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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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.

26 Visitor comments
musicman_1968@yahoo
July 15, 2012 @ 8:12 pm
great sounds 64 voice poly is awesome!! paid 150.00 for mine mint condition,with manuels and 1 q-card pianos~ wish the q-cards werent so pricey 80 bucks on e-bay yikes,plenty of power and sounds on board with out any q-cards!8mb if you add a q-card bumps it up to 16mb~4 On-board effects,that sound great,i am gonna have alot of fun with this,best purchase ever made--512 preset 128 user programs, 400 preset and 100 user mixes- the user mixes is awesome,slighty hard to program and create mixes horns and pads and synths sound amazing!! pianos sound wonderfull,compact and very powerfull. get one!!
Sean
May 3, 2012 @ 9:28 pm
I feel like a dummy, but after posting I did get the idea of trying to do exactly that - do one more re-initialization and try to play without any visuals on the LCD. I found some sounds and it plays - sounds AMAZING - the kind fat sounds I love from the vintage era! While it was powered on, I did some more wire-wiggling to see if I could find the root problem. While handling the LCD screen and PCB, some of my fingers bridged some circuits on the back of the PCB and a few pixels displayed.. Now I worry is it the LCD, or the component sending info to the LCD? Ribbon cable checks out fine.
Simon
May 2, 2012 @ 6:34 pm
@Sean .. Sounds like you have a faulty LCD.. I had one and stopped my QS6 working altogether.. They can be sourced from Ebay or Instrumental Parts have replacements too
Try removing the existing LCD and see if it works ok without.. Can reset by holding 0 & 3 down as you power on..
Sean
May 1, 2012 @ 10:11 pm
I want to be respectful and not break forum rules, but at the same time, I desperately want to say something enthusiastic and interesting about the QS6! I've been playing synths since the 80's - never owned an Alesis, but always wanted one. Someone gave me a QS6 yesterday! GREAT condition, but when I power on I get a fully backlit display with no text. Found the service manual and have checked some voltages and all seems OK. Service manual says fully lit LCD means reversed cable. Nope. There are no visible leaks or shorts. Can a fellow vintage synth lover answer my desperate cry???
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!
 
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  • Check Prices on eBay
  • The link above will take you to a 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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