Ensoniq Halo

Ensoniq Halo Image

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.

Lookup Ensoniq Halo Prices

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Are you looking to buy or sell a Ensoniq Halo? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

15 Visitor comments
February 24, 2011 @ 11:11 am
That looks like the Emu Xtreame keys with a new paint job wouldent suprise me either if it was i think its a shame that ensoniq and emu once great synth makers of the 80s and 90s got [beep] ed into all that rave dubstep drum n bass bull [beep] im not trying to sound insulting or whatnot to people that like that music just expressing my opionion lol
:( i miss the cheesy ensoniq demos that sounds like vintage [beep] music
January 29, 2011 @ 9:31 am
One thing I do want to point out is the quality of the keybed. The only thing Ensoniq about this machine are the sounds of the ZR-76 in the Q-ROM and the name molded into the case. But, they keybed is very, very nice. Firm, not quite piano like but much (cont'd)
January 29, 2011 @ 9:31 am
(cont'd) higher quality than your average synthesizer. They imbue a sense of quality, and the action enhances playability. I am waiting for a Novation X-Station to arrive; I intend to use that as my main MIDI controlller. Seriously, the HALO makes for a very good MIDI controller in its own right. It doesn't have all the match up controllers that the X-Station has, but it can be used quite fitfully. E-Mu created a very good chassis with these keyboards. I think people would have had less doubt and/or more respect for (cont'd)
January 29, 2011 @ 9:30 am
(cont'd) the Korg M50s if they were as solid as this aluminum appliance. I really like the way the boards are designed, as well. They are just perfectly stylish for a synthesizer, and tough enough for road use, and I happen to like the silver with read accents the most of the HALO. If you can get to one, just try it. You'll agree this is a superior keybed.
January 21, 2011 @ 1:13 pm
Someone needs to stop cutting and pasting. This text above was cut from the E-mu PK-6 page and dropped in here, and they didn't even bother to edit it. Look...where it says PK-6 they could have at least edited it to say HALO. And that's exactly the thinking I see in the E-mu products. A lack of or at least a simplification of imagination. Keyboards and rack modules from cookie cutters. Just different colors. You could take all E-mu's circuits and put them into one box for an ubersynth, rather than split up for maximum profits. E-mu could never have invented the FIZMO. Nice synth tho.
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 3.22 (209 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 - 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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