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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » Alesis Andromeda
Help! My A6 freezes when pressing a note...
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Andy's Eyebrow



Joined: Apr 21, 2008
Posts: 23
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:06 pm    Post subject: Help! My A6 freezes when pressing a note... Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

So I fired up the Andromeda this evening and discovered that when I press a note or have it receive MIDI, it will totally freeze and hold that note played. None of the controls respond. The sound is fine... it's just the controls and key bed that lock up.

The Andromeda's controls still work perfectly normal when I first power on and I have used both soft button 3 and 4 to reset what I can, but the problem of it totally freezing after pressing a key (or receiving MIDI) persists.

Should I re-install the OS?
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sunny pedaal



Joined: Nov 16, 2004
Posts: 689
Location: netherlands
Audio files: 12

PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

did you try without midicables connected ?
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Andy's Eyebrow



Joined: Apr 21, 2008
Posts: 23
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yeah, tried it with no MIDI cables or memory cards connected. Same lock up happens.
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Andy's Eyebrow



Joined: Apr 21, 2008
Posts: 23
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

UPDATE... I've tried to update the OS (V14012). Using MIDI transfer seems to crash the A6, but I successfully uploaded the SYSEX version of the OS and it burns the RAM as expected and then reboots. The Andromeda splash screen flashes a couple times with the "boot 7" boot messages and now freezes on the splash screen every time.

Doing a hard reset from this point causes the Andromeda to freeze at the same point. The OS version on the first splash screen is correct.

UPDATE - Upgraded to the V14013 OS and now I'm back to square one with it booting up fine and controls working until a note is pressed and then back to sound playing a note freeze.

Any suggestions?
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HrastProgrammer



Joined: Oct 16, 2008
Posts: 228
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Audio files: 52

PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Two years ago I witnessed exactly the same problem on an old second-hand Andromeda (early USA 2001 model, I think) ... It worked OK until you play something when it locks-up after a few notes. Nothing helped, soft/hard reset, etc.

Sorry to say this but, as far as I remember, only Main PCB replacement fixed it Sad

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Andy's Eyebrow



Joined: Apr 21, 2008
Posts: 23
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I've downloaded the Andromeda's service manual and walked through all their diagnostic testing (soft button 2) and everything is passing. The Andy still locks up on any keypress or outside MIDI note receive. It will also hang on the boot screen more often than not, though there doesn't seem to be any pattern to it.

The most obvious sign is that it'll hang on moving the mod wheel... so there isn't anything wrong with the control PCM or the analog PCM. All that could be screwed up is the the main board.

I will crack open the Andy and make sure all the cables are properly seated and if that doesn't help then it's main board replacement time. Because of the internal design of the Andromeda, you can only replace entire boards and not individual chips. Sucky, but I guess it makes for easy assembly and repairs.

I contacted Alesis via email about buying one and they were very responsive and will sell it for $593.

In the end, if replacing the main board really does work, I can turn around and sell the Andromeda on eBay and still make a profit on the synth... so I'm not losing money in the long run. It's looking like these things go for $3500 these days.

Just wanted to give fellow Andromeda users a heads up that Alesis still does sell parts and that it might be a good idea to pick up an extra main board or analog board while you can. Their sales team is responsive and easy to work with. The internals of the Andromeda are simpler than your everyday home computer, as far as replacing boards go, and finding these spare parts may become very difficult in the future... though I'm sure many will die like mine and become spare parts for others.
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Tim Kleinert



Joined: Mar 12, 2004
Posts: 1041
Location: Zürich, Switzerland
Audio files: 6
G2 patch files: 213

PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Sorry if I'm mentioning something obvious, but are you sure the patch isn't corrupted?
I just know that I can get the A6 to crash consistently with arguably nonsensical but possible envelope settings (stuff involving loop points). If a patch is corrupted and by accident contains such settings, triggering an envelope by playing a note will cause the A6 to freeze. I'm just thinking of this possibility because you say that the A6 performs flawlessly under diagnostic mode (where the edit buffer is empty). AFAIK there is a way to start up the A6 with an empty edit buffer (because otherwise it automatically loads the last used patch from memory). Then, from there, call up the "init patch" and save it to memory. See if this works.

Another (perhaps also obvious thing): If you have to reboot the A6, you should wait something like 15 seconds between turning the unit off and back on again. Otherwise it likes to freeze at start-up. At least mine do.

Again, sorry if this is all obvious or/and useless Laughing. Good luck with your A6.
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Andy's Eyebrow



Joined: Apr 21, 2008
Posts: 23
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

tim wrote:
Sorry if I'm mentioning something obvious, but are you sure the patch isn't corrupted?
I just know that I can get the A6 to crash consistently with arguably nonsensical but possible envelope settings (stuff involving loop points). If a patch is corrupted and by accident contains such settings, triggering an envelope by playing a note will cause the A6 to freeze. I'm just thinking of this possibility because you say that the A6 performs flawlessly under diagnostic mode (where the edit buffer is empty). AFAIK there is a way to start up the A6 with an empty edit buffer (because otherwise it automatically loads the last used patch from memory). Then, from there, call up the "init patch" and save it to memory. See if this works.

Another (perhaps also obvious thing): If you have to reboot the A6, you should wait something like 15 seconds between turning the unit off and back on again. Otherwise it likes to freeze at start-up. At least mine do.

Again, sorry if this is all obvious or/and useless Laughing. Good luck with your A6.


I'm pretty sure it's not a patch thing... my troubles happen on any patch and happens booting with soft button 1 pressed (start with init patch and mix)... also done all the memory wipes (soft button Cool and hard an soft resets (soft button 3 and 4).

And like I mentioned... it'll freeze just moving the mod wheel with no note playing. I can't imagine a corrupt patch would cause that.

But I'll doublecheck all my memory buffers before pulling the trigger on the main board. Thanks for the advice.
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Andy's Eyebrow



Joined: Apr 21, 2008
Posts: 23
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

So, three months later my Andromeda is fixed. After trying all the easy solutions (checking battery, connections and replacing the power supply unit) I gave it to a local music repair shop and they replaced the mainboard ($600). There was one hiccup where Alesis sent them a used mainboard which caused other problems, but the shop was able to get Alesis to send a new one... which fixed all my problems.

Just wanted to wrap this thread up so that future Andromeda users who might experience the same thing I did will have something to look up when the time comes.
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purpurkatten



Joined: May 27, 2005
Posts: 131
Location: right here

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Andy's Eyebrow wrote:
Just wanted to wrap this thread up so that future Andromeda users who might experience the same thing I did will have something to look up when the time comes.


Good to know, I appreciate the info. Thanks!

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All A6 programming pros, don´t hesitate to put together your best patches and make them available on the Internet! If you´d like to charge a reasonable fee for others to download them, that is fine by me! The more attention and patches and community for the Andromeda, the better!
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sunny pedaal



Joined: Nov 16, 2004
Posts: 689
Location: netherlands
Audio files: 12

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

thanks a lot, glad it's fixed !
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Astral



Joined: Apr 10, 2009
Posts: 60
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Im wondering how to decipher which shops to entrust my andy too if something ever does go wrong.
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Andy's Eyebrow



Joined: Apr 21, 2008
Posts: 23
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Astral wrote:
Im wondering how to decipher which shops to entrust my andy too if something ever does go wrong.


Actually there's only like 4 boards inside the Andromeda and they're very easy to swap out. I only took it to a shop so that I'd have some insurance that the part I needed was the actual culprit. Now that I know better I'd feel totally comfortable replacing any of the boards myself.
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SHARCRASH



Joined: Aug 12, 2011
Posts: 4
Location: Luxembourg

PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi guys,

I have the exact same problem! So rather than creating a new topic, I post here.

My unit didn't have any issues before the musical break of some years I had until now, apart 2 or 3 jittering pots. Now I discovered that many more pots jitter and my Andy freezes after a couple of key notes.

So I had decided to perform a cleaning maintenance inside Mr Andy and on its pots, checking also by the way if the ribbons are firm on their slot. Cleaned with contact cleaner, vakuum for residual dust, closed the unit and tested. Obviously less pots jittering (still the same pots that were already jittering plus some extra ones) and the unit still crashes but I have the impression I can play a bit longer than before until the next random freese.

So it seems for me that the issue is linked to the jittering pots. Does this mean that too many parameters being edited and values jumping around than the processor can handle? I really don't know how much the processor can handle and if i can conclude that the link is genuine... I might be wrong.

PS: it was sooooooooo good hearing my Andromeda after this break compared to my other synths!
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