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 ALESIS Andromeda A6 Analog Synthesizer + step sequencer

Alesis Andromeda A6 synthesizer
Andromeda A6
click image to enlarge - Bild klicken zum vergroessern
other ALESIS gear..
Built 2000
Type: analog
Hybrid: no
16 Voice / Stimmen
16x Multitimbral
large Memory / Speicher
Value / Wert in 2017 ca. 2500 (rare)
Synthesis: subtractive

OSC Features lin + exp FM hard+soft sync ring filterFM
Wave Shapes pulse saw triangle sine noise white pink red
2 OSCs + 2 SubOSCs info ©
2 Filter lpf hpf bpf notch self reso 2-4 Pole
3 LFOs pulse sym triangle saw random noise
3 Envelope Generators ADLDSRR loop

MIDI DELUXE Control / Triggering
61 Keys with velocity aftertouch

Arpeggiator yes advanced
Sequencer step sequencer
(ID 157)
  deutsch - german
ABOUT Sixteen Voices is a lot for a real analogue Synth. It has Oberheim and Moog Filters and a sophisticaed destination-orineted modulation system. The Envelopes are fast (when optimizer is set to ultra percussive) and has a ribbon controller and FM- a real flag ship starting where the memorymoog stopped. btw: cheap for what it can do.
ABOUT Sechzehn Stimmen sind sehr viel für einen analogen Synthesizer, er hat dazu noch Moog und Oberheim Filter und ein Ziel-orientiertes Modulationssystem. Die Hüllkurven sind sehr schnell (wenn der Engine Optimizer auf ultra percussive steht), bietet einen Ribbon Controller und FM. Wirklich ein Schlachtschiff, was da anfängt wo der Memorymoog aufhörte. günstig, wenn man bedenkt, was er kann.
DETAILS Parameters resolution is 16384 steps that are sent via midi also (using NRPNs, cascaded controllers), has Moog filter (4pole LPF) and Oberheim SEM (sounds a bit aggressive compared to the original, has BPF,HPF and LPF out mix), LFOs range up to 25Hz, not that fast and the S+H works up to 100Hz, Envelopes are loopable and all sections have their characteristics curve (linear, exp, log etc.), also capable of FM (lin and exp) also filter FM (both filters), on board FX. Coldfire processor 90MHz for LFOs and ENVs,mods, ASICs (real analog custom)
DETAILS lineare und exponentielle FM inkl noise und filter FM möglich. Filter: Oberheim SEM (klingt aber etwas aggressiver) mit mix von LPF,HPF,BPF - Moog filter (4pol). Hüllkurven haben für jedes Segment eine Charakteristik (von linear über exp bis log), loopbar, triggerbar von jeder modquelle. Regler lösen in 16384 Schritten auf und werden per Midi als NRPN übertragen (Bund von Controllern), daher keine Stufen. Engine Optimizer kann Hüllkurven auf weich und hart oder sehr perkussiv anpaassen, LFOs und S/H Schaltung getrennt, daher spannendes möglich: LFOs gehen leider nur bis 25Hz, S+H bis 100Hz. hat FX an board. (Hardware: Coldfire processor 90MHz für LFos und ENVs,mods, ASICs (real analog custom))
SOUND FX with lots of movement, basses, pads and even click-sounds (those modern ones) because of the fast envs..
SOUND von FX über pads bis bässe geht alles, er kann auch moderne Click-Sounds durch schnelle Hüllkurven
VERSION there was a red version (rare, about 250 made)
VERSION es gibt eine rote Version (rar, ca. 250 stk)

andromeda a6 andromeda synthesizer

andromeda a6
andromeda a6 andromeda synthesizer IMAGE
a6 andromeda synthesizer

A6 a6 andromeda synthesizer synthesizer

A6 a6 andromeda synthesizer synthesizer IMAGE
a6 andromeda synthesizer

A6 a6 andromeda synthesizer synthesizer

A6 a6 andromeda synthesizer synthesizer IMAGE
Andromeda A6
The "Using Andromeda Doc" by Mike Peake can be found here

A6 Andromeda
A6 Andromeda Andromeda A6 synthesizer DATA
Andromeda A6
one of 250 red "A5 in the order catalogue": the A6!

here are some tricks & tips.. the 250 red Andromedas now will be continued.. the rest will be blue ;)) so the image above is one of those rare red ones ;)) andn no: mine is not red.. but sounds good, too.. ;)) but now here are some stories and tricks and infos about the Andromeda.. one of the finest analogue Synths ever made.. btw: new Andros will hit the market in Feb.2002 (interupted because of the Chap.11 interrupt - Alesis has been baught by Numark)
A6 Andromeda Andromeda A6 synthesizer

A6 Andromeda
rot und limitiert. es gab 250 stück.
A6 Andromeda Andromeda A6 synthesizer IMAGE
Andromeda A6
here's the andromizer, a tool to do random sounds on the a6

here is a nice application for mac os 9/8 and OS X (works on panther,too), for randomizing the parameters in the a6 by Paul Evenblij - ANDROMIZER


btw: the OS or bankloader is a .SYX file: to upload it to your andromeda on the mac use "SysEx" from Steven L. Grace (free!). it comes as a ZIP files (the bootloader, too)..
how to deal with SYX files on mac and pc check under SOFTWARE ON THIS SITE!!
Andromizer + Editors
ein programm für java und os x, um zufallspatches zu basteln am andromeda
Andromizer + Editors Andromeda A6 synthesizer LINK
Andromeda A6
an editor - software for mac (os 9):

editing andromeda and managing sounds? use soundiver (emagic now apple)! worx fine! if you still have it..
Editor Software
andromeda bekommt eine software, die zzt free als beta zum runterladen hier zu bekommen ist:
ein prog für den lieben mac mit good ol' OMS 2.37 oder 2.38 lauffähig..
Editor Software Andromeda A6 synthesizer LINK
how to make FAT SOUNDS?

And a quick example of turning this into a sound that you can play by hand without overloading the mixer:
bring all Post Filter Mix Levels down to 23. Bring up Envelope 3's Sustain to taste. Bring up Oscillator 2 in the Pre Filter Mix and detune them :-)

From a comparison between a Minimoog and an Andy on TGS, the concept became clear that the non-linear keytracking on the Mini adds a lot of character so I encourage you to use the tracking generator to subtly (or not) detune the oscillators at strategic points across the keyboard as the old oscillators were scaled.

A very quick example of how to make Andromeda a bit fuller if you want it to be.

Start with Pim's fabulous "Brain Activity" (Preset 1, 000).
Turn off all of the Mods to both Filters.
Set the F2 Input to Mix.
Set Filter 1 as follows:
Frequency: 0.0218
Res: Maximum
Env2: 0.00
Offset: set to bring out the bass best
Keytrack: 50 (select the parameter and hit the Inc/Dec keys simultaneously)
Set Filter 2 as follows:
Frequency: 0.0233
Res: 0.00
Env2: 51.00
Select Filter 2 Mod 1. Set Envelope 2 to modulate Resonance
and keep the Level the same.
Post Filter Mix settings:
Filter 1 LP: 100.00
Filter 2 LP: 100.00
Pre Filter: 100.00
Turn off Osc2 Sine on the Pre Filter paramter on the Post
Filter Mix section.
Set Envelope 2's Decay 1 Stage to a slope of Log 3.
Set Envelope 3's D1 Time to 4ms.
Set Envelope 3's D2 Time to 322ms.
Set Sustain to 000.
Set Keyboard Mode to Poly.
Readjust Filter 1's Offset parameter for the best bass.
Bring the Voice Mix Level up to maximum.

Yes, you're overloading the Post Filter Mixer but in
this case it's good.

btw: The “fizzy-sounding” clipping that the Pre Filter Mix can produce is also possible in the Post Filter Mix, so take care to keep the sum total of all active Filter Levels below 100 (for example, Filter 1 BP: 29 and Filter 2: 65). Adjust to taste. It has been found that closing-filter sounds such as dark brass can cause this “fizz” even at a Filter 2 Level of 60, when it is the only Filter active in the buss. There is gain available in such cases at the Voice Mix Level control.
andromeda synthesizer
fat sounds
wie man einen fetten androsound hinbekommt (nicht sooo schwer)..
fat sounds how to make FAT SOUNDS? synthesizer TEXT
how to RESET the A6?
How to reset the Andromeda? Try a soft reset (power-cycle while holding soft button four) and see it it works. If not, save your programs and power-cycle again while holding soft button three (which, as implied, will wipe the programs). That's a hard reset, and will clear the tuning tables and start the process a new.

Some nice hints and tips and info:

btw: its a 90MHz Coldfire Processor and custom analog asics working in the Andy ;-)
andromeda resetten?
RESET ANDROMEDA? how to RESET the A6? synthesizer TEXT
A6 current os? how to check version?
Want to see the current OS in the A6?
Just go to GLOBAL, press soft buttons 6+7 simultaneously, then press SB 7+8
simultaneously. It should show you the version number in the upper line of
the display. Version should be .. uhm: CURRENT OS is 1.40.12 , simply check it from time to time ;), If it's older than that, you'll need : Alesis dicontinued the development ,so 1.40.12 should be the last one, they say the ion sells better and the old andro team does no longer work for alesis, so no chance for a rack or update.. but it will be sold for some time.. long life to andromeda!!
to update both the software and the factory presets check this URL.

update OS: power on ("power cycle") with button 7 held down.. the reast will be done by the andro! ;)
the OS bankloader (current is 1.2031) is another softbutton.. ;) (2..)


OS info / what's new: atm its 1.40.13 (beta) (newest fixed a Card bug, the previous fix was about a CC volume footswitch bug, 1.40 in general adds full CC hi-resolution NRPN Controllers to ALL knobs so.. the Andy is the first Synth that can be Controlled via MIDI at more than 16000 steps per Knob (not 128 as usual!!) ;)) thats great!! some more fixes and new features also.. new bankloader, too)
CURRENT OS is 1.40.13beta but 1.40.12 is the last one available , simply check it from time to time ;) but be sure (as said) there will be no newer version for above reason..

the process menu has a very nice feature: the engine optimizer,that optimizes the ENV and other curves to fast, ultra fast, slow or normal setting.. means: if you want mit most percussive, go to process - engine optimizer and set it to ultra fast or percussive.. now the ENVs are much "faster" and you got a bigger range in the fast range!!! hope that will come into other synthesizers,too!!
welches OS ist drin?
WHAT OS VERSION ANDROMEDA? A6 current os? how to check version? synthesizer TEXT
Memory Cards on A6
Viking 2MB SRAM card from should work well...
2 MB SRAM Card SN5002-P $69.49
(the one without attribute memory)
ie about _60_ bucks cheaper and they ship worldwide AT ACTUAL COST!!! other companies tried to charge me 40 -50 bucks for sending just one card to Europe. The staff at tima went to great length to help me out and were very friendly to boot.

You can order it from TEC.SYS in Germany ( I got mine from them, and I believe other members did it too. The reference is SJA-002M5C (pcmcia sram, 2Mb memorycard, 68-polig) but if you ask, they know exactly what is needed for the Andromeda.
SN5002 2 MByte SJA-002M5C

don't try others! only 2MB cards seem to work well..

you might try a pcmcia to compact flash adapter (9.90€) and some CF card.. of course 2MB ist still maximum.. but: i did not try it. it works on the vsynth! I don't believe it works!
CARD kostet so 70-80€'s...
ist in dem langen andromedathread gibt es noch mehr infos ,die vielleicht manche interessieren:
in den beiden alten forumfiles .. ansonsten:

Bei TecSys wollen sie 87 € für eine 2 MB-Karte.
TecSys (
A6 RAM CARDS Memory Cards on A6 synthesizer TEXT
(deutsch / german help file from the old forum)
andro help files PART 1
Die Referenz - Das Andromeda Infofile aus dem alten Forum als rtf (achtung knapp 500KB)

(danke an Jörg für das sammeln der alten infos aus dem ebenso alten forum) - neue Fragen bitte ins forum posten!!..
andro help files PART 1 andromeda synthesizer DATA
andro get more smooth / more punch
most users do not really touch the coolest part in the PROCESS menu: the engine optimizer: here you can set the ENVs to work ultra fast or smooth and "pad-like".. there are more than 2 options to set the ENV characteristics to really ZAPPPPPP you away or to carry you away by a very smooth setting or somewhere in between.. try it and you'll find the andro having no problems with fast or slow envelopes ;)

if in doubt about random sound generaion:
There is one global random number generated every cycle (2ms). The LFOs are run on a different timebase from the random number generator.Each LFO grabs the current global random number and uses that as it's noise output. So while it's possible that more than one LFO will use the same number, in practice the random number changes often enough that each LFO will have a unique output.

LFOs are sooo slow?? (too fast?) well maybe we'll get around 10Hz more in the future.. so maybe 40Hz is a realistic wish.. but as long they are too slow: set an Envelope to Loop between Attack and Decay1 and route it to the desired destination and set their rates to very low amounts (try the lowest and go ONE step higher)..
if you want to mod the speed: mod the Attack and Decay.. you can also set Attack or Decay to 0 to get a Saw (up/down).. and note: if you have both: you are modding the SYMMETRY.. so mod both and you have a speed modable LFO that can be very fast..
same of course for those who want even slower LFOs but set the Attack and Decay to high rates..! btw: this works in any Synth with loopable Envelopes like the Waldorf Q etc.. ;-)
MORE PUNCH andro get more smooth / more punch synthesizer TEXT
(deutsch / german help file from the old forum)
andro help files PART 2
Part II (150KB)

(danke an Jörg für das sammeln der alten infos aus meinem alten forum) - neue Fragen bitte ins forum posten!!..
andro help files PART 2 andromeda synthesizer DATA
if in doubt about random sound generation
if in doubt about random sound generation:
There is one global random number generated every cycle (2ms). The LFOs are run on a different timebase from the random number generator.Each LFO grabs the current global random number and uses that as it's noise output. So while it's possible that more than one LFO will use the same number, in practice the random number changes often enough that each LFO will have a unique output.

random LFO a6
if in doubt about random sound genertaion
random LFO a6 if in doubt about random sound generation synthesizer TEXT
fast lfos? want some?
LFOs are sooo slow?? (too fast?) well maybe we'll get around 10Hz more in the future.. so maybe 40Hz is a realistic wish.. but as long they are too slow: set an Envelope to Loop between Attack and Decay1 and route it to the desired destination and set their rates to very low amounts (try the lowest and go ONE step higher)..
if you want to mod the speed: mod the Attack and Decay.. you can also set Attack or Decay to 0 to get a Saw (up/down).. and note: if you have both: you are modding the SYMMETRY.. so mod both and you have a speed modable LFO that can be very fast..
same of course for those who want even slower LFOs but set the Attack and Decay to high rates..! btw: this works in any Synth with loopable Envelopes like the Waldorf Q etc.. ;-)

some of mine are here:
Sometimes you really want more than the OSCs FM?
Or better: a faster LFO So use a looped ENV by setting it to loop mode between AD or AD2D2 mode..
Now you have a much faster lfo. Control it moding A and D!
Shapes: use the curve shape!!
Unfortunately, due to hardware limitations (like the oberheim xpander), the LFOs cannot go past 25Hz, as Mike Peake pointed out:
I certainly have an interest in slow stuff like that.. I'm the guy who insisted that the LFOs be able to go as slowly as they do (but the hardware is what limits the upper rate, which we looked into opening even 10Hz more, but with large modulations you could hear the digitization, too much so we kept it where it was--sorry).

The envelopes actually run on a much faster cycle than the LFOs. The envelopes also loop. This means, if you want that faster-than-25Hz cycle on the LFOs, there is a way!
Choose an envelope. Instead of modulating something by an LFO, you will be modulating something by a looping envelope, as follows:

FAST TRIANGLE LFO: Set the envelope attack to 2ms. Set the envelope decay 1 to 2ms and then drop D2 level to the lowest level. For a triangle LFO, you set the slopes of the envelopes to linear; you can experiment with various slope rates as well. Now, go to Loop (soft button 5). Set the start at attack, and the end at decay 1. Set the loop type to FORWARD. This will give you a 250Hz LFO to work with. For a 500Hz LFO, you can try setting the start and end at attack and set the loop type to ROKROL.

FAST POSITIVE SINE LFO: You can also do a positive-wave sine wave with a looping envelope. Set the attack speed at 2ms, and the slope as EXP 3. Forget about the rest. Now, go to Loop. Set the start and end at attack. Set the loop type to FORWARD. Set the looping to ROKROL.

FAST SAW LFO: Set the envelope attack to 2ms. Set the slopes of the attack to linear. Now, go to Loop (soft button 5). Set the start at attack, and the end at attach. Set the loop type to FORWARD. This will give you a 5000Hz saw LFO.

You can modulate envelope stage times to achieve some form of envelope modulation if desired. (Attack and decay 1 times are modulatable in each envelope’s MOD n directories.)

To calculate looping envelope frequency, perform the following calculation:
1 / (Total milliseconds of envelope / 1000) = n Hz.
Example: 1 / (2 / 1000) = 500 Hz

The other problem - need another ENV:
Now you may sync the LFO by key trigger set it to triangle waveform
And get a nice small envelope!
(c)Moogulator / Consequence
slow lfos? langsame lfos?
LFO speed .. tricks

AUF DEUTSCH: in german: Man loope die Hüllkurve zwischen den Segmenten Attack und Decay1 und stelle sie auf einen sehr kurzen Wert.Dieser so entstehenden LFO ist wesentlich schneller als die LFOs im Andromeda, daher im "Andy" ein "Muss".. im Q aber immernoch nicht lahm und im XT ebenso nicht schlecht für LFOhungrige.. auch wenn der Q ja 3 schneeeellle LFOs hat..
und: er kann moduliert werden in seiner Geschwindigkeit und Symmetrie:
Attack und Decay!!..einfach durch Velocity oder ModWheel oder was anderes interesessantes (ein anderer LFO ;) modulieren..
Das funktioniert auch bei anderen Synth mit Loopbarer ENV.
Niederfrequente Grüsse Der Moogulator!
slow lfos? langsame lfos? fast lfos? want some? synthesizer TEXT
VCOs role models
WHAT ARE THE OSCS and FILTERS A6 VCOs are modeled after the Moog 921 VCO and the 24dB VCFs are modeled after the Moog 904A VCF. Minimoog VCF is slightly different from 904A BTW; feedback path (read: resonance) is slightly different circuitwise. Sonic wise they're the closest, 904A sounds more "open" especially at high resonance. Of course the SEM are still modeled after the SEM filters ,haha ;))
a6 VCOs are..
vorbilder der vcos sind die moog 921er VCOs aus dem moog modular
a6 VCOs are.. VCOs role models synthesizer TEXT
behind the A6 history
WHY THE A6 has MOOG & (Oberheim) SEM FILTERS (Mike Peake of Alesis (that time)), well someone asked why its not a (Roland) Juno filter inside:

Actually, we chose both because in the shoot-out we had with all of our analogs in the same room (quite a sight!), the Moog Modular and Four Voice (4 SEM Modules) were quite obviously the best-sounding synths, with the (Roland) SH5 filter coming in behind the (Oberheim) SEM. The choice was not marketing driven, but engineering driven. We were fascinated with the possibility of playing a polyphonic Moog Modular. There were no "runners-up", per se, only options which we didn't all agree upon. None of us own a Juno of any type. None of us have since bought one. We were interested in capturing what was not only to our ears, the best sound, but the least available as well.

If I remember correctly, the list included at the time, between us:
Moog Modular
(Roland) System 700 Lab Cabinet with 24dB LPF
2 MKS80 (quite close to Jupiter 8)
ARP 2600
Between three of us, (Oberheim) 9 SEMs
Three Minimoogs
Two MS20s

and much more. I posted an accurate list on AH a while back.Erik Norlander, then the manager of the synth group, has since
gone on to build a Huge Moog Modular. You can hear it onhis solo recordings and with his band, Rocket Scientists My Moog Modular was used and ispictured on his first solo CD, Threshold.

A top discrete modular such as the Technosaurus or 700 will undoubtedly exhibit more depth, dynamic range, and body.The Minimoog Voyager will be larger-sounding than A6 if the Moogerfoogers are any indication. If Andromeda actually had the meat of a Minimoog, it would never fit into a mix! Hence the folks on TGS defending the Juno 106, saying it easily fits into a mix. That is a good point, and why some instruments become favored over others.
Modular designers also have the benefit of being able to tweak a circuit or mod it into the characteristics they desire. It's notthat easy when dealing with fabrication turns of a VLSI chipset :-)

alesis andromeda synthesizer
warum der a6 moog und oberheim sem filter hat..
A6 behind the A6 history synthesizer TEXT
what noise in the a6

Audio Rate FM, Oscillators and Filters-Analog Noise can be used as audio into the Filters by selecting a Noise Type and Level in the Pre Filter Mix module and then turning Soft Pot 8 on that page to Enable Aud In. Noise can also be used to modulate the Filter frequencies. Turn Aud In to Off, press the View button on the Filter(s) you wish to modulate, and use Soft Pot 8 to select Ext In. The Pre Filter Mix Noise Level pot will then act as an attenuator for the modulation. The Mod on this pot will act as a dynamic modulator of this route.

-Note that the analog noise cannot be used as a signal source into the Filters when using the external Filter modulation CV path.
-Note that this control path is not capable of being calibrated by the microprocessor and that there will be audible variance
between voices when using it. Optimization can be done by using an input voltage that swings between zero and five volts DC.

More info:

The Pre Filter Mix Noise/External pot / associated VCA are shared by the following paths, some of which are mutually exclusive and overriding:
-Analog Noise
-Filter Feedback
-External Audio Input to the V1-16 jack
-Filter External CV

AUD IN is a switch which enables/disables the VCA path to the Filter audio inputs. You of course do not want a DC CV signal running into the filter audio inputs... And in the cases where you want to FM the filters with Noise or the External Audio signal but not hear them filtered simultaneously, you turn AUD IN to OFF.

It would be nice to have separate signal paths for each of these but there weren't enough pins on the chips, space for the VCAs on the chips, and time to make it happen.

SO: It's a shared VCA.

Yeah, that would have done it. It was reportedly far more difficult to transfer a non-linear Q design like the Moog 904a into VLSI than the constant-Q mod which was used.

The A6 was not a long-long-term research project. If we had been able to tweak it to our exact liking, we'd still be developing it. Consider what's in there already:
-The equiv of 250 opamps per Oscillator or Filter chip
-Sub octaves per oscillator
-Multiple dynamic VCA-controlled audio-rate FM paths
-Two different filters per voice, configurable
-Filter Feedback
-Analog noise (don't even mention digital noise!)
-Ring modulator per voice
-Very tweakable Envelopes and LFOs
-A Ribbon Controller :-D
-Step Sequencer and Arpeggiator
-Lots of MIDI Sync
-Multiple outputs
-Very flexible tracking generator
-Full uP control of calibration
-External Audio Inputs
-Large display for editing "page two" parameters

It's not a perfect synth, but it was not a simple project either. These are the reasons that more companies don't produce analog synths any more. I share many of your wishes for A6,but would also like to point out that it's not bad for a company which is known for its tape recorders, eh? :)

I'd like to be pretentious for a moment (when are you not, they ask) and give respect for those who make analogs full-time.Considering the difficulties this entails, it's obviously a labor of love.

I know that these points are not a true response to the questions at hand. As I've said, enjoy it for what it is, because the hardware ain't changing anytime soon. And that's a figure of speech; there are no hardware changes planned or in progress.
A6 fm + noise
krachsektoren im a6
A6 fm + noise what noise in the a6 synthesizer TEXT
softsync a6
I don't know much about how Soft-sync works but it does seem to change tone depending on how the phase of the VCO waveforms are lined up. If I press it on, and off about ten times, you here a different tone at each of the 1 tries. most of them similar, but a few of em will be heavily phase cancelled and tiny. Is this how it works?


I have a saw on VCO1, and a square wave on VCO2, one octave down

Generally the way synch works when VCO2 is synched to VCO1, is that every time the VCO1 waveform has a positive-going zero crossing (i.e. begins its cycle), the waveform of VCO2 is reset to the beginning of ITS cycle. That's hard synch. With soft synch, the VCO2 waveform does NOT reset for every time VCO1 begins its cycle. It only resets if it is near the end of its cycle, and about to reset anyway.

I'm not sure if that's correct; I believe that any sort of synch relies on the rising edge of the "master" waveform to reset the phase of the "slave". In Soft Synch, the slave oscillator can be caused to completely lock in phase
with the master if their tuning relationships are consonant (octaves, fifths, etc.) It is often neccessary to tune the slave oscillator flat several cents in order to achieve a lock. Check "70's Lead" for a soft-sync'd sound and check the tuning of osc 2. Note that the timbre of a soft-synch'd oscillator changes a bit, even if the master and slave are at the same frequency. In hard sync, the slave becomes a generator of harmonics as it attempts to both freerun and also reset to the rising edge of the master's waveform cycle.

Not all voices will accurately soft sync due to the compromise between the sensitivity requirements of the circuit and the differences in tone which occur. It is an effect which is great for organ sounds (pipe and otherwise) and for firmer bass sounds as well. I've found that if the slave is tuned -below- the master, it will lock a bit better (and IIRC, it's tone is a bit cleaner.

If a slave is exactly twice the frequency of the master, it will produce two complete wavecycles in the exact period of the master's one, with the rising and falling edges being the same for both at the ends. This is useful when creating complex single-cycle waveforms for looping in small memory spaces in ROMplers (means: samples are use that are in the ROM/the fixed memory of the synth). Octloc (sp) in the QS synths was from Emerson's Moog Modular, with three 921bs in soft sync, each an octave higher than the other. I had a sound, Morgan, in a factory set a few revs ago, which was osc 2 soft sync'd to 1 but two octaves higher, both oscillator producing square waves and the suboctaves at equal volume, for a 16-voice stack of four
perfectly-in-phase square waves. There were sounds like this as leads in
the Morg Garson "Moog" records such as Black Mass.

(One of the cooler features of the Wiard VCO is that there's a synch *pot*, which can be adjusted from no synch, through varying degrees of soft synch with the threshold for
>oscillator reset being changed, to rock-solid hard synchronization ... I
>don't know of any others that allow this.)

I was in touch for a short while with a gent who was creating a feature-
packed modular called the EVOS (info in the AH archives). It never saw
the light of day AFAIK but it's oscillators had the same continuously
variable Sync input function.

You have a Wiard? :-)

So with soft synch, if VCO1 & VCO2 at close frequencies, BUT freerunning,whether or not VCO2 will synch to VCO1 may vary based on slight phase/frequency differences between the two oscillators. And as those differences will change over time, yes, the synched sound may vary depending on exactly when you hit the "synch" button.

If you don't have the slave oscillator detuned into the "groove" which allows soft synch to lock, it can jump in and out of synch creating it's own effect. James Reynolds created a sound, "Faux Organ" in the factory presets which takes advantage of this effect, IIRC.

Synths I know of with Soft Sync:

Moog 921b oscillators
Roland SH5 (you have to tune it's slave oscillator flat as well as the A6s)
Matrix 6 (Oberheim)

I know that the curtis 3340 oscillator had a soft sync input pin as well as a hard sync input but I don't remember any CEM synths
with this feature.

how wide in frequency terms the 12db BPF filter is? the Oberheim SEM Filter:
Filter 1 is based upon the SEM, which is a standard state-variable design consisting of two 6dB poles in series. The different responses are tapped from different places in the circuit path. As the HP and LP are series, they are 12dB response; the BPF (as the Notch) is of course one 6dB pole HP into one 6dB pole LP (I believe that's the order) so their response is a 6dB slope on either side of Fc. As there are only two poles to play with, it can't be steeper than this. The Xpander has four configurable poles to play with so you can achieve 12dB BP and Notch response, as well as on the Chroma (damn, it's a pair of 12dBs, right? I'm so damn forgetful). A 24dB response is possible using of course two individual 24dB HP and LPs in series, as on the Moog Modular.
In terms of where the filtering starts and stops (the width of the BPF), it should be 3dB down outside a fairly tight peak which would get tighter with increasing resonance. MC will know how wide that is in a SV filter.
A6 softsync
softsync (thx mike peake)
A6 softsync softsync a6 synthesizer TEXT
TIP: SNAP and JUMP knob modes?
TIP: SNAP and JUMP knob modes?
in the last weeks I began missing an important parameter (or I don't find it....).
Working live on my A6 and modulating sounds by the knobs I have always these evil jumps.
I have the wish/request for a global parameter, the selection between the jump mode (as it is now),
and the snap mode (the knob works only, if my movement has reached the point of its internal value
of the adjusted parameter).
I'm used to work so on the Virus and the Nord Modular, as on my Minimoog as well :-)
Is there any chance to add such an important parameter?

ANSWER: Press Global, press soft button five (Panel),
and turn soft pot three to ALL.

about the rare designs
To upgrade your existing a6 to the new panels, slight modifications will be needed. These are beta panels and do not include a hole for "off" on the main output.
There's an "off" hole? I only see "Main" and "aux", and there isn't an indicator pictured on the Alesis site either. When I set mine to "Off" the lights just go out.
The older dark blue panels have an "OFF" LED hole above MAIN and AUX, but they realized that "no light" was the same as a light to indicate this state, and it saved an LED as well.
There are probably only five of the gray panel in existence.
a6 snap + jump knob
abhol und sprungmode für die regler (thx mike peake)
a6 snap + jump knob TIP: SNAP and JUMP knob modes? synthesizer TEXT
FM sounds + hall
andro FX A few tips for the A6 Hall verb, or any verb (wedge)

- Input LPF under 6k are more realistic. I went through almost all of the programs in a Lexicon 480 and the LPFs were between 2k and 6k.
- Density and Diffusion no higher than 80% in most cases. I think that's the default. If the reverb has a metallic ring or you want more character, lower these values.
- Swirl is almost always a bad idea, unless you want an effect.
- If the Predelay is under 50ms or so and you increase Predelay Mix, the reverb will be out of phase. So Predelay Mix is only nice at longer predelay times, otherwise it should be 100%.
- The Damping is nice for adding depth to the reverb,and sounds more realistic.

Another trick I've been doing with the effects is using the dual mono effects with direct going left and effects going right. I write a pad program, say, and pan it all the way left in the Voice Mix section. Then I send it to a Dly:Dly or Chorus:Chorus program. But the output of the left effect is all the way down at 0%. This gives you a really wide chorus effect.

Truth be told, the Wedge sounds better than the A6 effects to me. I've A/Bed a few programs and the Wedge is a bit sweeter for some reason. Here are a few Flange programs that I copied over and that sound pretty good.

Slow Sweeper (Chorus/Flange config)
Rate: .07; Depth: 10; FB 80%; Thru: Off; LPF 6.03 , FBHPF: 5.11k; FBLPF: 6.05k; Predelay l/r: 0/0; Trigger: Off

True Stereo Flange (Chs:Chs config)
Rt: .25; Depth:30; FB: -22; PDL: 0 , LPF: Off; FBLPF: .450k; FBHPF: 1.09k ,Wave:Sine; Thru 0: Off
Rt: .27; Depth: 53; FB: 10; PDL: 0 ,LPF: Off; FBHPF: 2.07k; FBHPF: 2.41k ,Wave: Sine; Thru 0: Off

another hall
contribution, for "Large Hall" -- it's good for solo lines. was "built" after doing some listening to some good analogue recordings of high-end microphones recording light percussive sounds in a church. It's less echo-ey than that, but captures some of that feel:
Send: 16.09 Out: 21.00
Param1 Decay: 4.794 Boost: 40 BassF: 0.297 LPF: 4.130 Dens: 62 Diff: 80
Param2 PDTime: 88ms, PDMix: 48,LDamp: 2.500,HDamp: 0.117
Param3 Swirl: 0,Depth: 60,Gate, Hold, Release: 0

final info:
editing your a6 via computer? ok who cares? but managing sounds works great with emagic sounddiver (V3.05) on mac and pc. use "sysex" for mac and for pc to upload new .syx files (OS!) to the a6!
whats that keyboard? a fatar! what else ;) ? from italy.. (as waldorf Q and Q+ etc..)

FM on the andromeda? what is it good for??..
especially the filter fm:
Well you can mod the filters in audio speed!!
This allows us to have interesting nice spectra using the filter as an oscillator (with resonance!)..
If you want some subtle dirt or not-so-subtle heavy "aliasing"-like sounds you can use it to create intereting "overtones"..

Well, you never used it on your Q? Any synth that has "audio speed lfos" like the jupiter 4,the andro or Q etc.. are known for their FX sounds using this feature..

If you did not ever touch any FM synth (well you still have one!!) first try 2 OSCs .
Say osc1 mods the frequency of OSC2.

This lets OSC2 become sound "metallic" the more influence of OSC1's frequency you send to OSC2!..
The DX7 uses this to create clusters of hi-harmonic overtones that can be controlled by the amplitude of impact (modulation) on the carrier (the osc,that mods the other can be seen as the "amount of FM")

There are lots of sounds, use an envelope to control the FM!!
So you got 2 Ops of the DX7!! the carrier always controls the amplitude/volume, but the modulator controls the harmonic content.
Use SINE WAVES!!! why? They consist of NO OVERTONES!!

Hope that helped a bit..
You did know,that the Q has very fast LFOs?..
On the andromeda you can mod filter 1 directly by OSC !
The filter 2 can also be used ,but you only have an offset!!.. So be careful adjusting the FM amount..

Results are quite large.. Especially on filter 2 with resonating filter!!
(means: filter works as sine OSC!!!..)
So you can have 2 OP FM on the andro this way, or use 2 OSCs..

frequency modulation fm synth dx7: find more under "synth?" and yamaha fm synthesizer section / dx7..there are german and english versions available!! (thats why there are no links here) ;)


and something very important: never ask for Van Halen's Jump (its an OB Xa Sound.. can be done with the Andromeda, yes.. but never ask for EVIL!!!) ;)))

FM sounds + hall
fm tipps + hall sounds
FM sounds + hall FM sounds + hall synthesizer TEXT
compared Andromeda + moog
andromeda vs. moog
I compared the VCOS: the andromeda also has the 921's but the moogs seemed to be more broad / fat /.. maybe it compares like the wave to microwave.. it's nearly the same thing on the filters, the same character but the strength of the moogs is somewhat bigger.. still the andromeda sounds authentic moogish but there is a bit of difference in hi-end quality and very high-end quality ;)

the andros aberheim filters are also like this: the chracteristics are very much the SEM and a bit xpander style..
it always comes close to all typical sounds, more than that - it IS the same.. but a moog modular has more pressure behind the sound in overall conclusion
andromeda vs. moog
the VCFs (904) are also the same: the andro sounds GREAT, but the moog still is the only one that sounds a bit "more" into all of those things like broadness, "fatness", brilliance..
andromeda vs. moog
I'd say it's not the difference between a VA and a real analogue.. it's more close .. it's more like twins! they are the same, but still a little difference .. say same family and no doubt about the sound.. it's a moog! btw: the sem also sounds very authentic.. seems the same situation.. no andro user should regret to buy it!!.. ;)) the nicest portable moog ever made.. the only 2 things that are a bit better are voyager and moog modular.

both: andromeda and modular users will not regret to still have it..
sounds to compare yourself will follow end september here!
A6 vs. Moog Modular compared Andromeda + moog synthesizer

A6 vs. Moog Modular
vergleich moog - andromeda
A6 vs. Moog Modular compared Andromeda + moog synthesizer IMAGE
compared Andromeda + moog

A6 vs. Moog Modular compared Andromeda + moog synthesizer

A6 vs. Moog Modular
A6 vs. Moog Modular compared Andromeda + moog synthesizer IMAGE
compared Andromeda + moog

A6 vs. Moog Modular compared Andromeda + moog synthesizer

A6 vs. Moog Modular
A6 vs. Moog Modular compared Andromeda + moog synthesizer IMAGE
Andromeda A6
Andromeda Filter Structure
A6 Andromeda Andromeda A6 synthesizer

A6 Andromeda
die Filterstruktur des Andromeda
A6 Andromeda Andromeda A6 synthesizer IMAGE
Andromeda A6
Andromeda Oscillator Structure
A6 Andromeda Andromeda A6 synthesizer

A6 Andromeda
die Oszillator-Struktur des Andromeda
A6 Andromeda Andromeda A6 synthesizer IMAGE
compared Q + A6
compared: a6 vs. Waldorf go..
Andromeda vs Waldorf Q+
Andromeda vs Waldorf Q+ compared Q + A6 synthesizer LINK
A6 Links
some Andromeda Sounds / Patches / mp3's (AUDIO!!!!) / Songs to be found here:
Sounds, Demos und Infos zum Andromeda: (Arnd's Site (one of the creators) (running the a6 mailing list)

new OS always at

or simply at

and the basic / official info site from

how the andy was born...
A6 Links
A6 Links A6 Links synthesizer LINK
kris rhens aurora mod
kris rhens mod of the andromeda - the aurora mod

want it without warranty? ask kris rhen, who did aurora!:
this one is stolen from/more pix here: Aurora better check this now - "aurora" got an own website: aurora/
now incl. wooden side panels and more mods..
andromeda aurora modification
here's the aurora by kris rhen again, pic is also by krhen of course (both!!)
aurora andromeda a6
update: seems Kris removed the nice pics..
Aurora Mod kris rhens aurora mod synthesizer

Aurora Mod
kris rhens aurora mod - klick auf das bild..

Aurora Mod kris rhens aurora mod synthesizer IMAGE
kris rhens aurora mod
kris rhens mod of the andromeda - the aurora mod
Aurora Mod kris rhens aurora mod synthesizer

Aurora Mod
kris rhens aurora mod
Aurora Mod kris rhens aurora mod synthesizer IMAGE


strange, they always had real usable things, they invented the ADAT recorders and a series of well known FX boxes. the best known one and now discontinued is the 16 voiced real analogue Andromeda, which drew much more attention to Alesis as a synth manufacturer who instroduced VA synths later. today they changed more to the DAW kind of products which are still interesting like more affordable CC boxes for DAW and Mixing. after the release of Andromeda they went into insolvency and where bought by Numark, the DJ mixer company and the A6 dropped the price but the Andro team was fired. anyway it was the most remarkable product of Alesis ever made. there's no other 16 voice poly synth of that complexity around and will sooner or later be mentioned along with the Jupiter 8, the Matrx 12 or the Prophet 5. So thanks to Dave Bryce and Mike Peake (and others) for struggeling to make it real and hope there will be a second generation "Andromeda" incl. 3 Octave, Desktop and Rack Verison with faster LFO as they all wish.

Alesis now belongs to the inMusic group (along with Akai, Numark and ion)

Official Intl. Site :

Alesis gehört wie Akai und Numark zur inMusic Group.

Die Ur-Firma war vor Allem durch das ADAT Format 8Spur Recorder bekannt und die gleichnamige digitale Schnittstelle mit Lichtleitern für bis zu 8 Kanäle. Sie ist auch 2014 noch ein Standard in Audio-Interfaces.

Nach dem Alesis Andromeda - oder genauer während er in den Markt ging, ging die Firma insolvent und wurde von Numark gekauft.

heute gehören Numark, Alesis und Akai zur in Music Group (USA).



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