NOOB needs advice please (Alesis QS8)

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NOOB needs advice please (Alesis QS8)

Postby roubaix » Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:13 pm

Hi everyone,
I recently came across an Alesis QS8 at my local music store, it was a trade in from a local church.

I'm looking for a keyboard to use with a desktop / home studio (Garageband, Logic, Reaper, etc) and wondered what you guys thought of using it for that purpose.

The thing that sold me was the feel / action and response of the keys - the weighting felt very real, even for an old unit and the sounds were fab.

The cost is right around $250 (+/-).

For a keyboard noob like me, what do I need to know about this model. Again, it *mainly* will be a keyboard to play at home for fun first but will also serve as my only workstation keyboard as well.

Thank you everyone, I appreciate the insight!
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Re: NOOB needs advice please (Alesis QS8)

Postby moodorf » Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:37 pm

Welcome!

This should help.

http://www.vintagesynth.com/misc/qs8.php

oooh upon looking it seems this keyboard doesn't have MIDI in. That would make it less desirable for home recording especially with DAW's. But that's IMHO your experience may vary, especially if you are a skilled keyboard player. 8-)
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Re: NOOB needs advice please (Alesis QS8)

Postby roubaix » Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:00 pm

moodorf wrote:Welcome!

This should help.

http://www.vintagesynth.com/misc/qs8.php

oooh upon looking it seems this keyboard doesn't have MIDI in. That would make it less desirable for home recording especially with DAW's. But that's IMHO your experience may vary, especially if you are a skilled keyboard player. 8-)


Thanks moodorf, I am a noob for sure, LOL.

O.k., am I reading this wrong regarding MIDI?

http://www.alesis.com/qs8

Type : Sample playback synthesizer, master controller keyboard
Keys: 88 velocity and aftertouch sensitive, weighted, hammer-action
Polyphony : 64 voices
MIDI Channels : 16
ROM : 16MB, expandable to 32MB using 2 PCMCIA ROM and RAM cards.
Sounds : 512 preset 128 user programs, 400 preset and 100 user mixes, expandable using PCMCIA cards.
Samples : 48kHz Linear samples
General MIDI : GM compatible.
Effects : On board effects, based on the Alesis Q2 FX processor
Drums : Drum kits, rhythm loops
Input / Output : 4 Audio Out, Phones, MIDI IN, OUT, THRU, Serial interface for Mac/PC, ADAT optical digital output, 48kHz input, 2 PCMCIA card slots
Controls : Pitch wheel, Mod. wheel, 4 assignable control sliders, 3 Pedal inputs
Sequencer No on-board sequencer, can play standard MIDI files from PCMCIA expansion cards
Other features : Using PCMCIA Flash RAM cards, custom samples and programs can be added.
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Re: NOOB needs advice please (Alesis QS8)

Postby rhino » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:11 pm

Welcome to the board!

Still have my QS-8 - no plans to trade!

Yes, great feel, Great sounds.

CONS: HEAVY!!! Needs a good computer editor to avoid the 10,000 button-pushes and squinting at the tiny display.
The rubber buttons don't feel as "Pro" as I'd like. Service is a risk: Many custom IC chips that Alesis no longer stocks.

This synth - though it's just a ROMpler - is DEEP. You can spend as much time as you want playing with the features (mod matrix, stepped and smooth tracking generator, some great inharmonic waveform samples, quad effect unit...) and still find new ideas.

$250 is a good price - paid twice that for mine about 6 years ago.
"A thing may seem impossible...until it's done."
--Nelson Mandela
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Re: NOOB needs advice please (Alesis QS8)

Postby roubaix » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:39 pm

rhino wrote:Welcome to the board!

Still have my QS-8 - no plans to trade!

Yes, great feel, Great sounds.

CONS: HEAVY!!! Needs a good computer editor to avoid the 10,000 button-pushes and squinting at the tiny display.
The rubber buttons don't feel as "Pro" as I'd like. Service is a risk: Many custom IC chips that Alesis no longer stocks.

This synth - though it's just a ROMpler - is DEEP. You can spend as much time as you want playing with the features (mod matrix, stepped and smooth tracking generator, some great inharmonic waveform samples, quad effect unit...) and still find new ideas.

$250 is a good price - paid twice that for mine about 6 years ago.


Thank you rhino - I did notice it was very heavy - it would go home with me once and sit wherever I put it, LOL.

I have read what I can online but is there any advantage of this one vs the 8.2? I have a former bandmember friend who has the 8.2 in storage. He has considered selling it in the past but I don't know what he would ask.

I played the 8 and loved the sounds and feel, even for home use as a digital piano - is there any major pros or cons to consider if the 8.2 was available? Again, this is for home use, home playing and limited home "studio" use.

Thank you again!
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Re: NOOB needs advice please (Alesis QS8)

Postby moodorf » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:59 pm

roubaix wrote:O.k., am I reading this wrong regarding MIDI?

Input / Output : 4 Audio Out, Phones, MIDI IN, OUT, THRU, Serial interface for Mac/PC, ADAT optical digital output, 48kHz input, 2 PCMCIA card slots


Looks like I was wrong, whoops. I only read the sidebar from the VSE link :oops:

Yeah I'm sort of a noob myself--to this forum not synths....
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Re: NOOB needs advice please (Alesis QS8)

Postby rhino » Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:36 pm

My only gripes with the QS8.2 (never owned one, realize) are:
1) only one card slot (vs. two)
2) May be wrong, but it looks like a plastic cabinet vs. a ton of metal
"A thing may seem impossible...until it's done."
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Ensoniq SQ-80
Korg DSS-1
Moog Mini
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