The Casio CZ-1000 is a vintage (80s) Phase Distortion Synthesis synthesizer, that’s basically a CZ-101 with full-size keys.
It offers 8-voice polyphony and a 49-key full-size keyboard. A two oscillator per voice option lets you get thicker sounds, but reduces the polyphony to 4 voices.
The CZ’s aren’t true classic synths, but they are reliable and offer a great vintage synth value.
If you’ve used the Casio CZ-1000 synthesizer, leave a comment with your thoughts!
- Casio CZ-1000 editor librarian at SoundQuest
The Casio CZ-1000 is a digital synthesizer with the “phase distortion” synthesis. It came out 1985 and it was one of the first low cost synthesizers with MIDI multimode.
The CZ-1000 looks like something between Yamaha DX7 and Korg Poly-800. Like the Korg Poly-800, it can run with batteries. The CZ-101 is virtually the same, it just has small keys.
Casio had the idea to develop a digital synth with modern digital sounds, which is easy to program like an analog synth. Indeed, it uses similar terminology (DCO, DCW, DCA) – if you understand subtractive synthesis, the CZ will be also easy for you to understand.
Instead of real filters, you have the DCW – this is the unit, which distorts the phase of the DCO. Resonance is not available, but you can produce similar sounds with special DCO waveforms. There are 8 waveforms, two of them can be used at once.
It has portamento, monophonic / polyphonic modes and cartridge storage. Like the original DX7, the display is not backlit.
The Casio can produce digital and analog-style sounds. Great house organs can be produced. Some “filter sweep” sounds are interesting (the bass in the movie). But other analog-style sounds are a bit static and boring to my ears, I would recommend the Casio for digital sounds – not for the analog sounds. Analog sounds are better on the competitor Korg Poly-800.
The timing of the sound engine is not the best – a three notes chord causes a significant delay between notes (you can hear it in the movie). But okay, it was a small budget synth.
In the video I played the CZ-1000 with a Lexicon MPX 500 reverb.
Vince Clarke used to have one in the eighties.