Ensoniq EPS/ASR CD-ROM Creation

This article explains one method for authoring an Ensoniq compatible CD-ROM with custom content. The resulting CD image can then be burned to CD-R for use with SCSI CD-ROM drives connected to an Ensoniq device.

Reasons for doing so are numerous:

– Backing up data from physical media (Iomega Zip, floppy, or hard drive)
– Freeing up usable storage space
– Sharing custom instruments/banks/effects with the Ensoniq community (please do)
– Organizing instruments/banks/effects into easily identifiable collections
– Mixing and matching pre-existing content into a “best of” CD


– Create the desired directory structure on a SCSI drive connected to the EPS or ASR (ideally)

It is technically possible to create a directory structure using EnsoniqFS but this tends to impact proper directory navigation. It is therefore best to create directories using an actual EPS/ASR, and then copy the entire layout to the computer.

Zip is perhaps the ideal medium for this as it is easily readable in computers without SCSI. Zip drives are available in USB or IDE varieties and will work with almost any modern computer or operating system. In this way, Zip disks can be used to transfer data between samplers and computer without the use of SCSI.

SCSI2SD is another option which does not require a SCSI (PCI/ISA) interface for the computer, as the SD card can be used inside any card reader. Similarly, any storage for EPS/ASR which uses CompactFlash can be approached in the same manner.

Traditional “physical” SCSI hard drives can be used, but can only be connected to the computer via a SCSI interface such as Adaptec SCSI controller PCI cards.

– Use EnsoniqFS via Total Commander to copy directory structure from EPS/ASR drive to a virtual CD (ISO)

Note: While the article above pertains to Ensoniq floppies, the basic concepts of EnsoniqFS use are the same for other media. Please refer to it for basic EnsoniqFS operational techniques and information.

The ISO should be in Ensoniq format. Either start with a blank Ensoniq type ISO or copy an already existing Ensoniq CD-ROM ISO to a new file and then alter the contents of the newly copied file using EnsoniqFS.

– Copy EFE/EFA content to virtual CD (ISO)

This can be instruments, banks, and effects from other Ensoniq volumes like commercial CD-ROMs or custom content from Zip, floppy, or hard drive (SCSI2SD or physical). EFE files can also be created with Awave.

Note: The CD image cannot exceed the capacity of a CD-R, so should be limited in size to 650MB.

– Burn virtual CD (ISO) using ImgBurn


– If for some reason it would be impossible to transfer data from the sampler to the computer then Translator is another option which can be pursued for authoring CD-ROMs exclusively on a computer.

– EPSm (the app for classic Mac, not to be confused with the Ensoniq EPS rack) is capable of manipulating Ensoniq file systems, as well as communicating with EPS/ASR type SCSI storage, should such legacy equipment be available.

This is a great tool for moving Ensoniq data between various platforms which are otherwise incompatible.

– Giebler Ensoniq Disk Manager (EDM) can access Ensoniq SCSI and floppy media on legacy DOS/Windows systems.


– Create all content on the EPS/ASR, and save it to Zip 100MB. Use EnsoniqFS to make an ISO of the Zip disk (using a computer connected USB/IDE/SCSI Zip drive), and then burn the ISO with ImgBurn. This clearly limits the size of the created CD, but is a functional method.

To make a CD which exceeds 100MB, substitute the Zip disk with a higher capacity disk (ex: 1TB HDD) which has been formatted with either Total Commander or Translator to a size limit of only 650MB.

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