Alesis S4plus sound module
The Alesis S4plus is a multitimbral sample playback synthesizer/sound module. It has 5 built-in soundbanks (PRESET 1-4 and USER), each with 128 sounds. The original samples are very good and the module supports breath control. However this must be set-up.
I use the Alesis S4plus with a soundbank especially designed for wind controller use. Since, the working method of the Alesis is completely different to that of the Yamaha VL70-m, samples versus physical modeling and monophonic versus multitimbral, it's a great addition to my gig-rig.
Each sound patch in the soundbanks can contain up to 4 sounds, which makes it possible to layer sounds in a single patch on a single MIDI channel. Patchman Music created a few really great ensembles ready to use, but also some split patches where you can play bass in the low register and brass in the high. You can create this all yourself, but I like it when other people do the work for me. With 16 MIDI channels this unit also serves me as my backing band with more than excellent drums, pianos, guitars, basses, etc., also in General MIDI (GM) mode. Just connect a MIDI file player and play along.
The module has a built-in effects processor similar to the Alesis Q2, adding even more usefulness to this thing. The four knobs on the front panel allows for quick editing and setting up.
The Alesis S4plus is also equipped with a slot for a PCMCIA Flash RAM card. On this you can store an extra user bank with or without your own samples. For this you can use Alesis' Soundbridge software utility.
The Alesis S4+ has two stereo outputs (MAIN & AUX). You can route each channel to one of these outputs, giving you the possibility to control the volume of the melody track separate from the backing tracks directly on the mixer, instead of in the module.