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Ensoniq Mirage DMS-8




ensoniq mirage dms8

audio demo Country: USA
Weight: na
Dimensions: na
audio demo trend price : 150€
manual service manual demo video comments
Ensoniq Mirage DMS-8 (1985)
Digital Multi-sampler

Rackmount edition of the famous MIRAGE DSK-8 : the first affordable keyboard sampler on the market will change the music history.

technical data
technical data

info RACKMOUNT 2 standard units.
The main panel features simple segment display, a DD floppy drive and 25 buttons.

Back panel terminal connectors:
- Midi interface
- mono out
- mono audio input for sampling
- slot expansion for sequencer memory cartridge

edit VOICES the main core is based on a Motorola 6809 CPU manages up to 8 voices polyphony with CEM3360 VCA chips.
A basic patch is a layer of 2 samples- each sample has various edit parameters including wave start, end offset, volume balancing, detune ratio or loop points.

motorola mirage

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 and relative time recording is limited to:
- 2,0 seconds at 33 kHz frequency
- 6,5 seconds at 8 kHz frequency.

sampling time

lfo LFO a single triangular 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:
- modulation wheel
- breath control
- foot volume pedal
- aftertouch.



adsr ENVELOPE there are 2 EGs based on CEM3360 VCA:
- EG1 amplitude: 5-segments
- EG2 filter: 5-segments APDSR ("P" stands for PEAK).



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

adsr SEQUENCER 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 a note, a bender or modulation value) or even 1024 events if expanded with SXQ-1 cartridge.
SYNC hardware transmits Midi clock and be be slaved to other units such as drum machines.

filter mirage

floppy disk DD 3.5" 400 KB formatted with custom Ensoniq file system format: It is NOT-DOS compatible but some third-part company softwares read and write floppy disks images.
A neat upgrade could be USB devices emulator like HxC or other commercial.

mirage dd

adsr EDIT everything is programmed on the display by hexadecimal system and the parameters list is essential, but luckily the Mirage responds to Midi exclusive systems
Some old computer software for the glorious Commodore 64 and Apple IIe, were available like:
- MMirage Data Displayer: displays the sample parameters (with graphic)
- MirageFREQ: an utility to match in tune samples using the internal 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

M - Mirage Data Displayer


ensoniq Dsk8 DSK-8 original first keyboard version same specs as the rackmount
ensoniq Dsk8 mk2 DSK-8 MK2 Second edition with better keyboard and slightly different case design. Should be also features a lower noise floor (not personally verified)
ensoniq Dsk8 DSK-1 latest keyboard (mk3) edition with red stripes




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 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


Ensoniq Mirage Sound Demo Ensoniq Mirage DSK-8 ENSONIQ MIRAGE original samples & sequences
Sound Demo DSK-8 original samples & sequences


ensoniq mirage


Company: Ensoniq
Model: Mirage
Class: keyboard sampler
Keys: 61
Dates: 1985
Price: 300€
Synthesis: sampler
Resolution: 12 bits
Polyphony: 8
Filter: low pass
LFO: 1
Memory: 750 kb
Demo: 10






The OS 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 oeprational drive.



reality is a mirage
adsr original brochure

ensoniq mirage brochure
adsr original brochure

original scan
adsr original brochure

ensoniq mirage sampler
adsr adsr

Ensoniq Mirage for sale

Ensoniq Mirage for sale




Dates: 1985
Price: 200€
Synthesis: sampler
Resolution: 8 bits
Polyphony: 8 voices
Filter: low pass
LFO: 1
Sequencer: 333 notes
Memory: 128 kb


REVIEW"Excellent if you need some low fidelity samples with punchy analog filters! rack version takes a lot less of space than classic Mirage.
Be aware: edit is really a nightmare and memory is really limited- Do not expect hi-fidelity Steinway multisampling! best approach for sound creation are very small loops with cyclic waves for some analog synthesizer""

manual manual
- analog filters -bulky
- affordable
- 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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all snapshots, sounds, texts copyright Polynominal.com / Eric Pochesci

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ensoniq mirage 4.0 out of 5 based on 17 ratings. price €150