notes from the developer

Exploring the Fusion’s Drum machine


Yes, the Alesis Fusion is not only a synthesizer but also a drum machine. And a very powerful one too. If you are a Fusion owner exploring it’s Drum options can get you the feeling of having a brandnew instrument, without paying extra money for it and already have it at home right now. Just by looking into the deep of the Fusion’s sound modifier options. Let’s start with a Standard Drum kit, you can find it in the factory ROM Program presets under the name “Standard Set” O1 (112) in Bank 1. Pressing the Edit button allows you to view the current settings. There is nothing special, the instrument mode is assigned to Drum and this means that you are using samples for the kit. 64 different ones can be assigned to the keyboard keys (MIDI notes) and by pressing the concerned key you can listen to each sound. It is possible to alter the sound by changing the Pitch, using the Sample Start option which gives the option for a different tone attack and one of the most important features is the chance to assign a specific Filter setting for each Drum sound. By the way: A Drum sound might be stacked too, the Fusion allows 4 different samples for one Drum sound. Keep in mind, that you can modulate them and also play them with the various dynamic options (Velocity, Crossfade, Envelope, etc.). Even reverse them is possible!

Now for the extra functions. Each Drum sound can be modulated with a specific action. Just switch to the Mod Page and select any Source Modulation like Envelope and as Destination any of the Drum kits Oscillators (= drum sounds). Having this you can control this Envelope Modulation with any Controller in realtime: Add a Mod (Mod Wheel, Control Knob, etc.) and select as source the previously assigned Envelope with Destination Amount # xx and set a value you like. Now you can control this specific Drum sound parameter in realtime and this means that you can do it live with your hands and even record it in a extra track with your DAW.

But wait, this is just the beginning. As soon as you created a own Drum kit you can import it into the Mix Mode. There you can assign individual effects, and this is a great chance to do really powerful Drum tracks. Some instruments should remain dry but with additional Compressor. Others are to spread a set of them in a stereo field by assigning them with balance amounts. Finally you can add Insert and Bus Effects to enhance those big snares or toms.

Already at the finish line? No! The Fusion houses VA and FM synthesis and both are great for synthetic percussions. Check your existing factory Presets and also any others you have purchased from us or downloaded free from Hollow Sun and import them to the Mix too. They are perfectly suitable as addition to your custom Drum kit.

Still not satisfied? Then use your Fusionconverter to import new and exciting samples! Analog synth percussions, Wavedrum samples, LoFi and early 80s portable keyboard drums – all of them can be easiliy loaded with the Fusionconverter and transfered to the Fusion via USB.

And there are even more options: The Arpeggiator.

You can really use the Fusion as a Drum Machine! Assign any Drum kit to a Program Preset and press the Edit button and select the Arp menu. You will find a own Drum bank named Drum Patterns. Check them to find out how many of them are useful for your music. Start the rhythm by pressing the Arp On/Off button on the Controller panel on the Fusion’s left side and change the speed with the Tempo button above it.  Not fine with the current beat? Go to the Edit Arp, Structure and Playback pages to alter the rhythm easiliy. And finally you can also record a new Drum pattern by pressing the Rec button or import a existing one as MIDI file.

Let’s groove!

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