Ion discontinued

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kogmachine
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Post by kogmachine » Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:15 am

:cry:
When I bought my Ion 3 years ago, it was my first non-ROMpler synth. It took a while to get used to, but I fell in love with it as soon as I took it out of it's box. I just got a Fusion a few weeks ago and while it has a lot more capabilities than the Ion, I find it's nowhere near as tweakable. I've got a Q+ and a Virus TI on the way, but I think I'll have to buy a second Ion for sure now. Even if the Ion isn't the best sounding synth on the market, it has it's place in a mix. I'd love to put em both on a 3-tier with a Micron at the top. Alesis really should resurrect the Ion in a new package like a 61 key model, more polyphony, and an editable step arpeggiator. Shame on Numark if they are indeed starving out Alesis.
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Post by Bitexion » Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:24 am

Same story as mine. The Ion was my first pure subtractive synth, I'd owned a couple of romplers and organs before that (I didn't really need anything else). Bought it when it had just come out. I knew next to NOTHING about synthesis, like what you use the envelopes and filters for etc. Had to learn everything from books I bought along with the synth.

Powertools for synthesizer programming by Jim Aiken was a goldmine, it explained every module present on any analog/VA synth, a whole chapter for each module (EG and filters and oscillators etc), and I found the Ion had several of each. Which is nice :) And look where it got me (points to signature).

It was so cool when I first got it, I was in awe of all those knobs but didn't know what they did when I turned them. Had to learn everything from scratch, and I like that. Then I started researching the synths the filters were modelled on, and my vintage mania began.

I find that the Ion sounds kind of flat and lifeless without EQ, but EQ'ing up the bass and high frequencies and you get a monster sound. And a touch of reverb never hurts either. It is so nice to be able to shape all the waveforms, so you can have a softer saw sound (more like moogs) by offsetting the sawtooth a little bit.

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Post by Neonlights84 » Thu Feb 28, 2008 8:30 am

R.I.P Ion....I once owned one and I have nothing but good things to say about it. Now people are going to be forced to buy a micron and edit that thing...ugh I don't if Numark has anything to do with this, but i'm going to preemptively say screw you Numark anways.
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Post by synapsecollapse » Thu Feb 28, 2008 8:48 am

i have never said this out loud, but now that its dead, why the heck not? the user interface on the ion always turned me off too much to want to explore that synth. i hope those colored lights die an ugly death if they resurrect it with an anion or cation.

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Post by jasedee » Thu Feb 28, 2008 10:13 am

I was never an ION fan either... there, I said it!
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Post by kaffekick » Thu Feb 28, 2008 1:33 pm

I was never a fan of the Ion. It sounded way too mushy and my unit had this click in the envelopes that I never got along with. Somehow I never felt any connection with the instrument while playing and programming it.
You could get some nice sounds out of it but you really had to work like nuts to get rid of that "plastic" feel. I tried hard to like the Ion but I just couldn't.

Still, since so many seemed to really like the Ion, it's a bit sad that Alesis has stopped their production of it.
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Post by meatballfulton » Thu Feb 28, 2008 2:41 pm

Huppo wrote:It seems to me that if you lopped off the Fusion's pointless HD recording and clumsy sequencing section and maybe even left out the HD entirely, kept the various synth engines and effects intact and dropped it all into a knobby interface with a 4 or 5 octave keyboard you'd have a great Ion replacement that could be sold at a really competitive price.
Adding in the knobs would erase any cost savings of dropping the hard disk and getting rid of the sequencer (which is after all just software) doesn't save any money at all. Remember how much the Fusion cost at first? Your proposed synth would be at least as expensive if not more so.

The market has not shown much interest in multiple onboard synth engines anyway. Yamaha was probably the strongest proponent of that and even they have given up on the idea.
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Post by Huppo » Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:17 pm

meatballfulton wrote:
Huppo wrote:It seems to me that if you lopped off the Fusion's pointless HD recording and clumsy sequencing section and maybe even left out the HD entirely, kept the various synth engines and effects intact and dropped it all into a knobby interface with a 4 or 5 octave keyboard you'd have a great Ion replacement that could be sold at a really competitive price.
Adding in the knobs would erase any cost savings of dropping the hard disk and getting rid of the sequencer (which is after all just software) doesn't save any money at all. Remember how much the Fusion cost at first? Your proposed synth would be at least as expensive if not more so.
I was kind of operating on the priciple that the Ion is quite knobby (hardware) and that its internals are all just software. The Fusion is less knobby and the internals are both software and hardware. Doesn't it stand to reason that by removing the hard disk and all the infrastructure involved in the (useless) sata interface, the 8 audio inputs for the hard disk recorder, the optical out and all that other stuff that you could redirect that cost towards a bunch of extra knobs and the associated electronics? Yes, the Fusion was quite expensive at first, but I doubt they were ever sold at a loss.

Or to look at it a different way, just take the software out of the Fusion and put it into a refreshed Ion chassis. If you were able to retain the large display and soft buttons (yes i know, more expense) from the Fusion, I think it would play very well to people looking for a powerful, versatile synth.

You're right about multiple synth engines being underappreciated, though. Take the MOSS system from Korg. I've recently been rediscovering how powerful that all is but it doesn't get much discussion when the instruments that use it are the topic. I guess the folks here, me included, like to approach versatility by owning a different synth that does each different type of thing rather than combining them all in one box. It's jsut not as much fun. It is very cost-effective, though. That's one of the reasons why I so frequently offer the Fusion as a good option for people who are on a budget and want a synth that does lots of disparate things.
~huppo

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Post by veer chasm » Thu Feb 28, 2008 4:05 pm

Long live ION. I love mine. I spoke to someone at Analogue Haven and he said the Alesis people really want out of the synth market. Fact or Fiction I'm not sure.
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Post by Analog Freak » Thu Feb 28, 2008 5:11 pm

I like the idea of the fusion engine being used in a knob studded synthesizer without all of the workstation baggage. I like the fusion, but the problem is that it tried to be a synthesizer and a workstation and wound up mediocre at both tasks. I think Korg, Yamaha, and Roland pretty much have the workstation market cornered. Alesis really needs to come out with something to replace the ion, the micron is close, but the interface is a lot more work to navigate. Sadly, I've wanted an Ion ever since I got started in this hobby, and now they're out of production. I guess I'll just have to wait and see if I can find one used.
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Post by Joey » Thu Feb 28, 2008 6:35 pm

I've only ever seen ions in the wild twice. Played them, loved them. Every micron I've ever played at a store has been broken somehow, so I havent really gotten a chance to mess with those.

There was a long time, when my setup was a microkorg, juno, and virus B, that I really wanted an ion to replace the microkorg.

Spent 3 months looking for one, could not find it, so I ended up getting the Nord Lead 2x, which is now also for sale. Sad to see the ion go, as it really was a great synth.

One of my favorite things on it was how the mod wheels and pitch bender would light up red when you turned them, and the overall red look (red is my favorite color). Not to mention the oberheim filter model, that thing sounded great.
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Post by veer chasm » Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:31 pm

The ion's user interface is very intuitive, programming is a breeze.Overly sensitive knobs withstanding, it's a great synth. The pitch and mod wheels are the best I've ever used: great feel and response and conducive to use unlike the Nord Lead's which are tiny and funny feeling (love my Nord though, just a point of reference). I don't get the knock on it's keyboard action/feel, it plays great. Got mine on a trade recently. Best one I've made.
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Post by CapnMarvel » Thu Feb 28, 2008 8:49 pm

I never got the knock on the Ion keyboard action either - it's at least as good as any Roland keys I've ever played.

I don't really like the too-high precision of the ADSR knobs, though. I shouldn't have to turn a knob 15 times to get a 1 second release time.

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Post by th0mas » Thu Feb 28, 2008 8:54 pm

CapnMarvel wrote: I don't really like the too-high precision of the ADSR knobs, though. I shouldn't have to turn a knob 15 times to get a 1 second release time.
I complained about this with my micron and someone mentioned an OS update to correct it, not sure if that applied to the ion as well.

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Post by veer chasm » Thu Feb 28, 2008 9:44 pm

CapnMarvel wrote:I never got the knock on the Ion keyboard action either - it's at least as good as any Roland keys I've ever played.

I don't really like the too-high precision of the ADSR knobs, though. I shouldn't have to turn a knob 15 times to get a 1 second release time.
Spot on observations. Funny you compare it to Roland, the action on the Ion reminds me the most of the Jupiter 6... you must be a mind reader on the knob twirl issue, it would be great to have a Coarse adjust mode for them. It almost kills the functionality of having 360 degree knobs, at least from a live playing standpoint (for me).
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