Restore the Factory User Bank in Your Alesis QS Synthesizer

I recently fired up my old Alesis QS6.2 synth after a long hiatus, only to discover the user bank was hosed. Not only did I want those sounds to play with, but they have special significance to me, since I worked on them while I was an engineer at Alesis!

Alesis QS6.2 Synth
Alesis QS6.2 Synth

Opening up the unit, I found out sure enough that the battery was dead. It was pretty easy to find a source online at Syntaur, so I ordered a replacement.

Replacing the Battery

Doing battery swap requires de-soldering the existing battery from the PC board, which is not trivial. Ideally, you’d have a good soldering gun and a “solder-sucker” or a good solder wick. I had neither but I got it off, albeit sloppily.

Then, I had to solder the new battery on.  Again, if you have a solder-sucker or wick, you can clear the holes of solder and simply drop the battery in. If you don’t, it’s more difficult. Here are the official instructions from Syntaur.

If you’ve never done anything like this before, I recommend taking your unit in to an authorized repair center get the battery professionally replaced.

Finding the QS User Bank

I figured it would then be easy to find the QS6.2 User Bank sysex file online, but it’s not.

Searching through my old computer files, I found it on my computer from when I worked on it!

Here They Are!!

So, as a public service, here are the QS Synth User Bank Sysex files:

The following banks are provided courtesy of reader Charles:

To load these into your QS synth, you’ll need a MIDI interface for your computer and some MIDI software. On Windows, I use Cakewalk or MIDI-OX (free).  Enjoy!!

Leave me a comment below if you have a QS synth! – Brian

p.s., this is the NAMM show display where we introduced the QS6.2 synth back in 2002. I was the engineer in charge of the update from the QS6.1 to QS6.2. I upgraded the D/A converters, improved the analog PCB layout to eliminate hum in the outputs, improved the button layout ergonomics, and updated the colors (from black to silver). Oh, and I re-programmed the user bank!

Alesis QS6.2 at NAMM 2002
Alesis QS6.2 at NAMM 2002

For Alesis Service

Lots of people have asked me where to get service for their Alesis synths! In the Los Angeles area, we used to work closely with Audio Design & Service in Burbank, CA, and I recommend them for music instrument repair.


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Andrew
Andrew
8 months ago

Thank you so much for supplying the factory Sysex files. I sent a sysex file, containing the extra banks for the Hip Hop QCard and it overwrote all the factory presets. A power cycle did nothing, nor did factory resetting the unit. The file you supplied, was the only way to get the user bank back to stock!

Arménio
Arménio
9 months ago

Hi Brian, where could I source the 2 rom chips in Europe??
Im getting the Rom failure error, if I need to replace those sound roms, do you think they can still be found in Europe?
Thanks

Mark
Mark
1 year ago

Hi Brian,
Can you provide more info on how to use Midi-OX to upload the User SysEx file? I ran “Send SysEx” and selected the Q678USER file – it appeared to send it but none of the User banks are restored. I know the PC has connectivity as I can play notes from the laptop keyboard and they sound on the QS7.1. Is there something else I’m missing?
Thanks,
Mark

Mark
Mark
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian

Thanks! One thing I forgot to mention is I think the onboard battery is dead. Would that prevent the SysEx file from loading?

Mark

Mark
Mark
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian

Agree, as I can actually save a patch to a user bank, and then retrieve it until I shut off power….

Chuck Macenski
Chuck Macenski
1 year ago

Hi Brian,

I have a QS7 using an unsupported but already programmed flash card. The card works great in Slot A but does nothing in Slot B; real Q-Cards work great in both slots. I thought I found someone posting a PCB modification that addressed this issue (years ago). 

Do you recall issues with the QS7/QS8 and PCMCIA slot B? I can find QS7.1 mainboard schematics on the web, but I can’t find the same for the QS7/QS8. I am not sure I am willing to hack my QS7, but I am curious about why this is.

Chuck

pinkjimiphoton
1 year ago

hey brian,
any chance you know of a source for parts for the keyboard on a qs7? i’m restoring a basket case, i have it working, but its missing ONE of the keyboard stops on the weighted side of one of the b keys which makes it a little weird.
thanks man!
peace!
jimi

carny corbett
carny corbett
1 year ago

how to reset the USER BANK on the ALESIS QS7 / QS7.1 SYNTHESIZER

Rob
Rob
1 year ago

Hello Brian,
Thanks for the info and providing the 6.2 user bank! When replacing the battery I soldered a battery holder in the board. Next time I can just drop in a new battery in stead of having to solder in a new one.
Kind regards,
Rob
The Netherlands

Mark
Mark
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian

Rob,
Can you let me know what battery size you used for this? Found a holder for 2032 battery, hoping this will work.
Thanks
Mark

Mark
Mark
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian

Thanks! I’ll shoot for a br2032 if I can find one, otherwise I’ll settle for cr2032 which is readily available.

BTW – I was able to get the sysex file to load on my qs7.1 – thanks for your help.

Mark
Mark
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian

I was using am inexpensive usb to midi interface cable initially. I purchased a box on Amazon that is both a midi router (3 in, 3 out, usb) and pass-thru. Connected it to laptop and used Midii-OX to send the file to the qs7.1. It’s a great device – truly plug and play!

Rob
Rob
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark

I ordered one specifically for the 2325 battery. This is the part code:
1x CH25-2325LF BATTERY HOLDER, DIP, 23MM MULTICOMP
Hope this can help you.

Ignacio
Ignacio
2 years ago

I have an alesis Qs 6.2 it doesn’t respond to any commands I was told that the battery was out I had battery replaced but keyboard doesn’t want to work I was hoping someone could give some kind of orientation on what could be wrong because I tried to reset to factory and once I press any key it shows incorrect command or error on the screen