Synth Site: Alesis: NanoSynth: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.8 out of 5
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Martin a hobbyist user from Sweden writes:
This small things is filled with pretty sounds. But get the serial cable("to host"-cable) or it will take 16 channels from a midiOUT. Pretty good GM banks, but who uses them? Easy to use. Since I have no other instrument that can produce "realistic" sounds, it added needed sounds in my synth-rack. The size is a plus.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Mar-07-2000 at 17:48
Rich a hobbyist user from USA writes:
Price Paid New: $249.00

Review: A lot of Bang for the Buck, but there are a few drawbacks.

Sounds: Average sounds for modules costing less than $500.00.

Ease of Operation: Not all functions are avaiable without the use of a computer. The functions that are available without a computer are simple to execute.

Value: Pricewise, this module is hard to resist for the budget conscious. But be forwarned you get what you pay for.

Comparison: I base my opinions comparing the Nanosynth to a Roland JV-1010, and a Korg N1r. The Korg wins the features battle because it has a lot more controls accessable via the unit, and is followed by the Roland, and in last is the Nanosynth. Roland wins the sound quality battle because the patches are rather dry and sound the best through a keyboard amp, and is followed by alesis/korg(tied). Ease of operation is won by the Nanosynth even though more than half of its operations can only be performed by computer, and is followed by the korg, and lastly Roland. I paid roughly $150.00 more for the Roland and Korg units which each had about 800 more patches available without a computer. I would say 10% of these patches are not covered on the Nanosynth. For people without a computer the N1r is the way to go. For people with a computer it's just a matter of how much you want to spend. If money is no object, don't get any of these. Get a JV-1080/2080.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Dec-22-1999 at 15:29
phil bjork a hobbyist user from USA writes:
All I gotta say is that for the $250 I spent to get a used one of these, I got a whole lot more than I paid for. When I first tested out the sounds just playing them from a controller at the store I was not impressed, but when I got mine, and played with sounds, discovered their potential, I was amazed. I suggest only buying this if you can access the last three banks (if you have a decent controller you can do this) because this is where all the cool sounds are. Great for techno (especially if you load on the 2nd extra bank) the sounds have some nice sweeps and filter type stuff, and many filters and parameters can be altered with a mod wheel and sliders like an analog, though it sounds nothing like one, which is good. The presets are solid and useful, and are all that I use because the editing program (unysin) although supposedly very good, is also very confusing. I always get an error message that my nanosynth's midi out isn't connected to the computer, even when it is. One other great part is the drums. AWESOME!!!! realistic 909,808, real drums great for breakbeats, and great bass sounds. (i should know, I play yhe bass) There are some confusing parts, so keep the manual handy, but this is a great synth for the money. Hook it up with a nanobass, sampler, vintage synth and listen in delight. I highly reccomend.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Nov-26-1998 at 14:21
Rich Glover a part-timer user from USA writes:
I've had the NanoSynth for a few months. It's flexible and has a lot of sounds. The piano sounds are weak, organ sounds are good. The strings, basses and brass are quite good. With my controller, it handles splits/layers with ease and its footprint is small. I have not used it with a PC yet. The front controls are confusing and tricky to use. But using a controller via MIDI it is easy to operate, especially after saving the patches.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Friday-Aug-28-1998 at 00:10
Daniel Means a hobbyist user from USA writes:
If you are planning to use this module exclusively with your computer

and are willing to spend many many hours trying to figure out how everything

works then this is an incredible module. If your more of a plug in and play, if I can't figure at least most of it out without the manual then I don't want it type of person who just wants to play and not put so much effort into a module as to merit a degree in MIDI programming, then this module is not for you (or me). The Sounds themselves are really quite good. Well, the pianos actually suck, and so do some of the other acoustic instruments. There are lots of programming parameters such as envelopes, LFOs, portamento, effects (very confusing to program though), mono/poly modes, excellect modulation routing.

The manual included (apart from the program charts)is really not worth the paper it was printed on. You must use MOTU's UNIsyn to edit the user patches, but I've found that Unisyn is far too difficult for me to work with. Contrary to what Alesis claims in the Nano's Unisyn profile, nothing is self-explanatory and no operations other than the actual sound editing is obvious. Alesis also claims there are 640 programs in this thing, which is true, but there are really only more like 128 programs five times which only a few little parameters changed from bank to bank. Each bank is really like an aternate General MIDI bank, not totally different sounds which is kind of a bummer and seems kinda like a waste of three banks. Another big drawback is the effects. While the effects themselves are excellent, only one effect program can be used at a time so for instance if you are doing a sequence with multiple channels and you want different effects on the different parts you can't do it. What ever effect is active on channel 1 is the one which all programs will have to share. For the price you can't expect to get a whole hell of a lot of features, even though there are quite a bit of them for the price in this module. For me however the cons outweighed the pros in this module. If you want a good inexpensive module to use solely with your computer then I would recommend the NanoSynth. If you want something fairly simple to use for performance then I would suggest looking at something else.

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Aug-05-1998 at 23:35
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