Casio FZ-1

Casio FZ-1 Image

The Casio FZ-1 is an impressive sampler/synthesizer keyboard from 1987. Its offerings at the time were very professional features. In an 8-voice polyphonic full 61-note keyboard synthesizer you get a 16-bit digital sampler with variable 9kHz to 36kHz sampling rates. 1MB of memory expandable to 2MB could provide a maximum time of almost 2 minutes sample time at 9kHz. Up to 64 samples can be held in memory and placed across the keyboard. Graphic editing on the big LCD screen provides intuitive and easier editing of your samples with tuning, truncating, looping and much more. It also has eight outputs and analog-like 8-stage filters (DCF) and envelopes (DCA).

Casio FZ-10M Image

FZ-10M

Surprisingly the FZ-1 also has a built-in synthesizer section. It uses digital synthesis employing both harmonic additive synthesis and waveform drawing. Basic waveforms available include sawtooth, square, pulse, double sine, saw/pulse, random waves and 48 harmonics. The FZ-10M (pictured above) is the rack-module version of the FZ-1 with 2MB internal memory and XLR inputs and outputs. Dated by today's standards, the FZ-1 is a neat piece of Casio history to own but could never replace your current sampler. With the look and features you'd expect from a vintage pro-sampler, this Casio has been used by Underworld, Kronos Quartet, Dee Lite, 2 Live Crew, and Kitaro.

Hohner HS-1 Image

The Hohner HS-1 is a German version of the Casio FZ-1. Only its case is light in color. This version has been used by Coldcut.

Lookup Casio FZ-1 Prices

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45 Visitor comments
Supervillain
December 26, 2008 @ 5:22 pm
I got a FZ-1 in the early 90's and I really fell in love with it. This is an amazing sampler and it is actually easy to work with. It has a very good performance and can without a doubt be used as a master keyboard. Well built but very heavy.
Benke
December 24, 2008 @ 6:54 pm
I bought a FZ1 when it was released, i was stunned, the S50 nor the
Emu's was even near the ease of use and the quality of sound it
provided. Its basically a next generation PC (186 cpu) controlling
Casio custom synth ASIC's and had genuine VCF and VCA's, it
was a real contender to the Fairlight , what else was 16 bit?
Casio had a big plan of page R like and various synth building
DSP programs, the only thing unfortunately they released was a
poly sequencer! Casio made some major mistakes, the first revs
of the FZ1 had DD floppies then changed without notice to customer
or resalers to HD, sounds done on a DD FZ1 could not be read by
the HD equipped FZ1 wich ruined your sample library! Fortunately
there was not to many DD units released.

Shame Casio dropped the sampler/synth market they could have been market leaders today in both segments if they had continued.
Gothicgrave
November 19, 2008 @ 1:01 pm
When one listens the word "Casio", automatically think of a small family keyboards with lights indicating what key needs to press... But this heavy machinery is incredible! For a few bucks, you can have an amazing sampler, with advanced editing features and a section of synthesizer. It is also excellent for use as a MIDI controller!
Ralph Hart
October 4, 2008 @ 3:05 pm
The FZ1 had been something of a problem child for me, its user interface is not particularly friend and many of the sounds I created were not that good. Having read the Casio FZ1 companion book it all now makes a lot more sense, the sounds I have started creating are much much better. I don't really use the sampling function (tho' I should) 'cos the Akai X-7000 is much easier to use.
Marc
October 3, 2008 @ 8:43 am
It's built like a tank! Not a bad sound to it using the onboard synthesis. sampler is actually easy to use once you have either replaced the back light for the LCD or increased the contrast. Disk drive is still working on mine, but because casio decided to use a non standard FD they can be tricky to replace.
 
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  • 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.
  • Demos & Media
  • Audio Clip 1 - Here's a demo from the Honer HS-1 version. It has a resonant bass-line with filter sweeps, electro-drums and a few lead synth blips and bleeps.

  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 8 voices
  • Sampler - 16-bit, 9kHz - 36kHz variable sample rate; Sample-time: 58 seconds max. at 9kHz, 14.5 seconds at 36kHz
  • Effects - None
  • Filter - DCF 8-stage Filter
  • Keyboard - 61 keys with velocity and aftertouch
  • Memory - 1MB internal, 3.5"HD
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1987

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