The resulting TS contained the most advanced feature set, most powerful sequencer and sound engine, and provided high quality sound and powerful effects processing. The TS series consists of two models: The TS with a note synth action keyboard with velocity and polyphonic aftertouch, and the TS which is virtually the same instrument, but it has note hammer action keyboard with a channel aftertouch feature from Fatar. No rack-module version was produced. The synthesizer section has 32 voices of polyphony 12 MIDI tracks of multitimbrality.
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First of all i never understood why such high second hand market price particularly in States. You would think it is because from the impressive synthesis capabilities of having both the wavetable and wavesequencing synthesis in one machine.
Which is in a way funny because in Europe you can obtain it for around notes or ever less if you look long enough. Personally I suspect the secret is: 1 polyphonic aftertouch; 2 session gig players who got used to it; 3 excellent build quality; 4 excellent sequencer again gig players territory With TS series, Ensoniq continued their line of transwave synths, this time introducing the sample playback in the synth engine.
The first thing user would check when exploring waveform content are the transwaves. And unfortunately all those good transwaves from SD-1 are gone. There is total of just 8 of them. But the worst thing is, they all sound almost the same. So, on the first sight it appears this is no good synth for transwave fun, right? We got some good news.
If you load a transwave into TS, you can change its properties from the basic waveform into the transwave. Now all that is left is to route a controller LFO, env, mod wheel, etc. And we got some more good news. Since transwave synthesis requires extreme playback precision the same can be applied for basic samples non transwaves. You can for example use extreme short loop points, and route sample end position to mod wheel. As you move the mod wheel, new harmonics are being generated.
This works best on short, white noise samples. Or instead of mod wheel you can use random LFO for some really unique effects. This works best on complex samples, made from small snippets, vocals for example connected in series merged into one large sample.
Route LFO or mod wheel and you got some of the craziest vocals at the output. Believe it or not, but even some high-end professional samplers do not have this kind of loop shift feature. Now you might ask — is this all we can do with it? What would happened if we would have one sample made of 64 or small short pure waveform samples, connected in series and then we would apply a loop shift feature onto it? Well, that is exactly what they do! Welcome to the… Wavetable synthesis.
Although not from the default state available on TS series, is possible, once you build a wavetable. Considering there are total of waveforms, this can be a big work. Also, every cycle must begin and end at zero amplitude. This ensures smooth playback of each individual frame, since any amplitude difference between start and end point at such short loops alters the harmonic content or totally shifts it into wrong pitch. However, once you build it, the result can be quite impressive.
In fact it is possible to gain much higher quality longer cycle waves, more hi-fi sounding than on a standard wavetable synthesizers. For example 1 MB wavetable contains a frame with a size of 8 kB. Well, transwaves are similar to wavetables, in many aspects identical, exept there is no interpolation calculation between to adjacent frames waves.
Single transwave is made out of individual single cycle waveforms and no calculation occurs in between. In other words, what you put into is what comes out aka garbage in — garbage out. This is what makes it different from a wavetable, along with the way the data is stored and calculated on wavetable synths.
Typical stock transwave is usually made out of two major waveform frames, the first and last cycle in the transwave. However, if you have editing skills and a desire you can build any transwave you imagine, which puts this machine in the vicinity Waldorf wavetable synths and their cool wavetable banks. Kinda pity. And just when you though, this synth has so many cool features, we come to another chapter… Wavesequencing — just like on the famous Korg Wavestation.
Although called Hyperwave, it is basically the same thing. Offering the same methods and similar settings it has one additional and quite useful feature called crossfade volume point. As you might know, a volume loss naturally occurs in the center of a linear crossfade point and with this feature you can completely compensate it.
Of course, you can always set it to 0 dB to achieve the classic Wavestation-like wavesequence with volume loss. Custom Transwaves detailed procedure Lets now go back co custom transwaves mentioned at the beginning of the article in case you decide to put them into the TS you might encounter some problems. For example: if you want to add another layer or duplicate existing one. So you must do it prior to loading. Recently i found a way to transfer multi layer samples to the synth.
No problem, you save the sample, load it to TS and start to program it. But there is a problem. You want to add another Layer to place the same sample there, but with different parameters for thicker sound — TS wont let you do that. It is a Demo version, but for some reason it will do exactly what you need in fact, this program is for something completely different.
The trick is that this program operates directly on file. Here is a procedure on how to create custom transwaves works on ASR too. This requires commercial program called Awave Studio, but if you are musician you probably already have this program as it can do other things when it comes to sample conversion: First, to create a transwave use Tranzilon — nice and simple prog. Then convert. Remember, this program operates directly on file, there is no undo. So make a copy of whatever you do.
Modulation We need something to modulate all those transwaves, wavetables, etc. When it comes to modulations, TS offers one good feature called: modulation mixer. With modulation mixer you can create really incredible modulators, some of them possible only on complex modular systems. Here is more info about it from the manual : Here are the available shapes: Some examples but possibilities are endless : A couple of my patches Originally i had idea to build a larger demo, but instead decided to build a soundset for TS first, then do the proper youtube demo.
However, not to leave you empty handed i found a couple of wavesequencing atmospheric demos that i did for the legendary deepsynthesis. These are no ordinary sounds but mostly long evolving textures, demonstrating the Hyperwave function.
The Ensoniq TS12 Homepage
Ensoniq TS-10 Keyboard Synthesizer