|Author||Topic: Give me a virtual Alesis QS8|
Posted: 25th March 2004 14:55
The QS8 is an old favourite of mine. Though
somewhat down the line of future investments.
What I'm looking for is the sound of the
strings, pads, and pianos of this baby. ?
Any sugenstions as to where I can get this
the VSTi way.
Posted: 26th March 2004 10:45
I don't know about the exact sound, but you might check out SonicSynth, SampleTank and Hypersonic for ROMpler type VSTi's. It is even possible that some equilizing can help with obtaining that sound. A lot of people still like the Alesis Q series and I have considered picking up a rack version.
Posted: 26th March 2004 10:51
I have a QS7, and absolutely love some of the synth leads and pads. While I have never used hypersonic, Sonic Synth would probably be your best bet based on my experience
Posted: 26th March 2004 11:52
I agree--I'd love to see some Alesis modules turned into plug-in's. About 6 years ago I sold my QuadraSynth+ Piano, and have regretted it ever since... I emailed Alesis awhile back with a few "I'd love to see as VST plug-in's," specifically the QuadraSynth and QuadraVerb2.
Posted: 26th March 2004 11:54
I've played with a QS7 before. Don't remember it being any better than the setup I had, so I didn't have much interest in it. The piano wasn't bad in it, I remember, and some of the pads and such weren't bad, but they weren't 'Korg' pads either.
Still, I'm in the same boat, I'm STILL looking for a replacement for some of my old hardware like my Roland JV-2080 and Korg NS5r. Several products have come out, and still, I haven't found a replacement in VSTi format yet. Listen to the demos VERY VERY carefully, or if you can demo it elsewhere, go for it before you jump in. I keep waiting and hoping for something, but to no avail yet. I'll probably have a chance to check out Hypersonic again soon with the new updates, but I have a feeling I'll be underwhelmed yet again.
Posted: 26th March 2004 11:56
Let's just hope if they do emulate a Q2 that they don't emulate that lovely 'gain stage' on the outputs. Man, talk about hiss.
Posted: 26th March 2004 12:02
Totally. I've spent more time tweaking the input/gain levels on my Q2's per application...ugh.
Posted: 26th March 2004 12:06
aren't the QS 'synths' just sample-playback keyboards? or do they have the ability to do synthesis too?
Posted: 26th March 2004 12:20
They are ROMplers, but have a really great modulation matrix. Unfortunately the QuadraSynth (to my knowledge) never had a resonant filter. It used to be that if you had a PCMCIA slot on your laptop or desktop (the latter used to exist), you could 'burn' your own samples to a memory card and play them back through the QuadraSynth. This required using some Alesis software they used to make... too much information maybe.
Posted: 26th March 2004 12:20
Just have a LP filter which is limiting... Limited tweakability in general.. but some rather nice samples, esp in the synth and organ category .. the 76-key boards, make really nice controllers. Of course, by modern standardsm they are very limited
Posted: 26th March 2004 12:23
Of all the "hardware synth-to-VSTi" requests that I have heard, this one has to be the most anticlimactic and boring! Let me try to understand it: you want what was known as a budget hardware ROMpler turned into a virtual ROMpler? I used to have a Quadrasynth, then a QS6.1 -- both were fantastic for the money, don't get me wrong. But certain there are other hardware ROMplers that stomp the shit out of the Alesis (like the Trinity, Triton, and Motif). The Quadrasynths never even had resonant filters! All the virtual ROMplers are more than sufficient for your needs, I'm sure. Check them out.
Posted: 26th March 2004 12:25
Hey, it's nostalgia.
Posted: 26th March 2004 12:31
Yeah, I remember making a sequence once with a QS6.2 using the DeutschBas, DanzHitz, and Supernova patches. I gotta say, that was probably my most gratifying sequence to date, just cuz it sounded so cheesey.
Posted: 26th March 2004 12:36
I have a QS6.1, bought it second hand a couple of years ago to use as a midi keyboard (it has a nice feel and aftertouch). Figured it was boring as a synth, but I've since come to actually really like and use some of its sounds -- especially when put through a decent reverb. A midi editor really opens up its engine. Like emu boxes they did a pretty good job with a small sample set.
Posted: 26th March 2004 12:37
I think the misunderstanding is that the SQ8 was THE beast, especially with the "transwaves". Not the other ones.
Had a chance to play one for about a minute the other day....nice. the fizmo was great too.
Posted: 26th March 2004 12:37
Can't disagree with you there
Posted: 26th March 2004 12:40
Posted: 26th March 2004 17:52
I have a QSR which is the rackmount version... its pretty good. As for a software version, I doubt Alesis will ever do it. A VST version of ION would be nice too...
Posted: 26th March 2004 18:06
I have a qs6.1 and just use it as a keyboard controller for fl studio.. I guess I should check out the sounds that came with it again...
I did make like.. one song.. using the qs6.1 sounds..
That's because I went computer based about a month after buying it.. Now I have sampletank, sonic synth, and other vsti's. I will go and have a listen to the qs6.1 though..
Posted: 26th March 2004 18:21
What the current software ROMplers are missing is any type of decent mod matrix and higher level synthesis processing. Software ROMplers and samplers have lots of RAM, but very little true synthesis power compared to hardware. A real shame but maybe this is to prevent CPU overload.
Posted: 26th March 2004 18:24
i used to have a QS8 and the only thing i miss about it is the keys. i sold it underpriced to a music therapist as my good deed for the year.
Posted: 27th March 2004 14:31
Thanx for all reply's. I will look more into
Still searching for a real hardware QS8. From
my experience it is so cool to compose with this
thing. Like the keys, power on play, nice sounds.
Sometimes it would just be nice to have a simple VSTi with say
200 high quality "standard sounds" and maybe limited
features. And then from time to time the author could
release "expansion .zipped cards"
Sometimes you need a "standard sound" and end up
tweeking more than you aught to, just because you can.
All the possibilities of virtual world rocks, but
sometimes less is more. Less provokes my creativity Darn shame I'm so bad at less....
Posted: 27th March 2004 17:01
Hi, I'd like a VST emulation of a mediocre rompler.
Posted: 27th March 2004 17:11
Oh come on. Wish for something good, no matter how mediocre you are.
Posted: 27th March 2004 18:51
If you use reason. there is a refill called
"quadrasynth story" that nice racaps the qs6-8's
16 megs of sound, 8 of which which were dedicated to
the piano. Soundwise--time has passed these romplers
by, but they remain excellent midi controllers. No
one has ever related the story of the alesis
Posted: 3rd April 2004 11:39
Is there a place to get patchs for the QS synths?
Posted: 3rd April 2004 14:22
I'm amazed to see people wanting virtual QS-6.1's. You don't get the keys which was just about the only thing that made the QS-7 or QS-8 worth getting. I had a QS-6 and QS-7. Do yourself a favor and avoid the QSR! It's a terrible sound module unless you long for the days of synths like the MT-32 - no controls to work with, terrible interface...
The only way you can compare the Alesis stuff to recent EMU synths is if you strip the EMU of it's 50 z-plane filters, put in a non resonant lo-pass, remove the 16 channel arpeggiator, eliminate the 4 knob by 4 switch controller matrix and chop off updates to 2 16 mb cards which are fairly anemic. You can buy a PK-6 for $399 and add 96 mb of ROM sounds for about the same price as a QS-6.2.
I'll take Rob Papen's Orbit ROMS over anything by Alesis. And as for the Quadrasynth Piano +, the samples were pigs! While it's fashionable to have large samples for soft synths there is usually a reason, like every note being multilayered. Anything prior to the QS-6 had horrible samples. I know how they were done and all I can say is appalling. 8 years ago the QS-6 was worth looking into, it had a good sound all things considered and you could do a few interesting things with the mod matrix, but the only EMU product you can compare these synths to are the old Proteus 1 sound set.
The UltraProteus had all the old Proteus sounds, was 16 mb of ROM and had 288 z-plane filters. It didn't have their vastly better sample series from the 2000, 1000 series, nor the more recent multi channel arpeggiators, but the UltraProteus makes the QS synths sound like toys and the Utra is 10 years old.
The only fair comparison is to the Korg X5D which could do the Korg "Oh my God!" type sounds that were completely useless for multitimbral use. I think the QS6 is vastly better, and it has an upgrade path at least.
But lets be serious, the sound, quality and variety are acceptable but getting a bit old. 15 year old sample based sound engines are not things to consider worth porting to VSTi. I'm not knocking the QS in general, it's good for what it is but the $300 Emulator X has the entire Proteus 2000 sample set and another gigabyte of samples from that series, and that's just to start with.
Sampletank 2 is a better synth with vastly better sounds, Sonic Synth or Sonic Station in Sampletank 1 would be a better comparison and it had no synthesis enginne (Sampletank 1). Sonic Synth is vastly better than the QS sample set.
No offense but I'm amazed anyone would long for this. I know, why the rant, why the commercial for EMU? I don't know, probably because the Proteus 1 has a better synth engine except for effects - and I don't like the Proteus 1! If you heard an UltraProteus against a Proteus 1 you'd be shocked at how much better the z-plane filters make the synths sound.
To me it's not even a synth in 2004 if it doesn't have a reasonable filter set. Some people say the Speedsoft VSampler is not up to standards. Fine, I have a VSampler 2.7 license I'd give away rather just to prove that a $80 (at the time) softsynth and a $200 sample library could make the QS engine look silly.
Again, I thought the QS was a nice synth for hardware especially when it was relatively new but for $500 to $600 you are talking about some very good sounds and some very small CPU using softsynths.
I'm not a big Roland fan but even they have a pretty acceptable synth in the QS range. The keybed is probably nowhere as nice and compared to Yamaha's S09 the QS8 holds up much better, but that's hardware, not synthesis. I wouldn't have minded a QS6.1 as a controller. The six sliders are nice and there are useful sounds. So if I've made it sound like I despise the synth, I don't but on the totem pole of synths to try and emulate the QS would be right at the bottom in my book.
I love the EMU Xtreme Lead. It's the only sample based synth that reminds me of a virtual analog synth, that and Rob's Techno Workshop ROM from Orbit 3. But even the EMU would be low on my list and quite honestly I've grown to love my PK-6 (Proteus keyboard with 3 additional 32 mb ROMs. The XL2 ROM is the Xtreme Lead with an extra preset bank from the XL-7 work station. If I wanted the EMU sound I'd get the Emulator X in a heartbeat. For the QS-8's price you can get a very good controller, hammer action if you must, and a couple of worthwhile VST instruments, or the Keybed of the QS6.2 in the Fatar series controllers and several VST instruments.
Sorry guys, try a sale priced EMU board at $399 and tell me you would get a QS, let alone prefer it's sample and synthesis engine.
Prog, you have the Sonic Reality stuff. Could you imagine going back to the QS after working with those samples? I really disliked Sampletank 1 and was verbal but Sampletank 2 is a serious synth for those that want to manipulate samples, and it can import libraries too which makes it very attractive. I'm using ST2 XL and it makes most sample playback synths sound pathetic plus it's easy on the CPU. I've heard Kompakt is easy on the CPU as well and there are a ton of good sample libraries that use that format.
Sorry about this rave, it's not like me, but if we are going to see a S + S remake how about the SY99? The JD800. Waiting a few weeks and getting Xphraze with the new samples. Lots of people like Wavestations. Now imagine one that has good samples and synthesis qualities that not only beat the Wavestation but beat a lot of synths flat out for sound quality and programming innovation. $200 for the Xphrase and you'll be able to ge a bunch of new sounds.
I hope I'm getting through. Buy Absynth 2, Cameleon, CUBE, mix it with TERA 2, Albino, z3ta, Pentagon, cheat a bit and get CronoX instead of the big sample manglers that can play back samples and you're still ahead. CronoX is $69? Buy some of the new Kontakt or ST2 sample libraries, anyone want to go Garritan against Alesis Orchestral?
Ok, I'll stop but come on folks. There are samplers for under $100 and great libraries for around $200. Do the math. Buy some extra memory and a faster processor and a good sample library with Kontakt or ST2 technology added. You'll only be missing the keyboard and those are getting to be a dime a dozen.
Posted: 3rd April 2004 14:45
Hi X_Bruce. Nice post
I only use my Qs6.1 as a controller. I like it a lot for this purpose. It is a solid keyboard. Just like you said, it has sliders. It is made of steel, not the plastic crap that the .2 series is made of. I like the feel of the keys, although they are not weighted.
But ya, you are right. I have made one song with the Qs6.1 built in sounds.. just one.. I got it thinking I would use it a lot but then went computer based and never looked back. I now use it to control Sampletank2 XL with Sonic Synth and..hrmmm..ya, I prefer those sounds
It is good to know that if I ever need an "older" sounding patch, I can always record the Qs6.1 into my sequencer.. but I haven't bothered doing this yet..
Posted: 3rd April 2004 17:15
I'm glad someone agrees with me. I literally sold everything I owned but for a computer and three guitars. My bandmate used a QS 6 along with a bunch of other synths. It does journeyman work just like most romplers.
It was the combination of reading it being compared to EMU synths and the desire to see it as a plugin that, I'm not joking, startled me. It's like wanting a 2op Sound Blaster plugin.
When I started up a band again I needed hardware and came across the PK-7. EMU is selling ROMS for $79 to $149. Considering they are 32 mb that seemed reasonable to me. I didn't much want the Composer ROM which came with the unit. My previous keboardist abused several of the presets from his Proteus 2000 and I didn't think highly of it for that reason, but they're not that bad though lacking imo in pad sounds.
I was really upset selling the Xtreme Lead, so finding out I could get it as a ROM was the thing that sold me. If you've ever used it you'll know it's very convincing. It held it's own to my Nova II back when I had both. But it's the filters that make any modern EMU special. The z-plane filters can make any sound interesting. That, and the four samples per patch, each with a z-plane available and with up to two more patches able to be added along with the modulation matrix, or as they call it, internal patchcords.
There's actually some intersesting things the Alesis can do with it's own mod matrix and many of the patches were cleverly designed - by Korg designers btw. But with a filter that acts as a tone control there's only so much you can do. Ditto with the LFO which as only a few waveforms.
Compare it to any EMU's z-plane, say the simplest one, a 2-pole resonant filter. It can warm up very cold and dry samples. A good friend gave me his UltraProteus, dated 1994. It has the Proteus 1 - 3 sounds. I'd taught midi in a lab with nothing but Proteus 1s and 2s. After awhile those dry sounds can get to you. Plus they had a lo pass filter and no effects (from 1989 - 1993). So the only way of getting better sounds was programming work arounds. On the nasal sounding piano you could put a sine wave at 16' fairly low in the mix and fading out around middle C. This made it punchy and much more real sounding. But the strings couldn't be helped and forget the voice sounds.
When the UProteus came out you had these z-plane filters which were multi-pole, morphable and very complex sounding though not terribly complex to use. Suddenly you could warm up the strings with that simple 2-pole filter to the point where you heard pads muffling the low notes like real pianos do. So the sample was actually good and the combination of additional simple waveforms from each sample set gave you lots of combinations even if only two samples were available. Because now you could make a inharmonic wave go through a formant based filter with horn or brass characteristics. It wasn't modeling synthesis but it was as close as most VM synths got anyway, plus you could morph from that horn into a completely different shaped filter. Then you could do it with a 2nd timbre and both of those could morph against each other. Perhaps you got into actual synth sounds more than replications but at least you were using a synth now. Still, a 2 line tiny display hampered the interface although for a fairly robest feature set it was easily laid out.
By 1999 the 2000/1000 series were developed. 32 mb ROM with up to 3 other ROM blocks available plus four timbres that could be stacked, layered and morphed. And finally, there was some control available with four knobs and a three way button. Just click and you had access to 12 controls. Better still, they were set up to navigate sounds when programming, so you could jump from the oscillator section to LFOs, filters, et al. The number of filters were greatly reduced but well thought out. It's nice having 288 factory designed z-plane filters but the book had page after page of which filter that had what parameter. It was nice and thre was a lot of things to dabble in, but 288 is a large number especially when a lot of filters were variations on a theme. Cutting down to 50 was more sensible. It didn't send users running around tring every kind of goofy stunts yet still gave them lots of features. Now a sampled sine or saw actually could be the basis of a program just like analog. And the samples were much better and of greater depth.
While I will always admire the Korg programmers who had to work with non-resident filters and used some of the oddest combiniations to get good sounds, like saxes with funky envelopes and their always nice effects section doing things you didn't expect. Still, given the chance to use simple waveforms that could sound like they went through a sax body while morphing into a voice was a tad more exciting to work with. And because that is so radically different from how the QS operated the comparisions were silly. Look at each synth's mod matrix (or EMU's virtual patch chords) and compare on those alone. It's not close.
It's like calling a Triton LE a close cousin to the QS. Having programmed Karmas I know what a Triton LE does and then some. There's no comparison to the QS while programming the EMU is blissfully easier on their last run of hardware.
If you wanted a Roland or Korg and that was the extent of your sound desires you'd have to work hard with any other synth to emulate one another while things like Kurzweil's VAST system really was as sood as it sounded even if most users didn't know how to get a 10th of the possibilities from it. And that was the last thing.
A QS had 4 banks of same sounding patches, variations on a theme. Proteus 2000s had 1024 ROM patches and an additional 512 that could be edited and saved. And on the stuff out since 1999 you could go upward of 2500 patches. with 512 saveable for the keyboard.
I'm going to be surprised if the Emulator X is a sales bust. It's their 2004 UltraProteus and can read all kinds of other sample formats besides allowing you to sample your own. Even with the complaints a couple people had with the interface of the VSTi, there are thousands of samples and vastly more presets out there. $300 for this seems pretty good.
As good as Sonic Synth with Sampletank 2 XL? Probably not, but the potential is there. ST2 and Sonic Synth cost less than a QSR and are better samples, better sounding and have a better synth - and vastly better effects engine.
Even buying Orion Platinum or Project 5 gets you a better sample library and better synth engine.