Alesis QS8.1 / QS8.2

QS8.1 Image

Alesis QS8.1

The QS8.1 is a 64 Voice Expandable Synthesizer based on the QS8, QS6.1 and QS7.1. It's basically the same as the QS6.1 and QS7.1 but has an 88-note weighted keyboard with piano style hammer-action and a super cool metal chassis with solid oak wood's the flagship QuadraSynth model! And compared to the older QS8, it offers up a much needed larger LCD display screen and a few more direct access buttons to certain edit function and parameters. It uses digital ROM samples (16MB) of sounds containing a library of 640 programs and 500 multitimbral mixes. Really amazing pianos, orchestral sounds as well as vintage synth sounds, strings, brass, winds, guitars, drums, percussion loops and groove patterns can all be found here.

The QS8.1 features 64 multitimbral parts over 16 MIDI channels. That's a lot. And since it's 64 voices polyphonic, you can arrange some pretty complex and complete music, from full orchestras to trance dance tracks, beats and sfx heaven! The keyboard can be split into 16-zones! Control the volume, panning, transposition, effects level and more of each channel independently. Four on-board edit/control sliders are assignable to most modulation parameters. Onboard multi-effects based on the QuadraVerb 2 include reverb, chorus, distortion, EQ, delay, rotary speaker simulation and more. These are on four independent busses so it's like having four FX units!

Powerful MIDI implementation suits the QS8.1 for any studio situation. But it has more! It can connect to your Mac or PC using its RS422 or RS232 ports. The QS8.1 comes with a CD-rom (Mac/PC) with Alesis' Sound Bridge and FreeLoader applications, plus programs for sequencing, editor/librarians, notation, extra samples, programs and mixes, sample sequences, demos and more. Either way you choose to use the QS8.1 it is a truly professional yet affordable versatile synth for the demanding player who needs a full-sized keyboard with the authentic feel of a real piano.

Alesis QS-8.2 Image

Alesis QS8.2

The QS8.2 is virtually identical to the QS8.1 except that it has only one expansion slot to the 8.1's two and it has a bright shiny new silver design. The ROM Soundsets may also be a slightly newer version too.

Lookup Alesis QS8.1 / QS8.2 Prices

The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings with more images, specs and information. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace. Our marketplace gets thousands of visits every week so make sure to check back often if you want to buy or sell a synth.

Related forum topics


Are you looking to buy or sell a Alesis QS8.1 / QS8.2? 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.

18 Visitor comments
T. I.
April 27, 2014 @ 10:05 pm
I have owned the qs8, 8.2, 7 and 6. I love them. I still have the 8 in my studio. I play an 8.2 at church. I use a 6 along with a motif es7 for gigs. I carry a qs7 for quick hits. I did a whole cd with the Cubase software that came with it and all the sounds were from the q's. I am about to purchase another for my friend's Italian restaurant. He wanted a good piano and a good organ sound and for the money, it's a no brainer.
July 29, 2013 @ 5:26 pm
I know of only two GUI's that are used for screen editing the Alesis QS8 (1) (2).
I purchased "QSeditpro" from SoundTower ( It's pretty good. Much better than trying to edit everything from the LCD display on the keyboard itself. It was only about $35 if I remember when I bought it about 10 years ago. I don't think it's much more than that today. These guys are from Canada and are very friendly. Help you with many questions on the software.
I don't remember the other program...but I can find out.

July 10, 2013 @ 12:45 am
Bill D, is this possibly what Tom was talking about? Don't know if you'll ever come back to see this or not but it might help someone in the future...
Bill D
March 10, 2013 @ 8:28 am
Tom - What hacked GUI are you referring to? I would like to get my hands on one. thanks!
Doc Matzen
January 28, 2013 @ 2:45 pm
There is no comparison between the 8.1 and 8.2. The 8.1 is a fantastic keyboard withe realistic piano touch and very usable sounds and controls. The 8.2 is a cheaply made poor imitation.
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User Rating

Rated 3.38 (239 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.

    Audio Clip 2 - Onboard demo of the QS6.1 and its cool sounds.

    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 (with dynamic voice allocation)
  • Oscillators - QS Composite Synthesis (16 Bit Linear 48kHz Sample ROM): 16 MB, expandable to 32 MB via PCMCIA Expansion Card Slots
  • LFO - 3 LFO's
  • Filter - 64: 1 Sweepable Lowpass Filter per voice
  • Effects - QuadraSynth 2 four-Bus Parallel Matrix Effects: reverb, chorus, distortion, EQ, delay, rotary speaker simulation and more.
  • Keyboard - 88 hammer action weighted keys (velocity, release velocity, aftertouch sensitive)
  • Memory - Programs: 512 preset, 128 user; Mix Mode: 400 preset, 100 user.
    Expandable using QCards or RAM Cards via 2 PCMCIA expansion card slots
  • Control - MIDI IN, OUT, THRU (64 Part multitimbral across 16 MIDI channels); RS422 and RS232 serial protocols, Mac and PC compatible
  • Date Produced - 1999

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