Synth Site: Ensoniq: ESQ1 Workstation: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.4 out of 5
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Acid Freak a professional user from Germany writes:
Yes, I recommend to buy one.


8 voice Multi Mode 3 DCO's, 4 ADSR's, 3 LFO's per voice Vast modulation routings, incl. panorama Same analogue filter chip as in Prophet VS Sync and Ring modulation Wonderful Pad sounds. If you add a Multi-FX you will beat any modern JD-/JV- etc. in this. Very easy to program. Immediate access to each page with its own button . Nice Keyboard feeling (similar to D-50; far better than cheap "modern" Keyboards) A lot of small details in the user interface you'd be astonished of and you'll miss in other synths afterwards ...

What are their architecture? What are the mod routing capabilities?

The ESQ/SQ80 have identical voice, filter , and processing/routing architecture. 8 voice polyphony. Three oscillators per voice. 5 stage envelopes and quite frankly mod and routes out the wazoo. They use curtis chips in the filters with resonance and cutoff, etc making for a nice warping of sound in a digital/analog type hybrid instrument. A gross generaliztaion of the sound would be to say it's grity and metallic but it can also do convincing sweeps and pads as well. Does good Moog too.

It uses 8 bit sampled waveforms which can be detuned, stacked, etc to create the overall voice. the usual Saw, sine, pulse,as well as 3 noise forms, pianos, synthforms, strings, winds, etc. It's forte is not in realistic acoustic instruments but in warped, fuckup synth versions of sounds. Splits, layers, and fully functional 8 track sequncers plus tons of midi stuff.

ESQ - Velocity keyboard (1-127) 30+ waveforms stereo outs (R is mono) Aftertouch via midi Sysex for saving sequences to a mirage sampler and patches to any ol' sysex beast a bank at a time.

... great for programming. There are 15 modulation sources, which can modulation things like filter resonance, panning, and so on. The LFOs can modulate each other or an LFO can modulate itself, this will give you and idea of what it can do.

.. a decent sequencer ... Full MIDI support as well. The OS is pretty decent, it has a big 80 character display like most of Ensoniq's stuff.

A beast in the programing department. Fat sounds. The large display and OS make it easy to program. Good for analog, PPG and Waldrorf type-sounds. Portamento and mono mode. 8-part multi-timbral.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Oct-18-1998 at 10:00
Yukichi a professional user from Japan writes:
If you are into deep house and trippy deep dark music then check out this board Yes the preset are rubbish But what it can do...puts many more expensive and pretentious cringe get one before they become the next trendy piece of electro An incredible value as I picked up mine for $500 US. Ah I love a good synth... no more rave o matic crap...

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Oct-16-1998 at 04:55
R. turner (electroset) a part-timer user from u$a writes:
I love my esq-1. It's pads are hard to beat (especially for around $300, which is what you can expect to pay for one- in fact it's worth getting as just a dedicated pad machine for that price IMHO). The sequencer, while not something I use as anything more than a scratch pad (it is amazingly easy to get around, not to mention that it has on the fly track-muting, which is something not even incorporated in many new sequencers) is very nice and useable. It's great for making sound fx, does some ok basses, great pads, and great blips/beeps/etc... However, I *personally* think it sounds a bit small, and I don't know if this is because it uses 8-bit samples, or if it's the filter, but, it is about halfway in between my ax-60 (essentially a juno 106, not quite as beefy) and my tx81z. Not to say that this invalidates it, rather that it needs to be used for different sounds than your jupiter-whatever.

On the whole, I'm happy I have it, it's a pretty deep machine and the sounds it can make are surprising.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-Sep-17-1998 at 04:20
stuart gibson a professional user from USA writes:
One of the most enjoyable synths to make sound on. Excellent for electronic music of all types. The best synth Ensoniq ever made!

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Saturday-Sep-12-1998 at 16:16
Euromidi a professional user from Nederlands writes:
This is one of the most underrated unknown syths around! I love this machine it has some of the best abilities of any syntha t any price to make freaky funked out sounds. On top of that there is a basic but powerful and very user friendly 8 track sequencer. It is 8 voice poly (?). The presets suck but the sounds that you can make are Beyond the realm of reality. Get one before they become the next trend in vintage synths...They can be had for under $400! Why bother with overpriced vintage Roland when yyou can stuff like this for such great prices. I love this board.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Sep-06-1998 at 19:25
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