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The Ensoniq ESQ 1
Old 25th November 2020 | Show parent
  #31
My serial No is 8838 so i have read its the old metal made and not the plastic made ESQ 1 Thanks for clearing this out about the OS version, i may use it as is if i dont have to remove the battery, also what about the keys is it easy to remove and clean a bit ?
Old 25th November 2020 | Show parent
  #32
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๐ŸŽง 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by nutjob View Post
I have an M and love the sound of it. The osc waveforms are great and I like the sync sounds it does. Would love to upgrade it to the SQ80 ROMs.

The Stereoping hardware editor is a fantastic tool for enabling knob control for all three of the oscillator's waveform selection parameters and detuning amounts. On the whole though, I find it to be far from ideal. It has an unusual subset of envelope controls which are workable if you are starting your patch from scratch but aren't so great if you are trying to edit other people's patches.

My stereoping firmware also appears to have a bug where one of the knobs puts out the wrong commands - perhaps there's a difference between the sysex spec of the ESQ-1 that it was designed for and the ESQ-M that I'm using.

I had some fun with the ESQ's multitimbral functionality recently using Retune in Max4Live to facilitate the sequencing of microtonal harmonies.

Also, as noted elsewhere the SQ8L VSTi is an excellent patch compatible emulation but more than a bit cumbersome under OSX.
The full versions really don't need an editor--everything is right in front of you. I don't really understand why people opt for the rack when it's more expensive and impossible to program.
Old 25th November 2020 | Show parent
  #33
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Ruff View Post
The full versions really don't need an editor--everything is right in front of you. I don't really understand why people opt for the rack when it's more expensive and impossible to program.

My first (keyboard version) had a bad battery, so no patches were in it. After replacing the battery, I created 6 patches from scratch very quickly, with interesting (to me) movement & timbre. The front panel has everything needed.
My plan was to keep creating patches, but then shortly after I got a PEK which distracted me.
Old 25th November 2020 | Show parent
  #34
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Rob Ocelot's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kraze View Post
I'm even surprised it can do 3 digital OSCs, 3 LFOs, 4 ENVs, osc sync and even amplitude modulation (all while sequencing stuff) with a generic 8-bit 2 MHz CPU of the '80s and not choke (well until you send any MIDI parameter change to it that is)
The Motorola 6809 (I believe it's the faster 68B09 variant that takes an external clock in the ESQ/SQ) was better than average for a synth microprocessor at the time. Fairly speedy and could do some 16-bit calculations and addressing as well (handy if you are manipulating stuff like wavetables). The MIDI message bottleneck is unfortunate but I think it had more to do with the PIA (perhipheral interface) than the processor itself. Oberheim used the 6809 in the Xpander/Matrix-12 and also the Matrix 6/1000 (which also has a similar MIDI bottleneck). ARP/Rhodes Chroma also used the 6809 but they later went with an Intel 80186 for the Chroma Polaris (and I think it's the only synth, heck... the only thing period I've heard of using a 186 other than some obscure computers you've probably never heard of).

Compare that to the slower Z-80 used by Sequential in the Prophet-600 where it was generating envelopes, watching the MIDI bus and doing the general housekeeping like panel input/keyboard scanning and why the Gligli mod really opens things up for that synth.

I'm surprised someone hasn't come up with an expansion mod for these Ensoniqs... it would be interesting to plop a faster M6803 (code compatible) in there but I suspect it would throw a lot of other things out of whack.
Old 25th November 2020 | Show parent
  #35
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abruzzi's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Ruff View Post
The full versions really don't need an editor--everything is right in front of you. I don't really understand why people opt for the rack when it's more expensive and impossible to program.
space? Today I'll take the rack of ANYTHING over the keyboard version unless the keyboard provides expression that I cant get elsewhere (polyAT, mostly). I was watching a K5000R, thinking of ditching my K5000S. I'd happily trade my VL1 for a VL1m, my K2661 for a K2600R, and I already decommissioned my ESQ-1 for an ESQm.
Old 25th November 2020 | Show parent
  #36
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abruzzi's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by massimo View Post
Hi all,

I have the ESQ-m, and I love it.
Is this the upgrade with SQ80 waveforms some of you are referring to?
https://www.ebay.de/itm/DIY-KIT-Enso...Cclp%3A2334524
Any first-hand experience?
Also, I have a cartridge with hundreds of presets. Will their sound change after performing the upgrade?

Best
Massimo
Baasically, but I don't know if anyone here has tried that specific vendor. To know what is actually involved:

http://www.buchty.net/ensoniq/files/sq80m.pdf

and

http://www.buchty.net/ensoniq/files/...ea-alterio.pdf
Old 25th November 2020 | Show parent
  #37
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๐ŸŽง 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by abruzzi View Post
space? Today I'll take the rack of ANYTHING over the keyboard version unless the keyboard provides expression that I cant get elsewhere (polyAT, mostly). I was watching a K5000R, thinking of ditching my K5000S. I'd happily trade my VL1 for a VL1m, my K2661 for a K2600R, and I already decommissioned my ESQ-1 for an ESQm.
If space is an issue then of course you do whatever works best. But I see people hankering for an M for no apparent reason, maybe only for the fact it got highlighted in some interview with a techno flavor-of-the-month dude who happened to use one (and barely knew how to use it from what I recall). Prices seemed to jump around the same time
Old 25th November 2020 | Show parent
  #38
Lives for gear
 
๐ŸŽง 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Ocelot View Post
I'm surprised someone hasn't come up with an expansion mod for these Ensoniqs... it would be interesting to plop a faster M6803 (code compatible) in there but I suspect it would throw a lot of other things out of whack.
if anyone could have done this by now it would be Rainer B. I know he is (or was?) working on a new OS that was going to address some basic shortcomings, but it wasn't going to do anything to mod timings. I think he is limited by some aspect of either the architecture or code. Still, I hope he finishes it!
Old 25th November 2020
  #39
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Bignatius's Avatar
The rack version of the ESQ is missing half of the panel controls vs the keyboard, in constrast to the rack version of the Mirage which has all of the same buttons as the keyboard version, mod/pitch wheels aside.

A bit less convenient, to be sure.
Old 26th November 2020 | Show parent
  #40
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jbuonacc's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by abruzzi View Post
I don't know either, though they have been moving up. ~4 years ago I got mine on ebay for $125 shipped. Today they are mostly ~$400-500, with the ESQm commanding $700-800. ...
the ESQm was my first multitimbral synth (also my first โ€œdigitalโ€ synth now that i think about it), used it quite a bit for a few years until โ€œreplacingโ€ it with a Waldorf Micro-Q rack. ended up selling it to fund the Nord Modular G2 when that came out.

saw one in a local shop about ten years ago for $60, with memory cartridge. not sure why (other than maybe because i had bought an ESQ-1 in between and didnโ€™t see any reason to use it over SQ-8L), but i passed on it. got nostalgic for a minute when i first saw it, but figured โ€œwhy even bother?โ€ still kicking myself for that.
Old 26th November 2020 | Show parent
  #41
What about the editors ? are there any around for any platform ? i own a few computers from mac to atari and a normal pc
Old 26th November 2020
  #42
Btw how do you deal with a key that is not - most of the time works - triggering right ? i opened it up and its a spring system mainly found in 70s synths and not any kind of pcb etc the key triggers 90 per cent but sometimes it needs a bit more of pressure i wanted to know how one can deal with such a key just in case i ever need that.
Old 26th November 2020 | Show parent
  #43
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๐ŸŽง 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenOcean View Post
What about the editors ? are there any around for any platform ? i own a few computers from mac to atari and a normal pc
You don't really need an editor for ESQ-1. It's like the best non-knobby interface out there.
Old 26th November 2020 | Show parent
  #44
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Bignatius's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kraze View Post
You don't really need an editor for ESQ-1. It's like the best non-knobby interface out there.
The ESQ-m, however...
Old 26th November 2020 | Show parent
  #45
Quote:
Originally Posted by kraze View Post
You don't really need an editor for ESQ-1. It's like the best non-knobby interface out there.
I think this fact that this synth is self explanatory made the need for an editor not really worth it to be written and released, its the first time i own this synth and while i always look for editors for other synths i thought it would be nice to ask.
Old 26th November 2020 | Show parent
  #46
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๐ŸŽง 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenOcean View Post
I think this fact that this synth is self explanatory made the need for an editor not really worth it to be written and released, its the first time i own this synth and while i always look for editors for other synths i thought it would be nice to ask.
There's another reason why there are not many editor options for ESQ-1 despite its popularity and omnipresence.

And it's written on this actual ESQ-1 editor's page:

https://ctrlr.org/ensoniq-esq1-one-way-editor/

"Donโ€™t turn the knobs too fast โ€“ ESQ1 will crash and reboot!"

It's just not a good option when you have more problems programming it remotely.



Again - my suggestion - program stuff from the front panel since it's way more comfortable than moving your mouse around - and when you are done with the synth for the day - use MIDIOX to SysEx dump all your stuff to your drive.

In fact I do that with any synth that has batteries just in case. You never know if those may run out of juice next time you turn it on and you lose everything.
Old 26th November 2020 | Show parent
  #47
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Don Solaris's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
๐ŸŽง 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenOcean View Post
Btw how do you deal with a key that is not - most of the time works - triggering right ? i opened it up and its a spring system mainly found in 70s synths and not any kind of pcb etc the key triggers 90 per cent but sometimes it needs a bit more of pressure i wanted to know how one can deal with such a key just in case i ever need that.
Normal thing with the contact. Happened on mine as well. I used 100% percent alcohol and a q tip. Now it works like a charm. It is also metal case like yours. Try the alcohol and let me know how it works. Don't use 70% or any of that "iso" but pure alcohol.
Old 27th November 2020 | Show parent
  #48
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MikeInOttawa's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kraze View Post
You don't really need an editor for ESQ-1. It's like the best non-knobby interface out there.
If you want a patch editing challenge, get a Roland D50

The ESQ-1's slider makes menu-diving really easy. The SQ8L VST is nice, but it's not as intuitive as the actual synth.

I bought my son an ESQ-1 for his birthday some years ago for $100. He was out of town, so I set it up in his bedroom. When he got there, I powered it up, hit the play button, and it played Happy Birthday, that I had programmed into it.

Great synth, and super-versatile. I loved it so much I bought myself an SQ-80. The ESQ-1 is a superior synth, for one reason- the clacky SQ-80 keys. I play the SQ-80 with my D50 with a MIDI cable into the SQ-80 to avoid those keys.
Old 27th November 2020 | Show parent
  #49
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X_Electric's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
I used 100% percent alcohol
Whut?
Old 27th November 2020 | Show parent
  #50
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Arglebargle's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeInOttawa View Post
If you want a patch editing challenge, get a Roland D50

The ESQ-1's slider makes menu-diving really easy. The SQ8L VST is nice, but it's not as intuitive as the actual synth.

I bought my son an ESQ-1 for his birthday some years ago for $100. He was out of town, so I set it up in his bedroom. When he got there, I powered it up, hit the play button, and it played Happy Birthday, that I had programmed into it.

Great synth, and super-versatile. I loved it so much I bought myself an SQ-80. The ESQ-1 is a superior synth, for one reason- the clacky SQ-80 keys. I play the SQ-80 with my D50 with a MIDI cable into the SQ-80 to avoid those keys.
I'm a percussionist and pretty uncaring about keyboard feel, but the SQ80 clack was dang noticeable. ESQ1's keyboard felt much better. And my ESQ1 was missing 4 or 5 keys, and got used mostly to make the ESQm programming easier.

Loved 'em. Sounded great. First synth of mine that would do what I wanted.
Old 27th November 2020 | Show parent
  #51
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AlchemicalAudio's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by NawSon View Post
Mod wheel is your friend for real-time tweaking tho obviously only one at a time.
It also responds to aftertouch (including poly aftertouch), and an expression pedal for real time control.

I stayed away from the ESQ for a long time because I was afraid of the โ€œlack of real-time controlโ€ but after having one for around ten years, I have never found it to be a problem, especially with the addition of an expression pedal.
Old 27th November 2020 | Show parent
  #52
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Arglebargle's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 5 years
Yeah, I used breath control as the midi 'Xcontrol' setting, and the voices reacted smoothly to it. Aftertouch and expression pedal were just fine as well. Still got my old ESQ pedal.

Loved that you could hold a pedal tone, switch voices, and it would continue to hold the original one.
Old 27th November 2020 | Show parent
  #53
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Rob Ocelot's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
I used 100% percent alcohol.
Quote:
Originally Posted by X_Electric View Post
Whut?
Don's talking about using lab grade anhydrous ethanol, ie distilled grain alcohol but realistically it can never be 100% because it will suck water out of the surrounding air unless you keep it in a special container with a dessicant. The anhydrous alcohol available from lab supply places will always have a small amount of another solvent (typically benzene or toluene, both of which are poisonous not to mention carcinogenic) to discourage curious lab assistants from drinking it.

If you can find 90 or 99% isopropyl alcohol (aka 'Rubbing' alcohol) then that is sufficient for cleaning oxidation off contacts -- yes, I'm contradicting what Don says. Most tape head cleaning solutions use concentrated isopropyl Stay away from the 70% stuff though as it's got too much water in in it.
Old 27th November 2020
  #54
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Rob Ocelot's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 5 years
The SQ-80 clack problem was solved about a decade ago by Syntaur (My SQ-80 was a guinea pig) by removing the foam pads that get hard and brittle over time and replacing it with a bidirectional key bushing. Unfortunately, early on we discovered that SQ-80's shipped with two different kinds of black keys -- one kind doesn't have a small shelf inside the key that's needed to contact the bushing to stop the key travel and to give you resistance in the aftertouch zone. Sam used to offer a full set of black keys with the shelf for an extra charge but I believe he's since run out of them and is likely out of the double sided bushings as well.

I have no idea how many SQ-80s have the 'no clack' upgrade but it can't be very many.
Old 27th November 2020 | Show parent
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenOcean View Post
Btw how do you deal with a key that is not - most of the time works - triggering right ? i opened it up and its a spring system mainly found in 70s synths and not any kind of pcb etc the key triggers 90 per cent but sometimes it needs a bit more of pressure i wanted to know how one can deal with such a key just in case i ever need that.
I was having this issue and it turned out to not be the key itself - resolved it by re-seating the voice chips - which was scary.
Old 27th November 2020 | Show parent
  #56
Hi Don

The problem is not the contact itself but the spring which seems its loose enough and when the key is pressed the spring doesnt even get in touch with the metal contact, i can see that clearly in all other keys in these the spring easily gets to the metal contact on one only is not so i need to press harder to get the sound. Any ideas ?
Old 27th November 2020 | Show parent
  #57
In metal case ESQ 1s there is this one spare part that can adjust the distance between the contact strip and the spring hopefully mine has and adjust screw so i can adjust the distance,

https://www.syntaur.com/Items.php?Item=4055
Old 27th November 2020 | Show parent
  #58
Dead easy fix on this one, metal case ESQ 1s have a key regulator screw for each key to control the distance of the spring in order to make contact, with a little screwdriver you adjust that. Thanks all for all the replies.
Old 27th November 2020 | Show parent
  #59
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enossified's Avatar
 
1 Review written
๐ŸŽง 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenOcean View Post
What about the editors ? are there any around for any platform ? i own a few computers from mac to atari and a normal pc
There was a freeware for Atari called ESQuizit. No idea where you could find it today. I had another commercial editor (Dr. T?) but my mind is drawing a total blank.

Of course, there's always MIDI Quest. Not cheap, the MQ One version for just the ESQ-1 is $59, the MQ Pro version that covers pretty much any vintage MIDI synth you might own is $299.
Old 3rd December 2020
  #60
is it safe enough to keep the original battery in there ? i own the first metal case esq 1 model with the battery vertically positioned on the bottom left of the mainboard and it reads 0.33v so its definitely dead but there is no corrossion or any other sign of damage, is it safe to keep it there or at any time this thing can explode causing damage to mb ?
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