Ensoniq Mirage

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Ensoniq Mirage

Postby TX81ZJH » Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:38 am

Hi everyone,

I'm looking to buy a Ensoniq Mirage. I already own a Ensoniq ESQ-1. I bought a (ESQ-1) last Feb to replace my Father's non-functioning ESQ. My questions are:

How much do Mirage's run for these days??

What should I know about them compared to the ESQ-1?

What's this I hear about editing samples via HEX code?? - What's that like? - sounds like a pain.

Any help would be appreciated.
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Re: Ensoniq Mirage

Postby sequentialsoftshock » Tue Apr 06, 2010 2:21 am

I have a mirage I've been thinking about selling. It's in pretty darn good condition. I haven't used it to sample and just used the disks, so I can't answer that. But, I know one thing to look for buying any mirage (or any older sampler) is if the floppy drive works. I am glad to report mine does! I have copies of the manual in PDF if that could be of assistance. I THINK I may have the "Advanced Samplers Guide"
Cheers!
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Re: Ensoniq Mirage

Postby krzeppa » Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:53 pm

I have personally never owned a Mirage but know some people who have used them.

Yes, editing VIA HEX Code can be a little daunting.

Also, as was posted by "sequentialsoftshock," you definitely want to make sure that the floppy drive works. I know more than one person who has owned a Mirage and had the drive failed. And at this point, it may be very difficult or almost impossible to fix properly. I don't know if this is a common problem with them or if the people I know were just unlucky.

The Mirage is overall though is pretty cool and is capable of doing some amazing things. The thing is great because of sampling abilities. I have often contemplated getting one myself, but the floppy drive has scared me away.

I don't know if this is of any help to you or not; but if you decide to get one, I hope you have a lot of fun with it.
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Re: Ensoniq Mirage

Postby nathanscribe » Fri Apr 09, 2010 11:31 pm

1) The mirage is familiar territory if you were around when 8-bit home micros were the new thing. If you're younger than that, be comforted that hex is not all that difficult, and you only have to set start/end/loop points with it anyway. Most parameters are decimal or on/off.

2) Get the manuals or you've no chance. There was a beginner's guide and an advanced user's guide - get both. MASOS was the 'advanced' OS, but isn't essential - it replaces the crumby sketch-pad sequencer with extra sampling features like reverse, but your Mirage will work without it. You do need some kind of OS though, as you have to boot the thing from disk every time. There's also a parameter chart which is essential for easy use, as the two-digit display is the most cryptic I've ever seen on anything. However, it's not difficult to get your head around - parameter number, value. That's it.

3) Make sure you can find compatible disks. It uses 3.5" DD, not HD. If you can find some 720k floppies somewhere, get them - if not there are ways to adapt 1.4MB disks but I'm not sure they work very reliably. I haven't tried.

4) It's mono out, mono in, and there's no way around that. It has 128K of memory split into two 64K halves for the upper and lower sections of the keyboard (adjustable split). Each half has 8 samples which can be layered and assigned across the half. There's velocity sensitivity for the filters and sample switching/mixing, and those filters are CEM so they sound pretty good. It's an 8-voice machine. Max sample rate is something like 40kHz but best results are done around 30. It's very easy to get aliasing and run out of memory. Practise and read the manual's useful advice.

5) They're cheap. Buy one, try it, and sell it if you hate it. I won't be selling mine any time, there are some great sounds to be had from it despite its humble specs.
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Re: Ensoniq Mirage

Postby sequentialsoftshock » Fri Apr 09, 2010 11:47 pm

I read on a mirage website that there were some stereo mirages in the later batches.
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Re: Ensoniq Mirage

Postby sequentialsoftshock » Fri Apr 09, 2010 11:47 pm

bonne chance
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Re: Ensoniq Mirage

Postby nathanscribe » Sat Apr 10, 2010 9:25 am

Yes but it's not something you have any control over, as far as I know. Bit of a waste of time IMO unless you can assign voices to outputs or automate panning, etc. I'm not aware of any standard Mirage that allows you to do that.
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Re: Ensoniq Mirage

Postby PPG_HOSHII! » Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:29 am

I think the ensoniq mirage is a wonderful sampler to add to a midi setup! I waited a while before buying one because I was influenced by other peoples complaints for years; but you shouldn't be. The manual and advanced samplers guide are easy to read and use. Both manuals were written by native English speakers, so there are no bad "Engrish" translations like in Korg/Roland manuals from around the same time period. Sampling is not too difficult to figure out, if you are willing to spend 1 weekend reading over the manuals and experimenting with the different parameters, it will all come to you.

I found the rack version for $40 on ebay about 5 months ago. If you are patient, you can get a mirage for under $100; just wait for a good one: they are much more common than you might think. You can always order manuals, disk, and replacement parts from syntaur.com and don't worry about the floppy drive, you can replace that as well for about $60. Installing a replacement floppy drive into a mirage is easy.

People talk a lot of trash about the mirage, but that is a real advantage when you go shopping for one. Should you get one, you can play your own custom samples and blow away all the trash talking ensoniq haters (there's no shortage of them) trust me, it's worth it!!
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Re: Ensoniq Mirage

Postby natere2ster » Fri Oct 03, 2014 2:27 pm

2 Questions:

Does the Ensoniq Mirage DSK-1 read sample floppies from the ESQ-1?

Does anyone have some sample disks they can shared for the Dsk-1?

Thanks! :D
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Re: Ensoniq Mirage

Postby max badwan » Fri Oct 10, 2014 2:59 am

natere2ster wrote:2 Questions:

Does the Ensoniq Mirage DSK-1 read sample floppies from the ESQ-1?

Does anyone have some sample disks they can shared for the Dsk-1?

Thanks! :D

The Mirage can store the ESQs' sequencer memory to its' floppy, like a data filer, but there's no "sample floppies" for an ESQ - ROM based waves only.

There may be some disc images for the Mirage online - otherwise check the usual auction sites - the library discs come up occasionally.
Hope that helps.
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