Alesis airSynth

Alesis airSynth Image

In the earlier part of the 20th century a man named Leon Theremin created a simple synthesizer that was controlled by moving your arms within an electro-magnetic field. This concept in synthesis has recently re-surfaced with modern applications in the Roland MC-series grooveboxes. Alesis has taken this idea to the extreme with their stand-alone airSynth.

The airSynth creates a 3D infrared beam called the Axyz interface. Passing your hand over it in various ways triggers and produces unpredictable but controllable results from its built-in sounds. The airSynth has 50 presets ranging from synth sounds to musical instruments, to ambient and natural sounds and effects.

The airSynth is very simple to use. There's no editing to programming... just choose a patch and wave your hands around! In fact the airSynth is marketed towards the DJ and home user markets. Although it can easily be used for professional music production, it only offers stereo RCA inputs and outputs. There is no on-board MIDI or studio-quality connections. But it can add wacky new twists to your DJ mixes, tweak your favorite CDs, and impress your friends with its sci-fi appeal!

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11 Visitor comments
August 25, 2010 @ 9:08 pm
Why is there no listing on the AirFX? I mean you go so far as to reference it and have it on the menu, yet there's no information... I'm interested in that one, as an effects processor... Thanks.
Rick Reid
August 8, 2010 @ 7:01 pm
To clarify someone elses post --

The AirSynth is a sound effects generator. It makes weird noises and somewhat musical sounds. If you pass an external audio signal through the AirSynth, the units sounds will be mixed with the incoming signal, but the incoming signal will not be altered in any way.

The AirFX is, primarily, a sound effects processor. It modifies external sound sources passed through it. The AirFX does generate a few sounds that layer over the top of an incoming signal, but most of its patches are intended for altering the incoming signal. Most of the patches do not produce any audio output unless and incoming signal is present.
Rick Reid
August 8, 2010 @ 6:53 pm
I love this thing so much, I just bought a second one. The Alesis AirSynth is great for performing live sound effects in music performances and even theatrical productions. I bought my first one specifically to play scifi/horror sound effects for a production of "The Rocky Horror Show." I have since used it extensively in improvisational electronic music performances and recordings. It is a great companion to my theremin, Kaossilator and keyboard synths.
Peter Morgan
April 11, 2010 @ 2:29 pm
The Alesis Air synth is not an FX generator. The Alesis AirFX is the FX unit.
July 7, 2009 @ 2:52 pm
A word of warning. The Alesis Airsynth is not a theremin. It's a sound FX generator. Yes, there are theremin like sounds in there, but you can really only play three notes with it.
That said, the Airsynth is still a fun thing to have around for live gigs. It can be somewhat chaotic, but it's an FX generator so that's okay. My only REAL beef with it is the outputs. It doesn't come with a guitar jack in it. It only has these two stereo RCA jacks like what you find on the back of a stereo. If you want to plug this thing into an amp directly or into your standard mixer that only has guitar inputs, you have to get an adapter. That's a minor complaint though.
I would recommend the Airsynth to DJ's and live performers who would like to add a little chaotic sound to their performance. If you're looking for a theremin, look for a real theremin.
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  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Demos & Media
  • YouTube Thumbnail
    Alesis AirSynth pt. 1
    by PatrisKatholos

    Manual - Alesis have made manuals and program charts for many of their products available on-line, for free download as .PDF files.

  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - Monophonic
  • Effects - None
  • Arpeg/Seq - None
  • Keyboard - None
  • Memory - 50 preset patches
  • Control - No MIDI, only Axyz 3D infrared Controller
  • Date Produced - 2000 - 2001
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from Alesis.

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