Alesis 7-51-0177-D WEBSITE User Manual

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Quick Start Owner’s Manual

Manual de inicio rápido para el usuario (Spanish) Schnelles Hinweisbuch (Deutsch)

Guide d’installation rapide (Français) Manuale rapido di utilizzazione (Italiano)

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Thank You!

Thanks for purchasing the Fusion digital audio workstation! The Fusion is one of the most powerful and fully-featuredproducts we’ve ever built. We’re sure you’ll love using it!

To help you jump in and start using the Fusion quickly, we’ve created this Quickstart guide. This short guide has everything you need to start playing quickly.

When you’re ready for more in-depthinformation, take a look at the Reference manual. The Reference manual describes every single feature and parameter on the Fusion and provides answers to all of yourin-depthFusion questions.

We hope your new Fusion workstation will provide you with years of enjoyment and you’ll find these manuals to be informative and useful for you.


The People of Alesis

Fusion Architecture

The Alesis Fusion workstation features an arsenal of different synthesis types, hard-diskrecording, sampling, arranging, andreal-timecontrol in one beautiful machine. The Fusion 6HD and 8HD are identical except for size, weight, and keyboard action. The 6HD has61-notesand issemi-weightedwhereas the 8HD has 88fully-weightedkeys. Right out of the box, the Fusion gives you everything you need to realize your wildest musical ideas.

The Fusion’s Synthesis Engine

The Fusion provides four types of synthesis: Sample Playback, Analog Modeling, FM (frequency modulation) synthesis, and Physical Modeling. With Dynamic DSP Synthesis™, the Fusion allows you to create sounds using any combination of synthesis types. There are no artificial limits placed on synthesis or polyphony—you’refree to configure and push your Fusion to its absolute limits.

Sample Playback

Whether you’re looking for the most realistic guitar or piano, a massive snare drum, or a sound effect, the Fusion’s sample playback engine can make it happen. Right out of the box, the Fusion has thousands of high-qualitysamples at your disposal.

Virtual Analog (VA) Synthesis

The Fusion’s VA synthesis engine is just what you need to make lush pads and deep, massive bass. The three oscillators, ultra-flexiblerouting, and variable filter types allow the Fusion to sound like any of the great analog synths of the past. Or, if you’re the adventurous type, you can go wild and create a virtual analog synth that has never been heard before!

FM Synthesis

FM synthesis is best known for its ability to produce electronic piano, bell-typesounds, and melodic percussion such as vibes and marimba. Prior to the Fusion, FM synthesis was considered a challenge to program because of the way the operators and carriers interact to produce sound. With the Fusion, FM’s complicated programming is a thing of the past. The Fusion’s graphical FM signal router greatly simplifies sound creation, enabling you to intuitively realize the sound you want.

Physical Modeling

Physical modeling is a state-of-the-artprocess that mathematically describes how a sound wave behaves inside an instrument. We’ve taken a great deal of care in designing an interface that musicians can relateto—enablingyou to tweak your sounds inreal-timewithout complex math or confusing parameters. With physical modeling, you can create ultra realistic wind and reed instruments or create instruments no one has heard before.

Eight Channel Hard Disk Recorder

For capturing vocals or live instruments, the Fusion has an integrated, 8-track,24-bit /44.1kHzhard disk recorder. The analog inputs on the rear panel let you record eight tracks simultaneously allowing you to capture an entire band at the same time. Like any recorder, the Fusion provides standard transport controls with locate points.


Sampling Capability

If you want to create a custom instrument or sound effect, you can easily do it with the Fusion’s sampler. The Fusion provides stereo inputs with a Trim knob for adjusting input levels. Your samples can be either mono or stereo, and are recorded and stored as files that can be placed on either the Fusion’s hard disk or compact flash cards.

An Integrated MIDI / Audio Recording and Editing Environment

The Fusion makes composing easy by displaying both MIDI and audio data on one screen. The Fusion can also import MIDI files for easy editing within the workstation.

The Mode Buttons

The Fusion has six main modes: Mix, Program, Song, Sampler, Mixer, and Global.

Mix, Program, and Song modes have parameters that you can edit. To go “under the hood” of these modes, simply press the EDIT button located on the upper left of the data wheel. To return to the “top” just press the Mix, Program, or Song mode button again.

Mix Mode

This is the mode where you can assemble your “band” for a song. Let’s say you want to compose a song with piano, bass, and drums. After you’ve found the instruments you want to use (using Program mode—seebelow), simply add your programs into a “Mix” and now you’re ready to arrange your composition using either the Fusion’s built in sequencer (in Song mode) or an external sequencer.

Mix mode is also where you can go to set up keyboard splits (for example bass on the left half of the keyboard, and a synth on the right), or to layer sounds on top of each other.

Program Mode

This mode is where you’ll probably spend most of your time. In Program Mode, you can load and play one instrument at a time and explore the thousands of sounds in the Fusion. Say you just want to play a Grand Piano—justenter Program mode, call up the type of piano you want, and go!

The category buttons to the right of the display give you quick access to different groups of sounds, such as Piano, Guitar, Bass, Strings, etc.

Song Mode

After assembling your band (like the piano, bass, and drums trio we discussed in Mix mode), you can arrange, record, and edit your composition in Song mode. The Fusion’s multitrack recorder is also integrated into this mode letting you record live instruments along side your synth tracks.

On the display’s upper right, Active Tracks refers to the number of tracks you are currently working with. The Fusion provides up to 32 MIDI tracks and 8 audio tracks per song.


Sampler Mode

When you’re ready to create your own custom instruments or sound effects, Sampler mode is where you’ll need to go. All sampling and waveform editing takes place here. Pressing Edit when you’re in Sampler mode and you’ll see the all the layering and editing capabilities of the Fusion found within the Multi, Zone, Sample, Process, and Utility tabs along the left side of the display.

Once you’re done creating your new instrument, you can load it up and play it just like any other program in Program mode.

Mixer Mode

Mixer Mode has been created so you can conveniently mix your synthesizer and audio tracks together on one screen. The mixer is only accessible when you are in Mix and Song which are the only modes in which you can have multiple programs or audio tracks to mix together. Program or Sampler modes only play one instrument at a time and do not need a Mixer (because you have nothing to mix)

The mixer lets you set levels and pan positions for each synth and audio track. You can also set send levels, and mute or solo tracks just like on a hardware mixer.

Global Mode

Global mode lets you set parameters that affect all areas of the Fusion. Things like MIDI transmit channel, master tuning, and keyboard velocity scaling can be found here.

The SETTINGS tab lets you modify various keyboard, MIDI, and controller related settings, while the ITEM tab lets you open, load, move, or delete different items found on your Fusion (items include programs, mixes, songs, samples, multisamples, and arpeggiation patterns). The MEDIA tab gives you information about the hard drive and Compact Flash cards and allows you to format these devices. The SYSTEM tab lets you view and update the current system information.


Basic Navigation: The Fusion’s General Layout

Let’s begin by familiarizing ourselves with the Fusion’s layout. This will make it easier to find what you want as you start playing your Fusion or hooking it up to your studio.




As you look at each Fusion’s top panel, you’ll notice there are two separate sections:

The section of knobs, buttons, and wheels located on the instrument’s left side is known as the

Performance Panel.

The section that includes the Fusion’s display, the control wheel, and the various other buttons is known as the Control Panel.





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The Fusion’s Performance Panel is what you’ll often reach for during a performance. The wheels, knobs, and buttons will allow you to tweak things like pitch, modulation, or filter cutoff while you’re playing. This chapter will explain the basics—formore in depth coverage see the reference manual.

The Performance Panel’s components consist of the following:

1.PITCH BEND WHEEL: This is a standard pitch bend wheel that behaves just like on any other synthesizer. Use this to create expressive pitch changes during a performance.

2.MODULATION WHEEL: The modulation wheel (or “mod wheel” for short) can be assigned to control many parameters within the keyboard like vibrato, tremolo, FM amount, etc. Like the pitch wheel, it’s often used to add expressivity to your performance. The mod wheel is usually mapped to vibrato as a default, but it is possible to map it to almost anything using the Fusion’s Modulation Matrix. See the reference manual to find out how to do this.

3.PERFORMANCE GRID: The Performance Grid tells you what your Control Knobs are currently assigned to. There are four rows and the active row is illuminated while other rows remain dimmed. Use the ARP, FILTER, EQ, and ASSIGN buttons (see below) to select your active row.

4.ARP, FILTER, EQ, ASSIGN: These buttons select the active row on the performance panel. ARP, FILTER, and EQ are hard-wiredto arpeggiator, filter, and EQ functions whereas the assign row lets you map the Control Knobs to any parameter of your choosing.


5.CONTROL KNOBS: These knobs can be used to control all kinds of parameters within the Fusion like filter frequencies, resonance, modulation, or even tempo. You can use the Control Knobs to tweak settings in real-timeas you’re playing, giving you limitless creative possibilities.

TIP: The bottom of the Fusion’s display changes depending on what row you have selected in the Performance Grid. For example, if you select the ARP row, the “virtual knobs” on the bottom of the screen will say Gate, Velocity, Step Value, and Tempo. If you select “EQ,” the bottom of the screen will change to Low,Low-Mid,High-Mid,and High.

When you turn a knob, you’ll notice the on-screenknob changes accordingly.

6.ARP On/Off, S1, S2: The ARP On/Off (Arpeggiator) button engages and disengages the Fusion’s arpeggiator. The S1 and S2 buttons are assignable ON/OFF switches that can be set to affect all kinds of functions within the Fusion such as filters or effects sends.

The Arpeggiator section is covered in more detail later in this guide. See the Reference Manual for more on the S1 and S2 buttons.

7.TRIGGER 1 – 4: These four assignable buttons can trigger LFOs, envelopes, and many other functions. Unlike the S1 and S2 switches described above, these trigger buttons are only active when you are holding them down—onceyou release the triggers they become inactive. See the Reference manual for more on how to assign these buttons.

8.MASTER VOLUME: This is the Fusion’s master volume control.



1.MODE SELECT BUTTONS: These buttons take you to the different modes of the Fusion. If you’re already in a mode and press the button again, you will be returned to the “top level” of that mode.

Use these buttons to switch into Mix, Program, Song, Sampler, Mixer, or Global modes.

2.SOFT BUTTONS: These buttons allow you to access different parts of the Fusion’s user interface. SOFT BUTTONS correspond to on-screenparameters that are displayed along the right and left sides of the display.

TIP: As an example, if you press PROGRAM, then EDIT (upper left side of the Control Wheel), you will see Program, Synth, Mod, Arp, Effects, and Utility positioned along the left side of the display. The SOFT BUTTONS along the left access these tabs. Similarly, the right SOFT BUTTONS will access functions arranged along the right of each page.

3.CONTRAST: This knob allows you to adjust the contrast of the Fusion’s LCD screen.

4.CATEGORY and BANK: The CATEGORY button accesses the Fusion’s “sound librarian” mode. This mode allows you to view your programs (or mixes if you are in MIX mode) sorted by category. For example, when you’re in PROGRAM mode, the Category button brings up a screen that lists programs contained within that category. This mode should make it easier to find a particular program you’re looking for.

The BANK buttons allow you to cycle through the different banks of programs that are stored on the Fusion.

5.QUICK ACCESS BUTTONS: The Fusion provides twenty-fourQUICK ACCESS buttons (arranged in three rows of eight) for easy access to your sounds. The top sixteen of these buttons are labeled A through P whereas the remaining eight buttons (bottom row) are numbered 1 through 8. This gives you access to all 128 sounds that can be stored in a bank (since 16 * 8 = 128). Once you’re familiar with the sounds you like on the Fusion, you can call them up directly from Program mode using these shortcut keys. For example, you can access the Grand Piano (programA-1)by pressing “A” and “1.”