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Alesis Fusion 8HD

Posted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 10:46 pm
by basssdude34
Does anyone have an Alesis Fusion 8HD? Im looking at buying one but im not sure if it would be a good synth...seems like you can model sounds but id like to have an owner tell me a little bit about it....

Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 6:14 pm
by Box

Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:18 pm
by ReaPeR
for me the Fusion is the ROMpler with the best synth engine in the market under 2500$... it even has TRUE S&H!!!!

Posted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 4:48 am
by bigbadbarns
I bought a 6HD about... a year ago I guess. I had a thread going on here about it, which got some good responses (not sure if it would still be on here, as it was a year or so ago).

Its pretty awesome. However, you really need to have a solid understanding of synthesis to make the most of it. It has a pretty good synth engine, but the fact that it is, effectively, a menu based interface, means that you can't just f**k with knobs and see what happens. I'm no synth expert, but I think I've got a reasonable grasp of things, and even then, I know I'm not making the most of it.

I'm glad I bought it. I admit that I use it mostly for its rompler sounds and as a notepad for getting ideas down. Even just using it for that makes it excellent value for money.

The sequencer is a pain in the a*s, and a bit limited.

Posted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 6:45 am
by basssdude34
so would you say its a synth that i can grow with?

Posted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 2:38 pm
by 23
basssdude34 wrote:so would you say its a synth that i can grow with?
Definitely.

I'd agree with the sentiment that you're going to want to have a grasp on numerous synthesis methods given it's primarily menu driven interface.
Actually....when it comes to programming, the thing is pretty much TOTALLY menu driven.

If you can get past that, it's VA engine is actually pretty darn in depth, it's sample based synth engine is considerably in depth, it's FM engine is pretty much along the lines of FM8, and it's reed and wind models, though limited in paramater set, are quite good.

Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:14 am
by basssdude34
would getting the alesis be better than if i got a roland SH-201 and a roland SP-404? Considering that I already have a keyboard with good piano/organ/string sounds....

Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:52 am
by Summa
23 wrote:it's FM engine is pretty much along the lines of FM8
Well, afaik (I talked to some fusion owner) it's missing too much to compete, since Operators/Carriers aren't tunable to 0Hz no waveshaping is possible, feeding Filter and Distortion back into the FM is missing too...

Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:18 am
by Huppo
basssdude34 wrote:would getting the alesis be better than if i got a roland SH-201 and a roland SP-404? Considering that I already have a keyboard with good piano/organ/string sounds....
Yes. Go here:

http://www.promusicproducts.com/forum/phpBB2/index.php

It's a whole forum dedicated to the Alesis Fusion.

Since you are kind of new to the whole synth thing, maybe a little explanation is in order. The Fusion is like a bunch of different synths all crammed into one keyboard. By that I mean there are several different synthesis methods.

It is a sampler (like the SP-404). You can sample your own sounds or load in samples you buy or download and store them on the internal hard drive. This gives you virtually unlimited sounds since you can put anything you can hear into it. It comes with a bunch of samples already preloaded and there's loads more to be found free at this place.

It's a VA (Virtual Analog). You can program it the same way you'd program any other VA synth, including the SH-201. It's actually much more complex and capable than the SH-201. It has 6 oscillators instead of 2, for starters.

It has an FM synth engine in it (Like the DX-7). That's a completely different type of synthesis that's really hard to explain and even harder to program. The FM engine in the Fusion is more complex and capable than the DX-7 for a bunch of arcane reasons you wouldn't understand.

It does Physical Modeling of reed and wind instruments, meaning that it digitally models (and lets you control) the physical attributes of these types of instruments. If you want a ten foot long clarinet that's 1/2 an inch wide, you can have one.

In addition to this stuff it has a very extensive effects section. You can use it to process external sounds. You can use it as a guitar effects box if you want.

It has a hard disk recorder and sequencer built in but both those functions are poorly developed and not worth the trouble.

Yes, you can grow with it. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to grow out of it as long as you're interested in learning synthesis methods and programming. If anything, you'd have a hard time grasping all of it right off the bat, but it's got a ton of presets to keep you amused and you can get lots more, so if you aren't able to create your own sounds at first there's still plenty to play with and use as a starting point.

Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 6:16 am
by basssdude34
well if theres a crappy sequencer in it should i just get a drum machine to make up for it?

Posted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 4:58 am
by Huppo
By sequencer i mean something you can use to record entire pieces of music with multiple tracks of MIDI and audio. It was Alesis' attempt at creating a workstation type synth, it's just a crappy implementation of a feature that has nothing to do with synths as instruments and is about 1000% easier to do on a computer. You don't need a drum machine to replace that function, I'm suggesting you just ignore the function entirely and record the music whatever way you're already doing it. You are asking about synths..not DAWs or Midi sequencers.

Posted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 5:06 am
by basssdude34
alright thanks man, sounds like this synth is gonna work out pretty good....but live, if i have multiple sounds for a song how would i play them?