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Ensoniq DP/4
Overall Rating
Submitted: January 17th, 2006
by gothicindustial
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Sound Quality
I'm using this with my synths and samplers, my Aria Pro II bass, and my cheapy Yamaha guitar. I plan on running vox through it, but I haven't gotten around to that yet. The DP/4 can be noisy or quiet depending on what effects you use and how you set up your gain. If you want it quiet, it's easy enough to set up that way. The effects sound great. It took me some time to warm up to this unit, but once I figured out how to work it, I really came to love it. The reverbs are damn good. They're very different from the Lexicon reverb sound, though. They sound darker and more realistic to me. The amp sims are great, the chorus is great (not the same as an analog chorus, but still having its own unique character), phaser is nice, delays are awesome, eq is good enough for me to sell my analog parametric eq, and the compressor is good too. Special mention goes to the VCF-Distort effect, which is a digital voltage controlled lowpass filter, followed by distortion, followed by another filter. Both filters are resonant and set up as envelope followers. Cutoff and resonance can be programmed seperately. This effect is awesome for all out distortion (sometimes followed by a guitar amp), for filter funk, for wah/autowah, and for bassing things up (leave cutoff low). If the DP/4 only allowed one effect at a time, it would be a good effects box, but the fact that it allows 4 at once (configured any way you want, and with tons of programming options) makes it awesome. the DP/4 has four inputs and outputs, so you can use the four effects on one, two, three or four sources however you want. The DP/4 makes strings sweeter, basses bassier, leads aggressive and cutting or low fi or huge or whatever you want, guitars sound great, basses sound great, drums sound great. You can make synths sound like guitars and guitars sound like synths. Just a quick note, since some effects are actually two or three effects together, you can sometimes program more than four effects at once. Sweet!
Reliability/Durability
I'm not sure about this. I haven't brought it out of my studio, and it's kinda old. It seems pretty sturdy though.
Price/Value
General Comments
I play industrial and EBM primarily, but I also play triphop and I'm trying to start a Radiohead style synth-rock project. The DP/4 excels at all of these genres. Distorted, aggressive industrial sounds come just as easy as lofi electric pianos and soaring strings. You need decent material to feed this thing, but the sounds that come out are far superior to the sounds that come in. I just sold off a lot of gear, so my smaller and faster setup consists of a Minimoog Voyager, Virus KB, Roland JD-990, E-Mu ESI-2000, Ensoniq ESQ-1 (Ensoniqs rule), Aria Pro II bass, and Yamaha guitar, plus various low end Lexicon effects and some Boss racks. When I was researching effects, I really wanted a Fireworx. However, they cost three or four times as much, and the TC Electronic demo cd left me a little cold. I was so happy with the DP/4 that when I sold some of my synths, I considered buying a DP/2 to complement it, but instead I went with a Boss VF-1 (I'm still waiting for delivery). It seemed like a waste of money to buy another DP unit (DP/2 is basically half a DP/4, but with a few extras thrown in). The VF-1 will give me some different effects, plus the COSM amp sims, and the Boss/Roland sound instead of the Ensoniq sound, which I already have. I could have gone with VST's, but I don't like being forced to use the computer everytime I want to play/write/program. I just love hardware! The DP/4 helps me make music by bringing my sounds where they need to go. If stolen, I would buy again, even if I had to sell other gear to afford it.
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