An 8-voice polyphonic digitally controlled analog synthesizer with a 61-note keyboard.
The first professional synth from Akai, produced between 1984 and 1987. The original asking price was $1395, but it was soon reduced to $999.

Each voice of the AX80 contains two VCOs with sawtooth and square waveforms, along with a square-only sub-oscillator. The oscillators can be hard-synced as well as cross-modulated. VCO1 features PWM and VCO2 is detuneable.
A self-oscillating 4-pole (24dB/octave) low-pass VCF is available as the filter on each voice, along with an additional non-dynamic high-pass VCF. The filter section has its own ADSR envelope generator. Controls include cut-off, resonance, key follow and envelope amount.
For modulation, the AX80 offers 3 LFOs: one for each oscillator plus one for the filter. All of them are switchable between square, sawtooth, ramp and triangle waveforms, and feature typical controls for depth, rate and delay. Note that there are only 3 LFOs in total, shared by all playing voices. Furthermore, VCO1 has its own osc controlling the the pulse width modulation.

The AX80's memory holds 32 preset sounds and 64 user patches. Backup and extra storage is only possible via a cassette interface, SysEx is not supported on the unit's MIDI implementation.
Other features include chord memory, hold, velocity sensitivity on the keyboard, typical pitch/mod wheels, MIDI in/out/thru and pedal plugs.
The front panel on the AX80 resembles the mid-80s trend, with a small number of membrane buttons and a large data wheel replacing the previously traditional sliders and knobs.

The synth uses Curtis' CEM 3372 chips as the VCFs and VCAs.

101.8cm (w) x 39.2cm (d) x 10.2cm (h)

Information gathered from a large amount of sources around the web.

back to Akai