Sonic State Studio / Effects Units / ALESIS Midiverb 4

Average rating: 6.4/10 out of 10

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Saso Podobnik a hobbyist user from Slovenia writes:
The MidiVerb4 has got to be one of the best-selling multi-effect units of all time - due to its longevity, if nothing else. The shallow 1U box was released in 1994, and it's still going as strong as it's ever been. That is part of its problem, however: despite all the price cuts it's received over the years, it's just not terribly relevant in this day and age when you can get the superb Behringer V-Verb for the same amount of money.

Build quality doesn't help it along, either - it's admittedly large, backlit, and informative screen has been identified as its main weak point, however there's also its alpha dial that gets jumpy and unresponsive if you don't use it every single day, and despite being made out of metal, it just doesn't feel very sturdy. One thing I did like about it is the fact that the input and output jacks were secured to the back panel - a sight all too rare on gear regardless of the price. The power supply is external, and not a regular DC unit, but an AC one which might be difficult to obtain if lost or broken.

One thing to be particularly vary of is the internal battery; in theory, it's rechargeable and it shouldn't need replacing, but it will eventually, and the particular design of the battery used by the MidiVerb4 is nowadays all but unobtainable in Europe. Fortunately, my technician managed to adapt the circuit to use a regular battery but the hassle and the labour cost was something I could've done without.

And the sound? Well, unremarkable at best by today's standards, but even then-contemporary units by Yamaha, Ensoniq, and even Zoom units that I compared it to often did better. Reverbs in particular are metallic and incredibly thin - you can almost hear individual reflections, and various spread and diffusion parameters don't help much. The two things I did appreciate were decent MIDI control, and very serviceable dual mono setups, which must have been a very exciting feature fifteen years ago, and one still far from standard today.

The deficiencies in MidiVerb4's sound- and build-quality must have been much easier to overlook fifteen years ago than they are now, and with newer units undercutting it on both fronts, I can't imagine Alesis carrying on with it for much longer. Unlike various Yamaha or Boss units, as well as some of the earlier MidiVerb and QuadraVerb processors, it also lacks any sort of character to make it a classic, so if you're able to still get rid of it for a half-decent price, do.

Rating: 4 out of 10 posted Tuesday, 19-Jan-10 at 14:49
Pieter Claessens from Belgium writes:
It's a very reverb for a decent price, but you have to dive in it to get a decent sound. The presets are very plain. Especially the concert-hall algorithm is good. I have it for more than 8 years and I'm still using it.

Rating: 10 out of 10 posted Thursday, 20-Jan-05 at 4:38
simon a hobbyist user from usa writes:
I have to disagree with the previous reviewer. I used Digitech StudioQuad and M-One, and ended up keeping Midiverb 4. I love the interface, editing is very easy, and i wouldn't even call presets crap.I use it on vocal, guitars, synths, and i was surprised that a $200 unit could cover my effect needs, except for compression, distortion.

Rating: 8 out of 10 posted Friday, 10-Sep-04 at 13:11
Heikki a part-timer user from Finland writes:
Presets are pure crap. It's like Alesis tested the unit with a mixer that cuts everything over 3kHz. All that the unit does is add annoying sustain to sibilants. You really have to tweak the presets to get decent effects. It costs pretty much the same as a TC M-One, so buying a Midiverb is like shooting yourself in the leg -- voluntarily.

Rating: 5 out of 10 posted Sunday, 27-Apr-03 at 13:9
birdbrain writes:
forgot to add my 1cent

Rating: 1 out of 10 posted Sunday, 13-Oct-02 at 15:44
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