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Ensoniq Mirage




Ensoniq Mirage DSK-8

audio demo Country: USA
Weight: 10,8 Kg
Dimensions:103 (w) x 10 (h) x 34 (d) cm
audio demo trend price : 200€
manual service manual demo comments
Ensoniq Mirage DSK8 / DSK1 (1984)
Digital Sampling Keyboard

In the eighties samplers like Fairlight/ E-MU Emulators were expensive dreams, byt then in 1984 came the MIRAGE-: the first affordable sampler for the proletarian masses :-)

Project developped by Robert Yannes, the man who created famous SID from Commodore 64.

technical data
technical data

info KEYBOARD 61 velocity keys.
Main panel features a simple 2-digit segments display and 25 buttons, while on the left part there is the floppy disk drive and 2 wheels for modulation and pitch bending functions.

Back panel terminal connectors:
- Midi interface
- mono analog signal out
- mono audio Input for sampling
- slot expansion for sequencer memory cartridge.


edit TECH the main core is based on a Motorola 6809 CPU manages up to 8 voices polyphony A basic patch is a layer of 2 samples, and each sample has various edit parameters including:

motorola mirage - wave start
- end offset
- volume balancing
- detune ratio
- variable loop points demo HEAR

MEMORY the internal RAM is split into 2 banks: upper and lower memory.
Each bank holds 64 Kb data for a total amount of 128 KB - time recording / frequency are limited to:

sampling time
- 2,0 seconds at 33 kHz frequency

- 6,5 seconds at 8 kHz frequency

edit INTERFACE uncomfortable. All parameter edit with single parameters and hexadecimal value on segment display.

ensoniq mirage
sampling time edit "great...hexadecimal edit..."


editMIRAGE KEYBOARD 3 mirage keyboard models:

ensoniq mirage - DSK-8 mk1 first "black" original version (pic 1)

- DSK-8 mk2 enhanced "grey" keyboard and slightly different case design (pic 2)

- DSK-1 (1986-1988) is the latest version featuring a red stripe under the logo (pic 3)

edit MODELS CLICK to enlarge PIC



adsr FILTER section is based on 8 chips CURTIS CEM 3328 with a 4-poles resonant filter.
Mirage VCF also features a KEYTRACK function that compensates the filter cutoff toward higher or lower octaves with either positive or negative values.

filter mirage demo HEAR filter samples


lfo LFO
a single triangle modulator from 5 Hz to 40 Hz frequency range.
The LFO modulates only the oscillator pitch (too bad no filter destination) and it is triggered by 4 sources:

LFO - modulation wheel

- breath control

- foot volume pedal

- aftertouch


there are 2 EGs based on CEM3360 VCA:

adsr - EG1 amplitude: 5-segments

- EG2 filter: 5-segments APDSR ("P" stands for PEAK).


really simple and useful for some on-the-fly ideas: basically it is a step sequencer with overdub function that records up to 333 events (can be either a note, a bender or modulation value) or even 1024 events if expanded with SXQ-1 cartridge.

filter mirage

SYNC hardware transmits Midi clock and can be slaved to other units such as compatible drum machines.

demoHEAR sequenced samples

adsr STORAGE floppy disk DD 3.5" 400 KB formatted with custom Ensoniq file system format, NOT-DOS compatible, although some third-part company softwares are able to read and write floppy disks images.

mirage dd TIP: common disk error on display are:

- "NF" stands for No Disk

- "Ud" stands for Unformatted Disk.

adsr A neat upgrade is the USB devices emulator like HxC or other.


adsrOS MASOS is not stored in ROM: for operating system or copy disk function you have to deal each time with floppy disk BOOT system, so be sure to get a Mirage with proper operational drive.

adsr EDIT
everything is programmed on the display by hexadecimal system and the relative parameters list is essential, luckily the Mirage responds to Midi exclusive systems
Mainly some old computer software for the glorious Commodore 64 and Apple IIe, are available like:

- MMirage Data Displayer: displays sample parameters (with graphic)
- MirageFREQ: an utility to match in tune samples using Sid chip
- VES :another waveform displayer for perfect loop and tuning
- Soundworks Mirage (for Atari ST) PIC
- ST Sonic Editor (for Atari ST) PIC
- Digidesign Sound designer (Atari ST) PIC
- Mirage editor (PC modern) PIC
- Mirage editor (PC modern) PIC - kindly sent by its author David Barraclough Download

M - Mirage Data Displayer



DMS-8 DMS-8 is the rackmount version same specs as DSK-8



reality is a mirage original scan
original scan ensoniq mirage sampler

hires pic




Company: Ensoniq
Model: Mirage
Class: keyboard sampler
Keyboard: 61 keys
Dates: 1984
Display: 2-digit segments
Resolution: 12 bits
S.Frequency: 8 / 33 kHz
Polyphony: 8 voices
Filter: analog low pass
LFO: 1 modulator
Envelope: 2 EGs
Memory: 128 kb
Sequencer: 333 events
Sync: Midi clock
Storage: DD disk 400 kb
Midi : IN / OUT / THRU
Cpu: 6809
IC: CEM 3328 + 3360



demo various sounds p1
demo various sounds p2
demo death bells
demo Mono synth sampled from Minimoog D
demo human voice sampled from CBM Amiga
demo dirty mirage sound
demo loop point variation
demo Loops saturated
demo nature fx libraries
demo drum kits with octa modification
demo tine rhodes
demo Famous Lore sampled from KORG M1
demo original vinyl demo

demohave some mirage




-more demo
- more free samples set


edit Sample SHOP
edit Report Error

Ensoniq Mirage for sale

Ensoniq Mirage for sale





LO FI MASTER nervous edit


REVIEW"It takes time to understand this sampler: edit mode refrains people after 2 minutes! bu Mirage It is really good to use for some analog synth emulation for its analog filters."

manual manual
- analog filters - display / edit
- crispy sampling - storage


A keyboard that can deliver virtually limitless digital sampling performance for under $1700? it must be a mirage" - Ensoniq advertising 


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Ensoniq Mirage Ensoniq Mirage sampler
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