Casio CZ-101

Casio CZ-101The Casio CZ-101 is sometimes viewed as little more than a toy due to the synthesiser featuring mini-keys rather than a full-size keyboard. Furthermore the only other instruments Casio had produced were the VL-Tone calculator/synth range. Even though the CZ-1000 was released at the same time (1985) as the CZ-101 (same synth but with a full sized keyboard) the 101 still proved incredibly popular and it features on many professional recordings and used right up until the present day.


More About The Casio CZ-101
Casio CZ-101 Specifications
Notes About The Casio CZ-101
Famous Casio CZ-101 Users
Casio CZ-101 Samples


More About The Casio CZ-101

In the 1980s the Yamaha DX7(released 1983) reigned supreme but was rather expensive for many. The CZ-101 was Casio's take on Yamaha's method of synthesis (although very similar to Yamaha DX synthesisers the CZ range was sufficiently different to avoid copyright issues) made available for much less expense. The Casio CZ's also appeared to present their Digital Phase Distortion synthesis in a much more approachable fashion than the Yamaha synths.

Although the CZ didnot feature filters it was possible to create similar movement in the tone by careful editing and it could manage to create some sounds somewhat similar to analogue synths. One of the most impressive aspects of the Casio synths was that they featured three 8-stage envelopes.

With such an interesting method of sound synthesis it is little surprise that the CZ synths had a certain character. Like most synths of the day the CZ really came to life with the use of guitar footpedals and external effects. Using the CZ as a sound source to run through external filters it is possible to create some amazing sounds which compare extremely well against far more powerful (and expensive) synthesisers. Of course the CZ can produce some sounds which cannot be produced by any other synth and it is actually very surprising how much bass is produced by them. Even more surprising is the the CZ synths can actually sound rather fat while also being able to produce thin tones when required.


Casio CZ-101 Specifications

  • Polyphony: 8 notes
  • Oscillators: 2 DCOs with a choice of 8 waveforms, noise and ring modulation
  • Filter: None but has a DCW stage with 8 stage envelope which alters the Phase Angle
  • LFO: Vibrato
  • Control: Midi
  • Keyboard - 49 note mini-keyboard
  • Manufactured 1985


Casio CZ-101 Notes

Tuning of the CZ101 and CZ1000 can prove rather tricky, especially if it has been retuned by another user. Sometimes it would appear that no matter to what extreme you alter the "Master Tune" the keyboard will not reach concert tuning. In such a situation it is highly likely that the keyboard's key has been changed. In many ways I feel that the "Key Transpose" button should be called the Master Tune and the "Master Tune" button renamed to "Fine Tune".


Casio CZ-101 Famous Users

The following artists are all known to have used this synth: Cirrus, Vince Clarke, Jimmy Edgar, Moby, Jimi Tenor and They Might Be Giants. There are, most probably, many more famous users who have chosen not to include this lowly synth in amongst their collections of prestigious synths of the past. Users of the Casio CZ-1000 include Eat Static and Vince Clarke.



Casio CZ-101 / CZ-1000 SAMPLE PACK (more info)

  Casio CZ 101

Kontakt, EXS24 + WAV


Contains over 200 CZ-101 sound patches sampled at 24-Bit resolution

PRICE: £17.77

P&P: £1.99 (UK ONLY)

TOTAL: £19.76


Please Note:

This collection is only available in Kontakt, EXS24 & Wav.


Our sample DVD collection includes over 200 multisampled patches for maximum authenticity. To create the 2 DVD collection we took nearly 10,500 individual samples. For demo tunes please see our page about our Casio CZ 101 / CZ 1000 Sample Collection