Ensoniq ESQ-1

In Stock -
Ensoniq ESQ-1 - Synth Palace
Ensoniq ESQ-1 - Synth Palace

Ensoniq ESQ-1

In Stock -
- +
  • SKU: syn-033
  • Brand: Ensoniq
  • Type: Synthesizer
  • Availability: In Stock



Ensoniq ESQ-1 is a 61-key, velocity-sensitive, eight-note polyphonic and multitimbral synthesizer released by Ensoniq in 1985. It was marketed as a "digital wave synthesizer" but was an early Music Workstation.

Similar to the Mirage synth/sampler, the ESQ-1 was Ensoniq's highly affordable and impressive digital synthesizer, released in 1986. Although the waveforms are digital in nature, the filters are all analog as on the Mirage. In fact, for a digital synth the ESQ-1 has many good old analog-synth features such as a ring modulator, sequencer, and oscillator-sync. The envelopes and LFOs are can be freely routed to each DCO, VCA and or VCF. There are 40 preset sounds which are the usual not-so-great sounds. Luckily the VFD display screen is large enough to make editing the sounds somewhat pleasant.

What really sets the ESQ-1 apart from other similar synths is the voice architecture. Choose from analog, digital, or samples or any combo since there are three independent oscillators per voice! Once you start editing on the ESQ-1 you will come up with interesting and unique results. Using dynamic voice allocation it can seamlessly switch from 8-voices of analog to 8-voices of digital or sampled voices! This gives you a wide array of different sonic elements at your fingertips!

Then there's its built-in sequencer. It can store up to 24,000 notes in 30 sequences and 10 songs via battery backup. Anyone in search of an alternative synthesizer should consider the ESQ-1. More analog than a DX-7 or D-50 and also much cheaper, the ESQ-1 is a tasty option that is worth a try.

The ESQ-synths have been used by Anything Box, Skinny Puppy, Jean-Michel Jarre, and Steve Roach.


Polyphony: 8 voices (dynamic voice allocation)

Oscillators: 3 digital oscillators per voice, 32 waveforms

LFO: 3 LFOs per voice; triangle, saw, square, random

Filter: 4-pole analog resonant filter with 6-stage envelope

VCA: 4 VCA + 4 Envelopes with 7 parameters per voice

Sequencer: 8-Track (30 patterns, 10 songs w/ up to 99 patterns each)

Effects: None

Keyboard: 61 note (velocity)

Memory: 40 patches

Control: MIDI (8-parts)


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