Ensoniq Mirage

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Ensoniq Mirage (Version II)
Surname Mirage
Manufacturer Ensoniq
Sound synthesis digital, samples
Period 1985-1988
Price (year of publication) approx. 5800  DM
Polyphonic yes, 8
Multitimbral yes, 8
VCF 8 analog low-pass , 5-stage envelope
Effects -
Keys 61, velocity sensitive
Int. Game aids Pitch, modulation wheel
Ext. Controller pedal
Interface (noun) MIDI
Sequencer 333 events
D / A converter 8 bit
Samples 48 (8 bit, up to 33 kHz)
Storage spaces 16
R.A.M. 144 kB
Ext. Memory 3.5 "floppy disks (400 kB)

The Ensoniq Mirage was the first affordable sampler for the masses .

In 1985, Ensoniq presented the Mirage. Up until then, sampling was an expensive pleasure, which changed with the Mirage. At a price of less than US $ 1700, it was affordable for the general public and offered editing options that a few years earlier were reserved for the expensive Fairlight CMI .

The basic version of the Mirage offered sampling in an 8-bit resolution with up to 33  kHz . For the rack and first keyboard version there was an optional input filter module that enabled sampling at a 50 kHz rate. Due to the extensive library and the difficult editing options, the Mirage was mainly used as a sample player. The further processing of the sound was done in the classic subtractive manner via analog VCF . The envelope and LFO were generated completely digitally, a VCA is not used with the Mirage. Using multi-sampling, you could assign different samples to different areas of the 61-key, velocity-sensitive keyboard , which could also be played simultaneously, i.e. multitimbral, via MIDI .

The operating system was booted via the 3.5 " floppy disk drive and data was saved, with each data floppy disk also containing a copy of the operating system. The externally synchronizable internal sequencer rounded off the image of a cheap and fairly complete music production system at the time.

The head of development of the Mirage was Bob Yannes , who also designed the legendary SID chip (sound interface device) for the Commodore 64 . A Motorola 6809 was used as the CPU .

In 1988 the Mirage was followed by the EPS (Ensoniq Performance Sampler), which allowed a resolution of 13 bits at up to 52 kHz and initially had a memory of 480 kB.