Alesis Andromeda and the "errors"

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Bob-omb
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Alesis Andromeda and the "errors"

Post by Bob-omb » Tue Aug 14, 2007 5:57 pm

Some days ago I tested an Alesis Andromeda that I really liked and I have been thinking about getting one. But when I looked around for reviews I found that the Andromeda had some errors. The worst cases had dead voices and drifiting VCO:s (in the bad wasy that is). It is also supposed to have clicky envelopes - something that Alesis hasn't fixed yet AFAIK.

I know that there are people here that have got the Andromeda. Have I missed something here or is this what I must consider when buying one? :?

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Post by MrFrodo » Tue Aug 14, 2007 6:09 pm

I always thought clicky envelopes were a good thing. Is the click in the attack stage? Couldn't you just increase the innitial attack time to eliminate it? I don't own an A6, but that sounds like a typical fix.
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Post by elmacaco » Tue Aug 14, 2007 6:22 pm

Some Andromeda's have manufacturing faults that need to be either repaired or replaced. If you buy new you can get them to repair or replace any defective unit, there is documentation on the various a6 lists that detail this, try electro-music's a6 forum.

clicky envelopes can be adjusted with the engine optimization settings, which will speed up or slow down the envelope speed. I don;t find them clicky, but the envelopes are perhaps the most complex part of the synth, after a year and a half I still don;t understand them fully, maybe even mostly. most other synths you don;t have to think about the envelopes at all, so it makes for a different experience that not everybody likes regarding immediacy. The Andromeda is really all the synth I'll ever need and more, but its nice to have friends.

;)

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Post by synthetic88 » Tue Aug 14, 2007 6:34 pm

Get a guarantee if you're iffy on it. I can't imagine any dealer in the US that wouldn't take a unit back if it was defective. Mine has been trouble-free and making great music for years. :)
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Post by Bob-omb » Tue Aug 14, 2007 7:02 pm

synthetic88 wrote:Get a guarantee if you're iffy on it. I can't imagine any dealer in the US that wouldn't take a unit back if it was defective. Mine has been trouble-free and making great music for years. :)
But well of course. Can't understand why I never thought about that. Sorry... :oops: I guess I've been dealing with vintage synths so long that I have forgot about guarantee on synths. :lol:

Ok, it looks like I'll get an Andromeda then (if the new DSI don't totally change my mind). :) Thanks for the info friends!

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Post by Keith Phillips » Tue Aug 14, 2007 7:54 pm

I never really thought the envelopes were terribly clicky... Install the 1.40.13 beta firmware and you get an extra engine optimizer setting that you can use. The envelopes also have an adjustable smoothing factor for blending them when they are looping (if you dont use the back and forth aka: "rock and roll" setting on the env loop.) The envelopes run on the fastest part of the Andomeda in terms of CPU/processing, and it is really above-and-beyond other analog synths in this sort of department in my opinion. :)

I've not had problems with any voices on mine, though I am not sure when it was made. It was a demo model from last year that was barely used at all. This was when the synth was not really being produced and there was nearly 10+ months of backorder on A6 stock..

I did hear of some semi-recent batches though that have had some problems and I think that was taken care of. (bad QA/parts management?) I think most people have been able to get them fixed though.

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Post by synthetic88 » Tue Aug 14, 2007 9:30 pm

There's a "Process" menu that allows you to dial in just how clicky the envelopes are, from ultra-fast to slow. Unlike every other synth ever made. 8)

Be sure to have a comfortable chair when you start programming, this thing is DEEP.
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Post by amni » Tue Aug 14, 2007 10:10 pm

I bought a new A6 last Saturday and it works fine :-)

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Post by MrFrodo » Tue Aug 14, 2007 10:18 pm

They're probably like guitars, no two exactly alike. Especially if you're talking analog sound generators.
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Post by synthetic88 » Tue Aug 14, 2007 10:20 pm

I'm not surprised. If a lot of units are getting returned to the manufacturer for warranty repair, the company isn't making any money on them. So they're going to take care of problems before they get to that stage. I think any unit you buy now will be fine, the problems were over a year ago.
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Post by Dirk » Wed Aug 15, 2007 7:58 am

Keith Phillips wrote:I never really thought the envelopes were terribly clicky... Install the 1.40.13 beta firmware and you get an extra engine optimizer setting that you can use. The envelopes also have an adjustable smoothing factor for blending them when they are looping (if you dont use the back and forth aka: "rock and roll" setting on the env loop.) The envelopes run on the fastest part of the Andomeda in terms of CPU/processing, and it is really above-and-beyond other analog synths in this sort of department in my opinion. :)
Does 1.40.13 have bugs?

The reason that for example the minimoogs envelopes sound so snappy is because they are cliped. This means that they stay at maximum level for about 30ms before they go into the decay stage.
You can do this on the A6 by making the envelope level higher than 100.
Or: Set D2 level to max and make decay1 30ms. (basicaly same as clipping, but now you can set the envelope level below 100)
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Post by elmacaco » Wed Aug 15, 2007 2:03 pm

The most common mistake with the Andromeda that I've seen is not giving it a warm up before autotune. if you switch it on and auto tune it, it gets all kinds of problems, but if you let it warm up 15 minutes or so, then autotune, the rogue voices come into line unless it is a really faulty unit. The issue is that not warming up will make it seem like it's messed up and has bad voices when it doesn't. There are those with the real problems.

Dirk, how do you take the A6 envelopes above 100? send positive modulation to it while maxed at 100? gotta try that had no idea it would do anything.

When I talked to Numark people, the Andromeda is a money maker, just not huge, but for a synth in its 6th or so year of production its holding it's own quite well. I hear they sell several every month and have a slow production process to keep the supply up.

One of the many things I love about the Andromeda is it is as deep as they come yet you can do so much so fast because of all the knobs!

For future synths, I think ot would be ideal to have more dedicated modulation amount controls for every module. Instead of the mod buttons, a mod amount pot for each. Seems like what the John Bowen synth is sort of doing, but it doesn't really matter, the Andromeda is such a wonderful instrument to play.

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Post by Juno6 » Wed Aug 15, 2007 3:52 pm

Dirk wrote: You can do this on the A6 by making the envelope level higher than 100.
And you can make it clip by applying an offset.

JZ:

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Post by Dirk » Wed Aug 15, 2007 5:30 pm

elmacaco wrote:Dirk, how do you take the A6 envelopes above 100? send positive modulation to it while maxed at 100? gotta try that had no idea it would do anything.
I use the offset to get then higher than 100, just like juno6 said.

But modulating the env level is worth trying.
(You don't have enough time in a life to explore all the possibilities of the A6.)
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Post by elmacaco » Wed Aug 15, 2007 6:22 pm

Dirk wrote: (You don't have enough time in a life to explore all the possibilities of the A6.)
That's one of the most beautiful things. I think all synths are infinite, but the Andromeda is infinite in almost all directions, feels like I'm floating in a sea of soundheaven when I program it.

Thanks for the envelope offset tip, gotta try that ASAP!

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