Akai VX-600 – analog matrix synthesizer

This is in many ways a special sound tool. First of all, it’s from Akai. Not that the company would not have been able to build analog synthesizers. But in 1986 – with the release of the VX-600 – Akai was primarily known for good tape machines, the brand-new S-900 sampler and other, primarily recording studio equipment (but not for synthesizers).


Furthermore, the chic VX-600 has very limited amount of direct control. ONE knob, that’s it. It’s a parameter access synthesizer, typical for its time. What may have been trendsetting in 1986 probably misses a certain appeal today – programming the VX-600 is exhausting.

Its sleek and simple exterior might lead to the prejudice that the VX-600 has an uninspiring and sterile sound. Well, the opposite is the case!


In its heart, the VX-600 features an extensive modulation matrix, similar to an Oberheim Xpander. It’s a six -voice (!) dual-VCO analog synthesizer with a surprisingly short keyboard (37-notes) and an excellent sound architecture! Versatile MIDI features and powerful tuning options complete the instrument’s picture. But most importantly: the sound is beautiful!


Listen to the sound samples below and make up your own mind …

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