Your First Session: Chapter 2
CHAPTER 2
YOUR FIRST
SESSION
POWERING UP
After making your connections, turn on the system’s power using this procedure:
➀ Before turning on the QSR’s power, check the following items:
•
•
•
Have all connections been made correctly?
Are the volume controls of the amplifier or mixer turned down?
Is the volume of the QSR turned down?
➁ Turn on the [POWER] switch on the QSR front panel.
Upon power-up, the QSR will display the last selected Program or Mix. If this
Program/Mix has been edited, the display will indicate this by showing an “*” to the left
of the name of the Program or Mix.
➂ Press [PROG] to select Program Play Mode.
The display should look something like this:
➃ Raise the QSR’s master [VOLUME] knob to maximum.
The best signal-to-noise ratio is achieved when [VOLUME] is set to maximum.
➄ Turn on the power of the amplifier/mixer, and adjust the volume.
PLAYING THE DEMO SEQUENCES
The QSR has built-in demo sequences which demonstrate the wide variety of sounds
this amazing instrument is capable of generating. To get the full effect, connect both
the [LEFT] and [RIGHT] outputs to your sound system, or listen on headphones.
To play the demo sequence:
➀ Hold the [MIX] button, and press BANK SELECT [UP].
The display will read: Play Autodemo 1
<STORE>
➁ Turn the [VALUE] knob to select one of the built-in demo songs.
➂ Press [STORE] to start the demo.
➃ Press [MIX] to stop the demo.
There will be no MIDI out messages during the demo.
WHAT’S A PROGRAM?
A Program is a stored configuration of parameters which emulates the sound of an
instrument or sound effect, such as a piano or synthesizer or drum set. A QSR
Program is made up of hundreds of parameters which, when set to specific values,
create a specific type of sound. This setup of parameters can be stored so that you can
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Your First Session: Chapter 2
get back to it instantly at the touch of a button. When you select a Program, all of its
parameter settings are recalled to recreate the original sound.
The QSR provides 640 internal Programs, divided into 5 Banks of 128 Programs each.
More Programs can be added by inserting a Sound Card into the Sound Card slot on
the front panel of the QSR. Each Bank is broken down into 12 Sound Groups of 10
Programs each, plus a 13th Sound Group with 8 Programs. These group together
similar sounding Programs, such as pianos, guitars, bass and drums.
A Program may have from 1 to 4 different sounds which can be combined in a
variety of ways to create the overall sound of the instrument the Program is intended
to emulate. These four sounds can be layered on top of one another, or split up into
different sections of the keyboard. You can even have different sounds played
depending on how hard you play the keyboard (this is known as velocity).
WHAT’S A MIX?
A Mix is a combination of 1 to 16 Programs. These Programs can be combined in
many ways. The most common is multi-timbral when connected to a MIDI sequencer,
which means that for each MIDI channel the QSR receives (up to 16), a different
Program may be selected, thus creating anything from a small pop/rock ensemble to
a complete orchestra. Another way of using a Mix is by layering two or more
Programs together, so that they play simultaneously from your MIDI controller. You
can also create a split, where one Program is in the lower half of your keyboard,
while another is at the top half; and these programs can even overlap in the middle.
WHAT'S A BANK?
A Bank is a collection of 128 Programs and 100 Mixes. There are five internal banks
available at any time, with more if a card is in the Sound Card slot. The current bank
is shown on the top line of the display, and will cycle in the following order:
USER
PRESET1
…and optionally …
PRESET3
CARD A-1
PRESET2
CARD A-2, etc.
GenMIDI
Each bank contains its own unique Programs and Mixes. Program 10 in Preset Bank
1 is different from Program 10 in Preset Bank 3, although they can be (and are
usually) related sounds. A Mix may contain Programs from any bank.
The BANK SELECT [UP] and [DOWN] buttons change the current bank from the
front panel, and MIDI Bank Select commands may also be used to select any of the
640 Programs on board, or additional card programs.
Preset and General MIDI banks are permanently “burned in” at the factory. User
banks, and Card banks from an SRAM card, may be changed by the user. If you edit
a Preset Program or Mix, it can be saved to a User or SRAM card bank only.
ABOUT SOUND GROUPS
Preset Banks 1-3 and the User bank are organized into 13 Groups of 10 Sounds each
(Programs 00-09 are pianos, 50-59 are basses, and so on). The GenMIDI bank,
however, does not follow this arrangement; it follows the Program list of the General
MIDI standard. Programs on some sound cards may not follow that arrangement
either, depending on the card type.
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Your First Session: Chapter 2
PLAYING THE QSR
The QSR is shipped from the factory with 5 Banks of 128 Preset Programs (sounds)
each. Additionally, there are 100 Mixes in each of the 5 Banks.
PROGRAM MODE AND MIX MODE
The QSR is always in one of two modes: Program Mode or Mix Mode. When you are
auditioning Programs, you will be in Program Play Mode. When you are auditioning
Mixes, you will be in Mix Play Mode.
✪
If you ever get lost, press either [PROG] or [MIX] to get back to their respective Play Mode.
•
Press the [PROG] button to select Program Play Mode.
In Program Play Mode, the QSR plays a single Program. The display looks like this:
Program Number
Program Name
Play Mode
Bank Name
MIDI Input Indicator
MIDI Channel
The current mode (PROG) is displayed in the bottom-left corner. The current
Program number (00) is directly above. To its right can be found the Program’s name
(TrueStereo) and the currently selected Bank name (PRESET1). The current
MIDI channel appears below the Bank name.
•
Press the [MIX] button to select Mix Play Mode.
In Mix Play Mode, the QSR can combine up to 16 Programs for stacking sounds
together, splitting the keyboard into different regions, or working with a MIDI sequencer.
The display will look something like this:
Mix Number
Mix Name
Active MIDI Channels
The current mode (MIX) is displayed in the bottom-left corner. The current Mix
number (01) is directly above. To its right can be found the Mix’s name
(Grandesign) and the currently selected Bank name (PRESET1). The Active
MIDI Channels (1, 2 and 3) are shown at the bottom. In a Mix that uses all 16 MIDI
channels (such as the Mixes found in the General MIDI Bank), the display would
light up all 16 MIDI channel indicators.
AUDITIONING INTERNAL PROGRAMS
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Your First Session: Chapter 2
➀ Press the [PROG] button to select Program Play Mode.
The [PROG] button and the PROG indicator in the display will light. You can now play
the QSR from an external MIDI keyboard; the Program will be whatever was selected
when last in Program mode (Program number 00 –127).
➁ Select a Program using the [VALUE] knob.
The large number in the upper-left section of the display will indicate the currently
selected Program number. When you scroll past 127, the counter will “roll-over” to
Program 00 of the following Bank. Likewise, if you scroll back before 00, it will roll back
to Program 127 of the preceeding Bank.
SELECTING PROGRAM BANKS
The QSR provides five internal Banks containing 128 Programs in each (and 100
Mixes each, but we’ll get to Mixes in a moment). The currently selected Bank will be
shown in the upper line of the display, just above the currently selected Program’s
name.
•
Use the BANK SELECT [DOWN] and [UP] buttons to select a Bank (User, Preset 1
– 3, GenMIDI or any Card Banks, if present).
User and Preset Banks are described in detail in Chapter 4.
SELECTING THE MIDI CHANNEL IN PROGRAM MODE
➀ Use the [
▲
▲
While in Program Play Mode (press [PROG]), the QSR can receive information on
any single MIDI channel of the 16 available channels. The currently selected channel
appears in the bottom-right section of the display (take a look at the first display
example on the previous page).
MIDI CH
] buttons to select a MIDI channel from 1 – 16.
The display will change to indicate the currently selected MIDI channel.
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Your First Session: Chapter 2
REALTIME PERFORMANCE FUNCTIONS
The QSR provides various ways to control the sound as you are playing. Try out
some of these functions while playing your MIDI keyboard. The sound of the effects
can also change by using these controllers. The effect of these realtime controllers
varies from Program to Program; in some they may not be active, and in others they
may have a dramatic effect.
•
Velocity. The volume and tonal quality of the sound will change according to
how hard you play the keyboard.
•
Aftertouch. The action of pressing a key down after playing it is called
“aftertouch” (it is also sometimes referred to as “Pressure” since it corresponds
to the amount of pressure being applied to the keyboard). Pitch, tone and volume
(among other things) can be changed using aftertouch.
•
Pitch Bend Wheel. While playing a note, you can move the PITCH BEND
WHEEL of your keyboard up to raise the pitch, or down to lower the pitch. The
amount of pitch bend available can be different for each Program.
•
Modulation Wheel. By raising the MODULATION WHEEL of your keyboard,
you can add expressive modulation effects (such as vibrato or tremolo) while
you play. The type of modulation effect can be different for each Program.
•
Controllers A–D. The QSR provides four global controllers, called Controllers A
through D, which allow control over various parameters of a Program. These
Controllers are defined in Global Edit Mode (Pages 4 through 7) to respond to
specific MIDI controller messages. Many of the QSR’s internal Programs use
Controllers A–D to provide control over their tonal aspects. When auditioning
Programs, move the CONTROLLER [A]–[D] sliders up and down to find out
what effect each has; they will be different from Program to Program.
Further expressive control is available with a pedal switch or expression pedal. By
using a sustain pedal connected to your master MIDI keyboard, you can have the
sound sustain even after you release the keys. By connecting an expression pedal to
your master MIDI keyboard,, you can use the pedal to change the volume or tone (or
some other quality such as reverb depth or vibrato speed) of the sound, if the
Program is edited to use the pedal(s).
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Your First Session: Chapter 2
AUDITIONING MIX PLAY MODE
Mix Play Mode allows you to assign a Program to each of the 16 MIDI channels. This
makes it easy to create multitimbral setups for use with an external MIDI sequencer.
Additionally, a MIX can be used to “layer” sounds together, or “split” your keyboard
in a number of ways, or any combination of these. There are many different ways to
program a Mix. For more about Mix Play Mode, refer to Chapter 5. For more about
connecting the QSR to a MIDI sequencer, see Chapter 3.
➀ Press the [MIX] button.
The [MIX] button and the MIX indicator in the display will light. The Mix will be
whatever was selected when last in Mix mode (Mix number 00 – 99).
➁ Select a Mix using the [VALUE] knob.
The large number in the upper-left section of the display will indicate the currently
selected Mix number. When you scroll past 99, the counter will “roll-over” to Mix 00 of
the following Bank. Likewise, if you scroll back before 00, it will roll back to Mix 99 of the
preceeding Bank.
SELECTING MIX BANKS
The QSR provides five internal Banks containing 100 Mixes in each. The currently
selected Bank will be shown in the display just below the name of the currently
selected Mix’s name.
•
Use the BANK SELECT [DOWN] and [UP] buttons to select a Bank (User, Preset 1
– 3, GenMIDI or any Card Banks, if present).
User and Preset Banks are described in detail in Chapter 4.
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Your First Session: Chapter 2
CHOOSING PROGRAMS IN A MIX
In this section, we will choose Programs for the 16 channels in a Mix, for playing
back tracks from a MIDI sequencer. There are many other aspects of a Mix we may
wish to edit, however. Refer to Chapter 5 for more information about Mix editing.
You do not have to access Mix Edit Mode to select Programs for a Mix (i.e. you don’t
have to press the [EDIT SELECT] button). Instead, you simply use a two step process:
▲
▲
A) Use the [
MIDI
] buttons to select one of the 16 channels in the Mix.
B ) Use the [VALUE] knob to choose a Program for the selected channel.
Here’s the process broken down into simpler steps:
➀ Press [MIX] and select Mix 01 from the Preset 1 Bank using the method
➁ Press [
▲
▲
described on page 16.
MIDI
].
The display will look like this:
Mix Number
Play Mode
Program Bank Name
Program Name and Number
Active MIDI Channels
Selected MIDI Channel (flashing)
▲
▲
▲
▲
The [
MIDI
] buttons are used to select one of the 16 channels in the Mix.
The actual channel number will be whatever channel was last selected. In the illustration
above, channel 1 is shown flashing. If the channel 1 number in your display is not
flashing, Use the [
MIDI
] buttons to select channel 1.
➂ Use the BANK SELECT [UP] and [DOWN] buttons to select a Program Bank.
➃ Use the [VALUE] knob to select a Program.
▲
➄ Press [MIDI
] to select to the next channel up.
▲
If channel 1 had been selected, pressing [MIDI
number will flash in the display.
] will select channel 2. The channel 2
➅ Repeat steps ➂ – ➄ as needed to select Programs for the remaining channels.
✪
Changes you make to a Mix are temporary and will be lost if another Mix is selected. To make
changes permanent, you must store the Mix into the User bank (see next page).
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STORING AN EDITED MIX
Once you have made changes to a Mix, you will need to store the Mix into the User
Bank; that is, if you want to keep the changes you have made. The User Bank is
designed to hold up to 100 (00 – 99) of your custom-made Mixes. Whenever you store
an edited Mix, the User Bank is automatically selected. All you have to do is select a
Program location (00 – 127) within the User Bank to store the edited Mix into.
However, if an SRAM Sound Card is inserted into the Sound Card Slot on the rear
panel of the QSR, you may select any of the available Banks on the Sound Card to
save the edited Mix into.
➀ Press [STORE].
This selects Store Mode. The [STORE] button will flash, and the display will look like
this:
Save Mix to
USER
12
↑
↑
(Mix Bank) (Mix Number)
The Mix Number will be identical to the last Mix number selected.
➁ Optional: If a Sound Card is inserted, Use the BANK SELECT [UP] button to select
a Bank on the Sound Card.
➂ Use the [VALUE] knob to select a Mix location (00 – 99) within the selected Bank.
➃ Press [STORE] to save the Mix into the selected location.
The Mix has now been stored, and the display will revert back to whatever was shown
before [STORE] was pressed the first time.
NOTE: Pressing [MIX] before pressing [STORE] the second time (step ➃ ) will cause
the QSR to exit Store mode without saving changes to the edited Mix.
ENABLING GENERAL MIDI MODE
If you are using a General MIDI sequencer, and/or playing a sequence that is
programmed to take advantage of General MIDI, turn the “General MIDI” function
in the QSR on.
➀ Press [EDIT], then press BANK SELECT [UP] (also labeled as [GLOBAL]).
The display will now be in Global Edit Mode.
➁ Turn the [VALUE] knob to select page 3 (the page number appears in the upperright corner of the display).
▲
➂ Press the [CURSOR
] button.
This selects the General MIDI parameter in the display.
➃ Turn the [VALUE] knob clockwise.
This turns on General MIDI mode, and automatically puts you into Mix Play Mode with
Mix 00 of Preset Bank 4 selected.
For more information about General MIDI, refer to the MIDI Supplement in
Appendix B.
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Your First Session: Chapter 2
USING THE PCMCIA EXPANSION CARD SLOTS
Your QSR is an expandable system using the two PCMCIA EXPANSION CARD slots
on the front panel. There are three different kinds of Sound Cards available through
your Alesis dealer or directly from Alesis:
•
SRAM cards: The Alesis Virtual Composer card provides an additional four
banks of Program/Mix memory. All banks can be stored to by the user, and it
comes with additional Programs and Mixes pre-stored.
•
QCards: These read-only memory cards provide actual samples, plus the
Programs and Mixes that use them in a single card bank. Available QCards
include a Stereo Grand Piano card, a Sanctuary card that includes high-quality
voice, bell, and organ sounds, a World/Ethnic card, Rap/Techno/Dance cards,
Vintage Keyboards, and many more.
•
Flash RAM cards: If you want to burn your own custom sample cards, Flash
RAM cards are available in 2 MB, 4 MB, and 8MB sizes. Alesis Sound Bridge
software (see next section) will translate from Sample Cell, AIFF, WAV and other
formats to Alesis QSR Composite Synthesis format, and then you can write your
own custom Programs and Mixes that use these samples.
To use a sound card with the QSR:
➀ Hold the card with the front label facing up and insert the exposed contact end
gently into either of the QSR’s PCMCIA EXPANSION CARD slots, [A] or [B].
➁ Push the card in until you the slot’s eject button extends outward, and the card
will not go any further.
➂ To remove the card, press the eject button adjacent to the card slot and gently
slide the card out of the slot.
The QSR’s two PCMCIA EXPANSION CARD slots can accommodate any combination
of these three card types. You can combine QCards and Flash RAM cards that store
up to 8 MB of samples each, giving you a total of 16 Mb of sound ROM expansion
and effectively doubling the internal 16 MB of sound ROM for a total of 32MB!!
When storing Mix and Program Banks to external cards, the maximum number of
accessible card banks is 11. This is because the QSR’s grand total of banks possible is
16, and 5 of them are already built into the QSR. The 11 card banks can be split
among the two PCMCIA EXPANSION CARD slots. Under normal situations, this will
not be a limitation (remember, each bank has 128 Programs and 100 Mixes; 11 banks
gives you 1408 additional Programs and 1100 additional Mixes).
In other words, if you have two SRAM cards (256k each, capable of storing up to 4
banks), you will have 4 banks available on each card for a total of 8 banks; well below
the maximum. However, since it is possible to purchase third-party 512k PCMCIA
cards and burn these yourself using Sound Bridge software, it is possible to
physically insert two 8 bank cards which combine for a total of 16 banks. In this
situation, only the first 11 banks will be accessible beginning with slot [A]; i.e. you’ll
be able to access all 8 banks from the card in slot [A] and the first 3 banks from the
card in slot [B].
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Your First Session: Chapter 2
✪
If an internal Program uses one or more Sounds that reside on a sound card, the sound card
must be inserted into the same PCMCIA EXPANSION CARD slot, [A] or [B], as when the
Program was stored. In other words, if a Program uses a Sound found on the card currently
inserted in slot [A], then the same card must be inserted into slot [A] for that sound to be
used when this Program is recalled. Although the card can physically be used in either slot,
once a Program is stored using a Sound on a card it expects to find that card in the identical
slot it was in when the Program was stored. The same is true when a Program residing on the
card in slot [A] uses a Sound stored on card [B], or vice-versa.
✪
If an internal Mix uses one or more Programs that reside on a sound card, the sound card
must be inserted into the same PCMCIA EXPANSION CARD slot, [A] or [B], as when the
Mix was stored. The same is true when a Mix residing on the card in slot [A]uses a Program
stored on card [B], or vice-versa.
A WORD ABOUT THE QSR CD-ROM
Included with the QSR is a CD-ROM containing various useful software programs to
use with your QSR. These include various Alesis and third-party programs, QSR
sounds and samples, sequences stored in the MIDI Song File (SMF) format, plus
demonstration software we thought you would find interesting. Most of these
programs are provided in both Macintosh™ and IBM® PC formats.
SOUND BRIDGE™
Among the files contained on the CD-ROM is a software program called Sound
Bridge™. Sound Bridge is a sound development utility which compiles custom
samples from a variety of sources into the QS Synthesis Voice format, and downloads
the compiled data to an Alesis PCMCIA Flash RAM Sound Card via MIDI Sysex to a
QSR, QS8, QS7 or QS6. Sound Bridge allows individuals and sound developers to
make their own Sound Cards, using whatever samples they want. Sound Bridge
makes this possible without having a PCMCIA card burner attached to your
computer. All you need is at least one QS-series synth (such as the QSR, QS7 or QS8).
Sound Bridge creates a QS Voice (multi-sample) by loading Digidesign Sample Cell I
or Sample Cell™ II format Instrument files. Using this format, Sound Bridge is able
to determine key group and velocity group split points, root notes, sample playback
rates, tunings, start points, loop points, and loop tunings. Sound Bridge can also
create QS Voices without Sample Cell Instruments by loading single AIFF, Sound
Designer™ and Sound Designer II files, MacOS™ System Sounds and PC WAV files.
Sound Bridge does NOT require Sample Cell hardware. The Sample Cell Instrument
file, or sample file, may be loaded directly into Sound Bridge from any disk (i.e. CDROM, floppy disk, hard disk, etc.). For example, a user may load data from a Sample
Cell CD-ROM, and send this data to the QuadraSynth PCMCIA Card, without ever
using Sample Cell!
The Sound Bridge folder on the CD-ROM contains the Sound Bridge application, and
an electronic manual which will give you all the information you need to know to
run Sound Bridge.
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