Synth Wizards Episode 4: Desert Island SQ-80


A few months ago, someone on a vintage
synthesizer forum posed the question: if you were on a desert island and could
only have one synth, which one would it be? I was expecting people to answer with
things like Roland Jupiter-8, Oberheim Matrix-12, Minimoog, and other classic
heavyweights that sell for big, big money these days. But I was amazed that the
synth that seemed to get the most votes was the Ensoniq SQ-80. These are great
keyboards that are fairly easy to come across these days. They’re relatively
inexpensive and they do some really cool things. In fact, Craig Anderton foretold
the future way back in 1988 in his SQ-80 review in Electronic Musician magazine,
writing: “If you could only have one mid-priced keyboard to take to a desert
island, this would be the one.” We recently picked up an SQ-80 that needs a bit of
work, so it’s the perfect opportunity to put together our desert island SQ-80. Here at Syntaur, we live to bring old
synthesizers back to life. We find vintage keyboards wherever we can, and
our crew restores them back to their original splendor. We also supply parts
to tens of thousands of customers all around the world, so that they can
restore and repair their own keyboards. At our shop in Texas, we have on hand
parts for the synths used by pros from the 1960s, all the way to today’s brand
new keyboards. Our inside and out knowledge has made us known as: the Synth Wizards. Hi, we’re here with minimal alcoholic beverages depleting a trailer
and a van for Syntaur’s inventory. Good times! We’ve had some new arrivals lately.
We rounded up a whole mess of keyboards and my buddy Robin came by to help
unload them. More on Robin later, but among those new arrivals was an Ensoniq
SQ-80 just begging for some attention. Since 1988, when Syntaur was formed, we’ve specialized in Ensoniq keyboards and we can never get too many of them. Ensoniq
Corporation began life in 1982, starting out as a computer company called
Peripheral Visions Incorporated. It was founded by three guys who bailed from
Commodore Business Machines with big ideas for their own computer,
and they certainly had some credibility! While at Commodore, they had designed and
developed the VIC-20 computer, and then the Commodore 64: the best-selling
computer in history. One of the three guys was an amateur musician named Bob
Yannes, and he had created the Commodore 64’s SID chip, which was basically a
synthesizer on a single chip. The idea behind Peripheral Visions was to
design an even more powerful sound chip and build a computer around it. Bob was
kind enough to answer all of our questions via email, so we’ll let him
take over the story from here. We were going to design the next great personal
computer following the Commodore 64, but the C64 became so successful, and
everybody was losing hundreds of millions of dollars trying to compete
with it. Suddenly, none of our investors were willing to go up against it, so we
had to look for a new business. So you took a big gamble and changed direction?
I suggested the music business, applying our sound chip in that industry. Most of
the development cost for the chip had already been paid for by the investors, but yeah, it was a huge gamble starting a new manufacturing company, building a
factory, and entering a business different from any we were experienced
with. The SID chip that Yannes had created for Commodore used VLSI technology – that stands for Very Large Scale Integration, which means taking hundreds of ICs that
would be used in your circuit and baking them all into one large custom chip. It
takes a huge investment to create this. Back in the 80s, it cost hundreds of
thousands of dollars just to design and prototype a VLSI chip, but it greatly
reduces the number of parts needed to build the final product, and so it pays
off if you’re making lots of that product. So the new company, now renamed Ensoniq, set about designing a keyboard based on their new chip. In the mid-80s,
if you wanted a digital sampler, the cheap way to go was the Emulator II – which would set you back $8000-$10,000. Or you could get a Fairlight for $32,000-$60,000, or spring for the Sinclavier if you had 200 grand to spare.
Those were the choices. When Ensoniq released the Mirage digital sampling
keyboard, selling for just sixteen hundred ninety-five dollars, it set
the keyboard world on fire. In 1984, I bought the first one in the state – sight
unseen – and I loved it. I still have one over 30 years later. Ensoniq’s DOC chip
was the heart of the Mirage, and this pioneering use of VLSI chips was a
turning point for the music industry. It made it possible to build Mirages for so
little money, and for many years running, Ensoniq sold more digital samplers
than all other manufacturers combined. With the success of the Mirage under
their belts, Ensoniq took a crack at the synthesizer market, and, building around
the same DOC chip, they released the ESQ-1 in May of 1986. It was the first
synthesizer ever made that incorporated a built-in multitrack sequencer. It was
going head-to-head with the new DX7, which was Yamaha’s first product using
VLSI technology and which was perhaps the most successful keyboard of all time.
Still, Ensoniq had soon sold an impressive 30,000 ESQ-1s, one of them
to me. The ESQ was a very cool combination of
digitally sampled waves run through a 4-pole analog low-pass filter. With three
oscillators, the voice architecture is quite similar to the Minimoog, and it’s
very easy to wrap your brain around. The ESQ’s 8-track sequencer was very
powerful for the time, and extremely intuitive. A year and a half later, the
ESQ-1 was kicked up a few notches. This new keyboard, called the SQ-80, features 75 digital waveforms, a disk drive for storage of programs and sequences, and an
incredibly expressive innovation: a keyboard with polyphonic aftertouch. Even
today, 30 years later, it’s hard to find a keyboard with this feature. So Gerald, what
all is up with this one? The SQ-80 we’re starting with came into
the shop with several issues. The software was scrambled, with many of the
programs not even showing on the display, and that’s an easy fix. The disk drive is
toasted. It’s making a loud humming sound whenever the keyboard is turned on. The
data slider has been replaced with one that works, but it has a different type
of shaft, so the slider cap won’t fit. And the keybed, normally pretty clacky on
even the best SQ-80, is terribly noisy on this one. There are several secret pages
on the SQ-80, and on the ESQ-1 as well, that are not
mentioned in the manual, and they are all accessed by pressing two panel buttons
at the same time. If you press the record button and the upper-left button over
the display, you get to a screen that asks if you want to reinitialize the
keyboard. This erases everything in memory and restores the factory sounds.
Most importantly, if something has scrambled the software and the keyboard
is not operating correctly, this reloads the software and cures any such problems.
Of course, before doing this you’ll want to make sure all of your custom sound
programs and sequences are all saved to disk, because they’re going bye-bye once
you reinitialize. Pressing record and the lower left button under the display
simply reboots the keyboard. Pressing record and master displays the software
version of the operating system. This one shows version 1.5, but the latest SQ-80
version is 1.8, and the latest ESQ-1 version is 3.5. Pressing record and
compare brings up the analogue tests page which allows you to test the
sliders and other controls. Just for grins, set the mod wheel all the way down,
then press read and it’ll show a value of 0. Roll the wheel all the way forward,
press read again, and it’ll show a value of 255. Pressing record and filter tunes
the filter chips to the appropriate values, so that all 8 voices sound
consistent. Pressing record and split layer simply recalibrates the keyboard
just like when you first power up. Finally, pressing record and modes gives
credit to the guys who designed and programmed this synthesizer. One cool
thing about the SQ-80 is that it’s so easy to grasp how the sounds are created.
It’s laid out very much like a Minimoog, and, the, it’s all diagrammed right here
on the front panel. You have three oscillators that go through three amps.
They go into a filter, they go into a final amp, and then out the output
jack, and then you have the modulators here, LFOs and envelopes, and so you have the handy diagram there, and buttons within the diagram, so if you want to access
oscillator 2, there it is in the diagram. Push the button, and it comes up on the
menu and you can do your edits. So it’s very easy to wrap your brain around.
Bob, was the voice architecture of the ESQ and SQ-80 patterned after the Minimoog? Not really, we just used as many of the
oscillators on the DOC chip as we practically could per voice. Hard sync and
AM were more of an ARP sort of thing, as were ADSR envelopes. While I like the
sound of the Minimoog, I thought its palette was very limited, mostly because
of its minimal modulation capabilities. The ESQ was really our own voice concept
as we wanted dynamic modulation of the amplitude of each oscillator in a voice
as well as a robust modulation matrix, which was not common at the time. When we
start on a new project, we like to come up with big ideas for how to improve the
synthesizer we’re working on. And sometimes the ideas are so big, they make
us feel downright small! For our customized SQ-80, the first thing I want
to do is get rid of those turquoise buttons. Sorry Bob, but they’re a little
too 80s Miami Vice for me. I didn’t care for them either. Some of us began
referring to the SQ-80 as Barbie’s first synthesizer. [laugh] Then I think we’ll
change out the turquoise buttons and just go with a gray and red color scheme.
Next, we’re gonna do a really cool upgrade: we’ll pull out that loud clacky keybed and install the black keys and rubber bushings from Syntaur’s SQ-80
upgrade kit. Doing that will hugely improve the feel
of the keys and the aftertouch, and the neighbors won’t be calling
saying to cool it with the clacking sounds! Finally, we’re going to install
the latest version of the firmware, but we’re gonna have some fun with it too,
and customize some of the screen messages, making this a truly unique SQ-80. Then we’ll load up the internal bank with Syntaur’s Soundset 6, which are some
really cool analog synth sounds for the ESQ and SQ-80. Our SQ-80 came to us along with dozens of other keyboards that we purchased on one of our cross-country
synth runs. In order to keep our parts bin stocked, and our showroom showing,
we’re always on the lookout for broken keyboards that we can either part out or
resurrect, and when we find a particularly large stash of keyboards, I’ll work out a deal and drive across the country to pick them up. Sometimes
that means we’re, uh, very well stocked with keyboards. After trips to the east coast
and then to the west coast, we’ve now filled up the building we just moved out
of with keyboards and rack units. It’s become our keyboard warehouse, and in our
new building, keyboards are everywhere. My wife Mary plays a critical role in the
operation of Syntaur, and one thing she brings to the table is a lot of common
sense. So when she found keyboards even stacking up in the ladies’ room, she began
to question my sanity. How long? How long? Just until we can go through them. It’ll be a few days. Yeah, I promised that it would just be
for a short time, but the keyboard stack has only grown larger since then.
So to open up the SQ-80, like a lot of Ensoniq keyboards of that era, it’s pretty
easy, there’s four screws on the top panel that you pull out, and then you
just kind of open it up like a car hood, but you do have to put some muscle to it at some point and it feels like it’s gonna break on you, so it’s a little scary, but
let’s just go through it and I’ll show you. The screws in the four corners, they’re
hex screws, so you’ll need an Allen wrench, and now this panel just pops up,
it’s hinged on the back, but the thing is, you can get it up that much easily
and then it feels like if you keep pulling you’re gonna break something, but
you’re not. Just keep pulling. And then it pops open, and the thing is, these, these
little tabs fit inside cutouts there and so it makes it, makes it a little hard to
pop up, but don’t be afraid, you just pop it up and then we’ve got the SQ-80 open. About a million screws hold this top
panel in. So there’s the display board, and underneath this… …you can see the back end of the buttons. So now I’m gonna pop out these turquoise. Just tap them on the back side and they fly out of there. And so I’m replacing the turquoise with dark gray ones. Just slide them on into there. Start with the screw in the center of the board, just kind of hold it in place. And then we’ll start putting in the rest of them. A lot of times I’ll use an electric
screwdriver to take things apart, but when we’re putting them back together like, like we’re
doing right now I like to use a hand screwdriver just to make sure we don’t
tighten anything too far or cross thread anything. Alright, there’s our panel back-end, we’ll plug the two connectors back. They have different numbers of wires, so we can’t
get them mixed up. And there’s our new panel. No more turquoise
buttons. I’m much happier with that. On this Roland JV-80, I’m gonna play a
patch that has some aftertouch here. You can hear that when I press a note harder, the
filter gets a lot brighter, the note really opens up, but now what happens
when I play several notes and press down on just one? So I was pressing down
harder on just the G, giving that some aftertouch and it brightened the whole
chord, so in other words, what you do on one note applies to every note when you
have this channel aftertouch like most keyboards have these days. Now I have a
program set up on the SQ-80, a similar kind of program that we used on the JV-80, and it responds to after touch, makes the filter get brighter, so, gets brighter
as I press harder, but the difference now is if I play a chord and I press
individual notes, only that single note is going to get brighter. So you can see that by having this
polyphonic aftertouch on the SQ-80 it’s a much more expressive way to play the
keyboard. Ensoniq accomplished this by changing the way notes are triggered in
the keybed. Most keyboards rely on a physical switch of sorts to tell when a
key is pressed. Sometimes it’s an actual wire or metal spring that makes contact,
or it may be a rubber contact strip that presses against the circuit board using a
carbon nub on the inside of the contact strip to complete the circuit when it’s
pressed down. Ensoniq’s design does away completely with physical contacts. Bob,
how does it work? Conceptually it’s pretty simple, there were coils etched
onto the PC board and thin metal plates mounted onto the bottom of the keys. As
the plate gets closer to the coil, it changes the inductance of the coil. So
continuously measuring this inductance for each key tells the synthesizer when
a note has been played, how hard it’s been struck, and how hard it’s being
pressed down after the fact. It’s quite an ingenious method, and there are no
contacts that can wear out. Now the funky thing on the SQ-80 is that it’s got this
foam pad on the bottom of this metal plate, and after a while those foam pads
get a little hard, and when you press down on the key, that pad starts clacking
against that, so that’s what makes the real clacky feel in the SQ-80, and the EPS
used the same keyboard. So what we’ve done is we’ve made a kit that basically
you can get a knife, scrape off that pad, and then replace the bushings that go on
the keypad chassis here, and they take over for what this pad did, and so by
removing that pad, you can get the same key action but without that clackiness,
so it’s a it’s a really nice upgrade for the SQ-80 and we’re going to install that
in the one we’re doing here. Back in episode 2 of Synth Wizards, we
encountered our customer Robin and his Moog Prodigy. Robin has been a Syntaur
customer for years, then he and I became good friends, and now I’ve talked him
into coming aboard as a fellow Syntaurian. With so many keyboard stacking up and so
many more to come, we’ve really been needing some help getting through all of
them, and with Robin’s decades of experience with synthesizers, I’m
confident that he can be a great member of the Syntaur team. They’re going to kick the door down to get this thing off your hands, you know that, right? It’s already going to a happy customer. You’re going to have to put extra locks on the door. Nice. Once we got
all the main parts of our SQ-80 together, we changed out the old version 1.5
EPROM chips with our customized version 1.8 chips.
Once the new chips are in place, it’s a quick process to put our SQ-80 back
together, get it loaded with some new sounds, and get it ready to send off to
its new home. Our modified firmware causes the SQ-80 to wake up with a fun
attitude. Instead of blandly saying “CALIBRATING KEYBOARD”, it now says, “GETTIN THE MOJO WORKIN”, and if you press record and modes together it shows that this is
a unique board customized especially for Synth Wizards episode 4. Just a fun message. Oh my god. That is crazy! That is too cool. These new screen messages probably don’t make it sound any better, but it sure adds a bit of fun and uniqueness to this
SQ-80, and now it’s time to give it a final workout, pack it up, and send it to
its new home. Look what we did! [laugh] Yeah. We started out with a half-working,
scuffed-up SQ-80, and we got it back to its full mojo. Then
we changed the color scheme to look a little more aggressive, and a little less
Barbie. We hot-rodded the keybed, getting rid of the annoying clackiness, and ended
up with great-feeling keys, perfect for using the SQ-80’s polyphonic aftertouch.
And finally we loaded in an entire bank of cool analog synth sounds and custom
display messages to really make this a unique SQ-80 suitable for any desert
island. Well, at least any island that has power. I like those turquoise buttons! Maybe
they should have changed the red ones to pink. That would be rad! Yes, dear.




Comments
  1. About 20 years ago when I was in college, my weed guy who loved me so much cause I bought consistently, stopped by one day with this behemoth of a synth, as I was just starting my journey into music. He dropped it off told me to play with it and if I liked it he was gonna charge me 100 bucks on a convenient pay as u buy program (i LOVED that dude). Well turns out the thing had a bad battery, so my dude didn't really care if I kept it or not (it was prolly stolen, but whatever). One day I felt adventurous and tried to replace the battery with my shitt soldering skills,. That didn't do shiot, the thing powered up but had blank screen other than a led lines on the screen. It's been sitting in storage since then, I can't part with it, but now I wanna break it out. I'm a bit more skilled in electronics now having fixed a few other audio bits and bobs, and I now have the power of Youtube university on my side.

  2. Ensoniq got me into synth playing and programming.
    Loved my SQ-80 back in the day.
    Two of my sons got ahold of it from time to time.and did some original music that I did not have the imagination to do, and gave me more respect for my boys.

  3. This was brilliant! Thoroughly enjoyed the tear down and modding. Gosh, back then we still used screws and we could fix and mod stuff.

  4. Good videos man! That Juno 107 ,was dope! The arp an so on! Wish i wouldve found you guys i just sold a esoniq kt88! Next onem i get ill inform you guys first Pryor to the ebay headaches, lol

  5. Ensoniq were simply great. Musical instruments designed for musicians. They had a philosophy. Got an Ensoniq EPS and it's my favourite sampler / keyboard.

  6. Chris Huelsbeck is one of famous users, it also have polyphonic aftertouch keyboard πŸ˜‰ VSTi emulation from buchty.net is not bad, fat sound! And afaik creator of Ensoniq chip in this synth earlier developed C64 SID chip.

  7. i miss my ensoniq ESQ1 metal made,it was really great with the 8 track sequencer on board,my first ensoniq was a MIRAGE sampler and it was the first afordable sampler . it will be great to have a synth powered with solar cells and build in speakers for having fun in the desert island http://vtol.cc/heliosynth

  8. I don't understand how you can love the 80s sound but hate the 80s look. Even more egregious is the overlooked business opportunity; 2017 was peak vaporwave. (But I suppose most vaporwave aficionados have no money for an SQ80)

  9. I had an ESQ 1 back in the day. It absolutely blew the DX7 away both sonically and with that very intuitive on board sequencer. Loved it.

  10. I've been a synth head for 25-yrs. or more.. Had a Roland Jupiter 8, Yamaha TX16, Korg MS-1 & MS2000,
    along with a CASIO CS-01. Love your channel and the great effort you put into making it entertaining, as well
    as informative. Great job Synth Wizards!!!

  11. Watched this for a second time today. Love it. I love my SQ80 – this makes me remember it definitely needs the Syntaur SQ80 key upgrade kit!

  12. I'd LOVE to hear what Yannes and co had planned for the new, real sequel to the Commodore 64.
    In fact I'm going to email him and ask, then post the answer here.
    The DOC chip was also used as soundchip for the Apple II GS. Probably the most powerful build-in sound chip of the 80s.

  13. Hopefully you included the replaced pieces with the synth. They might want the reverse the changes in the future.
    The turquoise is what makes the design. Otherwise it's rather bland.
    I'd never second-guess a good industrial designer. Yannes, as much admiration as he deserves, was not an industrial designer. Neither are you.

  14. Idk. If I was stuck on a desert island with this POS Id probably be tempted to just end it all after a couple of minutes of trying to get a decent sound out of that thing. Just chuck it.

  15. The ESQ-1 was not the first synth with a built-in multitrack sequencer. My first synth was a Casio CZ-5000, which was released in 1985 and which had an 8-track sequencer built in. Also, I have to say, the Mirage was an absolutely astonishing keyboard for its time! Fun fact: a lot of the keyboard sounds Jimmy Jam played on Janet Jackson's massively successful breakthrough album "Control" were from the Mirage.

  16. I got a Q1 ensonic. Its turns and show on creen. But no make any sound? Am looking to fix ir up. Will be good to know where u have your shop!!

  17. I had one of these once. Eh. I also had a jx10 that I just gave away. Analog/digital, vintage/new, they're just tools to me. If it gives me useful sounds, I'll use it.

  18. https://youtu.be/toJQ9JCAdSI?t=1310

    Did i se a korg X-50 vas my first real and own buyed synth. realy fun one but like other synths i always have problem to program them its a workstation you can play 3 to 4 sounds arpiegos in diffrent octaves. i also had own a yamaha MOx6 ok no olscool synths but synths i want o learn more from.

    my absoul first synth i used vas a Yamaha dx7(and dx21) we had a roland jx06 but no synth i liked but today its one of the best synths roland had make πŸ˜€

    i like your videos and have you on folowing and waiting for new videos.

    sorry for bad english im from sweden πŸ˜€

  19. This instrument was very cool indeed with its Internal Midi Recording Sequencer.
    It did have one hell of a clack but then again so did many early instruments of that era.
    If you got one with a Keyboard that was quiet and actually had a good feel, it was a real plus.

  20. 4:16 Does anybody else see a pair of eyes in the middle? A woman drooling, perhaps due to some sort of BDSM apparatus in her mouth? 😲

  21. i've got an old ensoniq mirage, works but the transformer buzzes quite a bit, seems to have become delaminated to some extent. I also have a box full of floppy disks with sample libraries which came with it. I bought from a grandma, no shit. Also came with aluminum 3 tier keyboard stand which sadly is in storage at some distance away at this point. Anyone interested in it?

  22. I picked up a KS 32 for fifty bucks and got it working; it's great! Good piano sounds as well as synth and organ stuff. Having a little trouble finding info on it. I'm guessing u guys are familiar with it? Great stuff u are putting out! I'll keep watching!

  23. HAH, you finally got around to the POWER question, lol.

    PERSONALLY, if i were stranded on a desert island, i'd want a Moog CDX. you couldn't play it without power, but i'm pretty sure you could modify it into a passable raft, and float to somewhere with better Moog synths AND power. or even an SQ-80 πŸ™‚

  24. if i'm not mistaken the sequential multi trak was out LONG before the ESQ-1 – which was the first to include a multi track sequencer

  25. I see plenty of them for sale in the USA. But not a single unit anywhere near the Netherlands. A shame, cause I'd love to get one.

  26. omg two of the most formative pieces of gear of my childhood were from the same people??!! mind blown. Love your videos. Still have the SQ-80. wish I kept the Vic-20.

  27. We assume that the desert in desert island is the noun desert. In fact, the definition is simply "an island where no people live," so the desert in desert island is actually an archaic form of deserted: it refers to an island that is uninhabited, not one that is covered with sand (with the obligatory palm tree). Put that in your pipe.

  28. Cool folks… love the episode. As for Ensoniq, man alive, I miss that MR76 with all those cards installed, best sounds ever but worst build. Such a shame as nothing I have owned of theirs lasted very long without issues with buttons, the key-bed and whatnot.

  29. I'm from the younger generation that's upset they removed the 80's charm and replaced it with GREY keys. Don't throw them away so we can put them back later.

  30. The SQ80 was my second synth (after the ESQ1), but in the mid 90s (?) when it started having issues (i dont remember what it was), the local Ensoniq authorised repair Guru told me there was some part that was simply unavailable because Ensoniq was closed.. are Ensoniq's 100% repairable in 2019?

  31. The sq80 I bought probably in the late 80's developed a fault & it's in my loft, but I missed it, especially as it was my main controller, so when I found another on eBay I made a long train journey to pick it up.(As an ex GWR employee it's free!) I remember lusting over the Esq1 review ( music technology I think), but fortunately before I had the money to buy that the SQ80 came out with about double the waveforms & other extras. One of the earliest digital hybrids that could sound like a PPG at times, only far cheaper!

  32. The fault you described, I wonder if that's the same my old one has that's up my attic? If I remember rightly there was a software bug & half the display wasn't showing info. You said it's easy fix. Pity you're in the USA as I'm in UK! If I could get it going with little or no cost maybe I could sell it for other equipment? Being retired money is a problem.

  33. Love Ensoniq. I own a couple of SD1's and one is still my current DAW interface.
    Something tells me that sooner or later I'll be doing business with you guys.

  34. The SQ-80 is a fantastic synth and I still miss mine.😒
    One of the best things about it is it's ability to have sounds edited whilst in a multi..so if a particular sound needs a tad more release you can edit it whilst your track is playing (internal or ext seq.) Quickly save the edited patch and then move onto the next sound. Very few synths allow this in multi mode and it's frustrating after using an SQ80. I also think the SQ80/ESQ-1 is one of the easiest synths to edit..and the fact that you can sync the longer start transient waves (in the SQ80) to create some strange echo FX was just awesome. If they did a rack version like they did of the ESQ-1 I'd buy one..sadly no room for the extra keyboard.

  35. I think a dark blue to replace turquoise (if it annoys you THAT much) would be better than the dark gray ones. I kinda wanted a Mirage back then, but couldn't really justify the cost. I have owned an ESQ-1 before and rather liked it, and still own an SQ-2 I partly bought to have a 76-key controller. My only real gripe about post-ESQ/SQ synths is the removal of filter resonance.

  36. I found out about your channel only today.
    The quality, the fantasy, the irony, the content…
    You deserve 10X more the audience, I'll help as I can.

  37. Change that mssg back to "calibrating"…"gettin the mojo working" is going to age horribly! And put back the turquoise buttons.

  38. In 1995 when I got my first own synth it HAD to be a desert island keyboard due to steep prices and portability…so it became the TV-star KORG 01/WFD I got from a freelance musician. Though it lacked things like portamento, arpeggiator and sample playback/capability, it became the heart of my studio-setup for 10 years…still got it πŸ™‚

  39. yep, the ESQ-1, which is almost the same synth, is still the first synth i'd buy again … it can sound like so many different synths, and also like no other synths… the ESQ-1 has a much nicer keyboard action

  40. How this contact-less key trigger never became "a thing" Keyboards would have lasted much much longer…. Maybe that would be the problem :)) Thank you for amazing video!!!

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