This Casio CZ-5000 Demo Is The Bullet Train To Synth Town

We’re not sure what we just saw – but the 80’s-tastic soundtrack is like the bullet train to synth town.

This video pairs a soundtrack, by Lazzarus, with the animated Gandahar by René Laloux (1988).

All the sounds come from a Casio CZ-5000 Phase distorsion synthesizer (1985), a big brother of the CZ-101 mini-keyboard.

Lazzarus has clearly spent a lot of time on sound design on the CZ-5000, because, if you’re expecting cheesy CZ presets, you’ll be surprised.

Check it out and share your thoughts on the sound of the Casio CZ-5000 in the comments!

25 thoughts on “This Casio CZ-5000 Demo Is The Bullet Train To Synth Town

  1. Awesome video. To those that have said the CZ’s were “toys” in other posts, you really have no clue as to what these synths could do for the $$$. When I worked for Guitar Center long ago I sold 30 CZ-5000’s to one of the larger school districts for their music lab. My bonus was a free CZ-5000. I already had 2 CZ-1000s in my live setup but the 5000 was a very cool addition to my studio.

    1. Hi Colin, VirtualCZ developer here.

      An update is in the works. My feeling is that in VST land you can do much more flexible layering yourself with mutliple copies of the synth. If you want to drop me an email about how you think it should work, you can find my email here…

      1. Any chance you could make it compatible with the VZ-8M to use as an editor. I love mine but am too lazy to try and edit any patches, its jus a rack with a few buttons but sounds awesome

  2. As a teenager I had a 3000 because it was the only affordably synth for me at the time, and I used it a lot. The CZ-1 was the one to dream of though, with velocity, aftertouch, and — the most missed feature on my 3000 — a backlit LCD.

  3. When I was using hardware I always had a CZ in the mix and usually more than one. Gear snobs may look down on them but they are just as viable as any other synth and the price to performance ratio is incredible. Also, they are easier to program than many “big name” synths.

  4. I had a cz101 and CZ1000……..what a cool little affordable synth. back in the day. Many happy memories taking it to Spain with some headphones discovering the new world of synthesis.
    There is a lot of love on here for the CZ!

  5. CZ5000 and VZ10M plus some mini keys including the vocoder one at mine. I have never managed to get my CZ sounding this good. It’s been the cliche that Casio’s aren’t toys for about 20 years. It’s it even worth a comment? By me, yes!!

  6. I had a CZ-101 because it made for a powerful module that really beefed up my old sampler, Junos & DW6000. I learned enough to make it a good partner, so I love the recent videos where it shows off its real balls. Oli is right on target: using more than once instance of CZ is a smart move. Phase distortion is FM’s grittier cousin. Put it under some Juno strings and feel the synth luv.

  7. I remember those. A friend had one and I messed with it some. It had some great sounds and I never understood the thin thing, it has thick sounds but very digital. Cool vid and song!

  8. Casio rules …always has
    Friend of mine back in the day, let me borrow his wood grain Casio…still miss that thing to this day

  9. It’d better if the Casio CZ app supported sysex patches. I would import my favorites in there. Also it’s only Inter-app audio instead of AU. So, I haven’t used much.

  10. Thanks Oli for creating VirtualCZ! It turned me onto CZ synths. Would love to hear what’s planned for the update. Typically, I find or create patches on my CZ101 with Patch Base and then port them over VirtualCZ via iCloud for further automation/mangling in Ableton.

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