Synth Site: alesis: Andromeda (A6): User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.5 out of 5
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Sam O a professional user from PA writes:
I'm giving the A6 a 5 because its the most awesome synth I've played in years, and because of the moron below who gave it a 1 just because he's a moron.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Mar-31-2001 at 23:40
Chad Gould a part-time user from St. Petersburg, FL writes:
Preliminary review:

Basic stuff: Keys feel great. Tied with the K5000, probably nearly the same Fatar brand. Knobs feel fairly solid. Panel is flashy but quite functional; it blends in with my studio, but may not with yours. Build quality is much more solid than typical Alesis.

Programmability: The thing does not shine until you command it to do otherwise. And unlike many synths, the presets are a bad point to start with, because a lot of them are heavily modulated (leading to unpredictable results). I find the best sounds often come from an initialized patch gone simple, adding as you go. Ranks up with the Matrix 12 in terms of possibilities, but different sounding.

Sound: Think of a Memorymoog, than replace the oscillators with something brighter (ala ARP), and add a bit of Matrix 12 weirdness. Not quite the presence, but can get there with judicious use of Unison X and panning. Perhaps additional features later in OS life will add more presence with more features. All knobs are very sensitive; makes finite programming a bugger but makes sweeps real easy. Ribbon control adds to expressiveness as well. Digital effects merely enhance the synth over the PA. This synth is best experienced over a PA cranked loud. :)

Likes: The sound is great. The interface is a joy to program for such a complex synth. It's real easy to bring up a modulation and

Dislikes: A bit on the bright side, ala the Waldorf Q (or ARPs for that matter), for an analog. In fact useful range of pot is a bit low (first 1/4 is the best sweep).

Also, really, the OS is still in a state of unkemptness, which is typical for an initial-released product these days. In one year you'll be singing the praises of the OS just like the (initially buggy and so much more incomplete) Waldorf Q, I bet.

Best features: Pads, some basslines, brightly agressive sounds, weirdness, "classic" analog sounds. Keep a monosynth for "snappier" basslines but this is a stage replacement for (Prophet 5 / Memomrymoog / Oberheim OB-?) IMHO. Programmed correctly only the sound-picky will notice the difference.

OVERALL: Some people need complex analog, some people do not. This is the first complex analog since the Matrix 12 (the OBMX does not count), and already it beats it feature for feature. Programmed right, the bass kills virtuals out of the water; the "Unison X" produces stacked pads and stabs that sound WAY thicker than a VA as well.

Recommended if you are an "early adapter" now. Wait until the OS is solidified for the rest of us, and you'll be much happier. :)

Also: Only recommended if you enjoy analog. People hype analog a lot, but few have experienced a massive polysynth. So try before you buy. I personally love the unpredictability and the added harmonics but some will desire some other sound.

Great job by Alesis on many of the features that make sound programming fun.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Mar-27-2001 at 00:03
Mark a professional user from USA writes:
There are two sides to every story, and now there are two sides to the story of the Andromeda A6. The first side is this: The synth sounds incredible, analog is definitely different than VA and you can hear it in this synth immediately. The second side of the story is this: The keyboard does not function as advertised, at least not yet. If anyone who sequences with this unit is happy, I would be suprised. First of all, the velocity sensitivity is extremely low and not adjustable (the manual has instructions for changing the velocity sensitivity, but the current OS does not allow you to do it). Secondly, none of the knobs on the board send controllers yet. When used with an external controller, this board sounds better than when you use it with the internal keys. Alesis has essentially released an unfinished product. Now having said all of this, all the people at Alesis will tell me is that they are working on OS updates, no ETA for the features of the board that are advertised but don't exist yet.

Rating: 1 out of 5 posted Monday-Mar-26-2001 at 20:02
MLC a part-time user from Phoenix, AZ writes:
First played the Andromeda at NAMM this year, and was very impressed! I bought one as soon as it was available, and have had it for nearly 2 months. This is simply the most amazing synth I have played since I owned a minimoog....the more I play it, the more I love it, unlike anything else I have owned. Call the panel ugly if you want (I don't), but once you start playing it, you would not want anything else- it simply makes you want to tweak and program sounds. The ribbon is just too amazing, the keyboard has great feel (right up there with the Kawai K5000), and everytime you touch a knob, the diplay brings up all relevant parameters instantly (I use the pass-thru mode, nice to have options!). And the sounds? Some people are disappointed by the presets (I believe they are too heavily effected- but you are one button push away from fixing that!), but if you are buying this machine based on presets the A6 is not the machine for you. I have already programmed dozens of new sounds, and tweaked nearly everything else- this machine now sounds like ME. It's all there- powerful bass, monster pads, sweetest ethereal stuff, screaming leads, etc. It can do Moog, Oberheim, and Yamaha CS-80 (YES!!!!) types of sounds. Oh, it doesn't sound like an old Roland???? Go into the PROCESS module, and tweak the "Engine Optimizer" parameters to change the response of the oscillators, enevelopes, and filters, et voila! Not to mention that it will also get sounds that are nothing like any vintage analog ever, but are definitely ANALOG. Want to really hear the difference? Put an Access Virus (my personal favorite VA) next to an A6, select OS 4.02 preset "Padings RP" on the Virus, and Preset Bank 2 #004 "Soft Strings" on the A6- these are nearly identically sounding patches that really show you 1) how great the Virus is for analog emulation, and 2) how true analog sounds better, and no VA comes close. I have since sold my Virus and my Microwave XT30, I don't need them anymore....

Solid build, knobs feels great (I still can't believe this is from Alesis), sounds incredible, it is a true labor of love from a bunch of analog synth fanatics, and it shows! It incorporates much of the best of the golden age of analog, while also taking it further than it ever went before. I am truly thrilled with it (couldn't ya tell?)!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Mar-24-2001 at 11:16
Paul Sop a hobbyist user from Canada writes:
Got the Andromeda March 17th, and it is very liquid (paid 3700 CDN pesos). I tease sounds like elastic bands, modulating everything, and I like the range and freedom with the Andromeda. The analogness is, of course, nice blah blah.

However, I really like the playability and the 16 outputs are teriffic for running through my effects systems. I agree that the keyboard could be better. I'm stupid, so I'd pay an extra grand for a complete lack of knob-wobble and some kind of cast-iron case hehe.

I have a lot of modeling synths (Triton, MS2000R, An1x, the electribes) and of course, pure analog is rather rich. I think there are definately people who don't really appreciate the nuances between sounds. My only other peice of pure analog gear is the Juno 60, which I find I play a lot more than make sense, so I went with the Andromeda. Now that I have the andromeda, I'm quite happy. It does what it claims, and my expectaions are quite satisfied. Worth the money. I'm probably gonna sell the MS2000R (okay vocoder tho) and a bit of other kit (some Electrix stuff). I'm giving the andromeda a 4/5 because a 5 to me gives me more "innovation" in the mutilation or chaos-based-reasoning kind of scale. I remember things like the old buchla's and other modulars that were extremely experimental and had a lot of goofy ideas (Source of Uncertainty, etc...). It seems that everyone requires apple-apple and orange-orange comparables to war over. The andromeda makes a very good sound (good dynamics, not too compressed), and as far as interface goes, it's very sweet and workable. Could use some more insanity tho ;)

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Saturday-Mar-17-2001 at 18:24
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