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Ensoniq EPS sampling pitch problem..??

Posted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 6:11 am
by futureshock
hey all

years ago (90's) I had an ASR-10 and loved working on it but eventually sold it with the invention of the DAW. Recently, found myself really missing that sound and workflow, so got myself an EPS classic.

Installed a Gotek USB floppy emulator in the EPS and it's all working great except for one issue I cannot figure out.

When I sample through the line in, at very low sampling rates, the sound of the sample is correct pitch to the original, but a bit lofi obviously. If I try to sample again (through the line in) but with a higher sample rate - the playback of the sample rises in pitch. At 31khz it's noticeably higher pitch than the original. At the highest sample rate setting, it's almost a semitone higher than the original and very noticeably not right.

I checked the pitch of samples from the Ensoniq library that I have, and they all playback at the correct pitch (so I know it's not a problem with the pitchwheel, or master tuning of the keyboard).

I took the EPS to a local L.A. repair shop and they told me - this is how it came from the factory, early sampling hardware had these kind of drawbacks. And that they even spoke with some former Ensoniq employees/techs who seemed to remember that this was typical behavior, and that the solution was to fine tune the pitch down after sampling to restore original pitch. :ugeek: :?:

I guess but... that seems like a very long winded method to get a correct pitch playback to me?? If I'm multi sampling, I have to do that to EVERY sample in the multisample?? I know I never had this problem with the ASR-10 and I've never seen it in any other sampler either, but I guess it's possible.

Just wondered if anyone with an EPS can confirm that this is normal?

Any ideas would be much appreciated! thank you!

Re: Ensoniq EPS sampling pitch problem..??

Posted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:47 am
by Jabberwalky
No idea what that "repair shop" is talking about. Granted, I've only had the EPS-16, and ASR. Neither of those have any weird pitch issues. What you sample is what you get. Sample rate has nothing to do with the pitch of the sample, but only effects the quality.

I'd first check to be sure your default patch isn't changing something weird in the pitch pages. If the factory samples work fine, that leads me to believe it's just something off in the patch your working within. You guess about the pitch bend might have something there, but you could easily check that by putting the bend range to 0.

There are (used to be at least) some old school Ensoniq guys in here that might be able to explain the actual hardware further. Strange issue I've never heard about.

Re: Ensoniq EPS sampling pitch problem..??

Posted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:04 pm
by futureshock
ISSUE FIXED! read on:

Jabberwalky, thanks so much for your reply.. much appreciated.
Your comment about something in the patch I'm using (rather than a hardware issue) got me thinking. So I went through every parameter I could find in the instrument patch. There was definitely a few places that could have caused tuning issues, including the custom pitch table, so I deleted that to be sure. And went through every possible pitch/tuning setting but everything appeared to be normal.

So I started thinking, the only other thing that's software-related and not hardware related is the OS. I'm using the most recent OS for the EPS.. we are always told to use the most recent OS as it will have the most fixes/updates possible yeah? So just as a hunch/experiment, I downloaded some earlier OS versions. The first step OS back I tried made no difference.. the problem remained. BUT when I went back one more version of the OS - the sampling issue is fixed! Whatever sample rate I use, the sample plays back at the same exact pitch as the original. SO maybe the most recent OS is not compatible with my EPS, or there is a firmware/OS mismatch or who knows what? But if anyone is having weird issues with their EPS, start by trying some different OS! :arrow: :geek:

The only downside is, I notice instruments take a bit longer to save now than they did on the most recent OS, but I think that slight disadvantage is more than acceptable to get rid of the sampling pitch issue. :mrgreen:

Also, now looking for synth/keyboard repair better options in LA area!

Re: Ensoniq EPS sampling pitch problem..??

Posted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 1:41 am
by Ashe37
check what firmware you're running, then. Last version is 2.4.

Re: Ensoniq EPS sampling pitch problem..??

Posted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:31 pm
by futureshock
thanks Ashe37 - any idea where/how to check which firmware version my EPS has?