Alesis A6 User Manual

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1 6 - V O ICE REA L AN ALO G SYNTHES IZ ER

REFERENCE

MANUAL

For Software Version 1.40

Your shipping carton should contain the following items:

1.Andromeda A6 synthesizer

2.AC power cable

3.Sustain Pedal

4.Reference Manual

If anything is missing, please contact your dealer or Alesis immediately.

Alesis contact information:

Alesis Studio Electronics, Inc.

Los Angeles

USA

E-Mail:support@alesis.com

Website: http://www.alesis.com

Alesis Andromeda A6TM Reference Manual

Revision 1.0 by Dave Bertovic

Revision 1.1 by Brian R. Shim

© Copyright 2001, Alesis Studio Electronics, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited. “A6”, “QCard” and “FreeLoader” are trademarks of Alesis Studio Electronics, Inc.

ANDROMEDAA6 REFERENCEMANUAL

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ANDROMEDAA6 REFERENCEMANUAL

 

Contents

CONTENTS

Important Safety Instructions ....................................................................................

7

Instructions to the User (FCC Notice) ............................................................................................

11

CE Declaration of Conformity .........................................................................................................

13

Introduction ................................................................................................................

15

How to Use this Manual....................................................................................................................

16

Typographic Conventions..................................................................................................

17

Key Terminology ................................................................................................................................

18

Chapter 1: Getting Started ........................................................................................

21

What You’ll Need, Unpacking, Set Up, Power .............................................................................

21

Audio Connections and Pedals........................................................................................................

22

MIDI Connections...............................................................................................................................

23

Quick Start............................................................................................................................................

26

Chapter 2: Playing the A6 .........................................................................................

29

A Brief Tour of the Front Panel........................................................................................................

30

How Functions are Grouped .............................................................................................

30

Interacting with the Display .............................................................................................................

32

Selecting Programs and Mixes .........................................................................................................

38

PROGRAM Mode Parameters...........................................................................................

39

MIX Mode Parameters........................................................................................................

39

Storing Edited Programs and Mixes ...............................................................................................

43

Setting Up Splits and Layers ............................................................................................................

47

Using Global Mode.............................................................................................................................

49

GLOBAL Mode Parameters...............................................................................................

49

Master Controls...................................................................................................................................

52

Volume...................................................................................................................................

52

Tune........................................................................................................................................

52

The Keyboard and Keyboard Modes ..............................................................................................

54

Performance Features (KBD MODE, UNISON X, DETUNE) .....................................

55

Portamento............................................................................................................................

59

The Performance Wheels and Ribbon Controller.........................................................................

65

Programming the Wheels and Ribbon.............................................................................

66

Pedals and Footswitches ....................................................................................................

68

The CLOCK Section............................................................................................................................

69

Clock Parameters .................................................................................................................

70

Sequencer ..............................................................................................................................

71

Arpeggiator...........................................................................................................................

79

Chapter 3: Basics of Analog Synthesis ...................................................................

81

An Overview of Synthesis.................................................................................................................

81

Analog and Digital Technologies .....................................................................................

81

A Little History ....................................................................................................................

81

A Little Theory ...................................................................................................................................

82

Waveforms ............................................................................................................................

82

Fundamentals and Harmonics..........................................................................................

83

Sound Dynamics .................................................................................................................................

84

LFOs .......................................................................................................................................

87

Components of an Analog Synthesizer ..........................................................................................

88

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Contents

Chapter 4: Overview of the Andromeda A6 ..........................................................

93

A Few Basic Concepts........................................................................................................................

93

A6 Function List..................................................................................................................................

95

A6 Functions At-a-Glance .................................................................................................................

97

MIDI Overview .................................................................................................................................

102

Chapter 5: Oscillators and Filters...........................................................................

103

Oscillators...........................................................................................................................................

103

Oscillator Parameter Descriptions..................................................................................

104

VCO Modulation ...............................................................................................................

107

Filters...................................................................................................................................................

116

What Filters Do ..................................................................................................................

116

How Filters Are Designed................................................................................................

117

How Filters Work ..............................................................................................................

122

Filter Parameter Descriptions..........................................................................................

127

Chapter 6: Modulation and Envelopes .................................................................

131

Modulation.........................................................................................................................................

131

Background.........................................................................................................................

131

Modulation Principles ......................................................................................................

131

Hardware and Software Modulation, Default Mod Paths ........................................

133

Envelopes ...........................................................................................................................................

134

Envelope Properties ..........................................................................................................

134

Envelope Parameter Descriptions ..................................................................................

135

TIME Page Parameters......................................................................................................

137

SHAPE: Selecting the Stage Slope .................................................................................

139

LEVEL Page Parameters ..................................................................................................

141

TRIG Page Parameters .....................................................................................................

142

Envelope Modes (Norm 1 & 2, Freerun, Susrel) ..........................................................

144

Envelope Modulation Triggering (MODTRG).............................................................

153

How Modulation Triggering Works .............................................................................

155

DYN Page Parameters ......................................................................................................

158

LOOP Page Parameters ....................................................................................................

160

MOD Pages .........................................................................................................................

164

Envelope Examples ...........................................................................................................

165

Chapter 7: LFOs, Sample & Hold and Process.....................................................

171

Low Frequency Oscillators .............................................................................................................

171

LFO Parameter Descriptions ...........................................................................................

171

WAVE Page ........................................................................................................................

172

TRIG Page ...........................................................................................................................

175

SYNC Page ..........................................................................................................................

176

MOD Page...........................................................................................................................

176

Using LFOs as a Trigger Source......................................................................................

176

Sample and Hold ..............................................................................................................................

177

PROCESS Module.............................................................................................................................

179

Tracking Generator (TGEN) ............................................................................................

179

Track Gen Level and Track Gen Step.............................................................................

179

Tracking Generator Parameter Descriptions................................................................

180

Chapter 8: The A6 Mixing System ........................................................................

183

Pre Filter Mix/Post Filter Mix ........................................................................................................

183

Pre Filter Mix Overview ..................................................................................................................

183

Pre Filter Mix Operation..................................................................................................................

184

OSC and SUB OSC Controls............................................................................................

184

RING MOD Control ..........................................................................................................

184

NOISE/EXTERNAL Control...........................................................................................

185

Signal Routing through the Filters .................................................................................

187

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ANDROMEDAA6 REFERENCEMANUAL

 

Contents

Post Filter Mix Overview ................................................................................................................

189

Post Filter Mix Operation................................................................................................................

189

Voice Mix.............................................................................................................................

190

MAIN and AUX outputs..................................................................................................

190

Setting Levels in Mix Mode .............................................................................................

190

Individual VOICE OUTPUT............................................................................................

190

Chapter 9: Custom Modulations .............................................................................

191

MOD Functions Overview..............................................................................................................

191

Avoid duplication with hard-wiredmods....................................................................

191

Performance control of mods ..........................................................................................

192

Using the Modulation Matrix..........................................................................................

192

A Few Ground Rules.........................................................................................................

197

The Control Routes Section.............................................................................................................

198

To change modulation amounts using the CROUTES page: ....................................

198

To change the source of a Control Route: .....................................................................

199

About Signal Flow in a MOD Path................................................................................................

200

About Modulation Sources.............................................................................................................

201

Chapter 10: Using Effects .......................................................................................

203

Introduction .......................................................................................................................................

203

Signal Flow..........................................................................................................................

203

Basic Controls .....................................................................................................................

203

Analog Distortion ..............................................................................................................

204

Editing Digital Effects ......................................................................................................................

205

To select a Digital Effects Configuration Type:............................................................

205

Editing Effect Parameters................................................................................................................

206

Choosing a Parameter Page .............................................................................................

206

Changing an Individual Parameter................................................................................

206

MOD: Modulating Effects Send/Output ......................................................................

207

Tutorial: How to Edit a Reverb .....................................................................................................

208

Set the Type and Audio Levels .......................................................................................

208

Set the Reverb's Decay and Tone....................................................................................

208

Set the Reverb Predelay....................................................................................................

209

Change the Tone of the Reverb Decay...........................................................................

209

Adjust the Mix....................................................................................................................

210

Digital Effects Architecture.............................................................................................................

211

The Signal Flow Through the Effects Section...............................................................

211

Single....................................................................................................................................

211

Dual Effects: Parallel .........................................................................................................

212

Dual Effects: Mono ............................................................................................................

213

Multi Chain .........................................................................................................................

214

Configurations & Parameter Descriptions...................................................................................

215

Reverbs ................................................................................................................................

215

Delays...................................................................................................................................

220

Pitch Effects.........................................................................................................................

222

Table of Digital Effects Parameters ...............................................................................................

227

Chapter 11: Mix Mode ..............................................................................................

243

What is a Mix? ...................................................................................................................................

243

Mix Channels vs. MIDI Channels...................................................................................

243

Common Mix Settings for MIDI Sequencers...............................................................................

244

To make a custom multitimbral Mix:.............................................................................

244

MIDI Program Change Messages...................................................................................

245

Editing Programs from Mix Mode ................................................................................................

245

Mix SOLO............................................................................................................................

245

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Contents

To copy a Mix Channel from another Mix:...................................................................

245

Effects in Mix Mode..........................................................................................................................

246

To set effect send levels for different Mix Channels: ..................................................

246

To copy an effect from another Program or Mix: ........................................................

246

Chapter 12: MIDI Functions .....................................................................................

247

MIDI Basics ........................................................................................................................................

247

MIDI Hardware..................................................................................................................

247

MIDI Messages...................................................................................................................

248

To send an individual Program or Mix out as a MIDI System Exclusive

 

dump:...................................................................................................................................

253

To send an entire Program or Mix Bank out as a MIDI System Exclusive

 

dump:...................................................................................................................................

254

About receiving SysEx dumps: .......................................................................................

254

MIDI and the A6 Andromeda ........................................................................................................

255

A6 Channel Messages: Multitimbral Sequencing.......................................................

255

Setting MIDI Parameters in Global Mode.....................................................................

256

Appendix A: Glossary ..............................................................................................

259

Appendix B: Table of Mod Sources .......................................................................

261

Appendix C: Troubleshooting .................................................................................

265

The Auto Tune Display ...................................................................................................................

265

How to Use the Tune Display ........................................................................................................

266

Upgrading the Operating System..................................................................................................

268

Troubleshooting Chart.....................................................................................................................

270

Cleaning and Maintenance .............................................................................................................

272

Appendix D: Specifications .....................................................................................

273

MIDI Implementation Chart...........................................................................................................

273

Specifications .....................................................................................................................................

274

Appendix E: Warranty .............................................................................................

275

Index .........................................................................................................................

277

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ANDROMEDAA6 REFERENCEMANUAL

Important Safety Instructions

IMPORTANTSAFETY

INSTRUCTIONS

SAFETY SYMBOLS USED IN THIS PRODUCT

This symbol alerts the user that there are important operating and maintenance instructions in the literature accompanying this unit.

This symbol warns the user of uninsulated voltage within the unit that can cause dangerous electric shocks.

PLEASE FOLLOW THESE PRECAUTIONS WHEN USING THIS PRODUCT:

1. Read these instructions.

2.Keep these instructions.

3.Heed all warnings.

4.Follow all instructions.

5.Do not use this apparatus near water.

6.Clean only with a damp cloth. Do not spray any liquid cleaner onto the faceplate, as this may damage the front panel controls or cause a dangerous condition.

7.Install in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

8.Do not install near any heat sources such as radiators, heat registers, stoves, or other apparatus (including amplifiers) that produce heat.

9.Do not defeat the safety purpose of the polarized plug on the AC power adapter. A polarized plug has two blades with one wider than the other. The wide blade is provided for your safety. When the provided plug does not fit into your outlet, consult an electrician for replacement of the obsolete outlet.

10.Protect the power cord from being walked on or pinched, particularly at plugs, convenience receptacles, and the point where they exit from the apparatus.

11.Use only attachments or accessories specified by the manufacturer.

ANDROMEDAA6 REFERENCEMANUAL

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Important Safety Instructions

12.Use only with a cart, stand, bracket, or table designed for use with professional audio or music equipment. In any installation, make sure that injury or damage will not result from cables pulling on the apparatus and its mounting. If a cart is used, use caution when moving the cart/apparatus combination to avoid injury from tip-over.

13.Unplug this apparatus during lightning storms or when unused for long periods of time.

14.Refer all servicing to qualified service personnel. Servicing is required when the apparatus has been damaged in any way, such as when the powersupply cord or plug is damaged, liquid has been spilled or objects have fallen into the apparatus, the apparatus has been exposed to rain or moisture, does not operate normally, or has been dropped.

15.This unit produces heat when operated normally. Operate in a wellventilated area.

16.This product, in combination with an amplifier and headphones or speakers, may be capable of producing sound levels that could cause permanent hearing loss. Do not operate for a long period of time at a high volume level or at a level that is uncomfortable. If you experience any hearing loss or ringing in the ears, you should consult an audiologist.

17.WARNING: To reduce the risk of fire or electric shock, do not expose this apparatus to rain or moisture.

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ANDROMEDAA6 REFERENCEMANUAL