Alesis Ion -the love that dare not speak its name ;) ?

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Post by miket156 » Wed Aug 29, 2007 5:39 pm

Quote by Bob-omb:

"Personally I think that the Alesis Ion has got far too klicky envelopes, stiff keyboard, worthless arpeggiator and a horrible look. The effects on it are not very useful either.
I've always liked the Micron better even though it's a bastard to edit sometimes. Better keyboard, better effects and a step sequencer really makes it more fun than it's bigger brother. The horrible looks and klicky envelopes are still there though."

Please explain "klicky envelopes"?
Stiff KB: Remember, the ION sells for $599.00, so you except an EXPENSIVE keybed? The action isn't the greatest, but the ION doesn't cost $2000.00 either. Yoozer mentioned the keys are a bit shorter. True, although I don't have a problem with them not being piano sized keys. I can play the ION just fine.

IIRC, the Micron doesn't have a better keybed than the ION, they are both "inexpensive".
NO effects? It was already mentioned that vintage synths never came with any effects either. Alesis was surprised that people expected reverb on the ION, they decided to put reverb in the Micron, which came after the ION. I only use the ARP on my ION in one song, so its not a big deal, ARPS aren't that useful to me.

I own a number of vintage analogs....Prophet 5, Arp Odyssey, Moog Source, and have owned others in the past. Although NO VA will sound as "organic" as a vintage synth, the ION does a great job of sounding like a lot of other synths and works great for my classic rock show. Otherwise I would have to carry more than the ION along with my ES8. It fits the bill and its at a price I don't have to worry about. I have mine 3 years, gig with it, and I haven't had any problems with it.

Mike T.

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Post by Bitexion » Wed Aug 29, 2007 5:54 pm

Not compared to the Minimax, but that is a "one-trick pony", it only emulates the Minimoog down to the last circuit. Ion is a more versatile beast, and all the filter models lets it take on characteristics of Oberheims, Arp, jupiters aswell as the moog filter.

Plus there's so much modulation possibilities, the mod matrix is more like a modular synth with virtual patch cables.

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Post by Neonlights84 » Wed Aug 29, 2007 8:38 pm

Bitexion wrote:Not compared to the Minimax, but that is a "one-trick pony", it only emulates the Minimoog down to the last circuit. Ion is a more versatile beast, and all the filter models lets it take on characteristics of Oberheims, Arp, jupiters aswell as the moog filter.

Plus there's so much modulation possibilities, the mod matrix is more like a modular synth with virtual patch cables.
In conclusion, the Ion is an amazing and complex instrument.

I will say though, that i too hated the size of the keys, while i actually liked the action of them. Come to think of it, i really dont like my an1x's skinny keys...my cs-15 has nice full sized keys and i just feel more comfy playing that machine. I understand that price comes into play, but i think the size could be addressed without making the Ion $2k.
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Post by Filterthing » Fri Aug 31, 2007 1:00 am

would adding an ion to a set up with a ms2000 be redundant? I am dying to get one, the three osc really has me interested.

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Post by killedaway » Fri Aug 31, 2007 2:55 am

Filterthing wrote:would adding an ion to a set up with a ms2000 be redundant? I am dying to get one, the three osc really has me interested.
mine plays alongside a microKORG rather nicely. their characters are different enough to justify a purchase, as long as you like the sound of each.
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Post by Dano » Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:02 pm

I think the Ion would compliment any other va very well. If you already have a va and want to get a second then the Ion is definitely what I would recommend.

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Post by Mpresev » Fri Aug 31, 2007 9:00 pm

I have this IOn synth.. I like use it for bass but I like some of the leads that i come up with.. It's a very thick sounding synth. I like the filters too

I don't understand why ppl don't like the way it looks..

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Post by Logan 5 » Fri Aug 31, 2007 11:36 pm

Hope you enjoy it Track2
I love my ION and it amazes me every time I turn it on.
Its a very sexy-looking machine too in my humble opinion.I have never understood people maligning "lack of effects"-if you want "effects" you get a dedicated unit!Hm! :lol:
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Post by Bitexion » Sat Sep 01, 2007 12:06 am

That's what I'm saying too, if you're so hung-up on having a great reverb or delay, you should have a separate multi-fx unit like the top-notch TC Electronics M300 already.

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Post by Mpresev » Sat Sep 01, 2007 12:39 am

the reason why I got the Ion is because it sounds good and it didn't have effects which means the character of the synth.

try this, turn off the lights at night and turn on your IOn.. You'll hear the Ion saying "oh play with me already you sexy beast"
It's red and silver.. and how can you not like the feel of the knobs.. Definetely one of the best..


I traded KStation for the IOn. I'm glad I did. I had a few VA's and analogs in the past like the Juno, SH, MS, Kstation but the Ion can do all those sounds and it doesn't go out of tune.

www.myspace.com/bornslippy2 the blips and basses is Ion.. Actually 90% of the sounds are the IOn.

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Post by WDW » Sat Sep 01, 2007 2:16 am

The ION, at least to my ears, is the most authentic sounding VA. It has a richness and organicness (yeah, that is not a word) that no other VA that I have heard matches. It sounds analogue. Turn on the OSC drft feature, and it really sounds real.

As for the effects, yes, some are weak, and some are non-existent. But, if you turn off the effects for most other VAs, then some of those machines sound unimpressive. The ION still sounds impressive. And, as others have said, there are always outboard effects as an option. None of my vintage ARPs, Korgs, Moogs, Oberheims, Rolands or Yamahas have built-in effects. And no one would think anything odd or weak about that. The problem is that many of the younger/newer synthesists have never worked with vintage gear and have no clue about outboard effects or even know what a raw synth sound is. [Heck, complaining about a synth's lack of built-in effects is akin to complaining about not having built-in effects in a guitar.]

The only place where I feel that the ION lacks is in the keybed. Short keys and no channel-pressure/aftertouch is a bit of a letdown. But it is not a show-stopper. The ION is still plenty playable.

WD

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ion appearence

Post by truthsteppa » Sat Sep 01, 2007 5:37 am

I just want to respond that I think the Ion is one of the greatest looking new synths around. Alesis must have followed the ipods lead and hired a seperate design team for its looks..It is so current and an excellent representation of what's happenning today-at this moment- and not trying to be some other era or something. It and the micron are so beautiful they could almost just be hung on the wall as art but then You wouldn't have the joy of playimg them :wink:

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Post by Bitexion » Sat Sep 01, 2007 5:53 am

Aftertouch would be a lovely feature, but it is more or less replaced by the second modwheel that you can assign normal AT features like filter cutoff, vibrato and other things.

The software will accept incoming poly aftertouch though, I've tested using the SQ-80 and it works perfectly. I guess it is easy to implement in software but very expensive in hardware.

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Post by Filterthing » Sat Sep 01, 2007 5:58 am

WDW wrote:Heck, complaining about a synth's lack of built-in effects is akin to complaining about not having built-in effects in a guitar.
that is a great point

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Post by WDW » Sat Sep 01, 2007 6:05 am

Bitexion wrote:Aftertouch would be a lovely feature, but it is more or less replaced by the second modwheel that you can assign normal AT features like filter cutoff, vibrato and other things.
And that is precisely what I do, but I have grown accustomed to using AT in my playing. Thus, when I need AT using the ION, I end up playing one of my controllers to realize the desired effect. Not a big deal really. The ION merely becomes a lovely silver and red sound module.

WD

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