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.
Demos & Media
Images from E-mu / Ensoniq.