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Microphone Month 4

Sweetwater Forums [Archived]

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thoughts on a casio cz-101

mc_mayhem

i need a (relatively) cheap keyboard to make some noise (i am not an accomplished pianist) in my g4/dp2.7/reason setup...
how would the 101 work out? any other users?
i dont need midi right now, but i am open to hearing the benefits of using it...
thanks in advance..
January 8, 2002 @09:23pm
Bob

I don't know about the Casio keyboards but Yamaha certainly has a winner at any price range with their PSR series keyboards. There are songwriters all over the place using these things and they have models for under $200.
January 8, 2002 @09:35pm
atma

it certainly depends on what kind of music you're interested in making. the CZ synths have a pretty unique sound, but it's not a modern kind of sound.
one of my friends uses a couple of CZ synths (he releases music under the name "Metamatics", you can check out his albums "Neo Ouija" or "Spook Tinsel Shoal", etc.) and he gets great results with them.
however, it's still more a matter of context. if you're looking for a keyboard with real instrument sounds, then you're looking in the wrong place. if you're looking for more of an older style electronic sound at a cheap price, i'd go for it. you can always sell it on ebay (for probably what you paid for it) if it's not your flavour.
Also keep in mind that they dont have a lot of memory for patches that you program, and it's not really like a preset synth. you do have to program your own sounds with it in a way similar to how an older analog synth's parameters are programmed / adjusted. so it might take a bit of time to figure out exactly how to use it. hope that helps..
January 9, 2002 @04:08pm
mc_mayhem

i am not so interested in accurate replication of 'real' sounds (what makes a sound real anyway?), but more a noise maker with a keyboard interface. My keyboard playing is limited, but i think the cz series may be a good fit. (i understand the waveform programming concepts-its all just physics anyway, right?).....
any thoughts on its midi capabilities tho. or thoughts on why i would even want to use midi? i like the idea, but my 20 years of cello havent really translated into piano skills other than the rhythm. so i wont be playing particularly complex parts anyway...
thanks
January 9, 2002 @05:37pm
atma

well again, it really depends on what you're going to be doing. midi has a lot of interesting applications, but you may find you don't have any use for it at this point. however, it can be pretty nice to have things hooked up with midi for a few different reasons. i just have an older roland keyboard hooked up via midi into my computer, which i use to play software synthesizers. so if you're using something like reason, which has sampling capabilities and softsynths, etc. this would definately come in handy. you could trigger samples or software synths by playing your midi synth. alternately, you could program something in your sequencer as midi data, and send it out to your CZ synth, which would then play whatever you had programmed. you could then set different sounds on the CZ and it would still play back the melody (or whatever) you'd programmed in your sequencer.. if that makes sense. keep in mind you'd also have to consider getting some kind of midi interface for your pc, and probably a decent soundcard that has acceptable latency (the time it takes for midi data to be transmitted from one thing to another, which can cause a bit of lag from the time you press a note and actually get a response on the other end). it's a good idea to do a bit of research to figure out exactly what your needs are, and then decide what kind of gear meets those needs.
January 9, 2002 @05:52pm
mc_mayhem

i have a motu 2408 for latency free input into the computer, and i have considered the possibility of hooking up a midi keyboard to reason (or reaktor if i find $). the only cz series w/ a sequencer is the 5000 (i think). regardless, if i buy one keyboard, i am sure i will buy 3 more if i like it and get into it (eyes on dx7 and d50).
i guess my only question would be as to the quality of the midi interface on the cz series? i know it doesnt have a thru port, so it would have to be on the end of a chain (but for me, the chain is 1 anyway).
or is there even any variation as to the qual of midi hookups? i am in the dark on this...
thanks
January 9, 2002 @09:43pm
jlacasel

I have a CZ-1000 (similar to the 101), the first "pro" synth that I ever purchased (if you want to call it "pro"). Honestly, back in the mid 1980s it was OK, but today the sounds seem weak to me, and the polyphony is limited.
Another consideration is that this is an older MIDI implementation. Long ago I tried slaving it to a newer keyboard and found that it didn't respond to everything I sent it (I'm thinking that was velocity-sensitivity or aftertouch, but again, that was probably 10-15 years ago and memory fails me).
IMHO, I'd go with a newer synth. If building with waveforms is your thing, I believe Yamaha, Waldorf and Nord are good choices. Or if a low-cost synth is what you are after, how about a Yamaha home system, or a Roland sound module?
January 9, 2002 @10:35pm
ODARELLMC

MC-MAYEM, SINCE REASON HAS ITS OWN SYNTHESIS, AND IN ORDER TO MAKE A CZ UNIT SOUND INTERESTING YOU REALLY NEED SOME OUTBOARD (OR PLUG-IN) PROCESSING TO MAKE IT SOUND HALFWAY DECENT, JUST INVEST IN A USB KEYBOARD CONTROLLER TO CONTROL YOUR SOFTWARE. SWEETWATER SELLS THEM AT RELLY AFORDABLE RATES.:D
January 9, 2002 @10:37pm