In 2003, Alesis unleashed the Ion, an eight0voice synthesizer that injected artery‑clogging fatness into the world of analogue modelling.
Rather than releasing a rack version, Alesis followed up with a petite and curious spin‑off called the Micron.
Or, indeed, wholesale plundering, as is the case here.
For at its software heart, the Akai Miniak is an Alesis Micron, with an updated design and a bundled microphone.
It is testament to Alesis' programming skills that their work has received a new lease of life in 2010, presumably on the back of the success of Korg's Microkorg XL.
The Korg has a broadly similar spec, and Akai invite closer comparisons with the addition of a gooseneck microphone.
Thrusting proudly from the panel, this mic is aided and abetted by a sticker pointing out how to operate the vocoder.
As to why it's Akai rather than Alesis on the box, it seems that with the passing of the mighty Andromeda, Alesis aren't currently associated with keyboards, so the role falls to Akai.
With such a close relationship between the Miniak and the Alesis Micron, it makes more sense to revisit the latter synth's review in the January 2005 issue of Sound On Sound.
Here we'll recap briefly, focusing on any significant differences encountered.
At 5.4kg, the Miniak is heavier and more substantial than the Micron, and its main encoder inspires a little more confidence too.