ROM and RAM Cards

QCards | QuadraCards | F.A.Q.
Sources and prices for SRAM Cards and Flash RAM cards.
Cards in the UK and Worldwide

Guide for QS Card Users - Udated on 07/23/2000 !
All you need to know about cards, and how to use them.
An excellent comprehensive guide by Chris Papageorgiou.
The ten page illustrated WORD2000 document covers all topics from where to buy cards
to how to loop samples. Download it as ZIP archive and print it out for reference.
If you already downloaded this file prior to 07/23/2000 Download the update only.

Flash RAM and SRAM Cards Available Now at the MIDI-Store


Tempo lists for the Rap-Techno-Dance,   Hip-Hop and Euro-Dance Q-Cards

Flash RAM - F.A.Q.

  1. What are Flash RAM cards used for?
  2. Can I use Flash RAM cards for sample storage with my original QuadraSynth / S4 ?
  3. What type of cards are compatible with the QS?
  4. What about SRAM Cards ?
  5. Where can I buy Flash RAM Cards, and for how much ?
  6. I live outside of the US, where can I order affordable Flash RAM Cards by mail?
  7. Once I have a card, what else do I need to import samples ?
  8. Can I use the cards to store MIDI files ?
  9. I own a QuadraSynth Plus Piano / S4 Plus, can I play MIDI files from cards ?
  10. I own a QS6, will I be able to use cards for MIDI file storage and playback ?
  11. What is SoundBridge, and where can I get it ?



  1. Q:What are Flash RAM cards used for?
    A: Flash RAM cards are rewritable storage media, used for storing sample, and program data on QS synths. (Also for storing MIDI sequences on QS6,QS7, QS8 and QSR models)
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  2. Q:Can I use Flash RAM cards for sample storage with my original QuadraSynth / S4 ?
    A: The original Quadrasynth WILL read sample and program data from a compiled Sound Card, but it will NOT compile a card via MIDI nor will it recognize sequence data on a card.
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  3. Q:What type of cards are compatible with the QS?
    A: Only AMD Type 1, PCMCIA Flash RAM cards are compatible with the QS, don't buy any other kind.
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  4. Q: What about SRAM Cards ?
    A: SRAM cards are more expensive, an 8MB card can cost more than $300, so these cards are not recommended for sample storage.
    Smaller SRAM cards, 256kb and 512kb are affordable, and they can be used to store programs, mixes and full banks, straight from the QS, no SoundBridge or computer needed. The 256kb SRAM card can hold 4 full banks, the 512kb SRAM card 8banks. If you have a lot of extra patches, a SRAM card can come very handy, it's like having 4 (or 8) additional User Banks on your synth.
    You can purchase SRAM cards from the MIDI-Store
  5. Q:Where can I buy Flash RAM Cards, and how much will they cost ?
    A: You can order them from the MIDI-Store. You can choose from the following two models :
    1. Flash RAM Card 4MB
    2. Flash RAM Card 8MB
    Only the above sizes are compatible with the QS.

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  6. Q:I live outside of the US, where can I order affordable Flash RAM Cards by mail?
    A : The above described Flash RAM Cards are available at the MIDI-Store. They ship Worldwide, so everyone can have their Flash Cards without spending hundreds of dollars.
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  7. Q: Once I have a card, what else do I need to import samples ?
    A: You need SoundBridge software, a PC or Mac computer, MIDI connections to your QS, and if you want to audition the sounds before loading them, you also need a soundcard with speakers or headphones.
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  8. Q:Can I use the cards to store MIDI files ?
    A: You can store up to 50 Standard MIDI files to a card. You need a QS7, QS8, QSR or upgraded QS6 to play them back.
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  9. Q: I own a QuadraSynth Plus Piano / S4 Plus, can I play MIDI files from cards ?
    A: Sorry, only the above mentioned QS6, QS7, QS8 and QSR models can take advantage of the MIDI sequence option. The original QuadraSynth, S4, and the Plus models are not suited for that, and can not be upgraded.
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  10. Q:I own a QS6, will I be able to use cards for MIDI file storage and playback ?
    A: Yes, see the QS6 page for your upgrade options.
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  11. Q:What is SoundBridge, and where can I get it ?
    A: SoundBridge is the software needed to use Flash RAM cards for storage with the QS. See the SoundBridge Page for more details.
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The New Alesis QCards

The new and improved Alesis factory cards are here.
They are called QCards now, not to be confused with the old QuadraCards.
If you want to listen to the sounds of the new QCards,
call (800) 5-ALESIS, and order a free QCard audio demo CD
The new Alesis QCards are entirely self sufficient, so they will work on all QS models. These cards use their own samples only (as opposed to the old QuadraCard, which used some ROM samples from the QS.).

The currently available QCards are :

The above cards can be ordered from authorized Alesis dealers.
Check this page for descriptions, prices and availibility.

If you use(d) any of these cards, please send me your review, and I'll post it here.

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Flash RAM Card Warning !

To all QS7 and QS8 owners:

    There have been reports of some QS7 and QS8 owners having difficulty using SoundBridge with the approved AMD flash cards. Thanks to Jeff Pynonnen and Les Winters, we have been able to isolate the problem. It seems that AMD, the company who manufactures the flash cards that we approve for use with our synths is actually making two types of cards with the same part #. Both are exactly alike, except one has a ceramic case, and one has a metal case. It has been discovered that the metal case cards do not function correctly with the QS7 and QS8...however, they do work correctly on the QS6 and S9. The discrepancy is due to the double card slot interacting peculiarly with the metal case - the result is that the QS7 and QS8 think they're SRAM cards, and will not allow them to be burned...suffice it to say that neither we nor the engineers at AMD can explain why at this time - they're exactly the same otherwise. AMD is still manufacturing the ceramic case cards, and will gladly send that model to anyone who specifies (same price)...remember, the part # for the two cards is the exact same (AmC008DFLKA for the 8 meg...just change the 8 to a 4 for the 4 meg, etc). Remember, the ceramic ones work in all the synths, and the metal ones only work in the synths with one card slot. Please feel free to email me with any questions...

    dB
    Alesis Keyboards

Update : As it turns out, the issue is not whether a card is ceramic or metal. Rather, it is an issue of the 'address line' problem with some AMD cards. The metal shell of the 8 meg AMD card that doesn't work is just an indicator, it's not the problem. AMDs metal shelled 2 meg card work perfectly.

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QuadraCards

The following info about QuadraCards is a little outdated, since they are no longer available. I just leave it here anyway, for reference, in case you would like to buy a second hand card.
So what you see from here to the bottom of the page is a piece of History...

For the new and improved QuadraCards (they are called QCards now) see the QCards section.
The Alesis QuadraCard is an advanced, open-ended expansion for the QuadraSynth, QuadraSynth Plus Piano, QS6, QS7, QS8, S4 and S4 Plus and QSR Sound Modules. Using state-of-the-art PCMCIA card technology, the QuadraCard stores up to 8 megabytes of Program, Mix and Sample data.

Card Name MB List PriceCard Name MB List Price
Grand Piano8MB $229.00 Rap/Techno/Dance 4MB $169.00
Pop Rock 8MB$229.00 Alesis RAM Card256K $129.00
Classical 8MB$229.00 Flash RAM4 MB $239*
World/Ethnic 4MB$169.00 Flash RAM8 MB $369*

* Prices may vary, ( Product Support will provide the caller with the current price).

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Rap/Techno/Dance QuadraCard

The Rap/Techno/Dance QuadraCard is your key to writing, performing and recording music that keeps people moving! Dozens of killer loops are presented in various styles, with the individual samples also included for fills and breaks. There are even programs with loops stacked across the keyboard, so that building a funky rhytm track is as easy as holding down a few keys. The sounds on this 4 Megabyte card include vintage drum machines, grungy horn stabs, fat analog basses, slammin' vocal samples and funky drum grooves for the hottest rap and dance sounds.
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Classical QuadraCard

Alesis' Classical QuadraCard gives you the sounds you need to create an incredibly realistic virtual orchestra. These instruments are perfect for television, film, and multimedia scoring, and were carefully sampled and programmed to provide true-to-life orchestral and symphonic sounds. The controller routing is also mapped, so that you can perform and record with the dynamics and expression you'd expect from the actual instruments. Pizzicato, Solo, and Ensemble Strings, a rich Grand Piano, Pipe Organ, Orchestral Brass, English Horn Timpani and Gong are just a few of the large assortment of instruments included on this * Megabyte card.
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Stereo Grand Piano Card

The 8 Megabyte Stereo Grand Piano QuadraCard offers one of the most realistic piano sounds ever produced for a synthesizer. It features Alesis exclusive phase-accurate stereo piano samples - the same meticulously detailed piano sounds that are featured in the QuadraSynth Plus Piano. The card's onboard programs combine these raw samples to create specific piano sounds that cover a wide variety of of styles - from warm classical grands, to bright rock-and-roll uprights, to layered synth/piano ballad Programs. Also included several electric piano, organ, and synthesizer pad Programs to compliment the great piano sounds.
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Pop Rock QuadraCard

The 8 Megabyte Pop Rock QuadraCard is a classic collection of contemporary and vintage instruments. The card features dozens of great-sounding electric pianos, organs, basses and guitars - including a Dobro slide guitar that's destined to become a classic. You'll also find rich synthesizer sounds that will help to cut through a thick rock mix without harsh, brittle overtones. Several drumkits are also included, with a generous collection of punchy kicks, snares and percussion recorded in L.A.'s top studios. The Pop Rock QuadraCard is your complete timbral resource for tomorrow's rock sound.
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World Ethnic QuadraCard

The 4 Megabyte World Ethnic QuadraCard provides an exotic collection of vibrant world instruments for your Alesis synthesizer. These sounds, native to India, Africa, the Americas and the Far East, include both solo instruments and rhytmic loops in authentic styles. There are dozens of instruments on the World Ethnic QuadraCard , including Sitar, Koto, Banjo, Andes Flute, Tablas, Digeridoo and Finger Cymbals (to name a few). And of course, all of the sounds are programmed with a multitude of controller routes for complete control over any performance. These sounds are excellent for anyone who creates innovative music, and it may open up whole new styles for composers looking for fresh ideas.
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The Alesis RAM Card

The Alesis RAM Card is a 256kb writeable card. It can store either 4 banks of Programs and Mixes, or or 2.7 seconds of samples at the 48 kHz sampling rate. The Alesis RAM Card comes with 3 banks of factory programs and mixes, and 1 blank User bank. The factory banks are: Virtual Composer 1, 2 and 3.
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