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Thoughts on the Ensoniq DP/4
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Author Thoughts on the Ensoniq DP/4
maxwellravitz
Hello,

I always see these for sale, and although tempted, I never pull the trigger. I know a lot of people use them, and I see them in studios a lot, but what do you all think about them. I hear they're noisy, is this true/a problem? Just want to hear people's opinions on this piece of kit. Are all the effects useful, or just a handful? Thanks.
DT
+1.
I was about to open the same thread!
b3nsf
i have a non-plus version, it's amazing!
DT
could you make a brief effects list and how you use it?
ignatius
i had a non +version for a while. it's very musical and the verbs do really nice things to synth pads and stabs and stuff. it just makes things fit. sits in the mix well.

its verb is all over the synthy chords (from a nord lead 2X) in this track


[bctrack]4040873106[/bctrack]


also, the delays and distortion stuff are fun. i found the various routing conventions useful but also cumbersome. i tended to set it and forget and just focus on the FX patch.

it can do a lot though and has a lot of control options. some of them wil have a bad input here or there but they're generally a safe buy. i'd go for the + version if you can find one.

but overall they're nice units and good workhorses.
richard
love the sounds, hate the UI! the reverb and delays are wonderful for synths IMO and is the only fx box that makes my nord micro sounds like analogue synthesizer. Only sold it to buy an eventide

I believe the non+ is the one to get. my pal is keen on the compressors which I think they changed on the later unit

for the price they go for you can't go wrong. Noisey? really I never noticed
gosh
fantastic units. They certainly aren't hi-fi. i had the non + version and it certainly had a slight noise / colour too but this was part of the character. The delays, reverbs and modulation effects are great and the routing ability is superb, if not slightly confusing until you get used to it. I also ended up keeping in one setting and then changing effects patch rather than config presets.

I sold mine to get an eventide eclipse and overall I'm pleased. The eventide is lovely, very hifi, better midi and is only 1u...BUT, I can't say I don't miss the DP4.

I found out about the DP4 originally through the early plastikman stuff. If you're interested in hearing what it sounds like listen to sheet one, musik and recylced plastik...it's all over it.

In terms of useful and not so useful effects well I guess it's what you like..but it's very modular in it's approach so whilst all the presets might not grab you you can make some fantastic complex presets. Certainly the individual "units" are mostly very use-able.

I'd purchase this over ANY sub £500 effects unit for sure!
DT
how do you create patches/presets in it?
ignatius
DT wrote:
how do you create patches/presets in it?


you press buttons and page through parameters and adjust things then save them Mr. Green

the manual is on line.. you should have a read and check out the signal flow and parameter flow of the UI

https://ccrma.stanford.edu/~dattorro/DP4_manual.pdf
DT
ignatius wrote:
DT wrote:
how do you create patches/presets in it?


you press buttons and page through parameters and adjust things then save them Mr. Green

the manual is on line.. you should have a read and check out the signal flow and parameter flow of the UI

https://ccrma.stanford.edu/~dattorro/DP4_manual.pdf



AHAH ok thanks thumbs up
CF3
Have had a + for years, just had it tune up recently. Love the delays. we're not worthy Excellent modulation effects. The distortion effects are actually pretty good for a digital unit. On the + units, excellent MIDI control over just about everything. You can configure it in lots of different ways(2x2, 1x3, 4x1, 1x4, etc..). It is NOT super "hi-Fi" like an Eventide. Definitely a little noisy, but thats part of the charm of it. Due to the age of it I would replace the memory battery before going to nuts programming your own effects.(really easy to do). All in all one of my favorite effects units.
DT
Thanks guys!
Which could be an Eventide equivalent to you?
I'm interested mainly into the modulation effects.
I'm not looking for Eventide stompboxes btw...apart for "Space", which looks amazing.
ignatius
DT wrote:
Thanks guys!
Which could be an Eventide equivalent to you?
I'm interested mainly into the modulation effects.
I'm not looking for Eventide stompboxes btw...apart for "Space", which looks amazing.


the DP4, and other things from that era, have a different sound due to whatever DA/AD chip and the sample rate/bit depth etc.. the ensoniq has a really nice 'warm' sound.. musical is the only word i can use to describe it.

the eventide stuff, especially the newer units, will sound very different.. not better or worse etc but just different character. H3000 series are great. many people seek them out. they're the 'classic' eventide unit. they sound great. and are full of really nice FX.. some pretty wild ones too.

by modulation effects you mean flanger, phaser, chorus, leslie etc? eventide is good for that. rich, juicy sounding.
DT
ignatius wrote:
DT wrote:
Thanks guys!
Which could be an Eventide equivalent to you?
I'm interested mainly into the modulation effects.
I'm not looking for Eventide stompboxes btw...apart for "Space", which looks amazing.


the DP4, and other things from that era, have a different sound due to whatever DA/AD chip and the sample rate/bit depth etc.. the ensoniq has a really nice 'warm' sound.. musical is the only word i can use to describe it.

the eventide stuff, especially the newer units, will sound very different.. not better or worse etc but just different character. H3000 series are great. many people seek them out. they're the 'classic' eventide unit. they sound great. and are full of really nice FX.. some pretty wild ones too.

by modulation effects you mean flanger, phaser, chorus, leslie etc? eventide is good for that. rich, juicy sounding.



yes exactly...basically i have delays on the modular and a spring verb on the re 501..what i'm missing are modulation fx mainly so yes,,,flangers, phasers etc..
gosh
well i can certainly recommend an eventide eclipse..if you wait you'll find one second hand for a decent price. Very very nice sounds and has ALL the effects/presets from the eventide timefactor, modfactor built in. Not sure about pitchfactor although it certainly has a bucketload of pitch effects, more complex than the pitchfactor. It also doesn't have the exact same functionality as the space although again it has a bucket load of reverbs and reverb combo effects. The space was based on a number of algorithms from the eclipse (as well as other eventide boxes). The stompboxes are great but as soon as you buy more than one I think you're much better off grabbing an eclipse.

I actually have Space too but that's cos I grabbed it cheap whilst on hols in the states and it was actually the reverbs from that which made me buy the eclipse..

But like I say, if you're not willing to spend the money on the eclipse you won't go far wrong with the DP4 just be willing to spend a little time with the manual and a little time scratching your head/loosing presets you're working on..
lukas412
I love the dp4. I owned a dp4+ and sold it to buy some other gear. I missed it so much I ended up buying another one which is a non plus version. Still awesome. I would totally own two of these things and will pick up another plus some day. It just sounds very unique. Once you get used to it, it's very easy to dial in. I use it constantly. My favorite digi effect for sure. A very nice contrast to today's hi-fi vst effects. Highly recommended.
maxwellravitz
Thanks for the replies! I'm definitely more sold on one now. I love the sound of older a/d d/a's anyways, love my lexicon pcm-60! Noise wasn't too much a concern anyways, I just needed that last little push over the edge. DP/4 here I come! I also am usually wary of multi-effects, tend to like dedicated effects, hence asking how many effects were useful, but it sounds like with the modular nature of the dp4, you can get some nice complexity...
Luka
i used to have one in a shared studio and it was big. massive verbs. loved it so much

waiting for one to come up local. they are so heavy

im also a little scared about it being damaged since ensoniq no longer exist and it cant be fixed
a100user
Out of interest is the DP2 just half a 4 or something completely different?
maxwellravitz
Yes I'm pretty sure the dp/2 is just half of a dp/4. There may be some differences, but I'm not aware of any major ones.
ignatius
maxwellravitz wrote:
Yes I'm pretty sure the dp/2 is just half of a dp/4. There may be some differences, but I'm not aware of any major ones.


has some different algorithms in it but is more or less the same.. if you google "ensoniq DP4 DP2 comparison" you get this piece from SoS

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/1995_articles/dec95/ensoniqdp2.html
a100user
Thanks for the response and the link guys
twospartans
any possibility of cv manipulation via the cv/pedal in?
bil_g
twospartans wrote:
any possibility of cv manipulation via the cv/pedal in?


Yep. I believe it's 0-5v.
Morley
I worked with one for a while and wasn't blown away to be honest, but I always had access to stuff like EMT's, Lexicons and Eventides so a bit of an unfair advantage there.
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