Saturday, June 2, 2007

Alesis 6 HD Review

 Products Full Alesis 225599

Update: You can purchase this one from me on ebay. Completely Tested & insured w/ case. Only $564


Here is a picture of the case it comes with.

Yea its a little late! BUT the prices on ebay for these suckers are drifting sub $600 and so I got one. The full 88 key version is going for 700-800+ if your lucky.

Read my first and second impressions below. They were written at different times.

First impression:
I got my Alesis Fusion HD6 today. Thank god, because I'd be so bored on this saturday. Man this kicks ass! Most of preset roms are okay, and some are actually very good. The only bad thing is the drums on it are shit, and I'm not sure if you can put alot of filters on them. BONUS: The guy who I bought it from has the entire Mo Phatt Module sound collection loaded up LOL. So I have an entire hip hop module on there. Bad things: The keyboard is crap. Worse than my JX-8p if you can imagine. I should have gotten the 8 HD....although...the 6hd is majorly heavy. I can't imagine owning an 8 HD. I wouldnt be able to move it myself. As far as the known bugs about this machine: I think the technical issues won't bother me at all as long as it holds up. However, this is a players board. I just keep clicking into a new sound and get lost in playing melodies, when I forget I'm making a song. The sequencer is good for people who improvise. Like really good. It has this cool locator function so you can keep recording in the right spots. If you step sequence then you'll have a problem. The knobs on it are tall and silver smooth like a 70s hi-fi radio. Best knobs ever. The buttons are kinda calculator though. It has these awesome "tape flute" sounds, like a mellotron or something. Anyways, the sounds are good enough to make complete songs for me. Its like got alot of synthy stuff. Don't think you going to go on this board and create patches by hand. ....even though alot of guys are saying thats what the keyboard is for....It blows for that. you just gotta get presets and use those.

The keybed is kind of crappy.

Basic hard disc recording is very nice, and the quality is good enough.

Second Impression:
I think I am going to sell the keyboard I just got. Its a perfectly good board. I just can't find any darker or moody inspiration off it. Normally thats fine and I can work around it, but I can't even tweak it how I want in song mode to make it fit my mood. I can usually take bright or lifeless sounds and make them good (Like the Yamaha RM1x)....but the FX are buried, and its too slow to select voices (I probably have thousands on here). I spent like 20 minutes when I got stuck in the load screen trying find the right banks, then find a good sound that fit my mood. Its also extremely annoying that the presets are at widely varying sound levels. People are wrong about this board when they say it is for tweakers. The most important functions are buried, like track volume!!!, and half the buttons they put on there to control functions don't even get used. Its for pure playing performance and enjoyment. The voices are really fun and its fun to play. You can also record really good songs, really really fast, only if you don't care about getting the voices just right. Don't count on it for remembering ANY of your knob tweaks! I would be content if I just played it everyonce and awhile. Its not really the technical bugs that bothered me. Its just the sounds and how fast I can get to them, then modify them. Its really important to get the mix just right. So I should probably go for a MOTIF...or KORG Triton Extreme. I need something that will fit the mood I am in. I don't know if Korg has any darker sounds..... If I didnt want to make music I would keep this thing though. Its really fun, and I can't stop playing the presets. As soon as I step away from it I feel like going back on for another hour. Its addictive, but not good for unique artistic expression. I can't show anything off that I made on it, and if I really tried, really really hard, I might be able to...but I don't have enough time on the earth to go through its methodology and make myself 100% content on it.

CONCLUSION: Extremely Addictive. Sounds a great. I can play it for hours and hours. The sequencer is even a lot better than everyone is complaining about. BUT I can't get through the menus fast enough to tweak the sounds to fit my mood. You'd think it would be fun to tweak your mixes and sounds just right on this, but it can't do it. I don't have the time to mess with this board for tweaking sounds. The way they have it set up is not intuitive, and thats someone who knew the ins and outs of the yamaha RM1x sequencer.

Its a mix between being a specialty keyboard for people needing top notch sounding electronic sounds, and a super-advanced toy with more features than any board out there. You can't beat it for anything in or below its range and you can't go wrong to try it out. Electronic music producers should have one. It sounds really good.

Rating B+

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