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I am a beginner, and I just picked up an Alesis QS6...

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  • I am a beginner, and I just picked up an Alesis QS6...

    ...from a Goodwill store for $99 (no tax).  It works great, although it's a bit dusty.

    Anyway, at the time I thought it was a bargain, but now I'm doing more searching online and I'm not so sure.  $100 was exactly how much I wanted to spend, but should I return it and go looking for something else?

    Do you think I can get a much better synth for around the same price?

    Thanks in advance for your advice / thoughts!

    -Troy


  • #2

    I'd keep it if I were you. $100 is very little to work with, but you managed to snag something you can make some complex and interesting sounds with by layering stuff together. People have made good music with less. Was there a kind of sound you were hoping for that you didn't get?

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    • #3
      64 polyphony, 16part performance mode, qcards support,aftertouch, good effects. $100 is a steal
      <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="1"></font></div>

      Comment


      • tstauffer7
        tstauffer7 commented
        Editing a comment

        Thanks zzz for your vote of confidence!   I think I'll keep the board and see what I can do!


    • #4
      I agree with everyone else. For $100, you did great! It's a nice board. At the price, I think you'd be hard pressed to find anything better. Unlike a lot of the stuff you find for that kind of money, that's a board a pro could gig with. It's versatile, and also nicely usable as a MIDI controller.

      Comment


      • tstauffer7
        tstauffer7 commented
        Editing a comment

        Thanks Scott,

        Yeah ... I was wondering about how it would do as a MIDI controller, and I'm glad to hear that it will work well for that.  I plan to hook it up to my Macbook this weekend and see how it goes.   Thank you for the vote of confidence... I was about to return the damn thing, but now I'm excited about forging ahead and seeing what it unlocks for me!


    • #5

      tstauffer7 wrote:
      ...Do you think I can get a much better synth for around the same price?

      -Troy


       


      I like the Alesis QS. You can do a lot with it.   But it's not a synth, it's a rompler.  And it doesn't have resonant filters.

       

      If you want something more 'synth-like', there's some small, inexpensive Korg units available new for just a little more money.

      Comment


      • AnotherScott
        AnotherScott commented
        Editing a comment
        That's a good point. The Alesis is a terrific board for that price, but it depends what you want to do. If your goal is specifically to learn piano, or drawbar organ, or analog-style synth, then maybe, as good a value as it is, it wouldn't really be the right board for the job.

      • tstauffer7
        tstauffer7 commented
        Editing a comment

        Thanks mildbill,

        I think I have a lot to learn about synthesizers.  Like I said, I'm just beginning.  I had a digital piano that I MIDI'd up to my laptop, and that was a lot of fun, but the piano's gone now and I need a replacement.  The QS6 seemed, at least when I first plugged it in, to be a lot of fun.  Now I have to figure out what resonant filters are, etc.  I am guessing that by "synth" you mean the ability to actually build brand new sounds using electronic components, instead of just pumping out a sample from the onboard memory, right?  I think that will probably be stage 2 for me.  For starters, I want to get under the hood and see what I can get this thing to do, play around with layering/recording/etc.  I'm sure once I spend some time with it, I 'll get an itch to create sounds that I can't "find" ... and at that point I'm sure I'll be be back here posting for help.

        I really appreciate your response -- thank you!


    • #6
      Next, find a synth module, or even an ipad. Complements ur qs
      <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="1"></font></div>

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      • mildbill
        mildbill commented
        Editing a comment

        zzzxtreme wrote:
        Next, find a synth module, or even an ipad. Complements ur qs

         

        Yep - this makes sense to me.  A QS and a synth module can cover a lot of ground.


      • tstauffer7
        tstauffer7 commented
        Editing a comment

        Interesting... I have an ipad.  And a Macbook / MIDI cables ... but I am guessing that I'll need to look for software, right?  I mean I have GarageBand, but there are probably better, more interesting choices out there...  

        When you mentioned the iPad, were you thinking of anything in particular (software wise)?


    • #7
      So, get a midi thingey for ur ipad (not
      usb) and try one of the korg softwares. U'll have fun
      <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="1"></font></div>

      Comment


      • #8

        tstauffer7 wrote:

        ...from a Goodwill store for $99 (no tax).  It works great, although it's a bit dusty.

        Anyway, at the time I thought it was a bargain, but now I'm doing more searching online and I'm not so sure.  $100 was exactly how much I wanted to spend, but should I return it and go looking for something else?

        Do you think I can get a much better synth for around the same price?

        Thanks in advance for your advice / thoughts!

        -Troy


        You did well, it's worth at least what you paid for it. Dig into the menus and so on, and where does the $$

         go when you buy from Goodwill?

        Comment


        • midinut
          midinut commented
          Editing a comment

          Since you already have a MacBook, I would run not walk to the Apple store and buy Mainstage for $30US. 

          You may need a MIDI and/or audio interface to be able to hook them together but that combination should keep you busy for quite some time. You could also buy Logic Pro (recording software & VST host) for about $200US and then start adding specific VST instruments that you want to "cover", such as Lounge Lizard for Rhodes coverage or VB3 for Hammond organ coverage (don't think it has Mac support) and so on. Arturia V-Collection would cover about any vintage synth sounds you could need (including resonant filters) and Native Instruments Komplete would give you an entire production studio in a box. EZ Drummer would give you awesome sounding drums, and the list goes on. If you visit the KVR website you'll see what we mean. It's a bottomless rabbit hole!

          I agree with others that if you want to improve your piano playing or learn to play the piano an 88-note weighted controller would be better, but you can always keep the QS6 and use it as what we call a top-tier board (88-note becoming the bottom-tier on a two-keyboard stand). Hope that helps. There is a Beginning Synthesis Tutorial at http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/may99/articles/synthsec.htm that could help you bone up on the basics. Good luck in your pursuit and have fun and enjoy the ride!


      • #9

        I still use a QS8.2 to this day as my bottom tier gigging board (Korg Z1 on top). This is the 88 key version of the QS, final release. The 6.0/7.0/8.0 released in 1995, 6.1/7.1/8.1 in 1998, and 6.2/8.2 in 2003 (there was no 76-key version of the .2 series). 6.2/8.2 is essentially the same board with stripped down output jacks, only 1 q-card slot, and a silver paint job. It matches the color scheme of my Z1 and gives my rig a uniform look. 

        The big hidden secret of the QS is the ability to store your own samples on linear flash cards (i.e. writable "q-cards"). I made my own acoustic piano and Rhodes cards and they're superior to the internal samples. I use them at gigs and sell the cards on eBay as well. The 2 bands I gig with are very pleased with these sounds. Granted, the process of finding the right cards and getting the samples into them is not for the faint of heart. It requires the Alesis Soundbridge software and a computer to burn samples onto the card. You can't get samples into the board with the board's own interface like you can with, say, a Triton, Fantom, Motif, Fusion, etc.

        <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="1">Roland JD-800, Korg Z1, Yamaha Clavinova CLP-350, Alesis Ion, Alesis QS8.2, Kawai K3M, Arturia CS-80V, VAZ Modular, co-author of MinimogueVA and Arppe2600va.</font></div>

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        • Synthaholic
          Synthaholic commented
          Editing a comment

          You'll have to use SoundBridge and FreeLoader on an older computer, though.  It won't install on my Win7/64 bit machine.

           

          I have been using QControl editor/librarian for years and it's well worth the $30.  And it does run on that Win7 desktop:

          http://my.execpc.com/~gmoehrke/

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