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Return of Ensoniq?


Synthoid

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There have been a few rumors about Ensoniq returning next year, but has anyone heard anything definite? I read this statement awhile back (forget where though):

 

"Creative Labs USA announces the return for Ensoniq for 2011, with special team of designers and youth marketers."

 

:idk

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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Well, it's on Wikipedia but then so are a lot of half-lies and rumours. There was a Gearslutz thread discussing it here.

 

It's possible that Creative might resurrect the Ensoniq name. I think it more doubtful that it would result in the launch of a new hardware musical instrument, particularly in the current climate.

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I think it more doubtful that it would result in the launch of a new hardware musical instrument, particularly in the current climate.

That darn global warming!

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The phrase "youth marketers" does not inspire confidence.

 

Something like this springs to mind:

 

 

http://www.thetoyzone.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/fisherpriceinteractivebabygrandpiano.jpg

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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"youth marketers" - the Enonsiq General Midi Soundset and EMU 'Mo Phat' AND Proteus collections in a flaming pink $299.99 keyboard packaged with some promo sequencer ware as a rival to the Arturia Analog Laboratory series.

 

Also avialable in a software only version for your IPad.

 

 

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Sorry to bore you... Sven.

 

Apology accepted. ;)

 

Seriously, though, I fall squarely into the group that felt that Ensoniq didn't really have anything worth spending money on. When the synth engine was good, the key action was absolute shite. They were the least roadworthy-feeling boards on the market at the time. I couldn't get beyond that to even consider adding one to my rig.

 

With all due respect to any forum members or admins who were (?) involved with Ensoniq in any way... but I call'em like I see'em. :(

 

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When the synth engine was good, the key action was absolute shite. They were the least roadworthy-feeling boards on the market at the time.

 

You must be talking about their later products. The ESQ-1 that I had was a tank, great display, great sound, easy to program, and the action was fine.

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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You must be talking about their later products. The ESQ-1 that I had was a tank, great display, great sound, easy to program, and the action was fine.

 

Sorry, but the ESQ-1 was the least musical keyboard on the market at the time; I couldn't stand the sound of it. Also, the 'tank' analogy did NOT apply to the buttons, which failed regularly (I worked in the service department at one of the larger MI stores in Toronto when it was selling, and saw plenty of them come through the door).

 

Who knows, maybe my dislike of the product was somehow related to the fact that I was an Atari devotee, and Ensoniq was formed by ex-Commodore employees? ;)

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Who knows, maybe my dislike of the product was somehow related to the fact that I was an Atari devotee, and Ensoniq was formed by ex-Commodore employees? ;)
:idea:

I recall having to get over that myself. :)

 

I really liked my EPS 16+, though never having gigged it, I can't speak to whether it was road-worthy. OTOH, there were things about Ensoniq boards that held me back from buying them or being blown away by them.

 

I think Moe is right. I suspect Creative Labs resurrecting the Ensoniq name would be much like some of the acoustic piano "stencil brands" we see nowadays, where they're putting an old American manufacturer's name on an entry-level Chinese piano.

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Not excited in the least.

 

Gibson Guitars has owned the Oberheim trademark since 1990. Anything made in the last twenty years bears no resemblance to the original company and none of the original design team are involved. It is the same with the Creative Labs and Ensoniq.

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Sorry, but the ESQ-1 was the least musical keyboard on the market at the time; I couldn't stand the sound of it. Also, the 'tank' analogy did NOT apply to the buttons, which failed regularly

 

Well, my mileage varies. I gigged it regularly for more than 5 years with zero trouble. I liked the sound - the combo of analog filters and the aliasy digital oscillators was a different and fun programming palette. The built in sequencer was not bad either.

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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Sorry, but the ESQ-1 was the least musical keyboard on the market at the time; I couldn't stand the sound of it. Also, the 'tank' analogy did NOT apply to the buttons, which failed regularly

 

Well, my mileage varies. I gigged it regularly for more than 5 years with zero trouble. I liked the sound - the combo of analog filters and the aliasy digital oscillators was a different and fun programming palette. The built in sequencer was not bad either.

 

I wrote some great tunes with my ESQ-1 sequencer.

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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I think they had some innovative products, but like Sven, I think that their build quality was hideous. I realize, yeah, that's how you cut corners and get the price down, but wouldn't you rather spend fifty bucks more or whatever and have a keyboard that doesn't break down after a year?
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I still have my KS-32. Still works great but I'm sure I will need to replace the battery by now. Ensoniq was a great company when it first emerged.

 

I had an Ensoniq sampled grand for a while. That one didn't hold up to the test of time. Still operated fine but who would want it to. It was based on Mirage sampling technology.

 

That SQ-1 engine though in the KS-32 still generates some nice usable utility sounds. If you are man enough to carry the KS-32 and the roadcase it is stored in.

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Had both the ESQ-1 and then SQ80. Decent boards,but yea the buttons started to wig out on them.Ended up getting rid of it.

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Anyone have any experience with the TS-10? As far as I know, Jonathan Cain still uses one as his main controller. Here's a picture of his previous rigs (along with his keyboard tech), which both featured the TS-10:

 

Jonathan's Rigs

 

 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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Ensoniq was always interesting to me. I loved the Mirage...even (especially) past it's prime, it was a great way to mess up pristine sounds. The 8 bit sampling was grungy, but there was still a warmth to it.

 

I never got into any of the synths, though...never cared for the sounds.

 

I did like the DP4 effects and the Paris DAW though...those were actually pretty good sounding products.

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Anyone have any experience with the TS-10? As far as I know, Jonathan Cain still uses one as his main controller. Here's a picture of his previous rigs (along with his keyboard tech), which both featured the TS-10:

Jonathan's Rigs

 

 

Yep, Jon still uses a TS-10 sitting on the Fazioli grand.

 

Uses it for his main synth sounds a la "Separate Ways", etc...

 

Last I heard he owns three of them. That was about four years ago.

 

From a Keyboard article on his current setup:

 

The crown jewel of Jonathan Cains touring keyboard rig is his 7'6" Fazioli grand piano that travels with the band in its own giant road case. That piano demands perfection, Cain tells me. I had to step up my game when I took that thing out. The Fazioli has all these colors. Behind some of these ballads I can play really softly. Its quite a rock n roll piano, but it also has a heart. The Fazioli has a MIDI 9 system installed, with which Jonathan triggers a Kurzweil MicroPiano and a Roland Fantom, for use when the house needs more piano volume.

 

Cains original synth sounds have been sampled and stored on a rack of E-mu Emulator E4X samplers. Separate Ways, for example, has Sequential Prophet-5 and Roland Jupiter sounds, so I have samples of the real instruments that I barely play anymore. They dont even work! The key contacts are so corroded it took me two days of pounding on the Jupiter just to get it to play. Cain triggers his samples from an Ensoniq TS-10 76- note controller that sits atop the Fazioli. He also pulls sounds from a Roland D-550 synth module.

 

Im looking at the soft synths pretty hard, Cain continues. I think my next time around Ill be running a Mac with Logic 8 as my synth bank, and relegating the synth sounds to things like the Arturia Prophet and Jupiter.

 

On his left-hand side, Cain also utilizes a Hammond XK-2 running through a real Leslie, with a Korg Triton on top of the clonewheel keyboard, for the industrial synth sounds, strings, and pads he says.

David

Gig Rig:Roland Fantom-08| Yamaha MODX+ 6 | MacBook Pro 14" M1| Mainstage

 

 

 

 

 

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Still have a TS-12 which was their best piece I guess. The TS-10/12's and DP-4 effects unit and ASR sampler were something of a peak in 92/93.

 

Quality wasn't a problem then.

 

The failure to fully integrate the ASR samples into the followup MRs and ZRs was a problem as was the the dearth of good piano samples with the Coakley as a late and last resort. The sampling Flash ROM expansion card (near vapor ware for the MR and ZR) was the first indication that Enqoniq was going under. Generally unavailable and wasn't compatible with the ASR libraries converted for teh TS series, etc. A hack job of sorts.

 

They were always late, slow with delivering expansion boards compared to Roland's SR-JV Empire, and by the time EmU/Ensoniq created the Halo in 2002 which came with one internal expansion Card and slots for 3 others from the combined EMU/Ensoniq libraries it was too late. Roland was on to the SRX cards, upgraded their on boards piano, and EPs, etc.

 

Loved the Transoniq Hacker user mag too. They sit in the garage until I can finally work up the urge to purge of all that kind of stuff....

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