Equinox 61
Synthesizer Workstation

Generalmusic Equinox 61 review with audio demo

The Equinox is Generalmusic's last effort (so far) in the world of pure synthesizers (they do keep producing professional accompaniment keyboards, and to tell the truth, nowadays the difference between the two is blurring more and more).

The Equinox starts pretty much where their previous synthesizer, the incredible-sounding S-series, left off.  This machine is absolutely full of features: here's a concise list of what's available (from the manual:

• An immense database (16 Mb samples) with over 1000 preset
Sounds and user memory locations to store more than
2000 new sounds. 112 Performance memories and a Groove
machine featuring over 1000 user-programmable Grooves.
• Unique Drawbar mode for instant access to vintage electronic
organ sounds using the 8 panel sliders as drawbars with
key-click, percussion, overdrive, etc..

• 250.000 event, 16 track sequencer with advanced song editing facilities.
• Advanced Sound editing facilities with 64 note polyphony,128 digital filters with resonance, up to 6 oscillators per voice, 3 Lfos and up to 21 independent Envelopes with 10 segment resolution.
• Sample Translator to create user-samples and load new samples of the most popular formats (Wav (PC), Aiff (Mac), Akai™, Kurzwail™, Smp, Snd. Future os versions will allow loading of Roland™, Ensoniq™ and Emu™ samples.
• Full MIDI implementation - The Equinox is the perfect Master Controller for advanced MIDI set-ups (32 MIDI Channel control, 16 programmable Midi Zones, 8 programmable Sliders, 2 programmable Wheels, 3 assignable Pedals).
• Flash-ROM memory which allows the instrument’s memory to be instantly upgraded by simply inserting a special floppy disk in the drive.
• The Equinox can be fitted with optional memory (8 Mb backed Sample RAM and up to 32 Mb SIMMs), an internal Hard Disk (2 Gigabytes) and a SCSI port (compatible with CD-ROM, Zip™, Jaz™ external hard drives).

As you see, there's a lot to this instrument!

What strikes me most about this synth is that it can definitely sound analog (just like its predecessor did).  While it's purely sample-based, there's something about the way the sounds come across, that make it sound warm, not digital.  The quality effects also help a lot in producing some of the best sounds on board.

This is definitely a strong contender to the other workstations that came out at the same time, like the Korg Triton, Yamaha EX5, and Roland original Fantom.  For some reasons it wasn't popular enough, apparently due to the first OS that could have been better.  By the time the OS was improved, other workstations had come out and this ended in the forgotten back of the music store - until now! :-)



Generalmusic Equinox 61 Factory Performance audio demos

Stream all Performance demos below

Performance name with audio demo My comments
001 The Dream Superb, full synthesizer pad - you can morph components in and out using the eight sliders.
002 WaitForMe Sweet chorus pad with delayed percussion
005 DoTheStrat Very realistic Stratocaster guitar sound, with quality delays
006 ThePianist Standard concert grand piano - better in the high register than mid and low.
008 Galaxians Incredible epic mega-pad, very full!  Check the bass..
009 Epic Split Lovely split - a gentle string pad on the left, a soaring analog lead on the right
015 FilmStrngs Beautiful string ensemble
016 The Depths Definitely reminds of the sound character of the S-series.  Same programmers?
023 Tarkus Classic Keith Emerson modular Moog sounds (not from Tarkus, though?)
028 TheSnapper Powerful!  A lead synth that can take your head off
029 Silky Pad Classy synth
034 FiestaBras Happy brass :-)
036 Chinatown Nice Asian flavor
038 SetEmUpJoe Standard split - picked contrabass on the left, piano on the right.
042 CoolSunset Cosmic pad, very beautiful
054 Rave On Typical techno sounds
055 That Piano The obligatory "Foster stack" piano.
061 On The Run Nice arpeggiated synth on the left, lead on the right
062 Labyrinth S C A R Y... :-)
064 HeavnStack Very, very nice.  The perfect pad.
072 IceDream Subtle and elegant moving synth
073 Bibble Very realistic pipe organ!
074 Blusette Nice blues harmonica
076 OverYou Charming New Age sound
077 60'E.Piano Classic Fender Rhodes electric piano with tremolo

Generalmusic Equinox 61 Factory Sound audio demos

Stream all Bank A sounds below

Bank A
Sound name with audio demo My comments
001 Equinox Superb moving vector synth
004 Outburst Cute bouncy synth
007 RazorSolo Nice analog synth solo sound.
008 TranceMan Classic Trance lead
012 WappySawz Funny reso-synth
014 Arena Tron Synth + choir mix
017 SevenSynth Soaring flanged synthesizer
019 Its1985 Nice polysynth
020 303Like Quite similar, slide and all
023 CrossSharp Nice Clavinet sound
024 Soulfulead Typical Minimoog lead
025 TooAnalog Definitely sounds like it.
032 Maj7Stack Classic '90s dance hit
035 FvSleep Outstandingly beautiful, melancholic soft pad
041 RichPad Analog mega-pad
048 JMPluckPad Nice metallic ensemble
054 StereoFrm1 Nice voxy pad.
055 Stationer Excellent moving super-pad, floating in space
062 LifeCycle Deliciously detuned
071 DopePiano   :-)
076 Marimba3 Hyper realistic
083 Grunger Standard distorted guitar, nice.
085 NewPickBS Clean electric bass
086 Fretless1 Superb fretless electric bass
087 AcoustcBs4 Woody
090 HomeyBass Typical hip-hop bass of the '90s
091 RumpBass Nice analog synth bass
095 BleepBass Good mono synth bass
096 StringMass Powerful and full string orchestra
098 StereoSlow Sublime string ensemble, classy and useful for many genres
105 Choirshift Wonderful syn choir
107 Back Vocals Nice doo-wop vocals.
108 LotsaBoys Boys choir
114 SectBrass Realistic brass section
115 I'mSaxy Nice tenor
117 JazFunkOrg Sweet Hammond
118 DirtyOrgan Totally trashed :-)
121 BoatAnchor Solid accordion
123 Hittorlt Classic dance hit
128 OddSpace Bubbles


Stream all Bank B sounds below


Bank B
Sound name with audio demo My comments
001 Colossus Curiously reminds me of the '80s.
003 WarmSolo Exquisite jazz guitar
011 PowerPop Classic '80s analog brass synth a la Jupiter-8
013 BtSynth Waspy synth
016 FmIsh Very DX7 bass
017 ProphSaw Classic polysynth
025 DigiWave1 More Yamaha DX-series
031 MiniPulse Nice Minimoog with echo
044 RaveRip Cutting.
056 Mech_Wv Perfect for horror soundtracks!  ;-)
059 ToneZone3 Nice bouncy synth.
064 Inharm4 Different.
071 Eerie2 Yikes!
072 Eerie3 The twilight zone
075 JMHrdBass Very powerful bass
077 JMDigiBas Super bass
092 JMClasical Sweet synth
096 Vangelis 1 Typical Vangelis synth sound
097 Vangelis 2 Another one.
103 Soft Seq. Angelic, little fluffy clouds


Stream all Bank C sounds below

Bank C
Sound name with audio demo My comments
008 JMCoolPad Classy, spacious.
010 IcePad2 Nice digital, breathy synth.
014 Form2 Perfect synth vox
020 PpgPad Digital pad a la PPG obviously
026 CelloDream Mysterious and alluring..
038 BellPad03 More synth pad beauty
049 Marim Vox Cool combo
052 Synthex3 Like the Generalmusic S-series, the Equinox sports excellent Elka Synthex sounds.
055 Synthex6 More Synthex heaven.
066 JMZavPluk Plucky
067 JMIceRink Makes me smile..
076 JMZipPad '80s
079 PrettyPad1 Superbly cinematic.
098 JMNylonSyn Yes
102 Alf's Pad Gorgeous analog emulation!


Stream all Bank D sounds below

Bank D
Sound name with audio demo My comments
001 Submarin Underwater adventures!
003 Synkro Superb pulsating S&H synth
005 Yowww Piercing synth
006 Waiting Weird...
007 Waveaura If I remember correctly, the S-series had this preset also.
008 Budweis And this one too...
016 WindPlus Great wind effect.
021 Prodigy Nice!
023 Jets flying by.
029 Spect2 Nice filter.
031 BigSound and big reverb.
036 JimisDream Sweet dream...
074 JMNo Tone It's broken!  :-)

Stream all Bank E sounds below

Bank E
Sound name with audio demo My comments
001 PianoStage Cool cutting, chorused stage piano
008 DrewEP Typical FM electric piano
019 Santorinia Very nice Greek atmospheres
020 NylonGtr2 Realistic acoustic guitar.
034 LeadDist2 "Produced" electric distorted guitar.
043 FingAndSlp Nice velo-switch.
044 DanceBass Typical Korg M1 organ dance bass.
048 WowBass Outstanding analog reso-synth
055 Popcorn Classic :-)
059 Org Theatre Super tone with Leslie at full speed!
063 OrganC3 Superb '70s Progressive overdriven Hammond
079 Bandoneon2 Realistic!
082 Quartet Warm solo violin
097 Skyvox Marvelous soft pad, evolving.
099 Trumpet2 Honest trumpet.
116 BreathSopr Okay
121 LiscioSax Incredible liscio saxophone!  The "Liscio" is a typical ballroom dance style played especially in the Emilia Romagna region in Italy.  This totally nails the characteristic vibrato style of the instruments used for it.


Drawbar mode 

Hit a button, and the Equinox becomes a full-fledged Hammond!!!  Besides the sliders/drawbars, there are controls for click, percussion and Leslie speed.  You can also save your own organ creations, of course.  Very realistic :-)

001 Drawbars Just grab a few of the sliders and tweak :-) Also, great Leslie simulation.
002 B3 Rotary Typical "Hard Bop", Jimmy Smith '60s style sound
006 Full 1 and sweet.
007 Jazz 1 Perfect :-)
009 Gospel 1 Nice
014 ProcolHamm The classic "Whiter Shade Of Pale" sound.  Love that accelerating Leslie.
016 Dual Jazz Nice split.

Drum Kits

Several great-sounding drums on the Equinox.  Here are a few examples.

001 DRUMKIT_1 Nice and punchy
002 DRUMKIT_2 Like it's recorded on tape... very warm.
011 DK_HYBRID1 Contemporary set
012 DK_HYBRID2 Another modern set
016 DK_TEK'90A Classic electronic drums.
022 DK_HIPHOP Superb
026 DK_STD'70 Works for jazz/fusion too.
028 DK_ROCK The bass drums kills
031 JAZZ_KIT Very realistic.


A great feature on the Equinox is that you can create and assign full grooves to each single key.  Here are a few examples of what is possible to achieve:

001 COMBI1 Stunningly beautiful atmospheres
002 COMBI2 Very dancey
003 COMBI3 Totally groovy
004 FUNK MIX Excellent and funky - great programming
006 70s MIX Fusion'y
008 RAP split Modern
009 RnB split Classy
010 FUNK split Full, impressive
011 DEEP split Deep house sets
012 ROCK split Modern rock


Misc. sounds


Kanoun  On the Equinox, you can set a the Tuning Scale in different ways:  Equal tempered, Inverse, Mean Tone, Werckmeister, Arabian, and you can make your own.  For the Kanoun example, I used the Arabian scale to give it a more realistic vibe.

MYFLOW  demo song


ChoirAh & Uh  nice choir sounds


Jungle 1 & 2  a jungle demo



Features at a glance
Year of release:  
Responds to velocity:  
Sound generation method:  
Sound expansion capabilities:  


Generalmusic Equinox 61 pictures (click on thumbnails to enlarge)



SCSI Interface kit (from eBay 7424529802)

Generalmusic Equinox manual

available at www.generalmusic.com




SITE Type of resource DESCRIPTION