Synth Site: Ensoniq: Fizmo: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.6 out of 5
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JoeKa a professional user from Germany writes:
I bought my Fizmo Kb directly after it´s presentation on the NAMM ´98, I was absolutely hypnotized by the clarity of these completely unnatural sounds, morphing, evolving, shining unlike anything else I heard before. Well, I was a bit disappointed by the fact, that it´s only got one pair of outputs and this pretty scrappy LEdisplay. But when I had in my studio for only a few days, I found out that this single output-pair is ok as is, because the internal FX sound better than many of those external FX-processors in the same price range as the Fizmo itself. This machine´s qualities can only be revealed in night-long deep-editing sessions with love to the details and profound knowledge of soundprogramming. Ok, that´s for the machine as long as it keeps woking properly...

In technical matters, the engineers at Ensoniq should take some more lessons on the topic "powersupply and its consequences" My original wal wart died just 10 days after I had bought the machine. I didn´t really wonder about it as this tiny thing would apparently never be able to deliver 1000mA at 9VAC... Ok, I immediately got a sparepart on guarantee, still I decided to look for a fitting powersupply that would really get the job done and ended up in a small store, where I found the SNES powersupply (all long before the first comments on this were to be found on the internet...!) Using this powersupply my Fizmo worked properly for a year and a few weeks, then suddenly dying a strange death. After switching it on, it only showed ESP, rebooting and crashed without being touched several times in a row, then staying completey dead. Taking it to the store, I first had to hear, that Ensoniq´s been taken over by EMU, so "it might take a bit longer than usual", so they said. UAAAHHHH, shit, this always is my way of fortune, I thought. Well, this was november 2000, and I´m still waiting for my machine to come back to me. The technican told me, there´s a problem as wether Ensoniq nor EMU or anyone else has the neccessary circuitry plans for this synth, those plans seem to be non-existant at all!!! Well, I´m deeply disappointed by the support of EMU/Ensoniq and really pissed by their incompetence. Now, as I do no longer want to wait for my favourite Leadsynth I decided to get a second-hand rackmount Fizmo. But this time I´m going to modify the internal power stabilizer before I´m going to do any long-run editing.

As the all weird support at EMU/Ensoniq has nothing to do with the concept or the sound of the Fizmo, I rate it as follows: 5/5 for sound, concept and the keyboard itself, but 3/5 for the tech specs, as one extra output pair had been nice and the poor wal wart... This makes it four points.

P.S.: if anyone knows about the electrical interior, circuitry plans for the Fizmo, please mail to me!

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Sunday-Aug-19-2001 at 06:57
dubduke a hobbyist user from Munich, Germany writes:

just bought on efizmo - really cool, but i read all this stuff about its power supply, i don´t want my new friend to be burnt ! what do i have to do, i´m a really technical fool, don´t how to fix that problem, do i have to open my fizmo? well anybody out there, who can give me some advice? thanks !

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Sunday-Jul-29-2001 at 09:15
andrew a part-time user from sunnyvale,california writes:
ok...... let me clarify a few things. if your expecting to just walk up to this synth and start programming it without any knowledge of it well.....i feel sorry for you. i have a few key phrases you should try to digest: MODULATION,CONTROLLERS,REAL-TIME CONTROL,EFFECTS. now let me explain. the "I" and "O" knobs are assignable as midi controllers. as is the mod wheel and pitch bend wheel. also the envelopes(1,2and 3)are assignable as midi controllers. A LOT OF THINGS ON THIS MACHINE ARE! try modulation! try dialing up a particular transwave and using the mod wheel to control the filter cut-off or using the "F" knob to control where the transwave starts of using the "I" knob to control pitch,all in realtime! im sure most of you idiots havent done anything like that. this synth is the most avant/futuristic synth on planet earth! people are passionate about it!whether you like it or not everyone has an opinion about this synth! think about it! name any other synth in recent member has there been such passion about! just like in real life unfortunately anything that doesnt conform to "our" standards of how it should be is immediately denounced! get over it! this synth is genius and if you cant see that well...your just a commoner! most of you dont get it because....your not suppose to!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Jul-04-2001 at 05:07
Frank a professional user from Santa Barbara California writes:
First of all, never trust a review of any product from someone who walked into a store and tried the presets. This synth will become the next TB303.

I own many synths from the venerable all digital Yamaha DX-7, to the TG33 Vector synth, Roland XP50 with Session, techno and vintage wave cards, EPS16+ sampler, Vaz Modular PC based synth etc etc so I think I should be able to give a comprehensive review.

Most people are disapointed with the FIzmo the first time they try it: "Where are the organs? The strings? The tb303 patches? And how come there are only five knobs when brand x synth has 100?". Usually you hear this from the ignorant who just walk up and expect another sample-playback workstation. This is a SYNTHESIZER, it is true to the artistry of creative, evocative, surreal and miasmatic sounds. No synths come close, it's phatness and expressiveness can rival any analog modeler and then the control offered is succint and can modulate sounds and effects to such precision it will make you pee your pants.

There are 5 knobs F-I-Z-M-O. They are *not* "programming" knobs. You do not compare this synth to the 8000 Roland series or other 100 knob synth. These knobs are real time controller knobs. Do they work? You can modulate one sound so much it becomes another that is unrecognizable from the first. If you try to do that with another analog modeler you lose the first sound you were playing. The Fizmo is still in the game, easy to revert back to the inital sound. The sound engine uses transwaves, much like the wavestation or PPG synths did back in the day. Unlike those synths you can modulate the loop start and end points, even in real time creating truyely evocative sounds for the film, sountrack, techno, ambient, and goth crowd.

The basses are pretty weak, but basses are usually simple static waves of short duration. This is not the function of transwaves, you don't buy it for organs, horns, pianos etc. It is not a sample playback unit for those who never program their synths. Roll up your sleeves and use the Sound driver PC application included with the synth to program sounds and you have a palette that is incredible, yet unfortunately unheard on most major label releases as of yet, but so was the TB303.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Jun-06-2001 at 14:25
daniel a hobbyist user from USA writes:
Well lets see I've owned everything from a Korg 01/W to the Triton and from the VA craze: I've owned NL1 and 2, Nord Modular(very cool), JP-8000(keeper), Korg Z1 and Prophecy, Yamaha AN1x and Waldorf Q. I happen to stumble upon a like new used FIZ and took it for under $400. Let me tell you it felt so good and inspiring to hear such fresh sounds from a very nice synth(I think it looks great). It has a very nice keyboard as well. A definite 5 for sound. I replaced it's power adapter after hearing the horror stories, and so far it's worked like a champ. Again I'm impressed with it's sound, which in the end counts for me. A 5 out of 5.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-May-25-2001 at 03:42
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