Ensoniq Fizmo

Ensoniq Fizmo Image

The Fizmo is a 48-voice synthesizer which uses 2nd-generation Transwave technology to create very organic sounds unlike any other synth available. Every programming function has its own dedicated knob or button, and there is a limited but useful 4-character LCD display. The Fizmo features an Arpeggiator and 24-bit VLSI effects with 41 algorithms, including a Vocoder and the ability to process incoming audio through the Vocoder and effects.

Transwave synthesis uses wavetables of sound data with layered variations in harmonic structures such that their timbres progress naturally from one end to the other. This allows for sounds to modulate over time, or by velocity, wheel, pressure, or any number of other options.

There are 2 oscillators available for each of the 4 presets allowing for 8 unique oscillators at the same time, not to mention individual LFO and Noise generators for each Osc. Another wonderful feature is the ability to stack up to four individual presets together into one sound and map them across the keyboard. This synth is very capable of some very complex sounds.

The built-in Arpeggiator has 118 presets which can be easily edited to your liking, and 26 real-time control/editing knobs make mutating your sound a pleasure. All controls may be recorded in real-time to an external sequencer.

Ensoniq Fizmo Rack

The Fizmo Rack is 5U rack-mount version of the Fizmo with more patches. The Fizmo will appeal to anyone who creates electronic music, particularly those into techno, trance, ambient or industrial. Sound designers and film composers would also enjoy this synth. The evolving motion and rhythmic patterns of its sounds created by the Transwave technology set this synth apart from the others. The Fizmo has been used by Eat Static.

Lookup Ensoniq Fizmo Prices

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38 Visitor comments
August 3, 2011 @ 7:25 pm
Only 500 keyboards and 50 racks in the world to work.
They were on sale for 6 months!
If you have the opportunity to play the SoundDiver editor and see how many meters you can get for playing is impressive.
The effects unit is much more complex than a TC Electronic Fireworks has parameters such as hysteresis! never seen anything like it.
Has Global Reverb and effects are awesome, like what to ensoniq.
Vocoder and you can have whatever you want to spend the effects unit.
And most importantly you should make sure if you changed the voltage regulator, or else you burn the DSP.
Quantum Mechanic
October 1, 2010 @ 12:02 pm
I snapped mine up back in Oct. 2000, when Ensoniq was unloading them...I demoed one, and just couldn't move on...

The 'oddball' quality is part of its charm. For ambient or experimental music, the thing just shines. No, it doesn't have banks and banks of drum sets or 'rave' sounds...That turned a lot of people off. And the LED display is certainly about as crude as you can get...

It was marketed to a wide group, but it didn't appeal to regular gigging musicians, nor the groove-boxers, who needed versatility. Nobody had the patience to hear out the slowly-evolving sounds the thing is built for...Scanning quickly through the few patches (which is how it's done, let's face it) is an underwhelming experience...But to be truly appreciated, you really have to program it. And while a bit cryptic and alien, the process is very rewarding. I'm glad i'm not part of the "me too's" that balked at the Fizmo. It's a tweaker's dream, and I swear i'll be buried with mine...Alas, poor Ensoniq.
August 14, 2010 @ 2:44 am
Just to counter your logic, the TB-303 was a failure too. Failure on the front end doesn't always mean it [beep] s, but in the case of the Fizmo... The FIZMO came out at a time that people were starting to re-seek analog synthesis because ROM wave forms were just not cutting it. Or workstations like korg that could do everything from drums, to sequencers, synths, w/ CD burning for about the same price as the Fizmo. Ensoniq is like "we'll make up crazy concepts and tell you it's a brand new synth" Transwave synthesis!
It does have something unique but I can't say if it's useful, no one went off and invented an entire new genre of music like they did with the 303. At the time, ensoniq's ads made you think they were going to revolutionize the was sounds were created. It was a super failure - maybe it did even bankrupt the company.
Bad marketing/pricing.
The guys, thinking they had re-intented the synthesizer, they just made the music equivalent of the Edsel.
May 31, 2010 @ 12:19 pm
Sad to see the description above- its wrong. Well wait, its right about one thing... It doesn't sound like anything youve heard...

The fizmo was one of the BIGGEST failures in synthesis history. They couldn't sell those boards to ANYBODY. Literally.

And in the end, the Fizmo was..$400 new. YES FOUR HUNDRED BUCKS FOR A FULL SIZED FIZMO KEYBOARD- no module. They still couldn't sell them... at 400 bucks though people eventually depleted the stock.

This is 100% true. And I, a synth NUT, turned down a fizmo for 400 bucks brand new. If you want to buy a piece of history like the Gizmotron (bankrupted ARP), then the fizmo is for you!
Ted James
May 10, 2010 @ 1:49 pm
I've posted some demos of custom patches I've created for the Ensoniq Fizmo:


What an amazing machine.
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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 - 48 voices
  • Oscillators - 4 MB of 16-bit internal wave ROM, featuring Transwaves (created through digital synthesis and resynthesis technologies); 2 osc for each of 4 presets - total of 8 simultaneous - 58 waveforms
  • LFO - 8 LFO's (7 waveform choices, can sync to Arpeggiator or external MIDI clock)
  • Filter - Resonant LP & BP 4 pole filters. Non-Resonant 2LP+2HP, 3LP+1HP, 2LP+2LP, 3LP+1HP filters.
  • Effects - 41 digital VLSI 24-bit effects (8 Global Reverbs, Chorus, Flanger, DDL, Distortion, Tunable Speaker, Chatter Box, Vocal Morph, Auto-Wah, Vocoder); Processes incoming audio
  • Keyboard - 61 semi-weighted keys (velocity and channel pressure sensitive, 4 programmable key ranges, 4 possible zones)
  • Memory - 128 ROM sounds, Up to 128 RAM, 64 Presets
  • Control - MIDI (up to 4 polyphonic channels)
  • Date Produced - 1998

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