Ensoniq ESQ-1

Ensoniq ESQ-1 Image

Similar to the Mirage synth/sampler, the ESQ-1 was Ensoniq's highly affordable and impressive digital synthesizer, released in 1986. Although the waveforms are digital in nature, the filters are all analog as on the Mirage. In fact, for a digital synth the ESQ-1 has many good old analog-synth features such as a ring modulator, sequencer, and oscillator-sync. The envelopes and LFOs are can be freely routed to each DCO, VCA and or VCF. There are 40 preset sounds which are the usual not-so-great sounds. Luckily the VFD display screen is large enough to make editing the sounds somewhat pleasant.

What really sets the ESQ-1 apart from other similar synths is the voice architecture. Choose from analog, digital, or samples or any combo since there are three independent oscillators per voice! Once you start editing on the ESQ-1 you will come up with interesting and unique results. Using dynamic voice allocation it can seemlesly switch from 8-voices of analog to 8-voices of digital or sampled voices! This gives you a wide array of different sonic elements at your fingertips!

Then there's its built-in sequencer. It can store up to 24,000 notes in 30 sequences and 10 songs via battery back-up. Anyone in search of an alternative synthesizer should consider the ESQ-1. More analog than a DX-7 or D-50 and also much cheaper, the ESQ-1 is a tasty option that is worth a try.

Ensoniq ESQ-< Image

The ESQ-M (pictured above) is a rack-mount version released in 1987 which is identical to the ESQ-1 except that it excludes the on-board sequencer option. The ESQ-synths have been used by Anything Box, Skinny Puppy, Jean-Michel Jarre, and Steve Roach.

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118 Visitor comments
soniq
December 16, 2013 @ 3:59 pm
interesting program for any esq1 owners that know a little python, I havent used it myself at all because of how easy it is to program the esq1 and how good the ui is on the esq1. but it might be cool to randomly generate patches or something, or do some type of programming wizardry - https://github.com/stuartkeith/esq1
soniq
December 16, 2013 @ 3:56 pm
article on lfo syncronization http://memi.de/~buchty/ensoniq/transoniq_hacker/PDF/026.pdf
soniq
December 16, 2013 @ 3:55 pm
web resources-
http://www.pic101.com/ensoniq/

http://www.buchty.net/ensoniq/
soniq
December 16, 2013 @ 3:34 pm
The sound, and programability of this thing is amazing. sure there are other synths that are more expensive and are better than an Esq. But damn is this thing cheap and [beep] ing great... if you are on a budget this needs to be on your list....

read the review.... it does have a soul!
http://www.syntezatory.net.pl/ensoniq_esq1.htm
soniq
December 16, 2013 @ 3:34 pm
I don't own tons of synths, just this and a Yamaha an1x. I had to get it repaired, and while it was gone It was missed. The feel of the keys on this keyboard by my preferences is perfect and for some reason the words "chocolate bar" enter my head when trying to describe how the keys feel (the an1x keys feel more keyboard and almost like yeah I'm gonna play a lead or something like that, still great).
 
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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.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 8 voices (dynamic voice allocation)
  • Oscillators - 3 digital oscillators per voice, 32 waveforms
  • LFO - 3 LFOs per voice; triangle, saw, square, random
  • Filter - 4-pole analog resonant filter with 6-stage envelope
  • VCA - 4 VCA + 4 Envelopes with 7 parameters per voice
  • Sequencer - 8-Track (30 patterns, 10 songs w/ up to 99 patterns each)
  • Effects - None
  • Keyboard - 61 note (velocity)
  • Memory - 40 patches
  • Control - MIDI (8-parts)
  • Date Produced - 1986 - 1988

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