldn't "play along." Please keep me posted if you start up a similar project around another synth!

  4. Hey Robbneu, glad to hear you enjoyed dropping in. I really like the format you have created and so I suspect I may introduce an A Station - Patch a Day blog... watch this space! :-)

  5. You're right - it can be a pain to program. I too have a Novation A-Station. Will have to see if that's any easier in the long run - I'll certainly miss those multiple filters though.

    Thanks for sharing all your hard work. You deserve a present.

    Here's two files I created - a Piano and a Vibraphone. I hope they are useful to you all!

    If you're checking this message after the download link has expired just let me know at


  6. That's a damn shame, ghostly. I liked your log, especially cause there isn't very much on the web for getting micron patches.
    Thank you for your work and i hope you will find a more easily approachable synth.

  7. Here's my piano / vibraphone link again as it got cut off:


  8. I know this is going to sound retarded, but I screwed up the dusty organ sound and I cant get it back to its original specs with a sysex file, could you email me the paramiters of the dusty on your micron? I know its a lot of information to wright out but I would really appreciate it.

    thank you

  9. aw that's too bad. I just started following your blog, and was looking forward to patching my Micron with new sounds. Well, keep the site up at least, so I can download and try all the old patches :)

    - Steven

  10. Sorry to self-promote in a comment. I'm sure this is bad form, but I wanted to get the word out that I'm starting a similarly themed blog, so this seemed like a good crowd to notify. I won't be able to update it every day, but I want to post info on making patches semi-regularly. So if this appeals to you, check it out:

    And Ghostly, thanks for the work you've done.

  11. Well, you might wanna look into the ion for synth programming ;)
    A whole lot easier to handle, albeit a big bigger ^^


  12. Did you come to grips with the FM modulation index on the Micron?
    It's quite simple to find out using a software oscilloscope with fft (spectrum) support. Using a c:m ratio of 1:1 and starting with modulation amount 0 you should get only the carrier, increasing the modulation amount will add sidebands at c+m c+2*m etc. until the carrier will decrease to almost zero when the modulation index is 1.84. Using a ratio of 1:3 this should happen when the modulation index reaches 2.41.