ensoniq sq80 plugin

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ensoniq sq80 plugin

Postby dustinh » Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:00 am

I don't know how many people have checked out this plugin but I must say I'm very impressed.
http://www.buchty.net/ensoniq/

I have an ensoniq sq80 which I love to death and I've made some really fat and dirty analog sounds with it. I then matched the plugin settings to be identical with my actual sq-80 and they sounded identical. So for those of you who'd like an esq-1 or sq-80, this plugin is a great alternative. I can't believe how similar they sound. Even with the sq-80's real analogue filter, you can't really tell the difference.

The best part of the plugin is that it's free!
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Re: ensoniq sq80 plugin

Postby smoothcriminal » Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:24 am

I had the opposite experience when I compared sq8l and an ESQ1, it's a nice software instrument but in my opinion it has a different character to the ESQ/SQ. Close, but different.
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Re: ensoniq sq80 plugin

Postby Algorytm7 » Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:25 pm

I quite like this plugin. It sounds good. I tried it in a musical context some time ago and it was a positive experience. It's obviously not identical with the hardware synths but that little difference doesn't seem to grate, at least when there isn't any immediate comparison with the real SQ80.

I think the GUI is not ideal when used with the computer mouse but I haven't tried any MIDI controller with it yet.
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Re: ensoniq sq80 plugin

Postby dustinh » Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:19 pm

It's VERY close. There are some slight nuances between the two but not much. I've made three examples of sounds I made on my SQ80 and replicated them on the plugin. If you can name the real one on all three examples then I'll applaud you :D

http://www.mediafire.com/?j3na153b8r5dizy
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Re: ensoniq sq80 plugin

Postby smoothcriminal » Sun Mar 20, 2011 1:01 am

It has been a while since I owned an ESQ1 but I think the 2nd example is the SQ80 in all 3 patches

here's the comparison I did right before I sold my ESQ, note that I just copied settings 1:1 rather than tweaking the patch to get it closer. I think I started with an Sq8l patch and copied it to the ESQ.

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Re: ensoniq sq80 plugin

Postby dustinh » Sun Mar 20, 2011 5:41 am

I'll wait a little longer to post the results in case anyone else wants to try. I'll just say that your answer is not fully correct.

It's interesting, in your example, the two are very noticeably different. I didn't do any additional tweaking with the settings on mine, all the parameters on both are exact with each other. Perhaps there are some difference between the esq-1 and sq-80? I thought they were exactly the same only with a few extra waveforms on the 80. In these examples, I used all basic waveforms, mostly saw and pulse wavs so it should sound exactly the same on the esq-1, in theory anyway.
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Re: ensoniq sq80 plugin

Postby smoothcriminal » Sun Mar 20, 2011 5:49 am

how many did I get out of 3?

I wish I still had my ESQ so I could do a more careful comparison, I'm sure it's possible I didn't get the settings fully correct on my patch.
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Re: ensoniq sq80 plugin

Postby smoothcriminal » Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:49 pm

The comparison on http://itec.uka.de/~buchty/sq80/sq8l/SQ80vsSQ8L.mp3 is actually quite good. Some patches are practically identical, and some are quite noticeably different. My guess is that patches that overdrive the VCA or use very resonant filter settings are the ones that the software can't quite emulate (although it still sounds good with those sounds, just not as warm).
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Re: ensoniq sq80 plugin

Postby dustinh » Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:27 am

Yeah, the example from the site is good. They are almost indistinguishable, just slight nuances. The plugin even has an additional overdrive setting to emulate how the filter distorts when the signal output is high on the original sq-80.

Anyway, I'll go ahead and post the results of my comparisons.

Example 1: real 80, then plugin
Example 2: plugin, then real 80
Example 3: real 80, then plugin

I think example 2 is the most notable in difference, mainly because of the filter. It has a little more of a resonant and juicy sound and it rumbles a little more in the lower register.

I would say the plugin is 90-95% of the sq-80's sound. I agree with you that the filter and the way that the original distorts is still more noticeable even with the overdrive simulator in the plugin. That's part of what gives these machines their charm :)
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Re: ensoniq sq80 plugin

Postby smoothcriminal » Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:54 am

1/3 thats not very good! I knew I should have trusted my ears rather than looking at the waveforms in Audacity. The plugin has a characteristic low-end boost which I was associating with the real thing. In the Buchty example a few of the plugin patches have a kind of grating high frequency response that is the biggest difference in my opinion.

By the way this thread has me seriously considering GASsing for an SQ
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Re: ensoniq sq80 plugin

Postby redchapterjubilee » Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:34 pm

SQ8L is one of my two or three favorite VST's, freeware/shareware/commercial or otherwise.
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Re: ensoniq sq80 plugin

Postby dustinh » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:51 pm

smoothcriminal wrote:1/3 thats not very good! I knew I should have trusted my ears rather than looking at the waveforms in Audacity. The plugin has a characteristic low-end boost which I was associating with the real thing. In the Buchty example a few of the plugin patches have a kind of grating high frequency response that is the biggest difference in my opinion.

By the way this thread has me seriously considering GASsing for an SQ


The SQ-80 has been my favorite synth that I've owned, and I've owned quite a few synths. It's also the cheapest one I ever bought. I got it for $150 including a nice hard case for it. It's one of the best kept secrets in the synth world.
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Re: ensoniq sq80 plugin

Postby loungedumore » Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:41 am

Love it . Use it often . I have had a real ESQ-1 for awhile now and I have used it as a librarian / editor and as an overflow module . If you turn on the " muffle" emulation it gets even closer in sound IMHO . The one thing I noticed were the differences stand out to me for sure was the pulse waveform .

Great that it's free , just wish it could be edited with midi ....even just the gui parameters
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Re: ensoniq sq80 plugin

Postby tryan225 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 4:54 am

Seriously a great vsti. Forget the fact that it's free...it simply emulates what it's trying to emulate extremely well, while capturing the interface of the original and making it even easier to edit than the hardware. I just sold my esq-1, and I can only take solace in the fact that I can still use this software. It was created by a guy who has a serious passion for the esq1/sq80 and I think that is what makes it so great.

Does anyone know of any other free vsti's that are as true to their hardware as this? I would really like to know.
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Re: ensoniq sq80 plugin

Postby Projectile » Sun May 15, 2011 11:00 am

The sq80 plugin is one of the closest emulations of a hardware synth I've ever heard. The only others that come as close are the d16 stuff IMO. I think the sq80 even beats the pants off of the Arturia and Gmedia stuff as far as authenticity goes. Of course, those companies are emulating fully analog synthesizers, which is a lot more difficult task. Still, it's amazing that such a perfect emulation is freeware. If it had been released by a major company with a $100 price tag and a flashy GUI, people would be all over it. For now, it's my secret weapon.
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