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Asr-x vs. Asr-xpro vs. Asr-10
Old 13th February 2010
  #1
Asr-x vs. Asr-xpro vs. Asr-10

I've tried the search function but can anyone explain the difference in these models besides the obvious keys vs. Pads. Do they all have the same sound? Are the effects the same?
Old 13th February 2010
  #2
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from what i remember, the same sound and same effects
Old 14th February 2010
  #3
No, and No..

ASR-X editions have slightly improved efex specs over the ASR-10 but lack the editing function that the ASR-10 has.

ASR-X series are more MPC/Groovebox oriented machines, where the ASR-10 was a full on sampling machine.

Both are good machines
Old 14th February 2010
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by kazper View Post
No, and No..

ASR-X editions have slightly improved efex specs over the ASR-10 but lack the editing function that the ASR-10 has.

ASR-X series are more MPC/Groovebox oriented machines, where the ASR-10 was a full on sampling machine.

Both are good machines
What sampling functions does the asr10 have that the asrx doesn't?
Old 15th February 2010
  #5
41517
Guest
love the "sampler" on the ASR series.... hate the sequencer,but i sequence it with a MPC. ASR 10 is one of the best sounding machines ever, whatever you put in..it comes out sounding better. the FX are awesome. i like being able to "pitch" stuff across the keyboard on the 10.
Old 15th February 2010
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigstig View Post
What sampling functions does the asr10 have that the asrx doesn't?
Major abilities to get down and edit the sounds and internally route them. I can't remember the exact details as it's been too long. It's been years since I had a ASR-X Pro but I have 2 ASR-10's at the moment.


I would say it the ASR-X OS may be a incomplete piece of work or limited by design.

Honestly for the money try the ASR-X if you find one with SCSI. The pro version is significantly better IMO. I do plan on grabbing another when I see one on Craigslist.

The display size , encoders and the membrane design of the pads are the ASR-X downfall. It made the machines buggy off the line which helped put the brakes on Ensoniq as a creative MI manufacture. I believe they were already in financial trouble at the time and the Fizmo, and ASR-X units were a last ditch effort.

Kaz
Old 16th February 2010
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by kazper View Post
Major abilities to get down and edit the sounds and internally route them. I can't remember the exact details as it's been too long. It's been years since I had a ASR-X Pro but I have 2 ASR-10's at the moment.


I would say it the ASR-X OS may be a incomplete piece of work or limited by design.

Honestly for the money try the ASR-X if you find one with SCSI. The pro version is significantly better IMO. I do plan on grabbing another when I see one on Craigslist.

The display size , encoders and the membrane design of the pads are the ASR-X downfall. It made the machines buggy off the line which helped put the brakes on Ensoniq as a creative MI manufacture. I believe they were already in financial trouble at the time and the Fizmo, and ASR-X units were a last ditch effort.

Kaz
What about the os was incomplete? Btw I only plan on using it as a sound module and fx
Old 17th February 2010
  #8
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3rd Degree's Avatar
 

The ASR X and ASR 10 are totally different beasts. They both sound great but the ASR X is, from what I know, less reliable than the ASR 10. It is also a bit more "slapped together" than the ASR 10. I believe it was the last samper Ensoniq made. The ASR 10 is decently buggy and the sequencer sucks as bad IMO so I don't see any negative about going with the much cheaper ASR X unless you want a keyboard. The Pro is just an expanded version basically.
Old 17th February 2010
  #9
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I purchased my ASR-X Pro back in October of 1997 right about when they both came out.
I made a ton of great tracks with it.
Now Im tempted to break it out and utilize it again after revisiting my older "bangin" tracks..read TRACKS and not "beats" as I do them all the way through from beginning to end for the length of the song,in real time.
I love the chromatic pads on the ASR X Pro.
Old 17th February 2010
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phillysoulman View Post
I purchased my ASR-X Pro back in October of 1997 right about when they both came out.
I made a ton of great tracks with it.
Now Im tempted to break it out and utilize it again after revisiting my older "bangin" tracks..read TRACKS and not "beats" as I do them all the way through from beginning to end for the length of the song,in real time.
I love the chromatic pads on the ASR X Pro.
You play each drum element through the sampler all the way through the song?

Is there any examples you can share of your work in doing so..id like to be able to hear a benefit in doing so.

Considering most of my drums are just 2-8 bar loops, quantized and groove templated at best.
Old 17th February 2010
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgthefuture View Post
You play each drum element through the sampler all the way through the song?

Is there any examples you can share of your work in doing so..id like to be able to hear a benefit in doing so.

Considering most of my drums are just 2-8 bar loops, quantized and groove templated at best.
I dont have any examples right now because I havent used it in a very long time,except sometimes as an efx unit as the efx engine is basically a stereo DP 4.

I always like to "program" all the way through because of the subtle diffenences which can occur when not trying to make everything sound boring as hell.
Spontanaiety can be a good thing,especially when it comes to making your tracks stand out from the rest.
This "technique" if you will comes from my years as a studio musician where we used real instruments and played the songs for the length of the song and then some from beginning to end.
Old 18th February 2010
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by talontsiawd View Post
The ASR X and ASR 10 are totally different beasts. They both sound great but the ASR X is, from what I know, less reliable than the ASR 10. It is also a bit more "slapped together" than the ASR 10. I believe it was the last samper Ensoniq made. The ASR 10 is decently buggy and the sequencer sucks as bad IMO so I don't see any negative about going with the much cheaper ASR X unless you want a keyboard. The Pro is just an expanded version basically.
Expanded how? What functions does the asr-xpro have that the asr-x doesn't? Memory? Scsi? More fx?
Old 18th February 2010
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigstig View Post
Expanded how? What functions does the asr-xpro have that the asr-x doesn't? Memory? Scsi? More fx?
Ensoniq ASRx | Vintage Synth Explorer
Old 11th June 2010
  #14
Here for the gear
 

can you still genrate the synth sounds on the asr-x, with the sound disks?
that is a major detrmining factor on my purchasing of either one
Old 11th June 2010
  #15
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The Hydrilla's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stakksabbot View Post
can you still genrate the synth sounds on the asr-x, with the sound disks?
that is a major detrmining factor on my purchasing of either one

No disks needed. There are internal banks on both the X and PRO. Try and get one with the Urban Expansion Card - more than doubles your sounds.

The ASR X Pro is a great machine. The sequencer isnt the best, but it is not as unreliable as many make it sounds. The problem stems from sometimes jittery play back when scrolling though banks, or tracks while playing - this only makes it unsuitable for live performances. Otherwise it is fine.

I wouldn't even bother using the sequencer in this day and age anyways. I have mine slaved to my DAW, and do all my sequencing in Sonar. Piano roll vs. a 3*1" screen is no contest.

Bottom line the ASR X is a solid piece of equipment, and a great first piece of equipment too. Get the Pro, make sure you update to latest OS (3.04) and try to get a Turbo version (came out the factory fully loaded).

I have never played with a 10, but from the videos I have seen it seems less intuitive. With the X, I can sample and send to pads and be chopping in seconds.

Edit: Oh and the X PRo has Stomper built in, allowing you synthesize your own sounds.
Old 11th June 2010
  #16
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so what is the function of the sound disks that i see on a site like ebay for the asr-x pro? it is my understanding that with an asr-10 you can sample, but also load sounds in and play them...for instance if i wanted to add an organ to a beat i made, i could load an organ sound disk, and play it myself...does the asr-x pro have that many sounds loaded in already, or would it benefit me to invest in them too...i want a sampler/synth combo to add more flexiblity to my set up...
Old 11th June 2010
  #17
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NaturalBlack's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stakksabbot View Post
so what is the function of the sound disks that i see on a site like ebay for the asr-x pro? it is my understanding that with an asr-10 you can sample, but also load sounds in and play them...for instance if i wanted to add an organ to a beat i made, i could load an organ sound disk, and play it myself...does the asr-x pro have that many sounds loaded in already, or would it benefit me to invest in them too...i want a sampler/synth combo to add more flexiblity to my set up...
The sound disks are just collections of samples. Some will be one shot percs. some single notes to be spread across keys. and some multisamples. Any sampler can load many of them. I never had any expansion cards (Though I did always hear ppl talk up the urban expansion one) when I had mine but as a sampler I loved it. As far as the stock sounds I wasnt really impressed but It was my first ever piece of gear and I didnt really know as much then about synthesis. And its been years since I had one. As mine was stolen when I went to college but if i ever found one again I would definately make the purchase.
Old 11th June 2010
  #18
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forgive me if i sound foolish, as this will/would be my first BIG purchase, (i had a sp-505, and it too was stolen), but if the sounds load into most any sampler, in theory could i have a mpc 1000, and use the asr sound disks, for the sounds, and reproduce them by spreading the sounds across the pads? i am really a fan of many artists that use the asr, blockhead, alchemist, early kanye, even the neptunes, and i want to have the opportunity to create synth sounds like that, if i could do this with an mpc, the better sequencer, id prefer that...for me the sound disks are the real draw
Old 18th June 2010
  #19
7up
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Ok lets break this down, and tear down some rumors.

I have an asr 10 + asr x (black) with scsi in both.

So lets get right to it, first asr 10 has more editing features in some ways and is more geared as a keyboard sampler. The machine has a tape recorder function as well (2 track recorder basically). The sequencer in both is good, lets say that a again the sequencer is good. Now the asr x does not play all asr 10 sounds perfectly sometimes there will be differences although I wouldn't worry about it.

ASR-10:

  1. Keyboard sampler driven, heavy editing features, 2 track recorder and better navigation ( i think) arrow keys over knobs. There is also a few more things probably in the asr10 OS thats not in the asr x and vice versa.
  2. As a general rule ASR 10 os is more stable, but I will explain this later.
  3. 16 mb is max ram, still quite a bit and surely enough for my needs. Wu tang made there album on an EPS, I think the original maybe not even the full 2 MB heh and it turned out pretty good.
  4. I know the ASR 10 os better and its easier to navigate *for* me
  5. Also if you need keys and want an asr machine its a one package deal.
Now for the ASR X / Pro

  1. The machine has built in sounds, it has a small MR synth built in (really good synth) and you can add quite a bit more sounds with an expansion card. There is 3 of them but can only use 1 at a time. (Dance, World, Perfect Piano). The machine stock only has 2 MB of sample data compared to the stock 14 MB of stock sample data in the actual mr/zr. With that being said its pretty much a free added bonus and you do get quite a bit of sounds and alot of hip hop geared stuff.
  2. You can get much more sample ram then with the asr 10, 16 mb vs up to 32 mb with the black model and i *think* 66 or maybe 88 mb with the red pro model. Anyways you get quite a bit more sample time, but remember this does not effect me at all. I don't sample a large amount of stuff, my asr can do 3 minutes at 44.1, good enough for me for sure, but hey its nice to be able to have more I guess.
  3. You can midi a keyboard in there and then have keys which I would highly recommend, nothing wrong with the pads but keys are my thing,
  4. I think the red model asr can read wavs now, this is a pretty big plus, maybe the black model with the last os (maybe) not sure about that but I know the red model can.
There are my small list of advantages now for some rumors.

  1. The ASR-X sequencer does not skip or mess up if you have the latest OS for it, 2.67 is an absolute must for a black asr, if you see one that has an earlier be prepared to spent 20 or 30 bucks getting it upgraded. You have to buy some rom chips with the new os on it. For this simple reason the red asr x pro is a safer bet since it allows ou to put whatever os you want on it, I think it goes up to 3.01 or something but its still pretty much the same as 2.67 nothing major was added if i remember correctly. Now the sequencer can skip if your browsing through stuff or loading other banks etc haven't had it happen ( have not used it in a while) but I believe it could happen, but this does not effect your music making at all. The skipping from the black model had something to do with the timing correction that you can apply, they fixed it though in 2.67 once again so don't worry about it if you have black one with this os
Well just one big point I guess

Anyways the asr 10 and the asr x are very similar, with one you get a synth with built in sounds, with the 10 you still get a synth ( you can record yourself whistling and put it on there and have a full synth whistle, although the professionally recorded ones might sound better but you don't get built in sounds but you can load them from many disc by ensoniq and many other companies.

asr10 - scsi is a must unless you get it super cheap and dont mind the floppies, it will be a pain but if its free them heh.

asrx- black is fine as long as you update or already has 2.67 os, also black with SCSI or you will be in the floppy boat. Red has SCSI as a standard so thats another + for the red machine in a way.

You have many other options as well though if you want the ASR sound, you can get the rack versions you can get the dp-4 or whatever its called effects rack but its all up to you your work flow and how you want to do things.

Happy ASR'ing and hope I helped.
Old 18th June 2010
  #20
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dfg_MacGyver's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 7up View Post
Ok lets break this down, and tear down some rumors.

----

Happy ASR'ing and hope I helped.
Wow, thanks man. That is a serious rundown. Appreciate it.

I checked out the asr-x for 5 min once , didnt really get it. And I hated the red color + design of asr-x pro , lol.
It's all down to what inspires u I guess.
Like u I'm so used to the ASR-10 Os and how the buttons are placed on the keyboard model.




PS. The converters on ASR-10 and ASR-X are different if I remember correctly.
Old 18th June 2010
  #21
7up
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Not sure about the converters but most likely show the machines are about 3-5 years apart depending on black/red model.

I always hated the red color, still do, although its still a really good machine black with 2.67 and scsi is my asr x of choice.

but yea for me ASR 10 >>>> ASR X, but if mpc is your thing then that might be different.

ASR 10's to many people treat it like gold and they sell them on ebay for like 900 bucks, even though last I checked there were many selling with scsi much lower, buy it now is not the best way to get a good idea of the going price they made a bunch of these things.

Funny story this music store went out of business and the guy was like just throw everything away or take it. They had about 8-10 keyboards in the basement the guy I was with ended up selling some, I got the asr 10 and a kurzweil 2600 i think, I got rid of that but lately I was thinking of re getting it.

You never know where you can find these things, saw a pawn shops selling an eps16+ for 35 bucks and an asr x at another for 50 bucks. Online you will pay premium though because you don't have to hunt, but for me thats more then half the fun.

Now only if I could find an E-mu emulator iii for like 100 bucks. Maybe some day.
Old 18th June 2010
  #22
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NaturalBlack's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stakksabbot View Post
fi am really a fan of many artists that use the asr, blockhead, alchemist, early kanye, even the neptunes, and i want to have the opportunity to create synth sounds like that, if i could do this with an mpc, the better sequencer, id prefer that...for me the sound disks are the real draw
dont know blockhead. but kanye and alchemist use the ASR as a more as a sampler(chopping) not a synth. and from what I remember kanye, alch, and the neptunes all have the asr 10. Which dosnt have a synth at all.

The sound disks ur talking about depend on format but what ever sampler you buy has millions of sample disks availiable. especially the mpc. and most support wav format so if the samples are wav files your good to go.

I guess Im the only one that thought the red on the ASR was cool...
Old 18th June 2010
  #23
7up
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I don't think we really know what all of these artist use the units for, but in the videos I have of kanye he was using it as a drum machine + sampler.

The ASR 10 is a synth, its based on the same architecture of the older ensoniq synths, it just does not have any pre loaded sample data, hence where the disk and cd's come in.

For the ASR 10, it cannot read .wav but the red asrx can.

The MPC does not have a synth architecture at alll so using it as a synth would be a joke, but you could always use a different wav file for each key I guess.

The ASR 10 did come with a starter kit with sounds (pianos, organs etc) so one could say the asr 10 did come with sound, you just had to load them.

The whole Sampler vs Rompler debate is a strong one, the ROMplers pretty much won as most machines now are romplers with sampling added. This allows them to sell you new machines with new "sounds" all the time and keep buying expansion cards. The ASR 10 is a wonderful synth its just the cd based sample architecture really hurt the sale of romplers which is one reason many companies don't go that route.

Am I the only one who read the manuals?? heh

edit.

If anyone knows I would love to, how did the akai s1000 and the roland sample cd's of that time work with the asr? Does the asr 10 just read those formats? Any info on what formats those companies used? This is something that always made me wonder, I don't think either company was using .wav at that time.

those kurweil workstations would work with roland and ensoniq sample cd's too.

side note.

the akai s1000 KB was a "boss" machine
Old 19th June 2010
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7up View Post

ASR-10:
I know the ASR 10 os better and its easier to navigate *for* me
By far. Except for building drum kits and sequencer, X's ergonomy is awful.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 7up View Post
You can get much more sample ram then with the asr 10, 16 mb vs up to 32 mb with the black model and i *think* 66 or maybe 88 mb with the red pro model.
Yes, 66.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 7up View Post
  1. The ASR-X sequencer does not skip or mess up if you have the latest OS for it, 2.67 is an absolute must for a black asr, if you see one that has an earlier be prepared to spent 20 or 30 bucks getting it upgraded. You have to buy some rom chips with the new os on it. For this simple reason the red asr x pro is a safer bet since it allows ou to put whatever os you want on it, I think it goes up to 3.01 or something but its still pretty much the same as 2.67 nothing major was added if i remember correctly. Now the sequencer can skip if your browsing through stuff or loading other banks etc haven't had it happen ( have not used it in a while) but I believe it could happen, but this does not effect your music making at all. The skipping from the black model had something to do with the timing correction that you can apply, they fixed it though in 2.67 once again so don't worry about it if you have black one with this os
Well just one big point I guess
X's timing problem is not related to the internal sequencer, but to external sequencing. It's a real mess. Maybe it have been fixed on the red, I don't know.
X's sequencer problem is not timing, it's the step-editor!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 7up View Post
Anyways the asr 10 and the asr x are very similar,
No. They have next to nothing in common except the brand.


Quote:
PS. The converters on ASR-10 and ASR-X are different if I remember correctly.
Converters, preamps, dsp's, everything.


The asr x have more memory, resonant filters for each sound and not only within the fx section, two fx dsp's and not only one (but the asr 10's users know there's tricks), a more flexible routing system to the fx sections, midi sync for lfo's. For the rest, the 10 manage to do as good or, more often, to eat his little brother.
Old 21st June 2010
  #25
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I've owned both at some point.

I wish that I'd kept my ASR-10, it had the most amazing sound, generally lo-fi but in a very good way.

The ASR-X sounds a little more hi-fi, but, ASR-10 will take you into hip-hop wonderland much quicker.

They both sub-par inbuilt sequencers.
The ASR-10's sequencer is isn't quite as bad as the ASR-X's though.

Overall the ASR-X is a very reasonable and clean sounding sampler, and if sequenced externally it's a very respectable unit.

The ASR-10 is like an instant hip-hop sampler, but be real careful not to overload the sequencer. Today I'd take an ASR-10 over an ASR-X, even though it's prone to severely overheating and it's buttons always felt a little flimsy to me.
Old 21st June 2010
  #26
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Chimming in. Owned an ASR10 and was crying tears of joy everytime I made a sample into it (esp. layered drum parts triggered via velocity!!!!!!).
On the other hand, I did not do my homework before buying and will save you a lot of time with this advice: Do not pay more than $200 for an asr10 without SCSI. SCSI is sooo critical on this machine it would make the difference between the x and the 10 for me. It will cost you $200-$300 to get an scsi installed if you are lucky enough to find one. I happen to live near ATL, hip hop paradise. If you are in middle of nowhere Nebraska....
I ended up selling it due to the slowness of using floppies...
Old 21st June 2010
  #27
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I owned both the ASR-10 and the ASR-X Turbo back in the 90's and to be perfectly honest if I could go back, I would. I was very productive using those two samplers alongside the SP-1200 and MPC-60. The filters on the both samplers were awesome for dirty bass and electric piano samples. I use to think the drums were mushy until I went from the output of my DJ mixer to a tube preamp. I loved the entire signature sample series for the EPS-16+/ASR-10. Ensoniq's sequencer for both samplers was pretty decent but the envelop editing on the ASR-10 was superior to any other sampler out there at the time. But I also remember that ASR-10 would overheat like crazy causing it to crash often.
Old 22nd June 2010
  #28
7up
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalshim View Post
By far. Except for building drum kits and sequencer, X's ergonomy is awful.




Yes, 66.



X's timing problem is not related to the internal sequencer, but to external sequencing. It's a real mess. Maybe it have been fixed on the red, I don't know.
X's sequencer problem is not timing, it's the step-editor!



No. They have next to nothing in common except the brand.


Converters, preamps, dsp's, everything.


The asr x have more memory, resonant filters for each sound and not only within the fx section, two fx dsp's and not only one (but the asr 10's users know there's tricks), a more flexible routing system to the fx sections, midi sync for lfo's. For the rest, the 10 manage to do as good or, more often, to eat his little brother.
Ok

The problem from every source including many users of the machine said it was timing correction. This was fixed with 2.67 and in 3.03? I think with the red version.

Maybe the external sequencer had issues as well.

2ndly these are similar machines as I would use them for the very exact same purpose.

I personally never used the asrx much as I always liked the asr 10 more.
Old 17th July 2014
  #29
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It seems the ASR-X can read ASR-10 floppies (mostly), but I was curious about the other way around, if the ASR-10 can read ASR-X formatted disks. I have a chance to score a bunch of ASR-X floppies, but don't want to waste my money if they can't load on my ASR-10. I haven't been able to find anything in my Google search and am wondering if anybody has both units or knows about this ? Thanks !
Old 17th July 2014
  #30
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beyondat's Avatar
 

I'm like 99% sure that the 10 can't read X disks. I remember trying this years ago but had no success. IIRC.
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