Secrets Of The Ensoniq ASR-X Drum Machine

This set of videos, via The Daydream Sound, takes a look at the Ensoniq ASR-X sampling drum machine.

The Ensoniq ASR-X is a vintage sampling drum machine and sequencing workstation. It’s limited by the technical capabilities of 90’s technology, but also has a lot of advocates that like the build quality and see the ASR-X’s limitations as feature.

The videos cover a lot of territory, including a review of the ASR-X, creating tracks, using effects, sampling and sample processing and more.

If you’ve used the Ensoniq ASR-X, leave a comment and let us know your thought on it!

11 thoughts on “Secrets Of The Ensoniq ASR-X Drum Machine

  1. The ASR-X is the only drum machine in history which has full support for the MIDI Tuning Standard, including retuning of all notes across the full MIDI range, each to any desired pitch, and all sequenceable and remotely programmable as desired.

    Really fantastic and classy, nothing like it to this day. The only game in town for doing authentic world music percussion.

  2. Would love to see a new version of this and the EPS (16+) but with modern specs, memory and card storage. Actually, an EPS module or even an iPad app would be awesome.

  3. I’d like to see a remake of the Ensoniq Mirage. Wonderfully grungy 8-bit sound. Plus programming in hex would keep my dementia under control.

  4. Three machines that blew me away back then when they first came out, in terms of their sounds/sonics and warmth/feel:

    Ensoniq Mirage
    Emax and Emax II
    Ensoniq VFX

    Ensoniq has always impressed me to the fullest. Pure!

  5. Ensoniq are like the grungy cousins that you see every now and then at the family meetings. Sure they can be a bit freakish, awkward or different from the rest, but you know that they have a vibe, a grit, and something special that make you wish you saw them more often. Because the rest of the family is so bland in comparison.

    Now, the ASR 10 is a completely different story, she is the punk cousin whom you were secretly in love with. Whe’s oozing power and self confidence. She’s a class act.

  6. I had this machine bought it over and mpc 2000. Biggest mistake I ever made. The software was horrible and never finished. Ensoniq stopped supporting this and just came out with the red x version. Which I heard wasn’t much better. The timing on it was all over the place.

    1. My EPS 16+ was one of the crashiest and most unreliable pieces of crap I ever owned….

      But I loved it! and miss it!

      It has the most brilliant architecture and UI ever. All it needs is more sample ram, an SD card slot, and more polyphony.

  7. I had a full expanded ASR-X. Best reverb in a box, and great sine bass. I wish I’d known more about sound creation at the time! Most users will tell you that the thing was terribly under powered in the processing dept. Running a sequence and then scrolling across the tracks to do mutes etc in a live situation was consistently met with timing drop outs. As a production machine tho, you could do great stuff, and at lower tempos it was solid…enough. Never the MPC rival it wanted to be. Even the Red-X was under powered. If I had room at home I’d have one just to use the bass and reverb…

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