Alesis MIDIVerb 4
The original MidiVerb by Alesis had the distinction of being one of the first 16-bit professional effects processors that could be bought for less than $1000. The MidiVerb 4 is the fourth incarnation of the hardware and was released in 1995. As with its predecessors, the MidiVerb 4 was an affordable solution for professional project studios and musicians in need of fully-programmable, high-fidelity effects.
The MidiVerb 4 features 128 factory presets along with 128 user-adjustable presets for a total of 256 programs. It also has premium quality 18-bit A-to-D and D-to-A conversion. For digital recording, it boasts 24-bit internal processing for a 20Hz-20kHz bandwidth and 90dB dynamic range. Stereo, dual mono, or cascaded operation is available and the MidiVerb 4 offers 1.3 seconds of total delay time.
The auto level sensing capabilities of the MidiVerb 4 can instantly set the optimal input levels while the assignable footswitch input provides greater control over effects. Thanks to its effects algorithms, the MidiVerb 4 can produce dense, natural reverb as well as rich chorus, flange, delay, and pitch effects. It is also capable of up to three simultaneous multi-effects. In terms of design, the front panel of the Alesis MidiVerb 4 is dominated by the large backlit LCD. The custom backlit screen can display four parameters simultaneously. The display is divided into five sections with the program number on the left, followed by the bank being used, the program name, the configuration name, and finally the peak style level meters. To the right of the screen is the Value encoder for editing, followed by ten buttons. Finally, the power button is located on the right corner of the front panel while the Alesis log and MidiVerb 4 branding take up the left side. The back of the unit has the power input, the footswitch input as well as the MIDI In and Out/Thru connectors. Here you'll also find the Left/Ch 1 and Right/Ch 2 inputs along with the Left/Ch1 and Right/Ch2 outputs. The design is very sleek and modern for its time and free of any unnecessary clutter.
Overall, the Alesis MidiVerb 4 is a very straightforward bit of hardware that is also very user-friendly. There were other options available at the time that had more programming depth and options, but the MidiVerb 4 stood out because of its price and usability. It allows users to identify parameter functions from the display without having to consult the manual, which also helped make it popular with new users.