Alesis FUSION REFERENCE User Manual

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Fusion

Reference Manual

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Table Of Contents

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

5

Welcome! ..........................................................................

5

Unpacking and Inspection ..........................................

6

How to Use This Manual ..............................................

6

Main Features.................................................................

7

The Fusion’s Synthesis Engine.............................................................

8

Eight Channel Hard Disk Recorder ....................................................

10

Sampling Capability................................................................................

10

Chapter 1: Fusion Hardware ...........................

11

Center Section.........................................................................................

11

Performance Panel Description ...........................................................

12

Audio Hookup Diagram: ......................................................................

14

MIDI Hookup: .......................................................................................

17

Computer/USB Hookup: .....................................................................

18

Powering the Fusion ..............................................................................

19

Factory Reset...........................................................................................

20

Chapter 2: Fusion Basics ..................................

21

Fusion 101: The Basics..................................................

21

What is a Program? ................................................................................

21

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

21

What is a Song?.......................................................................................

21

What is a Sampler? .................................................................................

21

Fusion Architecture................................................................................

22

Getting Around on the Fusion....................................

23

The Mode Buttons .................................................................................

23

Navigating The Fusion’s Menus...........................................................

25

Useful Navigation Shortcuts.................................................................

28

Storing Your Work .........................................................

31

Storing Programs, Mixes, Songs, and Multisamples..........................

31

The Clipboard.........................................................................................

34

Connecting to a Computer via USB....................................................

36

Chapter 3: Fusion Modes ..................................

37

Program Mode ................................................................

37

Setting Overall Program Parameters ...................................................

37

Synthesis Type: Sample Playback .........................................................

45

Synthesis Type: Drum............................................................................

52

Synthesis Type: Analog..........................................................................

63

Synthesis Type: FM ................................................................................

70

Synthesis Type: Reed Model .................................................................

77

Synthesis Type: Wind Model ................................................................

81

Program Utility Page..............................................................................

85

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

87

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

89

Low Frequency Oscillators (LFOs).....................................................

95

Mix Mode..........................................................................

99

Setting Overall Mix Parameters............................................................

100

Setting Individual Part Parameters.......................................................

103

Mix Utility Page ......................................................................................

113

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Table Of Contents

 

Song Mode .......................................................................

115

Setting Overall Song Parameters..........................................................

116

Setting Track Parameters.......................................................................

123

Editing Song Tracks ...............................................................................

135

Track Editing Filters ..............................................................................

145

Processing Synth and Audio Tracks ....................................................

147

Song Utility Page ....................................................................................

167

Sampler Mode.................................................................

171

Setting Overall Sample Settings............................................................

172

Setting Individual Zone Settings..........................................................

173

Capturing Samples..................................................................................

179

Editing and Processing Samples ..........................................................

186

Sampler Utility Page...............................................................................

189

Mixer Mode......................................................................

190

Mixer Mode .............................................................................................

190

Using the Mixer ......................................................................................

190

Global Mode ....................................................................

193

Global Workstation Settings .................................................................

193

Global MIDI Settings ............................................................................

196

Global Controller Settings: ...................................................................

198

Metronome Settings...............................................................................

200

Multitrack Audio Input Settings...........................................................

202

Other Global Settings (USB & User Interface).................................

203

The Item Explorer .................................................................................

204

The Media Explorer:..............................................................................

208

Operating System Information ............................................................

209

Upgrading your Operating System ......................................................

210

System CPU Usage.................................................................................

211

Setting the Date and Time ....................................................................

212

Chapter 4: Common Features..........................

213

The Arpeggiator .............................................................

213

Configuring Your Arpeggiation Patterns............................................

215

Recording Arpeggiation Patterns.........................................................

227

Processing Your Recorded Arpeggiations..........................................

230

Editing your Arpeggiation Patterns.....................................................

232

The Modulation Matrix ................................................

236

Creating and Deleting Modulation Routes.........................................

237

Editing Your Modulation Routes.........................................................

239

Effects...............................................................................

249

Master EQ ...............................................................................................

249

Insert Effects...........................................................................................

252

Bus Effects ..............................................................................................

255

Creating and Deleting Effects Modulation Routes...........................

259

Editing Your Effects Modulation Routes...........................................

260

Output Block Diagram..........................................................................

262

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Table Of Contents

Appendix A: Effects and Implementation

....263

Master EQ Effects Parameters.............................................................

263

Insert Effects Parameters......................................................................

264

Bus Effects Parameters..........................................................................

273

MIDI Implementation Chart (Synthesizer)........................................

283

MIDI Implementation Chart (Sequencer)..........................................

284

Appendix B: Frequently Asked Questions....

285

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

287

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

289

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

291

Sound Engine..........................................................................................

291

Sampling Inputs......................................................................................

291

Multitrack Inputs ....................................................................................

291

Audio Output..........................................................................................

292

Physical.....................................................................................................

292

Legal Information: .................................................................................

293

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Table Of Contents

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Introduction

Welcome!

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

You could say Alesis knows a few things about synthesis. We have a 15year long track record of creating some of the most powerful and wellregarded keyboards in the world. We’ve used everything we learned in the past while keeping our eyes open to future possibilities in order to make the Fusion the best workstation you’ve ever used. We hope the Fusion will be remembered as the next great Alesis keyboard.

Be sure to register your Fusion at our website (www.alesis.com) so we can give you the best possible service. And since the Fusion’s operating system is upgradeable, check the site once in a while for late breaking news. Future versions of the operating system will include things like new features requested by our users as well as improvements to existing features. Also, you might want to check for new program banks and sounds every once in a while.

We hope your investment will bring you many years of creative enjoyment and help you achieve your musical goals.

Sincerely,

The People of Alesis

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Introduction

Unpacking and Inspection

The shipping carton for your Fusion should contain the following items:

A Fusion 6HD or 8HD workstation

AC power cable

This Reference manual

A Quickstart guide

Important Safety and Warranty Information

A registration reminder card

Please log on to the Alesis website at www.alesis.com to register your new Fusion synthesizer. This will help us give you the best support we possibly can.

How to Use This Manual

We’re sure you’d like to jump in and start using your Fusion quickly. To help you do this, check out the Fusion’s Quickstart guide. The Quickstart guide is a separate manual that should have everything you need to start playing quickly.

Once you’re ready for more in-depthinformation, this reference manual is for you. This manual will describe the workings of every single feature and parameter on the Fusion and you should be able to find answers to all of your Fusion questions here.

We’ve also compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions at the end of this manual that should address many of your troubleshooting questions. Please check the FAQ before contacting our technical support staff as that will save time and energy for both you and our friendly support staff.

Helpful tips and advice are highlighted in a shaded box like this.

When something important appears in the manual, an exclamation mark (like the one shown at left) will appear with some explanatory text.

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Introduction

Main Features

Your Fusion workstation is packed with features to help you make better music. Let’s take a quick look at these features and get a sense of why each feature is important.

Total Integration

The Fusion has one of the biggest feature lists of any workstation on the market today. That said, the beautiful thing about this workstation is not its sheer number of features, but rather the perfect integration of these features with each other. All the different parts (synthesizers, hard disk recorder, sampler, arranger, mixer, etc.) talk to each other intelligently so that you can focus on writing songs rather than troubleshooting why one part won’t work well with another.

For example, you can use Song mode to arrange and record digital audio and MIDI seamlessly on the same screen. You don’t need to worry about getting a separate MIDI arranger and hard disk recorder to work together since we’ve taken care of that for you. Once you’re done arranging, each of your synth and audio tracks automatically appear on your mixer for quick and intuitive mixing just like on a hardware mixer. Again, everything is automatically and intuitively laid out in a way that makes sense to musicians. Even loading, saving, and organizing your songs and programs (which can often turn into a troubleshooting headache) has been made completely seamless—youcan load programs from either the hard disk or compact flash memory without ever having to worry about what’s going on “under the hood” of the workstation (if you don’t want to, that is).

Intuitive Interface

We’ve analyzed how musicians commonly work and figured out ways of streamlining the songwriting process. For example, we’ve minimized keypresses and placed shortcuts and quick access buttons right where most musicians will want them.

The user interface was carefully designed for both novice keyboard players and hardcore synth enthusiasts alike. We did this through a two level interface design: On the top level, novice users can find what they need quickly without ever having to see (or deal with) the more complex inner workings of the keyboard. On the other hand, knob twiddlers can go digging inside the Fusion’s deeper menus and program to their hearts’ content. Regardless of the type of user you are, you’ll find the interface to be clean and intuitive.

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Introduction

The Fusion’s Synthesis Engine

Your Fusion is capable of four completely different types of synthesis: Sample Playback, Virtual Analog, FM, and Physical Modeling. Our brand new “Dynamic DSP Synthesis” engine lets you load up any combination of synthesis types you’d like to use. There are no artificial limits placed on synthesis or polyphony—you’refree to configure and push your Fusion as far as the synth engine can handle (which is pretty far considering there are eight processors inside).

Sample Playback

Sample playback synthesis lets you use recorded sounds of actual instruments (or any recorded sound, for that matter) to create a program. For example, the Fusion’s “Grand Piano” program is actually a carefully recorded concert grand. In general, sample playback synthesis is a great way of reproducing lifelike versions of real, acoustic instruments.

Virtual Analog (VA) Synthesis

Analog synthesis lets you create wonderfully complex sounds using a small number of simple waveforms, envelopes, and low frequency oscillators.

What does all this mean in musical terms? It means you can create the deep basses, lush pads, and many other sounds analog synthesizers are known for without the difficulty and expense of real-analogsynthesis.

FM Synthesis

FM synthesis was created in the 1970s and became an overnight sensation because of its ability to produce electronic piano, bell, and melodic percussion sounds such as vibes and marimba.

These sounds are created by taking sound sources and modulating their frequencies.

Programming FM synthesizers used to be a challenge because it can be hard to conceptualize and visualize how your waveforms are interacting with each other. We carefully designed the Fusion’s graphical FM signal router to let you know what’s going on without overwhelming you with too much information, making it easy to sculpt the perfect sound you want. All of the detailed information can be found on separate sub-pageswithin the FM Synthesis section.

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