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
80s Hack
September 15, 2010 @ 10:09 am
I had one of these in my HS band in 1987. We used it for the cowbell on Honky Tonk Woman only, and then used the sampler to make digital fart noises. We were in our HS Sr. Talent show and played a few songs and miked the fart noises and set off a sequence of them much to the crowds amusement. Not a real valid instrument IHMO. But was a BARGAIN... a STEAL... at $699 in 1987. I was a moron.
My name
August 9, 2010 @ 3:40 am
The RZ-1 is a very good machine! Too bad I don't have one but luckily there's some vintage drum machine samples here: http://samples.kb6.de/downloads.php
Densmore
January 21, 2010 @ 3:05 pm
DBX all so used this on his Losing Control EP in 1994
og acid
October 21, 2009 @ 7:26 pm
this is the original drum machine used for chicago house and acid house. a must have if you want that sound! goes good with a tr-707 and a tb-303
eon
October 7, 2009 @ 5:50 pm
Sounds are a bit on the dull side but its very easy to use and can you very quickly get some patterns going. Great for triggering other devices,,, ideal learning tool
 
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Humdrum

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Rated 3.32 (256 Votes)

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  • 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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