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
August 11, 2010 @ 12:43 pm
i owned this synth for over 15 years now, got it in a trift shop for $90, including its original casio hard case, which was already worth the paid price. guess what? this thing is built like a tank - still working and all. and i like it so much that i even bought its smaller doppelganger, the cz101.
July 4, 2010 @ 10:25 pm
This is a fun thing; you can really get straight in the sounds easily and if you know what you're doing, and are constantly striving in 2010 to make thrilling, engaging and spellbinding music you could legitimately summon some great sounds everyone's forgot about out of it.

Really great for basslines and industrial (yuck) noises, terrible for pads, useless for leads.

The noise function has been used on countless records since the early 80's, layer it with the spooky Synth String patch and run it through a low-pass filter for some truly mesmerizing effects
May 22, 2010 @ 7:56 pm
I´ve got a CZ-1000. I love it's 80's sounds, and I still use it in some musics with some presets and edited patches. A wonderful cheap keyboard for people who can make good music from old machines.
Son of MooG
April 24, 2010 @ 7:27 am
Sold mine for a DX-100 and never regretted it. Only the envelopes of the CZ were nice and sometimes missed...
March 6, 2010 @ 9:29 am
someone did..
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User Rating

Rated 3.56 (467 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • 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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