MATRIXSYNTH: Ensoniq VFX-SD - First three original patches - Polyphonic Aftertouch - Sounds Only

Monday, December 09, 2019

Ensoniq VFX-SD - First three original patches - Polyphonic Aftertouch - Sounds Only


Published on Dec 9, 2019 Earmonkey Music

"Ensoniq made some of the best synths and samplers of the 80s and 90s, hands down. They just did things in a smart way. I bought a used Ensoniq VFX-sd a few months ago and I've been enjoying exploring its ability to create patches that use up to six waveforms ranging from standard "analog" type waveforms, to sampled waveforms and what Ensoniq calls "transwaves" (pretty much wavetables from my experience).

The VFX-sd gets a little hit from synth users because it does not have analog filters like its predecessors, the ESQ1 and SQ80. But it is still capable of creating some very warm sounding patches. Another thing that Ensoniq did with most (all?) of their keybeds was to give them polyphonic aftertouch. This adds so much the expressive abilities of the synth it really takes it to a different level.

I've really been wanting to record a video showing this synth but time restraints haven't really allowed that, so here's a really quick and dirty video. This video features my first three patches I created after acquiring the VFX-sd. They all use the polyphonic aftertouch feature to varying degrees, mostly in this case to affect filter, and maybe LFO rate.

I find the VFX-sd to be quite intuitive for a menu-based synth. Ensoniq always designed interfaces that made sense, even though there is only one data slider and a lot of buttons to select parameters for editing.

A couple of notes:

1. The noise floor seems rather high here, and this is not a quiet synth, but I can do better on future videos by working more with the levels.

2. The reverb and delay on this are from Valhalla and I designed the patches to work well with those because I use them all the time. I specifically created elements in the patches that would give nice results with the FX. This is not a "dry demo" by any means.

Hope you enjoy!"

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