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alesis fusion notes

A few days ago I was in chat with someone who is a fan of my music and he noted a couple of things:

1. The fact I can work the Alesis Fusion 6HD so well astonishes people.

2. Alesis should hire me.

Per #1, I honestly don't know how to react to statements like that. But I will say that I notice that lots of synth players don't play synths as instruments, but rather tools. Making a synth work for you is as simple as using the tired old cliché of "thinking outside the box", or in this case, thinking outside the preset.

An unexpected problem faced by Alesis concerning their buyers is that the Fusion is a humongous leap from the QS6.2 and 8.2 models. It is a full blown workstation. It's big, it's beefy and it's complicated - just like a workstation should be. You have to have somewhat of a programmer's mind to wield one properly.

Based on the message board threads I've read from those who transitioned from the QS to the Fusion, they were left in utter confusion. Most had never touched a true-blue workstation before. Never before had they experienced this kind of technology. It's more than an instrument; it's a computer with keys.

When I bought the Fusion, I knew what I was buying. All workstation synths are complicated and it takes months to figure out all the stuff they can do.

Alesis' decision to put the Fusion to market was a bold one. I'm still of the opinion it's the absolute best bang for the buck. You simply can't find another workstation with the features of the Fusion for the price.

Per #2, several have noted to me that I should work for Alesis.

I'll be the first to say that's not a very good idea.

Synth workstations are designed by programmers. Although I can program, I don't have the first clue how the operating system of the Fusion works - nor do I want to know.

Makers of musical instruments typically do not hire musicians because they don't actually need them until the instrument is far past the beta stage and very close to production. Think about it. Fender doesn't call Eric Clapton every time they want to release a new guitar.

Basically speaking, there's not much I could contribute other than being an actual player.


What would be valuable to Alesis is if they wanted me to participate in any future synth product development. If, for example, they had a new Fusion prototype (we'll just call it Fusion 6HD-II for sake of argument), sent one to me, told me to hash it out and document my experience with it - that's valuable information they could use.

The prototype would be buggy, some things obviously wouldn't work, but the point would be to provide feedback to create a better synth. Every time I encountered an OS error I would have to document where and when it happened. If a menu goes on the fritz, I have to document that. Document, document, document. Send to programmers. Programmers make a patch. Send to me. I patch, then encounter more bugs. Send results to programmers. Spin. Cycle. Rinse. Repeat. Do this until all kinks are worked out.

If Alesis felt fit to have me test out stuff like that, sure. I'd do that because everyone benefits. The 6HD-II (and most likely 8HD-II), should it ever come to exist, would most likely be a worthwhile venture for Alesis.

But then there's an issue. I like synths to have menus and buttons in a particular fashion. But the way I like things may not be the way actual buyers like things.

To say I should work for them just for musical prowess is not the best reason. Prowess doesn't make for better instruments. Development and testing does.

One final note (and this is my only suggestion to Alesis):

Alesis' next synth should be black. Black as night with a large white "ALESIS" logo on the rear. Black synths are cool. Combine that with the cool blue lights and backlit orange buttons and you'd have a winner.

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