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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Chuck Macenski
Chuck Macenski
14 days 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
16 days 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 month ago

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

Rob
Rob
1 month 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

Ignacio
Ignacio
9 months 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

Mark R. Luce
Mark R. Luce
1 year ago

Hi Brian,
I bought the QS7 when it first came out at a music store in Upstate New York called The Only Guitar Shop where I worked sellibg keyboards which is long since gone, I have been over in Austria near Vienna since a few months after I bought the QS7 – 24 years now. In fact I think I may have met you, I think it may have been you who came to The Only Guitar Shop specifically to turn everyone on to the QS6, 7 & 8 – it was definitely someone from Alesis who worked on the QS keyboard architecture, and that Alesis person came with the Alesis rep Greg Ouzinoff. I just came across this article – thanks for the user bank SysEx link – that’s very handy. I also read your p.s. paragraph with great interest about how you upgraded the D/A converters, improved the analog PCB layout to “eliminate hum in the outputs”; that hum in the outputs has always been a big problem for me in not being able to record with the QS7, because I love the piano sounds – Greg told me all those years ago that it was an 8 Meg sampled Bösendorfer and that hum has always prevented me from recording the QS7. Can you please tell me how can I get rid of that hum in the outputs? You can be techn with me, I used to build keyboards, me and two friends built by hand the Lync LN4 strap-on MIDI controller keyboard back in the mid 80s, we were based in Colonie, New York between Albany and Schenectady, we got crushed by the big boys, Roland, and Yamaha hell, they had a much bigger budget for marketing and research and development. Maybe you have a schematic fix for this analog output hum problem. I am looking forward to your help in any way that you can on this QS7 hum in the analog outputs problem.

Kind regards,
Mark Luce
Vienna, Austria

Chris Stout
Chris Stout
1 year ago

I have been using an Alesis QS 6.2 for the past 10 years but had put it aside for a little while. Trying to use it again, I found the output is a random bunch of noise, sounds and effects on both the stereo outputs and headphone. While some of the sounds seem to be in the neighborhood of the intended output, the device is basically useless. The last 5 high keys do not appear to be activating the keyboard and are not outputted through midi. The rest of the keys as well as controllers and buttons do work. I had replaced the battery before and thought maybe this would help but it didn’t. I downloaded your user presets and was able to upload them to the QS6.2 successfully. Unfortunately, that did not help. I downloaded the service manual, replaced the large caps on the motherboard, check voltages, reflowed solder back over sockets and other soldered components, and ran the diagnostics. What I’m getting is a failure during the Sound ROM test at address 8176 for both of the tests (1 and 2). I can’t find a schematic for the actual QS6.2 only for the QS6 and, as strange as it might sound, it’s really hard to find the actual sound ROMs on this board. Pictures of the QS6, 7, and 8 all show eight ROMs (2MB ROMs). Obviously something changed in this version. I see an Intel TE28F128 chip and was wondering if this is the sound ROM for this device. It has the word “Flash” on it and it’s description looks like it could be the ROM. Are there places that services these units? I’ve dug about as far into the unit as I can. Any other suggestions would be helpful as I find it is a truly unique and valuable keyboard.

mike clarke
mike clarke
1 year ago

HELLO BRIAN

THANKS FOR THE QS SOUND BANKS.

I WILL BE TRYING TO SEND THESE TO A QSR RACK MODULE USING EITHER QS EDIT PRO OR MIDI OX.

FIRST QUESTION, ARE ALL THESE BANKS CAPABLE OF BEING LOADED INTO A QSR MODULE.

SECOND, I HAVE LOST THE MANUAL FOR THE QSR, SO WILL BE GRATEFUL IF YOU COULD EXPALAIN HOW TO
SET UP THE MODULE READY TO RECEIVE THE SOUND BANKS VIA MIDI/SYSEX BULK DUMP.

THIRDLY, IF NOT TO MUCH TROUBLE CAN YOU TALK ME THROUGH THE ENTIRE PROCESS TO BULK DUMP THESE
USING MIDI OX.

THANKS AGAIN FOR THE SOUNS BANKS, AND STAY SAFE DURING THIS COVID 19 PANDEMIC.

BY THE WAY, THE BEST WAY TO CONTACT ME IS VIA THE E-MAIL BELOW, INCIDENTALLY DO YOU HAVE AN EMAIL ADDRESS WHERE WE CAN TALK PRIVATELYWITHOUT THE WHOLE WORLD WATCHING, FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE THAT WAY.

ALL THE BEST MIKE.