Thursday, October 1, 2009

Ensoniq EPS-16+ on Ebay

Okay, I realize a relatively ancient hardware sampler with a pitiful amount of RAM is not the sexiest thing on the surface, but allow me to sing the praises of this machine.  I bought one when it came out in the 90's and never sold it.  In fact, my first album (as well as the recent old rarities albums I released) was done with nothing but an EPS-16+.  I even brought it out of the closet and used it quite a bit on my new album (out in a few weeks) to toughen up some drum sounds.  

Things I love about it:

•  Even at its highest quality, it colors the sound of anything you sample into it.
•  The built in effects are actually quite good (especially the very unique distortions) and you can process external signals through them by using the mic/line input normally used for sampling.
•  You can knock the sample rate down to obscenely low levels for the grainiest sounds you've ever heard.
• It has some weird quirks in the OS that can be fun to exploit.  For instance, if you set a loop point too short, it will play back through its entire memory from start to finish.  Depending on how many instruments you have loaded, this can give you a sound like a wavetable synth puking its guts out.
•  A third party company called Waveboy made some outstanding loadable effects for it including a killer resonant filter (the 16+ has no resonance on its filter), a nasty FM effect, and a cool vocoder.  All are GREAT for experimenting and making weird, new sounds.
•  It's cheap as hell


3 comments:

dj mad wax said...

I heard somewhere that the majority of the frankfurt trance sound of eye-q/harthouse records producers were using one of these...

Tom said...

Interesting. It wouldn't surprise me. I know the ASR-10 which came after is still pretty highly regarded in the hip-hop scene and they still fetch pretty decent prices on ebay)

Steve said...

And if you find one that's still working, you should feel comfortable that it will keep working. Ensoniq replacement parts are still availible via:

http://www.syntaur.com/ensoniq_parts.html