Ensoniq SQ80 NIGHTMARE

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Ensoniq SQ80 NIGHTMARE

Postby forcedopinion » Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:43 pm

So I bought an SQ-80 sometime back in March. Tried to load some sysex info into it (after I changed it to accept sysex data) and both times it has resulted in completely f**king the thing up. As in, I've already done one hard reset and now, knowing I don't have corrupted sysex data, am going to have to do another. What the hell can possibly be happening to where this thing just doesn't accept it and when I try to send anything to it, it freezes to the point of having to crack it open and do hard resets?

I've wanted one of these for a long time and I'm about at my wits end. For having it for over 6 months I've probably gotten about 25 minutes play time with it.
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Re: Ensoniq SQ80 NIGHTMARE

Postby Sir Ruff » Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:12 pm

So does it work once you've done the hard reset? If that's the case, I'd just accept it as one of those occasional bugs these can have and get programming your own patches. Invest in some floppy disks or a cart to save your sounds as well.
Do you even post on vse bro?
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Re: Ensoniq SQ80 NIGHTMARE

Postby forcedopinion » Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:36 pm

Yeah, it goes right back to its factory setting after the hard reset, it's just such a pain in the ass. I have some cool patch collections from someone and it helps me learn how to program synths when I can study other peoples work. The envelopes here are set up a lot different from what I'm used to. Forgot to mention, the hard disk drive doesn't respond at all (of course the guy I bought it from never told me that), I had some new dsdd disks and tried to format them on the sq80 and it tells me there's no disk inside.

I thought I got a good deal on this and it's just been one annoyance after the other. I also bought a custom made road case as I was planning on taking this to shows and I just feel so ripped off and annoyed.
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Re: Ensoniq SQ80 NIGHTMARE

Postby Ashe37 » Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:24 pm

forcedopinion wrote:Yeah, it goes right back to its factory setting after the hard reset, it's just such a pain in the ass.


Replace the battery.

I have some cool patch collections from someone and it helps me learn how to program synths when I can study other peoples work. The envelopes here are set up a lot different from what I'm used to. Forgot to mention, the hard disk drive doesn't respond at all (of course the guy I bought it from never told me that), I had some new dsdd disks and tried to format them on the sq80 and it tells me there's no disk inside.

I thought I got a good deal on this and it's just been one annoyance after the other. I also bought a custom made road case as I was planning on taking this to shows and I just feel so ripped off and annoyed.


Floppy drive may need replacement. it happens.

Also, try lowering the bpm/buffer rate on the sysex data you are sending.
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Re: Ensoniq SQ80 NIGHTMARE

Postby rhino » Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:28 pm

Welcome to the board!


Are you sure that the SYSEX data is from an SQ-80? I got a great deal on an Ensoniq TS-12 because the previous owner couldn't get it to load a sound disk that said "Yamaha SY-77". Said he couldn't understand why they would load and play on one synth but not another.

Also, try loading the patches from your computer via MIDI.

But, my first concern would be that the patches are corrupt somehow. (Lots of bad patch banks floating around the Net)
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Re: Ensoniq SQ80 NIGHTMARE

Postby forcedopinion » Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:39 pm

In this case, what would replacing the battery do? I thought the hard reset always reverted back to the factory settings? Slowing down the rate is a good idea, I will try it whenever I get around to opening this thing up.

Yes, I am sure the files are for the SQ-80, they were sent to me by the programmer. I have a mac and am using sysex librarian to send the files. The program works without problem for my other synths.

When you send/receive sysex files to the SQ can any menu page be up? When I was sending the files I just had the internal patches bank up. Looking over the manual it looks as if I would need to be in the MIDI menu.

I don't know how fresh the battery is and I'm assuming the disk drive is dead. I will probably get some help from a friend to replace both when I get the money, might as well since I've already sunk too much into it as it is to ever hope to recover what I spent originally.
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Re: Ensoniq SQ80 NIGHTMARE

Postby Bitexion » Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:01 pm

The diskdrive probably isn't dead, it's just VERY selective to what disks it wants to accept. I got a single disk with mine from the seller, and it's fully loaded with soundbanks. The drive definately doesn't sound healthy, but it works to load and save banks on that disk only.

Then I wanted more disks to make backup of my "holy grail"-disk. Asked around here, and got a stack of 720kB disks from a friendly guy in Portugal sent to me.

Not a single of those disks would format inside the synth. And they were the correct kB size. But yeah..one of the dangers of 80s digital synths is that they can have all sorts of problems that can only be fixed by changing a certain chip or whatever. And most synth techs refuse to even look at them.

Your MIDI issue is probably due to wrong settings in the program you use to send sysex files, more than the synth itself.
I assume you've read the manual? It is available from yamaha's website in PDF format. It's actually really good, taught me how to use the quite cryptic sequencer . And yes, those envelopes are a bit unusual at first.

My disk is a Sony MFD-2DD "double sided" floppydisk. Doesn't say what size it is, but I think its was 720kB, like old Amiga disks. Or maybe 800kB, which makes it one of those weird formats noone else uses. The manual should say what kind you need. How to get them is a different issue, though.
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Re: Ensoniq SQ80 NIGHTMARE

Postby Ashe37 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:26 pm

Bitexion wrote:I assume you've read the manual? It is available from yamaha's website in PDF format. It's actually really good, taught me how to use the quite cryptic sequencer . And yes, those envelopes are a bit unusual at first.


Well, maybe from the Emu site, but not the yamaha site :D

My disk is a Sony MFD-2DD "double sided" floppydisk. Doesn't say what size it is, but I think its was 720kB, like old Amiga disks. Or maybe 800kB, which makes it one of those weird formats noone else uses. The manual should say what kind you need. How to get them is a different issue, though.


Amiga disks were 800kb. DSDD floppies were 720kb when pc-formatted.
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Re: Ensoniq SQ80 NIGHTMARE

Postby philip » Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:58 pm

Yes, the same shit in here. Earlier I could load sysex direct from SQ8L VSTi Emulator into my SQ 80 via midi. Now it's not working somehow. Try this yourself,maybe you'll have more luck. SQ8L VSTi is in here http://www.buchty.net/ensoniq/#sq8l.

And let us know if you make it.
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Re: Ensoniq SQ80 NIGHTMARE

Postby forcedopinion » Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:21 pm

UPDATE - Did a hard reset and slowed down the sysex send speed. Everything worked well on the test. Next fix = hard drive.

Also, does anyone have a link for the factory patches for it in sysex? I'm worried about dl'd the bad files that I've heard about. Surprisingly, I've found the factory piano patch to be quite useful in my mix.
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Re: Ensoniq SQ80 NIGHTMARE

Postby Ashe37 » Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:43 pm

Factory patches are o n the Yahoo ESQ group, which is somethign like ESQSeMe or something like that.

what do you mean next fix=hard drive? are you talking about the floppy drive?
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