Casio CZ-1000

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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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Demos & Media

CASIO CZ-1000 Digital Synthesizer 1985
by
AnalogAudio1
Audio Clip 1 Some sample sounds and hits (actually from the CZ-101).
ManualOwner's Manual
Sound Synthesis HandbookScanned and submitted to us by Olaf Wagner.
Sound Data HandbookScanned and submitted to us by Olaf Wagner.

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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Images from Synth Site.