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Akai Professional MINIAK Virtual Analog Synth   

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The Akai MINIAK Virtual Analog Synth is a powerful performance and production synthesizer that empowers you with phrase and step sequencing, a built-...Click To Read More About This Product

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A compact virtual synth with drum machine, over 600 preset sounds, 40-band vocoder, filters, FX, and more.

The Akai MINIAK Virtual Analog Synth is a powerful performance and production synthesizer that empowers you with phrase and step sequencing, a built-in drum machine/rhythm sequencer, an arpeggiator, a 40-band vocoder, stereo effects, and a virtual analog synth engine developed in partnership with the world-class Alesis synth team. While the compact, portable keyboard shines on stage, the MINIAK is also at home in the production studio delivering 24-bit audio resolution.

The MINIAK puts up to 8 multitimbral voices at your fingertips, each with 3 oscillators. You can create interesting and unique sounds and take advantage of more than 600 preset sounds and store up to 1,000 programs. The Akai synth also has 2 multimode filters, 3 envelope generators, 2 LFOs, stereo effects, and a 40-band vocoder. On top of all of this sound-melding power, the MINIAK has a comprehensive sequencer with step and dynamic realtime phrase sequencing, a drum machine/rhythm sequencer, and an arpeggiator to aid in creating the landscapes and textures you're after.

Rounding out this complete instrument are high-resolution, 24-bit balanced 1/4" inputs and outputs, and a 37-key semi-weighted keyboard with velocity sensitivity for all-in-one performance. It can also be used as a sound source for MPCs, computer software, and keyboards via MIDI.

Under the hood
A MINIAK program is a sound built from the MINIAK's internal oscillators, filters, and envelope generators. The MINIAK's more than 600 preset programs span the range of classic analog synthesis sounds. If you've heard it before, you will probably find it in the MINIAK's presets.

In a synth, oscillators generate raw sound. Their output is fed into the filters, whose output is fed into the amplifiers. As the signal moves along that path, you can manipulate the mix at several points and apply modulations, envelopes, and effects to create a custom palette of sounds.

Sound Generation
The oscillators can produce different waveform types and shapes to create various harmonic structures, which our ears perceive as different timbres. Here are some of the waveforms you can create with the Akai MINIAK's oscillators:
¢Sine”Smooth, pure sound
¢Triangle”Fuller than a sine wave
¢Sawtooth”Harsh sonic character
¢Pulse”Harmonically rich, ranging from full-sounding square wave to a sharp impulse wave

The MINIAK's oscillators can produce continuously variable waveforms, so it can can hit any point between these examples.

You can also connect external audio sources”other synthesizers, mixers, guitars, and more”using the 1/4" inputs. The jacks accept either balanced or unbalanced cables. You can then mix in the external audio sources with the MINIAK's oscillators. The resulting combination is then sent through the synth's filters and effects. A special group of programs, including vocoder, exists just for use with the external inputs.

The outputs of the oscillators, the noise generator, the ring modulator, and the external inputs are fed into a virtual mixing board called the prefilter mix. From here, the signal hits the filters. For each source, you can specify its level and its balance: how much is sent to Filter 1 and how much is sent to Filter 2.

The oscillators produce very raw sounds. To shape and fine-tune the sound, filters give you tools for dampening certain harmonics and boosting others. Filters alter the frequency content of the signal and can have a drastic effect on the sound. Each of the MINIAK's voices contains 2 filters, and each filter can be one of the following different types”each with its own character and sonic flavor: Bypass, Low-Pass: ob 2-pole, tb 3-pole, mg 4-pole, rp 4-pole, jp 4-pole, al 8-pole; Band-Pass: ob 2-pole, al 6-pole, octave dual, band limit; High Pass: ob 2-pole, op 4-pole; 3 Vocal Formants, 4 Comb Filters, Phase Warp, Frequency, Resonance, Key Tracking, Envelope Amount, Offset, and Absolute.

After filtering, the signal is fed to the post-filter mix. For each filter output, as well as a prefilter signal of your choice, you can specify a level and a pan.

In the output stage, the MINIAK allows you to apply a drive effect and add some compression, distortion, or other amplification effects. The MINIAK allows you to set up 12 modulation routes. Each of these is a virtual connection between some physical or internally generated source and some program parameter. Basically, a mod route tells the synth to automatically grab a knob and tweak it while a note is playing. Although there are quite a few sources that you can use for your mods, the most common ones involve the LFOs and the envelopes.

LFO stands for low-frequency oscillator. LFOs are not designed to produce sound, but instead to tweak a program parameter according to a looping pattern. For example, if you are looking to add vibrato, you need the pitch to continuously waver up and down. Each of the MINIAK's voices contain 2 LFOs, each of which offers rate, depth, shape, and tempo sync. The MINIAK's LFO can sync to the internal clock or any external source via MIDI.

If you hit a note on a piano, you hear a burst of sound energy as the hammer strikes the string, followed by lower level of loudness as you hold down the note and let the string ring out, which fades quickly as soon as you release the note and the damper is applied. Synthesizers model this behavior using ADSR Envelopes. ADSR stands for Attack, Decay, Sustain, and Release, and represents the different stages that the sound goes through over the life of the note. The MINIAK also has an envelope that is specifically designed for loudness, called the Amp Envelope. Envelopes are useful in all sorts of mod routes, which is why you can hook up any of the MINIAK's envelopes to any modulatable program parameter. Each of the Akai MINIAK's voices contains 3 envelopes: Amp Envelope, Filter Envelope, and Pitch/Modulation Envelope.

The MINIAK has extensive sequencing and arpeggiation performance capabilities. Arpeggios and sequences both respond to a key-press by playing a series of notes over a programmed rhythmic pattern. An arpeggio loops over whatever notes you are holding down on the keyboard. If you hold down a chord, the Akai MINIAK will generate a melody by playing each note of your chord individually. A sequence has a melody line built in so you can hold down a single key and the MINIAK will play back that melody relative to that key. Pressing another key will transpose the sequence.
The MINIAK has MPC-style step sequencing and recorder-style dynamic real-time phrase sequencing. There's also a drum machine/rhythm sequencer for the built-in drum sounds.

The MINIAK synth has a full complement of stereo effects including Chorus, Feedback, Theta Flanger (Phaser + Flanger), Thru Zero Flanger, Super Phaser, Notch Frequency, String Phaser, 40-Band Vocoder, Analysis Gain, Sibilance Boost, Band Shift, Synthesis Input, Analysis Signal In, Analysis Mix, 6 types of Delay, and 3 types of Reverbs.

With the extensive sound generating and manipulating power of the MINIAK, the sounds you dream up are as easy to create as twisting a few knobs. Creating complete soundscapes with the sequencer and arpeggiator couldn't be easier.

  • 8 voices, each with 3 oscillators
  • Up to 8 multitimbral parts with stereo effects and 40-band vocoder
  • 2 multi-mode filters, 3 envelope generators, 2 LFOs, sample and hold, tracking
  • generator
  • Dynamic realtime and step sequencers, arpeggiator, and drum machine/rhythm
  • sequencer
  • Stereo bus effects including reverbs and delays
  • 24-bit 1/4" balanced stereo analog outputs and inputs
  • 37-key synth-action keyboard with velocity sensitivity
  • More than 600 preset sounds
  • Sound banks: bass, lead, pad, string, brass, keys, comp, drum, SFX
  • Includes
  • MINIAK synthesizer keyboard
  • VPM1 gooseneck microphone
  • Power supply

MINIAK Virtual Analog Synth

  • Synthesis: virtual analog (subtractive), noise generator, FM
    Polyphony: up to 8 voices
    Timbrality: up to 8 parts
    Oscillators: 3 per voice with continuously variable waveshapes, sync, linear, and exponential FM, Ring Mod, routable modulation matrix per voice.
    Filters: 2 multi-mode resonating filters per voice with 16 filter types
    Modulation: 2 LFOs with multiple wave shapes, sample and hold, tracking generator, freely-routable modulation matrix per voice
    Effects: 4 drive effects, 1 per part; master effects
    Sequencing: step sequencer, arpeggiator, drum machine/rhythm sequencer, and phrase sequencer
    Program memory: up to 1,000 programs and multitimbral setups
    Velocity sensitive: Yes
    Keyboard: 37-key, semi-weighted
    External control: MIDI In/Out/Thru
    Inputs: 2 balanced 1/4" TRS, mic
    Outputs: 2 balanced 1/4" TRS, 1/4" TRS headphone
    Controls: pitch wheel, 2 assignable Q-Link modulation wheels, X, Y, and Z parameter knobs, pattern play, phrase arpeggiator, latch arpeggiator, keyboard octave, tap tempo, program controls, data push-knob, config, store, master volume
    Pedal Inputs: Assignable expression pedal, sustain pedal

    Dimensions: 30"W x 13"D x 8"H
    Weight: 14.35 lb.

Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews

(based on 4 reviews)

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Reviewed by 4 customers

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


Great Little Synth

By Kris-M9IDp

from New Jersey

See all my reviews

I bought the Miniak about five months ago, and it's worth every cent I paid! With three oscillators and variable waveforms, and a wide number of different filters, the analog sounds are great. I discern very little aliasing on most of the presets. The "one knob" programming can be tedious and difficult, so I'd recommend a software editor to unlock the full potential of this machine. And you could probably dial in almost anything, I'd think. It's solidly built, and fits in well with my vintage Roland and Yamaha synths and soft-synths. You can't go wrong with the Miniak!

(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


amazing synth sounds!!!

By synth masta 24

from chico, ca

Ive had this miniak for about a week or so love this thing cant stop playing it. i also bought a stand for it also. it was exacly what i was looking for. a real synth that wasnt made by roland!!!

(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


awesome sounds

By Max Vincent

from Bronx, NY

See all my reviews

I've had my Miniak for 3 days and have gone through all the sounds, including the use of the vocoder... pretty impressive for a machine this size.

(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)



By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

I'm a 15 year old from Lafayette, Louisiana. I own this product. I received it November 13, 2009. It was a gift from my mother's friend who has connections with Akai. I love it. The Modulators are great and he oscillators are simple to control.

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