SynthsEnsoniq ⇝ Ensoniq VFX

Ensoniq VFXEnsoniq VFXEnsoniq VFXEnsoniq VFXEnsoniq VFXEnsoniq VFXEnsoniq VFX

The VFX is the first all-digital synthesizer created by Ensoniq. It can combine up to 6 waveforms in a single patch, resulting in some complex layered sounds. Its sample ROM includes a set of transwaves that can be used for a wave sequencing synthesis.

The VFX contains a set of 17 transwaves that can be used for wave sequencing. Here is the transwave list:

How do I check my OS version?

Press Preset + Master.

What is the newest OS version for the VFX?

2.30

What other key combinations can I use?

Preset + Compare: Runs analog tests

Preset + Soft Button 1: Initializes system (Beware: will erase all patches.)

Preset + Soft Button 3: Reset (Soft-reboot)

Differences between the VFX models

The waveforms in the VFX-SD that are not contained in the VFX are the two wave classes, DRUM-SOUND and MULTI-DRUM. Here's what's missing:

 DRUM-SOUND       MULTI-DRUM
 gate-kick        all-perc
 room-kick        all-drums
 gate-snare       kick-drms
 rim-snare        snar-drms
 close-hat        hi-hats
 open-hat         cymbals
 ride-cymb        tom-toms
 dry-tom-l        percusson
 dry-tom-h        dry-toms
 gat-tom-l        room-toms
 gat-tom-h        gate-toms
 rm-tom-l         congas
 rm-tom-h         std-kit
 timbale          gated-kit
 conga-lo         room-kit
 conga-hi
 tamborine

VFX Keyboard Recalibration Errors

Note: Follow the instructions below only if you know what you're doing.

The VFX keyboard problems can be solved by the hardwired keyboard fix. When buying a used VFX you should know about this and be certain that the keyboard you buy has had this done. From the VFX mailing list:

"This afternoon I decided to get the low down on the VFX problems myself from Ensoniq's own Joe Paschal, an Ensoniq Customer Service Rep with whom I have dealt with before (To my satisfaction). Beleve it or not the Apex problem and the Keyboard Calibration problem ARE RELATED and CAN BE FIXED. (finally:-)"

Under the keyboard proper, there are 3 circuit boards that control the poly-key (tm) pressure. They do this:

 
  | # # | # # # | # # | # # # | # # | # # # | # # | # # # | # # | # # # |
  | # # | # # # | # # | # # # | # # | # # # | # # | # # # | # # | # # # |
  | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
  -----------------------------------------------------------------------
  
  +---------------------------------+ +----------------------------------+
  |                                 | |                                  |
  |   Board #2               +------------------+   Board #3             |
  |                          | Board # 1        |                        |
  |                          +------------------+                        |
  +---------------------------------+ +----------------------------------+

Now, It turns out that Ensoniq mis-diagnosed the problem TWICE! and this new (one month old) conclusion is the result of the senior Ensoniq tech's research and testing. The first problem (they thought) was the solder flux thing which would be on board #1. No. They then thought it was the cable that goes from board #1 to the motherboard. Wrong again.

There is a connector that connects board 2 to board 3. Over time and use, the keyboard begins to sag a little bit and this connector eventually starts to corrode (get dirty), come loose and the like. THERE'S THE PROBLEM! Ensoniq has determined that hard-wiring that connection solves the problem.

My VFX won't initialize. What do I do?

Someone had the problem that the display would come up, and then only partially draw the "initializing" message, and then hang. They were told by Ensoniq to power-cycle seven times, always turning off the machine at a particular point in the power-up sequence. On the seventh time, the display came up with something like "RE-INITIALIZE?" and if you answer yes, everything gets wiped.

Manual

This is one of those manuals that was impossible to find on the 'net in digital form. We tracked down and bought a copy (for $30) and spent a while scanning it, creating a PDF you can download for free. See below for download link.

Specifications

Year Released: 1989

MSRP: $1995

Keyboard: 61 keys with velocity and aftertouch

Polyphony: 21 notes

Multitimbral: 12 parts

Preset Patches: 60

User Patches: 60

ROM: 109 waveforms

User Demo Videos

Rating


4
(5 votes)

Sound Samples

WAV samples are available on freewavesamples.com.

File Downloads

Ensoniq VFX Manual

Ensoniq VFX Firmware Version 2.10

Items for Sale on Reverb

Ensoniq VFX SDEnsoniq VFX SD ($600)

Ensoniq  VFX Synthesizer 1990 w/Flight Case & PedalEnsoniq VFX Synthesizer 1990 w/Flight Case & Pedal ($899)

Ensoniq VFX SD - With SD-1 UpgradeEnsoniq VFX SD - With SD-1 Upgrade ($475)

Ensoniq VFX SDEnsoniq VFX SD ($600)

Ensoniq VFX Polyphonic 61 Key Dynamic Component Synthesis Synthesiser - 240VEnsoniq VFX Polyphonic 61 Key Dynamic Component Synthesis Synthesiser - 240V ($816.08)

Ensoniq VFX 1989Ensoniq VFX 1989 ($1,429)

Ensoniq VFX SDEnsoniq VFX SD ($1,100)

Excellent Ensoniq VFX-SD Synthesizer w/New Battery, Original ManualExcellent Ensoniq VFX-SD Synthesizer w/New Battery, Original Manual ($799)

Ensoniq VFX-SD/SD-1 Synth Patches • 2 Disk Set • Ready to Load into your Ensoniq KeyboardEnsoniq VFX-SD/SD-1 Synth Patches • 2 Disk Set • Ready to Load into your Ensoniq Keyboard ($24)

Greytsounds Ensoniq VFX-SD/SD-1 Synth Patches - 2 Bank Set - Digital DownloadGreytsounds Ensoniq VFX-SD/SD-1 Synth Patches - 2 Bank Set - Digital Download ($20)

Full set of 62 pushbuttons front panel tact switches for ENSONIQ VFX microswitchFull set of 62 pushbuttons front panel tact switches for ENSONIQ VFX microswitch ($37.60)

Ensoniq VFX SD book manual Musician Manual Version EspañolEnsoniq VFX SD book manual Musician Manual Version Español ($21.52)

Ensoniq VFX - OS Version 2.30 Firmware Update eprom + KPC 2.33 Rom Latest.Ensoniq VFX - OS Version 2.30 Firmware Update eprom + KPC 2.33 Rom Latest. ($19.31)

Ensoniq - VFX - New batteryEnsoniq - VFX - New battery ($4.99)

OEM - Ensoniq VFX ROM (upper and lower) | version 2.00 - untestedOEM - Ensoniq VFX ROM (upper and lower) | version 2.00 - untested ($15)

Ensoniq VFX-SD Version 2.00 and KPC 2.33 firmware OS update EPROM setEnsoniq VFX-SD Version 2.00 and KPC 2.33 firmware OS update EPROM set ($26.84)

Ensoniq Power Switch for Ensoniq ESQ-1 (both), ESQ-M, SQ-80, Mirage (all), VFX, VFX-SD, SD-1, SQ-2,Ensoniq Power Switch for Ensoniq ESQ-1 (both), ESQ-M, SQ-80, Mirage (all), VFX, VFX-SD, SD-1, SQ-2, ($5.95)

Keybed Bushing for Ensoniq ESQ-1 (both) & Mirage (all), ASR-10, SQ-1, SQ-1, TS-10, VFX, VFX-SD, SD-1Keybed Bushing for Ensoniq ESQ-1 (both) & Mirage (all), ASR-10, SQ-1, SQ-1, TS-10, VFX, VFX-SD, SD-1 ($1)

Ensoniq VFX-SD Version 2.00 and KPC 2.33 firmware OS update EPROM setEnsoniq VFX-SD Version 2.00 and KPC 2.33 firmware OS update EPROM set ($26.89)

Ensoniq VFXsd Operating System Version 2.10 (Newest)Ensoniq VFXsd Operating System Version 2.10 (Newest) ($7.75)

Ensoniq - SD-1 , MR Rack , VFX , EPS - Stereo phone jackEnsoniq - SD-1 , MR Rack , VFX , EPS - Stereo phone jack ($7.99)

Ensoniq VPC-104 Sound Cartridge VFX SD 1989-1990Ensoniq VPC-104 Sound Cartridge VFX SD 1989-1990 ($75.30)

Ensoniq SQ-1 / SQ-2 / SQ-R / KS-32 / DP-2 / DP-4 / DP Plus / VFX - Battery FixEnsoniq SQ-1 / SQ-2 / SQ-R / KS-32 / DP-2 / DP-4 / DP Plus / VFX - Battery Fix ($10.70)

G D UN synth KEYS Parts Pour ENSONIQ 90' EPS 16+ VFX MIRAGE et compatible ***-G D UN synth KEYS Parts Pour ENSONIQ 90' EPS 16+ VFX MIRAGE et compatible ***- ($9.68)

E ou B ou BLACK KEYS Parts Ensoniq synth EPS 16 VFX Mirage de l'UEM et compatible-E ou B ou BLACK KEYS Parts Ensoniq synth EPS 16 VFX Mirage de l'UEM et compatible- ($8.50)

Ensoniq VFX-SD /  SD-1  3.5" Floppy Disk Replacement Drive REFURB #2Ensoniq VFX-SD / SD-1 3.5" Floppy Disk Replacement Drive REFURB #2 ($47.99)

Ensoniq - ESQ1 , ESQM , SQ80 , SD-1 , VFX-SD - Battery Holder FIX ReplacementEnsoniq - ESQ1 , ESQM , SQ80 , SD-1 , VFX-SD - Battery Holder FIX Replacement ($10.70)

Ensoniq ESQ1,SQ80, VFX,VFXSD1, TS10, TS12 DISPLAYEnsoniq ESQ1,SQ80, VFX,VFXSD1, TS10, TS12 DISPLAY ($52.71)

Ensoniq - ESQ1, Esqm , SQ80, SD-1, Vfx-Sd - Battery Holder replacement FixEnsoniq - ESQ1, Esqm , SQ80, SD-1, Vfx-Sd - Battery Holder replacement Fix ($12.86)

Ensoniq - SQ-80 , VFX-sd , SD-1 - New BatteryEnsoniq - SQ-80 , VFX-sd , SD-1 - New Battery ($19.99)

Ensoniq SQ-80 / ESQ-1 / VFX SD / SQ2  Volume & Data Slider Replacement Kit by BassmobileEnsoniq SQ-80 / ESQ-1 / VFX SD / SQ2 Volume & Data Slider Replacement Kit by Bassmobile ($22)

Ensoniq IPC-1 German Collection - ROM Cartridge for VFX, VFX-SD, and SD-1 SynthesizersEnsoniq IPC-1 German Collection - ROM Cartridge for VFX, VFX-SD, and SD-1 Synthesizers ($75)

Ensoniq VPC-102 ROM Cartridge for VFX, VFX-SD, and SD-1 SynthesizersEnsoniq VPC-102 ROM Cartridge for VFX, VFX-SD, and SD-1 Synthesizers ($75)

Ensoniq VPC-105 ROM Cartridge for VFX, VFX-SD, and SD-1 SynthesizersEnsoniq VPC-105 ROM Cartridge for VFX, VFX-SD, and SD-1 Synthesizers ($75)

Ensoniq OTIS DSP IC,  Nos Repair Part for VFX-SD, EPS16+, ASR-10, ASR-88Ensoniq OTIS DSP IC, Nos Repair Part for VFX-SD, EPS16+, ASR-10, ASR-88 ($32)

Ensoniq SQX-70 sequencer expansion memory upgrade kit TS-10, TS-12, SD-1, VFX-sd, KS-32, SQ-1, SQ-2Ensoniq SQX-70 sequencer expansion memory upgrade kit TS-10, TS-12, SD-1, VFX-sd, KS-32, SQ-1, SQ-2 ($16.14)

OEM - Ensoniq VFXSD ROM (upper and lower) | version 1.37 - untestedOEM - Ensoniq VFXSD ROM (upper and lower) | version 1.37 - untested ($15)

Ensoniq VFXsd Music Production SynthesizerEnsoniq VFXsd Music Production Synthesizer ($495)

Ensoniq Hex Wrench for Mirage, ESQ-1, ESQ-M, SQ-80, ASR-X, ASR-X Pro, VFX, VFX-SD, SD-1, more!Ensoniq Hex Wrench for Mirage, ESQ-1, ESQ-M, SQ-80, ASR-X, ASR-X Pro, VFX, VFX-SD, SD-1, more! ($13.65)

Ensoniq SQX-70 sequencer expansion memory upgrade kit TS-10, TS-12, SD-1, VFX-sd, KS-32, SQ-1, SQ-2Ensoniq SQX-70 sequencer expansion memory upgrade kit TS-10, TS-12, SD-1, VFX-sd, KS-32, SQ-1, SQ-2 ($33.80)