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 10, 2013 @ 1:24 pm
Nabbed one these for a paltry $45 yesterday - *with* a flight case! I'd only heard a few short demos of Casio CZ-series gear before, but getting to experiment with it gave me a better feel for it. It's grittier and brighter where Yamaha FM is glassy and cool; the voice architecture is limited compared to the 4-op or 6-op FM synths, but with the dedicated waveshape envelopes it's a lot like having a 4-op FM synth stuck on algorithm 5, and the multiple waveforms give it a lot of sonic character - even in the presets there are sounds that rival some I've heard from my V50! Good stuff.
play with everything
May 6, 2013 @ 5:17 pm
This review isn't really so hot. Where else can you find a synth that sounds this good for 60-130 us dollars? I'd take this before i'd want a microkorg... over and over again
April 20, 2013 @ 2:12 pm
I also want to kno if the cz1000 can be used as a midi controller. I just bought one today in great condition for 5 bucks at a garage sale. I have the software fruity loops and pro tools but have yet to try it. I have a m audio interface to connect to my computer.
April 16, 2013 @ 2:29 pm
Does anybody know if this synth works well with midi controllers nowadays? I mean Korg Nano, Alesis, Behringer.
January 29, 2013 @ 2:37 am
I still use my CZ1000,I have it connected to my old Atari ST 1040 stfm.Software i use on the atari= CZ Ambient patch generator and Caged Artists CZ Rider.You can randomize sounds on the Atari and send them to the CZ1000.It creates öut of this world"sounds.Very modular-like.
I use it with a cartridge.
VSE Rating

It’s Good

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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