Ensoniq SQ-80

Ensoniq SQ-80 Image

The SQ-80 is basically a reved-up ESQ-1 with a total of 75 waveforms, a 61-note keyboard with velocity & aftertouch, floppy disk drive for storing patches and sequences, and an enhanced sequencer. Great for organs, analog-type sounds, pads and sound effects. Like the classic ESQ-1, the SQ-80 functions in providing analog-type 4-pole lowpass filtering and editing of digital waveforms. Each voice can combine up to 3 of the 75 waveforms. These waveforms include multi-sampled transient attack waves such as violin bow, plectrum picks, mallet, hammer, breath attacks and percussive sounds. There are also 5 sampled drum sets. Three LFOs are onboard for some pretty wild modulation of the sounds you create or edit. Complete MIDI implementation makes the SQ-80 great for any studio or live use too.

Ensoniq SQ-80 Image

As for playing the SQ-80, it is a dream! Its 61-note keyboard is full, responsive and has polyphonic aftertouch. Polyphonic aftertouch simply means that each key pressed will respond to aftertouch independently of the other keys. The aftertouch can be used to control a variety of modulation parameters such as the LFO. Pitch and mod wheels and plenty of front-panel buttons and a few sliders make accessing and editing fairly easy and hands-on. The keyboard can be split or layered. The pattern-based 8-track multitimbral sequencer is great for creating short to complex sequences live, or in step time with quantization, bounce-able tracks, 60 sequence patterns and 20 songs. And they can be saved to disk along with any patches you've created and any SysEx Midi data. Unfortunately, the SQ-80 has no built-in effects. The SQ-80 is certainly a classic analog/digital hybrid of the late eighties which still holds up well today. It has been used by filmaker/composer John Carpenter.

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37 Visitor comments
purloin
September 25, 2010 @ 3:01 pm
here´s A/B comparison sq80 and sq8l emulator done by chris huelsbeck (programmer of the turrican soundtrack):

http://itec.uka.de/~buchty/sq80/sq8l/SQ80vsSQ8L.mp3
xh9o
September 21, 2010 @ 1:20 am
@chris

sure, its never like the original. but compared to overhyped va-vsti software this plug is simply amazing. not in every field though, but if boosted way up it delivers better dx like basses than a dx ;)
Nick L
September 18, 2010 @ 12:10 pm
As used by Nancy Faust, organist and keyboardist for the Chicago White Sox. Check out this article and the picture with her SQ-80 featured prominently on top of her organ. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/18/sports/baseball/18organist.html?_r=2
Chris B
September 17, 2010 @ 12:08 pm
The vst plugin of this is good, but there is one major thing missing..
The SQ-80 has a stack of SSM2300 & CEM 3379 chips inside, coupled with the CEM 3360 VCA making it one phat mother !
The partys over with software syths, i finally came back to my senses and equipped my entire studio with the old gear again.
xh9o
September 14, 2010 @ 10:20 pm
why does vse not link to the fantastic emulation "sq8l"? because its freeware and they don´t get money like when they support those [beep] ty prophet and cs80 emulator bull [beep] you get informed about ANYWHERE?

however, the sq80 is one of those rare character synths and the emulation maybe is the best sounding vsti i´ve ever heard (and sure, i heard all the "pro" "products").
 
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  • 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 - 8 voices
  • Oscillators - 24 osc.
  • LFO - Up to 3 per voice - can route to pitch, amp, filter, pan
  • Filter - 1 4-pole analog filter per voice w/sweepable resonance
  • VCA - 1 digital amp per oscillator + 1 global amp per voice
  • Sequencer - 8-Track, 60 patterns, 20 songs, 20,000 note capacity
  • Keyboard - 61 keys with velocity & aftertouch
  • Memory - 40 patches onboard + 80 with EEPROM cartridge, floppy drive
  • Control - MIDI (8-part), switch pedal, CV pedal, wheel, breath, mono/poly aftertouch, kybd mapping
  • Date Produced - 1988 - 1989
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from

    Thanks to Tony Evans for providing information.

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