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HOW FUNCTIONS ARE GROUPED
Understanding how the A6s functions are grouped will greatly enhance your ability to learn and use the instrument. The following topics describe these function groups called modules of the A6.
There are numerous functions within the A6 that deal only with the creating or editing of Programs. In fact, most of the controls on the front panel that are in the area above the keyboard (not including the display area) are Program functions. The front panel is laid out such that each Module and its related parameters are visually grouped by the artwork:
LFOs PROCESS OSC 1 OSC 2 PRE FILTER MIX Display and Soft Controls* EFFECTS* EXTERNAL INPUTS* * also available for Mixes. FILTER 1 FILTER 2 POST FILTER MIX ENV 1 (PITCH) ENV 2 (FILTER) ENV 3 (AMP) VOICE MIX
These functions will be covered in detail in Chapter 4: A6 Overview and Chapter 5: Program Functions. But of particular importance to note now, especially for seasoned analog synthesists who are familiar with earlier modular products, is that each of the above function groups can be thought of as a physical module minus the patch cords. In fact, you can disconnect some of these modules from the audio and control paths by setting their values to zero, in effect turning them off. Thats why theyre called modules.
Mix mode, because of its nature in simply organizing existing Programs into splits, layers and other Voice arrangements, has far fewer controls than those for constructing the Programs themselves. Notice that Mix controls are conspicuously absent from the A6s front panel you access these functions from the display. The basics of layering and splitting are covered later in this chapter on page 47.
Mix mode is also used when the A6 is connected to a MIDI sequencer for multitimbral recording and playback. Each Mix channel, the set of parameters that are used to control a Program in the Mix, can be assigned to a specific MIDI Channel with unique MIDI controller assignments. Especially noteworthy of Mix mode is that it has its own set of programmable effects. All of the effects available for enhancing Programs are included in this mode and are fully independent and programmable per Mix. This is particularly useful when constructing complex Mixes that use many different Programs. These functions are covered in detail later in this manual in Chapter 11: Mix Mode.
L and M Arrows
The CONTRAST knob above the Mand Larrows is used to adjust the contrast of the display.
The MIX SELECT Button Group
The row of rectangular buttons just below the display area are used to select the Programs within a Mix. When a Mix Channel is ON, its associated LED will light. When a Mix Channel is currently selected for editing in the display, its LED will blink. When the A6 is in Mix mode, pressing one the 1/9 through 8/16 buttons selects a specific Mix Channel the group of settings that affect each Program in a Mix (the Program number, its transpose value, its individual MIDI Channel, etc.). Pressing a numbered button alone selects Mix Channels 1 through 8. Pressing and holding SHIFT while pressing a numbered button selects Mix Channels 9 through 16.
Table of Display Functions
The following table summarizes the functions of the displays knobs and buttons: NAME
GLOBAL button PROGRAM button MIX button STORE button
Enters Global mode, displays Global screen. Enters Program mode, displays Program screen. Enters Mix mode, displays Mix screen. Enters Store mode, Copy mode for Programs, Banks, and Effects, SysEx mode, and the INIT function used to reset the A6 User banks; displays the screens associated with each of the above functions. Enters Compare mode: when editing, the stored versions of the current Program or Mix (including Distortion and Effects) are recalled permitting a comparison to be made with the edited versions. Enters Manual mode: every knob position on the front panel is read by the A6 and made current. Group of buttons for selecting the current Mix Channel within a Mix: Toggles between the Mix Channels 1-8 and 9-16. Pressing once selects the desired Mix Channel. For the current Mix Channel, pressing again toggles the Mix Channel on or off. When a Mix Channel is on, its buttons LED will blink when that Mix Channel is selected. Eight buttons below the display that select the page shown on the Page row (the lowest row of text in the display). Eight knobs below the display whose functions are determined by what is currently being displayed on the second row of text from the bottom (the Parameter row). Step adjusts the highlighted value for the current parameter. Pressing both arrows together resets the current parameter to zero, a midpoint or a useful default value Soft Buttons 7 and 8 pressed together will lock the current display screen. The words DISPLAY LOCKED will flash in the display.
To copy an item, press STORE then press soft button 3. Use soft pot knob 1 to select the type of item to copy (Program Bank, Program Digital FX settings, etc.) Select the source using soft knob 2. Select the destination using soft pot 7. Press STORE twice to execute the copy.
You can initialize, or reset, all Programs in the User Bank to the - A6 Default a program that returns all program settings to their default values resulting in a basic, rather plain sounding Program. By the same token, you can reset all Mixes to their default values as well. To accomplish this, press STORE then press soft button 4. To initialize all Programs, turn soft knob 1; to initialize all Mixes, turn soft knob 2. In either case, the display will prompt you to press STORE again to complete the reset. To abort the initialization, press either the PROGRAM or the MIX button. Be careful: initialization cannot be reversed. There is no Undo like there is on personal computers.
Storing Programs and Mixes using the SYSEX Page
To store Programs and Mixes to an external MIDI device such as a sequencer or MIDI data storage device, use a System Exclusive dump. You can set the kind of SysEx dump you want to send by pressing Soft Button 5, the SYSEX page of Store mode. This page is also where you set how SysEx messages will be received. For details on using System Exclusive messages for storing to an external MIDI device, see Chapter 12: MIDI.
You can expand the Program/Mix memory of your Andromeda by plugging in PC Card Type 1 SRAM cards, available from your Alesis dealer. The CARD page will show you the size and type of card currently in the memory slot on the rear panel. The only other function of the page is INIT, used primarily when a card is brand new and needs to be initialized to the A6's card format, but also to erase all Programs or Mixes on a card.
TO INITIALIZE A CARD:
1. 2. 3. 4. Insert a PCMCIA Type 1 SRAM memory card (from 256k to 2MB in size) into the card slot on the back of the unit. Press STORE. Press Soft Button 6, CARD. Turn Soft Knob 1 (INIT) all the way around until "HIT STORE TO INIT RAM CARD" shows in the display. Press STORE. Follow the prompts for whether you want the card to store only Programs, Mixes, or both. (These may not be available if the card is less than 512k in size.)
You can think of the Ribbon Controller as a wheel thats been stretched across the A6s front panel. It can be assigned to any of the A6s mod destinations and is programmable per Program like the wheels. It operates simply by touching it with a finger and sliding it along the ribbons surface. One of its attributes that distinguishes it from the wheels is that it may be divided in halfthe left and right sides (from the center line mark on the top panel) may act as separate controllers aimed at separate destinations. And because the Ribbon Controller has a much longer travel than the wheels, it typically has a more accurate response since you have more physical space across the ribbons surface within a given range. In all cases for both wheels and the ribbon the MIDI Controller Number is userselectable and programmable per Program so you can determine how the wheels will affect other instruments via MIDI for each Program.
PROGRAMMING THE WHEELS AND RIBBON
All of the Programs that ship with the A6 have default wheel and ribbon modulations stored with them. In most cases (but not all), the left wheel and ribbon are preset for pitch bend and the right wheel is vibrato. Some factory Programs, on the other hand, have the wheels and ribbon preset to other types of modulation depending on what is appropriate for the Program. For MIDI purposes, the right wheel defaults to MIDI Controller 1 (vibrato) and the left wheel and ribbon are assigned to Channel Pitch Bend. These assignments can be changed, however, and stored for each Program. To make changes to either wheel, press the PITCH (Pitch Wheel) ASSIGN or the MOD (Mod Wheel) ASSIGN button. The parameters for that wheel will be displayed. Likewise, pressing the RIBBON button to the left of the ribbon controller displays its parameters.
PITCH ASSIGN Parameters
PWHEEL CROUTE BOTRNG SOURCE TOPRNG BOTCRV LEVEL TOPCRV ENABLE OSC 1 ROUTE OSC 2
DESCRIPTION The A6 permits you to adjust the range of the upper travel of the Pitch Wheel independent of its lower travel:
BOTRNG Bottom Range
- 0 48
This parameter adjusts the bottom range of the Pitch Wheel from 0 to 48 semitones (4 octaves). The default value is two semitones (one Whole tone). This parameter adjusts the top range of the Pitch Wheel from 0 to 48 semitones. The default value is two semitones (one Whole tone). This parameter selects one of nine response curves for the wheels lower travel. See the discussion on curves starting on page 62.
TOPRNG Top Range BOTCRV Bottom Curve
+ 0 48
Effects Analog distortion Stereo reverb (Large Hall, Hall, Stereo Hall, Room, Chamber, Ambience, Large Plate, Plate, Hall/Room, Plate/Room, Hall/Plate, Nonlinear) Delays (Mono, Ping-Pong, Multi-tap, Dual) Chorus (Stereo Chorus/Flanger, Quad Chorus, Dual) Flange Quad pitch shifter Multieffects (Rotary>Room, Delay>Room, Chorus>Room, Room>Flange, Flange>Delay>Room, Room+Delay, Room+Chorus, Room+Flange, Room>Delay) Display 240 x 64 multi-function back-lighted LCD Master Controls Master Volume Master Tune w/ AutoTune function Global Transpose Rear Panel Inputs & Outputs RAM Expansion Card slot MIDI Pedals Control Voltage inputs Filter audio inputs Audio Individual Voice outputs Auxiliary audio outputs Main outputs Headphones Power AC receptacle
PCMCIA Type I card slot In, Out and Thru Sustain pedal, footswitch, pedal CV Oscillator, Filter Mono to all, Voice 15 filter, Voice 16 filter eight stereo 1/4 jacks two mono 1/4 jacks Left and Right 1/4 jacks stereo 1/4 jack standard 3-prong recessed male receptacle
A6 FUNCTIONS AT-A-GLANCE
The A6 contains enough memory for three banks of 128 Programs and two banks of 128 Mixes. The Preset banks contain the 256 Preset Programs and 128 Preset Mixes we created for the A6 and are stored in semipermanent memory called Flash memory. The User bank contains 128 Programs in programmable memory that you can modify to your liking, or use to store your own Programs (128 memory locations) and Mixes (128 of those, too). Mixes are memory locations that take existing single Programs and allow you to combine them. Examples of this combining of Programs in a Mix would include layering (two Programs played by one note), and keyboard splitting (the lower range of the keyboard plays one Program such as a bass sound, and the upper range of the keyboard plays another Program such as a solo or accompaniment). It is possible to make any combination of layers and splits, with up to 16 programs playing at once. Mix mode is also used when you want to have multitimbral control from a sequencer, or use the A6 as a MIDI master keyboard controlling other synthesizers and modules. Programs are selected by using the row of buttons just above the Ribbon Controller. The 2-digit buttons select the group of 10 and the single-digit buttons select the specific Sound or Mix.
Referring back to Chapter 3, we covered the basic ingredients of sound and the corresponding components of a synthesizer. Using our first flowchart as an example, the oscillators are the primary sources for raw sound in the A6. To be more specific, the oscillators provide the periodic waveforms used to create sounds with musical pitch. The A6s oscillators are true analog Voltage-Controlled Oscillators, hereinafter referred to as the VCOs or by their panel labels OSC 1 and OSC 2. As in the early days of analog synthesis, the frequency of an oscillator what musical note it plays is determined by the voltage it is sent by the keyboard (or other controller such as the Pitch Bend wheel, Vibrato wheel, etc.). Low voltages produce low notes and high voltages result in high notes. Although the A6 has a digital keyboard and also responds to incoming MIDI data, its processors data stream that controls the VCOs is converted to an analog voltage first, then is sent to the VCOs. In addition, each of Andromedas VCOs produce sub-oscillation: each VCO outputs a sine wave one octave below its SEMITONE tuning. Aperiodic waves are provided by the A6s Noise Generator, a full-spectrum (containing the full range of frequencies) noise source for creating Programs simulating wind, thunder, earthquakes and various mechanical sounds. The A6 also provides three 1/4 input jacks on the rear panel that allow you to connect, for example, another synth, electric piano or guitar and process these signals through the A6s Filters and Output stages. Through these inputs, you can connect your external audio to the Filters of either Voice 15 or Voice 16 (or both for stereo), or a mono signal to all Voices.
What It Is
The simplest definition of modulation is to change something by something else. It is modifying one component of a Program by another. Having said that, why would we want to use modulation?
Why We Use It
As we discovered in Chapter 3, natural sounds go through many subtle but significant changes as we are listening to them. Referring back to our example of vibrating piano strings, all kinds of modulation is going on. A synthesizer provides numerous types modulation to simulate the changes that an acoustic sound goes through. Therefore, it is essential that a synthesizer provide modulation capabilities if we are to approximate the subtleties and nuances of sounds were familiar with. But a synth is also capable of producing modulations above and beyond what is normally experienced with acoustically-produced sounds. Synthesizers have become famous for their ability to emit sounds that have never been heard before. Modulation has a whole lot to do with that.
Referring back to our definition of modulation as changing something by something else, lets take a look at what this means. When a musical sound is played, it can start out loud and fade out. It can also fade in and, at the peak of its loudness, end abruptly. It can fade in and then fade out, or just start loud and end loud. This is volume modulation or, more precisely, amplitude modulation. The loudness of the sound (something) can be changed by a pedal, an envelope, an LFO, velocity or other sources (something else). Still using this example, as a sound is being played, it can start out bright and full and while its fading out in volume its also becoming less bright. Or as it fades in, it
gets brighter as it gets louder. This is harmonic modulation or, more precisely, filter frequency modulation. The brightness of the sound (something) can be changed by a pedal, an envelope, an LFO, velocity or other sources (something else). The principle of something/something else is the key concept in understanding modulation. The something is called the modulation destination (or simply the destination). It is whats being modulated. The something else is called the modulation source (or simply the source). It is whats doing the modulating. Throughout the rest of this manual, well be discussing modulation in terms of sources modulating destinations. This is called a modulation path or simply mod path and well use this term in the documentation as well.
To further illustrate the source/destination concept, this is a good time to take a look at some everyday modulations. Everything that is mentioned here will be covered in detail throughout the manual. Keyboard, Mod Wheels and Pedals Used as often as any modulation source, but rarely perceived as one, the keyboard is a legitimate source of modulation. Because a note played on the keyboard changes the frequency of the VCOs (the key word here is changes), the keyboard (and received MIDI Notes for that matter) can be counted among the mod sources in the A6. Another common keyboard mod destination is the Filters, since we often want the Filter to be more open on higher ranges of the keyboard, or even to track the keyboard exactly because it's in self-oscillation. However, the keyboard is most commonly recognized as a controller a mechanical component that affects the sound, rather than a mod source thats electronic or derived in the synths operating system. So we will refer to the keyboard in this manual as a controller rather than a modulation source per se as well as the mod wheels, pedals and ribbon controller. Envelopes Loudness and harmonic shaping, plus the amplitude-shaping of other sound elements, make the envelopes indispensable modulation sources for every Program in the A6. Aside from the essential envelope-to-filter (ENV 2) and envelope-to-loudness (ENV 3) routings, envelopes are often used to affect VCO frequency (ENV 1), shape the amplitude of an LFO, or alter the shape of a VCOs waveform. LFOs Low Frequency Oscillators are similar in design to the VCOs that are used as the primary sound source of an analog synthesizer. They utilize periodic waveforms like the VCOs (sine, triangle, sawtooth and pulse) and aperiodic waves (random and noise) but thats where the similarity ends. An LFO is not intended to be used as an audio source but a modulation source and, as such, its output is not routed to any of the A6s audio paths. Rather, an LFO is routed to other elements of the sound as a mod source, so while you cant hear it directly, you can hear the effect of it on other elements of the sound. The most common use of an LFO is for vibrato. In fact, the modulation wheel on the A6 controls the amplitude (amount) of an LFO that is routed to the frequency of the VCOs and often to the VCFs. Similarly, one or more LFOs are typically used in string ensemble Programs to simulate the animation of many stringed instruments playing together.
If the mode is set to FRERUN, the envelope proceeds through the remaining stages when looping ends. This is identical to the response of FRERUN mode when playing the keyboard: if a key is released prior to the SUSTAIN stage, the envelope proceeds through the remaining stages. If you select R1 to be the Loop END stage, the envelope will not begin looping until the Sustain portion of the envelope is complete. Since an envelopes Sustain stage ends when a Note Off occurs, the envelope will not start looping until it gets a Note Off.
In addition to the modifications offered by the TRIG and DYN pages, each envelope can be modulated by any of the A6s 71 mod sources. In fact, three separate mod paths can be created per envelope from the three MOD 1, MOD 2 and MOD 3 pages. This provides outstanding versatility in customizing the envelopes to a particular need.
MOD 1, MOD 2
and MOD 3 are identical, so the following table applies to all three:
PAGE MOD 1 MOD 2 MOD 3
Use soft knob 1 to scroll through the list of possible modulation sources.
This parameter sets the amount of modulation that will affect the selected destination. Keep in mind that negative values invert the action of the selected source. For example, if Velocity is the source and a negative value for LEVEL is used, playing harder will reduce the level of the destination. This parameter sets the offset or fine adjustment for the selected modulation level. This parameter is used to turn the selected modulation on or off. Use soft knob 5 or the panel buttons along the upper edge of the ENV 1, ENV 2 and ENV 3 sections.
-100 +100 OFF, ON
Use soft knob 2 to scroll through the list of ATTACK TIME possible modulation destinations. These destinations are eight envelope parameters DECAY 1 TIME described earlier in this Chapter.
DECAY 2 TIME REL 1 TIME REL 2 TIME ENV LEVEL SUS LEVEL
Now that weve covered envelope functions in detail, lets take a look at a few envelopes that can be created in the A6. The envelope depicted on page 135 represents the most basic envelope contour: all stages are used, theyre all linear and all levels have positive values. The following five examples are just a few of the endless variations that can be accomplished on the A6, but illustrate the flexibility of these powerful modulations.
EXAMPLE 1: BI-POLAR
5.99 S 16.50 S EXP `1 15.90 S LINEAR -45 7.95 S LOG 12.50 S LINEAR 9 16.06 S EXP 100 POSWAV
Decay2 SHAPE SUSTAIN Level
Release2 SHAPE Envelope OFFSET Envelope LEVEL Envelope POLAR
Bi-Polar envelopes like this one are only available for ENV1 and ENV2. Also, this envelope can be inverted by switching POLAR from POSWAV to NEGWAV.
In contrast, the pulse wave is characterized by abrupt or instantaneous rise and fall, producing a push-pull or high-low effect. When its width is set to a square wave (50%) and routed to the VCOs, for example, it is well-suited for trills. Careful adjustments to its amplitude actually allow you to tune the waves high-low movement to specific musical intervals. or NOISE The random wave can be characterized as a wave that sounds like its jumping all over the place, especially at high amplitude levels. The noise wave is an ultra-random wave that has a much higher frequency than the random wave, sounding like hiss.
Delay Time This parameter sets time that elapses before the LFO begins its oscillation. During this time delay, the LFO is inactive. Range: 0 131.075 seconds, adjustable in increments of 2 to 10 milliseconds.
Initial Phase This parameter sets the initial phase portion where the LFO waveform starts. Heres how an LFOs wave phase is described and adjusted: One cycle of an LFOs wave equals a 360 phase (cycle). Under normal circumstances, an LFOs wave will rise at the start of its oscillation (the initial phase) at the neutral point of 0. This parameter allows you to instruct the A6 to start the LFO its initial phase at later points of the waveform. For example, if you wanted to start at the peak of the wave, set this to 90 degrees. Range: 0.00 360.00 degrees in increments of.01.
Initial Phase = 60 Initial Phase = 90 Initial Phase = 270
SINE WAVE Initial Phase = 0
Wave Width You can alter the width of the triangle and pulse waves which allows for variations in the way these waveshape rise and fall. A width adjustment alters the duty cycle the positive portion of the wave relative to the negative side and gives the wave a significantly different property when modulating a destination. Range: 0.00 100.00% in increments of.01% Pulse wave with adjustment range: 50% duty cycle (square wave) to 5% (narrow pulse)
Triangle wave width adjustment range: 100% duty cycle produces an UpSaw wave, 50% duty cycle produces a symmetric or triangle wave, 0% duty cycle produces an DownSaw wave. If the wave type is SAW, below 50% produces a DownSaw, above 50% an UpSaw.
The NOISE/EXTERNAL knob controls the initial level of three varieties of NOISE, the level of the external FILTER AUDIO INPUTS and the internal FILTER FEEDBACK. Each of the four audio sources are selected in turn (or turned off) by repeatedly pressing the input button; the current Noise/External source is shown by LEDs on the top panel and in the display. Only one source can be selected at a time. But Filter Feedback is on its own switch, and when this switch is on Feedback is added at a fixed amount to the NOISE/EXTERNAL input amplifier controlled by the NOISE/EXT knob. NOISE The A6 provides a single noise generator that is available to all voices. Noise is produced by circuit that outputs nearly all audible frequencies at once, called wideband audio. The result is an unpitched signal that sounds similar to the static you hear on a radio when its tuned between two stations. Noise is often used to simulate wind, thunder and explosions. When used subtly, noise can embellish musical sounds created with the VCOs by adding breath effects to brass and woodwinds, for example. Noise is generated in three colors: white, pink and red. These are names that refer to the frequency range of the noise signal. White noise (indicated by the W LED on the front panel) selects the entire range of noise at identical levels regardless of frequency. White noise sounds the brightest and fullest of the three. Pink noise (indicated by the P LED) reduces the high frequencies and sounds less bright than white noise. Red noise (the R LED) has even more high end removed and sounds the least bright of the three noise sources. Pressing the button to the left of these LEDs switches among the three noise sources plus AUDIO EXT IN, described next.
Chapter 8: Pre Filter, Post Filter and Voice Mixes AUDIO EXT IN You can process external audio sources through the A6. Examples of audio sources you can use include an electric guitar, a high-impedance microphone, a digital sampler, an audio CD player or cassette player, just to name a few. You may want to process your external audio by the A6s Filters. And since the Filters can be modulated, you can also shape the external source by an envelope and add a host of other mod sources if needed.
EXT FILTER INPUTS/ V 1-16 Jack V 1-16 Button
The V 1-16 jack on the Andromedas back panel is a high-impedance input that routes a mono or single-channel external audio source to all 16 of the A6s Voices. This means that you can process a mono signal polyphonically through the A6s filters, complete with all of the modulation normally available to the Filters: envelope shaping, LFOs and the rest of the A6s 79 mod sources. To activate this function, press the V 1-16 button on the EXTERNAL INPUTS module. When you do this, a number of parameters will be automatically set to enable the audio path. The AUDIO EXT IN input will be selected, the AUD IN switch will be turned on, and the NOISE level will be set to 100 in PRE FILTER MIX (since this is the path that the External Input uses). Use the NOISE/EXTERNAL knob to adjust the level of this signal.
Once youve entered a parameter page, the display shows up to six parameters at once. Each parameter is displayed as a bar graph of its current value, relative to its minimum and maximum values. The current value of a parameter is shown numerically just under the bar graph. If the parameter is turned off, OFF will display in that section instead. Below the Parameter Value Row is the Parameter Name Row, with the abbreviated names of the parameter (which are explained individually later in this chapter). The complete name of the currently-selected parameter is shown on the right side of the display, under the effect type.
CHANGING AN INDIVIDUAL PARAMETER
Selection of a parameter (such as DECAY, BOOST or LPF on the middle row of the display) happens automatically when you touch the soft knob for that parameter. As you adjust a parameter, both its numerical value and bargraph will change in relation to the sliders position. Tip: To make a small change to a parameter, you can repeatedly press the pages soft button, and each parameter on the page will be selected in turn. Its name will be displayed in reverse type like this:
Then, you can use the L or M buttons to change the value by small amounts.
MOD: MODULATING EFFECTS SEND/OUTPUT
Pressing an effects MOD button on the top panel, or pressing soft button 8 (MOD) while on any Effects Edit page displays a Modulation page for the Analog Distortion or Digital Effects systems. Here you are able to select up to two sources that can be used to modulate output levels of the Analog Distortion or Digital Effects sections. The Modulation page will display the modulation destination(s) and its sources, along with LEVEL, OFFSET and ENABLE controls. Pressing the MOD key on the top panel of the Analog Distortion or Digital Effects section has the same effect as turning ENABLE on and off on the display. Turn soft knob 1 to set the SOURCE for the mod from among the 79 possible choices. When a mod source is selected, its effect on the destination is heard instantly while scrolling through the list. Any changes made will remain active so long as you do not switch Programs or Mixes. They will only be saved when you press the STORE button and save the entire Program or Mix.
TUTORIAL: HOW TO EDIT A REVERB
The best way to learn a new piece of gear is to start using it in your studio. This section is designed to teach you how to edit your own effects using normal day-today examples. Remember that programs are subjective and these are just guidelines. If the program sounds weird when youre all done, change it - thats what the soft knobs are for! You can use the following section to edit any Program or Mix in the Andromeda. But to get started, use a basic bass or pad patch that doesnt have many effects to begin with. Whatever its effect type is, were going to change it to a simple reverb. This will be a typical large, warm hall program, with a lot of space to swim around.
Nonlinear This reverb effects direction can be set either forwards or backwards. Selecting the forward direction provides a classic Gated digital reverb sound. Selecting the reverse direction gives you a backwards reverb sound. A popular trick in the 80s was to record the reverb with the tape flipped over, so it would play backwards in the mix. The reverse reverb is a useful effect for percussive sounds -adding space without washing out the instrument.
Most of the reverb effects in the A6 operate under the same set of control parameters, which are listed and described in this section. However, reverbs which use more processing power (i.e. the Single configuration reverbs) provide more parameters which take advantage of their extra processing power; parameters which are not found in the other, smaller reverb algorithms. For example, Reverberation Swirl is a parameter found only in the Single configuration reverb types. Here is a list of all reverb parameters found in the Digital Effects system: Decay The Reverb Decay determines how long the Reverb will sound before it dies away. When using the Reverse Reverb effect type, the Reverb Decay parameter controls the Reverse Time. This parameter dictates the size of the space you are emulating: small rooms have a short decay (500ms-2 Sec) while large halls have a long decay (2-6 Sec). Low Pass Filter (LPF) The lowpass filter can be set between 029 Hz and 41.3 kHz, and attenuates all frequencies above this value by 6dB per octave. The lower the setting, the less high frequencies are allowed to pass thru to the reverb effect. The LPF simulates the reflectivity of the space youre emulating. A tiled room may roll off around 12kHz, where a living room or a warm church might roll off at 6kHz. An instrument may also dictate how bright the reverb should be. If you want to add sustain to a program without cluttering up the mix with reverb from the initial filter attack and initial transients, set the LPF around 2 or 4kHz. High Pass Filter/Low Shelf (LSHELF/HPF--Plates only) Classic plate reverbs often have a midrangy twang to them. Since this frequency bump is part of the character of a plate reverb, the A6 allows you to roll off the highs (see above) and low frequencies on Plate reverbs. The High Pass Filter (HPF) parameter controls the frequency where the low end will begin to roll off (at a rate of 6dB per octave). The Low Shelf controls how deep the cut will be - from barely noticable (high value) to completely cut (low value).
Bass Boost (Halls only) The Hall reverb type allows you to add bass to the input signal before processing. This can make the halls sound warmer, or even add rumble at extreme settings. The BASSF parameter selects the highest frequency which will be boosted, and the BOOST parameter sets the amount of boost, up to 6 dB.
Delay provides a discrete repetition of a signal. By adding feedback within the effect, the delayed signal can repeat many times, with each successive decay softer than its predecessor. Each of the Delay types allow you to adjust their delay time in milliseconds (1/1000 of a second). The A6 offers the following types of delay: Mono Delay This Single configuration provides delay of signal up to 5499 ms (5 1/2 seconds). The delay time can be adjusted separately by 100ms, 10ms and 1 ms increments. Feedback is also available to increase the complexity of the signal. You also have high and low frequency cutting, which gives you the ability to equalize the effects decay. This can help emulate an old tape-style echo where each succesive echo is darker than the previous one. Also available are Density, Modulation (chorusing), Tremolo and Autopan. Delay:Delay This Single configuration provides two separate right and left channel delays which can be individually adjusted for delay time, feedback and high and low cutting. The delay time can be adjusted separately by 100ms, 10ms and 1 ms increments. Ping Pong Delay So called because the output bounces from left to right in stereo with the speed determined by the delay time. Again, low and high frequency cut is available. The delay time can be adjusted separately by 100ms, 10ms and 1 ms increments. MultiTap Delay This is like having five delays at once. Each of the taps have individual delay, level, panning and feedback controls. By adjusting the delay time of each tap, you can create sophisticated rhythms.
Some of these parameters (Feedback, etc.) are found in all of the Delay configurations, where others are found only on the single delays. Following is a list of all Delay parameters found in the A6: Delay Time (100MS, 10MS, and 1MS) In most cases, the delay time is separated into three parameters for fine-tuning the time: 100mS (milliseconds), 10mS, and 1mS. Maximum delay time depends on the configuration; the Mono Delay offers up to 5499mS of delay while the Ping Pong delay offers only 2499mS. Feedback (FDBK) The Feedback parameter controls the regeneration of the delay. If feedback is set for 0, you will only hear one delay. If it is set for 99, the delay will continue to repeat for days. The feedback can also be set for negative values (-1 to -99). Negative values produce out-of-phase delays for a thinner sound. Low Cut/High Cut (LOCUT/HICUT) These parameters filter the input and feedback of the delay. They can be used to make a warmer or thinner delay sound. The filters can each be set for Off or 29Hz to 41.3kHz and they roll off at 6dB per octave. Density (DENS) Similar to the Density parameter on the reverb programs, this adds several quick delays to the initial delay time. This effect smears the delayed sound, so the result is more like a small room than a discrete echo. Rate/Depth These parameters work like the pitch modulation parameters on the Chorus/Flange configurations (see next section). This allows you to add chorusing to a delay for a richer effect. Used in conjunction to the tremolo and autopan parameters, you can even create unique panning chorus effects. To bypass this effect, simply set the Depth to 000. Tremolo Rate/Depth (TREMR, TREMD) This effect adds a tremolo effect to the delay return. You can use it as a simple tremolo by setting the delay time to 000mS and the Tremolo depth and Delay Mix to 100%. Or, you can use it in conjunction with the delay to produce delays which fade in and out. Rate controls the speed and Depth controls the intensity of the effect. Pan Rate/Depth (PANR, PAND) These parameters control an autopanner which effects the delayed signal. Like the Tremolo effect, you can set the delay time to 000mS for a simple autopan effect or use it with the delay for panning delays. Rate controls the speed and Depth controls the intensity of the effect. Make sure you have the OUT level set high enough to hear the effect of the pan or tremolo. Tip: Note that all of the modulation effects have similar Rate scales. By setting the rates to the same values (or multiples of each other; double, quadruple,.) you can sync them to each other. Use this trick to create swirling, panning choruses, flanges which fade in and out every cycle, or anything else you can come up with.
Index PANEL 258 Parameter 18 PCMCIA 45,94,101 Pedal 22,51,68 PEDMOD 51 Pitch Assign 66 Pitch Effects 222-223 Plate Reverb 215 Pre Filter Mix 99,183-184 Poly/Mono 55,56 Portamento 59 Curve 60,62-63 Enable 60 Legato 61 Mod 59,64 Parameters 60 Speed 60 STMODE 64 Time 59,60 Post Filter Mix 99,189 Power 102 Power Up Modes 269 Process 179 Progressor 77 Program 18. 27 Button 37 Functions 30 Mode 93 Name 46 Parameters 39, 41 Selecting 38 PWM 113 RAM 18 Card 45,94,101 Rear Panel 101 Repair 275 Resonance 120 Reverb 208-210,215 Damping 218 Decay 216 Density 217 Depth 219 Early Reflections 218 Gate 220 Pre-Delay 217 Swirl 219 Time 219 Width 219 RETRIG 157 Ribbon Controller 65 Hold 67 Ring Modulator 98 Control 184 ROM 18 Rotary 57 Sample and Hold 177 Semitone 105 Sequencer 71-78,100 BPM 75 Config 75 Graph 74 LPTYPE 75 LPCNT 75 MONLEG 75 Progressor 77 Step Size 78 Sync 78 Trigger 76 Zoom 75 Setup 21 Shift Button 37 Soft Knobs 33 Soft Sync 115 Software Upgrades 268 Solo 42,245 Specifications 274 Split 47,48 SRAM Card 45,94,101 STEAL 50 Store Button 37 Parameters 43 Sync/Mod Button 71 Sync 115 LFO 176 SYNSRC 70 System Exclusive 253-254 Files 268 TEMPO 70 Tracking Generator 179181 Transpose 49,58,101 Trigger 19 Envelope 154 LFO 175 Modulation 153,155 Troubleshooting 265,270271 Tune 52,265-267 Unison X 55,56 Upgrading Software 268 VCA 99 VCF 98 VCO 97 Modulation 107 VCURVE 49 Velocity Curves 49 Sensitivity 49 Voice 18 Mix 99,190 Monitor 51 Outputs 102,190 Stealing 50 Volume 28,52 Pedal 25 VOXMON 51 VSENS 49 Warranty 275 WAVE 106,172 Wheels 65-67
Unpacking and Inspection
The shipping carton for your QS should contain the following items: QS synthesizer Sustain pedal AC power cable This instruction manual
Please log on to the Alesis website at www.alesis.com to register your new QS synthesizer. This will help us give you the best support we possibly can.
How to Use This Manual
Were sure youd like to jump in and start using your QS synthesizer quickly. To help you do this, refer to Chapter 1 for hook-up instructions, then follow the First Session tutorial in Chapter 2. This will get you playing in no time. If you have any questions, refer to the FAQ in Chapter 12. For more information on other features of your QS (such as how to use it with expansion cards and MIDI), refer to Chapters 3 through 6. True synthesists who want to create their own sounds should refer to Chapters 7 through 11. Near the end of the manual are troubleshooting tips, specifications, and an Index to help you find what you're looking for. New terms are shown in bold. All buttons, knobs, and switches on the QS are referred to in bracketed capital letters that match the instruments actual markings. Here are some examples: [PROGRAM] refers to the button to the right of the display that says PROGRAM on it. [CONTROLLER D] is the slider with D printed underneath.  refers to one of numbered buttons to the right of the display. [PITCH] is the control wheel at the left side of the instrument. [SUS PEDAL] is the rear panel jack youd plug the sustain pedal into.
Helpful tips and advice are highlighted in a shaded box like this
When something important appears in the manual, an exclamation mark (like the one shown at left) will appear with some explanatory text.
Important Safety Instructions
Important Safety Instructions (English)
Safety symbols used in this product
This symbol alerts the user that there are important operating and maintenance instructions in the literature accompanying this unit.
This symbol warns the user of uninsulated voltage within the unit that can cause dangerous electric shocks.
This symbol warns the user that output connectors contain voltages that can cause dangerous electrical shock.
Please follow these precautions when using this product:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Read these instructions. Keep these instructions. Heed all warnings. Follow all instructions. Do not use this apparatus near water. Clean only with a damp cloth. Do not spray any liquid cleaner onto the faceplate, as this may damage the front panel controls or cause a dangerous condition. Install in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. Do not install near any heat sources such as radiators, heat registers, stoves, or other apparatus (including amplifiers) that produce heat. Do not defeat the safety purpose of the polarized or grounding-type plug. A polarized plug has two blades with one wider than the other. A grounding-type plug has two blades and a third grounding prong. The wide blade or the third prong are provided for your safety. When the provided plug does not fit into your outlet, consult an electrician for replacement of the obsolete outlet. Protect the power cord from being walked on or pinched, particularly at plugs, convenience receptacles, and the point where they exit from the apparatus. Use only attachments or accessories specified by the manufacturer. Use only with a cart, stand, bracket, or table designed for use with professional audio or music equipment. In any installation, make sure that injury or damage will not result from cables pulling on the apparatus and its mounting. If a cart is used, use caution when moving the cart/apparatus combination to avoid injury from tip-over. Unplug this apparatus during lightning storms or when unused for long periods of time. Refer all servicing to qualified service personnel. Servicing is required when the apparatus has been damaged in any way, such as when the power-supply cord or plug is damaged, liquid has been spilled or objects have fallen into the apparatus, the apparatus has been exposed to rain or moisture, does not operate normally, or has been dropped. This unit produces heat when operated normally. Operate in a well-ventilated area with at least six inches of clearance from peripheral equipment. This product, in combination with an amplifier and headphones or speakers, may be capable of producing sound levels that could cause permanent hearing loss. Do not operate for a long period of time at a high volume level or at a level that is uncomfortable. If you experience any hearing loss or ringing in the ears, you should consult an audiologist. Do not expose the apparatus to dripping or splashing. Do not place objects filled with liquids (flower vases, soft drink cans, coffee cups) on the apparatus. WARNING: To reduce the risk of fire or electric shock, do not expose this apparatus to rain or moisture.
NOTE: If your sustain pedal responds backwards (i.e., notes sustain when your foot is off the pedal), turn off your QS and make sure the footswitch plug is fully inserted into the [SUS PEDAL] jack. Then, turn the QS back on while keeping your foot off the footswitch.
2 First Session
Playing the Demos
The QS has five built-in demo sequences. To play a demo, hold down [MIX] and press a number button from  through . Playback will start with the specified demo and continue through the remaining demos. To stop the demo, press [MIX].
Demos: 0. Jinx by James Reynolds 1. Bang! by Taiho Yamada 2. Dreamcurrents by Erik Norlander 3. Iron Man by Keith Emerson 4. Camera Obscura by David Bryce
The sounds in your QS are called Programs. Programs contain all of the parameters that are needed to define a sound. For example, True Stereo is a grand piano Program. To select a Program, press the [PROGRAM] button. The display should look something like this:
Press the [BANK] buttons to choose a Program Bank. Available choices are USER, PRESET1, PRESET2, PRESET3, and GenMIDI. More Banks are available if you have an expansion card. To call up an individual Program, press the numbered buttons for the Program you want to recall. For example, if you want to hear a grand piano Program, press the [BANK >] button until you are in the PRESET1 Bank, then press the [00 PIANO] button and then the  button. This will select Program 00, True Stereo. You can also use the [VALUE UP] and [VALUE DOWN] buttons step through the Programs.
To make Programs easier to find, weve organized them into eleven categories marked on the tens buttons: 00-09 Pianos 10-19: Chromatic 30-39 Guitar 40-49 Bass 60-69: Brass 70-79 Winds 110-119: Rhythm/FX 20-29: Organ 50-59: Strings 80-109 Synth 120-127: Drums/Percussion
For example, Programs 20 through 29 are all Organ sounds.
NOTE: The General MIDI (GenMIDI) Bank doesnt follow this convention; it is organized to match the General MIDI standard, which puts Programs in a different order.
First Session Playing Split and Layered Programs (Mixes)
A Mix is a combination of up to 16 Programs, allowing you to play more than one sound at the same time. The Programs may be split or layered across the keyboard, or distributed among MIDI channels for multitimbral sequencing. Press the [MIX] button. The display should look something like this:
Use the [BANK], [VALUE] or the numbered buttons to call up the Mix of your choice (the same way you select Programs). The numbers at the bottom of the display show which Mix Channels are enabled in this Mix. Each Mix Channel contains a Program. To see what Programs the Mix uses, use the [PAGE >] button to step through the Mix Channels. The selected Mix Channel will blink at the bottom of the screen and the name of the Program on that channel will be displayed.
Changing the Programs in a Mix
Suppose youre playing a Mix that has two Programs split across the keyboard: a bass sound on the lower half, and a piano on the upper half. Now suppose you want to choose a different bass Program for the lower half. To do this, you need to change the Program in that Mix Channel. Heres how: 1) 2) 3) Get into Mix Mode by pressing the [MIX] button. Press the [PAGE >] button to select the Mix Channel containing the Program you want to change. The selected Mix Channel should be flashing at the bottom of the display. Use the [VALUE], [BANK] or numbered buttons to select a different Program.
NOTE: Your QS will let you change Programs on all 16 Mix Channels, even ones that arent yet enabled in this Mix. You wont hear the changes you make to a channel that isnt yet enabled.
To return to normal operation, press [MIX] or [PROGRAM].
First Session Selecting Banks
A Bank is a collection of 128 Programs and 100 Mixes. There are five internal Banks available in the QS, and more can be accessed if you put a card into the [PCMCIA EXPANSION CARD] slot. The internal Banks are: USER PRESET1 PRESET2 PRESET3 GenMIDI
To explore different Banks, use the [< BANK] and [BANK >] buttons.
NOTE: You can overwrite the Programs and Mixes in the User Bank. The other Banks are permanent.
Using the Performance Controls
The QS provides various ways to control the sound as you are playing: Keyboard Velocity lets you control the sound by how hard you hit the keys. Depending on how hard you play, the volume and tonal quality of the sound will change. Keyboard Aftertouch (QS6.2 only) lets you change the sound by pressing down hard on the keys after youve played them. While holding key down, you can press harder on it to change the character of the sound. The Sustain Pedal is used to hold notes after you let go of the keys. Pedal 1 is most often used to control the volume, but it can be used to control other parameters. The Pitch Bend Wheel allows you to alter the pitch of the notes as you play. The Modulation Wheel allows you to add a modulation effect (such as vibrato or tremolo) to the sound. The Controller A-D Sliders allow you to affect various parameters of the sound. In most of the presets, slider [A] controls a filter or filtersweep effect, [B] a delay effect, [C] an envelope time, and [D] a reverb effect. As you move the sliders, the LCD gives you visual feedback in the form of small vertical bar graphs.
TIP: If you own a Q-Card, you can get additional sound banks to go with that QCard on the Alesis website.
Playing Card Sounds
To play the sounds on an expansion card, enter Mix or Program mode and use the [BANK] buttons to select the Card Bank. Up to 8 Card Banks can be recognized.
Playing Card Sequences
Several of the Alesis QCards come with their own demonstration sequences. In addition, you can store your own MIDI sequences to RAM or FLASH cards using a computer and Alesis free Sound Bridge software.
To play back a card sequence: 1) 2) Insert the card containing sequence data into the [PCMCIA EXPANSION SLOT]. Press the [SEQ SELECT] button. The display will look like this:
3) Use the  through  buttons to pick the tens digit of the sequence number. 4) Finally, use the  through  buttons to play a specific sequence. To stop a sequence while its playing, you can press the [SEQUENCE], [PROGRAM] or [MIX] button.
Saving a Bank to an SRAM Card (Formatting)
Before you can use a blank SRAM card for the first time, you must format it by storing the User Bank to each of its banks. Depending on the amount of SRAM a particular card has, up to 8 complete Banks can be stored onto it. 1 ) Insert an SRAM card into the [PCMCIA EXPANSION SLOT]. 2 ) Press [STORE]. 3 ) Press [< PAGE] three times. This selects the SAVE TO CARD option. 4 ) Use the [CONTROLLER D] slider or the [VALUE] buttons to select a bank location on the card to store to. 5 ) Press [STORE] to transfer the User Bank data from the QS onto the card.
Saving a Program or Mix to an SRAM Card
This is done just like storing to the User Bank, except that you use the [BANK] buttons to select a card bank. Note that the SRAM card must be formatted first (see above).
NOTE: If the display reads CARD IS WRITE PROTECTED. switch the writeprotect switch on the card to off and repeat the procedure.
Loading Banks from a Card
The QS 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 card into the User Bank. Warning: this will erase the current Programs and Mixes in your User Bank. To overwrite the User Bank with a Card bank: 1 ) Insert the card into the card slot on the back panel. 2 ) Press [STORE]. 3 ) Press [< PAGE] twice. This selects the LOAD FROM CARD option.
4 ) Use the [CONTROLLER D] slider or the [VALUE] buttons to select the bank on the card you wish to load (A1A4, etc.). 5 ) Press [STORE] to transfer the data from the card into the QS.
Loading a Program or Mix from a Card
To load a single Mix or Program from a card into the User Bank, first select the Mix or Program, then use the Store Function to store it in the User Bank. Note that when storing a Mix from a Card into the User Bank, the individual Programs used by the Mix will not be moved into the User Bank. If the Mix or Program you wish to transfer uses samples that reside on a ROM card, you must have the ROM card in the slot after the transfer in order for that portion of the Program or Mix to sound the same (or at all).
Transferring Mix Banks
Whenever you transfer an internal Bank to an SRAM card, all Mixes in the transferred Bank are automatically modified so that they access the Programs on the card Bank instead of the internal Bank. And, when a card Bank is transferred to the User Bank, the opposite happens all Programs within a Mix which had previously accessed the card Bank point to the User Bank. When an individual Mix is transferred, it is not modified in any way. The modification only occurs when an entire bank is transferred. Generally, its a good idea to make banks self-contained. That is, all Mixes in a bank should access only Programs that are in the same bank. You dont have to do this, but it makes things easier when copying banks.
What is MIDI?
MIDI stands for Music Instrument Digital Interface. It allows music instruments to communicate with each other. You can use MIDI to: Record what you play on your QS synthesizer into a sequencer or computer. Play back sequences from a sequencer or computer on your QS. Store and recall Programs and Mixes on a computer. Use a computer to edit your QSs sounds. Use your QS to control another synthesizer or sound module. Use another keyboard to play your QSs sounds. Some examples of MIDI devices besides your QS synthesizer include keyboard controllers, sound modules, drum machines, sequencers, and computers with MIDI interfaces.
The QS has three MIDI connectors: [MIDI IN] is for receiving MIDI information from another MIDI device. [MIDI OUT] is for sending MIDI information to another device. Depending on your settings, the data from this port can originate from the QS itself or simply be echoed from the [MIDI IN] port. [MIDI THRU] echoes whatever is received on the [MIDI IN] port. Here are four typical MIDI setups for your QS, and the appropriate connections for each of them: Controller. With this setup, you can use your QS to play another MIDI instrument (synthesizer, sound module, drum machine etc.). Connect a MIDI cable from the QSs [MIDI OUT] jack to the MIDI IN of the device you want to control.
OUT IN Sound Module
Slave. With this setup, you can use another keyboard to play the sounds on your QS. Connect a MIDI cable from the controllers MIDI OUT jack to the QSs [MIDI IN] jack.
Slave with pass-through. This setup allows MIDI signals to pass through the QS so they may reach multiple units. This allows one MIDI device to control several. Attach a cable from the MIDI OUT of the first device to the [MIDI IN] jack of the QS; and then attach another cable from the QSs [MIDI THRU] jack to the MIDI IN of the third device.
OUT IN THRU IN Sound Module
Sequencing. This setup allows you to use your QS with a MIDI sequencer or a computer with a MIDI interface. Attach one MIDI cable from the MIDI OUT of the sequencer or computer to the [MIDI IN] jack of the QS. Attach another cable from the QSs [MIDI OUT] jack to the MIDI IN of the sequencer or computer.
IN OUT Computer
MIDI Using Your QS With a MIDI Sequencer
A sequencer is a device that records and plays back note messages. A sequencer can take the form of a stand-alone hardware device, or a computer with a MIDI interface and sequencing software. Using a MIDI sequencer, you can record what you play on your QS, and then play it back later. You can also obtain sequences written by other people and play them back on your QS synthesizer. There are a large number of General MIDI sequences available for just this purpose. Since the QS is a multitimbral instrument, it is a perfect companion to a sequencer. In Mix Mode, the QS can play up to 16 different programs simultaneously. This means that if you play a multi-channel sequence into your QS, it can sound like a whole band, ensemble, or even an orchestra!
Changing the MIDI Channel
In order for MIDI to work, the MIDI Channel must be set properly. For example, if you want one device to control another via MIDI, they must be set to the same MIDI channel. There are 16 MIDI channels. In Program Mode, the MIDI channel is indicated by a small number at the bottom of the display. To change the MIDI channel, press either of the [PAGE] buttons. When there is MIDI activity (either from the MIDI port or the QSs keyboard) a small circle around the number will flash. In Mix Mode, the MIDI channel will depend on how the Keyboard Mode is set. The Keyboard Mode parameter is found on Page 6 of the Global Pages. Please look at the Global Parameters section of this manual to see how to set it.
Setting the A-D Controller MIDI Numbers
Button: [EDIT] [GLOBAL] Pages: 8 through 11 Parameter: ControlrA-D (0 to 120) These parameters let you select the MIDI Controller Numbers that will be assigned to the A-D [CONTROLLER] sliders. This is useful both for controlling external MIDI devices and for giving you sequencerrecordable control over Program and Effect parameters. The default values are 012, 013, 091 and 093 for Controllers A-D respectively.
Setting the Pedal 1 MIDI Controller Number
Button: [EDIT] [GLOBAL] Page: 12 Parameter: Ped1 Ctrl# (0 to 120) Just like MIDI Controllers AD, your QSs [PEDAL 1] jack can be assigned to a MIDI controller. The default is Controller 007 (Main Volume). When set to this value, a pedal plugged into the back panels Pedal 1 jack will automatically control volume.
Setting the Pedal 2 MIDI Controller Number
Button: [EDIT] [GLOBAL] Page: 13 Parameter: Ped2 Ctrl# (0 to 120) This setting works exactly like Pedal 1, just above. Even though the QS does not have a Pedal 2 input, you can use this function to modulate QS parameters through MIDI. The default for this setting is 004 (Foot Controller).
Selecting the MIDI Program Change Behavior
Button: [EDIT] [GLOBAL] Page: 14 Parameter: MIDI Prgsl (OFF, ON, CH1-16) This parameter determines how your QS deals with MIDI Program Change Commands. When OFF, your QS will not send or respond to Program Change messages.
ON makes the QS send and respond to MIDI Program Changes. In Program Mode it will send and receive Program Changes over the currently selected MIDI channel. In Mix Mode, Program Changes are received over all active MIDI channels, but sent only from those displayed channels that have had MIDI OUT enabled. With this setting, incoming Program Changes will only affect the Programs, not the entire Mix. CH1 through CH16 are identical to ON as far as Program Mode is concerned. In Mix mode, these settings allow you to change Mixes in response to Program Change commands on the specified MIDI channel. Program Changes coming in over other MIDI channels would continue to work as before, changing any Programs associated with those channels within the Mix.
NOTE: When you turn General MIDI Mode ON, the MIDI Program Change setting will be turned ON as well.
Setting the Behavior of the MIDI Out Port
Button: [EDIT] [GLOBAL] Page: 15 Parameter: MIDI Out (OUT, THRU) This determines the behavior of the [MIDI OUT] port. When set to OUT, MIDI data from the QS will be sent to the [MIDI OUT] port. This is the default setting. When set to THRU, a copy of what is received from the [MIDI IN] port will be echoed to the [MIDI OUT] port (with no MIDI data from the QS mixed in). In other words, the [MIDI OUT] port will act as a MIDI THRU.
Resetting the A-D Controllers
Button: [EDIT] [GLOBAL] Page: 16 Parameter: RESET A-D (ON, OFF) This parameter determines whether the values for Controllers AD will reset to zero or stay the same whenever a new Program or Mix is chosen. The default is ON, which resets the A-D Controllers to zero whenever you change Programs or Mixes.
Button: [EDIT] [70 FILTER] Page: 3 Parameter: VELO>FILT (-99 to +99) This sets how much keyboard velocity affects the filter frequency. At positive values, playing harder raises the filter frequency, resulting in a brighter sound. At negative values, playing harder lowers the filter frequency, resulting in a darker sound.
TIP: Many acoustic instruments, such as acoustic guitars, sound brighter when you play them more forcefully. Adding a little positive velocity control over the filter frequency can more accurately simulate these instruments.
Setting the Mod Wheel Filter Depth
Button: [EDIT] [70 FILTER] Page: 4 Parameter: MODWH>FILT (-99 to +99) This sets how much the modulation wheel affects filter frequency. At positive settings, moving the modulation wheel up raises the filter frequency. At negative settings, moving the wheel up lowers the filter frequency.
NOTE: If you dont hear any change when you edit this and other filter parameters, make sure the Filter Frequency is not already maxed-out, i.e., it has room to move in the direction you specified.
Setting the Aftertouch Filter Depth
Button: [EDIT] [70 FILTER] Page: 5 Parameter: AFTCH>FILT (-99 to +99) This sets how much aftertouch affects the filter frequency. At positive values, applying aftertouch raises the filter frequency. At negative values, applying aftertouch lowers the frequency.
Setting the Filter LFO Amount
Button: [EDIT] [70 FILTER] Page: 6 Parameter: F-LFO>FILT (-99 to +99) This sets how much the Filter LFO affects filter frequency. Higher values increase the amount of filter LFO modulation. Negative values flip the LFO phase.
TIP: Filter LFO is good for giving wah-wah effects at slower LFO speeds, and for adding shimmering at higher speeds. NOTE: If you hear no change when you alter this parameter, experiment with the Filter LFO Functions on button . You may get a more pronounced effect if you use a negative setting for Filter LFO Depth.
Editing Programs Setting the Filter Envelope Amount
Button: [EDIT] [70 FILTER] Page: 7 Parameter: F-ENV>FILT (-99 to +99) This sets how much the Filter Envelope affects the filter frequency. Higher values increase the effect of the Filter Envelope. Negative values turn the envelope upside-down.
The Amp/Range Function [80 AMP/RANGE]
The Amp/Range function (button) lets you control the velocity and keyboard range of each Sound layer.
Selecting the Velocity Curve
Button: [EDIT] [80 AMP/RANGE] Page: 1 Parameter: VelCrv (see chart) This sets how the Level will respond to keyboard velocity. LINEAR is the standard velocity curve, where playing harder results in a louder sound. INVERTD is the opposite, where playing harder results in a softer sound. 1OF2XFD and 2OF2XFD stand for 1 Of 2 Crossfade and 2 Of 2 Crossfade. These are designed to be used in conjunction with each other on two Sounds in the same Program, producing a velocityswitching effect (i.e., a different Sound will play depending on how hard you hit the keys). 1OF2XFD is for the Sound that will be heard when playing at lower velocities, while 2OF2XFD is for the Sound that will be heard when playing at higher velocities. The curves are designed to cross fade into each other to create a smooth transition between the two sounds. 1OF3XFD, 2OF3XFD, and 3OF3XFD are designed to be used together when you want to switch between three Sounds using velocity, going from lower velocity to higher velocity. 1OF4XFD, 2OF4XFD, 3OF4XFD and 4OF4XFD are designed to be used together when you want to switch between four Sounds using velocity. With a setting of MAXIMUM, the Sound will respond as if you are playing at the maximum velocity at all times. With a setting of MINIMUM, the Sound will respond as if you are playing at the minimum velocity at all times.
TIP: If the Modulation Wheel is routed to Pitch with an amplitude of +99, moving the Mod Wheel with the Quantize parameter ON will cause the pitch to rise in half-step increments.
The Pitch LFO Function [6 PITCH LFO]
The Pitch LFO function is most often used to apply vibrato to a Sound. See below for the LFO parameters.
NOTE: The Pitch LFO parameters will make a difference in the sound only if the PITCH LFO DEPTH (on Page 6 of the PITCH function) is set to a value other than 0, or, if the Pitch LFO is a source in the MOD function.
The Filter LFO Function [7 FILTER LFO]
The Filter LFO function is most often used to apply tremolo-like or "wah-wah" effects to a sound. See below for the LFO parameters.
NOTE: The Filter LFO parameters will affect the sound only if the FILTER LFO DEPTH (on Page 6 of the FILTER function) is set to a value other than 0 , or,if Filter LFO is a source in the MOD function.
The Amplitude LFO Function [8 AMP LFO]
The Amp LFO function is usually used to add tremolo to a sound. See below for the LFO parameters.
NOTE: The Amp LFO parameters will have an effect only if the AMP LFO DEPTH (on page 3 of the AMP/RANGE function) is set to a value other than 0, or if Amp LFO is a source in the MOD function.
Setting LFO Parameters
The following parameters apply to the Pitch, Filter and Amplitude LFOs described above.
Selecting the LFO Waveform
Buttons: [EDIT] [6-8] Page: 1 Parameter: Wave (8 choices) The waveform determines the shape of the LFO. Note that the two Sawtooth waves, the Square and the Random+ waves are unipolar (positive-going only) and the rest are bipolar (positive and negative going):
TIP: The "unipolar" (positive-going) waveshapes tend to have a more noticeable impact on Filter and Amplitude if they are routed negatively.
UP SA W
Setting the LFO Speed
Buttons: [EDIT] [6-8] Page: 2 Parameter: Speed (00 to 99) This controls the speed of the LFO. The higher the value, the faster the waveform.
Setting the LFO Delay
Buttons: [EDIT] [6-8] Page: 3 Parameter: Delay (00 to 99) This sets the amount of time it takes the LFO to fade in from no modulation to maximum modulation. The higher the value, the more slowly the LFO fades in.
Setting the Mix Channel Volume
Button: [EDIT] [60 LEVEL] Page: 2 Parameter: Prg Volume (00 to 99) This sets the volume for the Mix channel.
Setting the Mix Channel Panning
Button: [EDIT] [60 LEVEL] Page: 3 Parameter: Prg Pan (<3 to 3>, or PROG) This determines the pan position of the selected channel. When set to PROG, the Pan setting will defer to the Programs Pan settings.
Routing the Mix Channel to the Outputs
Button: [EDIT] [60 LEVEL] Page: 4 Parameter: Output (see below) In the QS6.2, selecting ON routes all four Sounds to the main outputs; OFF shuts off the paths to the outputs. In the QS8.2, selecting MAIN routes the Sound to the main outputs; OFF shuts off the paths. A setting of AUX will also shut off the paths. (This is provided for backward compatibility with older QS8 models). When set to PROG, the channel will use the Programs output assignments.
Setting the Mix Channel Effects Send Level
Button: [EDIT] [60 LEVEL] Page: 5 Parameter: FX Level (00 to 99, or PROG) This determines the amount of signal from the selected channel that will be sent to the effects. When set to PROG, the effect level will defer to the Programs Effect Level settings.
Selecting the Mix Channel Effects Send
Button: [EDIT] [60 LEVEL] Page: 6 Parameter: FX Bus (1 to 4, or PROG) This determines which effect Bus or Send the selected channel will be routed to. When set to PROG, the effect Send assignment will defer to the Programs settings.
The Pitch Function [70 PITCH]
The Pitch Function (button ) is where you can transpose the Mix channels Program. Both the pitch and MIDI note number are transposed in this operation.
Shifting the Mix Channel Pitch by Octaves
Button: [EDIT] [70 PITCH] Page: 1 Parameter: Tune Octave (-2 to +2 octaves) This transposes the Programs pitch and MIDI note number in octaves.
Shifting the Mix Channel Pitch by Semitones
Button: [EDIT] [70 PITCH] Page: 2 Parameter: Semitone (-12 to +12 semitones) This transposes the Programs pitch and MIDI note number in semitones.
The Effect Function [80 EFFECT]
The Effect function is where you select which Programs effects will be used by the Mix.
Setting How Effects Respond to Program Changes
Button: [EDIT] [80 EFFECT] Page: 1 Parameter: Prg Change (ON or OFF) This parameter determines how the Mix Effects will respond to MIDI Program Change commands.
When set to ON, any Program Change message coming in over the MIDI channel selected for Effects will select a new Program and its associated Effect. When set to OFF, Program Change messages will select new Programs but not change the current Effect setting. This is the default setting.
Setting Which Programs Effects Will be Used
Button: [EDIT] [80 EFFECT] Page: 2 Parameter: MIDI Chan (1 to 16) This determines which Programs effect settings will be used by the entire Mix. Only one Programs effects settings can be used at a time in a Mix. Select the Mix channel (which is the same as the MIDI channel) containing the Program you want to use.
MIDI controller data for the Effects Modulators will be accepted over this channel.
The Keyboard/MIDI Function [90 KEYBOARD/MIDI]
The Keyboard/MIDI Function (button ) allows you to turn on and off the MIDI and keyboard settings for the selected Mix channel.
Enabling MIDI Input for the Mix Channel
Button: [EDIT] [90 KEYBOARD/MIDI] Page: 1 Parameter: MIDI Input (ON or OFF) This determines whether the selected Mix channel will respond to incoming MIDI messages.
Enabling MIDI Output for the Mix Channel
Button: [EDIT] [90 KEYBOARD/MIDI] Page: 2 Parameter: MIDI Outpt (ON or OFF) This determines whether the selected Mix channel will transmit MIDI messages.
Enabling the Keyboard for the Mix Channel
Button: [EDIT] [90 KEYBOARD/MIDI] Page: 3 Parameter: Keyboard (ON or OFF) This determines whether the selected Mix channel will be playable locally from the QS keyboard.
The Controller Function [100 CONTROLLERS]
The Controller function (button ) lets you turn on and off the various controllers that can affect the selected MIDI channel. Note that these are dependent on how each Channel has its KEYBOARD/MIDI parameters set (see the previous section).
Enabling MIDI for the Wheels
Button: [EDIT] [100 CONTROLLERS] Page: 1 Parameter: Wheels (ON or OFF) This determines whether the selected channel will transmit and receive pitch-bend and modulation (controller 1) MIDI information.
Enabling MIDI Aftertouch
Button: [EDIT] [100 CONTROLLERS] Page: 2 Parameter: Aftertouch (ON or OFF) This determines whether the selected channel will transmit and receive aftertouch MIDI information.
Enabling MIDI for the Sustain Pedal
Button: [EDIT] [100 CONTROLLERS] Page: 3 Parameter: Sustn Pedl (ON or OFF) This determines whether the selected channel will transmit and receive sustain pedal (controller 64) MIDI information.
NOTE: If the Resonator or Detune effects are chosen, you wont see their parameters listed as Mod destinations, but theyre still available. For example, if youve chosen Resonator on Send 1 and you want to be able to modulate its first parameter (Resonator Tune), choose P1 Speed as your destination (thats the first parameter you can modulate in a Chorus). The Resonator Decay parameter is its second parameter, so to modulate it you would choose P1 Depth (the second P1 parameter) as the destination. NOTE: When youre in Configuration 3 and you want to modulate the Lezlie speed, youll find theres no parameter for a Mod destination labeled Lezlie. But you can still control it by selecting P1 Speed as the destination. Configuration 5 does have Lezlie parameters at the top of the Mod destination list, however, so be careful! If you modulate P1 Speed in Configuration 5 youll be changing the Chorus/Flange speed instead.
If the selected Configuration has a particular effect on more than one Send, certain Mod Destination parameters will be listed more than once. For example: D1 TIME, D2 TIME, D3 TIME, etc.
Editing Effects Setting the Mod Level
Button: [EDIT] [EDIT] [60 MOD] Pages: 3, 6 Parameter: Mod1 Level, Mod2 Level (-99 to 99) This determines the degree to which the Mod Destination will be modulated by the Source.
The Lezlie Function [70 LEZLIE]
This rotating speaker simulation is available in Configurations 3 and 5 only. In Configuration 3 it takes its input from Send 1. In Configuration 5 it can have up to two inputs, and those can come from a greater variety of sources.
TIP: The Lezlie effect is most commonly used on guitar and organ sounds.
Selecting the Lezlie Input 1 Source (Config 5)
Button: [EDIT] [EDIT] [70 LEZLIE] Page: 1 (Config 5 only) Parameter: In1 (REVERB or DELAY) This selects the first input to the Lezlie in Configuration 5 (OVERDRIVE+LEZLIE). The input can be the output of the Reverb or Delay.
Selecting the Lezlie Input 2 Source (Config 5)
Button: [EDIT] [EDIT] [70 LEZLIE] Page: 2 (Config 5 only) Parameter: In2 (see below) This selects the second input to the Lezlie in Configuration 5 (OVERDRIVE+LEZLIE). The choices are: Sends Overdrive Output Pitch Input Pitch Output Delay Input Reverb Input
Setting the Balance Between the Lezlie Inputs (Config 5 Only)
Button: [EDIT] [EDIT] [70 LEZLIE] Page: 3 (Config 5 only) Parameter: ->Lez (IN1<99 to 99>IN2) This controls the balance between Input 1 and Input 2 going into the Lezlie. When set to IN1<99, only Input 1 is being routed to the Lezlie. When set to 99>IN2, only Input 2 is routed. When set to <0>, an even mix of both signals is passed on.
Editing Effects Turning On the Lezlie Motor
Button: [EDIT] [EDIT] [70 LEZLIE] Page: 1 or 4 Parameter: Motor (ON or OFF) This determines whether the Lezlie is operating or not. When turned ON, the rotating speaker effect starts up slowly, just like the real thing. When turned OFF, the effect dies down slowly until it reaches a complete stop.
NOTE: On some computers, Sound Bridge may appear to max out your CPU meter. Dont worry it will give up CPU bandwidth for other programs. In reality, Sound Bridge only uses a small percentage of your CPU bandwidth.
Sending Sequence Data to External Devices
There is an option box in Sound Bridge which allows you to set up the sequences on a given card so they will be transmitted from the QSs MIDI Output jack. A setting of OUT causes Card sequence data to play QS Programs only, while allowing the MIDI Out jack to function relatively normally (so you can play your MIDI gear from the keyboard while the sequence is playing). A setting of THRU passes sequence data on to external MIDI devices from the MIDI Output jack of your QS, allowing both QS Programs and sounds from other MIDI devices to be played from a Card sequence. You will be able to play QS Programs from its keyboard, but you will not be able to play external MIDI devices while the sequence is running.
NOTE: It is highly inadvisable to enter Global Mode and toggle between these two settings while a sequence is running. If this happens, the QS could inadvertently send large bursts of data to your external MIDI devices.
Sound Bridge Instrument Format
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 sound files in a variety of formats. If you are interested in creating and/or editing your own custom Sample Cell Instruments, you will need Digidesign's Sample Cell hardware and software. This is for advanced users who want to create their own multisampled instruments.
C MIDI Supplement
Sending and Receiving Bank Select Messages
The QS will send and respond to MIDI Bank Select messages in the form of MIDI Controller 0. The value of Controller 0 determines which bank is to be recalled (User, Preset 13, GenMIDI, Card). The way the QS handles Bank Select messages depends on the MIDI Program Select mode (set in Global Mode): MIDI PrgSl: OFF The QS will neither transmit nor receive Bank Select messages or Program change commands with this setting. MIDI PrgSl: ON Reception: Program Mode. If a Bank Select (controller 0) message with a value of 0 is received, it will cause the User Bank to be recalled. If a Bank Select message of 1 is received, Preset Bank 1 will be recalled. Additionally, if a Sound Card is inserted, the Card Banks can be selected using Controller 0 values between 5 and 15. Reception: Mix Mode. Same as above, except the Mix itself will not change Banks. The word EDITED will appear in Mix Play mode screen, because the Mix has been altered to point to another bank on one of its MIDI channels. But you have to look inside the Mix to see that the Bank change occurred. Transmission: Program Mode. If a new Bank is selected using the [BANK] buttons, a Bank Change message will be transmitted. See Reception: Program Mode for a description of which values will be sent for each Bank as it is selected. Transmission: Mix Mode. If a new Bank is selected and any of the channels within the Mix have their MIDI Out parameters set to ON (Mix Edit Mode, Keyboard/MIDI function, Page 2), a Bank Select message (followed by a Program change) will be transmitted for each of those MIDI channels. In Mix Program Select Mode (where you choose the Programs within the Mix), any channel which has its MIDI Out set to ON will transmit Bank and Program changes from within the Mix, just like in Program Mode. MIDI MixSl: CH 1-16 Reception: Program Mode. Same as with MIDI PrgSl: ON (see above). Reception: Mix Mode. In this mode, when a Bank select message is received on the channel specified by this parameter, the Mix itself will change Banks. Any Program change command on this same channel will call up an entire Mix as if it were a Program. All other channels within the Mix will behave the same way they do when MIDI PrgSl: ON is selected (i.e., they receive Bank and Program changes normally). Transmission: Program Mode. Same as with MIDI PrgSl: ON (see above). Transmission: Mix Mode. If a new Bank is selected, the Bank number of the Mix itself will be transmitted on the channel specified by this
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