Alesis is one of the leading manufacturers of audio devices such as synthesizers , signal processors , drum computers , amplifiers , recorders , mixers and loudspeakers , which are mainly used in the studio and for ambitious home recording .
Alesis was founded in 1984 by Keith Barr in Hollywood , California . After the fairly rapid commercial success, they soon moved into a large office building in Santa Monica , very close to well-known companies such as Sony and Media Ventures. In the early part of the millennium, Alesis ran into financial difficulties and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy . The British company Numark , headed by Jack O'Donnell, took over the company in 2001 and continues to operate it in several locations, including Culver City , which is in the immediate vicinity of Santa Monica. Today Alesis is part of the inMusic Brands Group, which was founded by O'Donnell as the parent company of other brands.
The first products Alesis brought to market were digital effects devices for creating reverb , echo and other sound effects, and they were the first professional devices in the world with 16-bit processors for under $ 1000. Well-known devices are, for example, XT Digital Reverb , MidiVerb and QuadraVerb , which were produced in several successive and improved versions. The effect devices became particularly popular because of their extraordinarily favorable price-performance ratio. In this first phase of the company, Alesis also built hardware sequencers (MMT-8) and drum computers (HR-16), which followed the same principle: Many features for comparatively little money, which was partly made possible by the production of the devices in the Far East. Mixers and studio monitors were quickly added to the product catalog.
At the beginning of the 1990s , the company achieved a very special international success with the development of the digital multi-track tape recorder Alesis Digital Audio Tape (ADAT) (based on S-VHS). The machine improved the work in the recording studios compared to the previous analog multitrack tape machines, at least in terms of the purchase price and thus temporarily became the studio standard for digital multitrack recordings alongside Tascam (DA-88). Due to the sensationally low price at the time, project studios and home recording studios were also able to acquire professional recording technology. Technologies such as ADAT Optical and ADAT Sync were developed, which are still used today as technical standards for studio electronics. The special advantages of the ADAT: Inexpensive tape material, compact housing, several ADATs can be connected and synchronized with one another, little wear and tear and hardly any maintenance. In the meantime, however, this system has been replaced more or less across the board by computer systems for audio recording.
Other well-known products are the analog synthesizer Andromeda A6 and the airFX , an effects instrument, as well as its tone-generating counterpart airSynth, the latter two of which received a design award. The QS series (QS-6 / QS-7 / QS-8), which were also available as "x.1 x.2" versions and because of their variety of sounds at moderate prices, were also very popular with studio and live musicians and still are. The synthesizer construction began with the Quadrasynth, designed by Marcus Reyle, who made a name for himself with his company Fast Forward Design in the 80s and 90s.
In 2005, Alesis launched the Fusion 6HD and Fusion 8HD synthesizer workstations . With this relatively inexpensive and particularly richly equipped synthesizer workstation with several tone generation processes, integrated sample player and audio recorder, Alesis built on the original company idea and has once again made a name for itself in the keyboard world. In Germany this workstation flopped due to a lack of demand from a musician clientele, in other countries such as the USA, Great Britain, Scandinavia and many others, however, this workstation is extremely popular and is continuously equipped with expansion packages (presets, sample libraries).
The more recent Alesis product range includes:
- Master keyboards
- Drum computer (including the SR-16, the successor to the HR-16)
- Signal processors
- Mixing consoles
- Studio amplifier
- Studio monitors