Casio RZ-1

Casio RZ-1 Image

Casio's RZ-1 came out in 1986 and in its time, it was pretty good. It has 12 PCM sampled drum sounds - basic sounds, and nothing to get excited about either. They included 3 toms, kick, snare, rim, open/closed hh, ride, crash, cowbell and clap. They don't sound like real drums, but they do sound electronic and maybe a little different than more common Roland and Linn drum machines. They have been used in lots of Hip Hop and House tracks.

A real special feature (for its time) was on-board sampling designed to let you create up to four of your own percussion sounds. Now, the sampling specs are pretty bad with just a 20kHz sample rate and only 0.2 seconds of sample time per each of the four sample pads (or one 0.8 second sample). Its a very lo-fi sound, which may be a good thing. The only editing you can do with your samples is a simple low-pass tone adjust.

The built-in sequencer is fairly easy to work with. Just create some patterns (up to 100) and chain these patterns into songs (up to 20 songs). There are ten individual outputs and volume sliders for every sound. Well, some sounds have to share outputs and sliders as there are 16 sounds: Rim+Snare, Sample1+Sample2, Sample3+Sample4, Cowbell+Crash, Clap+Ride and Open+Closed HH. Kind of cool and a little different but certainly nothing to fall in love with here. It's been used by Prince Paul, Autechre, Steve Poindexter, DJ Mike Smooth, Raw Dope Posse, Christian Vogel and lots more.

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25 Visitor comments
July 11, 2013 @ 7:37 pm
It's a great drum machine. I have one, it's perfect for house, hip hop etc. I love it.
December 27, 2012 @ 11:20 pm
This Machine's Preset Sounds were supervised by Yukihiro Takahashi (Drummer and Vocal and Synthsizer player of YMO: Yellow Magic Orchestra)
Misfit Zombie
September 12, 2012 @ 11:12 pm
RZ1 + ARP AXXE = endless lofi analog drum sounds. I had a buddy give me this a few years back. I'm a bit pretentious towards my vintage drum machines. Thought it looked like a [beep] drum machine so it sat tucked away in my studio. Then as things would have it, a few months ago I got really high and thought I should try to play around with it. The drum sounds are decent, not quite my 707 but close, though the sampler is brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. I make drum sounds on my ARP AXXE and pipe them into the sampler. Now I couldn't see myself making music without this thing.
Joey Swails
August 30, 2012 @ 10:17 pm
Henry: Open it up and look for something that looks like a battery! It may look like a big watch battery (I think it will) or a short cylinder like a AA with wires coming out of each end. If it's a big watch battery it may be soldered in place with a glob of solder on top. Just carefully heat up the glog with a soldering iron and pluck it out with needle-nosed pliers. Then use whatever numbers are stamped on it to find a replacement. (It's probably 3 volt.) Get the replacement and reinstall it with a glob of solder on top. Good luck!
August 14, 2012 @ 1:45 pm
Just picked up one for $120--what a wonderfully simple beast. Quick question: the battery in mine seems to be shot, any idea how one replaces it/what to replace it with? I've heard it's got a factory installed batt that's soldered in...
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Rated 3.32 (256 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 - 16 voices
  • Oscillators - 12 PCM sounds (Tom1, Tom2, Tom3, Snare, Kick, Rim, Open HH, Closed HH, Ride, Crash, Clap, Cowbell)
  • Sampler - 0.8 seconds over four 'Banks'
  • Sequencer - 100 Patterns and 20 Songs
  • Effects - None
  • Keyboard - 16 Pads
  • Control - MIDI IN, OUT, THRU
  • Date Produced - 1986

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