Casio CZ-1000

Casio CZ-1000 Image

Coming from Casio you might assume entry-level and that just about sums up the CZ-1000. Fortunately it's become known for having a surprisingly good 8-stage envelope. It also uses Phase Distortion (PD) synthesis so it is quite capable of some cool digital/analog sounds! PD is Casio's own take on digital synthesis from the mid-eighties and is found in all of their CZ series. You basically modify digital waveforms (sine waves) to create various sounds. It can create wild new sounds, notably percussive sounds. But it's not too easy to program if you don't know much about waveform theory and design.

Three sets of 8-stage envelope sections are used to modulate your sounds extensively. The first is used to modify the DCO pitches over time. Another 8-stage envelope section in the DCW is used to modify the Phase Angle over time (like filtering). Finally the DCA amplifier also has an 8-stage envelope to modify the volume of sounds over time. For further tweaking the CZ-1000 employs some surprisingly analog effects. Four types of Vibrato make up a simple LFO-type section with triangle, square, ramp up or down waveforms as well as rate, depth and delay settings. Portamento adds that classic glide effect from one note to the next. Double up on the oscillators with 4-note polyphony. Built-in noise and ring modulation. It's also MIDI equipped with 4 monophonic multitimbral parts. However, with only 32 patches (16 preset, 16 user) storage is a bit slim.

The CZ-1000 is a CZ-101 with full sized keys. It is succeeded by the CZ-3000 and CZ-5000 which really fatten up the synth and provide more professional features and looks. However the CZ-1000 is without a doubt the best low-cost means of truly useable sounds for pads and lead synth sounds. It was used by Vince Clarke and Eat Static.

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39 Visitor comments
October 3, 2008 @ 8:47 am
I really like this synth, has a very dirty bright type sound, and of course very 80s. Can produce some intresting sounds when you start programming, but do remember it uses batteries to store memory, or you have to leave it plugged in.
Walter Slavik
October 1, 2008 @ 12:01 am
I bought my CZ1000 new in 1985, I still have it, it works perfectly after 23 years of use. The only thing that doesn't work is the dual tone mix for leads, but that occurred after I loaned it to a fool who made some slight but reparable damage to it.
I still use it regularly in my studio, for it's inbuilt sounds and as a midi controller for a Roland SH 32 synth module, I also use it control soft synths on the computer like Reason, Absynth etc.
After starting with a KORG MS 20, I found it easy to program on the Casio, it is a very reliable and versatile synthesizer for $150 or $700 Australian, that I paid for in 1985.
Analogue Crazy
September 5, 2008 @ 8:33 am
This baby got me hooked on the CZ series. Iv upgraded to a CZ-5000 but i always remember how great the CZ-1000 was. I will confess to slinging it on while gigging several times. I looked right 80's.
Oneki Kai
August 26, 2008 @ 8:57 pm
As I said in the VZ-10M page, reFX makes a VST plugin with this synthesis technology, but much better sounding. I'm not trying to advertise for them, they're just the only one I know of that makes a Phase Distortion software synth.
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  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 8 notes (8 oscillators)
  • Oscillators - Digital Phase Distortion Synthesis (sine, saw, square, pulse, resonance, double-sine, saw-pulse)
  • #Instruments - 4 part multitimbral
  • DCW - 8-stage envelope generators with level and rate controls with Key Follow (Adjusts Phase Angle)
  • DCA - 8-stage envelope generators with level and rate controls with Key Follow (Adjusts Volume)
  • Keyboard - 49 keys
  • Memory - 16 preset, 16 internal and 16 cartridge patches
  • Control - YES
  • Date Produced - 1985

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