Synth Site: Ensoniq: VFX: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.3 out of 5
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Paul Glaspie a part-time user from Nebraska, USA writes:
I suppose I'm hopelessly out-of-date, but I still love this 'board. Many strikes against it, but considering the powerful sequencer that is so quick and 'intuitive,' the versatile sound architecture (similar to a Waldorf or the old PPG Wave sythesizers,)even the reliability troubles and the fact that Ensoniq nearly went out of existence on us has not permanently put me off, either.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Apr-14-2004 at 13:27
Santi Banks a part-time user from Netherlands writes:
Got it time ago. Always wanted the vfx (or a VFX/SD or SD1) for the unique sound architecture aswell as the good pads, sound effects, brasses and strings. This machine is really a killer. It isn't known much here in the Netherlands which is a shame. This is the best machine I ever saw. This boy never leaves my studio again unless it passes away. Only disadvantage is the darn callibration error. Got it couple of times. Opened the thing cleaned the contacts and it was gone. Now just solder the 2 boards with hard wires and it should work :) But no need for it @ the moment ;)

Ok the sounds, very good strings brasses and pads aswell as some good basses, organs, electric piano's and acoustic guitars. Synth choirs and voxes are very good 2. Drums are nice aswell as the percussion. The wood percussion sounds very good. THe strength are the waveforms and envelopes and modulation options. Nice feature is the patch select button. Nice to change the sound in that way.

The effects are nice too. Lots of reverbs and choruses. I also like the rotary speaker simulation in it. Good for the organs.

Usage of it is very simple. Editing is not as difficult as it seems at first sight. Just remember what you are doing and you should be able to create very nice sounds. Just staple the waveforms, add filters and envelopes to them. Route modulation sources and add a nice effect and here you go. I love this machine. If you have the chance to buy it, you really should. You'll love it ! (just make sure everything works fine, no callibration errors, good softwareupdate and no broken buttons. mine are fine but I readed that others have buttons that are quickly damaged...)

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Sep-05-2003 at 16:43
Mick Roeg a professional user from Tampa Bay Floriduh USA writes:
Hey All My Ensoniq VFX was giving me much grief when I posted a whine about it on the VFX site. A nice gentleman from Tenn. informed me that the problems stemmed from bad solder joints. I opened mine up and sure enough, there were several bad solder joints. I removed the old solder with a soldering gun and solder sucker and resoldered the connections. Buttoned it back up and no more calibration error on startup. It's been turned on for 72 hours now and not a single problem. So with a little work this baby has been tamed. Also there are some really interesting patches at: and a really cool DX7/VFX/many others sound librarian at: I currently have over 10,000 voices for my DX7 and about 1200 voices for my VFX so I spend so much time auditioning voices that I haven't needed to program my own. My VFX really sounds cool midied into my Roland S-50 with Mellotron samples...Huge sound. Feel free to e-mail me at with comments or questions......Mick Roeg

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Dec-17-2002 at 14:14
Patrick Fridh a hobbyist user from Sweden writes:
Sorry I need to clarify (and help the synth's overall value rise even a bit more... hehe ;)

"You can easily find yourself doing recreations of analog sounds, which always is a great feature on digital instruments like this one given the fact the VFX-synths can be had for peanuts whereas analogues cost about as much as used cars in better-than-lemon status." - BUT - where the VFX really shine is when making digital sounds reminiscent of the mighty PPGs and so on.

Further info about the sounds - they are compatible with the original VFX, the VFX SD, the VFX SDII and the SD1. Essentially the same synthesizer but with some differences here and there.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Aug-26-2002 at 20:08
Patrick Fridh a hobbyist user from Sweden writes:
I got a VFX SD two days ago and I've now been listening to the truckload of sound banks I got with it (all on two floppies, amazingly.. ;). It's very easy to get started programming it, and very tempting given the fact that many of the provided sounds are from the "D-50 era" as I would call it, giving you layers of layers of buttery pads eating all your voices up in notime. So, what I'm doing is making 1 or 2-osc sounds not only to preserve polyphony (it has 21 voices) but also to lighten up the sound a bit, perhaps make it less "1990" and more "now".

The sound programming is very flexible. It doesn't have a resonant filter, which can be a letdown, but you can use various modulation methods for the oscillators which compensate a lot - and, better up, giving you possibilities not found on many other synths. The filters are quite interesting being a 2 filter in series solution - for each oscillator you use. Low and high pass are provided. I really like that high pass filter.

You can easily find yourself doing recreations of analog sounds, which always is a great feature on digital instruments like this one given the fact the VFX-synths can be had for peanuts whereas analogues cost about as much as used cars in better-than-lemon status.

I paid about $380 for mine (in a store) and it was in a rather good shape and came with a pair of new headphones & a new sustain pedal. My main intention was to use it out on the countryside when away from the home studio, but I quickly decided to bring the synth with me back home, since it's really an amazing piece to work with.

I had some initial system errors after having done this, done that, clicked here, there and... well, clicking around like mad to tell you the truth. That was solved when I got back here - turns out the synth is very sensitive for bad line conditions.

As I said, I will be working on the sounds, and for those of you who don't know, I'm a dude who makes sounds for a bunch of synths - sounds which I provide for a small fee (and sometimes free) on my webpage - - "Synthesite" being the site's name (I actually came up with that name in 1994 before hearing about Synth Site and I've sticked with it since that - sorry if it seems lame). I guess the sounds will be ready in about two weeks. Make sure to check my site for info updates if you're interested in getting a new sound set. I can provide it on floppy or as sysex data over e-mail.

Now, to adjust the overall marks of these things, I give it a five, and I would have anyway, since the price was so low & the power so high.

Finally, no - I don't agree in that it would be "plastic". It's a weighty instrument made of solid steel logic, it's just plastic on the ends - which is good actually so you won't scratch your hands as you probably would on an all-metal instrument.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Aug-26-2002 at 20:01
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