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.

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27 Visitor comments
Randy
April 25, 2012 @ 8:38 am
I had an Alesis QSR and sold it about a year ago... kicking myself since. I just found a QS6 on ebay and snagged it. Somehow sounds fatter than I remember the QSR sounding! This contains 512 really decent patches, my favorite being the "PianoMorph" - starts out as a piano and morphs through strings into an organ, very cool! Alesis synths are very underrated IMHO. The QS series is excellent in the studio or on stage and flexible enough to create some very cool patches of your own! These can be had relatively cheap. If you see one in your budget, snatch it!
Celtic Cyber Orchestra Project
March 13, 2012 @ 7:13 pm
Bought my QS6 in the early 90's and also bought me the QS7 from a store which went broke. Until today, almost 15 years later, they still fit in the studio setup next in line up with a whole bunch of hardware machines...not even changed the battery (although I should in a shortest of time I think) I'm using some softsynths also but the 'real stuff' has more fun...Love Alesis (if I only could find an Andromeda...) !
Newhouse
February 11, 2012 @ 5:40 am
Like Minimoogman, I have trouble finding new software for my QS6. I bought mine new in the 90´s, but since it´s been virtually unused for the best part of 2000´s, I´ve lost the included software.

This is of shame, considering I have a perfectly usable Mac Power PC from the 90´s, wich would be a perfect match with the QS6.

I´ve had no luck trying to buy the cd her from Finland.

I understand that a free copy of the software can be loaded from the internet, but haven´t been able to locate the possible source.

Help, anyone ?
Mike
February 5, 2012 @ 10:41 am
A little bit of loctite on the nuts that keep the pitch and mod-wheels tight will keep them from backing out. I had the same issue and this application solved it. Use the blue loctite, in case you ever need to remove the nuts, red is permanent. Be careful...a little drop goes a long way!
Mike
February 5, 2012 @ 10:37 am
syntaur.com sells keys, keybeds, and your problem with the interface to the computer may be an incompatibility with newer operating systems on your computer. You may need to use an external midi interface. alesis makes one that has midi in/out on one side, usb on the other side.
 
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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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