Alesis ION Synth Now Shipping

Jul 10, 2003 12:00 PM, Editors


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The Alesis ION Synthesizer, a high-resolution, analog-modeling synthesizer, is now shipping. Built on a 500 MIPS processor (500 million instruction per second), the ION offers continuously variable wave shapes, plus sync and FM synthesis. Sixteen filter types are included, along with two LFOs, sample and hold, and arpeggiator, all of which sync to MIDI clock.

The ION has 8-voice polyphony with three oscillators per voice, and is four-part multitimbral. A powerful and intuitive modulation matrix is built in, as well as a 40-band vocoder that does not use up any polyphony. Also featured is an ergonomic user interface with three variably illuminating control wheels and 31 amply spaced control knobs; the knobs are 360-degree potentiometers with 12-bit resolution, yielding 32 times the resolution of a typical MIDI controller. A 160x160 graphic display provides instant visual feedback on the most recent controller in use. The ION keyboard contains 49 velocity-sensitive keys, four analog outputs and two stereo analog inputs (all balanced and using 24-bit conversion), four individual insert effects, stereo master multi-FX processor and an internal universal power supply.

The ION’s 512 user-rewritable presets cover a variety of genres, including many new tonalities and classic synth emulations. New sounds will also be available from the Alesis Website (, as will a Flash demo of the ION.

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