Ensoniq VFX

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The Ensoniq VFX Synth was initially released as a performance type synthesizer in 1989. Shortly after, the VFX-SD followed and included some updated waveforms (drum waves), a 24-track sequencer and a floppy drive. Both models were equipped with the Ensoniq Signal Processing (ESP) chip for 24-bit effects. The VFX-SD also included two AUX outs, which allowed for a total of 4 outputs from the synth for more routing flexibility. The initial models were 21-voice polyphony, and in latter models of the VFX-SD (I/II) and the SD-1, the polyphony was 32.

There were many features that caused this synth line to be popular. Some of these were:
  1. The sound of the synth itself.
  2. The performance capabilities for live use.
  3. The versatility of the sequencer (VFX-SD's).

Synthesis types

The VFX employed 3 types of synthesis: Transwave Wavetable Synthesis, Sample playback and Subtractive Synthesis. The Transwaves gave the VFX a unique sound as the only other instruments (at the time) using wavetable synthesis were the PPG Wave machines. The wavetable positions and directions of scan could be modulated in a variety of ways, giving a very animated and "alive" sound when programmed correctly. Transwaves are also the only way to get the typical resonance sound since the filters of the VFX didn't have a resonance parameter. The waveforms in the original VFX and early VFX-SD synths are 16-bit resolution with a sample frequency of approximately 39 kHz. They covered the standard...
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