Ensoniq Halo

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The Ensoniq Halo is a sleek keyboard with a 32 MB ROM soundset of diverse synth sounds including sounds of the popular Ensoniq ZR-76 featuring the "Perfect Piano". Halo has three additional ROM slots for up to 128 MB of sounds (more on this below). The keyboard is a full 61-keys long with 16 real-time controllers. There's also 16 on-board syncable/programmable arpeggiators and the E-mu's Super BEATS interactive Groove Mode. With 16 mute/enable buttons this keyboard is set for live and on the fly performances with plenty of real-time controls! Halo also features multi-mode resonant filters, 24-bit DACs, and an affordable price tag!

Halo is part of a new line of performance keyboards launched by E-mu/Ensoniq that repackage their current line-up of top notch sound modules targeted at specific genres. For all purpose synthesizer, the PK-6 Proteus Keys. For HipHop and R&B, the MK-6 Mo’Phatt Keys. For techno trance and dance, the XK-6 Xtreme Keys. And Halo from Ensoniq, which is another all purpose synthesizer.

Every one of these ships with one 32 MB sound-set, but are expandable up to 128 MB via three additional slots for 32 MB expansion cards. These cards include (ranging from $249 to $395):

  • 9061: Siedlaczek Orchestra 32 MB ROM.
  • 9062: Pure Phatt 32 MB ROM - standard in Mo’Phatt, MP-7 and MK-6.
  • 9063: Beat Garden 32 MB ROM - standard in Orbit 3.
  • 9082: Protozoa 16 MB ROM - standard in Proteus 1, 2, 3.
  • 9083: Definitive B-3 32 MB ROM - standard in B-3.
  • 9084: Techno Synth Construction Yard 32 MB ROM - standard in Orbit 3.
  • 9085: Orchestral Session Vol. 1 32 MB ROM - standard in Virtuoso 2000.
  • 9086: Orchestral Session Vol. 2 32 MB ROM - standard in Virtuoso 2000.
  • 9087: World Expedition 32 MB ROM - standard in Planet Earth.
  • 9088: Sounds of the ZR featuring the Perfect Piano 32 MB ROM - standard in Ensoniq Halo.
  • 9089: X-Lead 32 MB ROM - standard in Xtreme Lead-1, XL-7 and XK-6.

With these expansion options, you could buy a PK-6, then add the sounds of the Orbit 3, XK-6, and the MP-7... or any other combinations you may want. If you like desktop synths, you can start with an MP-7 or XL-7, and then add these same expansion card options to add Proteus, Orchestral, or the new Halo sounds to them. E-mu/Ensoniq's interchangeable sound cards and a variety of keyboard/sound-module options means that there's a model out there for everybody now.

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Demos & Media

Ensoniq Halo Soul Snake Demo
by
EPRElectronics
ManualDownload the original owner's manual from SoundProgramming.net.

Specifications

Polyphony - 64 voices
Oscillators - 32 MB "ZR/Perfect Piano" Sound Set ROM (expandable to 128 MB), four 24-bit DACs
LFO - 2 per voice
Filter - 50 types of 6th- and 12th-order Z-plane filters
Effects - 24-bit dual stereo-effects processor with 29 reverbs types, 15 delay types, 8 chorus types, 7 flange types, 5 distortion types
Keyboard - 61 keys (velocity and aftertouch)
Memory - 1,152 Presets (640 ROM, 512 RAM)
Control - MIDI
Date Produced - 2002

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Images from E-mu / Ensoniq.