Synth Site: Ensoniq: VFX: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.3 out of 5
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JKoC a hobbyist user from Canada writes:
The good: unique sound that only ensoniq has.

The bad: piece of CRAP Operating system.. buggy and crashes randomly. Very unstable.

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Sunday-Apr-18-1999 at 22:47
Rob R. a professional user from USA writes:
The VFX family of synths has lived under a dark cloud from day one. Meant as a replacement for the SQ-80, the first VFX's came without a diskdrive or sequencer. (Both of which the SQ-80 had.) The VFX was Ensoniq's Edsel. Problems occured with the keyboard itself, bad wiring, OS failures, and noisy outputs. Many of these problems were corrected with the VFX-SD, which also included a disk drive and sequencer. The sequencer gained Ensoniq rave reviews on its ease of use, but powerful features. (Up to 24 tracks, comprehensive step-editing, midi control, etc.) But problems continued. In an effort to fix more of the OS troubles the VFX-SDII was born. The last version still had some wiring harness problems and the output was still somewhat gritty. Finally, Ensoniq engineers got it right. The OS was corrected and the output problem was solved. To escape the past Ensoniq christened the new flagship, SD-1. I have used a VFX-SDII for 8 years. I still use it as my master board. The ability to layer sounds with just double click makes for fast real time changes. Most of the factory sounds are bland. (Check third party sources to really make this board sing...) The exception is the Alto Sax. This is probably the best sax sound I have ever heard from a synth. Using the "patch select" buttons above the mod/pitch wheels allows you to instantly access three other versions of the selected sound. (With the sax you get a soft gliss, a growl, or a sharp tongue effect. VERY useful for those solo needs!) Strings are also a strong point. Strong with a touch of vibrato. The voice editing features make it easy to tweak or create sounds. And the ability to assign functions to the optional dual pedal or CV/Volume pedal makes for a live musicians dream. So, what have we learned today? Buying used? Good choice, but remember to buy a VFX-SDII. ((Note: For a short time Ensoniq allowed VFX-SDII users to update to SD-1 status. New motherboard. So, some rare, and we're talking rare, VFX's might actually be SD-1's. You'll have to check the OS version to tell.))

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-Mar-25-1999 at 17:27
Eric Colin a part time user from THE NETHERLANDS writes:
I immediately fell in love with the POPBOARD patch. This is kind of an Electric Grand Piano sound, but much more poppy ( as the name suggests ). I used that sound a lot on stage. And that the only reason I bought it in the first place ( for that one sound ). Later I downloaded some patches from the internet and saw the great potential of the VFX. Gorgious leads, beefy brass and distinctive E. Pianos. Most people regard the keyboard as absolute crap because of the artificial feel. I think its marvelous. It's the only synth with this kind of keys. Too bad they stopped making these keys. Look after all buttons on the frontpanel ! They tend to break or snap from the inside. The quality of these buttons could be better. Overall a classic 80's synth with character !

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Aug-05-1998 at 23:38
Hilmar a part time user from Finland writes:
This synth is on off the best sounding synth around. You can make all the

pads, leads and bass sounds that will make your songs sound really great.

With 1-6 osc and a lot of modulation sources is very easy to make good sounds,

but it can take i little time to get used to the way of programming this synth.

It's very good to play with this synth, It have a much better clavitur than most

Roland, Korg, Alesis and Yamaha synths in the same price range. It's a little bit

hard to find this synth, but if u can get your hands on it for about 500-700 $

it's a good buy.

The only frustrating thing is that it have just 16 polyfony, but with a good soundcard

or modul u can get around that problem and use only the sounds that's

very importent from the VFX

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Aug-05-1998 at 23:38
Ted Price a part-timer user from Canada writes:
The VFX is a very flexible keyboard for both studio and stage. I love it on stage where you can easily set up splits and layers, internally or with multiple MIDI channels, even on the fly! The effects, though not as great as the DP-2 or 4, are eminently tweakabke in realtime. One of my favorite dub effects is to set the delay at full feedback and play with the delay time in realtime - an effect I can't duplicate with a dedicated digital delay. On the sequencer side what more could you want? 24 tracks (12 pattern tracks plus 12 song tracks), 4 outputs, total MIDI control, it's awesome - Ensoniq makes great sequencers if you like to work quickly. It's the best workstation I've ever used. I prefer it to my Digital Performer if I'm just putting down ideas, but it's even great for full-blown stuff. The sounds are o.k. out of the box with lots of excellent 3rd party stuff. I paid $1800 for my VFX-SD new and would never part with it. - Get the SD, you'll want the disk drive. I've seen them for around US$700-800.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Jul-31-1998 at 16:48
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