Ensoniq EPS

Ensoniq EPS Image

EPS means 'Ensoniq Performance Sampler'. The EPS is just that with clever new features that make it not just a professional studio music production tool, but also a powerful live performance instrument. Its biggest feature is its ability to load new samples while playing the instrument, a feature you'd be lucky to find on current synth/samplers. The EPS is somewhat multitimbral in that you can have 8 instruments on-line one at a time or stacked* and switching between them is as easy as pushing one of the 8 instrument buttons. The 'Patch Select' buttons over the Mod-Wheel allow for on-the-fly patch switching from a spot where your hand is likely to be while performing!

Its unique 13-bit sampler is highly versatile with multiple sample rates to choose from (6.25 to 52kHz). However, higher sample rates mean less polyphony and sample time. Unfortunately sample memory is miniscule at 480 Kb yielding anywhere from 5 to 41 seconds of sample time. Fortunately it is expandable up to 896 Kb (with optional 2x expander) or 2.1 Mb (with optional 4x or 4x+SCSI expanders) allowing as much 167 seconds of sample time. Some of the EPS's goodies include an 8 to 16 track sequencer (which steals its memory space from the same RAM that holds the samples) with quantizing, digital filters that seem like analog and preset template envelope options.

Ensoniq EPS Image

The EPS brought together many facets of synthesis at its time: sampling, synthesis and performance. It blended these together in a superb machine that, despite its limited sample memory, is quite popular and useful even today. Though it was later upgraded to the full 16-bit EPS-16+, the 13-bit EPS is a very cost-efficient alternative for any musician in search of classic keyboard-samplers!

* Although you usually play one instrument part at a time, you can get all 8 up at a time. With the EPS in Load mode by first selecting an instrument and then double clicking another instrument both will be played together. Continue double-clicking the other instrument buttons to layer all 8 instruments! (submitted by Rod Wesson and John Rule).

The EPS has been used by Cirrus, Wu-tang producer RZA and filmaker/composer John Carpenter.

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68 Visitor comments
ThaLyricalWeapon91
September 25, 2011 @ 4:57 pm
Hah, sp killer what a laugh that is you can't be serious, however the eps is a great machine I love it being able to play the same sample at different pitches spread across the different keys is really cool, and you can also synthesize the loop and convert the sample rate making for a cleaner or grittier sound, I ignore the limited sampling time by speeding up 33 rpms at 45 rpm and then slow it down in the eps, gives it a sound that vintage heads like me will love, It's preset filters and envelopes I could do without, so if you have something to accommodate it by all means use it with it.
xh9o
September 6, 2011 @ 2:19 am
after all this is my keeper. it basically sounds more analog than most newer analog synths, if it only would have some analog resonance filters it would be the queen of samplers (for instruments) by far. but you can add some external and there you got it.

i don´t find it punchy enough for drums though. it´s very lush and warm.
matt
August 23, 2011 @ 6:28 pm
This appears to be incorrect info from Wikipedia:
"The base memory is 256k not 480k and it's only expandable to 1mb not 2.1mb. Stock sample time is 4.93 secs @ 52KHZ, 41.57 secs @ 6.25Khz"

The specs listed here at VSE are correct.
j-el
July 5, 2011 @ 6:19 pm
Found a 2x expander for mine for 30 bucks! Fixed the display (kept going out) dirty contacts. Wanna put a "ecooler" on the back but I can't find one at Route 66...maybe I'll make one.
PS I've owned a SP12 b4 and the EPS is a SP killer!
J-EL
March 31, 2011 @ 12:56 pm
The base memory is 256k not 480k and it's only expandable to 1mb not 2.1mb. Stock sample time is 4.93 secs @ 52KHZ, 41.57 secs @ 6.25Khz
 
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VSE Rating

Excellent

User Rating

Rated 3.89 (355 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • 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 - 12 voices at 52 kHz.
    16 voices at 39 kHz.
    20 voices at 31.2 kHz.
  • Multitimbral - 8 parts.
  • Sampler - Mono 13-Bit A/D input, 16-bit D/A stereo output. Variable sample rates from 52kHz to 6.25kHz; Sample-time: 5 seconds (52kHz) to 41 seconds (6.25kHz).
  • Filter - Independent dynamic digital filter per wavesample, multi-mode digital low pass or variable-width band-pass with many slopes
  • VCA - 6-stage envelope including envelope preset templates
  • Sequencer - 8 tracks with separate instrument, volume, and MIDI channel. 80,000 notes limit.
  • Keyboard - 61 keys (velocity and aftertouch)
  • Memory - 512 Kb (480 Kb to be exact) internal (expandable to 896 Kb w/ 2x expander, 2.1 Mb w/ 4x expander)
  • Control - MIDI, Disk Drive (800K double-sided 3.5" micro-floppy), SCSI (w/ 4x+SCSI expander)
  • Weight - 29 pounds (13 kilograms)
  • Date Produced - 1988

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