Ensoniq ASR-10

Ensoniq ASR-10 Image

The ASR-10 stands for the Advanced Sampling Recorder - a completely digital music production studio. It's a 16-bit sampler that came in both keyboard and rack-mount versions. It shipped with 2 MB of sample memory which could be expanded to 16 MB for a few minutes of stereo cd-quality sampling time. It lets you choose from sample rates of 30 to 44.1 kHz and has all the professional sample editing functions you would expect to find from a pro sampler including autolooping, volume smoothing, normalize, crossfading, and time comp/exp. Even resampling through its effects, EQ, etc. is possible!

What's special about the ASR-10 is that it is a sampler using the synthesizer architecture of Ensoniq's classic line of synths from the SD-1 to the ESQ-1. Your samples are stored as part of its WaveSample memory. The ASR-10 can hold 127 WaveSamples, which can also consist of its two multimode digital filters, the LFO, one random noise generator, three envelope generators (hard-wired to the pitch, filter cutoff, and amplitude), and a modulation matrix with 15 routable modulation sources. Up to eight layers of WaveSamples can be combined to create your final sound. In this light, the ASR-10 basically looks like an advanced TranseWave (waveform modulation) synthesizer in which YOU create its WaveSamples!

The ASR-10 integrates a digital effects processor and MIDI sequencer on-board for a complete workstation. There are up to 62 effects (including vocoding) based on Ensoniq's DP/4 effects processor. A whole range of reverbs, chorus, flange, phaser, distortion, digital delay, speaker effects, etc. are available.

Ensoniq ASR-10 Rack Image

The ASR-10's sequencer has 16-tracks and with its 31 voices of polyphony you can create some pretty complete musical performances. The sequencer (reminiscent of the SD-1 and VFX-SD workstations) provides real time and looped recording modes, 96 PPQ clock resolution, an auto-locate function, punch in/out, and other useful features. And the ASR-10 can sample while the sequencer is playing. It can store up to 80 sequences or patterns which can be chained into a song (only one song can be in memory).

The ASR-10 also has a "Tape Recorder" mode in which you can record two tracks of audio for use along with the sequencer for an advanced all-in-one music making machine! Recording can be to its RAM or to external SCSI hard drives via the SP-3 SCSI interface (optional on keyboard version) for extended sampling/recording time and memory. It can support up to seven simultaneous hard disks and/or CD-ROM drives. You can even process external audio through the ASR, live or along with sequences.

As mentioned, the ASR-10 comes in a 61-note keyboard version and a rack-mount. But there's more. Over the years Ensoniq has continued to upgrade it adding an AES/EBU digital I/O upgrade, digital audio recording and importing of new sound formats, and more. The ASR-88 version is an ASR-10 with a fully-weighted 88-note keyboard and the SCSI interface comes standard. The ASR-10 is compatible with Akai (S-1000/1100) and Roland CD-ROM sound librarys. A high-density (HD) 3.5" disk drive comes standard on all models. The ASR-10 has been used by Atomic Babies, Autechre, Rammstein, Jimmy Edgar, Black Lung, Rabbit in the Moon, Timbaland, Pharell Williams (Neptunes), The Alchemist, Kanye West.

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85 Visitor comments
lightman
February 6, 2011 @ 12:38 pm
pam,

the ASR-10 is an advanced sampling workstation without preset sounds. This means that you have to create a few samples first before you can play them on the keyboard. There also are commercial sampling CDs and floppy disks available for it with ready-made samples/patches that you can use straight away, just ask Google or visit the Syntaur homepage (http://www.syntaur.com/index.html) for more info. They also show up on ebay every now and then.

In short, the ASR-10 is a very cool and powerful machine but judging from your post, you'd be better off with something more standard.
pam
February 1, 2011 @ 11:36 am
I'm looking for a "cheap-er" used keyboard for performance purposes. Would this work? I'm not savvy about what's available, and what's easy to use. Here's what I want: a good "real" piano sound, a good "real" Hammond organ sound or two, and incredible ease of use. (I don't want to have to be a techie to be able to play live music.) Mostly my place in bands is as a singer. My husband accidentally ran over my Roland!
james d
January 19, 2011 @ 2:01 pm
Filters and converters on this are just amazing. I cannot think of another unit that sounds like this out of the box.
the best.
fengland
November 17, 2010 @ 3:56 pm
best sounding ssampler I've heard - creamy, awesome features - filters, lfos, makes anything sound better. It's very heavy and professionally built - feels to me like the steinway of synthesizers. Great even if just as a master keyboard (though the price is still high). sequencer is nothing to write home about, ok scratchpad or if it's all you have.
tony
November 10, 2010 @ 12:29 pm
I bought this 2 weeks ago, i used this machine in combination with cubase, this machine is amazingg!!!the sound is soo warm and punchy i lovee this machine, if this machine broken then i buy another one. (sorry for my bad english) :)
 
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  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 31 voices
  • Sampler - Sigma-Delta 64 times oversampling, 16-bit, 30kHz or 44.1kHz variable sampling rates; 127 WaveSamples, up to 8 Layers per Program.
  • Filter - 2 digital filters in series, one low-pass, one high pass. Up to 4-pole filtering with 6, 12, 18, and 24 dB/oct slopes.
  • Envelopes - 3 envelopes: Env 1 to WaveSample Pitch; Env 2 to WaveSample Filter Cutoff; Env 3 to WaveSample Amplitude.
  • Sequencer - 16 tracks, 80 Patterns (999 measure limit each), 1 Song at a time
  • Effects - 1 effects unit with 50 to 62 effects including vocoder (reverbs, chorus, flange, phaser, distortion, digital delay, speaker effects)
  • Keyboard - 61 keys w/ velocity and aftertouch (88 weighted keys on ASR-88)
  • Memory - Sampler: 2 MB expandable to 16 MB;
    Patches: 8 Instruments
  • Control - MIDI (8-parts)
  • Date Produced - 1992 - 1998

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