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Introduction to the Online EPSDisk Tutorial

EPSDisk is a simple yet powerful tool. With it you can make sample disks on you PC that are readable in the Ensoniq TS, ASR, and EPS keyboards and rack mount units. It is a command line tool, which means it runs from a DOS prompt and responds to text commands.

The program can be awkward and difficult to figure out at first - and I get many, many, many emails from people concerning the software. It got to the point were I had to post a somewhat less than polite message on the site stating that I would no longer respond to emails concerning the software.

It looks as if the software was written by Michael Chen while he attended college. It was written for free and is no longer maintained or supported.

I have decided to provide an online tutorial to assist in getting the novice user up and running with this software, so that they can get onto making music instead of messing about with software.

Let's be clear though, this tutorial is a COMPLETE knowledge dump of ALL that I know about how to use this software. This is it. There is no more. If your question isn't answered here, I don't have the answer, so please don't ask me. I did not write this software, I make no money from this software, I DO NOT support this software. I do provide a site to support the TS series keyboards from Ensoniq. And this is an extremely useful tool for those keyboards.

NOTE: For those who are computer savvy, this tutorial may seem somewhat rudimentary. It is geared towards a general non-technical audience, because that is the type of people I am constantly receiving emails from regarding the use of this software. This statement is not to make any derogatory or negative comments about these people, merely as to provide a baseline for the level on which this tutorial is presented.

File Types

For samples EPSDisk is the best. It's deceptively powerful. Once you get a hang of it, it's a breeze to use. There are many different file formats and it can get confusing so here are the basics:

Individual Files
The files types listed below represent a single sound/sample/instrument. You can write multiple files of these types to a single disk (depending on the sizes of the files).

EFE - Ensoniq EPS File
EFA - Ensoniq ASR File
INS - Ensoniq EPS family instrument.

Refer to the epsdisk.txt and guide.txt files that come with EPSDisk on how to use EPSDisk to write these files.  

Disk Images
A disk image is a "picture" of an entire disk. If the disk contains multiple sounds/samples/instruments and/or bank sets and/or sequences they are all contained within the single image file. The file types listed below represent a disk image.

EDE - Ensoniq EPS Disk Image
GKH - Ensoniq EPS family disk image file.
EDA - Ensoniq ASR Disk Image

Refer to the epsdisk.txt and guide.txt files that come with EPSDisk on how to use EPSDisk to write these files.

Save the EFE (sample files) in the Same Directory as EPSDisk.exe
All files to be written to a disk in your computer using the EPSDisk software MUST be in the SAME directory as the EPSDisk software.

The above screen shot shows the RAIN.EFE sample located within the same directory as EPSDisk.

If the sample file is contained within a ZIP file (as most files on this site are) they MUST be unzipped into the same directory as EPSDisk.

If you don't know how to unzip files, refer to http://www.winzip.com/ for information.

NOTE: The above screen shot lists the two text files that come with the EPSDisk software. Many of your questions can be answered by reading these two text files. These text files and the software were NOT written by me, and I have absolutely nothing to do with them. The software and text files were written by the original author of EPSDisk, Michael Chen.

Formatting a Disk


The above screen shot demonstrates how to take a HD diskette and format it in your PC, for the Ensoniq keyboards. The TS/ASR/EPS CAN NOT read disks formatted for use in your PC. So they must be formatted in a way that the TS/ASR/EPS disk can understand.

To format a disk for the TS/ASR/EPS:

(1) Run EPSDisk.exe
(2) Put a 3.5" HD floppy into the floppy drive
(3) Type T then hit <ENTER>
(4) Type 6 then hit <ENTER>
(5) Type F then hit <ENTER>
(6) Type a: then hit <ENTER>
(7) EPSDisk will now format the disk

That's as easy as it is. You should now have a formatted disk that is readable by the Ensoniq TS/ASR/EPS series keyboards.

NOTE: There are times when you follow the above instructions that you will receive an error. There are many reasons why this may happen. If you receive any errors when following the above instructions, try formatting the disk for the PC first. Then try to format it with EPSDisk. I have no idea why, but this resolves any formatting issues I have encountered. Also, if you continually have problems, make sure you try a different disk. Sometimes disks go bad.

Writing/Copying Samples to a TS/ASR/EPS Formatted Disks


At this point you should have:

(1) Downloaded the ZIP (sample) file
(2) Unzip the EFE sample file from the zip file into the same directory as EPSDisk.exe
(3) Formatted a disk using EPSDisk

To copy an EFE file to a disk formatted for the TS/ASR/EPS:

(1) Run EPSDisk.exe
(2) Type W then hit <ENTER>
(3) Type a: then hit <ENTER>
(4) Hit <ENTER> when prompted for "Directory at block". Don't type "default 3" I've
     only circled it in the above screen shot to highlight the fact that you will hit <ENTER>
     at this prompt.
(5) Type in the name of the EFE file. In the above example it is RAIN.EFE. Hit <ENTER>
(6) EPSDisk will now copy the sample file to the disk

To Infinity and Beyond...
This is by no means a comprehensive tutorial. It should provide you with the information you need to get up and running with the software. You should minimally be able to copy sample files to a disk that you can use in you TS/ASR/EPS.

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