The Alesis QS8

I love my QS8. It sounds great, feels great, is easy and rewarding to program, and comes bundled with very useful software. It's well made and well thought out. What a fabulous instrument!

I'm not crazy about any of the stock piano programs; they all have too much reverb and harshness for my taste. I have found that the Alesis pianos are very good for cutting through a rock mix, but the sound and response is not great for classical piano and solo work. Fortunately, the underlying samples are very good, and the QS is a clean sounding synth with very respectable power, so if you can describe exactly what you want the QS can usually do a decent job of producing the sound. With a few hundred parameters to set, however, making a great sound takes a bit of time and a lot of careful listening. With my improved piano patches, I find my QS8 to be a very satisfying piano for classical music. I hope you will enjoy them as well.

Here is my bank of good piano patches and a few other interesting odds and ends.

Download the bank "sams_24" containing Alesis QS8 clean piano patches:

In Unisyn (.ubk) format for the PC. (approximately 69K bytes)

In sysex (.syx) format. (approximately 79K bytes)

Documentation for this bank.

(Latest patch revision numbers: Pianisimo28, MonoPiano9, Pianforte5, about 75 other patches.)

Make sure to back up your user bank before you start playing with these banks. I think the best way to use these patches is from Unisyn; this program is a bit complicated but if you're serious about programming the QS it is definitely worth learning. If you are a beginner the easiest way to try this bank is to load the sysex verion into the Freeloader application (it's on the Alesis CD) and "play" the file. But remember, this will overwrite your userbank. You can get the factory bank back from the CD-ROM.

Here is one good piano (Pianisimo24) in SYSEX format, though I haven't tested this.


A fellow sent me mail asking to compare the Roland A90 piano to the QS8. This isn't a very complete review, but perhaps you will find it interesting.
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