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  ESX1 At a Glance
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Alfie Noaks writes:
This is the updated/improved version of the es-1. As a former owner of the es-1 I can tell you that this is quite an upgrade. Delay is now one of three independently selectable effects rather than global. New effects, too, some of them with experimental potential (grain shifter, anyone?)Sample time has been increased to 245 seconds (mono). Two "stretch" parts (you know, like Acid) and two "keyboard" parts have been added. The stretch parts are great for drum loops or for resampling the entire pattern to free up polyphony. The keyboard parts are monophonic and intended for basslines and the like. Limited, but useful. Total polyphony is 12 plus the accent and audio in parts. The sequencer is much improved by allowing up to 128 steps and 24 motion sequences per pattern. Also there seems to be more control over the sounds than I remember from the es-1. Swing and accent can be turned on/off for each part which is really nice. The sound is still punchy, a little less compressed mabye. I was skeptical about the tubes but they do add punch to the bass end when used sparingly and a good distortion when loaded on.

Suggestions for improvement: these should all be correctable in software (are you listening, Korg?): 1. A "last step" parameter so we can have time signatures other than 4/4! There's a work around (select 5 bars to get 4 bars of 5/4, e.g.) but we shouldn't have to. 2. A way to turn on envelope retriggering when keyboard parts are played legato. 3. Different roll type settings for each part! It's stupid to have to have the same roll for everything. More roll types would be nice too (mabye go up to 8, and how about a speed up/ slow down type?). 4. Ability to sync to midi time code.

Despite all the improvements the interface is still the best out there for a sampler. It's not really fair to compare this to a rack sampler or software. This is a machine for getting a vibe happening, and for that it's the best out there.

Comments About the Sounds:
Factory samples are mostly useful drums (20 different bass drums, for example) with some vocal snippets, drums loops and whatnot and are all dance-oriented.

(Thanks to Alfie Noaks for this info.)
and Will Oates for the pic

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