The Ensoniq Cassette Tape Dissected

For those of you who want the original V1.2 patches AND the Song Sequence Demo, it is now available. I finally found my original Ensoniq "Factory Programs and Sequence Data" cassette. I was able to rip it into my audio editor where I cleaned up the tracks, fixed the dropouts, and normalized it. I converted them to MP3 and have them available for download. I have tested the load process numerous times and can confidently say that the data is error free.

The original patches for V1.2 are here: V1_2_Internals.mp3

The Song Demo is here: V1_2_Song_Seq.mp3

There is a certain procedure you must follow to successfully transfer the data to the ESQ-1.

Make sure you have saved any custom internal patches. On a cart or "tape" dump.

The following procedure will overwrite any internal patches. If you have OS Ver 2.2 or earlier and all you have is the BRASS1 patches, get ready for some exciting sounds emanating from your keyboard.

First, download the two mp3 files. If you are just using your computer sound card as the interface, you will need a 1/8" to 1/4" patch cable available at your local music store. You will need a program on your computer that will play the mp3 files to the sound card. You could use Winamp, Windows Media Player, Quicktime, the original program that came with your sound card installation, or more advanced applications such as Cool Edit, Adobe Audition, Sonar, Pro Tools, Vegas Audio, etc. etc.

(Note: You can also burn a CD with these two files after you've converted them to a .WAV format. Then you can use a simple Walkman type portable CD player to load your patches.)

Make sure you can decode and play the files to your speakers first.

Once this is accomplished you will need to do the following procedures exactly in this sequence otherwise you will not get a successful load.

Test your playback to make sure you can start the data file on the leader tone. This is the steady tone that lasts for about 6 seconds at the beginning of the audio file.

The next set of steps are critical:

1) Press the "STORAGE" button.

2) Press the "TAPE" button.

3) Press the "LOAD" button.

4) Start the wave file playing on the leader and immediately,

5) Press the "INT BANKS" button.

If no audio is detected by the ESQ1 or the level is too low, or you didn't press the "INT BANKS" button in time, you will see displayed "ERROR ALERT" "TAPE NOT STARTED ON LEADER". Find out why your audio signal isn't getting to the ESQ1. Try to attach a set of headphones to the patch cable and see if you can hear the tones.

If you have sufficient audio to load, you will see "READING DATA FROM TAPE"  and "PLEASE WAIT"

If everything goes well, at the end of the data load (approx. 35 seconds), you will see displayed, "TAPE PROCEDURE COMPLETE", and you will be returned to the STORAGE display. To see your new patches, press your INTERNAL button and scroll through banks 1 thru 4 to see your patches.

If something goes wrong during the procedure, you will see displayed "FATAL ERRORS DETECTED" and "ALL INTERNAL PROGRAMS RESET"

This will happen if your audio from the computer is either too low or too high. Try increasing the playback level or decreasing the playback level.

The levels are somewhat critical and you must find that "sweet spot" where you will get a successful load.

The procedure for loading the Demo Song is similar.

Press the "STORAGE" button, press the "TAPE" button, press the "LOAD" button, start the data playback on the leader and press the "ALL SEQ" button. Once you have a complete load, you will see displayed "TAPE PROCEDURE COMPLETE" and you will be sent to the SEQ display screen.

Occasionally you might have to reload the internal patches after a song sequence load. I have had an occasional dump of garbage in the internal patches after a sequence load. Just reload the internals again. Remember, the demo song is related to the internal factory patches so if you change the internal bank patches you may loose the demo song as it was "written"

Also you should read the page Alternate Method to get a further understanding of this procedure.


The cassette format was as follows: Side #1 Internal patches followed by Song Demo sequence. Side #2 is the same format Internals and Song Demo. The internal bank file is 44 seconds long. The demo song is 1 m 16 sec. long.

The tape was a Maxell CP10 Computer Cassette. These tapes were somewhat special and not the same as the consumer music tapes that were once available. The tape as a little thicker and were "certified" as dropout free especially for data storage as shown at the top right picture on this page.

Research done by Rick C. Sep 1, 2006 Revised Feb 12, 2020