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Alesis Andromeda A6
A one-of-a-kind synth "monster", the Alesis Andromeda has been lavishly praised as "the ultimate analog poly-synth" and judged to reside among the all time synthesizer greats. It was first released in 2001 and, not for the first time, was "discontinued" in 2010, amidst speculations as to whether another run will be manufactured.
The Andromeda is a hybrid Analog-Digital synth - with an "all-analog" signal path and digital microprocessor control, digital effects (which can be bypassed entirely), and digital tuning.
Programming the Alesis Andromeda can be as simple as adjusting a filter setting, or highly complex. Many of the synth's more esoteric functions are not immediately accessible via the knobs, even though there are many of these - and will need to be accessed via the 640x240 pixel screen's menus, which are connected to a "soft row" of 8 knobs assigned to the various deeper functions of the machine.
Modulation of parameters can be involved, and the Andromeda features a modulation matrix of 71 modulation sources and 92 destinations. In many regards, the synth features a huge array of possibilities - for example the envelopes, of which there are three, are assignable to a multitude of destinations, have seven stages, and a choice of nine selectable slopes per stage. They can also be looped. This level of depth is typical of the possibilities the Andromeda gives... and all in all it is well deserving of its reputation as a "beast of a synthesizer."
Sound quality of the machine is "definitely analog", although it has its own unique flavor and subtle difference to other analog machines. Part of the reason for this may be the algorithms used for digital control, another part may be the fact that the analog circuitry is not "discrete" but is in the form of custom designed integrated circuits.
A note on the name - as can be seen from the front panel, the synth is officially named the Alesis A6 Andromeda. The choice of "A6" as the model number was apparently a play on words; as the custom-designed chips used at the heart of the Andromeda were called ASICs (Application-Specific Integrated Circuits).
Alesis Andromeda Reviews:
Resources and other links:
Alesis Andromeda Manuals / Tutorials:
Alesis Andromeda Videos:
Slideshow demo of the Alesis Andromeda playing U2's "Where The Streets Have No Name"!
Demo of some Bass sounds on the Andromeda, judge the "fatness" for yourself!
Demo of pads and many other wild sounds of the Alesis Andromeda