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  QSR At a Glance
Click for larger view arrowReleased: 1997  Specifications
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Adam Dluzniewski writes:
This is only my second synth so I can't really give it an expert review, but I will share my thoughts hoping that it will encourage someone else to post another review. From what I know the QSR is a rack version of QS8 missing only the keyboard and the controllers. The interface is also a little different I assume. You should also refer to QS8 review by Adam Levin in the Alesis section. I would like to add that the samples are 48 kHz and not compressed. Also, the 2 PCMCIA cards can hold 8 MB each-for the total of 16 MB of additional samples. That maxes out at 32 MB (around 1800 programs and 1400 performances), which is not bad for a little, $739 unit.

These cards come in few sizes, I believe 2 MB, 4 MB and 8 MB, both RAM and ROM. They can also store MIDI sequences downloaded from the computer (up to 50 per card I think) for live performance without a computer nor sequencer or if you want to use the same computer you use for sequencing (most of us, I guess, have only one computer) to record the final audio score from the synth, (for example to burn your own CD or use it for multimedia project).

There are some ROM cards, called QCards available from Alesis including:

Stereo Grand Piano Plus QCardô, EuroDance QCardô Vintage Synthesizers and Classic Beatboxes QCard ô Classical Instruments Plus QCardô Hip-Hop Grooves & Instruments QCardô, Vintage Keyboards QCardô Sanctuary QCardô, Rap Techno Dance QCardô, Latino QCardô.

From what I found they cost from $120 to $200 and most of them are 8 MB cards, except the Latino which is 4 MB. The EuroDance seems to be the most expensive one. They contain new samples, rhythmic loops and probably some MIDI sequences.

The QS series synths come with a CD-ROM with Alesis programs to edit the samples, to download sounds into the ROM cards, few librarians and sequencers (Cubasis, Unisyn, but I think these are limited versions), Galaxy modules, commercial demos and a library of additional 50 MB of sounds, loops and MIDI sequencies. Right now Alesis throws in a free RAM card and a serial cable. The CD-ROM also includes Alesis Sound Bridge software that allows you to convert samples from many different sample formats to be used with the QSR (or other QS series synth).

There are some nice things about it that made me buy this machine:

1. You get a lot of sounds and four independent effect processors for the price that no other sub-$1000 module can beat. 2. 64 voices/64 notes. 3. Two audio outs. 4. Easy operating system. 5. Handy VALUE dial.

Additional features worth mentioning:

1. Serial Mac/PC computer port. 2. Optical digital output. 3. 48 kHz sync jack.

Comments About the Sounds:
Very clean sounding overall. Powerful pianos. Great drums, includes one DM5 kit and few nice techno/dance kits. Nice basses. Acustic simulations seem very real too.

(Thanks to Adam Dluzniewski for this info.)

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