CASIOTONE is back!

Classic synths & pianos

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Re: CASIOTONE is back!

Unread post by Saul » Sun Jul 21, 2019 5:00 am

It is such a huge world of options out there now. Yamaha are indeed well known for their pianos but I would say these days so are Casio..especially their Grand Hybrid, Roland, KORG, Nord, Dexibell, Kawai and then you have the software king of the hill which in my opinion is probably Pianoteq followed by Native Instruments, Synthogy Ivory and countless others.

It has never been a better time to be a keyboard player! (Y)
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Re: CASIOTONE is back!

Unread post by Rara » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:19 am

The CT, yay :-D This brings back memorys. I miss my CT-660.

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Re: CASIOTONE is back!

Unread post by EXer » Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:47 am

shelly0624 wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 3:02 am
I'm not buying right now. just looking.[...] Buying one will come later..
It's a good thing to take your time. As Saul said, there are so many options out there.

The 1st choice you may consider for your next keyboard is between a piano action type keyboard and a synth action type keyboard.

Whatever your choice, if I may give only one advice I would say (fwiw):

► chose an instrument with a good quality keybed, imo this is crucial if you want to enjoy playing it over time and if you want to improve your chops as a keyboard player.

___

I can only speak from my own experience, but here's my view about the quality of keybeds:

I started music on the saxophone when I was a child, much later I became increasingly interested in synthesizers, not to become a keyboard virtuoso but for composition and sound design (it was at a time when computers and plug-ins didn't rule yet). My very 1st synth was (guess what?) a Yamaha EX5.

While trying many different instruments in music shops, all with synth type keybeds (*), I quickly noticed I could feel big differences between all those keyboards although I was new to keyboards: some felt "cheesy", plasticky and toyish, some felt better, and some felt really pleasant to play.

(*) at that time I wasn't interested in weighted, piano action type keyboards because I knew that playing such a keyboard meant getting more involved in practising (later I discovered I was wrong: becoming a good synth player implies no less involvement than becoming a pianist)

That experience was a revelation: although I had never touched a keyboard before, I could feel differences between keybeds, I could tell which one I preferred, I understood why, and I could feel which one would make me physically enjoy practising on it and which one would not!

I was very lucky with the EX5: I chose it from its specs because they matched my requirements as a sound design tool and as a composition tool perfectly, and its keybed was my preferred after trying, too!

To be more specific, it has the excellent FS semi-weighted keybed used on all upper range Yam and Korg synths until the Motif ES and the Oasys 76, and still used on the Montage in a lead free version called FSX. When you depress a key you have to overcome a certain resistance first, then it becomes lighter, giving the sensation of "throwing" the key. That's a very pleasant sensation, very different from the "springy" sensation of ordinary synth keyboards on which the resistance is simply proportional to the travel of the key.

Later, I wanted to improve my chops as a keyboard player, so I asked a pianist and friend of mine.

He told me the best way to achieve that goal, in his opinion, would be to build fingers strength and dexterity on a weighted, hammer action type keybed. He also advised me to chose the keybed carefully so that it would be enough of a challenge but not too much of a difficulty to overcome.

So he lent me a Studiologic SL-880 master keyboard to try, a great controller with an excellent Fatar weighted and graded hammers keybed. I took piano lessons with him and I practised on that keyboard. At the beginning it was not easy to switch from the FS semi-weighted keybed of my EX5 to the piano action type keybed of the Studiologic, but with his encouragement I continued my efforts and I quickly became accustomed to it. I soon noticed that I enjoyed playing on a heavier keyboard and after a while I found that it made me a more accurate and a more expressive player.

Then, I also tried acoustic pianos, and I could feel the differences between them immediately. I hated playing on cheap and even on not-so-cheap uprights which I felt were stiff, sluggish and unresponsive. On the contrary, I really appreciated playing on my friend's Ibach grand. I even had the opportunity to try a Bösendorfer grand. I really loved the sound of the Bösendorfer, a deep, rich sound, you can hear and feel the whole piano vibrating while you're playing. As regards the keyboard, it has an immediacy in its response which makes it very expressive (you can obtain a light breeze or an earth shaking rolling thunder, and everything between), but it also has a je ne sais quoi which makes it difficult to keep in control, which distracts the player from concentrating on what they are playing (that's not only me, much better pianists than I am say the same).

___

In conclusion, what I mean is that, while the sound is the primary criterion to assess a synth, the quality of its keybed and how it suits *you* should not be overlooked if you want an instrument which makes you enjoy practising on it.
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Re: CASIOTONE is back!

Unread post by Saul » Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:58 pm

You absolutely nailed that EXer ((i)) ((i)) ((i))

I can't think of anything to add other than it is very much the same with my main instrument, acoustic guitar. It is why some feel great to play and others just leave you cold. If it doesn't "feel" great then you will never enjoy playing it. Obviously it needs to sound good too but how playable is it? That's the first criteria.
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Re: CASIOTONE is back!

Unread post by shelly0624 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 4:20 pm

Best to try them out in a music store, i guess ..especially with guitars which sound differently even with the same make and model. I need to hear some Yamaha keyboards in a price range I can afford. I've never tried one. We have a Guitar Center close by. I've seen really nice digital pianos keyboards come and go in the Facebook Marketplace for my area. Thank you for you input! Much appreciated ..

(I took my original question off, "which keyboard should I choose?" before I saw your answers. I felt a little foolish and thought maybe I should ask when I'm ready to buy. But, thank you.. good advice.
Last edited by shelly0624 on Sun Jul 21, 2019 5:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: CASIOTONE is back!

Unread post by Saul » Sun Jul 21, 2019 5:18 pm

Shelly you don't need to be worried about asking questions such as "Which keyboard should I buy?" even if you are not yet ready to make a purchase. These sorts of questions help a lot of people coming through the forum who may be wanting answers to that exact same question :)

Anyway we all love talking keyboards here...and guitars of course ;)

I think Guitar Centre have an exlusive deal with Casio in regard to the new Casiotone range so definitely a place to check out. Not sure when they are going to be in stores. I know the red version of the PX will be available in September but I would have thought the CT-S line will be in stores before then.
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Re: CASIOTONE is back!

Unread post by shelly0624 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:39 pm

At least I have the Casio MZ-2000 to learn on. My dad's friend was a keyboard musician and informed me that the Fender Keyboard 200 SFX amp was on sale to make room for the next model. I had just bought the Casio so I bought that too. At the time (19 years ago) the Casio MZ-2000 was their flag ship arranging keyboard. I hadn't even learned how to use a computer then, so I poured over the manual. (It was as big as the big Wards catalogue I used to sit on at 5 years old when my grandma would have a family dinner...). I did learn to do some things..customize sounds..attack and delay, but I didn't know how to save my settings. Save anything. It frustrated me. Everything had to be archived on a floppy disk. I didn't know how to do that...or midi. Still.


But I was really getting into fingerstyle guitar and writing songs instead. The Casio was put on the back burner, as well as the CTK-1000 I had bought shortly before that. Now that my hands won't cooperate, I am actually excited about keyboard not only because I don't have to use the swollen and sore finger (it's like 3X normal size), and minimally use my unbending thumb, but because many of the chord variations and potential for new songs (out of my rut) are unlimited.

The Fender amp makes anything sound good and there are some pretty sounds on the MZ. So I am hopeful. I'm just starting at ground zero because I didn't even know the chords I was playing with when I was improvising a few things on the keyboard. Thank you for being so helpful. Some music forums can be intimidating .. condescending .. somewhat ego-based, but you guys are supportive. Thank you for taking the time. I'll file away all of your recommendations in my mind for future reference and assimilate more info as I read everyone's posts
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Re: CASIOTONE is back!

Unread post by Saul » Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:30 pm

Actually I think you could still do a lot with your Casio MZ 2000. It is a quite well specced keyboard and the fact that it has aftertouch which most keyboards no longer have along with proper midi ports makes it quite a versatile instrument.

For those who were not aware of the MZ 2000 here is a quick rundown:
Casio MZ2000.jpg
Casio MZ 2000
Specs:
  • 61-key full size.
  • Initial touch (3 different touch curves); After touch.
  • 64 notes maximum polyphony.
  • 561 tones (486 normal tones, 20 drawbar tones, 15 drum kits, 40-user-programmable locations).
  • 9 bars (16″, 8″, 5-1/3″, 4″, 2-2/3″, 2″, 1-3/5″, 1-1/3″,1″).
  • Wave type: Sine/Vintage; Percussion Second / Third; Click: On / Off.
  • 130 (120 preset, 10 programmable locations) Controllers: Intro 1 / 2, Ending 1 / 2 Variation 1 / 2 / 3 / 4, Fill-In Back / Return / Next, Break, Rit., Fade In / Out, Synchro Start, Synchro Stop.
  • Effects: System (3 channels: Reverb, Chorus, *Master); DSP (4 channels); 240 effects.
  • Layer: Yes.
  • Split: Yes.
  • Auto-Harmonize: 12 types.
  • Appreciator: 15 types.
  • Registration Memory: 64 (8 sets × 8 banks).
  • One-touch Preset: 490 (480 preset, 10 programmable).
  • Mixer: 32 channels (15 Internal, 15 External, 1 Mic).
  • Synthesizer: Yes.
  • Song Sequencer: 17 tracks × 10 songs (approximately 40,000 notes).
  • Easy Record: Real-time recording.
  • Multi-track Record: Real-time, Step-time, Punch In, Song edit, Track edit, Event Edit, Insert, Delete, Copy, Quantize. SMF-Compatible.
  • Pattern Sequencer: 10 patterns × 8 parts (drum, percussion, bass, chord 1–5). Approximately 22,000 notes; Real-time & Step-Time recording, Element edit, Part edit, Event edit, Insert, Delete, Copy, Quantize. Accompaniment part extraction from SMF.
  • Song Studio: Chord progression extraction from SMF; Accompaniment Part extraction from SMF; Medlody On / Off;Accomp On / Off; Controller On / Off
  • Controllers: Control Sliders (9), Control buttons (9), Selector dial, Pitch Bend wheel, Modulation wheel (assignable), Assignable switch (Rotary speaker speed, etc.), Sustain switch
  • Transpose: −24 ~ 0 ~ +24
  • Tuning Control: Yes
  • Help Function: Yes (Floppy disk provided)
  • Demo Song Types: 23 (3 Main, 10 Tone, 10 Rhythm)
  • Display: Backlit LCD (320 × 240 dots) with Contrast control; 4 modes (Normal, Keyboard, Music Staff, Big Font for Lyrics)
  • Floppy Disk Drive: 3.5″ (2HD / 2DD); SMF direct play (format 0), SMF Save / Load (format 0 / 1); SMF lyrics direct play; Data Save/Load; Pattern Conversion; Disk Format
  • General MIDI: Yes
  • Terminals: MIDI In / Out / Thru; Sustain Pedal (Assignable); Expression Pedal; Line In L / R; Line Out L / R; Mic In; Host; Headphones
  • Speakers: 2-way Bass Reflex: 13 cm × 2; 5 cm × 2
  • Amplifier: 15W + 15W
  • Dimensions (W × D × H): 1,152 × 423 × 202 mm
  • Weight: 12.4 kg
  • Standard Enclosures: Music rack, floppy disk, 16V AC adaptor (model AS-16ML)
Not bad to be starting out with :clap:
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Re: CASIOTONE is back!

Unread post by shelly0624 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:06 am

As far as capabilities go .. my ability to utilize them is a little like putting a Rubik's cube into the hands of a monkey :D I'll learn how to play and then navigating it's attributes will probably be a lot more enjoyable (less frustrating) since I understand technology a bit better than I did then. I do see Casio forums where people are looking for these.
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Re: CASIOTONE is back!

Unread post by parametric » Mon Jul 22, 2019 2:36 am

Hi Shelly, and a belated welcome to the Forums.

Sorry to hear of your finger maladies curtailing your Guitar activities. :(

I did used to play a long time ago, but due to being self-taught, I eventually brick-walled and moved

back to Piano which I learned as a kid . . . . Now extending to Synths - which I LOVE playing . . . .

An annoying M/C accident smashed the top joint of my LH 4th finger, so it doesn't bend like the others,

so I stopped guitar altogether in any serious way . . .

The arthritis thing IS very annoying - and painful. I get twinges sometimes, but playing usually seems

to exercise it OUT - for now . . . . :wink:

Anyhow . . . . Nice to have another lady on board. We do have quite few these days, which is GOOD.

You ladies do have a different perspective to us guys, and it refreshing to hear YOUR take on things. ((i))

That MZ-2000 looks to be an interesting and capable board and should be well suited to getting you

into playing keys.

As you already write songs, then you clearly understand the guitar-centric accompaniment style already.

As you find your way with the keys, you'll find it's relatively easy to "mimic" finger-style on a keyboard.

If you (wish to ) use a guitar sound in this way - it CAN sound to the listener as if it IS in fact being played

on guitar . . . . You already have that know-how . . . . (Y)

The great thing about keyboards is that you have a huge pastiche of sound available, so you CAN make it

as different as you wish . . .

I would say that playing scales and arpeggios (broken chords) may be a bit painful at first, but OUGHT to

help to improve the suppleness in your finger/hands . . .

You'll find that we are a friendly bunch here. Abilities are wide ranging and various, but we all have some

things in common. We love making Music, and we love our "Toys", be they stringed or keyed.

I'll attach the Service Manual for your MZ-2000. It's kinda technical, but has a deal of info there if you ever

need to have it looked at.

Casio MZ2000 service manual.pdf
(5.3 MiB) Downloaded 44 times

I'm PLEASED to see that the Floppy drive takes both 720k AND 1.44MB Floppies - The MZ was just late

enough that the HD floppy had become the standard - and Casio decided to fit it . . . so any floppies

you have left over from your older computers CAN be used.

Many older boards would only accept 720k disks which are moreorless GONE now . . . .

If you want to bone-up on MIDI, then our member <SysExJohn> has his own forum devoted to just that . . .

John's tutorials are EXCELLENT: http://midi-tutor.proboards.com/board/6/midi-basics

Anyway Shelly, I wish you good luck and lots of fun reacquainting yourself with your MZ . . . .

ATB

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Re: CASIOTONE is back!

Unread post by Rara » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:13 am

shelly0624 wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:39 pm
Thank you for being so helpful. Some music forums can be intimidating .. condescending .. somewhat ego-based, but you guys are supportive. Thank you for taking the time. I'll file away all of your recommendations in my mind for future reference and assimilate more info as I read everyone's posts
My thoughts as well. of all the forums I have been on or member of, now and in the past, this one is the only,
( or one of very few) refuge from the insanity that is the rest of the internet. For that I am very grateful.

Rara 0-)
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Re: CASIOTONE is back!

Unread post by shelly0624 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:34 pm

Hi Rara! :) Thank you to both of you! Very nice people here :) Thank you parametric for all of the useful info. Midi I have yet to learn ..In fact, many years ago we were recording the songs analog. While a little more old school, there was a warm ambience. We had a Teac reel to reel recorder and a couple of studio mikes. Since acoustic guitar and voice are a simple combination, it was easy to do. We didn't record anymore and I just worked on my skill on guitar. Then we started gathering digital gear for recording ...life got busy. grandchildren and family ..and last year my fingers, the two of them, got stiff. That's how it started (I made thousands of pieces of jewelry for years). I started hand exercises.

Then there was unbelievable swelling. 3X normal size and the inability to bend them. It was diagnosed sero-negative RA because it wasn't in my blood. but I've never seen anything like this. Extremely painful. Then tons of RA meds. Not working so I'm thinking it might not be RA.

I think there is something else going on. I am an artist,..painting and doing pen and ink sketches. I can hardly write my name. I can play keys without as much pain, very much less pain. Life is looking up now :). You're right, the picking style is ingrained and I see it in my mind for the time I learn chords. I'm excited!

I will have an advantage with the group here. They will cut the learning curve short, especially as I learn midi, etc. I doubt my music will take multiple tracks ..but it will take a few. I believe the MZ-2000 has 6. Saul helped me appreciate what I already have by listing it's specs. It does have some pretty sounds. I have been attracted to a simple 88 key digital piano and will still look for one. Even the simple CT-S300 would allow me to hook up to Casio Chordana teaching aid, since I'm starting at the beginning ..
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Re: CASIOTONE is back!

Unread post by parametric » Mon Jul 22, 2019 5:33 pm

You're most welcome Shelly . . . .

I'm no medic, but it sounds like they need to revisit this issue, NAIL what it really is, and get you some HELP.

It must be WRETCHED to be hampered in this way . . . . :(

As far as 88-noters are concerned, I would certainly recommend the Casio PX-S1000 and 3000.

I played both (IIRC) recently at Casio here in the UK when I visited with Saul.

I tried the S3000 too, at a local Music Shop a while back. . . . .

As has been said here before - Casio have really come on strong both with their keybeds

AND their Sound Chips. The Sounds are truly stunning.

The S1000 is great value for what's on offer, but for an extra 200 Bucks, the 3000 has way more sounds

- and a display . . . .

The Chordana App works with both I believe, and an iPad enables you get right inside, at the

settings and configure the board to your liking. . . .Plus, it has bluetooth and you can feed 3.5mm audio

through the system - so you can play along . . . . . (Y)

As to extra tracks - well, that will grow with you, as you start to see what is possible . . . . .

As and when you graduate to using a DAW, then there is also a whole world of Virtual Instruments available.

What is possible these days is truly amazing, and only limited by your imagination . . . . ;)

Here's a track I made that has a tiny bit of lead guitar at the end - ( not finger-style, sorry 'bout that ;) )

"Theme for an imaginary Western" written by Jack Bruce and Pete Brown,

I decided to cover it when Jack Died . . . .

All the tracks were played-in on my Alesis Fusion 8HD . . . (except the vocal :lol: )

https://app.box.com/s/kd0o91oigyfp9uualcyz1xreq50a5a7f

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Re: CASIOTONE is back!

Unread post by shelly0624 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 6:28 pm

I love the keyboard! Lots of different sounds and chord progressions throughout. Your intro is a lot like guitar picking style. The part that sounds like electric lead guitar, that's keyboard too? Well done. You know what I miss with contemporary music? A strong melody and the story. I'm not dissing today's music. Instrumentation is amazing and now people do beautiful vocal calisthenics... But a melody that is so strong that people could sing it without an instrument and everyone would recognize it .. one with a strong chorus, but also strong verses, is missing today. There are a lot of love songs ..but I like a story outside the box. Your song has a strong and pretty melody, but it has a story!! I'm a lyrics person. I love to lean and hear what someone is singing about ...what has happened to them in life, or something completely made up that leaves an image in your mind. Ballads, I guess. Today's music is done in a loop with repetitive lyrics. Perfect dance music, I can really appreciate it .. but stlll... (Ok, I'm going to date myself). Take Paul Simon, "The Boxer". It's a story.

"I am just a poor boy though my story's seldom told
I have squandered my resistance for a pocketful of mumbles,
Such are promises, all lies and jest,
Still a man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest, hmmm" ... etc.etc.

There's a bunch from the 70s .. but even the pop songs had something to say. There are songs afterwards that do the same, so I know people continue to write them ..even now. But I enjoyed your story and I enjoyed listening to your song :) Really pretty melody. It encourages me that the field is wide open for creativity. But I'm really starting small. A little overwhelming. It's really something learning a whole new instrument at my age.. Whew!
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Re: CASIOTONE is back!

Unread post by parametric » Mon Jul 22, 2019 7:35 pm

Well Shelly, I can't take credit for that number . . . . it was a cover . . . written by Jack Bruce and Pete Brown.

Bruce/Brown wrote most of the pivotal tracks that made "Cream" Famous . . . .

Pete Brown described himself as a "Lyric Poet" . . .

Here's a sample:
Lost Streets where Sun once watched us - out on the road

We had to leave our place to seek the Town where money never frowned.

We waited longest, where the trains and buses promised they would come . .

To the shelters made of snow - in the desert where we played -

Made of Hay . . . . .
(See what I mean?) :lol: :lol:

I concur with pretty much all you say regarding melody, tunes AND Lyrics . . . . (Why NOT tell a story?)

Sorry, but reading out the telephone directory to a couple of notes, against a drum machine

DOESN'T do it for me . . . . :roll:

Sure when you want to "get down" and boogie then dance music IS the thing - or many of the Rolling

Stones "Singles" for that matter . . . (Y)

I'm a 1951 baby (Oh God, NOW you know . . . :o ) so many of my influences now become obvious . . . . :lol:

I've always sung - so melody and words are second nature to me . . . .

Last weekend I was singing behind Rick Wakeman at the RFH here in the UK - see the links in the Forum . . .

My own stuff tends to have lots of words that try to paint a picture . . .

This one is about as sentimental as you can get WITHOUT totally losing your lunch ;)

It's an attempt to encapsulate YEARS of long hot summer holidays on a farm in a particularly beautiful

part of Britain, spent with a LOT of youngsters of similar age to myself . . .

In truth it's one of those "If you weren't there - I can't explain it" scenarios . . . .

But I tried :roll: : https://app.box.com/s/1zcrz6157zijef2ww9pd It's kinda L o n g . . . .

Basically - Remixed and Re-Balanced, also I've redone the Vocoded Section right at the end . . .

The Bells are NI Retro Machines2 - Glassy Bell.

Bass from NI Scarbee

Vocoding done inside Reaper . .

All other sounds from the Alesis Fusion 8HD - Mixed as audio in Reaper64 running on Windows10 Pro 64

The "Swooshy" sound (front and back) are from The "Nebulae" Bank for the Fusion by HollowSun's

sadly departed Steve Howell . . . .

DON'T get discouraged Shelly . . . . There's a world of possibilities about to open up . . . (Y)

parametric
Alesis Fusion 8SSD AND 6SSD - BOTH are 384Mb/120Gb SSD/Akai ADVANCE61/Yamaha MOXF6/1024Mb Flash Ram/Yamaha SY85/8.5mb vol/1024k non-vol/DX21/Roland MT32/Bachmann double overstrung Baby Grand Piano/Win10 Pro/Ubuntu MATE 15.0.4/iBook G4/Mac OS 10.4.6/ProTools 7.4/MBox2/M-Audio MicroTrack 24/96

NI Komplete11 Ultimate

Sector101 2x SYEMB06 / 4 x EXM-E3 128MB DRAM Module

BRAND NEW DSDD (720k) FLOPPY DISKS FOR SALE - http://www.yamahaforums.co.uk/forum/vie ... =22&t=9217

Watch out now! take care, BEWARE of the greedy leaders! They'll take you where you should not go - (George Harrison)

IT'S TRUE - "MONEY TALKS" - TO ME, IT MOSTLY SAYS "GOODBYE" ;-)
http://www.chrisnmiller.co.uk/Chris
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