Synth Site: Alesis: ION: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.3 out of 5
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morten'J a part-time user from Denmark writes:
I love my ION great machine maybe the keyboard is not the best. More effects and Filtertypes is plan. I have both Andromeda and ION and they are great together.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Oct-18-2003 at 13:41
elmokeys a part-time user from Long Island writes:
Yes, it sounds good and really replicates the sounds of real analog well. Yes, it is very programmable, even though the interface is a tiny bit confusing. Still, it has polyphony that is too limited (somewhat excusable) and few effects (less excusable). What is totally inexcusable is that the keyboard itself is absolutely awful - toylike, stiff, not very responsive, no matter what the global setting is and depressingly inadequate. Alesis should have done better in that regard. This would make a nifty module, I suppose, with the right controller.

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Saturday-Oct-18-2003 at 12:24
Scotty a part-time user writes:
I am saying the ION is a good deal and has a multimode filter like the virus, but also filter models 17 of them. Compared to a similarly priced Virus A + controller, the ION is better. I didnt own the version b or c, so I cant fairly compare. I did own the ms2000, and the ION is thicker - though the ms2K did remind me in some instances of my old sh101. The upper tones the ION can do are clear and smooth, thats why I like it. And the rotaries...

posted Tuesday-Oct-14-2003 at 11:30
Scotty a part-time user from USA writes:
This is a first night at home with the ION review.

1/ Looks, like its carved out of aluminum with lots of colored disc leds, lighted wheels that dim and brighten with value.... all in all very nicely fits next to the new G5

2/ Sounds, comparing it to my Virus A I just sold, not as juicy but a lot more ballsy. This sounds like analog a lot more, and the detuned full stack test comes back Monster.

3/ Build. Its packaging was extensive, and the thing aint light. This is built to last.

I wanted a good bass sound with some vintage bits thrown in, and this is it. Worth the money, I heard this could be the next jp8000, but who knows.

Also, offers multiple filter models like oberheim and roland jp for example, 2 and 4 pole variations. All rotary encoders are solid enough to feel part of the case.

More, later. Scotty

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Oct-09-2003 at 21:24
neverwin a part-time user from USA writes:
Im suprised that there are not more reviews considering the stir that this unit has caused.

This synth is MSRP 800$ so we'll keep that in mind as I talk about the Alesis ION. Alesis kept this unit so cheap by putting all of their effort into the sound, so let me talk first about where ALESIS did not put any effort into. 1. The keyboard, its not as bad as everyone says but its not great either. 2. Polyphony at 8 voices its no Virus but keep in mind the MS2000 only has 4 and the JP8080 is only a little better with 10. 3. Effects.... well what do you want? 4. Arpeggiators....ok here is my biggest gripe, these arps stink, they are non user programmible and totally over-programmed and largely unusable, this may be fixed in a later OS but well have to wait and see.

On to the rest. 1. The layout, really f-ing sweet here. You have four parts or patches to a program and you can map them across the keybpard as you like. Essentially the ION is a hardware version of Emagics ES2 3 oscillators, two filters, FM, noise , external input, two lfos and a S&H and a modulation matrix, furthermore there are drive effects and standard effects. It has a great big display, and when you move knob the display jumps to that parameter (bravo bravo)also the knobs themselves have no settings, they turn 360degrees, I cant emphasize enough how awesome this is for live work and recording, when you switch patches and turn down a level or filter you dont get that stupid "jump" that happens on ALL other units. Also when you change the waveform of the oscillators the display shows the actual waveform, which i must insist you try if you can. In fact because of its ergonomics and usability I would really recommend this synth over the JP8080 or MS2000 as a starter synth for anyone interested in sound synthesis.

2. Sound........phat.....f-in phat ass phat phatty phatness. I dont know about patches, patches are for posers. Considering i can make up a mind bending growling bassline or a silky smooth pad or a rhythmic sample & hold tempo based LFO trance stack in a matter of minutes with the ION i just havent bothered to sort through all the preprogrammed nonsense. But HOW does it sound, well it sounds very very analog-like thanks to the Alesis effort put into the DSP processors, there's even an oscillator drift setting that emulates the inconcistencies only found in analog VCOs. Anyway its largely a smooth punchy sound reminiscent of 70s synthesizers, however Im convinced you can get almost any sound you want out of this mo fo.

For the newbies reading this review let me clarify who the ION is for. This unit is a SYNTH, it makes sounds with 3 oscillators. If you are looking for an all in one unit that has guitars pianos and drums etc this is not for you, get a wavetable synthesizer. However if you have a rig already (especially if you have a sampler like the EMU ultra series whereby polyphony doesnt matter cause you can sample and map it anyway) and your looking to add very high quality analog type SYNTH sounds to your music, and you cant afford a Moog or a Waldorf Q or you want more functionality than a Juno106 or an Arp Odyssey then you should seriously consider the ION.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-Oct-02-2003 at 20:33
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