Arturia Announces SQ80 V Synth Plugin

 Arturia Announces SQ80 V Synth Plugin

Post date:

Wed, 09/22/2021 - 08:18


Naomi Bolton

Rumors of Arturia working on an Ensoniq SQ-80 virtual instrument have been swirling around ever since some images were leaked early in September. Finally, these rumors turned out to be confirmed, with Arturia officially announcing the release of their SQ80 V synth plugin.

Ensoniq's SQ80 was created by the same engineers responsible for the Commodore 64 computer, but at the time of its release, it was up against stiff competition. Japanese manufacturers such as Roland and Yamaha dominated the digital synth market with the likes of the D-50 and DX7. Nevertheless, the SQ80 went on to become a cult classic thanks to its warmth and character, which was unusual for digital synthesizers of the time. Another big draw was its flexible voice and modulation controls that were easy to program. In addition, instead of the increasing complexity of other digital synths, Ensoniq opted for simple menus and clearly assigned buttons. Its unique sound, courtesy of a Curtis CEM 3379 filter and amp chip, also helped set the SQ80 apart from the competition.

Arturia wasn't just content with recreating the original SQ80 sounds using hardware modeling, either. Instead, they have also retrofitted its architecture to include several extra creative features along with hundreds of additional waveforms. In addition to an arpeggiator, Arturia has also added 16-voice polyphony, which is double that of the original synth, and an 8-voice unison option. SQ80 V also features dispersion to ensure that no two notes will ever be precisely the same, along with two additional envelope modules. SQ80 V also has a mod mixer to combine any two modulation sources and supports MPE-compatible controllers. Along with the 40 presets replicated from the original instrument, SQ80 V's library also has 120 other presets.

The main features of SQ80 V are as follow:

  • Three digital oscillators based on the original DOC chip
  • Over 400 waveforms across four unique banks
  • Amplitude Modulation and Hard Sync
  • Four analog DCAs; 1 for each oscillator, one master output
  • Analog resonant low-pass filter based on the original CEM chip
  • Four polyphonic envelope generators with three modes; SQ80, DADSR, MSEG
  • 3 LFOs with six waveforms
  • 8 MIDI sources
  • Modulation mixer for combining two modulation sources
  • Built-in 7-mode arpeggiator
  • Up to 16-voice polyphony with Unison mode
  • 4 FX slots across two busses, configurable in series or parallel
  • 15 master effect types
  • Advanced Brightness, Timbre, Time and Movement macro controls
  • 200+ factory presets, including 40 from the original SQ-80 instrument
  • MPE compatibility

Check out the official overview video by Arturia below to learn more about the SQ80 V.

For more information, to purchase your copy of SQ80 V or to get your hands on the free demo, visit the official website. SQ80 V can be bought along with two sound banks for a discounted introduction price, and existing customers can also take advantage of additional savings.