The Alesis Andromeda A6 Synthesizer

The Alesis Andromeda A6 synthesizer is a 16-voice true analog synthesizer, first introduced in 2001. Though no longer in production, it’s regarded by many as a modern classic and one of the most powerful analog synths ever designed.

Highlights:

  • Andromeda’s fully analog signal path is controlled by a high-speed Motorola Coldfire microprocessor, offering 16-voice polyphony with 16-part multitimbral capability.
  • Andromeda features two analog oscillators per voice, with standard waveforms (available simultaneously), suboscillators, hard and soft sync, and more.
  • It provides two analog filters per voice: these 2-pole (multimode) and 4-pole (lowpass) resonating filters are classically-derived designs, and offer you an astounding range of sonic variability.
  • Andromeda also provides external audio inputs that allow you to route any signal through its filters.
  • Andromeda has three LFOs, each with six waveforms and many powerful features.
  • It also has three 7-stage, 3-level envelopes capable of functions never before found in any analog synthesizer.
  • An extensive mod matrix offers you an enormous freedom in configuring Andromeda’s sonic firepower, adding to its monstrous capabilities.
  • Andromeda’s 61-note synth-weighted keypad features velocity and aftertouch sensitivity, and its ribbon controlled offers multiple, assignable functions.
  • The front panel features 72 knobs and 114 buttons (the majority are single function), arranged for rapid tweaking and experimentation.
  • Andromeda’s backlit LCD display provides values of parameters (time, frequency, BPM, etc.) and high-resolution graphics.

The Andromeda A6 initially sold for around $2,500 and it has kept its value on the used market.

The above video is Alesis’ official introductory video for the Andromeda A6 from 2001.

About his review of the Alesis Andromeda A6, SOS’s Gordon Reid said:

That the Andromeda is a powerful, meaty synth is obvious. Indeed, I suspect that it’s the closest thing there’s ever been to an analogue workstation. But most people who love it will do so for its ‘American’ sound which can range from warm to harsh, fat to thin, squelchy to digital, as you desire. Alesis’ ASIC technology has produced an instrument with its own character, and that’s no bad thing at all.

In that light, the Andromeda earns a significant ‘thumbs-up’. It’s all-but complete, it didn’t crash once, and it sounds great. On that basis, you should certainly try it. But a word of warning… don’t base your views on the factory sounds. Delve deeper, and don’t stop at a bit of gratuitous knob twiddling on the control panel. Get into those menus.

For more on the Andromeda, see this Alesis Andromeda A6 video review.

9 thoughts on “The Alesis Andromeda A6 Synthesizer

  1. Yes!!!

    Everybody, stop crying about Jupiter-80 fiasco and go out and shout ANDROMEDA A6!!! So loud, that Alesis starts making these again, and presto, problem solved. Modern monster synth is right here.

  2. Actually I feel stupid, that I didn't get one back in the day.

    I hope that the Alesis would do the right thing, and bring it back, or even make a sequel, so that we could atone our sins of not supporting it. I wonder, what kind of impact this would have made now @ Messe, as after invoking peoples hopes up by hyping Jupiter, Roland flipped the bird at synthesists by introducing yet another rompler let down. 2000€ seemed so expensive back then, but now even the god damn romplers cost 3000€ and I feel stupid and ashamed.

    I am sorry Alesis.

  3. I don't feel bad – just poor! This was out of my price range then and now. Looks awfully nice, though.

    Though I'd love an analog monster like this, I don't think it's fair to give Roland so much grief. They introduced an awesome keyboard – just not what some people wanted.

    My guess is that they know what people actually want to buy.

  4. Youre right.

    In reality I'm actually somewhat interested on Jupiter-80, especially for its intriguingly high price tag, and I'm not an analog fundamentalist by any means. For me the Jupiter-80 was a double let down though, because I was hoping for either new analog synth, or new V-Synth.

  5. I have never regretted buying one of these, except for that time on stage when it froze up or when it hangs or when I have to restart it in the middle of a song. Other than that, this thing is a serious beast and yes, I do believe it will take 10 years for me to hit a ceiling with this thing. Just wish they would update the OS!!

  6. Sometime after this, Alesis has become timid in some respects: their iOS developments aside, hardware products have been relatively minor iterations of established formulas — without deeply compelling advances. For example, the NanoVerb 2.

    The A6 was unusual in that a lot of Alesis gear was very much targeted towards a lower price point. I got a QS8 because it was among the cheapest 88-key weighted controllers at the time.

    But I've appreciated some innovations like the AirFX, which like the A6, has interestingly kept its value.

  7. Hey, I just blew just over $3000 for a mint condition Andromeda. It was a lot of money but I’m not worried since it will hold it’s value.

  8. A 2 ½ years the Andromeda A6 was discontinued, the stunning modern classic, one of the most powerful analog synthesizers ever made could increase the market price more than 3 times the original price.
    The reason is that these days there is nothing of the same type as this, and the cost of producing synthesizers of this kind of technology and quality is not less than $ 5,000

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