Synth Site: Ensoniq: ASR-10: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.5 out of 5
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jim a professional user from mich writes:
people,ever wonder why todays cd sound quality sounds harsh and distorted? I've tried in my studio roland,motif,emu,akai z8 and these units just sound distant,harsh,distorted and poor samples of the real thing. Try a motif patch of brass or saxes you'll ask yourself what!!!! the hell was that. Drum sounds sound like they were sampled from the next room. Do we really need 3000 sounds to pick from? All i've ever wanted was real instruments like pianos,bass,organs strings,brass and real sounding drums. I've been looking for 15 years now since i've been seq.backing tracks back when no one knew what it was.I've had all the eps to asr-10s.Lately i wanted to try and update to the new units.The search has left me almost wanting to quit music. The only units that can compete with the asr-10 are the kurzweil k2600.I've recorded factory demos direct to cd that blow all the other samplers away.The drums on asr are as if you have headphones monitoring a real kit in a great room. Tight,real,crisp. The brass and sax demos are unreal. yes!!!!! you must search out your samples or do your own.Yes, some digital artifacts in the low end of your bass sounds that you'll never hear in the mix. Read disk while playing seq,record direct to hard drive,polyphonic aftertouch,route input thru effects,128 waveforms per layer,8 layers velocity controlled,simple to find the wave you want to edit.How many new keybords offer these features or say they are the first to offer them?Yes!!! it can be fussy.Keep it cool,have someone resolder power supply and glue standing caps and check for other cold solder joints. always copy your disks and use them. Keep disk cleaner handy and do it often. If doing sequencing and not doing hard disk recording use os 1.61 this will save and load sequences 20 times faster.I know its not 512meg ram,128 poly,5 effect busses but until companys first objctive is pristine sound and not that it offers 3000 sounds, how many do you need,just give me the sound quality of "steely dan's" studio sound under my fingertips!!! yea right. Build a base unit with 5 slots for smartmedia that can hold your samples and play them off the cards except to edit them.Give us 16 effects busses,eq,outs,direct volume control for each trac!!! just a small request, No ? All I'm really saying is trust your ears,hopfully educated ones. After all what we are all looking for is the sounds of real instuments recorded in studio settings that the rest of us can have at our disposol to record or perform live and not some geeks idea of "man that sounds great don't it?" Keep up the search.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Aug-08-2003 at 15:41
sonic a professional user from montreal writes:
just some comments for anyone who may be considering picking up an asr 2nd hand... been using the asr since it came out in late '92... still using it alongside waldorf Q, k5000s, etc.. it's a great beast, has held up well, exceptionally versatile sample-re-shaping architecture, good sounding a/d/a stages (if not the quietest), superb keyboard feel and playability... however there are some (shockingly incorrect) bits of mis-information in some of the posts on here that i feel should be pointed out to avoid confusion for anyone trying to understand what the asr is capable of... so keep the following in mind:

A) you can't burn audio cds from it; the asr does not support such devices (support was never coded into its OS). in fact, the asr is not entirely compatible with all cd-rom drives; be sure to refer to www.chickensys.com in their knowledge base section when purchasing scsi devices for it. It uses a proprietary (non-dos) filesystem - chicken systems has further information.

B) the only analog signal path in the asr is at the input and output stages. There are no analog filters here, everyone. The effects are entirely in the digital domain. The only ensoniq boards with analog filters (curtis, actually!) were the mirage and esq-1... however, the asr's filters sound very musical and warm, even tho they aren't resonant.

C) you may eventually have to remove the back (bottom) of the sampler at some point and (gently and properly) re-seat some of the socketed chips near the powersupply, especially the 68xxx's high and low rom chips... because of the changes in heat between on and off, the unit can suffer from chip creep... in warm climates (even here in montreal in the summer) it can run at _very_ hot temperatures... i leave it on all the time to minimize the temperature shifts. In other words, if the asr is giving a lot of strange "error 122 - reboot?" messages or whatever, you may just have to pop the top rather than take it in to be $erviced.

D) it can be a (standard) 16 channel midi controller. Not 128. Only 1 midi output jack ;-)

it is strikingly different from modern samplers, both in sound and user interface ;-) ... one should keep in mind that "state of the art" should never apply as a deciding criterion for a _musical_instrument_... it's not a cellular phone.... a stratovarius is hardly new, technics' sl-1200's are a 20-year old design, dopfer's modular systems aren't based on NASA technology ... there is a reason the asr is still respected, and it has to do with its' sound, color, and personality... some of the modern samplers and synths will still be respected 10+ years from now much like the asr for the sorts of reasons just mentioned; however, many will be easily forgotten as well. Anyone still using the roland DJ-70 or U-20? hehe. didn't think so.

I no longer use the asr live, as it had a very busy decade... newer equipment _is_ more reliable, if without as much personality and individuality. Except the neuron. :-)

caveat emptor ;-)

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-Jul-10-2003 at 04:44
edge a professional user from usa writes:
The truth is the truth ASR 10 is about the greatest sampler ever made if you still have one keep it if you don't have one don't go out and buy one I have a triton and a Motif great keyboards but the ASR 10 just has a feel about it one of the reasons I love it is that it comes without sounds so you have to be creative when using it. I mainly use it to create new sounds out of samples and it still interfaces with Wavelab and Recycle better then the triton or the motif. I am impressed with the writings on the V-synth but time will tell

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-May-31-2003 at 18:20
skape a professional user from USA writes:
I've had this board for about 5 years now maybe. This was my first piece of gear and I was glad I got it as my first piece. It took a while to learn the board...about a month...but after learning it, it becomes 2nd nature to you.

The built in effects on this thing is great. You get about 50 effects times 4 presets each where you can edit them all to your liking. Reverbs, choruses, compressors, eq, delays, wah wahs, box rooms, distortion, and etc are all there. You can also sample a sound, and resample that same sound with the effects...and layer another sound over it.

The sequencer is great for hiphop or dance. It has a nice smooth mechanical groove to it.

Nice filters and envelopes for programming sounds also. You can set envelopes for volume, filters, or whatever you want to control. You can have a sample trigger clear and then get muffled out while increasing in modulation if you want. There are a lot of things on this board that many people who use it may not know about.

I mostly use this for my hiphop production and it can produce a solid album standing alone by itself if you want it to. You you need is the MC, a mic, and a recorder. I still think this board is still better than all the newer ones on the market today for hiphop. This board does not have that commercial pop feeling as these other new ones, which is a good thing for me at least. Just raw hiphop or dance music that doesn't sound chessy.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-May-23-2003 at 01:12
KevinLee a hobbyist user from Chicago writes:
Well folks, I love keyboards!! I have owned so many of them that my wife is going to make me go to keyboard annonomous!! Each Keyboard manufacturer has its own cool ideas. If you could make one huge keyboard with the sounds of one, the editing of another, the sequencer of another and so on, you would have a cool Keyboard that might fit in your garage, Maybe! I check out all of the cool web sites on Keyboards just to learn more about what cool things you can do with them. Hats off to all of you folks that have these great keyboard sites with all of this neat information!! Thank you!! THAT WONDERFUL ASR10 sits as king on top of my stack of keyboards. I have owned mine since 1984 and still have not gotten through the entire manual that is 3 inches thick of thin paper. This masterpiece does so much that it is unreal. Yes fellow musicians, the new jobs do a little this better or a little that better and so on. I see some of you complain to move on to something newer. Well, go ahead friend. Buy a new something! Some of you are tired of crashing or you don't like the ASR10 sounds. Please find something that you like. All of use love something in a keyboard. All of us write or play music that is unique to the writer. We all have a keyboard that makes the sound we like to play the way we like to play.Cool!!! I have to admit, I do not play my ASR10 very much be cause it is used as only a sampler, and I love it. I use other cool keyboards to accompish my music. But I consider the ASR10 a Master piece sampler and I keep it because it is cherry, its paid for and I can not find anything that is as classic as this wonderfull old piece of technology. I wonder what it would have been like when the engineers at Ensoniq sat at the design table adding ideas and dreams to build a cool, cool sampler. Smoke, pencils and paper must have been flying around the engineers room with all of beginnings. Hey all of you keyboard masters, I think this rig is just like a 1957 T-bird or Bel Air. Every time I take the cover off of it, it just looks cool. Of all of the keyboards that I had, this one has a great feel to the keys. They put wonderful quality in the way it plays and feels and the way you can adjust the touch response. Just about every keyboard that I play feels cheap compared to the ASR10. The only other keyboards that have good feel to them is a good weighted controller built by Korg or Yamaha!! I can't write enough about this rig. But one thing is for sure. I read and read about all the other keyboards and the coments that folks write, and this ASR10 has to be the most written about rig there is. You can own a new Mustang CVT or a 1957 T-Bird F model and they are both wonderful and great. You can own a new Korg Trinity or an Ensoniq ASR10!!! That is the great thing about America. No other country built a keyboard like the B3 Hammond. No other country built a wild sampler like the ASR10. Built in America. These are the two greates and most contraversial keyboards ever built!!!!!!!!!! God Bless America one more time!!!

posted Saturday-May-03-2003 at 22:14
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