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Alesis NanoPiano


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Alesis NanoPiano

Category:  Products / synthesisers / sample synthesisers

Added: 18-Aug-10  |  Author: admin

New price: discontinued (RRP £339)  |   S/H price: £100 - £150

Alesis NanoPiano

The three units in the Nano instrument series were all released in 1997 offering sounds derived from the Alesis QS Composite Synthesis & piano samples seen in previous Q-Series products, all crammed into a tiny 1/3rd rack size box. Don't let the tiny size fool you, these units offer high quality sounds & can be a great fix, particularly the Piano & Bass, for getting a big selection of quality sounds at a cheap secondhand price in a tiny footprint size.


Prices on release were:
NanoBass £249 GBP
NanoPiano £339 GBP
NanoSynth £375 GBP


All three units are based on 16 Bit Linear 48kHz Sample ROM & synthesis, offer 64 note polyphony & can utilise Alesis's QS Mix Mode (64 Part multitimbral across 16 MIDI channels).  


The NanoSynth & NanoPiano also both incorporate Alesis's high quality QS Parallel Matrix Effect processing (4 independent stereo multi effects processing busses), which include reverbs, choruses, distortion, delays, rotary speaker simulations and more.


Each unit offers a rotary control to select the Preset Bank and a secondary rotary control to switch between presets in the selected bank, with a final dedicated control pot assigned to one relevant effect parameter for the selected patch, with more control over parameters available via MIDI.

Round at the back, the NanoPiano & NanoBass have 1/4" L/R main stereo outputs, while the Nano Synth has its L/R out and L/R Inputs on RCA phono connectors with the Stereo Inputs allowing you to pass THRU any stereo signal such as a backing track, blend it with the onboard synth engine and monitor the whole lot via the L/R outputs.


The NanoSynth also uniquely features a Serial multi-pin port, allowing the unit to be controlled directly from a Mac or Windows computer using the supplied Alesis software.


Finally, all three units have traditional MIDI In and Out/Thru connectors.




Using the ultra-realistic grand piano sound of the QS8 Master Synthesiser, the Nano Piano offers 256 preset programs, including Alesis's acclaimed phase-accurate stereo multi-sampled Bosendorfer grand, as well as a selection of alternate piano sounds for different types of music. Nano Piano also includes a large selection of organs, electric pianos, vibes, clavinets, strings, synth pads and voice programs. Patches can be used on their own, as splits or layered with the piano sounds for rich, thick multi-voiced sounds.


"If you play keyboards, you know that the true test of a great synthesizer is its ability to accurately emulate the sound of a world-class acoustic piano. With the NanoPiano™, Alesis brings you the rich, ultra-realistic grand piano sound of our QS8 Master Synthesizer in a compact, very affordable sound module. In addition to dozens of piano varieties for all music styles from classical and jazz to rock and dance, you'll also get a collection of other sounds that complement the piano timbres independently or as layers and splits, including organs, electric pianos, vibes, clavs, strings, synth pads and voice programs. The NanoPiano also offers true 64-voice polyphony and onboard four-bus multieffects based on our great-sounding MidiVerb 4™ processor. Whether you’re playing solo piano on stage or need to update your piano sounds for composition and sequencing, the NanoPiano has everything you need at a price you can afford."


NanoPiano Specifications

Sound Generation Method:
16 Bit Linear 48kHz Sample ROM


QS Composite Synthesis ™


64, each with sweepable lowpass filter, 3 envelope generators, 3 LFOs, programmable effects send and QS Modulation Matrix, dynamic voice allocation


Available Waveform Memory:
8 MB


Program Memory:
256 Preset


QS Parallel Matrix Effects™ (4 independent stereo multieffect processing busses)


MIDI Connections:
MIDI In, MIDI Out/Thru


Audio Outputs:
Stereo L and R outputs






8 MB sound library includes 512 preset programs and 128 user program slots. Pianos, organs, cutting-edge and vintage synth sounds, strings, brass, winds, guitars, drums, percussion and much more are offered within this sonic collection. Fifteen complete drumsets and an entire bank of sounds are arranged in the General MIDI hierarchy, making it easy to set up standardised creation/playback of music and multimedia projects.




256 high-quality preset bass programs from a 4 megabyte sound library, including dance music styles, techno, jungle, acid, hip-hop, house and R&B basses, many with exciting resonant filter sweeps and other cool modulation sounds built into the samples.


The NanoBass also contains plenty of rock, pop, fusion and jazz music basses, including punchy rock electrics, smooth fretless bass, rich acoustic uprights and many more. Built-in bass performance trademarks - pops, slaps and so on - are included to make your sequenced tracks sound like they were performed by a studio player. To customise your bass sounds, each program provides one adjustable parameter - Attack, Decay, Brightness, Sub Octave level and so on - that you can change using the convenient front panel controller.


There seems to be a MK1 & M2 version Nanobass, although I can find no reference to a product revision online  - At the Nano zeries product launch in 1997 and on the Alesis website the Nanobass control pots are Red in colour, it has the second control pot labelled 'Adjust' and across the top it says "64 Voice Bass Synthesizer Module" - It's program list around the front selector switch starting at 12 o'clock & working around the dial clockwise reads:


Acoustic/Fretless, Electric1, Electric2, Acid, House, Rap, Industrial, Synth1, Synth2, Synth3, Synth4, Layer1, Layer2, Drone, Riff1, Riff2.


However by 1999 The NanoBass on the Alesis website is now sporting Orange control pots, it's second control pot is labelled 'Effect' & across the top it now says:  "16 Bit Linear Bass Synthesizer Module" - It's program list around the front selector switch starting at 12 o'clock & working around the dial clockwise now reads:


Acoustic, Fretless/Harmonic, Elec1, Elec2, Elec3, Funk, Acid, House, Rap, Industrial, Synth1, Synth2, Synth3, Layer, Drone, Effect

Product Manuals or Files

no user manual

Product Resources

User Comments

Last added comment

Product:  Alesis - NanoPiano
Name: Levi
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Hobby-ist
Date: 23-Mar-11

Just got it a week ago, in mint condition, and there are many usable patches, i like the "cool vibes" a lot scince i play jazz, but there are many more good sounds, so if you are thinking of getting a small module for your rig&gig, i think you will like this, may just be hard to find...!

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