Synth Site: Akai: AX60 Synthesizer: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.2 out of 5
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David Khan a hobbyist user from New Zeland writes:
The AX60 is a marvellous & much underrated machine. Bought mine in 1994 for NZ$500 (about US$250). I was SO ignorant back then. Didn't even know what "ployphony" was!!! I just liked the black metal finish & all the LEDs & sliders. The AX60 was my first "professional" musical instrument. Now, several years later I'm still exploring its potential. Every time I turn on the power it's a brand new journey of discovery. Have heard the competition - Roland Juno 60 & 106. These are somewhat "warmer", more civilised sounding machines - but the AX60 is a beast. It can make some lovely pad sounds, but where it really excels is in the sonic-mayhem department. Several reviewers have noted the AX60's suitability for industrial/EBM type musics. So true! Considering its age the range of tones this machine can make is amazing - everything from thunderous bass to shining, crystalline treble. Sure there's a bit of hiss (esp. when using the onboard chorus) - but COME ON - music shouldn't be cold & perfect. We NEED a bit of dirt!

What else can it do? Well we have 6 voice polyphony. The keyboard can be split so two patches can be used at once (polyphony is shared). The unison button allows all 6 voices to be stacked for a big fat monophonic sound. Two sets of filters (VCO, VCF) usual ASDR envelope. Plenty of waveform types to choose from for the filters. Plenty of sliders & LEDs so you know exactly what you're doing to what (here it really scores over the Juno 106). 64 sound patch memory (same as the Juno 60 but only half as many as the Juno 106) which can be stored to cassette tape. The sliders aren't totally flexible in a live situation. Changing to a new slider it needs to be brought to the extremity of its travel before the AX60 recognises that you have selected it. This can result in some amusingly unpredictable noises. However the pitch wheel can be used to modulate the cut off frequency for the resonant filter - VERY handy live! The resonant filter is a real ripper. Maybe I'm just a glutton for punishment, but unlike some earlier reviewers I would strongly disagree that it "sucks". It's a most agressive & expressive modulator & really gives the AX60 its special character. Also notable is the VCO MOD slider. The manual describes it as a kind of "tone" control - it's rather more radical than that! Speaking of manuals, I didn't have one for years - but about 3 years ago found one on-line (forgot where, sorry - but you shouldn't have to look far). A fairly brief read but did clarify how to use the appeggiator, split function etc... Anything else? Like many others have said the AX60 is built out of real metal - it's like a tank & totally reliable. Mine had all sorts of punishment for years - recently I finally bought the poor thing a case! I'm never selling it (even if I could find another one) - I think it's a total classic!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Mar-19-2003 at 04:45
jda---- a part-time user from san francisco writes:

Paid $325...worth $525

It is awesome,already used it in three songs within one week.If your a tweaker, this thing will keep you busy for days....i havent even delved into the midi or appregiator...and probably wont, as a player who just records to ProTools over my MPC sequences, i love this thing.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Feb-20-2003 at 16:37
GOLDENMEAN a part-time user from USA writes:
Just got the AX60. Very nice bass. Very warm sound(you can tell it's analog) I've never heard a 106 so I can't compare the two. The AX60 is very easy to program if you know anything about subtractive synthesis. You will be doing a bit of programming to get those brassy organ sounds out of it. I love the quality of sound coming out of this board - it can be VERY loud and up front. However, I have to admit, I don't like the resonance on the filter. It gets very dirty, harsh, and static filled as you crank it.(not in a good way IMHO) Oh well, no board is perfect. You have 8 banks of 8 patches each to store your sounds(64). The sound sculpting capabilities are extensive enough to keep you interested. The look, feel, and case of this thing is classic. For me, it's a keeper.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Sep-18-2002 at 17:58
sillindr a professional user from USA writes:
Actually, you can't really control any S-series samplers with it...

Using a proprietary 9-pin serial cable, you can run samples from the S-612, S-900 or S-950 THROUGH the filters and envelopes of the AX and VX synths that have the "sampler in" port.

Definitely a cool feature for it's day, but without the cable or one of those three samplers, it's useless :(

Rating: 1 out of 5 posted Monday-Apr-22-2002 at 05:46
Sky a hobbyist user from Austin Texas - Music Capital of the World writes:
Simply put the Akai AX60 is an awesome synth capable of achieving many of the great sounds that todays software and new synths try to achieve. The sliders and buttons do feel a bit cheap but have held up to the tests of time. The body is all metal and very stout. Plus you have the ability to control the S series of Akai samplers which is a unigue feature to keys from those days.

The sounds range from phatt basses, thick grungy horns, to smooth ethereal strings and wave sounds. You can also achieve some great rythmic sounds using the oscillators. Plus you have the ability to split the keys to play two sounds at a time or assign through midi to control two keyboards, samplers, racks,etc... The built in appegiators is limited in some regards but still a nice thing to have around.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Apr-22-2002 at 02:52
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