Considering all the kerfuffle surrounding the change of ownership Alesis and uncertainty that followed with it Alesis have done an amazing job bringing a brace of new products to the market. The newest of these is the ION, a new 8-voice 4-part multitimbral analog modeling 49-key synth. The processor inside runs at an impressive 500mips (million instructions per second). This according to Alesis, is significantly faster than the CPUs in most current analog modeled synths.
According to Alesis, the ION features "bold sounds for cutting-edge music-making".
With three oscillators and two multi-mode filters per voice, the sound engine "serves up everything from warm, round bass tones to lush pads and gritty lead sounds, making ION perfect for music styles ranging from rock to funk and the latest house, techno and trance dance styles. "
The ION has a control encrusted user interface, with 30 realtime control knobs, 70+ direct-access buttons, a pitch bend wheel, and two assignable modulation wheels. Additionally, a 160x160 graphic LCD provides high-contrast feedback throughout a variety of operations.
The ION's onboard effects include chorus, flange, phaser, echo, distortion, fuzz, compressor and more-all developed using Alesis' legendary effects algorithms. Of particular note is the ION's full-featured Vocoder, which can perform up to 40 bands of vocoding with no negative impact on the ION's polyphony.
Connections include four balanced analog outputs and stereo balanced analog inputs, as well as MIDI In and Out/Thru ports. A built-in switching power supply is also included.
The ION on show was a prototype, we can expect to hear it for ourselves in the next 30 days or so.
It's target price is $799 and will be available in September.