February 3, 2005
../ 2005 NAMM Report: Alesis
Alesis, another company whose recent
design makeover was clearly inspired by Apple Computer, announced many new products at the show. The rumor
about a new Alesis workstation turned out to be true. Alesis flaunted two versions of their new Fusion workstation the 6HD
and the 8HD. The only difference is the 6HD has 61 semi-weighted keys and the 8HD has 88 fully-weighted keys. Both keyboards have a nice feel and the
build quality is first rate. The Fusion sports four
synthesis types: virtual analog, FM, sample playback and physical modeling. It includes a 24bit sampler with
up to 192MB of onboard storage and 8 tracks of 24bit hard disk recording with the onboard 40 GIG drive. A 32 track
MIDI sequencer with digital audio tracks is also featured, and the board has
multichannel analog and digital inputs/outputs. A special Fusion DVD, CD-R and/or external hard disk storage capability
will be available by Christmas 2005 when version 2.0 of the software bows.
We weren't blown away by the demo, but the synth sounded good for a full-featured workstation. Hopefully the synth will have the ability to attach a third-party external drive
or a CD-R. If not, it is a major misstep and will definitely be a deterrent to musicians who are in the market for a new workstation.
Alesis joined the keyboard controller fray with the Photon X49. This slick
49 key velocity sensitive USB/MIDI controller features 60 assignable buttons, knobs and faders. The pitch bend and
modulation wheel, as well as many of the buttons, have Star Trek backlighting. The Photon X49 also sports, what
Alesis calls, an AXYZ dome controller that utilizes infrared technology to modulate plug-ins, effects or anything other
parameter you can assign to it in your software program. The Photon can be powered by the USB bus, or via batteries so it
won't drain your laptop if you take it on the road.
The Alesis Photon X49. The dome on the upper left is the AXYZ controller.
We all really liked Alesis' new line of compact FireWire mixers which come in 8, 12 and 16 channel incarnations. We
weren't able to assess the sound quality, but the build was top notch. The mixers feature
24bit, 44.1/48 kHz operation with A/D and D/A conversion taking place through their Dice II FireWire chipset. Each
channel features 60mm faders, 3 band EQ and an aux send. A handful of the channels also feature a high gain mic/line
XLR and balanced 1/4" inputs with phantom power. Each mixer also features 100 28bit onboard effects including delays,
reverbs, pitch, chorus, flange and multieffects.
>>> Next: Damage Control
< NAMM 2005 Index >
Employment Opportunities | Contact Us
Copyright © 2005 Futuremusic® All Rights Reserved.
As the name correctly implies, Experiments In Sound, is Futuremusic's latest endeavor for pushing electronic music technology to the very edge of what's possible. Experiments In Sound grew out of Futuremusic's avant-garde events in
New York City that featured DJ's taking mixing and live sound reinforcement to a whole new level with the very latest gear and software. Be the first to hear
about Experiments In Sound by joining Futuremusic Direct.
Part of Experiments In Sound, TestDrive will feature the lab results of our DJ Experiments so that everyone can get in on the action. Take the latest electronic music releases, mix vigorously
with bleeding-edge DJ technology in a large beeker, and then cook the hell out of it! Be the first to hear
about TestDrive by joining Futuremusic Direct.
Futuremusic wants to thank everyone who participated in The Next Big Thing 2004. John Digweed, Beatport, Alienware, M-Audio, Native Instruments, IK Multimedia,
PVDJ, PK Graphics, Ableton, The DubHouse, Propellerheads, Technics, FreeFloat, The Church, PCDJ and every DJ who entered this year's event thank you. From the sheer number of
quality mixes, we can tell you that dance music is thriving in the United States. The amount of outstanding talent and creativity really blew us away, and every DJ who's putting
their heart, mind and soul behind the music is a winner. John Digweed has
made his decision and the winner is...
Digihear? Stories: January 2005
Digihear? Stories: December 2004
Digihear? Stories: November 2004
Digihear? Stories: October 2004
Digihear? Stories: September 2004
Digihear? Stories: August 2004
Digihear? Stories: July 2004
Digihear? Stories: June 2004