Jexus' review of the Alesis Andromeda is up

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Re: Jexus' review of the Alesis Andromeda is up

Postby orlando56 » Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:38 am

GuyaGuy: Yes. :)
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Re: Jexus' review of the Alesis Andromeda is up

Postby Infrasound » Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:25 pm

He tells it like he sees it.

Shouldn't anyone reviewing something do the same?

I don't think he was that harsh at all, just observant, with a bit of nihilistic Polish humour thrown in for good measure.
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Re: Jexus' review of the Alesis Andromeda is up

Postby shaft9000 » Wed Feb 05, 2014 5:46 pm

i feel a little bad because i urged him a few years ago to get one saying "you'd love this thing after a couple weeks if you can stomach the overcomplication and crappy screen". ah well.

A6 is a tricky beastie. It can really sound better than anything sometimes, and is both flexible at emulation but also very unique sounding. But due to it's design I think about selling it a couple times a year. My analog poly needs are well covered between the CS60, sunsyn, JP8 and OBXa, which are each relative cake to program. And then i play the A6 and change my mind. It would likely be the first to go when money's tight, though.
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Re: Jexus' review of the Alesis Andromeda is up

Postby pflosi » Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:15 pm

What helps a lot is also to replace the strangely programmed init patch with your own favorite starting setting IMO...

Well, clearly this synth isn't for everyone... Mine stays where it is.
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Re: Jexus' review of the Alesis Andromeda is up

Postby shaft9000 » Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:40 pm

pflosi wrote:What helps a lot is also to replace the strangely programmed init patch with your own favorite starting setting IMO... .


and that's great advice.
the only trouble is getting all that know-how under your belt, and then later to remember just where all of those settings are living in the UI, should you ever want to deviate from the template.
i often find that if i haven't used the A6 for over a month or so, i have to re-learn a thing or two with the UI. If it's not the OscFM-to-filter routing, it's the modwheel amount+assignments, or the envelopes, or the sequencer, or.... so i have to drag the hugeongeous manual out again. I probably wouldn't have this right-brain interference problem with it if I used it more exclusively, I'm sure.

Yet it is one of the more confounding UI designs. Hey, it needs all those knobs and the GUI, right?... or does it? Should it? I dunno, but it fees somehow...a bit 'off the mark' and overburdened, operationally. So one's programming experience and tips&tricks/manual know-how becomes the machette to the jungle that is the A6.
imho Jexus' damning of the mod-matrix is hard to dispute; the thing is counter-intuitive, an aesthetic eyesore, and setting moderate, subtle modulation amounts (Osc1->Osc2 FM, anyone?) is fidgety as all hell. I am 99% sure that no synth made has ever been so fidgety with setting mod amounts as my A6 is. How the engineers arrived at this particular range scaling for mod amounts is a mystery I'd rather not solve.

the A6 might be my most polarizing synth experience ever. i love many things about 'er, chiefly the sound =D> - and also dislike a number of things. But those are first-world problems, and it's all been covered before.
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Re: Jexus' review of the Alesis Andromeda is up

Postby pflosi » Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:59 pm

Shaft, you should use it a bit more often :thumbright:

I don't know, I learned it well when I got it (takes some time I admit) and now I know where the stuff is. It needs all those knobs and buttons, the UI is good. Less knobs or less screen would not make it better. IMO the matrix makes sense - you assign everything at the destination. In modular, I too prefer to have my attenuators at the destinations rather than at the modulation sources for example... So I'm used to that thinking.

For any real time (mod wheel, aftertouch, etc.) / VCA "modulate the modulator" modulations, use the CROUTES. My shortcut to go there is hit PITCH (wheel) ASSIGN or MOD (wheel) ASSIGN twice. In there, again select the destinations first and the sources second (GRID page for quick enabling / disabling, as well as amounts of modulations).

FM: OSC2 > OSC1 is easy, there's a knob. For everything else, in the OSC menu go to MZEXT. Everthing is there as intuitively as it can be.

Filter FM: OSC > VCF is separate from NOISE (resp. external) > VCF. For both you don't have an individual amount for the two VCFs, you can only switch them on or off for each VCF (that is, one, the other or both for each VCF independently). The setting is obvious in the respective filter page. In the OSC pages, you can choose for each one whether it should FM the VCF or not. OSC > VCF amount is set in the page of filter 1. NOISE > VCF disables the noise in the audio channel and the amount is then set by the knob in the pre VCF mixer.

All that said, the amounts of modulations and gain stages you can get are indeed absurd. To get some control, use the increase / decrease buttons. And: if you hit these two both at the same time the selected parameter goes to a init position (usually 0).

When you know that shit (I typed that by heart), you can go from one beautiful sound to another one in a matter of seconds. The awesome ribbon only helps.

Maybe people are just getting lazy that they don't learn, or old that they don't remember their synths anymore :mrgreen:
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Re: Jexus' review of the Alesis Andromeda is up

Postby Bitexion » Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:55 am

That "designers tips&tricks" PDF document I found on a website was a godsend really. It was a documents they shipped out to all the factory bank sound designers so they'd have a good grip on how to make them.
It's a site full of A6 soundbanks and patches, can't remember the URL off the top of my head now.

Also going through the user manual was very useful. Chapter by chapter. It is sprinkled with examples on how to use the various parameters usefully.

wohmart.de or something.
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Re: Jexus' review of the Alesis Andromeda is up

Postby Stab Frenzy » Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:25 am

I might have already written this, but I remember Dave Bryce (or somebody) posting something here a while back about the mixer section in the Andy having a soft clipping thing going on which would get quite a lot of variation in osc tone depending on the levels you had going to it. Apparently once you realise this you can get a heap of different sounds out of it as the default way most people set up their osc levels drives it fairly hard.
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Re: Jexus' review of the Alesis Andromeda is up

Postby pflosi » Thu Feb 06, 2014 8:10 am

Yeah, the sum of pre- and post-VCF mixer levels should not exceed 50 if you wanna avoid clipping.
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Re: Jexus' review of the Alesis Andromeda is up

Postby shaft9000 » Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:53 pm

pflosi wrote:Shaft, you should use it a bit more often :thumbright:
.....
When you know that shit (I typed that by heart), you can go from one beautiful sound to another one in a matter of seconds. The awesome ribbon only helps.


thing is, i know 'that shit' 1000x over, and yet certain aspects of the design still suckass

an example :
Here you have all these knobs, yet one must still use inc/dec buttons to get the correct amount of 'knob' one wanted in the first place. :idea:
apart from some FM synths or software that i hope to never use again, i can't think of anything else that i have had that has ever 'worked' this way. it's the epitome of clunky UI; only reviled slightly less than multiplexed nested menus.

i have to wonder if another ~10% of refinement or R&D could have occurred, it really could've been perhaps the greatest analog poly of them all. as it stands, it's pretty fucking excellent! :)
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shaft9000.muffwiggler.com <- singles & mixtape
shaft9000.bandcamp.com <- spacemusic album
youtube.com/shaft9000 <- various synth demos and studies
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Re: Jexus' review of the Alesis Andromeda is up

Postby Bitexion » Sun Feb 16, 2014 3:43 am

It's funny to leave the synth on while dust wiping it, and try the "random" patch that happened when you dusted around the knobs and buttons. I've had some really weird sounds like that.
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