UVI has released Digital Synsations, a new virtual vintage synths collection inspired by four 90s classic keyboards – the Yamaha SY77, the Korg M1, the Roland D50 and the Ensoniq VFX.
A brand-new massive library inspired by four 90s classic keyboards — the Yamaha SY77, the Korg M1, the Roland D50 and the Ensoniq VFX : UVI Digital Synsations
Digital Synsations includes over 500 patches expertly programmed on a fully restored Yamaha SY77, Korg M1, Roland D50 and Ensoniq VFX‚ used by many of the greats including Depeche Mode, The Cure, Pet Shop Boys, Vangelis, Brian Eno, Toto, 808 State, Jean Michael Jarre and more.
We deeply multi-sampled these custom patches using top-shelf equipment and edited them to perfection before sending them off for professional mastering. These sonics became the foundation for our new hybrid instrument and combined with the UVI Engine give you the true character of these classic synths with all of the peculiarities and programming by products intact. Not only that but you get them in an extremely easy to use and fast to edit environment complete with all the features you expect from a modern virtual instrument.
If you’re looking for a new take on the 90’s sound, or just some new classic synth inspiration then look no further.
* UVI is not affiliated, endorsed or sponsored by the Yamaha Corporation, the Korg Corporation, the Roland Corporation or the Ensoniq Corp. All trademarks are held by their respective owners.
** iLok required
An electronic piece called “Time Synthis” explores some of the hidden waves of the SQ-80 “Cross Wave Synthesizer”.
Photo slide show of pictures Jack Girouard took showing the steps of the upgrade as well as other shots inside and outside.
“This is an improvisation done on two tracks, (did not use the sequencer, all done live) it’s all SQ-80 sound with a Lexicon MX-300 doing some effect processing. Note: these are patches I’ve created, the upgrade to 1.8HW doesn’t give you a new set of patches, it just gives you 52 more wave types that can be used for the three oscillators. They simply add to the list of waveforms simply as numbers 75-127. The patches used in this video used hidden waveforms 78, 79, 80, 82,”
The SQ-80 is basically a reved-up ESQ-1 with a total of 75 waveforms, a 61-note keyboard with velocity & aftertouch, floppy disk drive for storing patches and sequences, and an enhanced sequencer. Great for organs, analog-type sounds, pads and sound effects. Like the classic ESQ-1, the SQ-80 functions in providing analog-type 4-pole lowpass filtering and editing of digital waveforms. Each voice can combine up to 3 of the 75 waveforms. These waveforms include multi-sampled transient attack waves such as violin bow, plectrum picks, mallet, hammer, breath attacks and percussive sounds. There are also 5 sampled drum sets. Three LFOs are onboard for some pretty wild modulation of the sounds you create or edit. Complete MIDI implementation makes the SQ-80 great for any studio or live use too.
As for playing the SQ-80, it is a dream! Its 61-note keyboard is full, responsive and has polyphonic aftertouch. Polyphonic aftertouch simply means that each key pressed will respond to aftertouch independently of the other keys. The aftertouch can be used to control a variety of modulation parameters such as the LFO. Pitch and mod wheels and plenty of front-panel buttons and a few sliders make accessing and editing fairly easy and hands-on. The keyboard can be split or layered. The pattern-based 8-track multitimbral sequencer is great for creating short to complex sequences live, or in step time with quantization, bounce-able tracks, 60 sequence patterns and 20 songs. And they can be saved to disk along with any patches you’ve created and any SysEx Midi data. Unfortunately, the SQ-80 has no built-in effects. The SQ-80 is certainly a classic analog/digital hybrid of the late eighties which still holds up well today.
Jack Girouard explores hidden waves on the Ensoniq, here are the details:
An electronic piece called “Time Synthis” explores some of the hidden waves of the SQ-80 “Cross Wave Synthesizer”. Photo slide show of pictures I took showing the steps of the upgrade as well as other shots inside and outside. This is a very special synthesizer, super clean inside too! (its not for sale).
I bought this synth from an ebay member: thomasb93. I don’t want to give a source away, but he does a great job refurbing synths! I found this one, and was well worth it!
Here is a description of what he did with this SQ-80: “All buttons, wheels, faders, keys and disk drive work as they should. It has a new 3V lithium installed. The power supply passes the correct voltage at all test points and the CEM 3360 analog filter sounds great. This synth also features polyphonic aftertouch. The insides of the synth look new and the key contacts, foam pads and keyboard pcb look new as well.” I feel proud to own this well cared for instrument! Thanks Tom!
I did the upgrade when I got it. Had a little scare, I put the Hi Lo eproms in backwards, for the record, when doing that and restarting your SQ-80, the display shows nothing but a single digit 3 off to the very left bottom corner of the display. Note: in the dark angle view shot of the main board, if you look closely enough you’ll see the eproms in reversed. I wouldn’t recommend doing this but fortunately taking them out and putting them in correctly brought me to the Soft Reset screen seen here. Press one button and the new OS version can be read…none of the patches were lost because it was a soft reset and had the latest eprom previously, 1.8. These eproms, Oshi and Oslo, are designated as version 1.8HW, I believe it can be refered to as version 1.83 as well.
This is an improvisation done on two tracks, all SQ-80 with a Lexicon MX-300 doing some effect processing. Note: these are patches I’ve created, the upgrade to 1.8HW doesn’t give you a new set of patches, it just gives you 52 more wave types that can be used for the three oscillators. They simply add to the list of waveforms simply as numbers 75-127. The patches used in this video used hidden waveforms 78, 79, 80, 82, .
The Ensoniq ESQ-1 is a hybrid synthesizer from 1986. It has 32 digital waveforms and analog lowpass filter. It is flexible, since it employs 3 oscillators, 4 envelopes and 3 LFO’s per voice. Also it has a built in pattern sequencer.
“The ESQ-1 is a mostly digital (It has analog filters) 8 voice polyphonic, synthesizer with multitimbral (8-part) capabilities and MIDI. Sounds can be split or layered. One nice feature is that changing the sound while the previous sound is still playing doesn’t cut the first sound off. It can store 40 sounds internally, and another 80 to cartridge. Sounds and sequencer data can also be stored via cassette tape.
Each sound, or timbre is constructed with up to three Oscillators. Using all three oscillators can give very thick, rich string pads and brasses, especially as the sounds can be de-tuned and panned in a variety of different ways.
Each oscillator draws upon a bank of 32 hybrid digital/sampled waveforms including sawtooth, sine, square and a variety of conventional waveforms such as piano, human voice and organ. This may not sound very many in comparison to today’s synths, but there are enough editing features to independently change these basic waveforms in an almost limitless fashion.
One of the strongest parts of the ESQ architecture is the filter section, which features analog four-pole (24dB/octave) resonant filters. The filter covers a broad sonic range, and can be modulated via a number of inputs including key velocity, modulation wheel, any of the three LFO’s and any of the four Envelopes.
The ESQ-1 comes standard with an 8 track 2400 note sequencer which can be expanded to 10,000 notes. The sequencer features a flexible ‘pattern play’ facility for chaining patterns one after the other in any order. The ESQ-1 sequencer does all the usual stuff, but has one extremely useful feature: You can record a sequence (or Pattern), comprising of up to 8 independent tracks (Bass drum, Snare, hats, synth, strings, bassline etc) and copy this to another location. You could then for example, remove the bass drum track from one of the sequences, but leave it in the other. While the sequence with the bass drum track is playing, you can select the one without the bass drum track, which will start to play with seamless integration once the first sequence has played to the end. This method of letting you chain any of the sequences in any order you like, continuously and seamlessly, means that you have total freedom with song arrangement. After trying out arrangement ideas this way, the 8 track sequences (of which 30 can be stored) can finally have their ‘play order’ fixed into a Song. I haven’t come across another sequencer that gives you the ability to play a looped sequence as many times as you want before selecting another sequence, without first having to save the order in which you want them to play. This is a very useful feature in Dance music and Techno music where the song is generally built up over time in the same key, but with additional instruments coming and going. You are not limited to using only the ESQ-1 sounds on the sequencer, as each track can be made to play the ESQ-1’s internal sounds, external sounds over MIDI, or both.”