In 1986, a new company started by Keith Barr (Co-founder of MXR) in 1994, introduced the world’s first affordable 16 bit Digital Reverb for the masses. The Alesis Midiverb cost well under US$1000 and afforded those of us with home studios access to some pretty cool reverb effects for demo recordings.
While it may not stand up to what we have today, at the time it offered incredible sound compared to the spring reverbs of the day and we jumped on board in a big way, helping to launch Alesis into a major force in home recording and studios alike.
The Alesis Midiverb offered 63 preset reverbs and effects, with the first 50 focused purely on reverb, and the remaining 13 on gated and reverse reverb effects. Programs may be selected on the front panel, stepping through the program list, or by MIDI patch change commands form any MIDI controlling device.
The Alesis Midiverb’s programs 1- 50 are reverb algorithms designed to cover a wide range of applications. Programs 51-63 are for special effects. The reverb effects are defined by decay time, size, and spectral emphasis, respectively. Large programs tend to have some associated predelay, typical of large spaces. Small programs tend to be more immediate, but can sound hard or ringy at unnaturally long decay times.
Bright programs carry treble throughout the length of the decay, while warm programs attenuate the treble as the decay proceeds. Dark programs roll off the treble quickly, leaving only deep bass at the end of the decay.