Alesis Midiverb II : the true story

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anselmi
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Alesis Midiverb II : the true story

Post by anselmi » Sun Oct 20, 2019 5:54 pm

there is some hype about this unit, but what´s exactly the selling point in 2019?

does it have any iconic fx algorithm that can give you "that" sound? (artist, song, genre?)

is there something in the audio that adds indeniable character that can´t be easily obtained with other ways?

any other feature? trick?

just hype?

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Post by oldgearguy » Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:32 pm

For the $100 I paid for mine, it's worth having in the rack for the bloom presets and a few others. Whether it's due to years of conditioning or maybe just the right blend of source + effect, I do know an SH-101 running through the MIDIverb II is a match made in heaven.

Is it the first thing I reach for? Usually not. Do I end up using it more than I imagined? Yes.

Is it worth posting some crazy price? Probably not

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Post by Just me » Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:08 pm

MIDIVerbs are cheap, dirty, well built, easy to use. Better for live than studio.
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Post by thetwlo » Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:19 pm

I grabbed one for cheap, $40, a few months ago. I think it sounds pretty great.
I suspect what still gives these older reverbs a unique sound is not the lower bit depth/sampling rate/CPU power, but how the programmers were challenged to work around that--often resulting in totally new sounding effects very specific to the hardware.

I think for under $100, grab one IF you still use outboard fx, if you do most in the box, you likely won't go to it, and you'd be better with Valhalla verbs. Which I think some were based on it.

It' different and nice, not *that* special.

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Post by anselmi » Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:23 pm

is there any special mojo in this presets (or the general audio) that can´t be achieved with modern gear or maybe plugins?

I have a Big Sky that have a Bloom mode among others, also an Eventide H9 with a lot of reverb algorithms.
Of course they are really modern sounding units but at the same time the H9 is very customizable, so maybe you can achieve close enough results with them...or not :despair:

Or maybe with the increased interest in vintage-sounding reverbs there is some plugins that can deliver the same sound without the hassle of a hardware unit

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Post by anselmi » Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:24 pm

thetwlo wrote:I grabbed one for cheap, $40, a few months ago. I think it sounds pretty great.
I suspect what still gives these older reverbs a unique sound is not the lower bit depth/sampling rate/CPU power, but how the programmers were challenged to work around that--often resulting in totally new sounding effects very specific to the hardware.

I think for under $100, grab one IF you still use outboard fx, if you do most in the box, you likely won't go to it, and you'd be better with Valhalla verbs. Which I think some were based on it.

It' different and nice, not *that* special.
OK! you answered my previous post while I was writing it! thanks!

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Post by xonetacular » Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:29 pm

Any modern pedals come close to that character? Love the sound of a 101 through them but need portable

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Post by Red Electric Rainbow » Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:33 pm

i have 3 of them and get good mileage out of them. to piggyback anoyhrr user, they do compliment an sh-101 very well. i like using them with my 707 and rz-1 a lot.
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Post by fac » Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:24 pm

I like the idea that, for relatively little money ($50 to $100 per unit) you can fill a rack with various units like old Microverbs and Midiverbs, Zoom RFX series, Lexicon MPX-100s and similar stuff, add a patchbay and a power strip, and have a powerful processing rack for a multi-voice modular rig (or hardware rig, in general).

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Post by oscilloscope » Mon Oct 21, 2019 6:08 am

The Midiverb II has a great successor, ie Midiverb 4.
Some people like to argue ad eternam the compared grain and tonalities of Eventide, Strymon or Bricasti stuff, and so dish out loads of cash for these ... lol // To each his own.

Well, all I can say is I love the Midiverb 4 ....
:)
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and like Brigette McWilliams ... it sure gets the job done:
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Post by Exhale » Mon Oct 21, 2019 6:27 am

MidiVerb II sounds a bit hissy.
But reminds of a Lexicon PCM70 for a small $$$.
Very glued and greasy reverb sound.

Presets are organized in a very logical way.
Reverbs - from small to large.
Choruses and modulation are also one of a kind.
If not the best that anyone can get for cheap.

The unit definately has it's own mojo.

Later Alesis FX didn't have that sound, IMO...

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Post by oldgearguy » Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:59 am

Exhale wrote:MidiVerb II sounds a bit hissy.
But reminds of a Lexicon PCM70 for a small $$$.
Very glued and greasy reverb sound.

The unit definately has it's own mojo.

Later Alesis FX didn't have that sound, IMO...
That's a good point. It's not the cleanest reverb you'll ever use/hear, but that's exactly what makes it useful. The noise it adds is a natural byproduct of the unit and gives it an "analog" feel. It's not extra noise blended in later or a grunge/distort/crush effect on top of the source, it's all one thing.

Sometimes you want modern/clean, sometimes you don't. MV II for the don't times.

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Post by rustedimac » Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:56 am

It's also pretty easy to circuit bend to create even more interesting sounds. Imagine trying to circuit bend a Bricasti!
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Post by witchonhorseback » Mon Oct 21, 2019 10:39 am

fac wrote:I like the idea that, for relatively little money ($50 to $100 per unit) you can fill a rack with various units like old Microverbs and Midiverbs, Zoom RFX series, Lexicon MPX-100s and similar stuff, add a patchbay and a power strip, and have a powerful processing rack for a multi-voice modular rig (or hardware rig, in general).
Can't go wrong with a Zoom 1202 or Alesis Akira, either (if you can find one)...

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Post by sutekina bipu-on » Mon Oct 21, 2019 1:34 pm

If you have a midiverb ii you should replace the psu capacitors as they tend to leak and lose capacitance otherwise. cheap caps. I have solved hiss and intermittent strageness on two midiverb ii's this way.

If you can't make a midiverb ii sound like a dream, you're a chud and deserve your bigsky :smack:

The yamaha rev100 is VERY similar to the midiverb ii sound. Arguably more so than the mv3 or mv4. They aren't popular in the usa or europe, but in asia, live sound people go CRAZY for them. It has some magic to it just like the mv2, but youre not locked to presets only.

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Re: Alesis Midiverb II : the true story

Post by gruebleengourd » Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:57 pm

anselmi wrote: does it have any iconic fx algorithm that can give you "that" sound? (artist, song, genre?)
My Bloody Valentine Isn't Everything era is very Bloomy.
lots of 90s era home studio electronica used it.

They're hardly significant in this day and age. If you want that alesis sound, a quadraverb is a better bet. But the midiverb two is simple and does what it does without much fuss.

I've seen yamah spx1000 and spx 990 sell for the same price people are asking for a midiverb2 so I couldn't really recommend the midiverb2 for a 90s rack unit today.

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Post by Blairio » Mon Oct 21, 2019 11:03 pm

oscilloscope wrote:The Midiverb II has a great successor, ie Midiverb 4.
Some people like to argue ad eternam the compared grain and tonalities of Eventide, Strymon or Bricasti stuff, and so dish out loads of cash for these ... lol // To each his own.

Well, all I can say is I love the Midiverb 4 ....
:)
The midiverb 4 has some great plate & hall reverbs, along with very cool modulation fx, delays, and a passable leslie simulation. I still use mine, plus my midiverb 3. For a 29 year old budget fx unit the 'verb 3 is amazing: up to 4 simultaneous effects (Delay, Reverb, Chorus, EQ).

Alesis made quality kit.

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Alesis Midiverb II : the true story

Post by Toowoombaus » Tue Oct 22, 2019 3:51 am

I bought a Quadraverb right when they came out, I was going to get a
Midiverb but I wanted the newer unit.
I don’t think they have a special or unique sound but they get the job done, they are easy to program and after almost 30 years mine (Quadraverb) still works great.
I do think they are every bit as good as a lot of reverb plug-ins or pedals.

In the 90s there weren’t a lot of options for an inexpensive reverb. Alesis made some groundbreaking products with an extremely low price they had good flexible signal routing, multiple combinations of different combinations of effects.

It could do four at once but, you could run the reverb in the “reverb only“ configuration which allocated all the processing power to just the reverb.

It had pitch based effects e.g., Chourus, flanging, phaser, micro pitch shifting in “cents”, programmable EQ, delay, tremolo, Leslie, and reverbs.

In the different configurations you could route one effect into another with mix controls, it had Midi and I used to used it in my guitar rack to boost for solos by sending it midi cc velocity changes assigned to a volume pedal I plugged into the unit. Actually, I think that volume pedal was plugged into a midi mitigator controller.

I ran it for many years as a hardware insert in my ProTools rig.

I just pulled it out of my garage and fired it up after 15 years and all my presets that I made were still there and it worked perfectly. In fact, after reading this I think I’m gonna hook it up and start using it again. I think when plug-ins came out I was enamored with them and kind of forgot about some of my hardware units even the analog ones.

I think you can get them for about $50 used and for what it does think that’s a pretty good price.
That being said I don’t think they’re in the same league as an Eventide H9 because Eventide was miles ahead of everyone with their algorithms and they were extremely expensive back in the day. I’m sure the “ported“ a lot of those into the H9.

Alesis, I heard had five or six top engineers and after a few years left the company and formed Line 6.
If I recall correctly the Midiverb had a “Bloom effect“ that was pretty cool that the other units didn’t have.

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Post by MacroDX » Tue Oct 22, 2019 6:42 am

I have just recently repaired mine. In the event I replaced the OpAmps with TL074 which significantly reduced the noise floor on mine.
http://anlage-e.de/gear/midiverb/

Love number 28 / 48 / 49. Ambient bliss :love:
My Modular Music is just Bleeps and Bloops!

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Post by Zube » Tue Oct 22, 2019 1:47 pm

To me what makes it special: just chunking it in like a guitar pedal sounds great. For some reason the later models just don't do it like the 1st two units. It also works well (just like most Alesis) as a glue verb, when combining multiple long verbs together. It is really noisy though, and often needs an EQ or plugin to fix. A new power supply improves it a bit.
MacroDX wrote:I have just recently repaired mine. In the event I replaced the OpAmps with TL074 which significantly reduced the noise floor on mine.
http://anlage-e.de/gear/midiverb/

Love number 28 / 48 / 49. Ambient bliss :love:
Thanks for sharing that mod! Definitely going to check out that link for the op amps and I of course share the deep 28/48/49 love.

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Post by computer controlled » Tue Oct 22, 2019 5:52 pm

Is the Wedge based on any of the MIDIverb units?
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Post by thetwlo » Tue Oct 22, 2019 6:53 pm

computer controlled wrote:Is the Wedge based on any of the MIDIverb units?
I think it's very close to the Midiverb IV.

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Post by Neo » Wed Oct 23, 2019 4:09 pm

Never used the midiverb II but I had a midiverb 1 back in the day. 80's digital reverbs sound very different from modern reverbs like the Space or Big Sky. The most obvious example I can think of is Moments in Love. I don't think any modern reverb except an OTO BAM can sound like that. Crunchy, grainy, usually a bit dark and very 80's. A nice alternative to the ubiquitous Eventides and Strymons

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Post by anselmi » Thu Oct 24, 2019 9:07 am

well, finally I scored one for like half :75: !
literally $40!

It´s in good shape, with a little bended rack ears but I just fixed it quickly applying a little force to get them straight again

It´s far less noisy than I expected from your comments, but I think the OpAmp improvement could be a good thing to make it better

The presets are really interesting and musical, the gate reverbs catched my attention first, and the flanger/chorus are all instantly usable in most synth sounds. No doubt about this is a unit to try if you are looking for something different but not weird. It really added to my fx arsenal that are mostly modern stuff in the way of the Big Sky and H9.

Thanks for your advice, it was very helpful!

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Post by fac » Thu Oct 24, 2019 9:19 am

Great price. I never see them below $100-$120.

I so much regret selling a Quadraverb when I had one (and also a DP/4), but I wasn't using hardware effects at that time.

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