The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Ensoniq TS-12 vs Emulators / Kontakt Libraries / Soft Synths
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Ensoniq TS-12 vs Emulators / Kontakt Libraries / Soft Synths

I recently found a really good deal for a TS-12 for $250 dollars, seems to function 100%, and being the buyers remorse suffering cheap bastard that I am...what am I missing here? I heard a demo of these, and they sound terrific, but people online have been commenting that you can practically have all the sounds in software that you can in the TS-12...is there something special about these things that a digital soft synth couldn't achieve?

At $250, it seems like a good deal, but am I wasting money on something I can achieve in a PC? Or do these things obtain some sort of special chip or circuit wizadry that make them sound as special as they do?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 
daviddever's Avatar
Philips TDA1541A DAC for the win, among other things.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by play.exe View Post
I recently found a really good deal for a TS-12 for $250 dollars, seems to function 100%, and being the buyers remorse suffering cheap bastard that I am...what am I missing here? I heard a demo of these, and they sound terrific, but people online have been commenting that you can practically have all the sounds in software that you can in the TS-12...is there something special about these things that a digital soft synth couldn't achieve?

At $250, it seems like a good deal, but am I wasting money on something I can achieve in a PC? Or do these things obtain some sort of special chip or circuit wizadry that make them sound as special as they do?
Where do you see people suggesting you can "have all the sounds in software that you can in the TS-12"? Even if you had the same wavetables that came with the TS-12 (a possibility, since the ROMs have been dumped, I believe), you still wouldn't have the "transwave" or "hyperwave" capability.

To my knowledge, there are no softsynth plug-ins which can emulate the TS-series synths, and no ROMpler libraries that have tried to extensively capture the sounds. When you consider that the sounds can be modulated by different sources to change over time (especially with the transwave patches), simple, static samples really wouldn't do them justice. And while there are wavetable and "hyperwave" plug-ins available, they're not quite the same as the TS' architecture, and they don't have the same wave data. Finally, since there's no plug-in emulation of the Ensoniq DP/4 effects unit (which is included in the TS synths), you'd be missing out on how those sought-after effects shape the sounds, too.

I've heard that some Ensoniq synths have problems with the keybed after a while, but I think those issues were related to the earlier VFX and SQ/SD series.

Steve
Old 2 weeks ago
  #4
Here for the gear
 

Well there are YouTube videos that demonstrate the ability to emulate beyond recognition
Like https://youtu.be/JZRZfIA8rF4

And reddit posts like
https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.red...e_vs_hardware/
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by play.exe View Post
Well there are YouTube videos that demonstrate the ability to emulate beyond recognition
Like https://youtu.be/JZRZfIA8rF4

And reddit posts like
https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.red...e_vs_hardware/
Woody has some good videos, yes. But you may also want to check out Espen Kraft's stuff; he's more of a "hardware" guy. They did a "hardware versus software comparison" you might find interesting. (https://www.youtube.com/user/elkanah37)

If you take the time to find the individual elements (or close approximations) of the TS-12's sounds and layer them and apply modulation to match the original patches, yes, you can come close if you use something like Kontakt. But that's a lot of work for each patch. How often do you see yourself doing that? Another option is a ROMpler (usually Kontakt) library--but those will be static samples, and will lack much of the constantly evolving nature of the TS-12's sounds as they go through the DP/4 effects.

If you want something that sounds similar to the TS-12 in software, you can check out SQ-8L, which is a great (and free) emulation of the Ensoniq SQ-80. These aren't the same sounds as a TS-12, but they have the same "Ensoniq"/"digital" sound to them, and might get you close to what you want. You still wouldn't have the DP/4 effects processor, but you could emulate something close to that (since there's no direct software emulation of that, either).

Steve
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Lives for gear
 

On the one hand, you may find the factory presets to be “dated” or just not catered to whatever your style of music. If you want to make your own sounds this may not be a problem. OTOH, if you pay little enough for it you can try it out for yourself and sell it if you’re not into it. Caveat is these are big, heavy, not particularly hip and kind of old (potential for reliability issues) so may not be the easiest thing to unload.
Old 1 week ago
  #7
I see the OP's issue now. When I first read this, it was on my phone. I missed the "buyer's remorse" reference, so I thought he was considering buying it but wondering if he could make the same sounds with plug-ins.

The TS-series can still make some interesting sounds, but you may need to dig in to the synthesis methods a bit to get the most out of them--especially if you're trying to re-purpose mid-'90s ROMpler sounds into today's productions. But you have a lot of interesting samples to work with, if you're willing to learn how to get the most out of "transwave", "hypwerwave" and the rest of the synthesis methods. Of course, much of this depends upon the kind of music you're trying to make, too. And of course, you'll still have to get your head around the DP/4 effects engine, which adds a lot to the sound.

If you decide it won't work for you, you can still probably sell it and make a small profit. There are quite a few people on GS (and other forums) who are looking for TS-series synths, if only to mangle the sounds a bit for their own productions.

Steve
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowsOfLife View Post
I see the OP's issue now. When I first read this, it was on my phone. I missed the "buyer's remorse" reference, so I thought he was considering buying it but wondering if he could make the same sounds with plug-ins.

The TS-series can still make some interesting sounds, but you may need to dig in to the synthesis methods a bit to get the most out of them--especially if you're trying to re-purpose mid-'90s ROMpler sounds into today's productions. But you have a lot of interesting samples to work with, if you're willing to learn how to get the most out of "transwave", "hypwerwave" and the rest of the synthesis methods. Of course, much of this depends upon the kind of music you're trying to make, too. And of course, you'll still have to get your head around the DP/4 effects engine, which adds a lot to the sound.

If you decide it won't work for you, you can still probably sell it and make a small profit. There are quite a few people on GS (and other forums) who are looking for TS-series synths, if only to mangle the sounds a bit for their own productions.

Steve
$250 bucks, for a dang near perfect TS12 was a no brainer, and even though there are Kontakt libraries that emulate the TS12 patches, I see what you mean with they won't sound exactly identical...ive played some patches from the Kontakt library side by side with the patches from the TS12...close...very close, but not exactly the same. Im figuring out how to work it into my digital workflow, for now I run a midi track from Logic to trigger the sounds in the TS12 using my midi controller...and then run 1/4" cables from the main outs of the TS12 into the 1/2 input of my interface and record it that way. If there was an easier way, maybe someone can share.

As far as buyers remorse goes, I don't think i've experience any once I got it home and plugged it up. Everything works and it sounds very very very 80'ish. I could see some synthwave /vaporwave type tracks coming out of this.

Here is some of my music, so you can get an idea of what kind of sounds I am after. I don't really know what hyperwave or transwave is, but I think i'll do some more research to get myself more familiar with the magic in this retro gear.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DR-uhFF1KaE
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by play.exe View Post
$250 bucks, for a dang near perfect TS12 was a no brainer, and even though there are Kontakt libraries that emulate the TS12 patches, I see what you mean with they won't sound exactly identical...ive played some patches from the Kontakt library side by side with the patches from the TS12...close...very close, but not exactly the same. Im figuring out how to work it into my digital workflow, for now I run a midi track from Logic to trigger the sounds in the TS12 using my midi controller...and then run 1/4" cables from the main outs of the TS12 into the 1/2 input of my interface and record it that way. If there was an easier way, maybe someone can share.

As far as buyers remorse goes, I don't think i've experience any once I got it home and plugged it up. Everything works and it sounds very very very 80'ish. I could see some synthwave /vaporwave type tracks coming out of this.

Here is some of my music, so you can get an idea of what kind of sounds I am after. I don't really know what hyperwave or transwave is, but I think i'll do some more research to get myself more familiar with the magic in this retro gear.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DR-uhFF1KaE
Ironically, the TS-12's "hyperwave" and "transwave" would have sounded right at home if you'd made the video with music from that era. As it is, it's still a cool video (cut very nicely, too), and the music did a nice job of underscoring some of the wistfulness of "memories" from 30 years ago.

The way you've planned to trigger the sounds over MIDI and recording the sounds into Logic is exactly the way you'll need to do it. It's easy to do, so you shouldn't have any problems.

There are several websites offering tips and tricks on "hyperwave" and "transwave", and of course, the TS-12's manual is a good place to start, too. Without oversimplifying it too much (yet doing so in the process), you're just dealing with wavetables (more or less), and/or wave sequencing, where samples are played sequentially as part of a sound. This is similar to what the Korg Wavestation and the Prophet VS did, but Ensoniq takes it a step further with real-time modulation options. So while you may not necessarily be able to use many of the original sounds from the synth, you still have quite an interesting sonic playground inside the machine.

Fellow 'Slut @ xanderbeanz loves to wrangle and mangle sounds out of older Ensoniq synths; you might find him to be a helpful source of info on how to dig deep into the TS-12. Here's a link to some of his stuff: Xanderbeanz further talents.... You can also find him on here, musing about Ensoniq gear (and other synths), if you go to his profile and browse through the posts he's made about the synths. (Yes, it feels kind of creepy; no, it isn't illegal or immoral.)

And fellow 'Slut Don Solaris knows a bit about the TS-10/12, and how to make your own transwaves: http://www.donsolaris.com/?p=902

Steve
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump