Synth Site: Ensoniq: SD-1: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.4 out of 5
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Juan a hobbyist user from U.S.A writes:
I've owned an SD-1 for 7 years now, and I am very happy with it. The sounds are realistic, the sequencer is very easy to use, the 3.5'' drive is certainly great to have. It's very reliable, as it has only failed a couple of times all these years, and all I had to do was to reinstall the O.S. (all right, maybe I lost some sequences... so backup often). Programming of sounds is o.k. but I wish it was more "wave expandable", 'cause pretty much whatever waveforms are on board is what you get... The sounds are good in general, (fantastic if you do pop an the such) but in particular you might be somewhat dissapointed insome cases(poor latin percussions, poor for techno etc) The effects are sufficient, I wish it allowed more flexibility with the effects, like using different effects on different tracks, but it doesnt, only one effect per song or sequence. Considering that it is a synth of the early 90's (1991/1992) it has aged graciously (featurewise) I have been very happy with it.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Sep-07-1999 at 00:04
Jeff a professional user from Milwaukee writes:
The SD-1 is the finest live-use performance keyboard I own. Have 2 (one for back-up). I frequently use the "sequencer performances" to run my entire midi rig. It can split, layer, velocity switch, and set volumes for my entire rig (2 keyboards and 6 rack units) with the push of one button. And I can load 1, 6, 30 or 60 "sequencer performances" at a time from floppy as needed! When playing "live", that flexibility is unmatched by any other piece of equipment I have ever used (including PC! try switching all your sounds with a single key stroke on a PC in time to the music during a live show!). Sounds are functional - sequencer is very good for an on-board sequencer - i use it often to get the "rough tracks down" then take it to the PC. My only complaint...sticky buttons on hot humid outdoor gigs and display is REALLY hard to read in sunlight. As far as the "digital hiss" referred to above, Ensoniq did not install noise gates on their keyboards by default like almost all other manufacturers do. Invest in / Use a noise gate for recording / studio work and your hiss problems are history. Shame, they didn't make a 88 key weighted version. I would have bought atleast one of them if they did.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Jun-07-1999 at 00:34
Raphael Darius from Germany writes:
I just love the weighted action keyboard of the SD-1. It allows you to do expressive piano comping as well as playing fast killer lines with synth sounds.

The Sequencer is very easy to use and months passed by before I first touched the user manual.

The Master Keyboard features are better than the ones of real master keyboards. I usually do everything on the basis of Sequences (I don't like Performances). So I can control up to 12 different slaves (I only have 3!), assign individually the use of sustain pedal and volume. That's a very handy thing for the stage!

Sure, the waveboard is not session standard but consider it came out 1991. And due to its modulation matrix and transwaves it is to me still the most modern sounding synth I know. I make extensive use of the modulation matrix and the various controllers: filter with the pedal, transwave with the modwheel, pitch with (polyphonic) aftertouch. Anything you do sounds really exciting. Have you ever heard a korg or a roland sound exciting?

Don't use it as a normal workstation -it's a synth!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Jun-06-1999 at 11:51
Rob R. a professional user from USA writes:
Looking for another set of comments on the SQ-80? If so, here goes...

A highly capable synth especially suited for 70's & 80's rock and pop. The board is sturdy and rather roadworthy. With backwards compatibility with the ESQ-1, and a built in 3 1/2 disk drive you can gather a huge library of patches still available through various sources in the U.S. (See Rubber Chicken Software and Syntaur Software.) The large flourescent screen makes editing and finding sounds easy although it can be hard to read when used outdoors. The sequencer is relatively easy to use and is very capable, allowing up to 8 tracks, midi channel control and step editing. (Although the 8 note polyphony makes for narrow sound replay.) The key feel is light and has Esoniq's usual velocity sensitivity parameters. It also has polyphonic aftertouch, a great extra in an older keyboard. The only minor problem with the keys is an annoying "clack". The rubber used as the bumber gets hard and makes an audible "clack" when a key is depressed. Overall, a wonderful keyboard that works well as a master controller or as a secondary board. With literaly 10's of thousands of sounds available, onboard disk drive, sequencer, aftertouch and stereo output, the SQ-80 is a keeper for every studio or road musician.

R. Romano 16 year professional musician/singer/songwriter, Ensoniq user for 12 years

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-Mar-25-1999 at 16:56
Eric Peterson a part time user from USA writes:
The SD1 is a rather clumsy-looking, clunky creature with an odd-looking

display. However, I have owned one for years and found it has one of the

most powerful on-board sequencers from my pre-computer days. It tends to be

a bit &quot;buggy&quot; with its software-based O.S., but it was always fixable with a

reboot. The machine is also quite intuitive as a workstation. Most of the

sounds are remnants from the very &quot;digital&quot; late 80s sounds, but they, too,

will be resurrected. Oh, the snare sounds are killer with the &quot;timbre&quot; pushed

up and the effects dry. The on-board effects are a bit noisy for my tastes.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Aug-05-1998 at 23:38
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