Ensoniq TS-12 Synthesizer  » Electronics  »
4.5
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  • It was many years before I could afford to buy a decent synthesizer, but in 1996 I bought an Ensoniq TS-12 which was marked down due to its “old age
  • Although it has full midi capacity, I have found it is difficult to work with, and I prefer to send the data to my computer for processing
  • Note stealing is a bit of a problem with some of the “richer” sounds
  • Sequencing and timing is a bit quirky, and I often find myself recording in linear fashion to avoid this or again sending tracks out for processing


    • by reviewabit
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      I’ve been playing keyboards by ear since I was twelve. It was many years before I could afford to buy a decent synthesizer, but in 1996 I bought an Ensoniq TS-12 which was marked down due to its “old age. ” This is a classic American made late 80’s synth. Several major selling points made me fall in love with this instrument.

      It has a full size (76 key) weighted keyboard which plays and feels like a piano. The 600 onboard sounds and samples (which came on floppy disks) include some very realistic acoustic instruments. It has beautiful string sounds, an impressively realistic


      saxophone complete with clicks and breath noise, and some classic 80’s style copycat sounds from predecessors like the Moog, Roland and Prophet models.

      There’s also a great sampled Steinway. The TS series can play samples made by Ensoniq’s ASR samplers. Although it has full midi capacity, I have found it is difficult to work with, and I prefer to send the data to my computer for processing.

      To be fair, the technology was newish when these models were made. The 24 track sequencer is adequate for most of what I want to do, although it wouldn’t be much by ...


      • today’s standards. Note stealing is a bit of a problem with some of the “richer” sounds.

        Sequencing and timing is a bit quirky, and I often find myself recording in linear fashion to avoid this or again sending tracks out for processing. Programming sounds on this keyboard is fun. You have lots of options with the parallel effects processors, and you can create “wavelists” to construct enveloped sounds within a sound.

        Physically, it is a heavy object, but attractive. Control buttons are minimal and stylish. The keys feel great, but are annoying loud.

        I wear headphones so the

        key squeaking and thumping doesn’t bother me, but it would drive me nuts if I had to hear it all the time. Despite its limitations, it has been a good performer overall. It did crash once, and I had to send it to Atlanta to have it repaired.

        It is hard wired software, and the OS is pretty reliable. I don’t know what I will do if it breaks down again, since no one repairs these anymore! I hope it will live for a few more years, because it has become a great friend to me and a fantastic tool for developing my musical skills.




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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in June, 2010. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 1625061159610330/k2311a0625/6.25.10
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