Quadrasynth Drum and Percussion Programs

Learn about built-in QS Series drum and percussion sounds and programs

Where are the QSR drum sounds and programs?

Once you begin exploring the QSR, you will naturally want to audition the built-in drum and percussion sounds. But you may find it difficult to locate the QSR drum Programs. New users often become confused by the organization of the data in the QSR, which is not intuitively obvious. To find a particular instrument sound, you must first understand the concept of banks.


As discussed earlier, the QSR provides 640 internal Programs. Programs are divided into 5 banks of 128 Programs each. More Programs can be added by inserting a Sound Card into the Sound Card slot on the front panel of the QSR. Each bank contains a mixture of instrument sounds, including drum and percussion sounds.

Banks were created to allow keyboard players to quickly change Programs during a performance. The QS series synthesizers provide Bank Select buttons so the user can switch between banks on the fly between songs or sections of a song.

Each bank contains its own unique Programs and Mixes. Program 10 in Preset Bank 1 is different from Program 10 in Preset Bank 3, although they can be (and are usually) related sounds. The QSR has the same architecture as the QS7 and QS8 synthesizers and retains the bank structure from these keyboards.

The QSR contains a User bank, three Preset banks, and a General MIDI bank. You can edit the data in the User bank but the other internal banks cannot be altered. PCMCIA Cards have three banks each.

Sound Groups

The User and Preset banks are divided into Sound Groups. Sound Groups are used to group similar sounding programs or instruments. A bank contains 13 Sound Groups of approximately 10 Programs. Programs 00-09 emulate pianos, Programs 50-59 emulate basses, and so on. Drum, percussion, and percussive effect sounds are generally located in Programs 120-127. Note that the General MIDI Bank does not follow this convention.

Tip: Download the QS7/8 Preset Program Chart using the link below for a listing of the factory bank contents.

Drum Programs

The QSR shipped with around thirty drum and percussion Programs, plus a number of Programs containing loops and special effects. But other Programs can be used with the QSR, too. Alesis developed many Programs for the QS Series (S4, QS6, and QS7/8/QSR) over the years. Some of these Programs were delivered on expansion cards.

One popular card is the RAM512 Expando Card, which is a battery-operated PCMCIA SRAM card that contained 8 additional Program banks for the QS7/8. These Banks are compatible with the QSR.
Tip: The manual for the RAM512 contains useful information about the Programs in the QS7/8 and QSR. Download the manual and the Expando Card SYSEX files using the links below.

The QSR is also compatible with Program Banks from the S4 synthesizer, although the sound ROM in the S4 is slightly different. The QEsence Program bank SYSEX files developed for the S4 can be used in the QSR. A download link for the QEsence SYSEX files is provided below as well.

Custom Program Banks

With the QSR, you can create your own custom Program banks, using either your own Programs or by reorganizing existing Programs. To save time, I placed a number of QSR-compatible drum Programs into a single SYSEX file that can be uploaded to the QSR User bank. You can download this file using the link below. The Bank contains the QSR factory-preset drum and percussion Programs, the S4 QEsence drum Programs, and a sampling of the drum Programs from the RAM512 Expando Card. It is easier to explore the Alesis drum and percussion Programs using this bank than searching through separate banks of data.