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Casio CZ-101




casio cz101 mini keys!
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audio demo trend price : 300€
manual factory demo video comments

Casio CZ-101 (1984)


Portable based on digital synthesis PD-Phase Distortion, strongly inspired by Yamaha FM technology.

phase distortion

pd synthesis waveforms

info KEYBOARD (weight: 3 Kg) 49 keys.
The main panel features a 16 x 2 lines display and 52 push buttons.
On the left side there is a single pitch wheel.

Terminal connectors:
- Midi interface (no Thru)
- cartridge slot
- line out
- headphones

acPower supply 6 X 1.5 V batteries or an external power supply type DC 9V negative in center. Original factory model is labeled AD-5.

system manages 8 digital voices based on PD synthesis.
A basic patch is composed by 1 or 2 DCO or LINES which are detunable digital sinewave-cosine oscillators processed by logic mathematical operations.
DCO LINES can be mixed with noise (no gain) or ringmodulated together with fixed depth.

simulated resonance

edit PHASE DISTORTION process periodically distorts the phase angle of the oscillator altering the harmonic content, consequently creating new rich waveforms, 8 to be precise in the CZ series.
The pattern of the distorted reading phase angle determines the DCO, while the amount of distortion of the reading phase angle (the depth) is determined by a dedicated EG DCW (digitally controlled wave) which transforms the harmonics from pure sine to full distorted wave (99 stepped values).

simulated resonance

edit WAVES each DCO is composed by 1 or 2 rich waves out of the 8 available.
The second wave follows the first one for each periodic cycle, thus creating even more waveforms. However there are some hardware restriction: it it not possible to mix 2 waves from group 2.
Following this rule, it is possible to obtain 33 different combo.

group1 group2
saw resonance saw
square resonance square
pulse resonance trapezoidal
double sine  

the 2 DCO lines can be set to 4 different path modes:
- line 1: just DCO1, 8 voices polyphony
- line 2: just DCO2, 8 voices polyphony
- line 1+2: DCO1 + DCO2, 4 voices polyphony with detune
- line 1+1: stacks 2 times DCO1, 4 voices polyphony with detune
In addition there are are some playmode functions:
- portamento time
- monophonic mode
- key transpose
- bender range

there are 3 EG for each line DCO (6 in total):
- DCW PD: 8-stages + 8 levels + 8 sustain points that determines the level at which a sound is held as long as a key is pressed
- DCO pitch: same structure as DCW
- DCA amplitude: same structure as DCW

lfo LFO
a single delayed amplitude modulator for DCA 1-2 at same time.
The LFO features variable depth and 4 waveforms:

midi MIDI
basic implementation but fully exclusive systems compliant for both edit and backup.
System compatible with Cz-1000.

memroy MEMORY
- 16 ROM sounds
- 16 RAM slots
- 16 RAM slots if card model Casio RA-3 is fitted.
RAM needs the internal 1.5V batteries to retain sounds (no lithium battery inside).

cz family models

many Cz editor: Czrider (atari ST), soundquest ($ mac/pc), Casio CZ-101 Patch Editor (max/msp) soundiver (pc, out of business).

atari st

memroy CZ FAMILY

cz family models

cz-1000: the same but bigger and normal keys plus membrane buttons

cz-3000: 16 voices 1 DCO or 8 voices 2x stacking 61 keys and chorus effect

: same as 3000 plus internal stereo speakers (also known as 2600s for other market)

tiny as cz101 but preset non editable + speakers + PCM drums

with (difficult) sequencer and 61 keys

the biggest with keys velocity with Aftertouch (no sequencer)

audio demo

effet Soundcloud CASIO CZ-101

demo1 3 tracks 3 tracks


Casio CZ-101 Demo Casio CZ 101 +cr8000 Casio Keyboard CZ-101
Demo with cr8000 Casio Keyboard

casio cz101

wiseman tip:

Reset CZ101 remove batteries for at least 10 minutes, then use thin object to push the rest button under the hood.



original scan



original scan



original scan



original scan




pd synthesis DCO LFO for vibrato EG CZ


- PD synthesis
- cute and easy to carry


- Display/ editing
- memory
-aliasing noise

geek stuff

"especially good for digital noises and droning. The Casio Cz-101 is not the most powerful of CZ family but surely the cutest and most sought-after for its cheap 80' design with minikeys. "

"So if your fingers are fabulous on a keyboard but all thumbs when it comes to things electronic, get a CasioCZ-101. For a little money you could make it very big" - Casio AD


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all snapshots, sounds, texts copyright Polynominal.com / Eric Pochesci

Casio cz101 4.5 out of 5 based on 27 ratings. price €300