Alesis Updates Fusion Workstations

NAMM 2006 Winter Show: Alesis introduced a free Version 1.20 firmware upgrade for the company’s Fusion 6HD and 8HD keyboard workstations. With a combination of new sounds, exciting new features, and software that facilitates greater compatibility with commercially available sample data, this new update is a must have for Fusion owners.

alesis fusion synth

The V1.20 upgrade provides a broad range of new sounds that can be downloaded to the Fusion’s hard drive. With a wide assortment of pianos, strings, brass, woodwind, percussion, and synthesized timbres, Preset 5 is a hard drive-based bank of sounds that takes advantage of the Fusion’s new synthesis features and add more sonic variety and richness—enabling keyboard players to use the Fusion in more musical applications.

With four types of synthesis, the Fusion’s sound capabilities have always been stellar, and now V1.20 up’s the ante once again with the addition of several new synthesis features. The Fusion’s filter capabilities get a boost with the addition of the RP low pass filter derived from Alesis’ popular Ion synthesizer and three formant filters. The update adds up to four sample oscillator layers per Program as well as up to four insert effects per Program. There is also a new parameter that has been added to the oscillator to have it reset its sample in monophonic legato mode.

Also part of the V1.20 update, two new process functions have been added to Sampler Mode: “Quantize Region” and “Reverse Region”. These functions enable programmers to change the bit rates of samples from 1 to 15 bit (Quantize Region) and reverse samples (Reverse Region.).

To help performers gain the most from their Fusion’s phrase sequence arpeggiator, the V1.20 upgrade includes two new keyboard modes: “Mono Low” and “Mono High”. These keyboard types follow the lowest /highest key currently being played in an arpeggiation—enabling greater variety by simply changing the chord inversion.

The Fusion’s sampling playback capabilities get a boost with the V1.20 update as well. Included is a new software program called Fusion Converter that enables users to convert various sample format libraries into Fusion format. Supported formats include WAV, AIFF, and Akai programs for S1000/S3000/S5000 (samples and program data), as well as soundfonts. Fusion Converter reads the supported file formats and converts the data to the Fusion’s format. Sound data transfers to the Fusion are made via high speed USB 2.0. A Macintosh version of Fusion Converter will be available shortly.

The free V1.20 update is downloadable from FusionSynth.com—Alesis’ website dedicated to all aspects of the Fusion workstations. Audio samples of the Fusion’s sounds are also available in MP3 format for prospective customers to audition.

More information is available at the Alesis site.

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