War of the Waves

A forum for comparing two or more synths against each other. Also known as "versus" threads.

Choose your favourite 80s' Wave Synthesiser

Ensoniq ESQ-1/M
4
29%
Ensoniq SQ-80
6
43%
Kawai K-3/M
2
14%
Korg DW-6000
0
No votes
Korg DW/EX-8000
2
14%
 
Total votes: 14

max badwan
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 297
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:34 am
Real name: Max
Gear: T1, XV 5080, ES1, Zaquencer
Location: Sydney, Australia

War of the Waves

Post by max badwan » Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:34 pm

There seems to be a lot of love for the hybrid 80s' Wave synths, and with good reason - they all sound good, and offer a combination of "digital" and "analog" sounds. Keeping the subtractive synthesis method made them accessible to keyboardists who were scratching their heads at the the DX family, whilst allowing some of the types of sounds that were so popular at the time (I'm looking at you, E.Piano 1). Today of course, we love them for their "analog" sound.

Choose wisely, for there can be only one.

User avatar
meatballfulton
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5699
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2005 9:29 pm
Gear: Live 9, Logic Pro X

Re: War of the Waves

Post by meatballfulton » Tue Mar 24, 2015 12:06 am

SQ-80 easily bests the ESQ-1, it's just more of everything. I owned one for about 15 years, only sold it to free up space.

Why no other mfr has managed to make such an intuitive knobless programming interface I just don't understand.

The floppy drive could store sysex dumps for your other gear, the tape I/O doubled as an FSK sync interface for your 4/8/16 track tape machine and of course polyphonic aftertouch allowed unbelievable expression possibilities.

The only thing that was a drawback was the 8-voice polyphony, which was actually pretty good for the time.
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

max badwan
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 297
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:34 am
Real name: Max
Gear: T1, XV 5080, ES1, Zaquencer
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: War of the Waves

Post by max badwan » Tue Mar 24, 2015 12:21 am

meatballfulton wrote:SQ-80 easily bests the ESQ-1, it's just more of everything. I owned one for about 15 years, only sold it to free up space.

Why no other mfr has managed to make such an intuitive knobless programming interface I just don't understand.

The floppy drive could store sysex dumps for your other gear, the tape I/O doubled as an FSK sync interface for your 4/8/16 track tape machine and of course polyphonic aftertouch allowed unbelievable expression possibilities.

The only thing that was a drawback was the 8-voice polyphony, which was actually pretty good for the time.
I heartily agree - the interface on the E/SQ family is as good as it gets for "Digital Parameter Access" interfaces. The tape I/O on the ESQ is also FSK enabled, btw. You could always double the polyphony with MIDI overflow, but you'd need two - why didn't they bring out an SQ-M?

User avatar
megamanx
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 838
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 4:39 am
Gear: nord lead2, roland sh101, yamaha cs5,mono/poly, sub37,Ms20, Chroma polaris,prodigy, esq-1, jx3p
Band: Thieves & Co.

Re: War of the Waves

Post by megamanx » Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:35 am

I voted for esq-1 as it is the only one I have owned or played.

User avatar
Bitexion
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 4230
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 7:43 pm
Gear: Alesis Andromeda A6
Roland D-50
Creamware Minimax
Yamaha DX7s
Analogue Systems modular
Ensoniq SQ-80
Waldorf Blofeld
Location: Drammen, Norway

Re: War of the Waves

Post by Bitexion » Tue Mar 24, 2015 2:32 am

I have both the mighty D-50 and the SQ-80. Haven't used either in a couple years, but I'd pick the D-50. It's easier to work with and has thousands of great sounds easily transferred via MIDI.

I got a disk with loads of soundbanks with my SQ-80 too, so I'm pretty well covered on both. But the SQ80 has those weird envelopes I could never get my head around.

max badwan
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 297
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:34 am
Real name: Max
Gear: T1, XV 5080, ES1, Zaquencer
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: War of the Waves

Post by max badwan » Tue Mar 24, 2015 10:53 am

Bitexion wrote:I have both the mighty D-50 and the SQ-80. Haven't used either in a couple years, but I'd pick the D-50. It's easier to work with and has thousands of great sounds easily transferred via MIDI.

I got a disk with loads of soundbanks with my SQ-80 too, so I'm pretty well covered on both. But the SQ80 has those weird envelopes I could never get my head around.
The D-50 is in a different class, being all digital.
Don't know if you've seen this - Mastering envelopes, SQ-80 specific.

User avatar
Z
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 3492
Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 3:08 am
Gear: Bubble wrap, Styrofoam, boxes, packing tape
Location: Docking Bay 94 (Dallas, TX)
Contact:

Re: War of the Waves

Post by Z » Tue Mar 24, 2015 12:54 pm

PPG Wave 2.2

/end of discussion
youtube.com/zibbybone facebook.com/ZsFlippinGear

User avatar
Jabberwalky
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2128
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2005 6:03 pm
Gear: Eps16 | An1x | Minikorg700s | Monologue | Maxikorg | Bs2 | Ultranova | Dw8k | Poly61 | Paia9700s | Circuit | Sh01a | Circuit MonoStation | PreenFM2
Band: Variar
Location: Pgh, PA
Contact:

Re: War of the Waves

Post by Jabberwalky » Tue Mar 24, 2015 6:11 pm

Why be tethered to an analog filter? The sq80 was good but I always felt the filter lacked emphasis. Lots of crazier options once digital filters were realized.

User avatar
Sir Ruff
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 3516
Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 11:55 pm
Gear: Two persimmon modulators and a frequency adjudicator.
Band: Ruff in the jungle
Location: Washington, DC

Re: War of the Waves

Post by Sir Ruff » Tue Mar 24, 2015 6:19 pm

Bitexion wrote:I have both the mighty D-50 and the SQ-80. Haven't used either in a couple years, but I'd pick the D-50. It's easier to work with and has thousands of great sounds easily transferred via MIDI.

I got a disk with loads of soundbanks with my SQ-80 too, so I'm pretty well covered on both. But the SQ80 has those weird envelopes I could never get my head around.
how could you find those difficult, and not those of the D-50? The D-50, even with the PG-1000, is a total PIA to program. The ESQ-1/SQ-80 are child's play in comparison. The Ensoniq envelopes are simply time/amount -- you set the time you want to to take to get to the amount. Pretty straight forward. There's a few extra parameters like velocity attack and scaling, but you can ignore those if you want.
Do you even post on vse bro?

User avatar
meatballfulton
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5699
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2005 9:29 pm
Gear: Live 9, Logic Pro X

Re: War of the Waves

Post by meatballfulton » Tue Mar 24, 2015 6:38 pm

D-50 isn't one of the choices in the poll, guys :roll:
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

max badwan
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 297
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:34 am
Real name: Max
Gear: T1, XV 5080, ES1, Zaquencer
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: War of the Waves

Post by max badwan » Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:09 pm

Z wrote:PPG Wave 2.2

/end of discussion
You're right, of course, but I didn't include the PPGs - the dynamic wavetable puts them in a different class - all the others have static waveforms.

Chewy
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 123
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2014 10:35 pm
Gear: Alpha Juno 2, Bass Station 2, CZ-5000, DW-8000, DR-660, EA1 mk2, ES1 mk2, JP-8000, Monotribe, R-100, SH-32,
Band: Soundtrack to Psychosis

Re: War of the Waves

Post by Chewy » Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:55 pm

Voted for the DW-8000 as it and the ESQ-1 are the only hybrids I have. I've also played a Casio HT-700, which actually wasn't bad! Nice little compact synth with 32 digital waves (running through VCFs).

The Casio SD series are other 80s hybrids (The HT-700 is one of them) with several different models: HZ-600, HT-700, HT-3000, and HT-6000. The 6000 is a beast. If I remember right, it has double the waveforms (64), 4 sources (digital "oscillators"), and 4 (or 8?) VCFs per voice

I know like no one would vote for them if they were on the list since they're Casios, but they are actual synths (not preset machines) and pretty good ones at that, so I figured I'd mention em

User avatar
Z
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 3492
Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 3:08 am
Gear: Bubble wrap, Styrofoam, boxes, packing tape
Location: Docking Bay 94 (Dallas, TX)
Contact:

Re: War of the Waves

Post by Z » Tue Mar 24, 2015 10:57 pm

max badwan wrote:
Z wrote:PPG Wave 2.2

/end of discussion
You're right, of course, but I didn't include the PPGs - the dynamic wavetable puts them in a different class - all the others have static waveforms.
What about SCI Prophet VS? It has static waves.
youtube.com/zibbybone facebook.com/ZsFlippinGear

max badwan
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 297
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:34 am
Real name: Max
Gear: T1, XV 5080, ES1, Zaquencer
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: War of the Waves

Post by max badwan » Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:07 pm

Z wrote:
max badwan wrote:
Z wrote:PPG Wave 2.2

/end of discussion
You're right, of course, but I didn't include the PPGs - the dynamic wavetable puts them in a different class - all the others have static waveforms.
What about SCI Prophet VS? It has static waves.
Damn. I should have listed an "other" option.
Vector Synthesis means you can dynamically modulate the wavetable between the four elements, I was really trying to keep it to apples and apples. I missed the Casios listed by Chewy, as well.

User avatar
Sir Ruff
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 3516
Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 11:55 pm
Gear: Two persimmon modulators and a frequency adjudicator.
Band: Ruff in the jungle
Location: Washington, DC

Re: War of the Waves

Post by Sir Ruff » Wed Mar 25, 2015 12:15 am

You can fake vector synthesis on the ESQ/SQ-80 with clever envelope or LFO use.
Do you even post on vse bro?

Post Reply