SQ-80 Polyphonic Aftertouch

Hey guys I’m hoping you can help. I picked up an SQ-80 used locally. Everything seems to work fine on it except the aftertouch. I took the keybed apart and cleaned it, but that didn’t seem to help.

Any ideas on how to diagnose and fix it?

Thank you,


On the SQ-80 (and other Ensoniq keyboards with poly aftertouch), there are no real ‘parts and pieces’ that make up the aftertouch - in other words, there’s no real hardware to fix or tweak up. It is all done in software. There are a lot of details in this episode of Synth Wizards:

So if things aren’t working, it comes down to making sure things are set correctly, and making sure a sound is programmed to use aftertouch as a modulator.

You might try reinitializing if you don’t get any joy. And then program a sustaining sound using aftertouch as a modulator of the oscillators, with a very high depth, and see if pressing the keys then makes the pitch change.

Please let us know the results!

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Thanks for the reply Sam! The hard reset did it!

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I’m having a similar problem with the aftertouch on my SQ-80, except in my case it seems to work on some keys (mostly black keys, a few white keys) but not all. No change after factory reinit except maybe a few more keys work (should have written down which ones were working and which were not before I did the reset!)