Originally posted by Smitty:
Well as you've probably read in the general discussions there are several people who think the Alesis QS8.1 is junk, and I was considering buying one. I wanted to hear from some more users themselves on what they think. Are the piano sounds decent? Are you happy with the board overall?
QS6.1,QS7.1,QS8.1 users I need your input. Thanks
I don't know about the 8.1, but my keyboard player has a QS-7, and they are not that different.
The thing with QS's is that they have a lot of polyphony, pretty good effects, a lot of pretty good sounds, and some nice features, so far so good.
All in all, I would say the sound is a little thin though. Not that it sucks, but compared to his Trinity rack module, his Oberheim OB-12, and even his old M-1, the QS-7 just sounds quite thin.
The piano sound is ok in an ensemble, but not as a solo instrument, it is very thin.
I find I have to add a fair amount of low EQ on the console channel the QS-7 comes in just to bring in some beef.
You might not notice this at first, or if it's your only keyboard, but QS series definetly does not have the balls that a Korg or Roland product does.
Then again the price is really, really good so there you go.
some things that TOTALLY suck with the QS series are the following:
1. You can't just "change" midi channel assignments in Mix mode. There are 16 slots, each dedicated to 16 midi channels, so if you like the sound on channel four, but want to use it on channel one, you've got to change channel one patch to that sound.
You can't layer multiple patches on the same channel with a QS-7.
You can work around it, but it's a major pain in the ass.
2. Local off is implemented very strangely, basically there is no local off, unless you are in Mix mode. And to get local off in mix mode, you have to disable internal midi transmission on EACH channel. If the mix is setup with a bunch of channels, this is a major pain in the ass
3. Although the QS series has a ton of sounds, you can't access them via midi program changes very well.
Bascially bank changes move you from patch mode to mix mode, and then you can only access the patches that ARE IN USER RAM.
What this means is that if you really like a patch that's in a preset bank, or on a card, you HAVE TO COPY IT TO A USER LOCATION to call it up via midi from the user location.
This sucks big ass in a huge fashion.
We do a lot of sequencer recording (synched to an analog recorder) with a big rig of synths, and the QS-7 is a MAJOR pain in the ass to use.
It's real obvious that the designers figured this would be your only synth, that you wouldn't be trying to integrate it into a larger system.
It sounds like this is not an issue for you, but I bring all this stuff up, because it's obvious that the QS series is really aimed at the casual user, home studio or part timer, that only owns a keyboard or two.
The thing is they could have implemented the feature set in a much more elegant way, it's just that the designers had a particuliar mindset, and chose to believe they were the only synth that someone would use.
Hope this diatribe helps.
p.s. It's a pretty good synth, but I'd save the extra money and get an XV-88, the QS-8.1 is in it's sunset years (hence the steep price discounts) and will be replaced soon.
My keyboard player paid $1250 for his QS-7, now from the same place you can buy QS-7.1's for about $899.
Needless to say, resale on QS series synths totally sucks...
p.s.s. Best QS series feature in my humble opinion?
They put most of the classic Keith Emerson sounds in the thing. Very cool, even if they are way thinner than the original modular moog ones, they copped the sounds very well.
The pre-rolled Emo sounds were the main reason my keyboard player bought the thing...