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On display at Winter NAMM was the ION, a 49-key analog modeling synthesizer with bold sounds for cutting-edge music-making.

Driven by Alesis' proprietary 500 MIPS sound engine, the ION packs eight voices of smooth, high-bandwidth analog-style punch, with three oscillators and two multi-mode filters per voice. This four-part multitimbral sound engine serves up everything from warm, round bass tones to lush pads and gritty lead sounds, making ION perfect for music styles ranging from rock to funk and the latest house, techno and trance dance styles.

The ION is also noteworthy in its clean, intuitive user interface, comprised of 30 realtime control knobs, over 70 direct-access buttons, a pitch bend wheel, and two assignable modulation wheels. Using this interface, everything from radical filter sweeps to subtle tonal changes can be performed in real-time, just like the classic analog synths of the past. Additionally, a 160x160 graphic LCD provides feedback throughout a variety of operations.

The ION's onboard effects include chorus, flange, phaser, echo, distortion, fuzz, compressor and more--all developed using Alesis' legendary effects algorithms. Of particular note is the ION's full-featured Vocoder, which can perform up to 40 bands of vocoding with no negative impact on the ION's polyphony.

Connections include four balanced analog outputs and stereo balanced analog inputs, as well as MIDI In and Out/Thru ports. A built-in switching power supply is also included. The ION will ship in March, 2003.

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