Thanks Alesis for Fusion's expandability

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psionic
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Thanks Alesis for Fusion's expandability

Post by psionic »

/rant on

I'll tell you what, I'm still learning and learning to appreciate what the Fusion is all about. I'm coming to respect more and more the expandability built into this board.

Sure, sure, the demos aren't as great, the presets weren't awe-inspiring, its ARPs don't sound like Motif guitar strums or Korg Karma one-man band button pushes. It doesn't have Roland pads for percussion or the "instant replay" Skip Back Sampling to capture that fleeting inspirational moment.

But I'll tell you what, it has all these capabilities in spades, just hidden from accessibility because its capabilities weren't fully developed. It can do Karma-like ARPs, Motif guitar strums. It has gobs of recording space, so you can stay in recording mode and capture those ideas if you just get over the hesitation of "recording everything and always."

Thanks to its hard drive/compact flash card, it has the quick and easy ability to import new multisamples, so far ahead of "buy this exansion board to load a few more sounds" that the Big 3 use as schemes to get you to pour more money into their boards so you can eke out a few more waves. The Fusion's a sampler with unlimited memory. Hello?

And I bet very few have experimented with her sampler inputs, re-routed with *gasp* a patch cord to a custom EXT IN patch, sent out an AUX jack, and again re-routed with *gasp* a patch cord to one of the 8 audio IN jacks... This alone opens tons of possibilites only hinted at with such vintage experiments like the classic vintage modulars or the American Ensoniq re-sampling capabilities.

Th FM engine is virgin territory, with access to modularity via multiple stackable filters and controllers, performance-dependent FX, multiple layering. What non-Yamaha hardware has FM? And then there's her Physical Modelling. Yeah, yeah, it's not a plucked string or percussion or brass engine, but it does let you do clarinets (jazz bass clarinet, anyone?), flutes (Irish pipes, ocarinas, and shakuhachis), and theoretically even soprano saxes like Kenny G, as well as other supernatural single reed beasts. Layered in MIX mode, and you'd be surprised at what else is possible.

Speaking of brass, hard drive storage of imported multisamples? Get outta here... You just gotta apply yourself. Tons of brass samples available. Latin stabs, classical ensembles, cheesy 80's, all just a download away. No jazz trumpet solos, but everything else, schyeah...

And crazy polyphony, even in MIX mode, esp when expanded. ADAT output for pristine digital processing output. And you know what, she HAS a pattern and a step sequencer, they're on the ARP and sequencer /Editor pages.

But then again, it's not potential we're looking at, it's what's easy and sexy. The DX7 had loads of potential, but too much complexity and not enough user-friendliness. The Fusion is guilty of this. Actually, Alesis management is guilty. The engineers did what they could with the resources that they had. Spilled milk. Still, the lines have been drawn. We're where we are.

Hopefully, down the line, a couple years from now, we can overcome this by contributions which make all her powers easy schmeasy to access. Then maybe, just maybe, she'll be included on vintagesynth.com's pages, where such underdogs as the Micron, the Bitheadz Unity DS-1, the Casio series, Sonic Foundry's ACID, and Yamaha's gloriously re-packaged rompler the Motif XS get mention but the Alesis Fusion workstation is the red-headed step-child left out of your will...

/rant off
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Luc Henrion
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Re: Thanks Alesis for Fusion's expandability

Post by Luc Henrion »

+1 ! You got it 100% right!
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Re: Thanks Alesis for Fusion's expandability

Post by Acidpork »

psionic, come and get it. Based on your astute observations and intelligent expression of such observations, you've won a free, personally signed bottle of refurbished mansechs. :o
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Re: Thanks Alesis for Fusion's expandability

Post by psionic »

Ha, that's what I get for rambling while buzzed. I have to retract some of what I said, like being able to do Karma stuff. Sure, there's a lot yet untapped and unexpressed in the Fusion, but Karma technology and its hundreds of GE's (super ARPS) have capabilities the Fusion can't match (like tempo changes and responding to certain keyboard presses). I need to just put out or shut up. All the theory in the world ain't worth squat if there's nothing in practice to show for it, right?
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Re: Thanks Alesis for Fusion's expandability

Post by jima »

psionic wrote:Ha, that's what I get for rambling while buzzed. I have to retract some of what I said, like being able to do Karma stuff. Sure, there's a lot yet untapped and unexpressed in the Fusion, but Karma technology and its hundreds of GE's (super ARPS) have capabilities the Fusion can't match (like tempo changes and responding to certain keyboard presses). I need to just put out or shut up. All the theory in the world ain't worth squat if there's nothing in practice to show for it, right?
Maybe so, but every time I hear one of those Karma-machines running (even with Mr Kay playing) I can't but help thinking of cinema organ players and Muzak so if the Fusion doesn't quite have it that's fine by me :-)

Still +1 and 100% in my book....

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Re: Thanks Alesis for Fusion's expandability

Post by EdgardSQUARE »

100% agree ...
I've found a Karma method workaround: a band, it can (always) do tempo change, change notes, an pattern.... ;)
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djnorythm
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Re: Thanks Alesis for Fusion's expandability

Post by djnorythm »

I think the fusion is a great musical instrument and not a gimmick like some of the other 'one button freak outs'.
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Re: Thanks Alesis for Fusion's expandability

Post by Schizoflux »

I know her power. But I feel uncertain, on what else I can achieve. Like sound itself, it's an ongoing study.
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Re: Thanks Alesis for Fusion's expandability

Post by ChrisBoylan »

Psionic, I could't agree with you more. I really think that ALESIS should give serious thought to re-issuing the Fusion, and upping support a grade or two. This is one seriously overlooked keyboard. I really think it's the most powerful keyboard to come out in ages

Come on, Alesis. Do you realize what you had here?
Gear: Fusion 6HG, General Music Pro 2, Kurzweil PC1-X, Korg CX-3, MiniMoog Voyager, Nord Lead, Stereo Powered by 2 Alesis Sumo 300 Keyboard Amps. Retired from live performance: Memorymoog Plus. For sale: Kurzweil K2000 & Korg Wavestation.
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Re: Thanks Alesis for Fusion's expandability

Post by dhmartens »

I was reading about the coldfire processor, and there are newer revisions.
http://www.freescale.com/webapp/sps/sit ... 51fgqk7SDQ

The new fusion would have better effects, the competition seems to be getting better effects. They would just put more powerful TI chips in it.

I read this here:
http://acapella.harmony-central.com/sho ... p=35001506

And here's some useless information for you.

- Clavia Nord Lead-1 --- Motorola 56002
- Clavia Nord Modular --- 4 Motorola 56303 DSPs
- Clavia Nord Lead 2 --- 4 Motorola 56002 DSPs
- Clavia Nord Lead 3 --- 6 Motorola 56362 DSPs
- Waldorf Q --- 3 Motorola 56303 DSP's(obviously no Q+ with analog filter components).
- Waldorf micro Q --- Motorola 56303
- Waldorf MicroWave 2/XT --- Motorola 56303
- Novation Supernova --- 8 Motorola 56303
- Novation Nova uses 5 Motorola 56362, 1 Motorola 56303

Motorola 56301 run at 80MHz, 56303 at 100MHz

- Alesis A6 uses one Coldfire 90MHz for LFOs, ENVs and MODs. Fusion uses 2 Coldfires of a newer specification for everything but the VA and FM engines which are separate.
- Korg Oasys has one 80MHz Motorola 56301, with 384k SRAM, Four 100MHz Motorola 56303's, each with 384k of SRAM and 6 MB of DRAM

Yamaha CS80 had 219 VCAs, most of them for the velocity and aftertouch.
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bazz
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Re: Thanks Alesis for Fusion's expandability

Post by bazz »

Let's hope someone leaks out source code some day and/or useful information to build a custom firmware, just like JJOS for Akai's MPC range.
Fusion 8HD, Yamaha RM1X, GEM WX2+ 2MB smpl ram &256k sram, EMU ESI2000 turbo, m-audio oxygen8 + delta 44, Edirol UM-1SX, AMD64 3200+ 1GB 900GB, Behringer MS40 & X V-AMP, Yamaha QY22, Boss DR 550mkII, Epiphone Les Paul
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Re: Thanks Alesis for Fusion's expandability

Post by electRiq »

SUNDRI wrote:I just hope you can edit individual sounds.
It's just a button press away (look for the "EDIT" button in PROGRAM mode ;))
The factor of cpu power and user brain is always constant
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Jokeyman123
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Re: Thanks Alesis for Fusion's expandability

Post by Jokeyman123 »

In case some of you old-timer Fusion owners are still lurking around-especially Psionic who has been so deep with the Fusion-take a look at what we are doing now-trying to open up this until now, secret double probation firmware-we may yet be onto something. I do not have sufficient coding/programming skills to re-write/reverse engineer the firmware-but we are working on it. Maybe this many years afterwards, what seemed formerly impossible is now do-able. Can't upgrade the basic Coldfire and Texas Instruments DSP chips-but we could possibly up the DMA throughput-activate the SATA port-the hardware is all there-maybe up the data limit of the CF card slot-and-get those 256MB ram modules up to, well 256MB.

This thing is a monster already, even in 2021 IMO. Moog resurrected his company years after-as did so many who copied (and are copying) his designs. Maybe Alesis will take another look at the Fusion if we succeed. And if they don't, well now we have a customized even more hot-rodded Fusion-even beyond that which has been done, with the huge sound libraries, custom samples of people like KPR, Steve and others which are still years after, quite advanced. Looks like even the newest graded-hammer action aftertouch enabled Fatar TP40 could be retrofitted into these from what I have discovered-although buying one is almost impossible-would have to go the Fatar factory with a bottle of wine and some cheese to bribe one of the guys in the factory to get one i think. Never say die. and since the Coldfire series is designed to be an open architecture-let's hope.
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