Alesis QS S4 User Manual

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ALESIS

QuadraSynth

S4 QuadraSynth

Reference Manual

Introduction

Thank you for purchasing the Alesis QuadraSynth 64 Voice / 76 Key Master Keyboard or S4 QuadraSynth 64 Voice Sound Module. To take full advantage of the QuadraSynthÕs functions, and to enjoy long and trouble-freeuse, please read this userÕs manual carefully.

How To Use This Manual

This manual is divided into the following sections describing the various modes of the QuadraSynth. Though we recommend you take time to read through the entire manual once carefully, those having general knowledge about synthesizers should use the table of contents and index to reference specific functions while using the instrument.

Chapter 1: Setting Up. Deals with the necessary preparation before playing, including connections to external devices.

Chapter 2: Your First Session with the QuadraSynth. This section provides a brief tour of the QuadraSynth, shows you how to audition the various sounds of the QuadraSynth, and points out the various performance features.

Chapter 3: Connections. Details rear panel connections (like MIDI, footpedals and the optical digital interface), properhook-upprocedures, plus application examples.

Chapter 4: Overview. Covers the structure of sound sources within the QuadraSynth, how to read and navigate through the LCD display pages, how to edit parameters, and how to store edited Programs, Mixes and Effects.

Chapter 5: Mix Mode. Explains how to create and edit Mixes.

Chapter 6: Editing Programs. How to create and edit Programs.

Chapter 7: Editing Effects. How to create and edit Effects Patches.

Chapter 8: Global Settings. Describes all global functions, such as Master Tuning, Display Contrast, Keyboard Mode, Edit Mode and 48 kHz Clock In.

Chapter 9: MIDI Transfer and Storage Operations. Discusses MIDI functions and how to store sounds either to a MIDI device or to a RAM card.

Appendices. MIDI basics,trouble-shooting,maintenance and service information, MIDI Implementation Chart and an Index.

Conventions

The buttons, knobs, and rear panel connectors are referred to in this manual just as their names appear on the QuadraSynth, using all capital letters and in brackets (Example: [PROGRAM] button, MIDI [] and [] buttons, Quad Knob [1], etc.). When text from the QuadraSynthÕs display is quoted, it is indicated by a set of quotation marks (Example: ÒEDITING: SOUND 4Ó) .

When something important appears in the manual, an icon (like the one on the left) will appear in the left margin. This symbol indicates that this information is vital when operating the QuadraSynth.

QuadraSynth Reference Manual

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QuadraSynth Reference Manual

 

Contents

CONTENTS

 

1: Setting Up..................................................................................

7

Unpacking and Inspection .......................................................................................

7

AC Power ..............................................................................................................

7

Line Conditioners and Protectors.................................................................

8

About Audio Cables ...............................................................................................

9

Basic Audio Hookup ...............................................................................................

9

2: Your First Session With The QuadraSynth ..............................

11

Powering Up ..........................................................................................................

11

The Quad Knobs.........................................................................................

11

Adjusting the Display Contrast ....................................................................

12

Playing the Demo Sequence.........................................................................

12

Playing the QuadraSynth ........................................................................................

13

Program Mode and Mix Mode .....................................................................

13

Auditioning Internal Programs ....................................................................

14

Auditioning Programs on the S4 Sound Module ...........................................

14

Selecting the MIDI Channel.........................................................................

15

Realtime Performance Functions..................................................................

15

Auditioning Mix Mode ...............................................................................

16

Editing a Mix..............................................................................................

17

Auditioning Effects .....................................................................................

18

Setting the Effects Level ..............................................................................

19

3: Connections ...............................................................................

21

Basic MIDI Hookup ................................................................................................

21

Typical Application 1: MIDI Keyboard/Master Controller for Live Use......................

22

Using the S4 in Live Performance.................................................................

22

Typical Application 2: Using the QuadraSynth with an External Sequencer ................

23

About the Keyboard Mode ..........................................................................

24

Using the S4 with a Sequencer .....................................................................

24

Pedal and Footswitch Hookup.................................................................................

24

Digital Audio/Optical Hookup ...............................................................................

25

Recording Digital Audio .............................................................................

25

48 kHz Clock In ......................................................................................................

25

4: Overview ...................................................................................

27

Basic Architecture ...................................................................................................

27

QuadraSynth Polyphony .........................................................................................

27

Modes....................................................................................................................

28

Program Mode ...........................................................................................

28

Mix Mode ..................................................................................................

28

Program Edit Mode ....................................................................................

28

Mix Edit Mode ...........................................................................................

29

Effects Edit Mode .......................................................................................

29

Global Edit Mode .......................................................................................

29

Store Mode.................................................................................................

29

Compare Mode...........................................................................................

29

The User Interface: Display, Functions, Pages, and Parameters ..................................

30

About the Display.......................................................................................

30

MIDI Buttons .............................................................................................

31

Quad Knob Editing .....................................................................................

31

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Contents

Parameter Editing .......................................................................................

31

Editing Program Parameters........................................................................

32

Edit 4 and Edit 1 Modes ..............................................................................

33

Resetting a Parameter Value........................................................................

34

Comparing Edited and Stored Versions....................................................................

34

Preset Memory and User Memory ...........................................................................

35

Storing ...................................................................................................................

35

Store a Program ..........................................................................................

36

Store an Effect ............................................................................................

36

Store a Mix.................................................................................................

36

To Audition Programs Before Storing...........................................................

37

5: Mix Mode ..................................................................................

39

What Mix Mode Does .............................................................................................

39

Mix Edit Mode .......................................................................................................

39

Understanding the Edit Buffers ...............................................................................

40

Program Assign for each MIDI Channel ...................................................................

41

Level Setting for Each Program................................................................................

41

Pitch ......................................................................................................................

41

Setting the Range and MIDI.....................................................................................

42

Effects in Mix Mode................................................................................................

43

Effect Level ................................................................................................

43

Effect .........................................................................................................

44

Naming a Mix ........................................................................................................

44

Polyphony in Mix Mode..........................................................................................

45

Using the QuadraSynth as a Master Keyboard ..........................................................

45

Setting MIDI Out Channels for Mix (QuadraSynth Keyboard only) ............................

45

6: Editing Programs......................................................................

47

Overview ...............................................................................................................

47

The ÒNormalizedÓ Synth Voice................................................................................

47

How the QuadraSynth Generates Sound ..................................................................

48

Program Sound Layers............................................................................................

48

QuadraSynth Signal Flow........................................................................................

49

The Four Sounds of a Program ....................................................................

49

Voice .........................................................................................................

50

Lowpass Filter ............................................................................................

50

Amp ..........................................................................................................

51

About Modulation ..................................................................................................

51

LFO ...........................................................................................................

51

Envelopes ..................................................................................................

52

About Signal Processing..........................................................................................

52

Drum Mode ...........................................................................................................

53

Program Edit Functions ..........................................................................................

54

Assign Voice ..............................................................................................

54

Level..........................................................................................................

55

Effect Level ................................................................................................

56

Effect .........................................................................................................

56

Pitch ..........................................................................................................

57

Filter ..........................................................................................................

59

Amp ..........................................................................................................

61

Range ........................................................................................................

62

Mod...........................................................................................................

64

Pitch LFO ...................................................................................................

67

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Contents

Filter LFO...................................................................................................

 

69

Amp LFO ...................................................................................................

 

70

Pitch Envelope............................................................................................

 

71

Filter Envelope ...........................................................................................

 

73

Amp Envelope ...........................................................................................

 

76

Name .........................................................................................................

 

79

Misc...........................................................................................................

 

79

Programming Drum Sounds....................................................................................

80

Assign Voice ..............................................................................................

 

80

Level..........................................................................................................

 

80

Effects Level ...............................................................................................

 

81

Pitch ..........................................................................................................

 

81

Filter ..........................................................................................................

 

81

Amp ..........................................................................................................

 

81

Range ........................................................................................................

 

82

Amp Envelope ...........................................................................................

 

82

Copying Sounds .....................................................................................................

 

83

Initializing Programs ..............................................................................................

 

83

7: Editing Effects...........................................................................

 

85

About Signal Processing

..........................................................................................

85

Selecting an Effects Patch ........................................................................................

86

Clip .......................................................................................................................

 

87

Editing Effects ........................................................................................................

 

87

Storing Effects Patches ............................................................................................

 

88

Configurations .......................................................................................................

 

88

Reverb ...................................................................................................................

 

95

Delay .....................................................................................................................

 

100

Pitch ......................................................................................................................

 

101

Mod.......................................................................................................................

 

104

Name .....................................................................................................................

 

105

Mix ........................................................................................................................

 

106

8: Global Settings..........................................................................

 

107

Editing Global Parameters .......................................................................................

107

LCD Contrast .........................................................................................................

 

107

Master Pitch and Master Tuning..............................................................................

107

Keyboard Sensitivity .....

(QuadraSynth only) ............................................................

108

Keyboard Curve ...........

(QuadraSynth only) ............................................................

108

Keyboard Transpose .....

(QuadraSynth only) ............................................................

108

Keyboard Mode ............

(QuadraSynth only) ............................................................

108

Mix Group Channel ......

(S4 Sound Module only) ......................................................

109

Controller A Ñ D ...................................................................................................

 

109

Pedal 1 and 2 Assignment .......................................................................................

109

MIDI Program Select...............................................................................................

 

110

Edit Mode ..............................................................................................................

 

110

48 KHz Clock Input ................................................................................................

 

110

9: MIDI Transfer And Storage Operations...................................

111

Saving to External Card

..........................................................................................

111

Loading from External Card ....................................................................................

111

Saving Programs via MIDI Sys Ex ............................................................................

112

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Contents

 

APPENDIX A: Trouble-Shooting ..................................................

115

Trouble-ShootingIndex...........................................................................................

115

Re-initializing .........................................................................................................

115

Checking Software Version .....................................................................................

116

Maintenance/Service ..............................................................................................

116

Cleaning ....................................................................................................

116

Maintenance...............................................................................................

116

Warranty Information.................................................................................

116

Obtaining Repair Service.............................................................................

116

APPENDIX B: MIDI Supplement...................................................

119

MIDI Basics ............................................................................................................

119

MIDI Hardware......................................................................................................

119

MIDI Message Basics ..............................................................................................

120

Channel Messages: Mode Messages .............................................................

120

Channel Messages: Voice Messages .............................................................

120

System Common Messages .........................................................................

122

MIDI Implementation Chart....................................................................................

123

APPENDIX C: Parameters Index ..................................................

124

Program Parameters ...............................................................................................

124

Mix Parameters ......................................................................................................

126

INDEX ............................................................................................

127

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QuadraSynth Reference Manual

Setting Up

CHAPTER1

SETTINGUP

Unpacking and Inspection

Your QuadraSynth was packed carefully at the factory, and the shipping carton was designed to protect the unit during shipping. Please retain this container in the highly unlikely event that you need to return the QuadraSynth for servicing.

Upon receiving the QuadraSynth, carefully examine the shipping carton and its contents for any sign of physical damage that may have occurred in transit. If you detect any damage, do not destroy any of the packing material or the carton, and immediately notify the carrier of a possible claim for damage. Damage claims must be made by you. Contact your Alesis dealer.

The shipping carton should contain the following items:

¥This instruction manual, plus lists of Mixes and Programs

¥Alesis QuadraSynth with the same serial number as shown on shipping carton

¥Sustain pedal (keyboard only)

¥AC Power Cable (keyboard only) or power supply (S4)

¥Alesis warranty card

It is important to register your purchase; if you have not already filled out your warranty card and mailed it back to Alesis, please take the time to do so now.

AC Power Hookup

The QuadraSynth works with the voltage of the country it is shipped to (either 110 or 220V, 50 or 60 Hz), and comes with a line cord or power supply suitable for the destination to which the keyboard is shipped.

S4 Sound Module owners: Check the label on the AC adapter to ensure that the Òinput voltageÓ is correct for your area. Insert the AC adapter's smaller plug into the 9V AC Power jack on the S4Õs rear panel. Then plug the AC adapter itself into a source of AC power, preferably a power strip with its own on/off switch. Alesis recommends turning off power to the supply or unplugging it when the S4 is not in use, to prolong its life. Use only the AC adapter supplied with the S4; use of any other adapter will void your warranty.

QuadraSynth owners: With the QuadraSynth off, plug the female (jack) end of the AC cord into QuadraSynthÕs AC socket and the male (plug) end into a source of AC power. ItÕs good practice to not turn the QuadraSynth on until all other cables are hooked up.

The IEC-specAC cord included with the QuadraSynth (do not substitute any other AC cord) is designed to connect to an outlet that includes three pins, with the third, round pin connected to ground. The ground connection is an important safety feature designed to keep the chassis of electronic devices such as the QuadraSynth at ground potential. Unfortunately, the presence of a third pin does not always indicate that it is properly grounded. Use an AC line tester to determine this. If the outlet is not grounded, consult with a licensed electrician.

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Setting Up

Do not operate any electrical equipment with ungrounded outlets. Plugging the QuadraSynth into an ungrounded outlet, or ÒliftingÓ the unit off ground with a three-to-twowire adapter, can create a hazardous condition.

Alesis cannot be responsible for problems caused by using the QuadraSynth or any associated equipment with improper AC wiring.

Line Conditioners and Protectors

Although the QuadraSynth is designed to tolerate typical voltage variations, in todayÕs world the voltage coming from the AC line may contain spikes or transients that can possibly stress your gear and, over time, cause a failure. There are three main ways to protect against this, listed in ascending order of cost and complexity:

¥Line spike/surge protectors. Relatively inexpensive, these are designed to protect against strong surges and spikes, acting somewhat like fuses in that they need to be replaced if theyÕve been hit by an extremely strong spike.

¥Line filters. These generally combine spike/surge protection with filters that remove some line noise (dimmer hash, transients from other appliances, etc.).

¥Uninterruptible power supply (UPS). This is the most sophisticated option. A UPS provides power even if the AC power line fails completely. Intended for computer applications, a UPS allows you to complete an orderly shutdown of a computer system in the event of a power outage, and the isolation it provides from the power line minimizes all forms of interferenceÑspikes, noise, etc.

SUSTAIN PEDAL 1 PEDAL 2

THRUOUT THRUOUT

IN

48 KHZ IN

DIGITAL

L - AUX - R

L - MAIN - R PHONES

POWER INPUT

ON/OFF

OUT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOOT PEDALS

MIDI

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1/4" Audio Cables

AC Receptacle

Pedal Switch

Stereo Headphones

Expression Pedal

Stereo Amp

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QuadraSynth Reference Manual

Setting Up

About Audio Cables

The connections between the QuadraSynth and your studio are your musicÕs lifeline, so use only high quality cables. These should be low-capacitanceshielded cables with a stranded (not solid) internal conductor and alow-resistanceshield. Although quality cables cost more, they do make a difference. Route cables to the QuadraSynth correctly by observing the following precautions:

¥Do not bundle audio cables with AC power cords.

¥Avoid running audio cables near sources of electromagnetic interference such as transformers, monitors, computers, etc.

¥Do not place cables where they can be stepped on. Stepping on a cable may not cause immediate damage, but it can compress the insulation between the center conductor and shield (degrading performance) or reduce the cableÕs reliability.

¥Avoid twisting the cable or having it make sharp, right angle turns.

¥Never unplug a cable by pulling on the wire itself. Always unplug by firmly grasping the body of the plug and pulling directly outward.

¥Although Alesis does not endorse any specific product, chemicals such as Tweek and Cramolin, when applied to electrical connectors, are claimed to improve the electrical contact between connectors.

Basic Audio Hookup

When connecting audio cables and/or turning power on and off, make sure that all devices in your system are turned off and the volume controls are turned down.

Because the QuadraSynth includes extensive signal processing as well as a full complement of sounds, you can make great sounds with nothing more than an amplifier or a set of headphones.

The QuadraSynth has two Main and two Aux audio outputs. These can provide an amplification system or mixer with several different audio hookup options:

¥Mono. Connect a mono cord from the [MAINÐL] Audio Output to a mono amplification system or individual mixer input.

¥Stereo. Connect two mono cords from the [MAINÐL] and [MAINÐR] Audio Outputs to a stereo amplification system or two mixer inputs.

¥Dual Stereo/Four Individual Outs. Connect two mono cords from the [MAINÐL] and [MAINÐR] Audio Outputs and two mono cords from the [AUXÐL] and [AUXÐR] Outputs to a dual stereo amplification system, or four mixer inputs.

¥Stereo Headphones. Plug a set ofhigh-qualitystereo headphones into the rear panel [PHONES] jack.

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