The best of both worlds; micron se is small in scale but gigantic in sound. Described simply as an 8-voice, analog-modeling synthesizer, micron se offers substantially more than you might expect at first glance. The micron se performs more like a workstation rather than a simple synthesizer thanks to programmable drums, step-sequencing, arpeggiation, phrase recording, digital effects and 8 parts of multitimbral synthesis that can be split and stacked across the entire 128-note range of the keyboard.
The Micron’s front-panel interface is streamlined to give you full access to its analog modeling power while meeting the demanding requirements of real-time performance. Click the image for a closer look.
When you push power, you have the option of working within micron se’s four modes: Programs, Patterns, Rhythms or Setups. We’ll briefly describe each mode and how they work together to make micron se the most versatile compact synthesizer available.
In Program mode, you can browse and create all types of sounds using micron se’s extensive synthesizer engine. Each of the eight voices of the micron se has three oscillators as the genesis of its sound creation. These oscillators can be a combination of the traditional sine, saw, square and triangle waveforms. Furthermore, the oscillators can be synced, continuously varied and frequency modulated (FM) offering deeper options of sound exploration. Two multi-mode filters per voice can be used to bend your sound to oblivion and back. Three envelope generators per voice also sculpt your sound as it progresses through the amplifier, filters or just about any other parameter within micron se. Top it all off by adding ambiance or grit with legendary Alesis stereo digital effects. If you can imagine a sound, micron se can make it.
Quickly access any parameter or menu by pushing down the main control knob and pressing a keyboard note that corresponds with that section. Any slider or knob can easily be assigned by simply holding down the controller knob and moving the controller.
Patterns allow you to further tweak programs by adding melodic or rhythmic movement in the form of an Arpeggio or Sequence pattern. The micron is stocked full of patterns to help your programs take flight. However, the ability to quickly create and edit your own patterns is quite easy. You can either record the pattern by performing on the keyboard, or use the step editor to plot the sequence, making recording in real-time intuitive and fun. Once you have created your dream sequence, you can apply that to any program you desire.
Rhythm mode allows you to play or construct drum beats using the individual drum programs. Rhythms are similar to Patterns in their method of creating and editing. Again, micron se has loads of great-sounding preset beats to get you started. However, constructing your own rhythms can be done quickly using the micron se’s interface.
You can create really rich setups combining as many as 26 different programs with anywhere from 0 to 26 different rhythms, all simultaneously active.
Finally, setups allow you to pull all your programs, patterns and rhythms together and perform them all together using the keyboard and controllers. This is where the micron se truly leaps forward. Using multiple “parts”, you can combine drum-beats, sequences, arpeggios and multiple programs all together in a Setup and perform them all simultaneously with the keyboard. Assign certain Programs and drum-beats to particular octaves, or even keys, to allow for engaging performances that sound as if four or five instruments are being used.
The micron se also has every connection you could need to further your performance and production. Individual Expression and Sustain inputs allow parameters to be controlled with the use of foot pedals. Stereo audio inputs route external audio through the micron se’s filters, LFOs, envelopes, a vocoder and effects giving you deep processing power. Traditional MIDI In/Out/Thru jacks sync micron se with other hardware or software. Finally, stereo 1/4” outputs allow you to connect up to any mixer or recording equipment to present your masterpiece to the world.
It’s hard to imagine, but this spotlight only outlines the basic structure of micron se. Whether you’re looking to add some quick, new textures to your compositions or build sonic skyscrapers, micron se delivers huge sound and endless features in a portable, stylish package.
Read American Songwriter magazine's review of the micron se here.