Ensoniq EPS-16+

Ensoniq EPS-16+ Image

The EPS-16+ was an innovative early sampler workstation designed for the 90's. Its sampler specs are impressive: 16-bit, variable sampling rates from 11.2kHz to 44.6kHz. With a slim 1Mb of memory this gives just about 11.5 seconds of sampling time in mono at 44.6kHz. Editing functions are quite nice: normalizing, sample splicing, merging, phase switching, auto-looping, auto-truncating, sample rate conversion and more.

On the synthesizer side it has two great filters with switchable hi, low and band pass, 6dB to 24dB cutoffs. BUT, they aren't resonant. The keyboard is velocity and pressure sensitive and it has full MIDI implementation. There is also a sophisticated 8-track sequencer that can really be fun in a live performance situation. A wildly flexible and variable LFO with seven shapes always adds a new twist to your samples! Topping it off is a full suite of on-board effects like reverb, delay, chorus, flange, phaser, Leslie sim, distortion and wah-wah and these effects can be re-sampled to become a part of the sample! It can even be played while it is loading samples!

Ensoniq EPS-16+ Image

In its time, the EPS-16+ was a revolutionary machine. It brought a lot of power and musicality to sampling. These days, the EPS-16+ is still useful. It brings back the early crunchy sampler sound but with a lot of features that make it really fun to play with. Even with its non-resonant filters you can still find yourself filtering a 'garage-beat' drum loop for hours while muting and un-muting other loops on the 8-track sequencer!

Ensoniq EPS-16+ Rack Image

The EPS-16+ was also made available in a rack-mount version. All EPS-16+ synths can be upgraded via non-volatile flash ROM (available on-line from Chicken Systems, Inc.) to expand your EPS's memory, effects algorithms and creative potential! It has been used by Autechre, LFO, Massive Attack and Slam.

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41 Visitor comments
September 21, 2009 @ 10:24 pm
Aliens are definitely affecting our continuously expanding supply of technology on this planet and the Ensoniq EPS 16+ presents irrefutable evidence of that. It's a monumental achievement and nothing less. The only problem is that it's just a tiny piece of a multi-(place monetary pre-fix here)ion (place currency denomination here) Government/Industry controlled-obsolescence program. But it's still fun to have around. Funny how it says Ensoniq is misspelled in this comment... No, for real though, the 16+ is cool. I recommend you be somewhat relevance-challenged to desire anything about the relatively lacking aspects of functionality and capability, but I don't mean to be too harsh because there are a few gems in this thing that cease to exist elsewhere in the known musical universe. Or so one might say if they really wanted to give away the real potential of this machine.
April 29, 2009 @ 6:11 pm
hands down the best sampler keyboard made.
Savo Jr.
February 16, 2009 @ 7:13 pm
You can find info about those Waveboy effects from there:
Effect with FM was REZ Filter.
BTW. Using REZ Filter to give resonance to EPS16+/ASR10 occupies its only effect processor so if you wanna use resonating filters you cant use lots of other effects.. Gladly REZ Filter has very good reverb + delays too -and with lots of parameters to tweak!
Savo Jr.
February 16, 2009 @ 7:06 pm
Little corrections to another comment (danny bum cheeks!).
1. Those who know FM-Synthesis from Yamaha DX/TX series would be a bit disappointed if they would buy Ensoniq and expecting to get FM-Synth via Waveboys Effect. That FM-effect can simply combine two samples so that other modulates that another one.
Practically no other parameters. So its hardly FM synth. It would be crime against FM-synthesis to call it like that.
2. Transwave which EPS/ASR uses is first generation and not that good. FIZMO has newer and better version.
And by the way, Waldorfs Microwaves use Wavetable synthesis which is totally different story.. . .
January 9, 2009 @ 9:23 pm
I like my EPS 16+, but I never got over the slight crackle noise that you could hear when you used a sample that had a softer attack. I even contacted Ensoniq support about it back in the early 90s. They were aware of the problem and couldn't do anything about it.
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Rated 4.01 (427 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 - 7 to 20 voices
  • Sampler - 16-bit mono, 11.2kHz to 44.6kHz; (up to 11.5 seconds sample-time at 44.6kHz)
  • LFO - 7 shapes
  • Filter - 2 high, low, band pass 6dB to 24dB filters
  • Keyboard - 61 keys (velocity & pressure sensitive)
  • Memory - 1 MB (expandable to 2 MB)
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1990
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