SQ8L is a software model of Ensoniq's classic 1980s synth SQ80. The SQ80 features 3 digital wavetable oscillators for each of its 8 voices which are fed through analog 4-pole lowpass filters (-24dB... read more
This is just a fabulous emulation. I own an ESQ1 which came before the SQ-80. Both are basic wavetable synths with analog Curtis filters and fantastic midi implementation but the SQ80 is more fully featured and that's what this plugin emulates. Tonally this sits in the PPG wave and Korg wavestation camp though the wavetables are very simple and the 4 envelopes and LFOs aren't complex enough to make insane evolving patches like those synths are known for. I think this type of synth shines on post-FM keys patches and strange mono sync-leads. The filter emulation gets pretty close to my ESQ1 and if you set the saturation control to 'ensoniq' mode it certainly gets the whole thing in the gritty ballpark of the hardware I own. I find this guy a lot easier to program than my ESQ1 because its really easy to read the virtual display. Its pretty intuitive just like the hardware and if you've owned an ESQ1 or SQ80 you'll be right at home and dialing up killer patches right away. It maintains the ensoniq menu diving though, so not a tweak fest, but just like the ESQ1 this guy shines as a performance synth assigning parameters to wheels, velocity and aftertouch. Often I cannot be bothered to take my ESQ1 out of a closet and I roll with this plugin. Its great. Its also a lower CPU hit and easier to program than the legacy collection wavestation plugin, so if you don't need long, evolving pads from the wavestation try this guy. it can get grittier too. Its free so you owe it to yourself to try it if your DAW hosts VSTs.
its meant to be an ESQ1/SQ80, I have used an ESQ1 forever. This is pretty decent except at high resonance settigns where the analog Curtis filter of the hardware definitely schools. Try making your own patches, the Ensoniq hybrid synths are powerful machines and the presets, while humorously late-80s? are pretty lame compared to what these things CAN do.... I seriously will sue this free plugin a lot when I feel too lazy to get the ESQ1 out of the closet. If the ESQ1 weren't a big-ass keyboard and it were a rack unit or tabletop module I might not resort to the ST, but the hassle to extra performance ration between hardware and software makes the software a no-brainer.... its not like the original is easier to program. Same exact layout and confusing envelope generators
Very good emulation of the Ensoniq SQ-80 and completely free of charge. Unfortunately only 32-bit and it still a few omissions. If only Mr Siegfried Kullmann would ever complete the SQ8X that he promised us, I'd happily pay 50-100 EUR for it.