Ensoniq released the ESQ-1 in 1986. The ESQ-1 is a hybrid digital-analog synthesizer and as a result it had many cool analog synth features included such as a ring modulator and oscillator-sync. One of it's great features that set the ESQ-1 apart from other similar synths at the time is the voice architecture. You could choose from analog, digital or samples or any combo since there are three independent oscillators per voice. The ESQ also had a built-in sequencer that can store up to 24,000 notes in 30 sequences and 10 songs. Ensoniq also released the ESQ-M rackmount module which was essentially the same thing minus the keyboard.
Programming the ESQ from the front panel was a real challenge due to the tiny LED display. However, if you connected your ESQ-1 with your computer your could purchase some of the early editing software that was just staring to become available. I bought a copy of Dr. T's (remember them?) "X-OR" which was the first multi device editor and librarian for the Macintosh, and it made creating patches for the ESQ-1 a whole lot easier. X-OR went on to become MOTU's "Unisyn" which we are still using to create sounds for synthesizers.
Ensoniq ESQ-M Sound Module
Our ESQ-1 and ESQ-M patches are available in system exclusive (.syx) or standard midi files (.mid) and can be downloaded from our web site when you order our free e-mail delivery. We provide the software with your order that lets you load in the sounds. If your computer has a midi interface or sound card connected to the USB port, you can use your midi interface to load in the sounds. Midi interfaces are an inexpensive alternative to purchasing RAM or PCM cards and we sell them starting at under $100.
Our sounds will also get you back in business if your ESQ-1 battery has died and you lost all the sounds in the memory. Sorry, but the sounds are not available on the old ROM cards. The cards have not been made in many years and we no longer support that format. Looking for a used ESQ-1 or ESQ-M? Check out our hardware section. We also sell used music gear and often have a old ESQ in stock. Unlike E-bay, Most items come with a three month warranty and if you have any questions or problems we are here to help. Our customer support rules! If you need more info please contact us via phone or e-mail.