Alesis Vortex Reviews3.7/5.0 based on 6 customer reviews
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from St.Louis Mo.
January 31, 2013Music Background:
Alesis VortexA great device for the ego ramp on your local stage! The unit works great, the only thing I didn't like about it is the battery option doesn't power the unit properly and the control knobs are in a bad place for tweaking on the fly during a solo. I'm really happy with it, the only people that don't like it are the guitar player's when ya blow em blazing smoke
from Westerville (Columbus), OH
November 3, 2012Music Background:
part-time professional musician for over 15 years
Almost PerfectOverall this is a great MIDI controller for the price. The keys are very responsive and the after touch is really great to have. Most common MIDI parameters are are able to be stored in 23 presets. Lots of real time control options with knobs, ribbon and buttons. My only real complaint is that is has no dedicated Midi Song Select or Position Pointer. This is weird to me since it does have MIDI Start Stop. If it just had those two functions this would be the perfect keytar to date in my opinion. Maybe Alesis will add these functions in a software update if enough people get one.
January 27, 2013Music Background:
I miss some more keysI think it's a great keyboard, but I really miss the extra 8 keys I had in my Ax-7.
December 16, 2012Music Background:
Performing electro-ambient musician
Mixed FeelingsMy feelings about this a overall positive but mixed. I've had a Casio AZ-1 since the mid 80's. I absolutely love the AZ-1. The Vortex is more closely modeled on that and a better substitute than the Roland models. The keyboard action is a bit mushy but the aftertouch is effective. Having assignable controllers is great, and there is a decent amount of flexibility in what you can assign to them. The thing is unbelievably light, it almost feels too light compared to my AZ-1. I'm not crazy about the placement of the pitch wheel and wish that were an assignable control. You can use the ribbon for pitch but if you go to the very edge in either direction the pitch goes back to center, not so great.
The pitch wheel is usable, I just wish it were more traditional.
My biggest problem with it is the shape and placement of the ports. Take a look at the picture and tell me how to set this down. The bottom should be flat!!! And with the ports on the bottom instead of the side you can't set it down that way anyway!
So, like I said, mixed feelings. There are some great features but some silly design choices. I haven't gigged it yet but am happy to have a backup for my AZ-1, relying on a 25 year old keyboard isn't ideal. Given the current crop of these keyboards I would recommend it over the Rolands.
from Northern CA
November 13, 2012Music Background:
Write, record, arrange perform.
VortexThis is a very flexible controller. It has lots of ways to select patches, send CC messages, and the controls are well placed and ergonomic. I have had 4 Keytars (KX-5, AX-7, AX-Synth, and Vortex) and this one really has a lot going for it. It has aftertouch and you can program each patch to send any number of commands to a midi module or VI. The accelerometer is also unique and very cool to use.
The reason I am giving 3.5 stars is because the user guide and docs leave much to be desired. It is not clear how some of the programming is done, and the quick start guide actually makes it more difficult some times I worked with someone on one of the forums who gave me a real time tutorial, and after that, it made sense. There should also be some software to copy or save patches and setups in my opinion.
from Buffalo, NY USA
January 29, 2013Music Background:
Fun to play, has some wartsThis is a pretty nice controller. Lightweight, easy to set up - pretty much what you'd expect. The controls are right where you want them on a keytar - I don't have to do a whole bunch of practicing with it to do what I want. The octave + - on the neck is awesome, and pressing both resets it to 0, just like you'd expect. Fun to play. What are the cons? I The touch sensitivity is a REAL problem for me and the velocity curves (I've tried them all) don't help much. I'd expect a compressed velocity curve on this type of controller (like only goes from 90 to 127 or something) but there isn't one, and the flat velocity option is at a fixed volume, not assignable. Also some minor nits - could really used more keys, the accelerometer doesn't react smoothly. In all, I'm happy I picked this up, it's a fun addition to my rig!