Alesis Andromeda A6

Hello all. I’m just getting into programming for the One and after doing some basic programming for a couple of my Roland Boutiques, I’m wanting to dive into the monstrous project of programming some functionality for the A6. I’ve been collecting all of the documents and previous discussions on various forums. Does anyone else have an Andy they want to test out presets on?

I sold mine right after they discontinued it; I still regret it somewhat, but someone made me an offer I couldn’t refuse…

Mine was stolen from me a couple of years after it came out. I only recently reacquired one after trying (and failing) to make a polyphonic modular system. It’s sad that it was on the cusp of polyphonic aftertouch, MIDI CC, and other features that weren’t fully implemented that would make it a super versatile synth today. It’s super niche now, but not for everyone’s taste.

Funny you should mention polyphonic aftertouch; it was in the original spec, and I was the one who discovered and reported that it didn’t work. If it had, I would have never sold it. Lack of PolyAT response to MIDI is also why I have held off on the Moog One, three years now.

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I may be crazy but I thought a while ago I was reading someone online I think who mentioned a hack workaround if you sent different midi note message on separate channels. I has looked at getting a smart MIDI cable to maybe experiment with that, but never dug too deep in it.

No you are correct, a kludge of this nature was proposed and I believe someone got it to work. But I have several PolyAT controllers and preferred synths/VSTs that respond to it appropriately.

I have A6 :wink: what you want to do?

I also have an andromeda and can test, but may I ask why? It’s not that we don’t have enough knobs on the A6 :thinking::joy:

I can think of two reasons: 1) there is a fair amount of menu diving, so there may be an advantage there, 2) I remember my A6’s knobs getting a bit dodgy, if a knob fails it would be nice to have an alternative.

At one point someone was working on reverse engineering the firmware and possibly doing updates, but I haven’t heard anything recently. I do know from someone on the Alesis Development team that an 8-voice rack mount version of the Andromeda was planned, but unfortunately the ship sunk before anything became of it.

Marzzz is right. The main idea is to allow for someone with noisy pots to have a way to smoothly edit their patches. The specific use for me personally is that I’d like to remotely adjust patches without having to be directly in front of the A6.

I do wish Alesis has open sourced the firmware. It’s a bit frustrating that so many features that would solidify the Andromeda as a top-tier synth are locked away solely because the software wasn’t finished/corrected, instead of a hardware limitation.

I have an A6 and would love to test out a preset!

Wow! elite group of Andromeda owners :bowing_man:. One of my dream synths, although reading some comments here, looks like they missed out on the firmware department :slight_smile:.

The development team was solid (but small). It was just that Alesis filed for bankruptcy not that long after it came out and a 16-voice analog synth just wasn’t part of the business plan upon restructuring.


Well, they did continue to manufacture the Andromeda until 2010. But there were never any firmware updates after the initial introduction…

There were a couple of fw updates, the last one being a beta to fix sysex transfers

Update on my end:
I was having issues with the EO sending program changes on my Roland synths so I took a break from programming the EO. I came back and updated the EO with the new firmware and the program change issues seem to have been resolved so I finished my first preset and have started to focus on the A6.

My first issue was that my A6 still had 1.2X firmware which doesn’t work well with NPRN data. I had to spend a day or two trying to upgrade to the last 1.4X firmware. For some reason, my MAC couldn’t transmit the update correctly. I’m blaming Big Sur as I kept getting a checksum error at the very end of the transfer. I eventually pulled out a PC and did the transfer and it suddenly worked.

Now, I can get the NPRN data received from the A6. Now, I’m trying to work out how the EO software transmits and receives the NPRN data so I can start to communicate with the A6.

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Progress was made today. After some research and attempts to use the SysEx function, I was able to simply use the NPRN button to both get the A6 to respond to EO knobs, but also to get the EO to respond to knob movements on the A6.

The only huge issue now is that the A6 screen doesn’t change to show the parameter changing. I’m not sure if that is something that can be changed/fixed, but I’ll do some research on that next.

I know with other Alesis gear, if you move to the menu option that you are changing via MIDI, you can see the value changing, but in general they do not jump the screen around to reflect any/all incoming messages.

It’s been many years since I had an Andromeda, so I don’t remember if they even did that much on it.

In fact, whenever a company does jump the screen around to reflect incoming changes, I lobby them to be able to stop that functionality since it makes it impossible to use the machine’s front panel while also receiving MIDI messages.

Yeah. I can see that point. I wish there was an option for it to turn on and off depending on the use case. One of the 2 large reasons I’m trying to do an A6 preset is for users of Andromedas with noisy or unresponsive knobs. Although I wouldn’t want the screen to change when receiving a large amount of automated data, it would be helpful to automatically change the screen upon touching or adjusting the knob on the EO somehow.

Another update. I’ve been mapping out all of the parameters for the NRPN messages. I’ve tried to map things out, but with the current 12-page limit, it would be crammed together and not easily navigatable. There are just over 400 parameters that can be edited, but only 432 available slots. However, Martin has suggested elsewhere in the forum that he is working on a “subpage” feature that will allow for a more organized layout instead of having wall-to-wall slots.

My proposed list of pages once the subpages are out would be:

  1. Global Settings/Voices/Portamento
    1a. Patch Selection
  2. LFO 1 / LFO 2
    2a. LFO 1 / 2 Mod
  3. LFO 3 / S+H
    3a. LFO 3/S+H Mod
  4. OSC1
  5. OSC2
  6. FM/Pre-Filter
  7. Filter 1 / Filter 2
    7a. Filter 1 / 2 Mod
  8. Envelope 1
    8a. Envelope 1 Mod
  9. Envelope 2
    9a. Envelope 2 Mod
  10. Envelope 3
    10a. Envelope 3 Mod
  11. Sequencer Settings
    11a. Sequencer Notes
  12. Arpeggiator

This would generally mimic the layout of the A6 from left to right.

In the meantime, I may release a “basic” version for troubleshooting and simple functions. I’ll try to work more on it this weekend. Cheers.

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