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Why didn't the Alesis Fusion succeed?

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  • Why didn't the Alesis Fusion succeed?

    As in the subject. I've just discovered the Alesis Fusion. Why didn't it succeed? On paper it looks like a damn fine synth. Youtube demos seem to suggest it did both the powerful synth thing and the rompler thing. And it wasn't that expensive. So, why?
    -----
    Too much work keeping my sig up to date

  • #2
    The ROMpler thing isn't all that. It's mediocre really. Where the fusion really shines is the VA and FM sections, and the ability to layer them in mix-mode. It didn't succeed because many people don't think the user interface is very intuitive (I bought my second one a few weeks ago after selling the first one years ago, and I find it much easier to navigate now than I did a few years back) and because the OS was pretty buggy when it was released. Updates in the OS fixed that problem, but it was probably too late by that time..

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    • #3
      As I understand - when it was released, it was way too buggy. I bought it a couple of years after it was released and installed the latest version OS on it (1.23) and it has been mostly stable. A little bit of quirks here and there but very manageable and trustworthy. So, it took over a year (I think) to stabilize the OS, and by that time, its reputation as a buggy synth was established.

      The second blow was that the original presets aren't that great. This was remedied a few months later when Hollow Sun released the Preset 5 bank, with much improved sounds, and from then on Hollow Sun started offering the official Hollow Sun libraries (on the Alesis Site) and the Hollow Sun Freepacks (on the Hollow Sun website). For the average person, even though these were mostly excellent sounds, it was probably a bit too much to keep up with! And they focused more on the synth side rather than the ROM side, and ROM is still king, I guess.

      Also, some promised features were never implemented - the sequencer is very basic and only works in linear fashion. They promised to add the ability to connect an external HD, or a CD recorder to it and that was never implemented as well. And finally, the ROM sounds are hit and miss - some are very good, some are OK and some are pretty poor (like solo orchestral sounds, for example) and that meant that a person looking for a workstation would much rather get the Motif which has always been very good about the overall quality of all it sounds - they're always good or excellent compared to everybody else.

      People who like the Fusion today are people who use it as a sound creation device, not people who want a workstation that competes with Motif or M3 or Kronos. Even though it is possible to use it as a workstation, but in a very limiting way.

      I hope this helps to start the discussion... I'm sure others will chime in saying how ugly they think it looks, or why it did not appeal to them... I personally love the thing.
      http://www.reverbnation.com/christianschulze

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      • #4
        On paper it looks like a damn fine synth. And it wasn't that expensive


        "On paper" was the problem. It shipped with many bugs affecting the sequencer and hard disk recording features, the factory presets were lame and there were manufacturing QC issues while the original price was within spitting distance of Motif, Fantom and Triton models that were already well established in the marketplace. Alesis cut the price a few months after release to try to spur sales but it didn't help. A lot of units ended being sold in blowout deals at 25% of the original price. People can forgive more at $500 than at $2000
        My VCAs go to 11

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        • #5
          Because it looks like a Studebaker. I'm serious.
          Hurrr. Derp, derp, derp.

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          • #6
            ...and from then on Hollow Sun started offering the official Hollow Sun libraries (on the Alesis Site) and the Hollow Sun Freepacks (on the Hollow Sun website). For the average person, even though these were mostly excellent sounds, it was probably a bit too much to keep up with! And they focused more on the synth side rather than the ROM side, and ROM is still king, I guess.


            I'll say here I don't think this is quite true - the sounds are mostly samples. There are some "synth engine" sounds but the majority are samples. The problem as I see it is there are too many sounds available and the quality is not there in the original banks.

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            • #7
              Well, but they are still synth samples for the most part.
              http://www.reverbnation.com/christianschulze

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              • #8
                the same problem that affected "other synth maker", focusing too much on sound design and sampling, rather than wave roms
                just wrong timing
                people were waiting for next successor to QS series

                Comment


                • #9
                  As I understand - when it was released, it was way too buggy. I bought it a couple of years after it was released and installed the latest version OS on it (1.23) and it has been mostly stable. A little bit of quirks here and there but very manageable and trustworthy. So, it took over a year (I think) to stabilize the OS, and by that time, its reputation as a buggy synth was established.

                  The second blow was that the original presets aren't that great. This was remedied a few months later when Hollow Sun released the Preset 5 bank, with much improved sounds, and from then on Hollow Sun started offering the official Hollow Sun libraries (on the Alesis Site) and the Hollow Sun Freepacks (on the Hollow Sun website). For the average person, even though these were mostly excellent sounds, it was probably a bit too much to keep up with! And they focused more on the synth side rather than the ROM side, and ROM is still king, I guess.

                  Also, some promised features were never implemented - the sequencer is very basic and only works in linear fashion. They promised to add the ability to connect an external HD, or a CD recorder to it and that was never implemented as well. And finally, the ROM sounds are hit and miss - some are very good, some are OK and some are pretty poor (like solo orchestral sounds, for example) and that meant that a person looking for a workstation would much rather get the Motif which has always been very good about the overall quality of all it sounds - they're always good or excellent compared to everybody else.

                  People who like the Fusion today are people who use it as a sound creation device, not people who want a workstation that competes with Motif or M3 or Kronos. Even though it is possible to use it as a workstation, but in a very limiting way.

                  I hope this helps to start the discussion... I'm sure others will chime in saying how ugly they think it looks, or why it did not appeal to them... I personally love the thing.


                  This is a good assessment ... The only thing I'll add is that as a digital sound creation device, it's a shame there's only four knobs, a fairly lo-res screen and all those useless category buttons ...

                  The problem with Fusion is that they really had no idea what they were making (an attempt at OASYS-like workstation) when they threw it against the wall to see what would stick ... (sound creation VA with four knobs and soft buttons ... )

                  Not mentioned here is one of the things that saves the Fusion is its nice keybed with aftertouch (at least synth action version) ...
                  NEW ALBUM RELEASE ... THE END OF TECHNOLOGY ...

                  http://electrocabaret.bandcamp.com/releases ... Introspective future/retro pop dealing with themes of authoritarianism, apocalypse and alcohol ...

                  Featuring "Hot Mess," "Hateful Little Rapper," "Ladio GaGa" and "Somewhere in Time."

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                  • #10
                    As stated in this thread, the interface was unconventional and left a lot of people scratching their heads.

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                    • #11
                      What other synth maker, zzzextreme?
                      http://www.reverbnation.com/christianschulze

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                      • #12
                        like EMU and Ensoniq, and like how Yamaha gave up on FM. i presume

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                        • #13
                          people were waiting for next successor to QS series


                          They gotta long wait ahead of them.
                          Too many keyboards, not enough music.

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                          • #14
                            The original presets were lackluster and there were serious hardware and software issues when it was released. They never recovered from the bad PR.
                            Best Regards, James
                            --
                            I have cast fire upon the world and I am guarding it until it blazes.

                            My Newest CD "Stealing The Sun": http://carbon111.bandcamp.com/

                            Carbon111 Website: http://www.carbon111.com

                            Carbon111 Blog: http://carbon111.blogspot.com

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                            • #15
                              Mediocre sounds, Terrible UI, and an unpleasing appearance.
                              Studio One 3, Ableton Live 9, a StudioLive 16.0.2, HS 80M monitors, 2 ATH M50 headphones, Synths both hardware and software, and a DJ rig using turntables.

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