Hardware Timeline > Sound Cards

Ensoniq Soundscape (1995)



manual: http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?t=18134
drivers: http://web.archive.org/web/20030415204256/http://www.emu.com/products/archives/ensoniq_drivers.html

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The Soundscape ELITE was Ensoniq's high-end ISA PC sound card offering. It offers the highest MIDI quality of any PC sound card Ensoniq produced. The board is an evolution of the company's previous Soundscape S-2000. The Soundscape ELITE was launched in March 1995.[1]

The card's layout is quite similar to the Soundscape S-2000, and uses the same synthesizer chips and codecs. Changes include a revision of the 2 MiB patch ROM equipped with new sounds, and the addition of a powerful digital signal processor (DSP) daughtercard. This DSP, called the Ensoniq Signal Processor (ESP), allows popular enhancement effects to be applied to the Elite's patch sounds. The ESP was used on Ensoniq's musical instruments as well, such as their ASR samplers, TS synthesizers, and the DP Series effects processors. The most popular effects used are reverb and chorus, which are enabled by default on the card. The ESP is also fully configurable through a Windows utility (the "ENSONIQ Effects Tool Kit") and through standard sysex commands which can be issued in various ways (i.e. DOS utilities). Unfortunately the Effects Tool Kit never progressed beyond the beta development stage and is, as a result, not entirely stable or functional.

Soundscape ELITE, like the original Soundscape, has several connections for the proprietary CD-ROM interfaces of the time. However, instead of the Soundscape S-2000's Mitsumi, Matsushita, and Sony interfaces, the Elite gained a new IDE ATAPI interface which was a new standard implemented to improve the ease of utilizing CD-ROM drives. The board's chipset consists of Ensoniq's OTTO and Sequoia synthesizer chips with the Motorola 68EC000 8MHz controller, the ESP board, and an Analog Devices 1848KP codec for digital audio.
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--- Quote ---Different Soundscape Models:
    Ensoniq Soundscape S-2000 The original Soundscape was Ensoniq's first direct foray into the PC sound card market. It was a full-length ISA digital audio and 'wavetable' sample-based synthesis audio card, equipped with a 2MB Ensoniq-built ROM-based patch set.
    Ensoniq SoundscapeDB The SSDB was a wavetable daughterboard upgrade for PCs with a sound card bearing a Waveblaster-compatible connector. It was based upon the S-2000 chipset but was without the digital sound effects section or any DAC. The SSDB would use the host sound card for final output.

    Ensoniq Soundscape Elite The ELITE was Ensoniq's high-end ISA offering. It offered the highest MIDI quality of any PC sound card they ever made, including the newer AudioPCI. The Elite was based mostly around the S-2000, with some additional features that set it far apart from its progenitor.

    Ensoniq Soundscape OPUS This card was a Gateway 2000 OEM, and possibly was used by other OEMs, but was never sold to Ensoniq's customers directly. It was a Soundscape-like board, using the Ensoniq "OPUS" multimedia sound chip, a chip that was only used on these OEM boards.

    Ensoniq Soundscape VIVO90 was Ensoniq's generational step forward from the Ensoniq Soundscape S-2000-based boards. It was first produced in 1996. VIVO90 had similar specifications to the older boards, but was built to cost less to manufacture.

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