Alesis QS6

Alesis QS6 Image

QS6 - 61 key model

The QS6 is a powerful multitimbral synthesizer from the effects-box geniuses at Alesis. There's 64 voices of polyphony and 16 parts multitimbrality and tons of memory and expand-ability packed into to this big, blue, beautifully laid out performance synthesizer. Based on the original QuadraSynth series, The QS6 has 8 MegaBytes of samples and uses digital additive/subtractive sample playback synthesis to create high quality stereo grand pianos, organs, strings, drums/percussion, brass, woodwinds, new and classic synth textures, General MIDI, and rhythmic/sonic loops. Most of them sound pretty darn great too! However Alesis had not yet fully anticipated the dance craze and so this is not one of those "physical-modeling" synths that began appearing at the same time. And sadly, in addition to the north-bound Pitch/Mod wheels, there are only just two real-time assignable control sliders for live tweaking, which is not a lot at all.

As a master synth, the QS excels in it's price range, except for that tiny LCD display which makes navigating through the pages and pages of program settings pretty tedious. The QS6 implements the powerful QS Modulation Matrix, allowing users to assign virtually any controller source to any modulation parameter. There's an onboard multi-effects processor (based on the QuadraVerb 2) with four totally discrete effects busses that include reverb, delay, rotary speaker simulation, distortion, chorus and much more. With a direct Mac or PC hook-up, loading patches and editing via software is a snap! QS synths shipped with Alesis' Sound Bridge software for Mac/PC which lets you write AIFF and WAV samples, Standard MIDI Files and Program data to PCMCIA Flash or SRAM cards. It can play Standard MIDI file sequences from the expansion cards without the use of an external sequencer. For an all around versatile modern synthesizer that isn't focused just on dance or trance, be sure to consider the QS6.

More demanding players may want to check out the more professional QS7 (76 semi weighted keys), QS8 (88 weighted keys with piano style hammer action) and QSR (rack-mount) versions. They also featured double the sample-ROM and many other upgrades! By 1999, all the Quadrasynths were being replaced by the QS6.1, 7.1 and 8.1 versions.

Lookup Alesis QS6 Prices

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Are you looking to buy or sell a Alesis QS6? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

27 Visitor comments
Marc
July 2, 2014 @ 1:22 am
I have a Alesis QS8 and I think it is a great sounding keyboard. It has many different types of sounds and is easy to program. alot of the sounds sound better than my Roland Fantom. The Alesis QS keyboard is very powerful.
Steve
July 25, 2013 @ 7:17 am
I use a QS8, and 2 QS6.1s in our praise band at church and these all sound better than my brand new Roland Juno Di. These are VERY underated synths and you should pick one up as they are going for cheap. Major thing as with all synths, 5 years is the MAX for an internal battery, replace it every 5 years and I doubt you will have to do anything else to it !
Steve
July 25, 2013 @ 7:14 am
As a keyboard Technician I have found all of the QS synths excellent in build, sound and expansion capabilities. You can pick these up for cheap nowadays and the PCMIA cards for expansion are rock solid(and widley available) and built like a tank as is the synthesizer itself. From my perspective thay are very easy to work on ( Battery replacement, keys, etc) and the sounds that these things are capable of producing are astounding and will be relevant for many years to come.
Defective Nation
January 26, 2013 @ 8:35 pm
With only a small amount of effort you can coax some amazing sounds from these synths that are still relevant today. Try layering a few detuned patches, there's plenty of polyphony so you can make some really complex fat sounds.

If you don't need another keyboard but fancy having access to the sounds take a look at the NanoSynth which goes for next to nothing on eBay.
Walt from NC
January 22, 2013 @ 11:42 am
I use a QS6 as a favorite for live performances only. I enjoy the smaller keyboard and the nostalgia of it's synth engine being the basis for the other QS synths (for the most part). While the piano sounds are well documented as very weak, the strings, pads, bass and brass are excellent and can cut through/hang to this day. Very fat sounds in those areas IMO. This synth sits along with my Yamaha digital piano and Akai Miniak with blended KB300 + KB/A 300 amps.....a ton of live, cutting, pro sound on the cheap.
 
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  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Demos & Media
  • Audio Clip 1 - Here are a bunch of demo patches from the QS7, displaying the QS-synth's wide range of excellent contemporary, acoustic, and electronic synth sounds & textures. From the Future Music CD, issue 51.

    Manual - Alesis have made manuals and program charts for many of their products available on-line, for free download as .PDF files.

  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 64 voices
  • Oscillators - 48kHz Linear samples.
    8MB, expandable to 16MB using PCMCIA ROM and RAM cards
  • Multitimbral - 16 parts
  • Effects - 4 On-board effects, based on the Alesis QuadraVerb 2 FX processor
  • Arpeg/Seq - None
  • Keyboard - 61 velocity and aftertouch sensitive, synth action.
  • Memory - 512 preset 128 user programs, 400 preset and 100 user mixes, expandable using PCMCIA cards
  • Control - MIDI IN/OUT/THRU (16-parts), RS232/RS422 computer serial port for Macintosh or PC
  • Date Produced - 1996

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