Synth Site: Ensoniq: SD-1: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.4 out of 5
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c.hairston iii a part-time user from columbus ,oh usa writes:
love it! love it! love it!like texas. 1 problem:she is dying.hard 2 get repaired due to lack of replacement parts.if anyone out there knows where i can find another or at least where i can get parts please,please,please let me no.great sounds,user friendly do i love this thing!!somebody help me out!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Dec-26-2000 at 11:03
Jake W. a professional user from USA writes:
After hearing Clarence Gatemouth Brown's sequenced 3-piece horn section on an SD-1...I had to go out and find me one. I did, and life begins all over again! The horn sounds are still, in my ears, better than most on the market today! As a one-time 'techno dropout', I beg everyone's forgiveness because "now I'm found". As a singing/songwriting Blues guitarist, it is hard to pay a live 3-piece horn-section so I've taken it apon myself to do what the legendary great, Mr. Brown, had done. It's a 5!!! I do have one problem though - since the SD-1 is not of GM standards, what do I have to do to make it work flawlessly with Cakewalk 9.0?

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Nov-01-2000 at 08:09
Roger a professional user from OZ writes:
Coupla comments on my dearly beloved SD-1. Had one years ago, sold it, missed it for years. bought another recently (cheap), haven't been happier. It's sounds kick ass, it's on board sequencer is a GREAT sketch pad for a quick idea (that I "Logic" up later).

Two suggestions to some of the earlier posters. 1. The output fader drives the DAC's directly - i.e. does not attentuate the output of the device. so there-fore, does not "turn down" the background noise, so ALWAYS use the thing turned up FULL for best signal to noise. (The VFX hissed like a windy day at the beach - the SD-1 is not THAT bad). 2. To drive it from an external sequencer is easy if you set up a standard "sequence" that is set to receive on the correct midi channels etc.

In short, Ensoniq should have addressed the realiability issues that brought the VFX range into disrepute sooner. If they had, the SD-1 family would be alive and kicking.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Aug-05-2000 at 10:52
AdamT a part-timer user from The UK writes:
I`ve now used the sequencer and trawled the 2000 patch library. amazing I`ve never got on with hardware sequencers before too well but this one is the business (75000+ notes, more than the ASR-X Pro or XP80!) easy and intuitive to use. Just messing about learning it I managed to create a good if rather compact rendition of Jarre`s "Industrial revolution" just on this machine, OSCar solos, Timpanis, weird breathing noises and all. the original was mostly ESQ1 & OSCar with fairlight samples but the SD1 pulled it off with gusto.. I`m going to have to re-award this a 5 even though the Ensoniq logo on the rear HAS drifted off (;-) I can`t leave this underrated forgotten synth alone. I feel a real prat for not hearing one before I got a Wavestation in 1991 especially as I never used Wavesequencing for more than PPG type effects, the SD1 beats it in almost every respect and has the same Poly/FX/resonance limitations.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Oct-09-1999 at 12:55
AdamT a part-timer user from UK writes:
Last in the VFX line of "Transwave" synths given a totally new model number which looks like an attempt to separate it totally from the bug-ridden Sequencer-less original VFX, this is a VFX-SD2 basically which in turn is a VFX-SD with 1Mb of piano samples. Mine`s the 32 voice version, (I`ve never seen the non-32 type but they`re supposed to exist) with the latest software (still not totally stable apparently), it has the extended 70,000-note sequencer memory and the fixed (read problem free) keyboard.

Soundwise, I have to admit to being knocked out! (I was sorta expecting a Fizmo without a resonant filter but more Oscs per voice), this thing sounds like a mutant mix of a Kurzweil-2000, Korg Wavestation and PPG Wave, it has the clarity, punch and bass depth of the K2000 in abundance and some of the string samples sound sooo close that I wouldn`t be suprised if a K250 hadn`t been used for some sources. the 1Mb Piano is excellent and has a very clean and cutting edge a`la Yamaha SY85 but with more "go" I wouldn`t have dreamed that a measly 1Mb of piano could sound so good. there is no resonance to the dual multimode filters but the transwaves "rezzy bits" handle this well. massive multi-layer patches nick polyphony like no tomorrow but the result is awesome to say the least, a max of 6-layers are allowed.

I haven`t used the sequencer yet but I read of only good things and luckily the Disk-drive works ok, this is a standard Sony 720k PC jobbie so easily replaced when needed, I like the keyboard, it certainly isn`t rattly or clicky and Poly-aftertouch is real welcome to an ex-CS80 owner though it seems to need a lot of pressure to work to it`s full extent. There is a whole load of patches on the Internet (see the VFX users page) and the SD1 (or VFX-SDII version) is the only machine that`ll load the whole lot as some use piano or drum samples not found in earlier incarnations.. I feel also that the 24-bit FX processor is more than a hint of DP4, very good indeed.

Conclusion.. I got this cheap (a rather tatty example) and have to admit to wanting it just for use as a poly-aftertouch controller as none seem available but on hearing it, it`ll definateley get used on tracks..

The SD1 was replaced by the TS10 & 12, then the MR series. I`ve never heard the TS machines but after hearing the MRs, they seem to lack the life and vitality of the VFX line, certainly the quirks (;-).. Anyone tried a TS series?, is it an SD1 that loads samples into RAM?.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-Sep-30-1999 at 13:26
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