The SQ8L is a software (VST) 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 gain) with resonance. Sound parameters can
be modulated by 4 envelopes, 3 LFOs and several MIDI sources.
The SQ80 also has a predecessor, the ESQ1, which can do most of
the same stuff.
Although the technology may seem obsolete, these synths can
produce a wide variety of interesting and extremely usable sounds.
Thanks to the lo-fi oscillators and the analog components it can
sound very digital and dirty, but also very analog and warm.
Which is a good thing because modern synths often tend to sound
rather clean. Now you can experience this great classic synth
with the SQ8L!
The SQ8L ("L" stands for "Light") is the free demo version of the
forthcoming SQ8X ("X" for "eXtended"). Besides any bugs that will
(hopefully) be removed in the full version (see "Known problems")
and planned features that won't find their way into the light
version (see "Things to come..."), there are only a few
limitations. Those are:
- Polyphony limited to 8 voices.
- Program change messages ignored.
- Common MIDI controllers (Master Volume, Pan,...) by default
have no effect and must be programmed as Modulators.
- When used with a sequencer, the only sound the Host can save
within the song file is the one in the edit buffer. The full
version will store the entire library (which makes sense
when program change messages are used).
- LFO humanization not implemented.
- No Split/Layer to combine several sounds.
- No internal sequencer (and there will never be one).