Issue #84 - Buchty.net

Issue #84 - Buchty.net
.
The Independent News
Magazine for Ensoniq Users
The Book of SQ
-
In this issue
Part XII
Setting Phasers on Stun
..
Articles:
Clark Salisbury
Reverb" effect. Select the effect type,
and change it to "Phase Shifter." You
should be hearing the effect of the phase
shifter now, though it will seem a bit
subtle. But we can fix that in no time.
So far in our twisted journey we've examined the SQ reverbs, chorusing and
flanging effects. But there's a lot more
going on in SQ effectsland than just
these three effect types. Why, there's
phase shifting, rotary speaker, distortion
and compression that we have yet to deal
with. Let's start with phase shifting,
shall we?
The Phase Shifter effect in the SQ is
designed to emulate the classic "Biphase" effect popularized by the venerable Mutron company several years ago,
and it's one of my favorite effects. You
readers who've been playing electric
guitar or Rhodes piano or Clavinet for
more than a few years will no doubt
remember the phase-shifter's almost
vocal-sounding sweeping effect. And for
those of you who don't, here's a little
demonstration.
Select the ROM program "Dyno Lead."
Hit EDIT, then the EFFECTS menu button, and the screen 0 button to move to
the top of the effects menu pages. You'll
note that this sound uses the "Chorus +
ISSUENUMBER84, $2.50
...
Scroll to the next page (or hit the screen
1 button), and adjust "Phaser Rate" to
something a bit faster - perhaps a value
of "25" or so. Also, increase "Phaser
Depth" to around "60" - you should be
starting to hear that classic sound now.
Scroll to the next page and you'll come
to the "Phaser Center" parameter - it is
set to a value of 50. This value places the
poles of the phaser half-way between
their extremes, yielding maximum effect. Note that changing this value can
have the effect of "tuning" the phaser to
sweep through higher or lower frequency
spectra. For now, leave it set to 50, and
move on to the "Feedback" parameter.
This control works in a similar fashion
to the feedback control on the chorusing
or flanging effects - it routes some of
the processed signal back into the effect
input to process it again, yielding a much
thicker processing. You'll want to be
careful with this parameter, though extreme settings can cause the SQ to
generate some pretty brutal sine waves,
which could damage your ears, your
speakers, and your good standing with
the board of directors for your condominium association.
But being the devil-may-care synthesist
that you are, you'll want to beef up this
SQ Phase Shifting
Clark Salisbury
Hacker Glitz
John Bolles
-
cover
Sam Mims
13
Live Improvisation with the ESQ-l
Brian Rost """""""""""""""""""""""
17
Backwards Sampling
Tom Shear
19
Reviews:
Basement Tapes: Mueller and Mullen
Daniel Mandel
6
K. Thomas Sounds for EPSs
Bryce Inman
7
Pegasus Sounds for VFX-sd, SDs
Dennie Edwards """"""""""""""""""'"
9
Ensoniq's ISC-l for SQs
Jeff Rhoads
10
Ensoniq's VSD-lO04 for SDs & VFX-sd
Jeffrey P. Fisher
11
Treehouse Sounds for Mirage
Pat Finnigan """""""""""""""""""""
16
Regular Stuff:
CurrentO.S.
3
15
Hard Drives List """"""""""""""""""'"
Classifieds
3
20
Hackerpatches
Sam Mims & Jeffrey Rhoads
21
The Interface
Hacker Booteeq
24
31
Random Notes
"""""""""""""""""""""
JUNE,1992
the value for modulation amount from +30 to some higher
value.
sound by increasing the feedback amount anyway. Try both
positive and negative setting for the Feedback parameter, to
get a sense of how each colors the sound. The setting that I
particularly like is in the negative range
something like
"-70" sounds pretty cool to me.
-
The SQ also contains a dual effect that utilizes phase shifting
- the "PHASER + REVERB" algorithm. None of the reverb
or phaser parameters differ from anything we've discussed so
far, so you shouldn't have any trouble using this effect. And
it's real nice to have access to phase shifting effects without
having to give up the reverb - particularly for electric
pianos, clavinets, guitars, organs, and a multitude of other
sounds available in the SQ (clavinet through a phase shifter is
one of my all-time favorite comping sounds).
The next parameter is "Stereo Cross-Feedback," and the
caveat about extreme settings applies here too. This parameter
controls the amount of output from one channel of the phaser
that will be fed into the other for creating a stereo feedback
effect the actual effect of this parameter (at least to my ear)
is pretty similar to that of the straight-ahead feedback
parameter, so just adjust it to your own liking. I find a setting
of "-46" to be pleasing.
-
Another effect that I'd like to take a moment and talk about is
the "ROTARY SPKR+VERB" effect. This effect is designed
to simulate the sound of the speaker cabinets designed and
manufactured by the Leslie Corporation for use with electric
organs - most notably of the illustrious Hammond variety.
The next menu page presents us with the "Phaser Level" and
"Input Invert" parameters. "Phaser Level" gives us a certain
amount of control over the amount of phaser output that will
be present in the final signal- a setting of 99 will yield maximum effect, so let's leave it set there. After all, we can still
control the overall phaser level from the FXl and FX2 bus located at the top of the effects menu pages.
The Leslie speaker cabinet contains at least a couple of
speakers, one of which would actually rotate at a couple of
different speeds, creating interesting doppler effects as it
rotated toward and away from the listener. The organist using
the cabinet would normally have a foots witch which would
allow him or her to switch the speaker between slow and fast
rotation speeds. But since the speaker rotated mechanically, it
would take it a few moments to get up to full speed or to slow
down completely once the switch had been hit. All of these
idiosyncrasies have been quite nicely integrated into the
"ROTARY SPKR+VERB" effect. To check this out, let's start
with the ROM program "Organ 2."
The "Input Invert" parameter, however, will have a very significant effect on the color of our sound. You see, normally a
phaser creates notches in a sound's frequency spectrum, and
these notches are swept up and' down through the spectrum to
create the phaser's characteristic sound. But by inverting the
input signal, the notches become peaks - a fairly different
sounding effect. Try setting the Input Invert parameter to
"ON" to get an idea of what this sounds like. See? This stuff
is a piece of gateau.
Select the program and hit the "Edit" and then the "Effects"
button. Hit the screen 0 button to move to the top of the effects editing menu, and increment the effects until you reach
the "ROTARY SPKR+VERB" effect.
The last parameter in the phaser menu pages is for modulating
one of the effect parameters from one of the modulators. By
now you should be sufficiently adept with the SQ and its effects to be able to explore this page fully on your own, but I
will share one of my favorite uses for this page, and that is to
control phaser rate from the modwheel.
As is usually the case with most of the multi-effects, you can
use FXl and FX2 to control reverb amounts; any voices
routed to FXl will be processed both by the rotary speaker effect and the reverb, while voices routed to FX2 will receive
processing by the reverb alone.
To set this up, first assign "Rate" as the parameter to modulate, and modulate it from the "MODWHEEL," with an
amount of "+30"
your display screen should look like this:
-
Since we've already dealt with reverb effects in some depth, I
want to skip the second menu page (the one accessed by
pressing the screen 1 button) which deals solely with
reverb-related parameters. So let's continue by pressing the
screen 2 button to access the first set of parameters that deal
with the rotary speaker effect, "Slow Speed," and "Fast
Speed."
Modulate RATE
by MODWHEEL +30
This will allow you to use the wheel to control phaser rate.
And since you have an easy way to change the phaser rate
whenever you want, it might be nice to set the initial rate a bit
slower than you might normally. This will give you a nice
range of phaser rate values to choose from when you're performing. So hit the screen 1 button (to move to the correct
menu page) and set "Phaser Rate" to a fairly low value around "18" or so. Now you can use the modwheel to adjust
the phaser rate to pretty much whatever seems appropriate at
the time. If you want to increase the range of control from the
modwheel, simply set "Phaser Rate" lower yet, and increase
As might seem obvious, here's where you control the speed of
the rotary speaker effect. As with a real Leslie speaker, there
are two speeds available - slow and fast. Unlike the real
thing, though, you can control the speed for either of these extremes.
(Continued on page 4)
2
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-
----
~
SQ PhaseShijting
(Continued from page 2)
The default setting of 10 for the slow and 90 for the fast speed
is a pretty good approximation of the way a real Leslie works.
But if you'd like to change these speeds, do so. Note, though,
that any changes you make will not be apparent until you've
initiated a controller change. I'll illustrate:
Try setting the value for Slow Speed to 40, and playa few
notes. No difference, huh? Now move the modwheel all the
way forward and back, and playa few more notes. Notice that
the slow speed is now quite a bit faster than it was before.
You see, the modwheel is the default controller used to select
between slow and fast speed in this effect (although you can
easily choose any of a number of other controllers instead),
and until you move it to switch to the fast speed, and then
back to the slow speed, you won't hear the effect of any changes you make to either the fast or slow speed parameters. Just
thought you'd like to know.
The other choice for SpeedMode is TOGGLE. This is the setting you'd probably use if you want to use pressure or a
foots witch to switch speeds, as the speed will switch whenever the assigned modulator sends a message that moves from
0 in a positive direction. For example, if you try routing pressure to control the switching between speeds (those of you
with pressure-sensitive keyboards) - pressing harder on the
keys momentarily will cause the effect to switch from
whatever speed it's currently at to the other speed. However,
if you try to use pressure as a modulator when the SpeedMode
is set to SWITCH you can cause the rotor to switch from slow
to fast by pressing harder, but once you release the pressure
the rotor will switch back to the slow speed.
Anyway, that'll about wrap it up for this installment. Stay
tuned - we'll be doing the last bit on effects next time out.
See ya then...
-
At any rate, the functioning of the slow and fast speed settings
should be pretty evident, so let's move on to the next page.
From here we can control the "rotor" center and depth. The
"Center" parameter acts somewhat like the "Center"
parameter in the phase shifter effect, in that it can be used to
"tune" the rotor to sweep through a higher or lower range of
frequencies. And, logically enough, the "Rotor Depth" control
allows you to adjust the distance over which the rotor sweeps.
A variety of effects can be achieved by varying these two
parameters, some of which are pretty subtle, and some of
which are not so subtle. The main thing to remember when
working with these parameters is that the effect you end up
with is going to sound a bit different at each of the two different speeds, so remember to check the sound at both the
slow and fast speeds before making any final decision on the
settings for any particular effects program.
Bio: Clark Salisbury is a partner in the MIDI Connection, a
Portland-based consulting firm. He has been actively
involved in the composition, performance, and recording of
electronic music for over 7 years and is now producing his
own pop-oriented compositions. Hisfavorite color is chrome.
Something is going down at
L.B. Music
Get the same quality and services now at a
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The last page in the ROTARY SPKR+VERB effect is where
you assign a modulator to control the speed change of the
rotor. The default setting uses the modwheel as a switch,
which seems like a pretty logical way to control this effect.
When the modwheel is used as a switch, kicking the wheel
forward has the effect of switching the effect from the slow
speed to the fast speed. And just as with the real McCoy, it
will take the effect a few moments to fully attain its fastest
speed. Pulling the modwheel back will switch the effect back
from fast to slow speed, again with an authentic lag time.
.
L. B. Music Sequences
51 Charter Oak Drive
Newton Square, PA 19073-3044
There are a couple of other modes for controlling how the
speed switching will work. For example, if you are using the
wheel or CV pedal to control speed and you have SpeedMode
set to CONTIN (continuous) the rotor speed will track the
modwheel or pedal position. In other words, if you only want
the rotor to speed up a little bit, just move the wheel or pedal
forward a little way. Of course you can't do that with a real
Leslie cabinet, but that's not Leslie's fault. After all, the
original is a mechanical device.
(VISA
J
VFX.sd. SD.l/SD.l (w/32voices). EPS/EPS.16+
Korg T-1-2-3. Korg Ol/w. Yamaha SY77
Alesis Data Disk. Proteus
Dedicated Sequencers
4
-
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"TheDenny Jaeger Master Violins sound better than the real thing!"
-BonJow
"We'venever heard anything like the Jaeger Library.
Sampled strings just aren't going to get any better than this."
- Keyboard
Revi~
Nov '91
"TheDenny Jaeger Violins are the most emotional samples
I've ever played. Bar none."
-Jack Nitzsche, Academy Award-winning composer
"TheMaster Studio Collection contains thousands of well-recorded,
useful sound effects and musical instruments that provide a
wonderful varied resource for the sound editor/designer."
- Bill
Koepnick, Emmy Award-winning sound editor
"Ibelieve in the Sonic Images sounds. They're clean and powerful.
I use them every day."
- Herbie Hancock
1. The Denny Jaeger Master
Violin Library. A powerful new
approach to sampling lets you
control tuning, size of string
sections, attack articulations,
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individual bow strokes. Our CD
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forever. We guarantee it.
2. The Master Studio Library.
Two unique volumes feature rare
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Taiko drums, Celtic harp, bowed
psaltery, Persian santur and
hundreds more.
3. The Sonic Images Library.
Two volumes, over 200 Mb each,
contain uniquely artistic brass,
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4. Ready-to-Play Libraries.
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~
~-
~--
HACKER BASEMENT TAPES
Mueller
and
Mullen
-
High
Style
to High
Glory
Daniel Mandel
-
test peeve. Dean plays very well. He's got his chops down. He
did play some incredible sax phrases that made me think, YES,
IT CAN BE DONEI But the guy let me down in the next phrase
and I had to ask myself, why not choose a synth lead patch that
allows you the same expression as a sax patch - without tying
Tape: Original tape All songs copyrighted '89, '90, '91.
Artist: Dean Mueller.
Contact info: 157 OeW8 St., Pawtucket, RI 02861.
Equipment: Atari ST, Fostex Model SO-Multitrack, Tascam
Mixer System MM-20, Microverb (Alesis), ESQ-l, Mirage,
SQ-R, EPS, EPS-16, VFX, and Nakamichi RX-202 deck.
you into poor imitations of the real thing?
Dean's use of sequences was very transparent. A good job all
the way around. The opening piece, Just Fine, has a very live
feel and sound. This may have been enhanced by the roomy
sound of the drums and the way he ended with an elaborate fill.
The songwriting here is very good with a strong sense of many
different styles. While the hooks aren't as pointed as they
might be in the pop vein, they support the song well. Dean's
best popular song in this set is Easy Does It. He uses his voice
at its most powerful, rips through his leads and does all his
handy work based on a very listenable chord progression.
Where Dean really excels outside of popular music is in his
movie-esque instrumentals. Seven Roads, Dean writes, "is a
song written to practice mood changes."
In the words of the artist: A) I'd be interested in video soundtrack - I feel my abilities to write in different idioms would
make me strong in this field. B) I'd like to do commercialsI'm quick at writing. None of the songs you've heard take more
than a day or two to compose and record. I'm not the kind of
person that comes back to the same song over and over again.
C) I'd like to sell songs or rights, whatever legally is compatible. D) I'd like to do sequencer demo work for Ensoniq E) I'd
like to perform as a studio musician on an artist's albumThis is what I'd really like to ~o for the rest of my lifel
-
In the words of the reviewer: This was a fun tape to listen to
bottom line. Diversity is this guy's middle name. Really. He
goes from pop to hip-hop to funk to new age to...A consideration for Dean at this point is that if he is going to create a demo
tape, and from the material here I can't see a good reason not
to, some decisions should be made. If Dean stays inside the
mainstream commercial industry they are going to try to
categorize him and they won't be able to. No problem. One of
his pieces is a brooding and beautiful reworking of Silent
Night. He says that he considered doing an entire collection of
Christmas songs. This is exactly what would be necessary to
make his demos industry ready.
Dean is a great song writer, a good keyboard player and a passable pop vocalist. One thing though that didn't work for me at
all was the Rap, Hip Hop piece. I'm not anti Rap mind you
-
this just missed the mark. The female vocalist sounded a bit off
pitch and I couldn't understand all her words. The Rap section
seemed far too calculated, too non-spontaneous. The beat was
sing song and slow. It sounded like a parody of a Rap song.
All things considered though I don't understand why Dean isn't
already marketing and pushing a collection of his music!
Tape: Act afLove.
Artist: Mitchell Mullen.
Contact info: Phone: 813371-3004.
Pre-select the categories and remember you only need 3 or 4
songs per demo tape. If you are really looking to be a studio
musician, you might try to cater to a specific artist. Say you
want to play for Rod Stewart. Try writing a few songs that Rod
might really want to sing. If you wanted to go Indie, you could
try for a more diverse collection, but keep in mind that even independent producers and studios want to sell their product.
Most people who buy an artist's work don't want to have ragtime follow jazz-fusion. The exception here, as with just about
everything else, is if you do it well, you can get away with any,
thing.
Equipment: A Fisher boom box and a VFX-sd
The house lights go down. There is a hush over the audience. In
the darkness a few people cough, one woman shuffles her coat
and a small child giggles. A moment later the symphony swells
as the warm glow of the light spills onto the stage and the dancers' movements begin to tell a story. It is the story of Easter. It
is "a visualization of the last day Jesus spent on prison, his
journey to Calvary, his crucifixion, burial and glorious resurrection."
Dean's sounds were as widely varied as his styles of music. It
is interesting though, that within each song, each group of
sounds made up a complete band or orchestra that made sense.
I didn't hear any bizarre or unnerving or non-traditional combinations here.
The music you hear is being piped into the P.A. system from a
synthesizer. All these songs make up a performance called Act
of Love and were performed and video taped in a large church
on Easter evening by two dance troupes.
I've gotta say something about the sax patches used. And if
you've read a few reviews by now, you know they are my pet6
Mitchell began writing the songs when he purchased the
VSD-lOOOand the Australian Sound Library disk. "As I loaded
the different sounds and tried them out the music just happened.
This all happens rather quickly, perhaps a bit too quickly. It
would have been better perhaps to perhaps explore each section
more. Still it flows very well.
-
tt
\1
If you want your tape run through the
Hacker, just mail it off to: Basement
Tapes, Transoniq Hacker, 1402 SW
Upland Dr., Portland OR 97221.
This is a very grandiose, flowing piece of music that begins
with a wash of harp strings and violins. A muted horn begins to
carry the melody as the rest of the symphony is introduced.
This is interrupted by an echoing drum beat that drives the song
into a solemn dead stop where we can hear the hammering of
the nails and the sadness of the symphony washes slowly down.
Horns and cymbals crash over top of the strings until at last
there is a triumphant ringing of bells.
Bio: Daniel Mandel is a songwriter,
sound designer, and has sold pro audio
and keyboard equipment and produced
demo tapes for local bands.
In Search of Realism
K. Thomas Sounds for EPSs
Bryce Inman
For: BPSs.
hard right. This is great for producing sax ensembles. Playing a
three-note chord on a single sax sample usually provides less
than ideal results and can be a dead giveaway that the sound is
sampled. This sound, how eve!, with its samples of two separate
saxes with slightly varying tone colors, provides the perfect tool
for creating the sound of realistic sax ensembles.
Product: BPS sound disks.
Price: Sounds sold individually from $3
- $25 (substantial
discounts
when purchased in sets).
From: Keith B. Thomas, P.O. Box 174, Stratford,
ON, Canada N5A 6Tl.
Look out, folks - Keith Thomas is at it again. For those of you
who missed my first two reviews of Keith's EPS sounds (TH #65
and #72) let me briefly point out that his library of sounds consists mainly of "real" acoustic instruments. To provide as much
realism as possible, Keith does quite a bit of multi- sampling.
The obvious result of this is that his sounds tend to be quite
memory-hungry. The results, however, are quite dramatic. His
sounds are the most convincing I've ever heard.
CAPTURED PERFORMANCE RIFFS and VIBRATO TAILS
are the extras which have been added to ALTO SAX PLUS
(1239 blocks) to enhance its realism. The riffs are samples of a
few jazz riffs which can be played by holding down a single key.
Pressing the correct patch select button will cause one of the tails
to play when a key is released, providing a nice intimate feel for
those slow sections of a song. A legato layer is also provided for
those non-tongued passages that need that smooth, easy feel.
Having mastered the art of producing realistic samples, Keith has
gone a step further with his newest samples, giving them an even
more convincing effect. Here's a look at his latest developments:
At 3950 blocks, Keith went for broke when he put together his
MULTI ATTACK VIOLIN. In developing this sound, Keith
started with an excellent multi-sampled violin and then added a
velocity-controlledsharp layer that gives this sound a wonderful
stroke of realism. The sharp attack zeroes in on the feel of the
bow biting into the strings as you play those forceful notes. To
finish the sound, Keith has added a few scoops and glissandos as
well as a pizzicato layer and a snappedstaccatopizzicatolayer.
Let's start with a few sounds from Keith's new set of saxophones
-
9 sounds in all. BRIGHT ALTO SAX (1408 blocks) offers a
new variation of an old sampling trick. You're probably familiar
with the sampling technique of having two layers for a particular
sound where one layer features samples of an instrument playing
a note with a hard attack while the second layer contains that
same instrument with a soft attack. The layers are programmed so
that a soft attack on the keys plays the layer with the soft attack,
a hard attack on the keys brings up the hard attack layer and a
medium attack on the keys produces a mixture of the two.
Keith's alto sax features this same technique except that this
sound features three layers: a soft attack, a medium attack and
hard attack. As you might expect, this produces a higher level of
realism. Pressure adds vibrato and the mod wheel darkens the
And finally BRAHMS' ORCHESTRA HITS (1341 blocks)
contains, what else, a number of big, splashy orchestrahits which
-
allow you to develop either major or minor IV V-I cadences.
As with his previous sounds, Keith has shown a knack for capturing the essence of acoustic instruments that makes it easier to
produce realistic sounds on the EPS. His sounds "feel" good
when they're being played on the keyboard
-
you don't go
through a lot of contortions and multiple takes to get a natural
sound from his samples. I have quite a large library of samples
for my EPS, but when I need a sound that's authentic (and I have
enough extra memory) I automatically load Keith's sounds into
my EPS.-
tone, providing real-time control of the shape of the sound.
STEREO TENOR SAXES! (1109) features two separate
multi-sampled saxophones- one panned hard left and the other
7
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8
.
Atmospheric, Yet Functional
The Sound of Pegasus
Dennie Edwards
developers would concentrate on patch selects. The Ensoniq
SD-l and EPSs have a corner on the market in this flexible
parameter. Eric pays attention to patch selects for the most
part. Sounds like Fun Piano, Fair N Sqar, and Paula-Solo are a
few examples.
For: SD-l/32, VFX-sd, etc.
Product: Volumes 1 and 2.
Price: $25 for both.
From: Pegasus Sounds, 6050 Adaway CT, Grand Rapids, MI 49546.
Phone: 616-676-0863:
Some programs that use the mod wheel for things other than
vibrato are Orch-Grow, Ramp Strings, The Brass, Pulsating
and Modwhl/Pres. I do not believe that there are any sounds
that utilize the data entry/timbre control, but then other
programmers' sounds really don't either (another bummer).
Why do people need to buy sounds? How about this? It's the
'90s, after all, and we do not have time to do things like read
our manuals or attempt creativity. You buy that? Neither do I.
The real reason that we buy sounds is that of curiosity. We
know that if we had to, we could make them ourselves, but we
just need to see what others are doing. I look at other people's
sounds to do basically three things. First, can they be used
right out of the 01' box? That means that these sounds are useful for the gig tonight with little or no tweaking. Second, do
they inspire my creativeside? Does the sound start my creative
juices flowing? And lastly, do these sounds push the machine
to its sonic limit, effects, patch selects, and modulator-wise?
Let's take a look at the two volumes of patches by Pegasus
Sounds and see how they stack up.
Also squeezed into these two banks of 120 sounds are those
sounds that make us stop what we are doing and pull up a
chair and start writing. Most of the ones in these volumes are
kind of new-ageish, airish. These are sounds that evoke emotions and set certain moods. Included in this group are Orch
Grow, Ramp Strings, Mr. Fairlite, Movin Along, Omega, Pulsation, and Factory. And while some may think that these are
only useful for movies and new age, I myself am of the
opinion that they can be nicely incorporated into other palettes. These sounds also make use of transwave/all wave
programming techniques, an often overlooked capability.
But First
Here's how I check out new sounds. First, I like to go through
every sound very quickly, taking note of the ones that catch
my attention early. Next, I start all over from the beginning,
this time taking time with each sound and looking for the features of each program. For example, I play the sound and see
how velocity, patch selects, mod and pitch wheels, and even
the timbre control effect each aspect of the sound (attack,
decay, sustain, release, effects, timbre, etc.). Then, I look at
the little things, like are there any demos to help display the
sounds? With this in mind, it's time to tear into the two sound
banks by Pegasus Sounds.
These sounds are very workable in terms of complexity and
texture. The user gets to tweak and layer them to their own
specifications. Most programs are pretty conservative in the
effects department which makes them perfect for band and gig
use. After all, you have to give the soundman something to do
with his new DP/4. The few drum programs are adequate,
however they do not light the world on fire.
Basically I see this disk being used as a performance disk and
not for spatial experimental voodoo things. Which brings up
the fact that there are no presets with the sound banks. How
many owners of SD-ls and VFXs use them anyway? We
should. Other companies' keyboards use nothing but combies,
multies, and performances to make their instruments sound fat.
Why don't we SDer's do the same? We seem to be satisfied
with the programs as they are (they do sound fat by themselves
anyway). After all, with 21 and 32 voice polyphony, one
would think that sound programmers and users would push
their machines to the limit. If we don't use the features that we
demand in keyboards, manufacturers will start playing it safe
and not listen so attentively.
There are many sounds that are useful right out of the box,
some great ones that can be used in different types of music.
There are some cool pianos, Honky-Tonk, Hard-Epno,
Fun-Piano (with patch selects) are just a few. And there are a
couple of terrific organs on both volumes
St Andrews,
Hammond B-3, Blues Organ, Rock Organ, and Baldwin. Eric
Olsen, the chief programming officer of Pegasus, has
programmed some excellent bass and analog sounds as wellMega Bass, Kick Bass, Kick Buzz (both of these are pretty
original to me), Pluck Bass, Hohner Clav, Juno 60, Oberheim,
and Hey...Jump (nuff said 'bout this sound). Most of the
sounds in the two volumes are pretty useful bread-and-butter
wise.
-
The three demos that come with the volumes are decent sequences, however they barely show off the sounds which is
what I suppose that demos on sound disks are for. Preferably
there should be several short sequences using the sounds as the
programmer had in mind when he designed them. This helps
sell sounds. It also helps consumers make sound buying
decisions. It is kind of like taking the sounds for a test drive
Within the two volumes of sounds exist some good examples
of patch select programming. These volumes use patch selects
better than most but not as much as others. I wish more sound
9
I
with someone showing you how to drive the machine.
So if you're looking for some new sounds and you need some
ideas, then go ahead and give Eric a call. These two banks
offer programs that are great for pop and top forty as well as
other styles. The volumes are weak on the drums, acoustic
pianos, acoUstic instrument areas, but very strong with gig
oriented electric pianos, beds, great analog bass, brass, strings
etc. And there are some pretty neat atmospheric and specialty
sounds as well. For the money, this collection of patches really
can't be beat. For the price of four tickets to the movies you
International
can get some cool new sounds, some a bit conservative and
raw in the effects department, but cool nevertheless. After all,
when was the last time ya had too many sounds to choose
from?
-
Bio: Dennie Edwards is the Asst. Manager/Keyboard salesman
for Vince's Backstage Music in Lafayette, La. Dennie also
does MIDI consulting and sound programming for local
jingles and other productions. Hisfavorite colors are blue and
florescent pink. It is rumored that Dennie is the son of the
Shell Answer Man.
Killer at Largel
Ensoniq's ISC-l for SQs
For: All SQs.
Product: ISC-I (International Sound Collection I).
Price: $99.
From: Ensoniq Corp., 155 Great Valley Parkway, Malvern, PA 19355 or
contact your local Ensoniq dealer.
I was almost halfway through the first version of this review of
Ensoniq's ISC-l when I decided to rewrite it. Sure, there were
plenty of juicy descriptions and flowing metaphors and a
"you're really gonna like this card" slant, but something wasn't
right. Was I nit-picking a bit? Too critical for the critique?
Sometimes reviewers find themselves searching for "problems"
that aren't really, in an attempt not to appear biased. It's often
hard, then, to say what we really mean. Well, not this time...
The ISC-l is a killer and is, without a doubt, the best soundcard
for the SQ's I've heard to date. If you need sounds for your SQ
(and can spare the $99 or so) fly, don't drive, to the music vendor of your choice and pick one up.
Jeff Rhoads
where do good sounds come from?" We'll address that burning
issue later. For now, though, try listening to the ISC-l as if all
the patches were created just for the SQs. There are so many
standouts on the ISC-l, that we'll only be able to touch on a
few or so specific sounds.
The ISC-l abounds with pads, new age, and soundtrack voices.
Even the most basic are punctuated with clarity and charm.
U-NEED-IT, LOW STRINGS, PAST PAD and ENSEMBLE
'76 accomplish their task with predictable waveforms and technique: the result is simple and straightforward. We're left with
a set of sounds that we'll use. Those "little" things like pitch
envelopes, reverb levels and glide times are programmed with
great care. One of the most striking patches in this group is
OPEN SKY. It begins with an eerie, large bell (Tubular Loop)
that fades into slow, octave strings. This combination is
surprisingly good and is as inviting as it is foreboding.
The vocal sounds are above par. (And I'm no big fan.)
CHORALE is breathy, open and full. This choir should add the
"angelic" touch without being obnoxious. There are two excellent offerings in the woodwind arena; SOPRANO SAX and
LATENIGHT SAX. The little-seen SOPRANO SAX is a very
good approximation, provided you stay in the correct range.
The instrument's base tone comes from a combination of woodwind and saxophone waves. This tone is then supplemented by
the clav variation wave. It would seem that this clav wave
provides the added brightness needed to thin the soprano out
some, thus giving it an edge and separating the sound from that
of a tenor or alto horn. (You may notice an over-use of reverb
here. This happens a lot on this card. It's a minor glitch, but
where pads and such seem fine, some solo and brassy patches
seem over-ladened with the stuff. It should be noted that this is
a very Euro or International trend so it would follow suit for
this card.) Where SOPRANO SAX is somewhat flighty and
lyrical, LATENITE SAX makes no apologies for being gutsy.
It's loud and raunchy and should fare well in Rock & Roll solo
and backup work.
Why does the ISC-l sound so good? In large part because the
programmers were not just content to "cover the bases." (Although cover them they did.) Almost all the entries on the
ISC-l, whether standard sounds or not, seem to shine with a
polish that only comes from having pride in each patch.
There are two things to keep in mind while test-flying the
ISC-l (and you owe it at least a test-flight) One, the "I" in
ISC-l stands for International. This does not mean you're
facing a set of World Patches, rather that the programmers
themselves are internationally situated. Arnd Kaiser of Germany, Noritaka Ubukata and Yashuhiko Fukuda of Japan and
Roger Mason representing Australia are the designers responsible for the ISC-l. Two, Arnd Kaiser has done the work of
many. He's "transported" the International Collection for the
VFX to SQ Land.
Now this alone may, in part, help answer the question, "Jeff,
10
The solo and poly-synth sounds on the ISC-l are great. Patches
like ODYSSEY and PRO LEAD 1 faithfully evoke the Moogs
and Arps of old. PRO LEAD 1 like many of the synth sounds
on the ISC uses the Mono or Glide mode. Not only does this
enable you to do trill and speed tricks while holding one note
but it also allows for wider tonal control. Play one note softly
and you'll open the filter only so far. Hold this note and any
other notes played will sound with that muted quality. Strike
the note harder and hold, the others follow. This may sound
like a simple concept but it effectively shows us many synths in
one patch.
and full, brasses - punchy and bright etc. The keyboards don't
come across quite so well; the organs are a bit weak and the
pianos and clays don't quite reach full maturity but that's compared to the ISC-l as a whole, which is a tough act to live up
to.
So, getting back to the original question, where do good sounds
(sometimes) come from? Well, sometimes they come from the
recent past. You remember, when every patch seemed to matter
a little more. When making use of the technology we had was
more important than just copying a few hip or trendy sounds.
When the exploration of a new instrument meant breaking new
ground. The VFX isn't all that old, even by synth standards, but
it was released on a cusp: the cusp between good separate synthesizers with their own rules and personalities and the Great
Keyboard Wars. So it may be no small wonder that these
sounds work so well for an SQ.
Drum fans should be able to unite with this card. Not only are
many of the kits ambient and solid (ROOM SET, WEIRDO
SET, LATIN SET, etc.) but they only sound toward the bottom
of the keyboard. Know what this means? It means that these
kits are mapped to the Standard Drum Map. Now other drum
units can address ISC drum sounds and will know what's going
on! You can sequence using "alternate" boxes and sequencers
with relative ease. (Check the Drum Map for each unit,
though.) Why didn't somebodydo this sooner?
Well, now I've come clean and told the truth as I see it.
(Hmmm.) No holding back or throwing out bad knocks for
nothing. I'll sleep better. (Someday.) The ISC-l is a fantastic
addition to the SQ sound collection. Next up
the SC-S for
Most of the rest of the ideas and sounds on the ISC-l are consistently good and entertaining; the basses are "thumpily" alive
SQs.-
Tutorial Sounds
Ensoniq's VSD-l 004
Jeffrey P. Fisher
ness help with sound design. They have done a great service by
providing not just a few token sequences, BUT A SHORT SEQUENCE THAT GOES WITH EACH AND EVERY SOUND
-120 IN ALL!
For: SDs, VFX-sd
Product: VSD-l004 - 2 banks of sound programs
-
20 presets
Price: $19.95
From Ensoniq Corp., 155 Great Valley Parkway,
Malvem,
PA 19355 or
contact your local Ensoniq dealer.
I, for one, am grateful, thankful, and very pleased. Mike Ford
(who created the sequences) has done a fine job at showcasing
these sounds. Hearing the sequences is an eye-opening, educational experience.
Reviewers are far too often taken far too seriously (by both
readers and themselves). The reviewer's response to a product
is based on interpretation of many factors - comparable
market offerings being most important but including also, to
some degree, the reviewer's particular state of mind.
-
Helpful Tip. Don't go immediately to the sequences. Start doodling around with the sounds first and then compare your
findings with what the programmer/sequencer intended. If you
are really stuck on a sound, turn to the sequence and get some
guidance. You'll tum many a "huh?" into "Ah, I get it!"
Look at the Fat Guy and the Bald One - the fate of a film can
rest on the direction of a thumb. It's more useful to use reviews
as guidelines - if the reviewer has a track record you've concurred with in the past, you go with it. If you've disagreed fervently with his past observations, that's useful information too.
Once again, many of the sound programs, programmed by
Erick Hailstone of past Hacker fame, are not 100% compatible
with the VFX-sd. Thankfully though, many of these patches
play fine in the default patch select 00 mode. The programmer
has put most variations that use *UNKNOWN* waveforms in
the XX, XO,OXpatch selects. Simply go through and disable
the patch selects that use the *UNKNOWN* waves and work
with what is left over.
That said - On Withthe Show
Time to examine the VSD-1O04disk - the latest in Ensoniq's
line of sound program support. Point one is that there're sequences included here! That's terrific. Sounds alone do not
on-going support make. Some of us need real, honest to good-
11
However, there are still a few (mostly string patches that need
the solo violin wave in the SD) that don't work at all. Oh well.
But there is a remedy, somewhat radical I suppose. I for one am
sending my VFX-sd in for upgrading - I'm gonna treat it like
a new keyboard.
But What Does VSD-1 004 Sound Uke?
It's difficult to describe sounds in a review, so how about some
generalities? Programs in the 1004 AIB are an eclectic mixlots of modern electric pianos, analog pads and power, some
out-there somewhere, some blase, a few very neat wavesequences that produce some moving, flowing, and rhythmic patches,
and a few
but very few
standard fare. A nice touch on
many of these patches is the creative use of the FLANGE+
DLY+REV effects.
-
-
ces. They make it easier to understand the more esoteric
patches. This is a simple addition that alone makes the disk a
good buy. It's not for the club date crowd, definitely more for
sound designers, film and video scoring dates, and for educational fun - you can really learn a lot by studying other
people's sound programs. The sequences just sweeten the deal.
Two thumbs up, one thumb sideways. And I'm neither fat nor
bald (yet)!
Special thanks to Rob Kole at Soundpost in LaGrange, IL for
providing a review copy of the VSD-1004 disk!Bio: Jeffrey P. Fisher is a composer and sound designer for industrials, commercials, and film.
1004-A Synth and Specialtysounds:
SUBSCRIPTION
INFORMATION
KINGS-LOGICmixes an oboe with a pleasing and soft pad that
swells up underneath. MIDNIGHT, with its calm pad qualities
and percussive wave sequence in the bass create a modern, ambient sound. This one really sets a mood. I thought MARAKESH-2* with its delays and almost sitar-like resonance was a
unique patch.
12 MONTHLY ISSUES
us: $23/year. All others: $321year (please use International Money
Order, payable in US funds). Please make payable and mail to:
TRANSONIQ HACKER
1402 SW UPLAND DR., PORTLAND,
OR 97221
WET-WAVES is a HUGE, buzzy analog patch. I found myself
playing David Hentschel's synth lines from Elton John's
Funeralfor a Friend opening. This patch takes you back to the
ARP/MOOGdays of old.
I was disappointed that a few of the patches sounded so similar.
TODAY and BIG-WAVE are hard to tell apart
-
tinkling
tines, steely pad, and lots of flange and delay. And some of the
eastern soundcliches take up too much space and are very, very
much alike.
1004-B Synth and Acoustic sounds:
KEYSMATE* is a nice tinkling electric, almost toy piano
sound with a swelling sympathetic resonance. Fun to play with
the sustain pedal held down to create a chordal wash.
ALIEN-DREAM is an electric wavesequence and bizarre kind
of thing with an odd texture.
There are lots of wavesequences here: RHYTHMWAVES, INTROSPECTS, and TOUCH-RAIN*which I found more powerful when you include the *UNKNOWN*waveform. Strike the
keys hard and release for a different kind of hit. TINKLEELOG is a warm analog patch with a hard-edged, almost airy
quality.
CASSETTE PACKAGING
22 N. Main St, Ste 323
New City, N. Y. 10956
PHONE: 914 638 6310
FAX: 914 639 1542
I didn't find too many outstanding patches in the 'B' bank but
there is some useful material here for tweaking or doubling
with other patches in a preset.
And I really can't overstate the value of the included sequen-
12
HACKER GLITZ
Sam
Mims
John Bolles
Whenever Todd Rundgren, Hall and Oates, Patti LaBelle, and
other famous artists from Philadelphia come to the area to perform, the ads always hail them as Philadelphia's VERY OWN
Whoever ... The artists themselvesprobably despise that kind of
thing, but the fans eat it up. One of my favorite singer/songwriter/cult figures went to Upper Darby High School, and I can
see his choir picture in my brother-in-Iaw's yearbook; it's a big
kick for me. So, at the risk of offending the artist, I will go out
on a limb here and announce that the focus of our Hacker Glitz
column this month is TRANSONIQHACKER'S VERY OWN ...
SAMMIMSI
Sam is legendary in Hacker circles as a member of Transoniq
Net, primary Hackerpatch overseer, article contributor, sound
vendor, and all-around Ensoniq hawk. You gotta figure that
anyone with that much time on his hands must be a professional musicianl And, you would be figuring right. Sam Mims
is a studio and live performance musician based in California
who also runs the sound development enterprise, Syntaur
Productions, and co-manages a music production company,
Mulholland Music. What brings Sam to the Hacker Glitz feature is his association with two up-and-coming west coast
pop/jazz musicians, saxophone player Richard Elliot and
guitarist Richard Smith.
Sam is a full-time member of Elliot's band and played on Elliot's latest recorded effort, On the Town. Through his association with Elliot, Sam became involved with Elliot's friend
Smith, and subsequently contributed to his most recent album,
Bella Firenze.
first love was playing straight-ahead jazz or mainstreamjazz, I
don't think there's any way I could ever force myself to do
commercialized music. It just so happens that what I enjoy
doing tends to be, at least at this point,fairly commercially accessible.
On the Town, is Elliot's sixth album, and his first for Manhattan Records, a division of Capitol. His first five solo outings,
originally recorded on Enigma Records, have been re-released
by Manhattan. Elliot's background includes gigs with the
Pointer Sisters, Natalie Cole, the Temptations, Smokey Robinson, and Rickey Lee Jones. He did three albums with the fusion
group, Kittyhawk, and played with the Yellowjackets. For five
years, he was a member of the legendary Tower of Power horn
section, but chose to forsake this relatively secure situation to
go get h,issolo career. On the Town takes a decidedly safe approach, because, as Elliot explained in one interview, I think
people, musicians, are afraid to say they want their music to be
commercially accessible. I like it when my music is accepted by
larger and larger groups of people. When I know people like
what I'm playing, it motivates me more. Consequently, as a
composer, Elliot feels his style is leaning toward simpler, more
memorable melodies in which each note means something, as
opposed to the exercise of seeing how many notes you can fit
into a song. Some might call this selling out (or at least being
market-savvy) but, as Elliot said in another interview, If my
On the Town contains 12 cuts, ranging from the mellow By My
Side to the fiery In Your Face and high-energy Stiletto Heels.
All of the album's tunes were composed while the band was on
the road, leading Elliot to call it traveling music. Songs were
inspired by relationships, various parts of the countryside, and
Elliot's move from the West Coast to Florida. I moved to
Florida early in 1990 and songs just started pouring out of me,
states Elliot's bio. I wrote 17 tunes in the first three months.
Throughout the album, Elliot's execution is flawless and his
tone full-bodied. The production is smooth and slick, very
much the kind of sound many people want today. Richard
Smith plays guitar, and provides some of the album's high
points by way of solos, as well as some very fme rhythm work.
There is also a live-in-the-studio rendition of Somewhere Over
the Rainbow, performed by Elliot and Sam. This has been a
very effective part of the live performances, and the recorded
version had my secretary humming along in no time. My only
13
-- -----
--
I
8M: I first moved to Los Angeles in 1987. The band I was in at
that time was managed by someone who is now one of
Richard's current managers. So we kept in touch over the years,
and he was the one who first told me about Richard's need for a
keyboard player. I talked to Richard and decided to audition.
Richard lives in Florida, and his band and I live in California,
so I got together with the band, and they taped the audition.
They Fed-Ex'ed the tape to Richard and pretty soon I got a call
fromhimsaying,basically,Seeyou in Atlanta in 6 days.So the
first time I ever actually played with Richard Elliot was at that
first performance. There was no rehearsal before that gig, and
there never has been a rehearsal. I jumped right in and did a
five-week tour and that's how it started.
complaint with this album is that I often got the feeling Elliot
was holding back - apparently for the reasons explained above
- and I was only getting a glimpse of his talents. When he
finally cuts loose, as on In Your Face and, to a lesser extent,
Breezer, it becomes patently obvious that this is one hot,
talented sax player. My guess is that his live performances are
much more dynamic. Overall, a slightly one-dimensional
recording, but generally very good listening.
Originally from Eugene, Oregon, Richard Smith migrated to
Los Angeles in the mid-1980's to pursue a master's degree in
Guitar Performance from the University of Southern California.
Upon graduation, he was asked to join the faculty as Professor
of Music, a position he still holds. The music industry quickly
recognized him as an artist to watch when his debut release, Inglewood, was nominated in Japan for the honor of Record of
the Year, 1987, and hailed as one of Japan's 100 Best Records
of the Decade. His early initiation into Japan's Who's Who in
Jazz was followed by the American release of Rockin' the Boat,
which shot to Top-S standing in the Gavin and MAC Reports,
as well as Radio & Records. The Richard Smith Unit was
named R & R's Best New Group of the Year, 1990.
JB: I understand that all the songs from On the Town were
written while the band was on the road. At what point did you
decide to go into the studio and record?
8M: This band works continuously. The band is not like an organization that goes in and records an album, then tours to
promote the album. We did over 140 shows last year. One tour
ended up in Florida, and Richard had built a 24-track studio in
his house. So we did most of the work there.
One writer reviewing a Richard Smith Unit concert stated that,
if you closed your eyes during the first set, you'd swear you
were listening to Jimi Hendrix, and, during the second set,
George Benson. While the choice of guitarists to use as stylistic
comparisons may not have been the ones I'd have chosen, the
sentiment that Smith can handle everything from hard-edged
fusion to clean, jazz-style riffing is well-founded. This is not to
say, however, that Smith is merely a master of pop/jazz du jour
cliches; Smith's playing is constantly fresh and inventive, not
the least bit trite or repetitive, and extremely well-executed.
Smith seems to be one of those rare guitarists who manages to
capture both thefeel and the technical aspects of guitar playing.
The albumBella Firenze, to which Sam contributes, also showcases Smith's talents as composer and producer. Standout cuts
include The Fighting Ducks (which features one of the coolest,
most inventive themes I have heard in a long time), and the
soulful vocal ballad, You Could Break My Heart, spotlighting
vocalist/composer Robin Wiley (her publishing company is
called Chick Singer Music I love it). Sam provides primary
and supplementary keyboards, sampling, sequencing, and
sampled string bass on this album. In fact, two songs, The
Fighting Ducksand CouchSurfin', featureElliot's section,including the extraordinary bassist Naoki Yanai. Bella Firenze is
a dynamic recording by an extremely gifted guitarist. The
pleasant sound and inventiveness of his compositions belie
their complexity. Challenging music that is a delight to listen to
a rare combination.
JB: Did the band's heavy touring ethic develop your cohesiveness and prepare you for the recording project? Were all the
bugs pretty much worked out by the time you went into the
studio?
8M: We had a pretty easy go of it. We used some sequencing,
but we did it in such a way as to try to maintain a live feel. A
lot of times I would program a very basic drum track or groove
at home, to use as a guide to play by. Then I would record my
keyboard part to the drum part. Once I had any bugs worked
out of my keyboard part, I would send the sequence to the
drummer, and he would start to work on his part. He played
triggered samples and recorded his parts live into the sequencer. Then we would bring the sequences and our gear into the
studio and play back everything there, and that would serve as
the basis for the song. Then there was Somewhere Over the
Rainbow, which was Richard and I sitting in the studio playing.
-
JB: On Elliot's album, you played keyboards on 7 cuts, but
were the sole keyboardist on only two, the other keyboardist
being Elliot. Was this simply a pragmatic decision to facilitate
the recording process?
8M: Most of Richard's keyboard parts were sweetening things
over the main parts that I had laid down. On some of the tunes,
-
Richard would be at home in his studio, and in the course of
or as a tool for
-
-
writing a song, he would often sequence a
Not content to leave well enough alone, I called Sam and asked
him a few questions.
keyboardpart. A lot of times whathe gid wasessentiallywhat
JB: How long have you been playing in Richard Elliot's band?
JB: There are a couple of cameo piano solos by Dan Siegel on
the album. Do you take Siegel's solo spots in performance?
he wanted, so he just kept it.
8M: Since June of 1990. I joined the band about a week before
the release of the prior album, What's Inside.
8M: Several of the arrangements got switched around for performance. And we don't perform Along the Way, one of the
tunes that Dan Siegel soloed on. In performance, there are solo
JB: How did you get hooked up with Elliot?
14
there when they were trying to get that all together.
spots for everyone in the band. Most of the songs I solo on are
from the previous albums.
J8: Obviously, you were a sideman on these albums, so it's not
as though they are Ensoniq showcases. But, in general, does the
Ensoniq sound permeate this music?
J8: My favorite song on the Elliot album is In Your Face, because he finally cuts loose. I hear some breathy, spacey sounds
in there that have to be VFX - is that right?
8M: That's right. That is a patch I did for the VFX. It's actuallya layer, but mostly consists of Space Pad, which I did. I was
going for that airy pad kind of sound, with a bubbly M-I type
sound mixed in. I designed that sound just for that song. In
Your Face was one of those songs which we just figured
wouldn't get much airplay, but we were going to do it anyway.
8M: The Ensoniq sound is predominant on both these albums. I
would say Ensoniq equipment accounts for about 90% of my
sound. My performance rig consists of a VFX and an SD-l,
then a rack with a Proteus, Matrix 1000, and a Yamaha piano
module. All the rack gear is just used for layers, though, so the
Ensoniq equipment really is predominant. I also used the
EPS-16+ on the records; I did a lot of sounds with that.
J8: On to the Smith album: You are credited with sequencing,
sampling, additional keyboards... Were you basically called in
for sweetening?
J8: Are the players you work with and other people you meet
favorably impressed with the capabilities of Ensoniq equipment?
8M: Curtis Brengle has worked as keyboard player with
Richard Smith for a long time and was the main keyboard
player on that album. He kind of oversaw all the MIDI details.
There were times, though, when Richard did not always feel
that a certain sound was the best for the job, so he called me in
predominantly to enhance the sounds. It was basically my
sounds and Curtis's frogers. So, yeah, sweetening.
8M: I always get comments that people are impressed with the
sounds I am producing, and I always attribute that to the equipment. I program most of what I use, unless a factory sound has
exactly what I'm after. I'll program from scratch, but I'll also
modify existing patches, anything from minor tweaks to major
overhauls. I like Ensoniq equipment because it is so programmable. I mean, just about any sound I can dream up in my head
I can produce on an Ensoniq instrument.
J8: And yet, Elliot's whole section played on two tunes.
J8: Well, the songs I liked the best turned out to be the airplay
turkeys. But I have to say, the songs you had a part in were the
ones that grabbed me the most. What else do you see yourself
doing? Do you think you'll get more involved with arranging
for the band?
8M: Richard Smith usually records using a lot of hired players,
and he wanted to get a live band feel on a couple tunes. So that
was The Fighting Ducks and Couch Surfing. The Fighting
Ducks was kind of like In Your Face, in that we did not anticipate it would get much airplay. It is getting some, though,
and Richard is trying to get the football team at the University
8M: Well, the ultimate call is Richard Elliot's, but mostly the
musicians all come up with their own parts. One thing Richard
and I talked about is writing together, but we haven't done that
yet. On the Town was #1 for three weeks in a row in R & R
Magazine, and has been #3 in the Billboard jazz charts for six
weeks. So the album's doing well, and we'll be starting on a
new album within the next month. Craig Yamek and I have
started our own production company, and we are doing some
stuff with Tiffany now. We're doing preproduction for her next
album, and we're cutting two songs that I co-wrote.
of Oregon - his alma mater - to use it as their theme. I think
they are playing it on the college radio station there.
J8: You also played on Chasing the Blue Moon. I noticed there
were vocal-ish textures rounding out the nylon-stringed guitar
chord voicings nicely. Was that you?
8M: Yep. Chasing the Blue Moon was one of those situations
where the record company called and said they needed another
song for the album. The Elliot band was on the road, with
Smith playing guitar, and Smith, Craig (Yamek, drummer with
Elliot's band) and I literally did that track in hotel rooms in Salt
Lake City and Fresno. We sequenced the parts and recorded
them the day we got home from touring.
J8: It certainly sounds like you'll be busy. I hope everything
continues to go well for you. I'm sure all the Hackers will be
rooting for you.
-
J8: You Could Break My Heart really grew on me. There are
no album credits for keyboards on that song, but I hear some
pitch modulation effects and funny little noises going on. Were
there keyboards on that song?
CURRENT EN80NIQ 0.8.
EPS
EPS-M
EPS-16 PLUS
MASOS
MIRAGE
ESO
ESO-M
SO-80
8M: Probably. That was a situation where Richard was up
against his deadline. The singer brought in her sequence of the
song, and that was used as the basis for the track. Other things
may have been mixed down or mixed out or whatever, but there
are probably keyboards in there from the original sequence. I
did not actually contribute anything to that song, but I was
15
2.49
2.49
1.1
2.0
3.2
3.5
1.2
1.8
VFX
VFX-SD
SO-1
SO-R
SO-1 PLUS
SO-2
SD-1
2.1
2.1
1.01
1.02
1.1
1.2
3.00
I
YIKES! They're
STILLOut There,
Folks...
Treehouse Sounds Mirage Disks
Pat Finnigan
Product: Treehouse
Sounds Mirage Samples.
For: Mirage, EPS Classic,
16+, racks.
Price: $6/disk, demo tape $3 (refundable
From: Treehouse
Sounds,
on first purchase).
P.O. Box 18563,
Boulder
CO 80308-8563,
(303) 440-8208.
This month we examine an interesting group of sound effects
from out Rocky Mountain way. There are people who still use
our old friend the Mirage. Matter of fact there are still people
making very good music out there in the real world with them.
Among these loyal and patient loopers comes Greg Davis of
Treehouse Sound with this offering of sound effects. As explained in the documentation and order form, it seems you always need just one more sound module to fatten up a thin mix,
or wash in some kinda sound effects (surf, seagulls, nu-age
trivia) just to get the atmo/eco/sphere thing going. Greg's got
five disks here to keep that DMS-8 in your rack and outta the
digital reverb box to the Mirage so it can compete with more
current keyboards having built-in effects anyway, so rather
than tell you he's got 20k bandwidth samples all digitally
recorded and massaged, he's right out front with his stance.
This takes a certain amount of bravery to admit. I think he's to
be commended for it...
I next fired up one of my BPS Classics and did the "Load
Mirage Disk" timewarp, and auditioned the samples again. This
time I was able to do the "Bowtie crossfade/Bidiretional
X-fade" trip on the "stinkers," and they cleaned up amazingly
well. The "Clock Chime" and "Industry" took on a larger
character, but outside of the inherent looping abilities of the
BPS, the effect samples sounded just as convincing as they did
on the Mirage, albeit brighter on the BPS. Good stuff to be
found here. I'll bet Treehouse Sound has more of these kinds of
samples available than they're admitting...
classifieds. ..
These disks contain between 8-12 samples, some complete with
different waves for different programs (Ll, Ul, parameter 25
off, remember?). All are exceptionally clean, leading me to
believe these samples are Alchemy ports of samples from some
other form of digital domain, because the Mirage ain't exactly
a full-bandwidth sampler. Try Disk 4 's "Grand Daddy"
grandfather clock chime and you'll discover there's still a lotta
life in the old Malvern box yet. The breathy sounds weren't exactly my cup of tea (Listerine? Scope?), but they're well done
and have a coupla variations in the programs. "Wind Chimes"
really have some top end to them, pretty unusual for the
Mirage, but are quite convincing. "Bees" should be "Swarm,"
"Stream" is the MI babbling brook, and "Zipper," well, Arnold
Schwarzenegger comes to mind. "Wind" and "Surf' are classical examples of relaxation management techniques, "Whistle
Wind" is a pretty frosty breeze, and the "Cricket" and "Criquette" are about as outdoors as I've heard a Mirage get.
Surprising is the use of different programs for detuning, different filter settings, new wavesamples. Greg has done his
MASOS homework on these disks. Of course there's an
obligatory helicopter and creaking door, laser blasts and door
knocks. "Pull Start," starting your lawnmower, would've been
more convincing if Greg could've gotten it started; I couldn't.
Future disk, maybe? The real whopper is "Fire," and this isn't
any crackling weenie roast campfire we're talking here. Asbestos and Nomex clothing should be worn when you use this disk.
Among the losers of this collection were "Digi-Keys 1 & 2";
haven't we had enough FM yet? "Rich Strings" might have
been rich when the Oberheim 8-voice was $8995 (with programmer); it's not even a Polysix now. I'm not gonna rag on
the bogus sounds; when was the last time YOU got a perfect
loop on a Mirage? As Greg admits, you wanna add some kinda
In summary, the price is certainly right ($6 a disk), and if
you're faint of heart, on a really limited budget, or just downright cheap, send off for the cassette. It's not only representative of the sounds, but it's the way all sounds should be
demonstrated, almost tutorial in nature. Greg explains which
sounds are Lower 1 or Upper 3; really great job explaining
sounds and stuff without actually condescending over you.
These prices are more stipend than cost, so I kinda relate to this
guy. Disk medium is 3M DSDD, labels are laser printed,
probably more than we deserve for just $6. But make up your
own mind, you'll wanna trust your own judgment (especially
"Fire!") so pop for a tape. It was kinda sentimental firing up
myoid metal-cased,yellow- striped, retro-sampler to audition
these disks. It's even more refreshing to find new grist for the
old mill...
Now, Greg, about that soon-to-be-released "Flood" disk... Bio: Pat Finnigan is a service tech turned musician who writes
secret messages in sequences on his EPSs,
wondering how much
harder he can push this
Malvern silicon before
it reverts back to sand.
His latest composition,
The Ensoniq Suite, has
been banned by Hans
Solo, but is available on
EPS disk since it isn't
an audio medium and
violates no community
standards.
16
Live "Improvisation"
ESQ-l Sequencer
vvith the
An Oxymoronic Approach
Brian Rost
Mention sequenced music to most people and they think immediately of stiff, mechanical, canned music. It might seem
odd to suggest that sequencers can be tools in live improvisation, where the ability to respond to other musicians and the
audience is of prime importance. In fact, the sequencer of the
ESQ-l (and really, all the Ensoniq sequencers) is quite well
suited for interactive use in live performance. In this article I'll
be discussing some tricks and techniques for using sequenced
material as part of improvisations.
The ESQ-l sequencer breaks sequences up into two levels. At
the top level are songs, which are merely lists of pointers to the
sequences at the lower level. When recording and editing, the
ESQ-l deals strictly at the sequence level. During playback,
either songs or individual sequences may be played back. In
fact, sequences can be chained together in real time during
playback, a feature which allows the techniques I will be
describing.
There is storage in the ESQ-l for 30 sequences (60 in the SQ80). Each of the sequences contains, in addition to the note and
controller information, the data from the MIX/MIDI pages
(volume, MIDI channel, local status, program number), the
time signature, tempo, and the state of the CONTROL page
when the sequence was saved. On the CONTROL page are
parameters for enabling the click track, countoff and looping.
When songs are saved, the state of the CONTROL page is also
saved. When playing back a song, the CONTROL state for the
song is used rather than the CONTROL state of the individual
cannot name them, so you may need to make a chart so you can
identify them by number. If all 30 are stored with looping on,
we can chain them together in any order, in real time. In effect,
we are building songs on the fly. The ability to loop on a particular section of music, then exit to any other section allows
you to vary the structure of a song every time you choose to
play it. I'd like to show how to apply this technique to solve a
common problem with using sequenced material in a top 40
dance band. Suppose your band does a popular tune that packs
out the dance floor every night, and you would like to be able
to "stretch" the song with additional solos on nights when the
crowd is really going, actually tailoring the length of the song
as it is playing. Break the song into individual sequences for
the beginning, solo and ending sections. Store these as SEQ 01,
SEQ 02 and SEQ 03 respectively. Create a song consisting of
SEQ 01 played once, SEQ 02 repeated a nominal number of
times and SEQ 03 played once. If you choose to stretch out on
the gig, instead of selecting the song, select SEQ 01, hit PLAY,
then select SEQ 02. Once SEQ 02 begins, it will loop until you
select SEQ 03 to end the song. You should select SEQ 03 on
the final soloist's last pass through SEQ 02. At any given performance, you have the option of playing a short or extended
version of the song.
Now, how about manipulating the sequences themselves. The
ESQ-l allows you to modify values on the MIX/MIDI pages
while a sequence is playing. This means you can mute parts by
double-selecting a track on the TRACK MIX page. We can also
adjust the volume if we choose by selecting the track and using
the up/down arrows or data entry slider. By going to the
TRACK PROG NUM page, we can send patch changes in real
time. I'd suggest that if you are driving outboard MIDI devices,
you do this only when no notes are being sounded on that track,
since it may cause note cutoffs. Local voices won't have this
problem because any held notes will use the old program. You
may even change the status of a track on the fly, which allows
controlling whether the track will be played by the ESQ-l locally or by an outboard device. The caveat with changes to the
MIX/MIDI Pages is that when a sequence loops, the old
MIX/MIDI values are restored. This can cause some rather
abrupt changes to happen, voices changing volume, patches
switching, etc.
sequences.
If a sequence is saved with looping on, when that sequence is
played back independent of the song, it will repeat until you hit
STOP or you select another sequence. To see this, save two sequences with looping set on as SEQ 01 and SEQ 02. Go to the
SEQ page, select SEQ 01 and then hit PLAY. You will notice
that SEQ 01 is underlined when selected. Let it run through to
the end and you will hear the sequence restart. At this point,
select SEQ 02. You will see a flashing underline appear underneath SEQ 02 and SEQ 01 will continue to play. As SEQ 01
comes to an end, SEQ 02 will start up and SEQ 01 will no
longer be underlined, while the underline below SEQ 02 will
no longer be flashing. You can now select SEQ 01 again, and
when SEQ 02 comes to an end, SEQ 01 will start again.
However, if at any time you do not select a new sequence, the
last selected sequence will continue to repeat.
It's also possible to add controllers to any of the tracks during
playback. Simply select a track and then you can use the pitch.
bend wheel, mod wheel, CVP pedal or XCTRL to modulate the
program on that track.
Now, to put this into the context of a live performance assume
we have 30 sequences loaded into memory. Unfortunately, we
If you have spare tracks available in a sequence you can use
17
I
RECORD will throw the ESQ-l in ODUB mode. Whatever
track is currently selected will now be ready for recording. This
allows you to change an already recorded part or to add a new
part on an empty track. When the sequence comes to an end,
the sequencer goes into AUDP mode, and plays back the sequence with the newly recorded part. The limitation here is that
you may not select a new track or a new sequence until you
stop playback. While this can be a real disaster for a pop tune,
if you are doing sound sculptures, hitting STOP, KEEP NEW
TRACK and PLAY in rapid succession will allow you build up
an improvisation, track by track. In fact, once you are done
playing the sequence, you can save it to memory and take it
home with you from the gig!
these to play along in real time if you choose. The advantage of
doing this over using the "straight synth" portion of the ESQ-l
is simple. When using the straight synth alongside sequenced
parts, it is difficult to balance volumes. If you play on a blank
track, you can control volume via the MIX/MIDI Pages. In
addition, you can change MIDI channels and track status so
you can quickly switch from playing the part on the ESQ-l to
any outboard device. You can even switch between outboard
devices by making channel changes. If you have a pet patch
you like to use for soloing, you can have this already defined in
the saved sequence, so that all you have to do to access that
patch is select the track.
Another parameter that can be adjusted in real time is tempo.
Tempo may be adjusted easily from the SELECT or LOCATE
page with the data entry slider. Unlike the MIX/MIDI data, the
tempo will not reset to the original value when the sequence
loops. This means that you can speed up or slow down tempi as
needed while the sequence plays. However, when a new sequence begins, the tempo will jump to the stored value.
I hope this has provided some ideas for ways to use sequencing
in live performances that go beyond using it as a glorified
jukebox. As you can see, the ESQ-l sequencer can be a very
responsive tool when used interactively. So get creative and let
the technology enhance your musical expression.
So far all this relates solely to previously recorded music. But
the ESQ-l also allows adding new music to sequences while
playing them. This is an exciting feature, but it has some
limitations. Any time a sequence is playing, simply hitting
Bio: Brian Rost spends his evenings either hunched over his
SQ-80 or playing bass with the HUBCAPS, a Boston-based
roots rock band. To unwind during the day he designs computers.
-
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... .
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The WAVeBOY Parallel EffectsDisk
containsastoundingneweffectscombinations.
who
Craig Anderton
TH review, April, '92
Thesealgorithms load right in - just like a sound. But they go way
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12b1Dvv>l:>D8
Tom Shear
When I made the quantum leap from owning a rackmount
Mirage to an EPS-16+ recently, my mind was boggled by the
incredible power I now had to manipulate my sounds in ways
that had been next to impossible before. (Of course, what isn't
next to impossible when you're dealing with that little flickering two-digit display?) One of the things I had the most fun
with was turning the sounds backwards. Come on, admit it!
You did it too! You dusted off that old Beatles record and used
your new $2000 toy to determine once and for all if Paul was
dead. Well, it's nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, used creatively, backwards effects can be very rewarding. This time,
we'll be exploring:
The BackwardsDrumLoopDrum loops. It seems that everyone in popular (and even
not-so-popular) music today is using them. For the uninitiated,
a drum loop is simply a drum beat sampled off an existing
record and looped so it can be played over and over and over
again. Most people's tendency is to loop the beat and use it as
the sole drum track on the song. There are some reasons why
you wouldn't want to do this. For instance, the sound quality
on older albums you may be sampling from probably isn't good
enough to support the entire track or also that it raises some interesting ethical questions.Most importantly, however, it's just
not very creative! So many people mix these beats with their
own beats either from a real drummer or their sampler/drum
machine. This is better, but we can get even more creative than
that! We can throw it at 'em backwards! Some of the quicker
readers out their might be thinking, "Aha! But there's no backwards loop available on the EPS-16+, you fool! How am I supposed to get my CD to play backwards?" The answer, of
course, is you don't! You get your EPS-16+ to do it for you!
Here's one way I found to do it:
4. Here's the key part. Go over to the EFFECTS SELECT button and change the current effect to OFF - 7-VOICE78K.
Don't worry, this is only temporary, you'll be able to add all
the effects you want later. Hit COMMAND-WAVB and scroll
to RESAMPLE WITH EFFECT and ENTER. The EPS will
now ask you to which instrument, layer, and wavesample do
you want this "new" sample placed. This should be set to
whatever instrument, layer and wavesample you originally
sampled the beat in, in most cases, you'll be starting from
scratch, so you can just hit ENTER here. The EPS will now ask
for the key to resample. This should be set to whichever key
you pressed when the EPS asked you from the ROOT KEY.
ENTER. Next, you'll be asked for the RECORDING TIME.
You can either time the beat out with a stopwatch before you
get here, or you can simply guess, which is what I usually do.
Be generous, you can truncate all the extra time off later. Hit
ENTER. Finally you are asked which recording channel to use.
This defaults to RIGHT, which is just dandy for our purposes,
so press enter again. You should now hear the EPS "sampling
itself' and will see the familiar KEEP OLD / NEW prompt.
You can playa key to test it if you wish, but your EPS probably did a pretty good job, it doesn't really get off on practical
jokes, at least not until you're in the middle of a crucial performance...
=
5. Get a cup of coffee. The hardest part is over.
2. Using the FORWARD LOOP, set up a loop of the correct
length (so that the rhythm will play continuously without
sounding like a skipping record) and truncate whatever's left
after the LOOPEND.
6. Now, repeat step 2 again and you should have your backwards loop! Since setting the loop on a backwards beat can be
kind of tricky, here's a little trick to help you out. Try to determine the BPM (beats per minute) of the beat you sampled.
Sometimes on more recent club records it tells on the cover, but
otherwise you'll have to do some experimenting. Set the
TEMPO value on your sequencer so it matches this. Now,
using your sampled beat, record a four bar sequence of the beat,
just pressing the key once and holding it throughout the sequence. (Since you don't have a loop yet, you won't hear anything after the ftrst bar or two, but don't worry, keep holding it
until the end of the fourth bar!) Now, set up for a FORWARD
LOOP and move the LOOPEND to where you think it should
be. Play the sequence and listen to see if the beat plays in time
with the click, and if there is a "skip" between the fourth and
first bar when the sequence repeats. Letting the sequence play,
make whatever adjustments you need to in order to get them to
play in time without skips. As before, once you've found your
LOOPEND, move the SAMPLE END time down as far as it
will go (to the LOOPEND's value) and TRUNCATEit.
3. Now go back and change the loop's MODE to BACKWARD-NO LOOP. The beat plays backwards now, but every
one or two bars you have to retrigger the key.
And there you go. You can now set the effect to your taste and
make any other final changes you wish. The next time you're
recording a drum track and it needs just a little something to
1. Boot up your EPS-16+ and dig up the LP (remember those
round black things?) / cassette / CD, or whatever you're planning on sampling the beat from. Hook up your wires so that
your source is going into the AUDIOIN of the EPS and sample
it. Most sampled beats on records today are no longer than I or
2 bars. This is all you really need, and memory becomes a BIG
problem if you get too carried away.
.
19
them backwards
comes to you. -
make it jump out and grab the listener, throw your backwards
loop underneath the track see if that doesn't add that extra
punch. For the skeptical, backwards drum tracks have been
used to great success by artists ranging from Jimi Hendrix
(somehow I doubt he did his on an EPS, though...) to EMF,
who feature a backwards bongo line in their hit "Unbelievable." Of course, this trick isn't just limited to sampled beats,
you can use it to produce backwards loops for sampled synth
sounds, acoustic instruments or whatever you want! So give it a
try! If it doesn't add that spice you need to your masterpiece,
you can always go back to those Beatles albums and listen to
until something
Bio: Tom Shear uses his EPS-16+ and
SQ-80 to write industrial music and to
annoy anyone within hearing distance.
In-between he attends classes at Syracuse University - if the urge hits him.
+- (World famous lounge lizard pose.)
Classifieds
EQUIPMENT
Will trade Mirage, EPS, or 16+ libraries for
1960's vintage combo organs. Barry Carson
(315) 379-9763.
EPS with 4x expander, excellent condition,
$1000.Call (708)474-3422anytime.
I want to trade an EnsoniqDSP-1 keyboardfor a
DSP-1 rack. If interested, call Bruce at (503)
244-9616.
SD.l, Like Brand New: $1600. EPS Classic, 4x
memory, disks, manuals, 2.4 ROMs, 2.49 os:
$1050. Kawai K4: $590. EPS 4x expander:
$100.2x expander:$40. Rick, (603) 885-0628.
Alesis model 1622 16-channel mixer for sale extra power supply and gigi bag included - $600.
Original EPS w/2X expander and SCSI, $1200.
Roland D-II0 sound module, $400. Barcus
Berry BBE 402 Sonic Maximizer, $175. All in
good condition
with manuals,
etc. 503-245-3752
EPS.M excellent condition. EPS & Greytsound
floppies included. Call Swift: 1-800-678-3154.
EPS-16+ and EPS. 7-Disk set for $60.00.
Minotaur Studios, 52 State St. Canton, NY
13617.
MIRAGE SAMPLES. 57 new samples for $30.
Most are unusual. 5 disks, $6 each (US funds).
Demo $3. SASE for free listing. Treehouse
Sound,
PO Box 18563,
Boulder,
CO
80308-8563.
EPS Samples: Disks of Bolivian and Indian instruments, invented instruments, prosaic sounds,
and the Recycle Orchestra. 9 Disks, 77 sounds,
308 patch selects: only $36. Bill Sethares, 622 N.
Henry St., Madison, WI 53703. You haven't
heard these before I
60 VFX-sd patches created by Jim Grote. Wide
variety of sounds with complete documentation.
Call for free Information Packet, or send $30 for
VFX-sd disk to: Jim Grote, 3721 Frances Ave.,
Cincinnati,OH 45211. Phone: 513-661-8885.
NEW SQ-80 SOUNDS from the Hacker's Sam
Mimst Soundset 4 takes full advantage of the
SQ-80's unique waveforms, and brings "hidden
waveforms"to the SQ-80 for the first time. Forty
patches on disk, with 22-page booklet of
programming notes and performance tips,
$17.95.Syntaur Productions, 11116 Aqua Vista
#2, North Hollywood, CA 91602, (818)
769-4395.
SOFTWARE
SOUND EFFECTS for EPS-16 Plus and EPS,
very high fidelity,
ideal for studio and
post-production work. All effects are original
digital recordings sampled at 16 bit, 44.6 kHz,
with mono and stereo patch selects. Disks are
$5.95 each, or $5.45 each for six or more. Send
SASE for free listing to: Syntaur Productions,
11116 Aqua Vista #2, North Hollywood, CA
91602, or call (818) 769-4395.
Midicaster is still available. The way-cool
operating system that turns your Mirage into a
very capable System Exclusive data librarian, a
20,OOO-note sequence player, a disk copier/formatter, and wave-draw synthesizer is still available for a limited time. For more information, or
to order, contact Tim Martin, 1510 S 5th W, Missoula, MT 59801. Phone: 406- 542-0280 And
thank you for your support.
PATCHES/SOUNDS
SAMPLES
SoundProcess/Mirage Library for sale. 6 disks,
all with the SoundProcess Run-time OS, for $80
including postage, or $15 each plus $1 postage.
Specify Lush, X, DeMiTy, Addy, Turbo, or Keyboard. Each disk has approx 110 sounds on it.
Bob Spencer, 703 Weatherby Ln., Greensboro,
NC 27406.
HOT NEW SAX SAMPLES FOR EPS AND
EPS-16PLUSIII Solo soprano, alto, tenor, bari
and sax sectionsin true stereo! Buy individually
or as a complete7 disk set ($69 + $4 sib). Complete library demo tape: $8. Contact K. Thomas,
PO Box 174, Stratford,ON, CanadaN5A 6Tl or
phone(519) 271-7964.
NEW 16.BIT ROCK ORGAN SAMPLESI
Professional quality Multi-Samples of HAMMOND, VOX, FARFISA and more! For
WANTED
FREE SOUNDS with expander orders. NEW
EPS-16+ 2 MEG FLASHBANK.Expandersfor Wanted: VFX-SD-l programmers to trade
EPS/EPS-16+,
VFX-sd, SD-l, SQ-l,
ORIGINAL VFX-SD-l patches. (I have 120 hi-fi
ESQ/SQ-80. GREAT PRICES. RAM memory sounds, wide variety.) No tweaks or copyrighted
for AKAI, CASIO, ROLAND, PEAVEY, and sounds please I Send VFX-SD-l or Alesis DataYAMAHA. 120 VFX-SDl SOUNDS plus 100 Disk format to: Brad Kaufman, 11-26 Saddle
FREE DRUM PATTERNS ONLY $25. 100 River Road, Fair Lawn, NJ 07410.
Drum Patterns for EPS/EPS-16+,VFX-sd/SD-1,
SRI6/HRI6: $12. EPS/EPS-16+ SAMPLING Wanted: Prophet 600 for parts. Call 414MADE EASY VIDEO. 2 hr VHS, 60 min cas- 435-3336after 3:30 CDT.Askfor Steve.
sette, and 2 sound disks only $30. Wildwood
Sounds, 4726 Pebble Creek Terr., Pensacola,FL Wanted: Real PIPE ORGAN SOUNDS for SQ-l
32526.
Plus. Can use Commodore 64, Arthur G. Toby,
120 High-Quality SD-l Sounds! Vol. 1 has: classic analog synths, keyboards, guitars, brass,
strings, and others. Vol. 2 has: basses, Kurzweil,
drums, atmospheric, and more. Send check for
$25 to: Eric Olsen, 6050 Adaway Ct., Grand
Rapids, MI 49546.
20
-"
1378 44th Ave., San Francisco,
Phone: 415- 664-7746.
CA 94122.
INSTRUCTION
VFX-sd USERS... 113-minute complete and
,<
$6.95 plus $1 S/H ($2 outside N. America) to:
Keith Peterson, 711 Park Ave., Dunkirk, NY
14048.
thorough owners manual on audio cassette. Includes disk of performance templates ready for
playing or sequencing, plus Blues sequence.
You play the leads as you experiment. Listen
and learn its true powers while your hands
operate the VFXsd's controls, step by step.
Order shipped fast with $14.95 check (includes
P/H) from: Talking Owner's Manuals VFX,
21405 Brookhurst #151, Huntington Beach,
CA 92646. FAX: 714- 631-5695.
Loesch, 201- 264-3512 after 6 pm EST.
Folks in the New York City area can get copies
of unavailable back issues of the Hacker call
Jordan Scott, 212-995-0989.
-
MAKE MONEY scoring soundtracks. Turn
your SQfVFX/SD/EPS music into cash I Send
$12 ppd to JP Fisher Music, 924 South Lake
Ct. #209, Westmont, IL 60559.
-
fREE CLASSlflEDSI
Well,-within limits. We're offering free
classified advertising (up to 40 words) to all
subscribers for your sampled sounds or
patches. Additional words, or ads for other
products or services, are 25 cents per word per
issue (BOLD type: 45 cents per word). Unless
renewed, freebie ads are removed after 2 issues. While you're welcome to resell
copyrighted sounds and programs that you no
longer have any use for, ads for copies of
copyrightedmaterialwill not be accepted.
OUT-Of-PRINT BACKISSUES
EPS/EPS16+ NAVIGATOR- Want all EPS
Direct-Dialcommandsat yourfingertips?How
about command sequences (mini- tutorials)
dealing with sampling,soundediting, effects,
MIDI/Multitimbraluse, sequencing,song construction, and more? The Ultimate EPS
Cbeatsbeet! Super-condensed, logically organized information on double-sided,
plastic-covered quick reference sheet. Send
ESQ & SQ-80
M.U.G. will provide Out-of-Print issues for
cost of materials and postage. M.U.G. Hotline:
212-465- 3430 or write: G-4 Productions, PO
Box 615TH, Yonkers, NY 10703. Attn: TH
BackIssues. Phone: (212) 465-3430.
Photocopies of out-of-print past issues of the
Hacker can be obtained by calling Jack
Hackerpatch
By Sam Mims
ESQ Patch: ANALOG
wave for the third oscillator. The envelopes andfilter were set up to
cut the sound back after the attack, yet still leave a bit of sustain.
Try changing the octaves of OSC 1 and 2 to create bellish sounds
using only sine waves. Or, with the original octave settings, try
changing the waves of OSC 1 and 3 for other variations of this
sound.
by Claudio Sansilvestri, Barasso, Italy
This is one of my favorite patches. I developed it by listening to a
Keyboard soundpage of Suzanne Ciani playing "Eighth Wave." The
interesting thing about this sound is that it is made not by detuning
a saw wave for all the oscillators, but by syncing together a sine
wave as a modulator (OSC 1 ), and another sine wave as a carrier
(OSC 2), more or less like a DX-7. Added to this was a sawtooth
OSC1
OSC2
OCT
0
-2
SEMI FINE WAVE MODl1
SINE LFO 1
0
0
0
0
SINE 'OFF"
OSC3
0
0
3
LEVEL
FILTERI
LFO1
LFO2
MOD'1
ENV 2
ENV 2
ENV 1
-
Q
KEYBD MOD'1
3
0
ENV 3
DEPTH
"OFF"
'OFF"
-
DEPTH
+53
+53
+53
0
,.
DEPTH
MODI2
'OFF"
"OFF'
"OFF'
MODI2
ENV3
DEPTH
+63
"
I
DEPTH
~
PAN PANMOD DEPTH
~
8
FREQ
20
12
DEPTH MODI2
+4
"OFF"
'OFF'
FREQ
FINAL VOL
DCA4
SAW
OUTPUT
ON
ON
ON
32
32
32
This could easily be mistaken for an Oberheim or a Memorymoog;
it's a very nice sound from the days of analog. To go even more in
that direction, I set the GLIDE to 13 (on the MODES page) and
cranked the filter resonance up to about 22 (this works well at any
setting; adjust to taste). That's about all I wanted to do with this
patch - other than make some music. Excellent job.
BY: Claudio Sansllvestrl
ESQ-1 PROG: Analog
DCA 1
DCA 2
DCA 3
The Hack
RESET
OFF
OFF
HUMAN
ON
ON
Bio: Sam Mims is a studio session player
and programmer in Los Angeles, and is
keyboardistfor Richard Elliot. He owns
Syntaur Productions, a company that
produces music for film and TV and
markets sounds for Ensoniq keyboards.
+48
LFO 2
WAY
TRI
TRI
L1
0
63
DELAY
1
1
L2
0
20
MOD
WHEEL
ENV 4
LFO3
ENV1
ENV2
ENV3
ENV4
L1
+63
+63
+63
+63
L2
+56
+54
+36
+55
L3
+63
+4
+2
+42
LV
0
32
0
32
T1V
0
32
0
0
T1
0
10
0
0
T2
49
57
38
63
T3
54
32
60
32
T4
39
44
45
42
SYNC AM
OFF
MODES~
MONO
GUDE
VC
ENV
OSC
CYC
OFF
0
ON
ON
ON
OFF
SPUT/LAYER SlLPRG
LAYER LPRG
I
OFF
-
OFF
-
SPUT
SPRG
TK
0
0
0
0
Hackerpatch is intended to be a place where patch vendors can show their
wares and musicians can share their goodies and impress their friends.
Patches designated "ESQ-I" will also work on the SQ-80. The reverse is not
always true. Once something's published here, it's free for all. Please don't
submit patches that you know to be minor tweaks on copyrighted commercial patches unless you have peImission from the copyright owner. All submined patches are subject to consideration for mutilation and comments by
Sam Mims-our resident patch analysL If you send in a patch, please include
your phone number. Requests for particular patches are also very welcome.
SPUTKEY
OFF
21
SD & VFX
Hackerpatch
-
SD & VFX prog: BABY-BABY
By: Eric Olsen, Pegasus Sounds
NOTES: This sound is an example from my collection of 120 sounds that I offer. This is the
bel1sy synth sound used in Amy Grant's song, "Baby, Baby."
THE HACK: BABY -BABY works quite well for doing a cover version of this song. It gets
into a little bit of trouble, though, when it is played much beyond the range of Amy's chord
line. The problem is the sampled UNI-BRASS wave used in Voice 2
it doesn't transpose
very well without sounding nasty. (Solo that voice and play the top octave of the keyboard for a
painful illustration.)
-
The solution is to change UNI-BRASS to SAWTOOm, then adjust FILTER 2 to thin out the
WAVES
Wave
Wave Class
Delay
Start
Vel Start Mod
Direction
1
Sawtooth
Waveform
000
MOD MIXER
SRC-1
SRC-2
SRC-2 Scale
SRC-2 Shape
1
2
Unl-Brus
BrassSnd
000
2
4
3
Doorbell
TunedPerc
000
00
00
Forward
5
3
4
i
6
5
6
PITCH
Octave
Semltone
Fine
Pitch Table
L
+0
+00
+00
System
~
+1
+00
+02
System
!.+3
+00
-02
System
4
PITCH MODS
MODSRC
MODAMT
Glide
ENV1
LF01
1
Tlmbr
+76
None
-11
+04
2
Off
3
Off
4
None
+00
+04
None
+00
+04
FILTER 1
Mode
Cutoff
KBD
MODSRC
MODAMT
ENV2
FILTER 2
Mode
Cutoff
KBD
MODSRC
MODAMT
ENV2
OUTPUT
VOL
MODSRC
MODAMT
KBD Scale
~~~L~~
Dest Bus
Pan
MODSRC
MODAMT
Pre-Ga~
Voice Prior
Vel Thresh
LFO
Rate
MODSRC
MODAMT
Level
MODSRC
__~I~~
Waveshape
Restart
Noise SRC RT
1
LP/2
000
+51
Wheel
+32
2
LP/2
062
+00
Off
3LP/2
127
+00
Off
+61
+35
+99
1
2-
3
LP/2
070
+00
Wheel
+99
+00
HP/2
000
+00
Wheel
+99
+00
LP/2
127
+00
Wheel
+94
+00
L
79
Off
-
!-.
92
Off
- SamMimI
SELECT VOICE
00
o'
.0
11
11
11
ENV1
Initial
Peak
Break 1
Break 2
4
5
5
1
00
00
00
00
4
4
4
4
5
5
5
5
6
6
6
6
2
3
4
5
6
P~---~
24
00
00
00
00
~--------------------
-
Vel Curve
Cnvx2
Mode
Norm
-
-
+OO--~-------------------------
Vel-Level
00
Vel-Attack
00
ENV2
Initial
Peak
Break 1
Break 2
Sustain
6
31
31
3!
3!
~u§~l~
Attack
Decay1
Decay2
Decay3
Release
KB6Track
6
~
~
~
a/
-
1
99
99
85
60
25
2
99
75
50
25
00
Attack
SO---1S
Decay 1
Decay 2
Decay 3
55
50
85
14
29
43
3
99
99
85
64
27
4
5
KBD Track
Vel Curve
Mode
Vel-Level
Vel-Attack
4
4
5
5
6
ENV3
Initial
Peak
Break 1
Break 2
Sustain
Attack
Decay 1
Decay 2
Decay 3
Release
25
26
60
6
-KB[)Track
+00
Cnvx2
Norm
50
00
+00
Cnvx2
Norm
49
00
1
99
99
99
99
99
2
99
90
80
50
00
3
00
99
99
99
00
00
00
00
30.
50
50
50
30.
00
00
00
30.
Off
cm
6ff--------------------------
Med
+000
Moo
+000
HI
+000
L
33
Off
1...
43
Off
!.33
Off
00
Press
Q~
Trl
On
00
00
Press
9Q
Trl
On
70
16
Press
~~--------------------------Trl
On
00
-
5
6
22
57
4
5
-----
6
00-------------------
+OO---;OO---;OO------------------
Vel Curve
Mode
Vel-Level
Vel-Attack
+00
~---------------------------FX1
50
Off
4
+00
LInear
Norm
00
00
27
6
00-------------------
Jiel4!.a§!! - --- _61:
- - _4!!:
- --5P:- - --- - - -
+00
~
FX1
50
Off
-
At \his point, the patch plays pretty well except in the top octave-and-a-hslf,
so I dropped the ocr AVB of all three voices one notch and got another octave of usable range on the bottom. The DOORBELL wave still freaks out on
the top few notes, though. Setting LFO-oo on the PITCH MOD page cures
the problem, but at the expense of a nice subtle animation in the sound; I
preferred to lcsve it slone and just stay away from those few notes.
11
+00
:
FX1
50
Off
-
6
-
.L
60
Off
waveform; I set the CUTOFF at 085, and left the other parameters intact. The
sawtooth synth waveform unfortunately doesn't have the nice motion that the
sampled brass wave does; by detuning it a fair bit (set FINE
-10 on the
PITCH page) you can crcste a chorasing that approximates this.
Cnvx2
Norm
00
00
PGM CONTROL
Pitch Table
Bend Range
Delay
Restrike
Glide Time
X4
41
00
EFFECTS (2:
Chorus Rate
Depth
Delay
Feedback
20
18
47
+21
Off
Cnvx2
Norm
08
00
Cnvx2
Norm
08
00
EFFECTS (1)
Effect
8 Voice+ Chorus
FX1
FX2
60
45
PERFORMANCE
Timbre
00
Release
00
Pressure Key
SQ-l
& 2 Hackerpatch
Jeffrey Rhoads
prog: Steam Callope
By: Jack Carder, Springfield, VT
Notes: This gives a nice out-of-tune, old-time circus music patch. Suggest playing melody: G4
WAVE
Select Voice
Wave Class
Wave
Delay Time
Wave Direction
Start Index
MODSCR
MODAMT
Restrk Decay
PITCH
Octave
Semltone
Fine
ENV1
LFO
MODSCR
MODAMT
1
0
0
0
2
0
0
-48
0
+01
Vel
0
0
KBDPtchTrack On
Glide
Off
GlideTime
0
ENV1
Initial
Peak
Break
Sustain
Attack
Decay1
Decay2
Release
Vel-Level
Vel-Attack
VelCurve
Mode
KBDTrack
U=O
1
2
3
On
On
Oft
TunedPercTunedPercRackBell RackBell 00Forward Forward 0
0
LFO
LFO
0
0
41
41
+01
Vel
0
On
Off
0
1
27
00
43
00
03
47,
17
29
2
27
00
43
00
03
47
17
29
06
66
06
-
38
0
26
53
Wheel
Sine
On
ENV2
FC2KBD
1
2Lo
2HI
0
+99
+19
LFO
+10
0
0
+28
-2
2Lo
2HI
0
+99
+19
LFO
+10
0
0
+28
FC1MOD-FC2
On
On
1
00
74
82
01
14
10
99
22
40
06
Convex
Normal
+70
-2
FILTER
Filter 1
Filter2
3
-
FC 1 Cutoff
ENV2
FC1KBD
MODSCR
MODAMT
-
-
-
FC2 Cutoff
-
-
3
ENV2
Initial
Peak
Break
Sustain
Attack
Decay1
Decay2
Release
Vel-Level
Vel-Attack
Vel Curve
Mode
KBDTrack
-
66
Concave Concave
Normal Normal 0
0
-
Effects Programming
2
00
74
82
01
14
10
99
22
40
06
Convex
Normal
+70
3-
-3
-
-
-
3-
.
.
.
-
-
-
G6, and chords: G3 - G4.
AMP
1
'nitial
82
-2
82
Peak
Break
Sustain
Attack
Decay1
Decay2
Release
99
93
93
03
24
55
16
19
86
Qulkrlse
Normal
+98
99
93
93
03
24
55
16
19
86
Qulkrlse
Normal .
+98
1
90
Off
LFO
+05
Zone
C2-G5
FX2
Med
0
-2
90
Off
LFO
+05
Zone
G5-C7
FX2
Med
0
0
0
Vel-Level
Vel-Attack
Vel Curve
Mode
KBDTrack
OUTPUT
VOL
Boost
MODSRC
MODAMT
KBD Scale
Key Range
OutputBus
Priority
Pan
Vel window
3
-
-
-
3-
Standard
Sound
Programming
The Hack: Steam Caliope is a good re-creation of the old Big Top staple. It can
be used to create a playful or circus-like atmophere in songs, jingles, soundtracks,
etc. Voice 2 is tuned 48 points below Voice 1. Since Voice 2 is zoned only to the
last octave and a half, it causes these notes to be "out" by a whole step. While this
may be accurate for the old caliope it is not altogether usable. Adjust FINE in Voice
2's Pitch Section to -10 for a less dramatic change. Also the Rack Bell wave used
here begins to distort some at C6 so you may want to find a different use for Voice
2. If you layer these voices the resulting sound may not be "true" but will be fatter.
In Voice 2's Output Section change KEYBD SCALE to -40; this will tone down the
upper octave and spread the voice across the entire keyboard. Both voices will now
sound together and Voice 2's slight detune generates a fuller sound. If the wave distortion in the upper octave bothers you, in the Pitch Section for both voices drop
OCT to -1. This still leaves you a pleasing patch
but now it's the ever popular
Detuned Bass Steam Caliope of the early 1900s.
(To save space, only those
effects utilized are listed. A
complete blank form was
published in Issue #68.)
HALL REVERB
FX-1
FX-2
Decay time
Diffusion
Detune Rate
Detune Depth
HF Damping
HF Bandwidth
LF Decay
MOD (Dest)
BY (MODSRC)
MODAMT
1
38
0
26
53
Wheel
Sine
On
LFOSpeed
NoiseRate
Level
Delay
MODSRC
Wave
Restart
-
31
50
25
40
40
12
33
93
+07
FX2 Mix
Pedal
0
Jeffrey Rhoads
Bio: Jeffrey Rhoads has been a keyboardistl
composer
on the Philadelphia
Jazz and R
+B
SQ-1 & 2 Hackerpatches are published with the
same constraints and understandings as the ESQ,
SQ-80, and VFX patches. The hacking and
mutilating part is being handled by Jeffrey
Rhoads.
scene for a period of time resembling forever.
He has an interest in cinema and has developed some film courses. Jeff still believes in
magic and longs for city lights.
23
The Interface.
Letters for The Interface may be sent to any of the following addresses:
U.S. Mail- The Interface, Transoniq Hacker, 1402 SW Upland Dr., Portland, OR 97221
Electronic mail GEnie Network: TRANSONIQ, CompuServe: 73260,3353, PAN: TRANSONIQ, Internet (via CS): [email protected]
This is probably one of the most open forums in the music industry. Letter writers are asked to please keep the vitriol to a minimum. Readers
reminded to take everything with a grain of salt. Resident answer-man is Clark Salisbury (CS). Letter publication is subject to space considerations.
-
Dear Hacker,
Is anyone else beside me bothered by the
fact that the SQ.Rs won't respond to MIDI
Pan (Controller #10)? Since I work with a
sequencer that has its own mixer and pan
controls, the implementation of this feature
is important to me. Can we get Ensoniq to
do it?
A tip about the EPS-l6+: It will do a loadup from an external sequencer command.
First, pick the track that corresponds to
whichever EPS Inst location that needs to
be loaded. On that track, insert a program
change, minus one, that corresponds to the
file (lnst) you want to load. (I.e. Prg Change
3 loads File #2.) It can also load banks, too,
as the EPS just reads a file-load command.
It would probably work with FX, but I
haven't tried it.
Rick Ledbetter
Los Angeles, Calif.
[CS - Rick, there is a way to simulate
MIDI-controlled panning in the SQ-series,
but it involves using at least two voices, and
may involve more tweaking than you care to
do. However, it's not all that difficult to
program two similar voices, and to assign
an external MIDI controller to control the
volume of each (this is donefrom the SQ
Output menu pages). The trick is to assign
the MIDI controller so that it modulates
output level in a positive direction for one
voice, and a negative direction for the
other. If the two voices are then panned
hard left and hard right (also controlled via
the Output section), you can simulate
automated panning by using the MIDI controller to fade one voice in while the other
is beingfaded out.
Also, I found it interesting that you mention
being able to loadbanksviaMIDIprogram
change commands. As nearly as I can tell,
this feature is not implemented in the current EPS-l6+ OS, although apparently Ensoniq is working on adding it to the next OS
release. If you've found a way to make it
work, I'd appreciate hearing exactly what
steps to take, and with what hardware and
OS to reproduce your results.]
[Ensoniq - The SQ products only offer a
limitednumberof discretepanpositions,so
it didn't seem to be of much value to
respond to that controller. The SD-l and
VFX-SD products do offer more panning
capabilities and so we can support panning.]
Dear TH,
I'd like to ask: Just exactly what is the
problem with the output stages of the EPS
that was fixed on the EPS 16+? I assume
that it is the demon which causes the incredibly annoying 'click' at the beginning
of some low-frequency samples.
Thanks,
Barry Sanders
Urbana, IL
[email protected]
[CS - There was never any real problem,
per se, with the original EPS output stage.
although at one point the output of the EPS
was upgraded to increase its level. The output of the EPS-l6+ has been re-designed
since the original EPS, with one of the
major changes being that digital to analog
conversion is handled differently, and by
different hardware, resulting in improved
fidelity.]
Michael Kuk
Clinton, Iowa
-
[CS Unfortunately, the SPM-l does not
support overflow mode. There are gizmos,
though, that will let you assign ranges from
a keyboard controller to different slave
MIDI devices, which would allow you to
play two SPM-ls from a single controller,
with no overlapping of notes. I' d check into
products from Anatek and Music Digital,
Inc. - they may have something that would
help. And perhaps one of our readers knows
of something that will allow you to simulate
an overflow mode using your SPM-l.]
Dear Hacker,
Re: The Timing Errors article by Roshan
Kumar (Issue #82).
I have also experienced this problem in my
SQ-l. When I contacted Ensoniq, they told
me it was a timing bug and set my board up
with O.S. 1.01. This has helped the problem
some.
However, I do still encounter these errors
and have learned to work around them. I'll
delete the inner bars of a sequence (e.g. on
an 8-bar sequence, delete bars 3 6) and
usually have no problems. I have yet to try
the Duration solution, but I have high hopes.
-
Hello Hacker Staff,
Being a long-time user of our beloved Ensoniq products, there is some assistance
which I would like to request.
I am a solo performer and have used the Ensoniq Sampled Piano Module (SPM-l)
since its debut on the market several years
ago. What I would like to know is if anyone
can advise me on how to make one unit
overflow into another SPM-l module. The
overflow function is most useful on my
rack-mount Mirage modules, SQ-80, and
ESQ-M, but I would like to know if it's
possible to have two SPM-ls overflow for a
20-voice polyphony.
Before I close, a side note to the great folks
at Ensoniq: I would buy a 76-note SD-l and
an Ensoniq
are
drum machine
available.
-
if they were
Thank you for your time and attention.
Warm regards,
24
I do still thoroughlyenjoy my ESQ-l, EPS,
Mirage, and now my SQ-l. However, Hey
Ensoniq - can you give us loyal customers a
break on SQ-l upgrades?1
P.S. The data cartridge article (also Issue
#82) was very useful.
Thank you I
Marty Munoz
Corpus Christi, TX
[Ensoniq - We have priced the SQ upgrades
as reasonably as we can, considering that
they involve replacing the whole mainboard.
The mainboard is the majority of the circuitry in the SQ. and therefore the majority
of the cost of the product. Since you have an
original SQ-l, an upgrade to an SQ-l PLUS
32 Voice will give you 2 additional
megabytes of l6-bit ROM waveforms. 11
additional voices and 80 new Sounds. Not a
bad deal for the money!]
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Dear TH,
I am the owner of a VFX-sd, upgraded to
an SD-I. I love the keyboard but am very
disappointed with the constant freez-ups,
sustaining n6tes and weird problems that,
no matter how many times they repair it,
still remain.
I am going to buy an IBM computer and
Cakewalk sequencing program. What I want
to know is if I will be able to record my SD
sequences into the new sequencer and if
you know of any problems I might run into
before I jump in. Is there any other equipment I'll need to run my song through to the
studio mixer? I still want to use the Ensoniq
sounds but I can't rely on their sequencer,
so I would appreciate your advice.
Thanks so much,
Joanne Delgado
North Island Productions
Grass Valley, Calif.
rCS - Joanne. you should have no trouble
moving your sequences into the IBM. If you
want to play them over manually, be aware
that each track of the SD-l needs to be set
to eitherMIDIor BOTH statusbeforeit will
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This innovative program offers over IHO
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Chord chan s prov.ded for all of the sequences
Excellent for
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Works with any midi set up that can produce
drums, piano, bass. and guitar. Type I mid. file
format for all computer sequences
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send MIDI data to the IBM. Also be aware
that each track needs to be on its own unique MIDI channel. This can be a bit more
complicated than it sounds, however, since
MIDI channels are assigned per sequence.
What this means is that if you have a number of sequences chained to form a song,
it's possible that the same track (track I,
for example) might send on different MIDI
channels depending on which sequence is
currently.
I'd also recommend looking into Giebler
Enterprises' excellent IBM utilities (Giebler
Enterprises, 8038 Morgan Rd., Liverpool
NY. 13090-2009, (315) 652-5741) which
are designed to (among other things) translate Enso'niq sequence files into standard
MIDI files, which can be read directly by
Cakewalk and other IBM sequencing
programs. For more information, check out
last month's TH cover story.]
rEnsoniq - It sounds to us like you should
still have your unit checked out. Your keyboard could be defective, not the mainboard. Contact Customer Service (215)
647-3930 so we can help you.]
ideas for Ensoniq keyboards.
Thanks again, and keep up the good work!
Gary Giebler
Giebler Enterprises
Liverpool, NY
-
rCS What a coincidence, Gary! I was just
mentioning you to the correspondent above.
Thanksfor the info!]
Dear T.H. & Ensoniq:
I went to my local dealer the other day to
purchase the new EPS Joey DeFrancesco
Signature Series package (ESS-15). It
sounded so terrible on my (original) EPS
that the salesperson wouldn't even sell me
the package. What gives? Are these "Signature Series" samples incompatible with the
original EPS?
What happened to the "Load a sample while
a sequence is playing" feature that was advertised when the EPS-16+ first came out?
I've been waiting to see if Ensoniq actually
implements this powerful feature before
purchasing a new EPS-16 + module.
Dear TH,
I would like to thank the Hacker and Ed
Lecuyer for taking the time to review our
SQ80VFX software in the March issue. The
favorable review has already generated an
increasing interest in our products.
Most of the improvements suggested by Mr.
Lecuyer have already been made to the
SQ80VFX program, and I would like to
pass them along to your readers. The program is now faster than the version reviewed, and allows the user to format
VFX-sd (SD-I) disks either during the conversion to VFX-sd or separately. The user
can select which files on the SQ-80 diskettes are to be converted to VFX-sd sequences, and converted files remain on the hard
disk, allowing the user to copy the files to
another VFX-sd disk at a later time. Current
owners of the software can upgrade to the
latest version for $6 which includes shipping and handling.
Please continue to send your ideas for new
products and improvements to us. Per your
requests, Giebler Enterprises can now accept Visa and MasterCard orders. Improvements and new features are added to each of
our programs on a regular basis
- many
as a
result of your suggestions either directly or
through the Hacker. The Transoniq Hacker
still continues to be the best forum for new
Still no word on the EPS O.S. V2.5? I was
able to get my hands on the latest V2.49
though. Ensoniq was kind enough to send
me a copy. Thank you. Is there any documentation concerning the new features that
are included in the new O.S.?
I realize that these are troubled times with
the economy being the way it is so how
are you doing, Ensoniq? All of us Ensoniq
equipment owners seem to be requesting
more and more from you folks. So how are
you people holding up? How's the company
doing?
-
Keep up the good work.
Sincerely yours,
James Rosand
Port Angeles, WA
rCS - While I'm not familiar with any
problems relating specifically to the Joey
DeFrancesco Signature Series disks, there
are a couple of things to keep in mind when
trying to play EPS-16+ sounds on an EPS
Classic.
The first thing to check out is filter cutoff.
On the EPS-16+,filter cutoff goes from 0 to
ISO, whereas on the EPS it ranges from 0 to
127. Consequently, if filter cutoff is set
higher than 127, the EPS may have trouble
26
I
...
interpreting the numbers. On the EPS classic, try moving the filter cutoff point all the
way to 0, then back up to a setting that
sounds good.
The other problem has to do with the fact
that the EPS-I6+ has a new gain boost
parameter. If a programmer uses this parameter to get a bit more volume out of a
sound, you may have trouble getting the
sound to play back at the correct volume on
the EPS classic. The solution is simply to
check and make sure that the volume for
any wavesample that seems to quiet is
turned up. The volume parameter is accessedfrom the Edit/Amp menu.
Of course, the fact that you may not be listeningto the soundplayedbackthroughthe
EPS-I6 PLUS's digital effects might have
something to do with it too - if you can,
check out the sound on an EPS-I6+ with its
effects turned off. This should give you
some idea as to whether or not the effects
are making a big difference in the quality of
the sound.
As far as os upgrades are concerned, Ensoniq is working to get both the EPS 2.5 OS
ready for public consumption, as well as the
long awaited "load while the sequencer
plays" upgrade for the EPS-I6+.]
[Ensoniq - Clark is correct, what you heard
was the filter value that was set to 150 for
the EPS-I6 PLUS, while the original EPS
only goes to 127. The Filter 2 is set to be a
Hi Pass, and this extended value causes it
to wrap around and affect the sound negatively.
Try selecting the whole layer for editing,
and moving the Cutoff for Filter 2 all the
way down and then all the way up again.
This will easily correct the problem.
Regarding O.S. upgrades, we should be
ready by the next issue of the Hacker to announce the release of the next O.S.for the
EPS-I6 PLUS. Stay tuned...]
to sequencer control to check my total
memory. To my astonishment there were
exactly zero events left. So I decided to
dump a few sequences to free up memory,
but the whole thing froze up. Nothing
would work except the last patch on my
keyboard. After some thought, I opted to
turn it off. I waited maybe a minute, and
turned it back on. Usually it says, "calibrating keyboard - do not touch," but this time
it just read "calibrating" in the upper
left-hand corner and stayed like that until I
turned it off. Twice more I turned it on same results.
One night I was using the Append feature in
my sequencer (O.S. 3.00). I had a two
measure drum track and appended it into 32
measures. Just to be on the safe side I went
In spite of the explanation in Section 7 of
the Blue Book, I don't understand the relationship between a sequence and a preset.
For example, if I create a preset which is
made up of three sounds, how can I use this
new, rich sound in a sequence insofar as it
takes up three tracks of the eight I can use?
(You see,l'm a halfwit!)
Many thanks for your II.nswers.
The next day, however, I turned it on and it
kicked in just fine, but had somehow reinitialized itself in the wee hours of the morning. I re-Ioaded the operating system, and
used it with no problems until it made
another error. A sequence was looping
when the loop display read "OFF." I tried to
erase the last measure, but it froze up once
more. It was the same thing all over again,
but this time I reloaded the operating system from the master VSD-200 in hopes that
it was an error within my copy.
It works fine, but I don't know whether it
will happen again, and I can't see how a
softwarebug in the sequencer's O.S. could
be affecting the hardware function of calibrating the keyboard when turn it on. If
you've got any ideas or just plain sympathy
I'd really be glad to hear about it.
Oh, and by the way, you guys put out an excellent magazine. I love bragging to all my
Yamaha and Casio friends that I've got an
unbiased, high-quality magazine dedicated
to helping me get the best out of my board.
Keep up the good work!
In your hands,
Nathaniel Reichman
Valdez, Alaska
[CS
-
Your problems
sound pretty gnarly,
Nathaniel. l'd definitely suggest getting in
touch with Ensoniq Customer Service
(215-647-3930). They should be able to
provide with more than just sympathy.]
Dear Transoniq Hacker,
I bought an SD.llast October and have
been loving it ever since. It's my first
serious keyboard and I've been having a
blast with all the sequencing and sounds.
Now here comes the bad part:
Is it possible to program an acceleration/deceleration in a sequence - or is it
only possible by sliding the "data entry button" while the sequencer is playing?
Dear TH,
I own an SQ.l+ which I find very exciting
and I'm just beginning to program some
sounds. I have some questions:
Can you give me some tips on the different
envelopes and waves to use for creating an
accordion sound and a harmonica sound?
Bivel Sylvain
Hirson, France
[CS - There are a number of pretty good
accordion and harmonica type programs already in the Ensoniq sound library for the
SQ - l'd suggest heading down to your
dealer and checking them out for ideas on
how to create your own. Nevertheless, you
might try using an AMP envelope with
parameters set to something like this:
50 99 99 99
15 00 00 20
,
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Booklet provides lead sheets for all chord
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Program requires a mIdi synth capable of
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Type I mIdi file format for all computer sequencers.
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--
Once you have that together, it's easy
enough to experiment with the various
waves. Interestingly enough, a number of
the Bass waves work pretty well to simulate
harmonica and accordion sounds - but
don't neglect the other waves either.
As far as tempo changes within a sequence
go, the only way to do them (other than to
play the tracks at the correct tempos in the
first place, and avoid quantizing) is to chain
together individual sequences at different
tempos, as each sequence in a song can
have its own tempo setting which will be
remembered as the song plays.
The only difference between presets and sequences is that presets have no sequence
data recorded into them. If you want to use
a three-layer sound in a sequence, the
easiest thing to do is to record the part
using one track (layer) and then copy the
part to the other tracks (layers). This will
use up three tracks of your sequence.]
cartridge as an EPS-readable SCSI drive. I
purchased a Bernoulli drive some time ago
with hopes to use it with my EPS. After
many trials and tribulations and calls to
IOMEGA, it became apparent that the inability of the EPS to support off-line formatting made use of the IOMEGA drive
impossible.
Don Suite of Salt Lake City, Utah, sent a
note to the Hacker regarding the formatting
of a Bernoulli cartridge for use as an EPS
drive. Unfortunately, directory assistance
cannot provide me with a number for Don. I
am hoping that Don will read this and contact me at the address or phone supplied
with this letter, so I can follow-up with the
lab he used.
Dear Hacker,
If anyone out there has any information that
would be of assistance in developing a
Macintosh program to format a Bernoulli
cartridge as an EPS-readable drive, please
let me know. I have spoken with Giebler
Enterprises about the problem Unfortunately, Gary's software only runs on a PC, and
does not format a SCSI device.
I was pleased to see in the February Hacker
that at least one computer lab had developed software to format a Bernoulli
The IOMEGA drives are supposed to be
substantially more reliable than Syquest
cartridges, and I am confident that a solu-
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reliable form for EPS customers. IOMEGA
has assigned Brian Boyle, one of their tech
gurus, to assist me, but we need data
regarding the Ensoniq SCSI format. Perhaps
Ensoniq, or some enterprising third-party,
can help. If I get a solution, I will be happy
to clue the rest of you in so that EPS users
can use a Bernoulli drive.
Thanks for all your help.
Sincerely,
Timothy J. Conlon
1900 Hospital Trust Tower
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 272-6700
{TH - This is probably a good place to
mention the Hacker's policy regarding
giving out names and numbers and such.
Unless there's something specific saying
it's okay (as in the letter above), we just
give the city and state. If someone tries to
contact another reader, we're happy to pass
along a note or whatever, but then they
have to get back to you. (Although this
doesn't mean we want to become a internationalletter drop...) We passed Timothy's
questions on to Don Suite and he passed it
on to his friend in the computer lab. We've
yet to get back any response from him, but
we'll keep you posted ifwe do.]
Dear TH,
Thanks to your way cool magazine I've
probably stuck with the EPS much longer
than I ever thought I would. Of course, I've
moved up from my original BPS to a rackmount turbo 16+, but that's not the same as
switching to Akai. The point is, just when
I'm getting itchy to move on to something
else, I can check the Hacker for updates,
samples, and accessories that are interesting
enough to keep me from jumping ship.
One excellent example is the Waveboy PBD
review recently. Man! Just thinking about
the possibilities forced me to call and order
it immediately.
Which brings me to my question: What happened to the Tiresias' program for the Mac/
BPS? I've been trying to contact them by
phone without success and there's no way
I'm just going to send a check and hope for
a disk to show up. There's an answering
machine that picks up, but it doesn't identify anyone/anyplace and whoever it is
never returns calls. If the program isn't
available anymore, can a working version
be made available to a BBS like the one I
downloaded the demo version from?
questions on to him. His response:
Now, a message for Ensoniq... Okay guys, I
know that you're busy planning the next
unit to be unleashed upon us, but before you
get past the point of no return I want to let
you know what's needed out here in the
trenches. And yes, we want you to keep it
affordable, but I think most of us would pay
a few hundred more for THE axe.
"BokononTechnologieshas always beena
one-man show and, unfortunately, never became profitable. I'm not sure who you
called but if you call me at 312-733-3244
I'll be glad to sell you a copy of the working
program. Although my answering machine
doesn't give details on the program these
days, 1 do return calls and would recommend leaving your name and a nighttime
phone number."]
1. Don't even consider putting out an instrument without at least 3Mb of batterybacked RAM (upgradeable w/SIMMs), SDS
and SCSI.
[Ensoniq - Well, we're sorry, but you're
not goingto like this answer.
2. For cost purposes: put the rackmount version out first and consider implementing a
master controller instead of having a keyboard version. Since there's a rackmount of
everything, just concentrate on one keyboard that works with everything. Consider
leaving the FX and sequencer as an add-on
module that can be used just like the internal versions.
Almost everything out now has EO controlled resonant filters - DON'T BE LEFT
OUTI I've passed on lots of stuff just because it didn't have resonant filters. With
all the hacker-types that buy your stuff and
read this mag I'm sure there's more than a
few nods on this issue because it's a very
powerful tool.
Thanlesfor the input, but remember that the
cost of doing everything we currently do,
plus adding all the things you asked for,
plus the inevitable tricks we have up our
sleeve that you haven't thought of make for
a very expensive instrument. For example,
battery-backed-up RAM is very expensive,
and our users seemvery concerned about
the cost of their instruments. Rackmounts at
the right price are important, but our warranty data doesn't show that all of our
users want only racles,or separate modular
design, and industry sales also show that
they are still the minority of units sold. We
can't be all things to all people, at our size
we have to try to make the right trade-oils
and design decisions.]
Now remember, these are suggested ADDITIONS to what you're already doing very
well. Don't start that trade-off stuff or the
cost-prohibitive story we've heard before
and still don't care about
Thanks to TH for a very useful mag and
keep up the good work!
I recently spoke with one of the volunteer
tech support people listed in the Hacker.
Part of our discussion was about possibilities for the next generation Ensoniq
sampler. While the volunteer had interesting ideas for improved hardware, I find
myself thinking mostly about how the
EPS-16+ O.S. could be improved in such a
way so that the costs would merit the effort.
As a result, I am writing to suggest add-ons
or refinements to the current EPS-16+ O.S.
that seem highly effective and not intensive
as far as development time is concerned.
[TH - Well, Jared, down here in the real
world, trade-offs and costs have a way of
getting even with people who try to ignore
them.
I use the EPS-16+ rack for algorithmic
composition, video soundtracks and Mac
sequencing. I often use the EPS as a the
only sound generator, mixing multi-channel
sequences in real-time via MIDI controllers.
While the EPS hardware is more that adequate, I find that the system software comes
a hair short of really letting me get all I can
out of it.
Tiresias was developed by Chip Burwell of
Bokonon Technologies, so we passed your
The following suggestions are intended as
an inexpensive way to keep the machine
Jared Stewart
Los Angeles, Calif.
29
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10541 EARL AVE.
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Treat Yourself! !
Dear THlEnsoniq,
Try to incorporate some form of alternative
synthesis, i.e., FM, AM or something like
E-MU did with the EMAX or come up with
some bizarre algorithm that makes everything weird (e.g. different). If anyone
remembers Serge Modular, they had some
special modules that were expressly
designed to randomly warp everything.
PROFESSIONAL QUAUTY
LOW COST
SEQUENCES
FOR
THE EPS/EPS-16 PLUS, SQ-80,
ESQ-1, VFX-sd, SD-1, Roland,
IBM/DOS
EPS/16 PLUS
Samples from K. Thomas
-
Electronic Musician says
"Sound Quality: 5 out of 5
Value: 5 out of 5"
[EM,1an. '92]
Keyboard Magazine says "Beo.tltift4!y recorded... iry:redikly
smoofh..."ich...(soul/ul... crisp and
seamlessly multi-sampled."
[Jim Aikin, Keyboard, Oct. '91]
DelDoTape ... $8
K. Thomas
Box 174
Stratford, ONT.
N5A 6Tl Canada
Phone: 519-271-7964
/
competitive and provide maximum use to
the musician.
ACCESSING
HARD DISK
SAMPLES FROM THE
Bank files should be loadable via MIDI.
This could be implemented almost identically to how instruments are loaded via
MIDI program changes (I have heard
rumors that something like this is in the
works.)
Loading instruments via MIDI program
changes only works when instruments being
replaced. Before running a sequence I
manually load 8 empty samples. When I
load a set of samples in the middle of a thirty minute sound track I fIrst load empty instruments the EPS to clear the memory then
load each new sample separately I manually
adjust the time between program changes in
the sequencer to allow the EPS to finish
loading the previous sample. Using MIDI to
load banks should take care of the timing
and memory allocation problems.
I like to organize samples by type in my
hard disk directory. It would be helpful to
be able to write a file to any file number
within a directory.
SELECTING EFFECTS
The effects processor is almost uncontrollable via MIDI.
The minimum upgrade should enable MIDI
to select any ROM effect or one of 64 user
effects stored in non volatile RAM. The
user effects could be parameter variations
on the ROM effects and would not have to
be 64 sets of DSP code This upgrade would
give the programmability and MIDI implementa1;ionof a SPX-90.
An intermediate upgrade would take all the
features mentioned above and add MIDI
control of effect/dry mix plus one other
parameter.
Presently, the effects processor feature
seems crippled. I mainly use it for a master
reverb, because of the lack of control via an
external sequencer.
MIDI MODULATION
To my knowledge neither Alchemy nor
Digidesign are written for the EPS-16+. The
only Mac program that I know of that supports the 16+ is Tiresias. Tiresias is great
for editing parameters but doesn't support
sample transfers or editing.
The system exclusive should be easy
enough to encourage more third party
developers to use it If the Tiresias implementation is too difficult to use, it
defeats its purpose.
MIDI SAMPLE DUMP
Instrument names are trademarks of Ensonlq Corporation.
Who has used the trans wave feature? The
feature is brilliant
-
but to my knowledge it
has not been supported. I would be happy to
pay for a set of disks that exploits this
aspect of the instrument. It would be great
to have a set of these sounds designed by
the sound designers at Ensoniq. If nothing
else the sounds could adaptations of VFX
sounds.
THE USER'S MANUAL
SYSTEM EXCLUSIVE
MONSTER TRACKS
PO Box 12188
Salem, OR 97309
503-588-7256
I have read that the Kurzweil K2000 implements the MIDI sample dump, can read
Akai disks and is supported by several Mac
sample design programs.
SOURCES
The flexibility and expressiveness provided
be MIDI controllers on the EPS is brilliant
These feature were un-matched when I
bought the instrument a year ago To date
only one sampler comes close in this area.
with hundreds of selections from the
'50s to this week's chart for your
ESQ-1, SQ-80, VFX-sd, or SD-1 also ROLAND, MACINTOSHand IBM.
Data includes sequences, drum patterns, patches and programmed mix.
Demanding professionals agree that
MONSTER TRACKS incredibly de.
tailed arrangements are the greatestl
Convincing demo available. Call or
write:
If it is too diffIcult to integrate into the current O.S., I would be happy to pay for a self
booting utility disk for the EPS that has the
MIDI Sample Dump utility. Reading one
mono multisample at a time and saving it as
a single layer would be fine I don't mind
re-programming the fine point if I can at
least get the data.
EPS SOUND UBRARIES
The optimum upgrade would be modeled on
the Ensoniq 4/DSP effects processor The
EPS effects processor software could be a 1
DSP chip version of this.
It would be helpful to have more MIDI controllers per instrument, Polyphonic aftertouch, pitchbend and three assignables.
MONSTER DANis hotter than ever
are for sequencers I wouldn't buy a PC
based sequencer that did not support these
features.
If the EPS sysex is so difficult for third
party developers to support, the EPS should
at least support the MIDI Sample Dump.
The MIDI sample dump should be as standard for samplers as MIDI System Exclusive, MIDI Files and MIDI Time Code
30
The musicians who encouraged me to buy
the EPS explained that the learning curve
was steep. Prior to buying an EPS I rented
one for a job and found the manual hard to
use. The index contains many useless
references. I found several entries that
referred me to the topics listing in the table
of contents.
I have generally spoken very well about the
instruments but explain to people that it is a
difficult instrument to learn. However, I
recently loaned my EPS to a friend to use
for a rap video. I sat down with him for two
hours, explained only what he needed to
know to do his project. Interestingly enough
he had no problem whatsoever. It seems
that the problem of the learning curve is
linked to the manual.
As a result I recommend a manual that is in
two parts. The first part would be a very
thorough explanation of creating single
layer multi-sampled instruments (along with
effect and sequencer basics). The second
part would be a detailed explanation of how
to take advantage of advanced aspects of
the instrument such as envelopes, hard disk
loading of samples, using MIDI controllers,
working with multi-layered samples ... etc.
Finally, there would be a carefully written
index with sub-sections for some entries.
HACKER BOOTEEQ
I would be willing to pay for a new manual
that included these improvements.
P.S. I would be interested to hear other
people's views on prospective improvements to the BPS in the Hacker or via
e-mail.
Neil Leonard
Internet address: [email protected]
(CS - Even as we speak, Ensoniq is working
on the next OS release for the EPS-16+
which should allow you to load bank files
via MIDI program change command. As far
as Alchemy and Digidesign are concerned,
both support sample transfers to and from
the EPS and EPS-16+.1 use Alchemy myself, and find that sample transfers specifically designed for the instrument in
question are preferable to MIDI Sample
Dump, as well as to the new SMDI SCSIMIDI Sample Dump standard, in that SDS
is extremely slow, and SMDI, while faster,
does not seemto preserve keyboardmapping information.
I'd like to know if anyone has made use of
the EPS-16+ transwavefeature, too. It does
seem
like a pretty
cool thing
- is anyone
YO ADVERTISERS!
VFX, VFX-sd,SD-l owners60 sounds, 20 presets, 3 demos,
documentation. Three volwnes.
$40 each. Any two: $75. All three: $110.
Try an economical size ad in the Haclcer. Our
one-twelfth page ad (the size of this ad) is the
perfect size for testing the waters, moving up
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ads, or just maintaining visibility over long
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SQ-l, 2, R, Plus owners-
Volwne I: 80 sounds & docwnentation.
Disks: $50.
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2617 Ridgeway St.
Tallahassee, FL 32310-5169
(904) 575-5561
Transoniq
Hacker
1402 SW Upland Dr., Portland, OR 97221
503 -227-6848
Florida residents add sales tax
ALL DIGITAL SAMPLES
Read/Write/Format Ensonlq Disks on
IBM-PC's with our Ensoniq Diskette
Manager(EDM)software($22).
)(
We offer the only 16 bit computer
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samples available for
your EPS or EPS16+. "A great idea,
and some great sounds...very clean...
wildly exotic." -Jim Aikin, Keyboard
Julyl91. Get a demo disk with seven
complete instruments for $6.00, or
write for our catalog.
Transfer Sequences to and fromStandard
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VFX-SDand SD-1 or EPSSMF for EPS
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Convert SQ-aO sequences and songs to
VFX-SDor SMFwith our SQaOVFXsoftware ($44).
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FIRST GENERATION
P.O. Box 748
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out
there doing anything with it?)
Giebler Enterprises
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8038 Morgan Road
Liverpool, NY 13090
(315) 652-5741
-
(Ensoniq
You offer some great suggestions - some more possible than others. The
next O.S will allow you to load Banks via
MIDI program changes. But adding nonvolatile memory, and the effects architecture you suggest would be more than an
O.S., it would involve hardware redesign.
The effects processing was meant more for
enhancing the on-board sounds than for external MIDI control, and the processing
power to offer more control over it and the
voice modulation you askfor would also tax
the main processor. This could result in
timing errors for the sequencer, LFOs and
other time-based parameters.
SlIOUID BUYinGSAIIIPIES
BEEXPEnSIYE?
We'reN.O.T.like that. You shouldn't have to worry
about the prine at all. A vast libmy of affordable
samples is what we've always beeu about. Jost send
os a postcard or let"'r asking for the (ntroPack and
we'U talcecare of the rest. We spend the limeorganizing a IIbmy for the EPS so you can spend your U..,
making music.
ABSOlUTElY n.o. T.
MIDI MARK
r
.~
v
BOX 217'
If you want to transfer and edit samples,
then both Alchemy and DigiDesign's Sound
Designer work excellently for the EPS-16
PLUS. That is what we usefor all our sound
development efforts. Also, Interval Music's
GenWavefor the Atari and Turtle Beach's
program for the IBM work perfectly.
CUSTOM
u
u'
~
WHITTIER
,
, v
CA
,.
NEANDERTHAL
PO 80" 1238
Hi/lsboro, OR 91123
SJEVl8JRIE
SOUNDS
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Ensoniq, Korg, Roland, Yamaha...and
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Thanks for writing.)
16+
Visa
From the company that pushes memory
efficiency to the extreme. Write or call
for our all new catalog of sounds
developed for the EPS-16 PLUS.
I-~-I
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~~
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1 NO.3IOOml,g:.':aRoad
SEVERESOUNDS
_
P.O.Box 14250, Austin, TX 78761
(512) 388-3808
31
....
TECHNIQUES
90608
$19.95...no job too big!
We can't respond point for point, but you
offer well-thought out ideas and we will
keep them in mind for this product and future products as well.
ORGANIZATION
~
-~
TRANSONIQ HACKER
BULK RATE
U.S. POSTAGE
1402 SW UPLAND DR., PORTLAND, OR 97221, (503) 227-6848
PORTLAND, OR
PERMIT NO. 11
PAID
SUBSCRIPTION MATERIAL
DATED MATERIAL. TIME VAWE
ADDRESS CORRECTION REQUESTED
-- -
--
.--
Copyright 1992, Transonlq Hacker, 1492 SWUpian
.97'221.Phone: (503) 227,,6848 (8 a.m. t09 p.m,Pacifi<
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