MATRIXSYNTH: The Initial Designs of the Alesis Andromeda A6 by Axel Hartmann

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Initial Designs of the Alesis Andromeda A6 by Axel Hartmann

The second render reminds me of the Alesis Quadrasynth.

This one in via Soviet Space Child.

"On the subject of the Alesis Andromeda, Axel Hartmann posted these on his facebook a few days back:

Anytime, I see the Andromeda popping up at FB, I remember the days, 20 years ago, when we have been working on this Mega synth together with the Alesis team around Erik Norlander and Rob Rampley. The working technique was a bit different from today back then . . . It was the time, when we have just been exploring the possibilities of 3D modeling. As most of the work of designing a user interface can happen in 2D, we have been using Freehand, to arrange the functional elements. We then built huge 1:1 cardboard mockups, to check the layout. I am still keeping these in the lowest drawer of our big paper Schrank, that we only use to keep these kind of memories today. I thought; - maybe, it is cool, to share these memories with all of you here . . . To me, the Andromeda has been the pinnacle of Analog synthesizers "of the past". . .

There was some accompanying text to these as well:


When working on a design, we tend to give our clients 3, maybe more basic options with the first step of the process. Usually, we deliver something that is close to what the market may request, something in the middle, and something more radical. This was the very common design language version . . . classy setup of modules . . .


Maybe, this has been the most radical design, we created . . . the basic ergonomics are known from the Oberheim Expander / Matrix 12 synthesizers - but a bit more comfortable. The synthesizer modules on the top used switches only; - and each vertical row had a dedicated encoder with a 3 digit / 7seg display. The "dynamic rollbar" was an idea, where we wanted to use a heavyweight roller on a steel tube. The roller could be moved sideways, to select different things, and then, at the same time, with rotating the roller, one could adjust a parameter . . . Think of a heavyweight roller, that you could just launch and let roll, connected to LFO speed . . . the amplitude will slow down with the roller . . .


The "clowd" modules have been an idea, away from the typical straight engineer approach of a synthesizer setup. The Alesis people did like this approach a lot, and they recognized something like small galaxies in the graphical setup of those clouds . . . - this is, where the name "Andromeda" came from . . . There has been a lot of discontent inside our community for this layout, and sometimes, I was full of doubts myself, if this layout was too far outside . . . Seeing the beautiful instruments fromModal Electronics, using this kind of approach for their high class synthesizers helps, to overcome these feelings . . .


V. 2 - was the one, that we tailored the final product after . . .OSC and FILTER modules aligned vertically"

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