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 …

Filed under 2013, General

“Es genügt, einen Ton schön zu spielen” sagte der Komponist Arvo Pärt im Jahre 2005. Diese Aussage ist ebenso einfach wie ich auch exzellent: Es braucht kein Meer an Tönen, denn entscheidend ist der Klang. Dass so mancher Vintage-Synthesizer der 70er und 80er Jahre teils unerreicht hochwertige Klänge liefert, steht außer Frage. Doch tatsächlich leben wir “heute” in einer nahezu perfekten Zeit. Einerseits hat man – mehr oder weniger – noch Zugriff auf die Vintage Analogen, andererseits wird auch bei Neugeräten die wichtige Komponente des hochwertigen Klanges wieder zunehmend berücksichtigt. Doepfer, Cwejman, Synthesizers.com, MacBeth, Moog, GRP, Studio Electronics, COTK, John Bowen und andere Hersteller bauen hervorragende Synthesizer, die den “Klassikern” in nichts nachstehen. All diesen (alten wie neuen) “großartigen” Instrumenten ist Great Synthesizers gewidmet. _________________________________________________________ In 2005 composer Arvo Pärt said: “Playing one tone really well is enough”. In other words, it is sufficient to play one tone 'beautifully'. I agree with that. All musical efforts are focused on the sound itself. Although I studied classical music (piano and drums), it’s the electronic sound that inspires me. Synthesizers are the epitome of new sounds and exciting tonal spheres. Today, many companies produce high-quality - excellent! - synthesizers: Doepfer, Cwejman, MacBeth, Moog, GRP, Synthesizers.com, COTK, Studio Electronics, John Bowen and others. It's their products I'm really interested in ... apart from Vintage Synthesizers, which I have been collecting for 20 years. Subsequent to our former websites Bluesynths and Blogasys, Peter Mahr and I have now created GreatSynthesizers. We hope you like it.