Casio FZ-1 - FZ-10M - FZ-20M
Added: 17-Dec-98 | Author: admin
New price: Out of production | S/H price: £ 100 - 200 ish
Casio FZ-1 - FZ-10M - FZ-20MCasio made a few variations based on 1 or 2 meg of memory...The FZ1 is a standard 1 mb sampler expandable to 2 mb...the FZ10M is the equivilant module/rack version...and there was the FZ20M...which came with the 2 mb upgrade installed....also, at the bottom of the page is a link to a site where you will find details of how to upgrade to 4 mb of ram !!...(not a casio upgrade)
Casio is an interesting story.... In the late 80's, they had an excellent range of equiptment.. A comprehensive range of synths...midi drum kit... drum boxes with sampling ability...and the FZ samplers, the first major company 16 bit sampler... But, they were never taken seriously maybe because of the connection to consumer home-keyboards (hasnt stopped yamaha tho !!.... i dunno what it is... people say Casio.... and they go DUR.... but they made good kit.....Now the fact that no-one could ever get in touch with anyone every time they called the Casio offices, may have had something to do with it.....I remember trying over & over to get details of their kit.....only to be always told..."There's no-one in the office right now"....... maybe that wzzed folks off too... but in the end i guess they made a corporate descision to drop the market.... shame... their samplers were quite innovative, and their "phase-distortion" synths offer some very interesting sounds.... the CZ101 is a right old bass machine actually.
The FZ Sampler was the first commercially available 16 bit sampler on the market from a major manufacturer......and was pretty ahead of it's time.......The FZ Samplers offered a synthesis section only rivaled by the soon to arrive excellent E-mu products...(although the synthesis on the E-mu stuff was real analog, & the Casio's were Digital)......yet the casio was priced if i remeber at about £ 999 ... believe it or not the Emax was 2800 !!!!!!... whenb released in the UK..... as i said... it's a good sampler that emax !!....anyways....
The FZ's are 8 note poly (usual for this age), & can contain up to 64 samples in ram.. again, usual.....they have stereo & 8 individual mono outs.....The keyboard can be mapped in loads of different ways...even with velocity split.....
From the point of view of ease of use & library, the FZ's aint that hot, but along with the Emax range, they do offer fairly comprehensive synthesis in a sampler at a budget s/hand price....The FZ range utilising LFO's, DCA 8 step envelopes, and DCF envelopes... & assignable DCF's..... The LFO's can be assigned to DCA depth, & DCF depth.... Also you can assign velocity & aftertouch to DCO level & rate, and DCF level & rate & resonance... aftertouch also assigns LFO to DCA & LFO to DCF as well... Pretty good huh ?
You can also blend two copies of a sample together in "Mix mode" or blend different samples.....In either mode you can append one sample to another including setting X-fade parameters, and/or the 2nd voice can be detuned, delayed or both to create chorus & ADT FX etc.
Interestingly, the FZ range also allows you to enter a "Synthesis mode, where you can use either a raw sample, or a choice of sine waves (up to the first 48 harmonics) to create waveforms with additive synthesis.... You can even create a new waveform, by utilising one cycle of an existing sample & editing it...In other words, you can create custom waveforms from which you can synthesise sounds, or layer with other raw samples... also on the FZ's, the waveforms are drawn out on screen to edit..or in the case of the Wave synthesis, you can draw the waveform on screen..... It seems that Casio were pretty ahead of their time in offering a user create sample synth where the user defines the raw samples to blend with onboard sinewaves or custom made waveforms.
On a minor negative point, the rumour went, that the FZ used shared output converters, so once u start using the seperate outs, they steal proccessing power from each other, which results in a slightly worse sound quality....but really it's not an issue they sound fine.... more of an issue is the lack of current industry & spares support as the company pulled out of this market (sadly)
Anyhow... Not a bad machine... much preferable to the S900 for creativity with the sounds, and as functional as an Emax, (although the Emax uses Analog filters)..... I would recommend this along with the Roland S330, 550, & W30, as the best options to the Emax in the budget sampler range, with the S950 also at a higher price.... I personaly prefer the Emax...especially for the library, which in my opinion pisses on any sampler.... the Emax is cheaper wierdly, and in my opinion better.
Having said that... there's too much chat about gear spec's... either of them with a midi sequencer, a few FX & one other cheap synth will be enuff to get a deal if your ideas are good....so maybe you should check one of these Casios out ! ... they aint bad at all.
One of the most asked questions is about failed disk drives for the FZ samplers. Here's some resources - These two for replacing the drive with a PC drive:
And this for a s/w editor for sample transfer to FZ via MIDI.
Product Manuals or Files
More choices in this product category from other manufacturers:
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