Casio CZ samples now available

We now have a comprehensive, authentic Casio CZ sample library available for download in our shop. Click here to buy in Native Instruments Kontakt format.



Click here for audio demo

What you have here is a selection of the best, most unique sounds the CZ has to offer. I think you’ll be surprised at what this synth can do. I’ve been using these synths since 1992, so as you can imagine I’ve built up a big library and explored in depth what these synths can do. I’ve left out typical sounds such as strings, brass etc. that are done better on other synths, or are done to death on other sample libraries. Although there is one very special string sound, created by layering two patches with special pitch modulation in the CZ envelopes and no Kontakt trickery- you won’t believe it’s a CZ.

So I hope these sounds add something unique and useful to your library. 🙂

Read all about the Casio CZ series of synthesizers here.

I’ve made the sounds as authentic to the original machine as possible. This is not a CZ that’s been made “phatter” or “heavier” or “wider” using effects and Kontakt trickery. However, in some cases I’ve taken the opportunity to improve the sound where appropriate. I feel that what you have here is a CZ with all the character plus a few hot rod enhancements for professional studio use.

I’ve used some of the modulation and effects inside Kontakt to recreate some of the Casio parameters that do not sample well. For example, vibrato in most of the patches comes from Kontakt, not the Casio. I’ve used various settings of either the chorus or flanger to recreate the onboard chorus of the CZ when it is an important part of the sound. I’ve also taken the opportunity to “stereoize” some effects where appropriate. For example some of the sounds have stereo echo, where a mono echo effect would have been done with the envelope in the CZ. The electric piano uses a stereo tremolo effect, whereas on the CZ this would have been a rather limited mono tremolo effect using the envelope.

Many of the sounds use the layering capability of the CZ-1, as well as the velocity modulation. You’ll see that some sounds have up to three levels of velocity sampled. On the CZ-1 this is actually quite a clunky feature, so with some sounds I’ve used a low pass filter to augment or replace the velocity to DCW (CZ filter) modulation. So in many cases the sounds are actually more responsive than they are on a CZ.

Why 16 bit?
The CZ uses a pretty funky 12 bit companded DAC running at 40kHz, so a modern 16 bit/ 44.1kHz audio interface is more than sufficient to capture the full dynamic range. Plus I think it’s a waste of space and resources to use higher sampling rates/ bit depths. So you’ll notice that these sounds load very fast, even where there are lots of samples used. To this end I’ve also not gone overboard on multisampling, but I’ve done enough so that in an A/B test with the real machine, there is no audible difference. So there are only three sounds where it was appropriate to sample every single pitch on the CZ.

The compressed dynamic range of the original DAC is used in some of the sounds. There are a couple where the tone changes randomly with each note played as the internal DAC creates audible glitches. It’s great on some of the bell sounds, and one particular bass sound is very special- check out Chop Bass. I’ve captured this using up to 4 “round robin” samples in some cases.

For the same reason, layering on the CZ often sounds better/ different than layering inside Kontakt. So I’ve avoided any layering in Kontakt because it wouldn’t be authentic to the original CZ sound, and it offers the user greater scope for creativity.

Details: 102 patches, download size 544MB (Kontakt’s built in data compression used).

Welcome back :)

It’s been a few months. I’m now lecturing in Limerick IT. So will become much more of a creative outlet than a business venture. The website will evolve over the next few months. I’ll be adding a new mp3 player, so you can stream all of our music in high quality. The photo gallery will be expanded. The blog will be various inspiring aphorisms and stories.

So I hope you can join us for a new adventure in 2009!

Thanks for all your support thus far.


Back from Africa

I was in The Gambia for a couple of weeks. Amazing experience, a real eye opener. Click on images above for pictures.

I’ve updated the images section to show off my photography, I hope you enjoy it!

I’m currently enjoying listening to: MGMT; Hot Chip; The Shamen: En-Tact; The Field: From here we go Sublime; Miles Tilmann; Wagon Christ: Tally Ho!

I’m also enjoying the Art of Noise box set “And what have you done with my Body, God?” It’s like their Beatles Anthology. So what was the secret to their success? Bloody hard work! 🙂

An Taobh Tuathail Vol. 2

My Track Numbers is featured on this compilation:

An Taobh Tuathail Vol 2 is due for release on Psychonavigation Records in August. There will be four launch parties on the first four Fridays of the month in Dublin, Galway, Cork & Limerick.

Somadrone, who has a tune featured on the CD will play at the Galway launch. Their excellent third EP Of Pattern & Purpose was released on Trust me im a thief last year. I sold Somadrone a Casio VL Tone mini synth last year 🙂

The exuberant R.S.A.G (Rarely Seen Above Ground) from Kilkenny – a one man band soaking up influences as diverse as Joy Division & Talking Heads, with the visual impact of Gorillaz – will perform at all of the shows, while Dublin’s Alphamono, with echoes of Daft Punk & Air, will be playing at all but one of the parties.

August 1st @ Button Factory Dublin

August 8th @ Roisin Dubh Galway

August 15th @ Liquid Lounge Cork

August 22nd @ Trinity Rooms Limerick

The Galway show from Róisín Dubh will be broadcast live on Anocht FM/RTE RnaG on Friday 8th August, from 11pm – 1am