Alesis QS7

Alesis QS7 Image

The QS7 was released shortly after the QS6 as an enhanced and more Studio-quality version of what was already a powerful multitimbral synthesizer from the effects-box geniuses at Alesis. It featured a larger 76-note keyboard with semi-weighted action and a more conservative black chassis. Additionally, the sound engine has been doubled from 8 to 16 MegaBytes of sample/synthesis ROM (and is expandable to 32 MegaBytes). It also added 2 more stereo outputs, 2 more assignable control sliders, discrete MIDI OUT and THRU ports, a third Expression Pedal input, ADAT optical digital output, 48kHz clock input, and a second PCMCIA expansion card slot.

The QS7 is undoubtedly a powerful and flexible synthesizer capable of creating rich sounds - both acoustic and electronic. There's 64 voices of polyphony and 16 parts multitimbrality and tons of memory and expand-ability! The QS7 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!

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 QS7 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 a Studio-quality synthesizer that isn't focused just on dance or trance, be sure to consider the QS7.

The QS8 is a full 88-note keyboard version with weighted hammer-action keys for players who need that realistic piano feel when they play. The QSR is identical to the QS7 and QS8, except that it is a keyboard-less rackmount version. 1999 saw the release of the updated QS7.1 which was a vast improvement over this original.

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7 Visitor comments
Mr. Hoffman
April 7, 2014 @ 10:02 am
The QS7 is a fine Instrument, it produces some very complex textured sounds with very little tweaking..The stock Patches are all that I use, although I have a couple of expansion cards..The keybed is A-1 and this Synth. is road worthy indeed..Great unit to practice on, the key action is perfect for
being 76 Semi weighted, The keys are not full sized, which makes it perfect for practice..Put it on a stand, and the QS7 will not be ignored, I am sure you will find yourself scaling up and down all of it's octaves, this unit is very personal..
July 16, 2013 @ 5:14 pm
I own the Classical Instruments and Sanctuary Q cards and have to comment that the cellos on C.I. are pretty good as are some string quartet and string section patches (by far better than the internal ones). Some organs on Sanctuary are overhyped and don't sound 'that' stellar on ("Sanctuary" patch is always stuck with some choir even when you turn the fader all the way off). Many organs on the Sanctuary card are worth checking out (St. Paul's, ElecOrgPdl, St. Martha's, + a few others).
Alan G.
June 13, 2012 @ 7:51 am
I bought this keyboard in the late 90's and it lasted me for about 4 years. LCD display stopped working and it took about 20 minutes warm-up time before the pitch stabilized. I upgraded in 2002 to a Yamaha S80 which has been a workhorse for 10 years and has never given me a problem. Bought a MM6 about 4 years ago which is giving me volume problems. Now gonna try a Roland JunoGi. Like computers, these keyboards become obsolete real fast. Or they break. same thing.
Tony Flying Squirrel
May 25, 2012 @ 10:48 am
I've had one of these since 1998, having owned an EMU MPS+Orchestral, 2 Roland Alpha Juno 2's, and a Roland Juno 106 prior.
While I agree that the display size slows down the workflow, and programming bank changes in any DAW can be hit or miss, the sounds are stellar in the synths and drums, the piano's are good too. To really get the most out of this unit both in sound quality, and editing/programming, an aftermarket editor is highly recommended. I've recorded with it and gigged it on hundreds of gigs and the SKB case has protected it well. I've replaced the display once, that's it!
Tank Circuit
February 10, 2012 @ 6:17 pm
This was my first synth. I bought it used after playing around on a friend's QS8. It's a great introduction to the amazing sounds a synthesizer can produce. For awhile, it was my bread and butter synthesizer -- decent pianos, some surprisingly good organs, and some leads that, if tweaked, get the job done. Like most rompers, it produces a lot of aliasing. Some of the synth sounds on the upper registers sound horrible. Programming is also cumbersome with limited knobs/sliders and a small LCD display. A good buy for the beginner player or someone who wants an introduction to synthesizers.
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User Rating

Rated 2.94 (177 Votes)

  • 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.
    16MB, expandable to 32MB using 2 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 - 76 velocity and aftertouch sensitive, semi-weighted, 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
  • Resources & Credits
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