Synth Site: Akai: VX-90 synthesizer: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.2 out of 5
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Al a part-time user from London, UK writes:
I've owned mine since new in 1985! It's a cracking piece of gear and it's currently up for sale on ebay.co.uk.

It is definitely totally analogue: the oscillators are all VCOs as opposed to DCOs and it's a versatile beast. It features over 100 single memories - it can't do splits or layers - and I'd say its strengths are pads, strings, basses and fx. It's never let me down and has always had something to offer when I've got a sound in my head. It's a really good addition to any setup.

* The Sampler In port on the back was designed with the S612, S700 and S900 samplers in mind. I owned a S700 briefly and the special lead that connected the two so I did modify the S700's samples with the VX's oscillators. Top banana!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Jul-26-2007 at 02:40
Al a part-time user from London, UK writes:
Wow! I bought my VX new in 1985 and I've still got it. It works a treat and I often come to it when my other kit hasn't quite got what I'm looking for.

Here's something relatively unique: a genuine analogue synth which was fully MIDI, something which was quite unusual for its time as MIDI was coming in as most genuine analogues were going out.

What's it like? It packs a fair punch sonically, and you've a good deal of oscillator power going on. Basically there are three oscillator modes: Poly which is the full six-voice jobbie, Dual which is three-voice as it's able to detune one oscillator against the other and Uni which layers all of the oscillators on each other for a truly FAT sound!

It's great at pads, authentic analogue strings, basses, fx, atmospheres and almost anything you can throw at it. Believe me when I say this is not imitative synthesis: there's no conveniently sampled waveforms here for the French horn sound you neeed - this is real synthesis and there are no limits.

It has 100 memories - all programmable - can process the sounds of a S612, S700 or S900 sampler and is the business generally. If you find one in good condition for under £100, you've done well. Dance act Bizarre Inc used to use one and loved theirs. The fact mine is still with me after all these years is testament to just what a cracking piece of gear it is.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Mar-24-2006 at 13:22
Jason B writes:
Unfortunately, the VX90 is tedious to program as you can't, to my knowledge, add a phatboy or similar controller to program it as there aren't CC# for every parameter. But, it's a hell of an analogue synth, very versatile with lots of parameters and a raw analogue sound, nothing like todays emulators and VAs. In short, if you have the patience to program it, you'll love this machine. Some ignorants compare it to the Juno 106. Forget it, it has powers close to that of the Jupiter 6 and Oberheim OB 8. It's wholly analogue; phat and indutrial and can also sound lush if programmed rightly. I guess it's not so much that it's underrated, but rather the fact that it's so rare, that makes this machine an overlooked piece. And of those that's got one, only a few have really taken the time to program it. If you're a purist, don't hesitate. This is a very capable instrument. And, it's reliable.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Mar-19-2005 at 02:49
FK a hobbyist user from Denmark writes:
Got this for about 200 Euro. Nice, light grey 2U box. Good MIDI specs - hooks up nicely with my other kit. The manual is for the AX73 - which is the keyboard version of the VX90. Only a few pages, but if you know your ADSR's you will have no trouble. The interface is very easy and well layed out.

What is it good for? Well, I guess it does all your basic analogue stuff (with 6 VCOs, VCF lowpass/highpass, LFOs etc.). But whenever I try to do something well behaved on this, I always end up messing with the filter. And believe me - the VX90 filter is completely crazy: set res somewhere between 45 and 100, and it starts to self-oscillate like mad. Combined with the on-board white noise generator, unison mode and the LFO, this can produce absolutely mad, animal-like, distorted sounds. Very analogue, very inspiring. Get one cheap.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-Mar-11-2004 at 05:44
Roald a hobbyist user from Netherlands writes:
A very nice synth for very little money! Consider it a Juno in a box, but then

- fully analog and not digitally controlled - a little meaner! - more solidly built

Extremely easy to program, and it does all your basic sounds...as far as 6 voices go. And that is very far if you stack them in unisono mode! It is best at brassy sounds and leads, and goes well with organs and other classic pop/rock instruments. It is hard to find, and I am very happy with mine, considering the 180Eur I spent.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Monday-Jan-21-2002 at 18:06
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