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QS8.2?


Zack Pomerleau

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My honest opinion of the QS series is that they sounded thin and out of date when they were released, were not particularly well built compared to other keyboards, and this would explain the budget price on them when they were on the market. It's a line that has been on my 'avoid at all costs' list since they came out.
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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Okay thank you, I must admit though, Ray Manzarek sounds nice with them.

.....and so did Keith Emerson.....but I'm having trouble determining if you like it because you like the sounds Ray Manzarek got out of it, or if you like it because Ray Manzarek used it. I have a QS-R module, and while really I enjoy it for about 3-4 select sounds, I tend to lean toward Kanker's observations. That being said, it really doesnt matter to me if a synth sounds "dated" or not; if it inspires me to play music and fits the type of music Im playing that's all that matters.

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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That being said, it really doesnt matter to me if a synth sounds "dated" or not; if it inspires me to play music and fits the type of music Im playing that's all that matters.
This is a very true statement. I guess I would say that one shouldn't expect too much in the way of realism with the QS series, but that realism doesn't really allow for the kind of quirkiness that can make a sound quite playable and even more inspiring.
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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I love my QS8. I still use it regularly. I tried replacing it with an S90 and a MOTIF ES8, but found I kept returning to the QS. I especially like the stock Bosendorfer piano, the Rayz Rhodes EP (Pre1, #05), and the samples from Keith Emerson's Hammond and modular Moog...and there's this killer clav patch (Clavitube, Pre1, #10) and fat brass patch (Quadratix, Pre1, #90) and a few leads that I just love to bits....

 

I am far from impartial though - I helped design the QS8, and quite a few of my programs are in it. I did one of the autodemos as well (the one called Camera Obscura). The Iron Man demo was done by Keith Emerson. :cool:

 

I agree that it's better to get a used QS8/QS8.1 than the QS8.2. Kanker's observation is completely wrong about the early QS synths - they're built really well, and stand up to lots of abuse. The later silver ones are not built quite so well.

 

dB

:snax:

 

:keys:==> David Bryce Music • Funky Young Monks <==:rawk:

 

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Keep in mind that the QS8 is now considered "dated". Too often we compare whats available today with instruments that have been out 3 to 5 years. That isn't a fair evaluation.

 

Yeah and Dave, I'd say you "might" be a bit prejudice about the QS8, don't you think? :/

 

Mike T.

Yamaha Motif ES8, Alesis Ion, Prophet 5 Rev 3.2, 1979 Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 73 Piano, Arp Odyssey Md III, Roland R-70 Drum Machine, Digitech Vocalist Live Pro. Roland Boss Chorus Ensemble CE-1.

 

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Yeah and Dave, I'd say you "might" be a bit prejudice about the QS8, don't you think?

Just a bit. So would you be if you didn't have to do custom user programs because there were a bunch of factory presets meticulously tweaked exactly to your tastes. :thu:

 

I wasn't totally alone though - the QS8 was outselling every synth in the country for about three years straight during the late 90's...

 

I agree that it's too easy to reach for the "sound set being dated" line...I would argue that a great piano/EP/organ/synth sound is a great piano/EP/organ/synth sound, no matter what year it was released. ;)

 

dB

 

:snax:

 

:keys:==> David Bryce Music • Funky Young Monks <==:rawk:

 

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Kanker's observation is completely wrong about the early QS synths - they're built really well, and stand up to lots of abuse.
I've found more often than not any QS, even the black ones, have build issues particularly related to the keybed. This isn't just a case of not liking the feel of the action, but finding the action to be almost worn out at random places across the keybed, as if there are dead spots, and that this is a problem that gets worse sooner rather than later. As this is the main interface for a player, this is a major problem and is a build quality issue. Your experience may be different, but I'm not wrong just because I've had a different set of experiences with the QS than you have.
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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Dave Bryce... every day that I use my QS synth, I secretly thank you for all the work you've done on it. Bravo!

 

The QS line is (IMHO) still a great gigging board with a well rounded sample-set and, I believe, the BEST OVERALL VARIETY of sounds. I.E. they may not be stellar in any one area (like Yamaha/Kurzweil excel at acoustic sounds, Korg/Roland excel at synthetic sounds...) but you get a very wide pallette of useable sounds in all the sonic areas.

 

If you go with a QS8/8.1/8.2, then for acoustic pianos I would recommend that you get either the Jazz Piano or Classical Piano Q-card. The stock piano is great for rock-n-roll, but sounds too bright IMO for more subtle styles of playing, and a little too wide/unfocused in the mid-range. The Q-Cards put the piano sound a little closer to Yamaha/Kurzweil quality.

 

For even better synth sounds, get the Vintage Synth card, it has samples of Keith's old GX-1 on there, and lots of great programming work.

 

Kurzweil PC3, Yamaha MOX8, Alesis Ion, Kawai K3M
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I agree that it's too easy to reach for the "sound set being dated" line... I would argue that a great piano/EP/organ/synth sound is a great piano/EP/organ/synth sound, no matter what year it was released. ;)

 

+1000

 

A friend of mine with a Triton LE-88 got blown away by the quality of sounds from my QS8.2, and he actually prefers it to the Korg. Good sounds are good sounds.

 

Kurzweil PC3, Yamaha MOX8, Alesis Ion, Kawai K3M
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Your experience may be different, but I'm not wrong just because I've had a different set of experiences with the QS than you have.

Fair enough.

 

The keybed (FATAR TP20, if memory serves) is actually one of the more heavy duty keybeds that they make, though. Don't know what these worn spots is you've been experiencing, nor how it's possible that you've seen it on multiple units - I've never really heard that being a problem. I can probably check with people who are more in the know than either of us, though. :cool:

 

You sure you're not just suffering from Alesis Prejudice? It was justified after the original QuadraSynth (and more than a few of the other Alesis products :eek: ), and I've seen it before...you're showing the main two symptoms (sounds are thin, build quality is flimsy). You wouldn't believe how many people we got to change that opinion when they actually gave the thing a fair shake. :D

 

dB

:snax:

 

:keys:==> David Bryce Music • Funky Young Monks <==:rawk:

 

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It is not about Ray using it, it is about his Organs sounding like HIS organs! Seems durable, I mean, ROTS tour like all year round at this point. You guys ruin the fun, hahaha, I don't have thirty thousand dollars to spend on keys, I think I might check them out, I don't think EP's etc can sound dated unless you are using some Digital Piano from 1986 or something. Keybed Problems? I hope not, if so, Guitar center will take it.
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P.S. What types of cards does its input take? Need some Vox and G101 yah know.

There used to be a bunch of 8MB expansion cards called QCards that added 8MB of additional wave ROM and another bank of programs, but most of them are out of production, I believe.

 

At one point you could also get certain flash memory cards and customize them with your own sounds, but the software to do that (SoundBridge, comes with the synth) probably hasn't been updated in years...and those cards were getting hard to find seven years ago, so I have no idea if they're still available today.

 

dB

:snax:

 

:keys:==> David Bryce Music • Funky Young Monks <==:rawk:

 

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Quote by db:

 

"There used to be a bunch of 8MB expansion cards called QCards that added 8MB of additional wave ROM and another bank of programs, but most of them are out of production, I believe."

 

Might want to check Ebay once you get the QS8, sometimes things like that are listed.

 

I have a friend that bought a QS8 about 5 or 6 years ago, and he still plays it and remains very satisfied with it. Sure, the sounds are a bit "dated" now because the new instruments that are out now sound so much better, but the QS8 is even a better value than it was back when my buddy bought one. Alesis dropped the MAP price to $799.00 on a new one.

 

 

Mike T.

Yamaha Motif ES8, Alesis Ion, Prophet 5 Rev 3.2, 1979 Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 73 Piano, Arp Odyssey Md III, Roland R-70 Drum Machine, Digitech Vocalist Live Pro. Roland Boss Chorus Ensemble CE-1.

 

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I considered buying an Alesis QS8 when Yamaha released the S80. Whew, that was close. :D

 

Seriously, sounds are only "dated" depending on how they are used and who is playing them.

 

Rest his soul, Zawinul was still gigging with a Prophet T8, Korg Prophecy and Korg M1. Sounded great too. :)

 

Zack, buy the QS8 if it sounds good to your ears. Dig into it enough to customize your own sounds. You will definitely have a wider variety of B&B sounds over the Yamaha CP33 and more reliability than the Fusion you were considering. :cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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Seriously, sounds are only "dated" depending on how they are used and who is playing them.
I should clarify that by dated, I was meaning that in comparison to the synths of the QS's era, it sounded like it was a generation or two of ROMpler development behind in terms of raw samples, general sound quality, and provided programs. This is of course my opinion, but I have found this to be a fairly consistent observation throughout the history of Alesis ROMplers.
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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I should also add that I do indeed approach each new release from ANY manufacturer with an open mind

Then you're a better man than I, Gunga Din. There are definitely a few companies whom I find it problematic not to hold preconceptions about their practices and products.

 

dB

 

:snax:

 

:keys:==> David Bryce Music • Funky Young Monks <==:rawk:

 

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Plus, when you play live, and even maybe when recording, sound quality is lost. I have heard not too many of the sounds (One Piano, One Rhodes, the Vox Organ, is that built in? it says there is a 60's combo organ in it) but it looks nice, I'm just worried about the keyweight, other than that I might try it out, if anyone has some QCards to spare (ahem, Vintage) please PM me! Hope this is good, and I do hope it can match the CP33, from what I have heard it is good.
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I should also add that I do indeed approach each new release from ANY manufacturer with an open mind

Then you're a better man than I, Gunga Din. There are definitely a few companies whom I find it problematic not to hold preconceptions about their practices and products.

 

dB

To further quote our fine moderator, "what he said". :D

 

I have yet to play a Korg KB I've wanted to take home. Yet, I've heard other cats make it sing...a little bit. :laugh:

 

Kanker, I know you're open-minded enough to give a board a chance especially considering the RED one you own. :D

 

Seriously, I also agree K that generally, most of the manufacturers stick pretty close to their, uh, formula, across the board (pun intended). :cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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Dave you designed it, hahaha, how does the 60's Combo Sound, sound? And the Rhodes? I still say it sounded great when Ray played it.

As previously mentioned, the factory Rayz Roads programs is one of my absolute favorite programs in the QS8. As far as 60's Combo Sound, I'm not sure what you mean - can you be more specific? Sorry to be dense...

 

As you've already heard mentioned, having the Vintage Keys QCard would be ideal...good luck finding one though - they were one of the first ones to sell out, along with Vintage Synths.

 

dB

:snax:

 

:keys:==> David Bryce Music • Funky Young Monks <==:rawk:

 

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the Rayz Rhodes EP (Pre1, #05), and fat brass patch (Quadratix, Pre1, #90) and a few leads that I just love to bits....

 

I agree completely! I use both of those patches extensively.

 

I've been gigging with a QS7/7.1 since 1998 (the QS7 was stollen in 2001 and I replaced it with the 7.1). It travels with me everywhere in an SKB case, and it has served me admirably for all sorts of styles and sounds.

 

In recent years I've definitely felt that the piano lacks in the 'realism' department; it's oddly bright and tinny (pre1 01) and my second favorite piano on there is very flat and lacks sharp attack (pre1 02 I think . . . "Dark Piano").

 

However, I absolutely love many of the EP and FM piano patches, the strings, and a lot of the synth leads. Oh, and the Organs are very very usable.

 

And, as far as build goes, I've never had anything go wrong. The keys and keybed are all still functioning perfectly well, and the thing has always felt very solid and sturdy. I don't see myself ever getting rid of it, because even if I was sick of the sounds, I really love the build as a controller.

 

And, setting up splits (mixes in Alesis-land) is incrediably easy.

 

I've got a lot of love for this board, but I must say that hardware-wise I played a little on the x.2 versions, and they felt much more plastic-y.

 

The QS8 or QS8.1 has always been the first board I recommend to students who are looking for a gigging 88 key board but don't have a ton of money. It has your basics covered for almost all of your sonic needs.

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