Alesis | QuadraSynth Plus | Part 9 - Vintage Synth manuals

Part 9: Extras
PART 9
EXTRAS
A W ORD ABOUT THE QS CD-ROM
Included with the QS6.1 is a CD-ROM containing various useful software programs
to use with your QS6.1. These include various Alesis and third-party programs,
QS6.1 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 Macintoshª and IBM ¨ PC formats.
SOUND BRIDGE™
Among the files contained on the CD-ROM is a software program called Sound
Bridgeª . 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
QS-series synth, DM Pro Drum Module, Nano Tracker, QuadraSynth Plus Piano or
S4 Plus. 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
one of the aforementioned synthesizers or rack units.
Sound Bridge creates a QS Voice (multi-sample) by loading Digidesign Sample Cell I
or Sample Cellª 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 sound files in a
variety of formats.
Sound Bridge does NOT require Sample Cellª hardware. The Sample Cell
Instrument file, or sample file, may be loaded directly into Sound Bridge from any
disk (i.e. your QS CD-ROM, floppy disk, hard disk, etc.). For example, a user may
load data from a Sample Cell-compatible CD-ROM and send this data to one of the
aforementioned Alesis unitÕs PCMCIA Card without using Sample Cell inbetween.
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.
Make sure you pay attention to how to set things up on your Mac or PC so that you
can transfer files at up to four times the speed of MIDI! This will lop a lot of time off
of transmitting huge files to your synth. Again, the CD-ROM tells you all about this.
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USING PCMCIA EXPANSION CARDS
The QS6.1 provides two PCMCIA EXPANSION CARD slots, [ A] and [ B], which are
found on the rear panel. These accommodate Alesis QCards and RAM cards. The
RAM Card is a type of PCMCIA SRAM or FlashRAM card. We currently offer one
which has 512K of memory and will store 8 complete banks. Larger Flash RAM cards
can store up to 8MB of sample data using Alesis Sound Bridge software. Each
PCMCIA Expansion Card slot can house a card with up to 8 Mb of RAM, for a total
of 16 additional megabytes of sound storage.
The QCards are ROM cards, which stands for Read-Only Memory. This means that
you canÕt store (ÒWriteÓ) to them. So the kind of card you need to use for that sort of
operation is an SRAM or Flash RAM card.
Note: The cards must be Type 1 PC cards (PCMCIA), and must be either AMD-C
series or -D series FLASH cards (or fully compatible). Any SRAM card should work.
Many different card sizes from 256K to 8 Megabytes are supported; just make sure
they are 5-volt read/write only, and have an access time of 150 nanoseconds or
faster.
SAVING THE USER B ANK TO A PCMCIA C ARD
The entire contents of the QS6.1Õs User memory (100 Mixes and 128 Programs) can be
stored to an Alesis PCMCIA RAM card inserted into card slot [A] on the QS6.1.
Depending on the amount of RAM a particular card has, up to 8 complete banks can
be stored onto it.
➀ Insert a card into Sound Card slot A on the back of the QS6.1. Alesis recommends
that you use card slot A for all RAM card storage operations.
➁ Press [STORE].
➂ Press [ PAGE] three times.
This selects the ÒSAVE TO CARDÓ option. The display will look like this:
➃ Use the [ CONTROLLER D] slider or the [VALUE] buttons to select a bank
location on the card to store to (A1Ð4, etc.).
If the card contains a ROM bank, it will show as Bank 1 and you will be unable to store
to it.
➄ Press [STORE ] to transfer the user bank data from the QS6.1 onto the card.
If the display reads ÒCARD A IS WRITE PROTECTED.Ó, switch the writeprotect switch on the card to off and repeat the procedure.
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LOADING A BANK FROM AN EXTERNAL CARD
The QS6.1 can access Program and Mix data directly from a card by using the
[BANK] buttons. However, there may be an instance where you want to load a full
bank from a RAM card into the User bank.
WARNING! This procedure will overwrite the entire contents of your User bank.
There is no Undo function! So be sure this is really what you want to do.
To overwrite the User bank with a Card bank, use this procedure:
➀ Insert the card into the card slot on the back panel.
➁ Press [STORE].
➂ Press [ PAGE] twice.
This selects the ÒLOAD FROM CARDÓ option. The display will look like this:
➃ Use the [ CONTROLLER D] slider or the [VALUE] buttons to select the bank on
the card you wish to load (A1ÐA4, etc.).
➄ Press [STORE] to transfer the data from the card into the QS6.1.
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STORING AN INDIVIDUAL PROGRAM OR MIX
You also have the option of storing a Mix or Program directly to a specific location in
a RAM Sound Card Bank (instead of transferring the entire Bank) and vice versa.
However, the Sound Card you are storing to must be of the current QS6.1 Bank
format. A Sound Card is formatted whenever an entire QS6.1 Bank is stored onto it.
If you are using an older QuadraSynth Sound Card that does not use the current
Bank format, you will not be able to store individual Mixes or Programs onto it until
you store an entire QS6.1 Bank onto it first.
➀ Insert a card into PCMCIA Card slot A on the back of the QS6.1. Alesis
recommends that you use card slot A for all RAM card storage operations.
➁ Select the Program or Mix you wish to transfer to the card.
➂ Press [STORE].
➃ Use the [ BANK] buttons to select a bank location on the card to store to (A1ÐA4).
If the card contains a ROM bank, it will show as Bank 1 and you will be unable to store
to it.
➄ Use the [ 00] Ð [ 120] and [ 0] Ð [ 9] buttons to select a location in the selected card
Bank to save to (000Ð127 if storing a Program; 00Ð99 if storing a Mix).
➅ Press [STORE] to transfer the data from the QS6.1 onto the card.
If the card is write-protected, or not inserted, or not of the current Bank format, the
display will indicate the situation with an error message. If the card is not of the
current Bank format, use the ÒSave To CardÓ command first (see previous page) to
save the entire User Bank to the card. This however will erase all Programs and
Mixes in the selected card Bank. If these are important to you, first load them into the
User Bank in the QS6.1, and then save them back onto the card in order to re-format
the card using the new format.
LOADING AN INDIVIDUAL PROGRAM OR MIX
You can load a single Mix or Program from a Sound Card into the User Bank, instead
of having to load the entire Bank from the Sound Card. To do this, select the Mix or
Program in the Sound Card Bank that you wish to copy, then use the Store Function
(as described above) to designate a location you wish to store to in the User Bank.
Note: When storing a Mix from a Sound Card into the User Bank, the individual
Programs used by the Mix will not be moved into the User Program Bank. Once you
store a Mix from a Sound Card into the User Bank, it will still look for its Programs in
the Sound Card Bank, if that is where it was programmed to look for them in the first
place (which is frequently the case).
Note: If the Mix or Program you wish to transfer uses samples that reside on a ROM
card in slot A or B, you must have the ROM card in that same slot after the transfer in
order for that portion of the Program or Mix to sound the same (or at all).
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CARD STORAGE RAMIFICATIONS
It's not uncommon for someone to keep ROM cards in both slots A and B, create their
own Mixes which access Programs from both cards, and use a RAM card in Slot A to
occasionally to back up their User bank. In this case, there are a few considerations:
Whenever you transfer an internal Bank to a RAM card, the result is that all Mixes in
the transferred Bank are changed so that they now access the Programs on the card
bank to which the User bank was saved (since they reside there, now), instead of the
Programs from the original internal Bank. And, when a Card Bank is transferred to
an internal Bank location, the opposite happens Ð all Programs within a Mix which
had previously accessed card bank 1 (for example) now point to the User bank.
However, a problem can arise when you have one or more Mixes in the Bank you are
transferring which use Programs from a ROM card in slot A. Example: Let's say Mix
00 in the User Bank is made entirely of Programs that are located on Card A Bank 1
(the ROM card). If the ROM card is taken out of slot A, a RAM card is inserted, and
the User Bank is transferred to the RAM card's Bank 1, the result will be that Mix 00
in Card Bank 1 now uses only Programs from Card Bank 1. If later you transfer the
entire Bank back into the QS6.1, you will find that Mix 00 no longer uses Programs
from the Card as it was originally programmed to do.
Here are a few ways to avoid this problem. First, always transfer to a Card Bank that
does not include any Programs used by the Mixes in the User Bank. If in the previous
example we had transferred the Bank into Card Bank 2, we would not have had a
problem, since the Mix would still be using the Programs in Card Bank 1.
Another way to avoid this problem is to transfer the User Bank to a Card Bank, and
then immediately store the individual Mix to that same bank on the Card by itself.
When a Mix is stored individually to a Card in slot A, it is not modified in any way ;
i.e. if it used Programs in the internal Banks, it will still use them even though the
Mix and its Programs are in two different locations (the Mix is on the Card but the
Programs it uses are stored in the internal Banks).
Finally, you could avoid this situation by always making sure your User Mixes use
only Programs located in the User Bank (or that your Card Mixes use only Programs
located in that same Card Bank). This could mean individually storing some
Programs to or from a Card. Although this is very limiting, it makes things much
simpler in the long run.
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MORE ABOUT SRAM CARDS
As mentioned before, all card bank storage/retrieval should be carried out in
slot A. This assures that when the bank is loaded back into the User bank from the
card, the Programs and Mixes within the User bank will be able to find the samples
and Programs which originally resided on a card in the A or B slot. This is
particularly important for Sounds (samples) which point to the A slot. If the banks
are stored to slot B and then reloaded, Programs which used to look to the A slot will
look to the B slot for their samples.
Note: If this is done by accident, the SRAM card can be taken out of slot B,
placed in slot A, and the bank in question can be loaded into the User bank. This will
properly point the Sounds to both the A and B slot.
SRAM CARDS AND MIX MODE
When a Mix is created using Card programs, it counts the number of banks on
slot A's card before assigning a number to the first bank on slot B's card. If you
remove Card A and then call up the Mix in question, each MIDI channel within the
Mix which originally pointed to a Card bank will have its Program Bank number
altered by the number of banks which were on Card A. In this example, the Mix will
automatically add that number to the Card Program banks within the Mix and point
all of those Programs to the wrong place. In other words, if Card A had one bank on
it and is removed after the Mix is stored, a Channel within a Mix which used to point
to Card A-1 will point to Card B-1, B-1 will point to B-2, and so on.
Likewise, if you plug a Card into slot A when none had been there at the time
you stored the Mix, the Card banks within the Mix will be decremented by the same
number of banks that exist on the Card you plugged into slot A. If a single-banked
ROM card is plugged into slot A in this scenario, then within the Mix Bank B-1
would become A-1, B-2 would become B-1, and so on.
If you plug a Card into Slot A which has more banks than the Card which used
to be there, this effect will be even more pronounced. For example, plugging an
SRAM Card which has 4 banks into slot A when a ROM card with one bank had been
there before will throw the Card Bank indicators off by 3 banks.
Note: this does not affect channels within the Mix which had been pointing to
User or Preset Program banks.
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