The entire digital processing system is contained on a single chip, developed by Alesis Research Department, specifically for the Alesis Microverb II. Using high speed complementary-metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) silicon processing, the Alesis Microverb II chip replaces several circuit cards of components, while consuming very little power.
The reverb programs were developed on our interactive room simulation and development system. Philosophically, the objective of reverberation is to enhance a dramatic performance, adding space, power, depth. Natural spaces tend to sound more pleasing than the simulated reverb types such as springs and plates, and for this reason, we use room terminology in describing our programs. The programs cover a wide range of sizes and qualities, and include such unnatural concepts as gated and reverse types.
The MICROVERB 11 has high impedance inputs ideally suited for use with instrument pickups. Further, if the left input only is used, the input signal will appear as mono (present in both channels) at the dry side of the mix control. Adjust the input level for the level indicator flashing to red on occasional transients. A green condition of the indicator shows that the signal is sufficient for good signal to noise ratios.
The Alesis Microverb II handles mono or stereo sends at all system levels. The input circuitry of the Alesis Microverb II can easily handle +4 levels (+20 dB peaks), while having enough input gain to interface with the extremely low signal levels of budget recording systems. As with instruments, if the left input alone is used with a mono source, it will appear in both channels of the dry output, leaving the reverb output in full stereo. In professional applications, it is suggested that the output control be set at maximum, where the Alesis Microverb II will best drive maximum levels at low impedances. When using with the sends and receives of a console, the mix control should be set to full reverb.
The Alesis Microverb II as a part of the Alesis Micro Series, is mountable in the Micro-Rack Adapter, where three such devices fit perfectly. Assembly is quick and simple, a single screw secures each device in place. The unique design of the Micro Series case allows the devices to lock together to form a solid rack package, or to stand alone as single units.
The Alesis Microverb II is powered by a remote supply providing 9 volts AC through a 3.5mm plug. This power supply approach keeps stray magnetic fields from interfering with low level signals, allows easy conversion to alternate power sources (220V), and further reduces the unit’s physical size and valuable panel space. Although many Micro Series devices could be powered by a single supply, this is not advisable, as ground loops would be set up between units, leading to excessive hum and noise in the system.
Alesis Microverb II is a revolution in the development of digital reverb in that it represents a phenomenal price/performance ratio, while reducing the physical size from large, bulky hardware to what you can now hold in the palm of your hand. The 16 programs in Alesis Microverb II are the distillation of years of exhaustive research by Alesis into the phenomenon of sound as it occurs naturally in space.
From small, intimate room settings to large unobstructed spaces, to useful gated and reverse reverb effects, Alesis Microverb II offers a powerful level of sonic flexibility that will expand and polish the sound of any recording. Moreover, its rugged portability, simplicity and convenient input characteristics make it the logical choice for recreating studio quality sound in live performance.
How to use Microverb II in your Studio
The 16 programs in Alesis Microverb II offer a wide range of ambient spaces. Its compact, affordable format means that even the smallest 4 track studio can own more than one Alesis Microverb II. One of the greatest differences between home recordings and top flight record productions is in the quality and number of high performance reverb processors. Simply stated, the big studios have a lot of digital reverbs and smaller studios usually don’t. Alesis Microverb II changes all that.
The illustration shows a typical reverb assignment for a no holds barred record production. While this setup may not represent the capabilities of your own recording efforts, it does illustrate why modern recordings sound so spacious and dramatic. The 16 bit processor in Alesis Microverb II allows you to create this sense of space with crystalline clarity and great resolution.
These programs were chosen for the purpose of creating a ‘sound stage’ for the musical performance. There is a well defined sense of three dimensional space that is occupied by each instrument: left to right and front to back. The blocks in the illustration indicate the physical placement of each instrument, and the spreading of the sound due to the psycho acoustic imaging characteristics of each program. Notice that the small programs have more of a centered spatial image while the large programs are wider, more open and spacious.
Recommended programs are listed by number next to each instrument. These program suggestions are based on current popular uses of digital reverb, but use your imagination and please experiment. Musical style, personal taste and creativity are your guidelines. This mix uses 9 Alesis Microverb II programs simultaneously. The affordability of Alesis Microverb II easily brings at least a portion of this mix within the reach of all studios.
The mix control settings apply to either the mix control on Alesis Microverb II for stand alone operation, or the settings can apply to the sends and receives of a mixing console. IMPORTANT! When used with the sends and receives of a mixing console the mix control on Alesis Microverb II should always be set fully clockwise, and the returns on the console panned hard left and right for the full stereo effect.