Alesis Air FX

Alesis Air FX

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The AirFX is a device that processes incoming audio or generates effects in reaction to movement. AirFX features 50 quality-preset programs that modify any audio signal from CDs and vinyl to live performance in real time. AirFX incorporates Axyz (pronounced ax-is) technology. Axyz technology consists of an infrared beam that can be manipulated in three dimensions, along the X, Y and Z axis. Using triangulation, up to five different parameters can be controlled in each preset program. AirFX is easy to operate because 'playing' it is largely based on human intuition. The 50 preset programs include effects like panning, flanging, pitch shifting, and resonance filtering. airFX offers a host of other esoteric digital signal processing effects that include programs like Vinylizer(tm) a scratchy vinyl simulator, and a scratching effect that emulates the sound of 'rocking' a vinyl record as it plays on a turn-table. airFX also features real Sub-harmonic synthesis (which creates low frequency harmonics for very low bass sounds), vocoding, synthesizer and percussion/effect sounds. The unit also features stereo RCA inputs and outputs, a frequency range of 20Hz-20kHz, 24-bit converters and ships with a 9-volt DC external power supply.


Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $249.00

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User Reviews of the Alesis Air FX

  • Submitted by kinetic turtle from Oakland, CA (166 points) on Aug 21, 2005
  • Great concept, and great execution of that concept, BUT an overall weak product. Semi-flimsy construction, no MIDI, mostly "eh" presets, etc. However, I've definitely found excellent uses for it that couldn't be replaced by anything else, so I can't complain TOO much. Oh, and that mic stand mounting idea? Brilliant. Just make sure you use a tripod stand, or you're doomed. Buy one used. You'll be glad you have it some day. But don't spend too much money on it. And take care of it: I have a piece of foam that I put on top of the unit and hold on with rubber bands when I'm not using it, to make sure the dome doesn't get scratched.
  • Good Points: The AXYZ control thingie is AWESOME.
  • Bad Points: Too bad you can't do too much with it.
  • Price Paid: US$0.00
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  • Submitted by Maelstrom from Deland, FL (2 points) on May 31, 2004
  • After reading the hoopla on the Alesis website I was expecting a little more from this - but seeing as I am a sucker for processors, I can't deny it does have a few decent effects. The main thing is make sure whatever you're feeding INTO it already sounds good on its own. My AirFX had been collecting dust under my desk until I decided to hook it up to a recently finished noisely little circuit bent project - then it was a good time for all! Definately get to know the locations of the "sweet spots" as a previous reviewer had stated - it sucks to be in a bit of a groove then to realize that WHAMO - you're in a suck zone! The "range" of the parameters is a bit stilted. Also, there seems to be a good deal of popping (in a not good way) with some of the pitch shifting effects - pretty frustrating at times!
  • Good Points: A few fun patches - The gestural interface can be good for getting out of creative blockages Some of the patches are VERY sensitive to light/movement, so its kind of fun to see what you can do with micro movements of your hand/fingers
  • Bad Points: Had mounted the unit on a mic stand and wow, did it sure feel EXTRA flimsy and breakable - this is definately a table top device. Wish the patches were user editable - and less slanted toward a "dj" type application
  • Price Paid: US$90.00
  • Purchased At: eBay
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  • Submitted by catguts from auckland (2 points) on Mar 28, 2004
  • this do dad is a little disapointing it has about 6 noise that u can use without running any thing into it lots a filters lotsa crap kaoss pad would be way better but if you can get one for cheap go for it its fun to play around with i would like two or three to run int eachother in between my line of pedals
  • Good Points: its fun i guess
  • Bad Points: not enough tweak on the noises cheap plastik only has rca in and out
  • Price Paid: US$100.00
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  • Submitted by K. from Sealy, TX (524 points) on Dec 22, 2001
  • I test drove one of these recently and have to say I wasn't too impressed. The Air FX is an effects processor w/ 50 preset patches, control of parameters is via hand movements through an infrared sensor, despite the claim of control over 5 parameters, the most I noticed on any given effectis 3. The unit has a few good filtering and phasing patches, but excessive amounts of useless synth and special effect noises which are mixed w/ the input. Of the effects more suited for noise none significantly differ from the KAOSS Pad, which is available w/ far more features at a slightly higher price. Control of the Alesis isn't exact, though if you own one w/ repeated use you should begin to memorize the "sweet spots". Disappointing also was that it only has stereo RCA ins and outs, no 1/4" or even headphone jack, and forget about MIDI if it's important. Final analysis... check out the KAOSS Pad instead!
  • Good Points: Has parameter that allows you to mix the amount of clean and effected sound
  • Bad Points: See review
  • Price Paid: US$0.00
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