Ensoniq TS-10 / TS-12

Ensoniq TS-10 Image

The TS series workstations introduced in 1993 were the culmination of the line that started with the ESQ-1 and progressed through the SQ-80, VFX, VFX-SD, SD-1, and SD-1/32. The resulting TS contained the most advanced feature set, most powerful sequencer and sound engine, and provided high quality sound and powerful effects processing.

The TS series consists of two models: The TS-10 with a 61-note synth action keyboard with velocity and polyphonic aftertouch, and the TS-12 which is virtually the same instrument, but it has 76-note hammer action keyboard with a channel aftertouch feature from Fatar. No rack-module version was produced.

The synthesizer section has 32 voices of polyphony (12 MIDI tracks of multitimbrality). It uses a ROM bank with 6 MB of samples from various acoustic instruments, synth waves, percussion and sound effects. A single patch is called a "Sound" and can be made from combining up to six waves. Each "Sound" can have up to four variations which are selected via two "Patch Selector Buttons" above the Pitch-bend and Modulation wheels. A performance patch, called a "Preset" can be made from up to three "Sounds" with independent settings for each "Sound". Arranged by banks are 120 user "Sounds" and 120 user "Preset" performance patches plus 180 preset "Sounds" and 180 preset "Preset" performance patches. There is also one bank for 10 sampled sounds which can be doubled if the RAM is expanded. The General MIDI sound set is also available in the TS.

The TS-10/12 makes use of the following four types of synthesis technologies:

Wavetable synthesis with the following parameters for each tone: Three envelopes, two multistage filters (unfortunately without resonance), an LFO with settings for tone pitch, output, panning, delay, multisample shift + modulation matrix, and more.

Transwave: Similar to Wavetable synthesis, this technology allows real time changes to the tonal timbrality. The Transwave consists of 128 single cycle waves, each of which is part of the original (highly processed) sample. The loop start and end points can be modulated in real time by various sources like the LFO, envelope generators, modulation wheel, etc. The TS series synthesizers ROM includes eight types of Transwaves (far fewer than the SD-1 had, unfortunately) and new ones can be created as a sample and imported into RAM.

Hyperwave technology is a kind of wave sequencing similar to that used by the Korg Wavestation. The wave list can contain up to 16 steps and allows you to create impressive textures or rhythmic patterns.

Sampling: The TS series instruments can load samples from compatible Ensoniq samplers (EPS, EPS 16+ and ASR-10/88) into its RAM via 3.5" floppy disks or the optional SP-4 SCSI interface. Many sampled sounds will not fit into the standard 2 MB memory and therefore the memory expansion option up to 8 MB is recommended. Sample editing is very similar to the EPS/ASR systems. The only problem is that the TS can not save the sample data directly on EPS/ASR disks. You must use another disk (formatted using the unique TS format) to save your sample data, and to load an edited sound you must use both these disks because the TS saves only the edit settings without the actual samples. The RAM is volatile and the sampled sounds efface each time you turn the instrument off.

Ensoniq TS-12 Image

The effects section is based on Ensoniq's famous DP-4 effects processor. It includes 73 preset algorithms with up to 10 variations of each algorithm. There are 692 variations of effects including various Reverbs, Delays, Choruses, Flangers, Phasers, Distortions, Speaker cabinet simulations, Rotary speakers, and a lot more. Each algorithm can consist of up to three simultaneous effects. The effects section is fully programmable and can be modulated by various sources. The user's setting is stored together with the appropriate "Sound" or "Preset".

The 24-Track sequencer has a typical Ensoniq structure: There are 12 non-linear Tracks for composing short blocks (called "Sequences") and another 12 linear tracks. It features many functions like quantization, mixing, event editing, controller filtering, etc. Its capacity is 30,000 notes and that can be expanded up to 97,000 notes.

The TS-10 Plus (a later model) used a conventional LCD screen and was equipped with the SCSI interface and fully loaded RAM options as standard. The weak point in the TS series workstations is that they are totally incompatible with anything other than the aforementioned Ensoniq samplers. They can not load nor save .mid files, .wav sounds, etc. and they can not use standard DOS formatted disks.

Despite the non-resonant filters, the TS series workstations are very powerful synths with a rich and thick sound. They can produce complete musical arrangements in a number of genres. The succeeding generations of Ensoniq workstations (KT series and MR/ZR series) lost a lot of the TS's features and many users consider the TS to be the best of Ensoniq's workstations.

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Comments

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55 Visitor comments
DCPete
February 1, 2011 @ 5:15 am
rex, I had a similar thing happen to mine ...cost me a pretty penny to fix alongside a few other issues it had. Was told it's something to do with the Poly boards that need replacing. Had a guy (in UK) fix it for me but the polyboards don't come cheap. Although I scoffed at the work done...the TS10 is now 100% working ( a condition which I'd never had previous due to faulty drive too) & I'd pay the same again...although I could probably buy another fully working model for what it cost me.
Rex
January 27, 2011 @ 8:58 pm
ensoniq TS-10 - help - Keyboard does not re-calibrate

After serveral years, i tried to re-animate my TS-10. It was covered by a cloth/towel. So, heavy dust was not a real problem. Addionally it was hidden under a bed ;-) It was in a mint condition and not in use for some years...

PROBLEM:
The keyboard does not calibrate anymore... only option is to hit the ignore button. But after that, no key is working :-(

QUESTION:
Can you give any clue or hint how to repair it? Or at least what i should do in such a situation?

Thanks for your thoughts in advance.
regards,
Rk
eddieacid
December 23, 2010 @ 8:19 pm
i have my ts10 since day one 1993 this keboard has a spirit inside because every time i play the the sound tunes and turns by itself and let me tell you the sounds are powerfull and very deep dark and at the same time very GHOSTLY
Jordan Shapiro
December 18, 2010 @ 11:27 pm
i've played keyboards in Zappa tribute band Project/Object since 2000, and have always used TS-12 (not ts-10, as someone reported below). I love the effects, editing, keys, sounds, and reliability.
Unfortunately, my original ts12 got in a car wreck last February and apparently the power supply got fried. When turned on, a loud buzz comes out of the unit. EARS repair shop in NYC wanted at least $600 to fix the keyboard
Today, I scored a mint condition TS12 here in NYC via craigslist (for $500), and now am back to playing the trusty TS12 once again. If I only still had my disks of samples I made 8 years ago!
too bad there's nothing to do with a mac.
najvrtson
December 3, 2010 @ 3:42 pm
Hello Art, you will definetly regret, if you sell your TS-10. I have also such experience - sold out my TS-12 and a year later I bought the TS-10. I know another three people, who did the same with their TS-10/12!
 
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  • Check Prices on eBay
  • The link above will take you to a 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 - 32 voices
  • Multitimbral - 12 parts
  • Sampler - 2MB (expandable to 8MB) compatible only with EPS and ASR sample formats
  • Oscillators - up to 6 per Sound
  • Waveforms - Samples, Transwaves
  • LFO - 1 LFO per voice
  • Filter - Two DCF's per voice
  • Envelope - 3 Envelopes per voice
  • Effects - 692 preset variations, up to 3 effects simultaneously (Reverbs, Delays, Choruses, Flangers, Phasers, Distortions, Speaker simulations, etc)
  • Sequencer - 24 track (12 non-linear, 12 linear). Store 60 songs (up to 30,000 notes or 97,000 if expanded)
  • Arpeggiator - None
  • Keyboard - TS-10: 61-keys with velocity and poly aftertouch
    TS-12: 76 hammer action keys with velocity and channel aftertouch
  • Memory -
    Patches: 180 preset / 120 user
    Performances: 180 preset / 120 user
  • Control - MIDI In/Out/Thru
  • Date Produced - 1993 - 1996

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