Ensoniq ASR-X Pro

Ensoniq ASRxPro Image

The ASR-X Pro Resampling Production Studio. An enhanced update to the ASR-X, the ASR-X Pro is a sampling, synthesizer, sequencer and effects studio in a single tabletop unit. For a machine that's competing with the Akai MPC3000, the ASR-X Pro is a worthy opponent. It's got professional sampler specifications, and easy yet professional sample editing features. Process your samples with modern edit functions including copying, truncating, reduce bits, scaling, normalizing and inverting. It has enough built-in effects to sweeten your samples with: EQ, Reverb, Chorus, Flanger, DDL, Distortion, Tunable Speaker, Chatter Box, Vocal Morph, and Auto-Wah. Sequencing is also easy and hands-on. Microscopic Tempo control and resolution allow for punchy groovy sequences with plenty of feel and note capacity. There are also independent dual multi-mode dynamic digital filters with low-pass, high-pass, variable bandwidth band-pass, resonant low-pass and resonant band-pass.

What separates the ASR-X Pro from the ASR-X? The Pro now offers a SCSI interface for limitless storage to disk or drive. A cool new Flash OS system means you can upgrade it simply by inserting a floppy, no messing with ROM chips! There's a new Stomper program that synthesizes phatt analog drum machine sounds (a built-in drum machine) - giving the MPC3000 a run for its groove. Memory can be expanded to a whopping 66MB for over 12 minutes (mono) sampling time. There is also a very cool Resampling technology that allows you to digitally resample sounds, loops or sequences with any effects and tweaks you've applied back into itself. Optional upgrades beside memory include the ESP-2 effects chip, EXP 24MB sound and wave expansion board and the X-8 eight output expander. The ASR-X Pro is compatible with virtually everything including most sound libraries and sampler libraries.

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24 Visitor comments
"BIG-SIX"
November 15, 2010 @ 3:43 am
I HAVE THREE DIFFERENT SAMPLERS RIGHT NOW 11/15/2010
ROLAND SP-808EX,ROLAND VP-9000,AND LAST, BUT DEFINATELY NOT LEAST; THE ENSONIQ ASR-X-PRO....I USE IT TO CREATE ALL TYPES OF TRACKS BECAUSE YOU DON'T HAVE TO ADD ANYTHING TO IT EXCEPT YOUR GREAT EAR, SOME IMAGINATION AND A SENSE OF RYTHM...IT'S LOADED WITH INSTRUMENTS, DRUMS,HORNS,EFFECTS AND SYNTHS...

"V.I.P." OF MUSKEGON HEIGHTS MICHIGAN 49444
"BIG-SIX"
November 15, 2010 @ 3:35 am
TO EVERYONE WHO HAS COME IN TOUCH WITH AN ASR-X-PRO: YOU KNOW THAT IT IS: BY FAR, A WAY BETTER INSTRUMENT THAN ANY OTHER SAMPLER YOU HAVE EVER USED.....VERY USER FRIENDLY(EVEN MORE THAN ROLAND!!!) AND I THINK ROLAND IS TOP OF THE LINE....I WISH ENSONIQ ,E-MU OR WHOEVER WOULD COME BACK INTO THE GAME AND CREATE SOME MORE ADD-ONS FOR THIS LINE OF EQUIPMENT....
"V.I.P." OF MUSKEGON HEIGHTS MICHIGAN 49444
Erik
November 4, 2010 @ 8:38 pm
Fast-forward to 2010 and I'm trying to recreate some of those old cassette-only demos in Ableton Live. Unfortunately, even though I still have all the files I saved on various Zip and floppy disks, the formats are all proprietary and absolutely useless.

So this was basically my first piece of pro audio equipment (along with an Alesis rompler keyboard from the same time period) and I made a lot of music with it. But it was really frustrating. Anybody who thinks it might be a good idea to get one should think twice if they want to use the sequencer. An Akai MPD32 comes with a copy of Ableton Live Lite and would probably cost less. Even if you want to avoid using a computer-based DAW so you can play live without a laptop, don't count on it, because the sequencer timing will probably wreck your shows.
Erik
November 4, 2010 @ 8:37 pm
Apart from that, the sequencer really [beep] ED. I didn't know much about music at the time but I did know that if I input quantize a 1/16 note hi-hat and add a quantized MIDI synth track, that it should all play in sync. If you had more then 4-5 tracks in a sequence, especially with fast 1/16 note patterns, the sequencer would lag behind. I have so many recordings (recorded live directly to old-school cassettes) where this is apparent. And back in the day there was actually a class-action lawsuit about this timing issue. It was pretty expensive back in the day (something like $1300 new) and people, including myself, were not happy with it.

Shortly after its release, Ensoniq went under and (if I recall correctly) got bought out by EMU. There were no further OS updates for this machine. The price of computer hardware and software for making music dropped sharply around this time as well. I sold the ASR-X Pro to some guy in Germany and never looked back.
Erik
November 4, 2010 @ 8:37 pm
I bought one of these ca. 1999 when I didn't know very much about music production. I bought it because it was red, it had drum pads, and it had a 16-track MIDI sequencer. To its credit (or probably my credit), I did write a lot of music with it. I was much more prolific then than I am now. There was something nice about turning it on and just recording something.

Now for the cons. Floppy disks. It was pretty cool ten years ago, now... anything like this would need USB or Firewire to be commercially viable. I bought the whole SCSI upgrade and spent a lot on an external Zip drive. Zip drives were extremely unreliable and often corrupted unpredictably, destroying many songs in the process because each Zip disk could store a lot more than a single floppy.
 
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  • Check Prices on eBay
  • The link above will take you to a 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.
  • Demos & Media
  • Audio Clip 1 - Some demos on the ASR-X Pro, from the Future Music CD, issue 77.

    Manual - Download the original owner's manual from SoundProgramming.net.

  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 32 voices
  • Sampler - 44.1kHz; 20-bit A/D, 18-bit D/A, 16-bit Memory; Stereo or mono; Sample-time: 2MB standard (20.5 seconds max); expandable up to 66MB (13 minutes max)
  • Sequencer - 16 polyphonic tracks, Up to 128 Sequences, 384 PPQ clock resolution, Tap Tempo
  • Effects - Real time modulation of effects parameters; 40 algorithms with many programmable variations per effect and 5 Stereo busses: Insert, Light Reverb, Medium Reverb, Wet Reverb, Dry
  • Keyboard - 13 Velocity sensitive trigger pads
  • Memory - Disk: 1.4 MB Quad-density HD, 3.5" micro-floppy disk
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1998
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from Ensoniq.

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