SampleScience Intros SQ8ROM Free Ensoniq SQ-80 VST/AU Plugin

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SampleScience has released SQ8ROM, a freeware sample-based virtual instrument featuring the sounds of the Ensoniq SQ-80 hardware synthesizer.

SQ8ROM is a free rompler virtual instrument offered in VST, VST3, and AU plugin formats for compatible digital audio workstations on PC and Mac. It is a sample-based recreation of the legendary Ensoniq SQ-80 hardware synthesizer. The SQ-80 was the successor of the much-beloved SQ-1 keyboard, featuring 41 additional waveforms and various hardware improvements. Similar to its hardware counterpart, SQ8ROM is a fantastic source of lush 80s-style pads, vintage leads, and warm bass sounds.

The instrument comes with 168 multi-sampled patches. These are all clearly labeled and easily accessible through the plugin’s preset browser. The source sounds can be tweaked using SQ8ROM’s volume envelope and LFO modulation controls. A built-in reverb is also included, courtesy of the MaizeSampler platform which was used as the framework for developing the plugin.

SampleScience has recently released another freeware virtual instrument called Room Piano v2. It is a lightweight rompler plugin featuring lo-fi multi-samples of a Kawai upright piano. The plugin features Vinyl and tape effects to further color the sampled piano sounds. Producers who make low-fi hip-hop, ambient music, or simply enjoy playing lo-fi instruments should definitely check out Room Piano v2.

To download your free copy of SQ8ROM, click the download link on the product page linked below. You don’t need to register or activate your copy of the plugin. A quick start guide in PDF format is provided to help with any installation issues. The download size is around 1 GB, so some patience will be needed if your internet connection speed is slow.

SQ8ROM is available for free download via SampleScience (949 MB download size, ZIP archive, 64-bit VST/VST3/AU plugin format for Windows & MacOS).

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About Author

Tomislav is a content creator and sound designer from Belgrade, Serbia. He is also the founder and editor-in-chief here at Bedroom Producers Blog.

17 Comments

  1. Why bother with this when you can use SQ8L? What was the point? SQ8L is good, maybe kinda loud by default, but I don’t recall CPU strains or anything. At least they didn’t claim it was based on actual hardware, if they did I bet virtually no one would notice.

    • Maybe for those with DAWs that don’t support 32-bit plugs, as SQ8L is 32-bit only, unfortunately, and also maybe good for those who can’t deal with synths, as SQ8L doesn’t have the most intuitive interface.

      As a synth lover I’m sticking with SQ8L, but eh… this exists I guess.

    • Well when I compared them just now, SQ8ROM definitely has better sound quality (at least it sounds more “real”). Uses more CPU, but not very much.

      However, the interface provides minimal controls and still no MIDI control! So we still can’t do automation or change parameters via MIDI controller, which is what kept me from using SQ8L more extensively…

      Pretty disappointing in that regard. I do prefer the sound though.

      • How can it sounds more “real” , or better quality, than the instrument that it sampled? It’s just samples of the VSTi, not the original hardware. And unlike the SQ8L which is a real synth, the samples here are static. Of course that if you’re on a DAW that doesn’t support 32bit plugins (like me) then it’s better than nothing, so I thank SampleScience for the efforts.

        • “And unlike the SQ8L which is a real synth, the samples here are static.”

          They are not, I used the Multi-LFO on some of the sounds which modulate the pitch or the amplitude/panning.

          As for the original SQ8L, it’s great and I love it but it’s starting to give me some trouble (it has some nasty bugs on Windows 10 in FL Studio 20). Hence the creation of this sampled version of the plugin.

        • We’re comparing to the SQ:8L VSTi. The real synth these are both based on is the SQ-80, which I’ve never used. To my ears, this SQ8ROM sounds less digital than the SQ:8L.

  2. Basslabmechanic87

    on

    I have the SQ8L which does all I need plus I have the entire Ensoniq collection as “one shot” samples I can spread across the entire keyboard range.

    • …and a Windows box. Or an old Mac, $35, and/or a weekend or two to waste. ;)

      (MS just can’t prioritize de-jankifying their UAC2 drivers, so…)

  3. Hi and happy new year to everyone.

    Where can I find those files (for Mac/AU) and extensions. Every links seemed dead over the internet…

    Best regards,
    Fabrice.

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