Ensonique SQ-80 and SQ8L VSTi February 13th, 2011 by b-knox

Like most synthesizers, I don’t own this one. And, while searching for soft synths, I am usually disappointed by the VST’s that I find. They typically do one thing very well. Even if that one thing is sounding like a crummy 80’s digital synth.

I’d like to introduce to you Ensonique’s SQ-80 —

SQ80 in the snow

Yeah, it has both a disk drive and a card reader.  It also has a nice range of sounds utilizing a hybrid of analog and digital circuitry.  From breathy pads to strings to moog / commodore 64 growls to percussion, this guy has very unique, fat and warm timbres of tonality.  But, instead of finding recorded samples (check out a John Carpenter movie soundtrack from the early 90’s), I found a soft synth that emulates it.  =)


Download SQ8L Soft Synth VSTi here.  The page also explains the ongoing process of recreating the synth’s famous sound.  It’s suggested that a proper emulation of the filter chips is what sets this VSTi apart from Moog and Roland synth clone software.

Listen to some examples if you don’t believe me —

[audio:http://b-knox.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/sq8l-exmaples.mp3|titles=sq8l exmaples]

Mostly, I’m playing Dmin with the various stock patches. Download and remix.  I dare you! . . .or your money back!

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2 Responses to “Ensonique SQ-80 and SQ8L VSTi”

  1. such a lovely sound out of this thing! PS i used some of the presets in one of my winter chip songs go ahead and guess which one! go on guess! it was my mod :P though they are mono and chopped beyond recognition so they dont really do the thing justice. i guess when it comes to “8 bit” this synth is king

  2. Ginrex says:

    Jul21 Hi Hassan. I liked your article but can you asdive any WIndows software/hardware that allows you to run plugins live (without printing them) the way Pro Tools does? I have had enough of Pro Tools. I want to leave AVID gear. Thank you.

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