LFO RATE TABLE
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A Better Rate of Return:

Understanding Rates will help you master your LFOs

Oh no. More numbers.  What are these for?

The Low Frequency Oscillators (LFOs) on your ESQ series synth don’t just cycle at some arbitrary, mystical value.  The numbers you enter between 1 and 63 equate to definite time values (in milliseconds).  Use this table to translate your LFO rates to your desired real-world values.

(continued after table)

Ensoniq ESQ/SQ80/SQ8X/SQ8L LFO Time Table

LFO
Frequency
Value

Milliseconds per cycle

LFO
Frequency
Value

Milliseconds per cycle

00
01
02
03
04
05
06
07
08
09
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31

None
30272
10727
7144
7996
6808
4300
3060
1552
1030
0780
0618
0512
0448
0388
0351
0308
0278
0255
0242
0232
0205
0195
0182
0170
0170/0158
0158
0146
0145
0133
0133
0122

32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63

0121
0121/0109
0109
0109
0108/0097
0096
0096
0096/0084
0097/0084
0097/0084
0084
0084
0084/0073
0084/0072
0084/0072
0084/0072
0072
0072
0072
0072/0061
0072/0060
0072/0060
0072/0060
0060
0060
0060
0060
0060
0060/0049
0060/0048
0060/0048
0048

For example, if you would like a triangle wave LFO to cycle about four times a second for a nice DCA tremolo effect, look up the rate for 1/4 a second on the table (250 milliseconds). You’ll see that a value of 18 comes very close (255 ms).
You can use our handy calculator if you’re not used to thinking in milliseconds. Otherwise, just remember that there are 1000 milliseconds in a second. 

  • The slowest LFO rate, one, cycles the LFO once every half minute. 
  • The fastest rate, 63, flips the LFO over at the insane rate of 1250 times a minute!
Pop quiz: How fast would the LFO have to cycle before it becomes audible to human ears?
Extra Credit: Why do values in the middle and high end cluster at (or near) identical times while the slower rates shoot off toward up to 20 seconds between each value?
Hint: Think logarithmically...

Use this time and tempo tool to help you select an LFO frequency.

For example, if You are trying to hit a tempo of 120 BMP, enter 120 in the tempo box and click OK. The time in milliseconds is calculated.

Now look up the closest “Milliseconds per cycle” time in the table.  --The LFO frequency value is listed beside it.

Note: Do not enter spaces or other non-numeric data in the tempo calculator. 

 

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