Alesis had their new GRIP bass processor on show at NAMM, but the unit was not plugged in. I'm calling this unit the "Box Alesis Forgot" because there is no information about it on their web site, and there was absolutely no literature on it at the NAMM show either! Looking forwward to reading more about it sometime soon. :-)
The GRIP is a stereo in stereo out device that is a sub-bass harmonic synthesizer, adding a lower tone an octave below the notes being played. I assume the GRIP also can be used mono in and stereo out, but couldn't confirm that because the back of the unit was not visible. There is a third output along with the stereo outs, meant to be used with a powered sub-woofer. There's also a low cut knob that allows the user to control the signal going to the sub-woofer output.
The front panel sports a number of knobs. Starting from the left we find the Input volume knob and a crossover knob called "Xover" that allows adjustment of the crossover from 40-160 Hz. Next comes a low cut switch, which operates at a preset 120 Hz, followed by the Sub Bass level control and then the Bass Drive and Level knobs. The metering consists of three horizontal ladder type displays: Input Level, Gain Reduction, and Bass Level. My understanding is that there is a preset compressor inside the GRIP, which explains the Gain Reduction metering. Again, with no literature I can't really say with any certainty how the compressor works, if there is indeed one inside.
To the right of the metering is the Lo-Cut knob, adjustable from 20-8 Hz. there is an output level control, and finally, a Bypass button.
The GRIP seems like it would be quite easy and intuitive to operate, and the signal flow is clear from the way the front panel controls are organized. Wish I could have heard it, but perhaps soon. According to the Alesis rep I spoke with, the unit is completely finished and is just waiting for the manufacturing run.
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