New Sounds For Vintage Casio CZ Synthesizers

CZsounds is a new site that offers custom patch libraries for the vintage Casio CZ line of synthesizers.

Here’s what the developer has to say about the site:

CZounds breathes new life into the Casio CZ synthesizer. The company launches with 5 custom patch sets. Each collection of 64 patches recreates the sounds of more than 10 classic synthpop songs.

Our patches come as .syx SysEx files and work with the CZ-101, CZ-1000, CZ-3000, CZ-5000 and CZ-1.

Our patches take full advantage of the CZ’s abilities and quirks, like built-in reverbs and key release effects. Each robust collection gives you deep basses, thick leads, punchy horns, shimmering synths, rich pads, and retro flavor galore.

Three patch libraries are currently available, priced at US $12 through the end of May, 2016 (normally $15). See the site for details and extensive audio demos.

via Mike Langlie

17 thoughts on “New Sounds For Vintage Casio CZ Synthesizers

  1. The bass from “Don’t you want me” sounds really good. The rest is just meh. Compilation of slightly altered patches that’ve been circling around for like two decades.

    1. Thanks for the comment on the Human League patch!

      By the way the patches are all programmed from scratch and are very close imitations of the original sounds from those songs. I actually did this project as a reaction to that big bunch of patches that everyone has been circulating for years, to give CZ users something new and musically usable.

  2. I had a CZ5000 back in the days… One of my greatest mistake was to sell it in order to buy a Roland U20.
    I still got the U20 and it really sucks… I miss my CZ so much

  3. I bought a CZ 1000 off Craigslist about a year ago. Haven’t really started using it until just this past weekend. Funny timing on this article. Anyhow, here’s the patches that CZsounds makes reference to on their site that have been floating around the internet for quite some time apparently.

    I’ve been using the ios CZ touch app on my phone for editing and sysex transmission both ways. It works great via the camera kit and Roland Um-one mk2.

    And this thing has the most musical Ring Mod I’ve ever heard.

  4. When I was in high school, I remember finding one of these in the band room, but I’m sure which one of the Casio CZs it was. I just remember how perplexing the synth was. I never figured out how to use the thing at all.

    1. Ah, the lovely Casio CZ synths…. they’re not really that hard to deal with besides the clunky 1980s LCD-and-membrane-key interface, though playing and layering presets is a breeze. Although it’s a digital synth, a classic CZ is programmed similarly to an analog subtractive synth, with the amount of phase distortion being analogous to filter cutoff frequency, and with filter resonance emulated to some extent by using the “resonance” waveforms. You can play it with single oscillators, doubled/detuned oscillators, or two arbitrary single-oscillator patch layers, and you can also add ring modulation and noise if desired. The 7-stage envelopes are terrific and allow for interesting things like sforzando, echo, tremolo, inverse-sounding envelopes, etc.. A CZ-101/1000 is up to 4-part multitimbral too….

      12 bits is enough for anyone. 😉

  5. Thanks for posting this. Highly usable and not much in common with that old set of patches. I can understand someone not liking them based on a disinterest in the CZ sound in general. But if you like CZ than its a really nice offering for a synth series that I think deserves it.

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