ensoniq esq-1


general info

sequencer spec













The purpose of this Sequencer-to-MIDI converter program is to allow to take a sequence from an ESQ-1, transfer it to Cubase (or another PC sequencer program), fix/transpose/quantize/whatever everything and put it back into ESQ-1. Right now the program can load an ESQ-1 sequencer Sysex file (*.syx), a slightly modified sysex file created by ESQ138 (*.ssq), a mutant semi-sysex file generated by ESQLIB (*.seq) or a 'de-nibbled', native sequencer dump (*.sqx). Data part of a sequence dump (see page A-9 of ESQ-1 Musician's Manual) is disassembled into sequencer events according to my best understanding of the undocumented ESQ-1 sequence data structure and displayed in a grid (for educational purposes only, this is not needed for conversion).

The following events are recognized and displayed by the program: Note On/Off, Channel or Poly Aftertouch (although ESQ-1 keyboard does not generate them sequencer still recognizes those!) and Controller changes (Mod Wheel, Pitch Bender, Volume slider, Sustain pedal and/or whatever you manage to plug into it). All events have time offset (counting from start of the sequence) and velocity; note events also have value (the note) and length (ESQ-1 sequencer does not have a concept of note-off). Note: do not feed an All Sequence Dump to the program, it can only digest one sequence at a time!

Event data of a sequence can be saved as (converted to) a sequencer Sysex file (*.syx), 'de-nibbled' sequencer dump (*.sqx) or Type 1 MIDI file (*.mid). Type 1 means 'one or more simultaneous tracks in one file', as is the case of an ESQ-1 sequence.

One vital thing is missing: the ability to load and decode MIDI files which is a must considering my original purpose (to get a sequence from computer back to ESQ-1). This will definitely come sooner or later. Another thing I'd like to have is ESQ-1 songs. This, however, poses a problem: one could turn an ESQ-1 song into a linear MIDI sequence by reproducing all repeating parts, but it would be tricky to convert the linear MIDI sequence back to a song later. So this will probably never come... as well as a Linux version :) BTW, there should be no difference in handling ESQ-M and SQ-80 sequences as well, but I have no means to test this. If you find any problems pls tell me.

Disclaimer: This program is letmeknowware, meaning that you are free to use it, but if it has any use to you and you find it valuable you have to let me know! All positive comments, suggestions and praise are warmly welcome. Complaints and criticism are also welcome, although not-so-warmly, but pls remember: this is not a commercial product and it has not gone through proper unit/module/integration/regression/whatever other forms of testing except the fact that it works for me (and for Mark Wynkoop as far as I know - thanks Mark!). However, if anyone has wishes or nice-to-have's do let me know, I will consider them. And, pls, link to this site if you feel like to but ask first if you want to make the file(s) available on your own site.

Download ESQ-1 Sequence Converter (Windows only!)

The program needs two visual components (CommonDialog and MSFlexGrid) to function. Your PC probably already has these, if not, the program will complain. The component(s) can be downloaded directly from Microsoft (download, unzip and register):

Download CommonDialog component

Download MSFlexGrid component