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Team Test: Casio CT-S1000V Arranger Keyboard with AiX Vocal Synthesis


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Welcome to this interactive GearLab review of the Casio CT-S1000V. Yes, it's a Casio, so it has that intriguing combination of "c'mon kids, let's play a musical instrument!" and some "secret weapon" ingredient for pro studios, because it can do things other keyboards simply can't do. In this case, it's flexible vocal synthesis that is surprising in its range, scope, and editability. The CT-S1000V's current price is $469 from Kraft Music, Sweetwater, and other retailers. 

 

The vocal synthesis part is impressive, with 22 vocal types and 1 user vocal, in Japanese or English. For those using programs like Realitone's Realivox Blue (which is pretty amazing in its own right), or pitching the speech synthesis capabilities of Windows or Mac, the CT-S1000V makes the process relatively easy. It's based on an iOS/Android app that hooks up to the keyboard. Not all Android smartphones support MIDI, however, Windows 11 can now run Android apps if you install the Windows Subsystem for Android. Windows 10 can use emulators. How well this works with the Windows is waiting for someone with a suitable Windows configuration and a Casio-S1000V to chime in. We'll cover the smartphone app in detal later on.

 

The vocal aspects are university-research-level stuff. Don't think of it as speech synthesis, like the voices that "read aloud" in Microsoft Edge or whatever, but more about being able to add vocal punctuations and lines for musical applications. Obviously, it's great for EDM and electronic music, although it has other uses as well.

 

But wait! There's more! It's a Casio, so there's a significant Fun Factor:

 

  • AC or battery-powered (6 AA cells)
  • Portable (10.4 lbs without batteries)
  • Built-in stereo speakers
  • 61-note, velocity-sensitive keyboard
  • 800 instrument tones and 100 lyric tones, with various effects
  • MIDI recorder and sampling
  • Auto-accompaniment (243 preset rhythms, 50 user rhythms)
  • Arpeggiator

 

So, it's an auto-arranger keyboard you can carry around with you, and a speech/singing synthesis engine that's waiting to add new, creative layers to music productions. 

 

That's just scratching the surface.  But before getting deeper into first impressions from GearLab team experts Jerry Kovarsky and Dave Bryce, it's time for a photo gallery - so let's fire up the iPhone, and do a photo shoot.

 

 

 

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Here's what you get in the package. It's well-packed, and stood up successfully to the, uh, gentle touch of Fed Ex Ground. 

 

image.png.0fca0cfe816c2cdeef4875573c3dbca6.png

Bottom row, left to right:

  • Music stand that attaches to the back
  • AC adapter
  • Line cord for AC adapter
  • USB Bluetooth MIDI/Audio wireless adapter
  • Strap lock discs
  • Quick start guide

 

Not shown: the usual plethora of printed warning sheets (required by the Lawyer Income Protection Act of 1997) in 467 languages that give useful tips like don't eat the product, don't put it in a microwave oven, don't throw batteries in fires, don't use the keyboard as a skateboard, etc.

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Before taking a tour around the front panel, let's check out the rear panel I/O. Here are the audio and controller connections.

 

image.png.09f14ca8ead2c2b31091012329d47e30.png

 

Left to right: 1/8" stereo headphone jack, 1/8" audio input for sampling, then 1/4" phone jacks for Line Out R, Line Out L/Mono, Pedal 1, Pedal 2/Expression. The hole to the right is where one music stand peg inserts. It's not a breathing hole for the vocalists trapped inside.

 

image.png.b53cf07b6946b5728db7590720b1870a.png

 

The digital I/O is sparse - just USB. There's a micro B (not USB-C) USB connector for connecting to a host, and a standard USB Type A female for connecting the included wireless MIDI/Audio adapter or a USB flash drive. I guess this is just another indication that the 5-pin DIN jack that served us so well for decades continues down the road to irrelevance, albeit not obsolescence.

 

 

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Let's take a look at the front panel. The set of controls and the display are basic, but you can get where you're going, and it's all pretty intuitive. The app handles the heavy lifting for editing the vocal synthesis aspects.

 

These controls are to the left side of the control panel area. We'll cover what they do later. You can see the speaker grille peeking out from the left side.

image.png.5aed030d6d55cc832177597abd9ba26b.png

 

The display and programming section happens here. You call up parameters with the buttons and use the data wheel to select the parameter values.

image.png.493ce6543c97d6be00fc4c411e18b7be.png

 

Toward the right side of Control World, you can access rhythms and sequences, among other things (and I'm sure you all are fans of any button that says "Advanced." I know I am).

 

image.png.b49d4c2a49e04bb34e9de59ba32507a0.png

 

For left hand controls, there's pitch bend and a general-purpose controller knob. Although I prefer to have a mod wheel, between the controller and the ability to plug in a pedal, I can do mod wheel gestures. 

 

image.png.9d5a5507e322d6694fd13d3eb69c957a.png

 

Okay! That covers the photo gallery aspect of the review. Now, it's time to start playing around, and see what we can coax out of this "I'm-not-like-other-synthesizers" synthesizer :) 

 

I'm particularly interested to see if it lives up the Fun Factor found in other Casio instruments. (Yes, even after all these years, the XW-P1 remains one of my favorite keyboards...and the CGP-700 is still doing yeoman's duty as a "Studio C" for songwriting.)

 

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Before getting deep into what the CT-S1000V can do, let’s get shallow. This is a portable keyboard. You knew that, but as someone who’s anchored to keyboards in the studio, I had kind of forgotten the advantages of having a keyboard you could carry from room to room, and then use it to play, write songs, and/or record. It’s not as small as a ukulele, but to be fair, ukuleles don’t have rhythm machines and multitrack onboard sequencers 😊

 

For carrying the keyboard around, a large indentation toward the middle rear accommodates your fingers, and you can wrap your thumb around the front panel. This is better than having a handle sticking out, and is more secure than it might sound. I don’t think the weight would be a problem for most people. Whether by accident or design, when held the controls face toward your body. So, if you brush against a wall, you won’t take off a knob, of scratch the front panel.

 

Of course, this keyboard is all about the electronic-sounding vocal synthesis, a significant fun factor, Bluetooth sampling and playback, and the like. But it would be a mistake to overlook that the CT-S1000V has talents beyond the vocal synthesis.

 

The sound is better than expected, given the size, weight, and price. Of course, with speakers this size, the tone is midrange-forward. But Casio takes the sound of their portable keyboards seriously, and squeezes a lot of bang for the buck out of the onboard audio. You don’t get the tinny sounds associated with many portable keyboards, and the bass is surprisingly robust. The stereo imaging benefits the sound, and the volume level can go high enough to carry to other rooms. Plugging in headphones lets you hear the full fidelity, as well as practice in private or without disturbing others.

 

Jerry Kovarsky will be doing a deep dive into the instrument sounds, so I’ll restrict myself to first impressions. No, this isn’t a $2,000 workstation—but it’s not $2,000, either. For me, one of the aspects that Casio brings to serious productions is the inclusion of many ethnic sounds. Being able to choose from non-Western instruments and percussion can help round out productions, without having to search through sample libraries, is welcome. Furthermore, the variety of sounds—conventional and otherwise—means that if you do want to write a song while sitting on a front porch, you won’t be held back by a lack of sonic options.

 

Yes, the vocal synthesis is the main feature, but it’s easy to get friendly with a keyboard you can carry around anywhere, to facilitate practicing and songwriting. Acoustic guitars usually fulfill that function for me, but then if I come up with some idea, I have to dig out my smartphone or handheld TASCAM recorder and set up to record, which also means being concerned about placement and picking up ambient sounds. That’s not an issue here, because you can record a rhythm track and five additional tracks (no scratch vocals, though).

 

We’ll cover the vocal synthesis in depth, but I just wanted to insert a reality check—there’s more to this than just vocal synthesis.

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I’ll add a couple of my first impressions to what Dr. Anderton just shared.

 

First of all, I want to emphasize that the sounds that come from the CT-S1000V most certainly meet and/or exceed expectations from what has been typically expected from a lower cost “portable keyboard”.  These days, it doesn’t cost anywhere near as much to have a nice chunk of large, long samples stored on internal Wave ROM, nor to outfit an instrument with more than enough processing power to handle it effortlessly; however, more to the point, the folks at Casio take their sound design very seriously and quite personally.  There’s a highly dedicated team of folks not only in Japan and in the US who are all over this (I would argue) most critical aspect of a modern digital instrument, but there are also a whole bunch of Casio devotees around the globe involved in sound creation and evaluation as well.  

 

I know it’s not just me that feels this way - I can’t begin to count the number of times that people I know have heard or played a current Casio keyboard and expressed how impressed they were with the sound coming out of the instrument.  I actually had that very experience last night with a bandmate’s pleased reaction to the sound and feel of the acoustic piano sound produced by my PX-1000S…but I digress… 😏

 

I would also like to emphasize that given this size, cost and weight of the instrument, the feel of the keybed will also be quite a pleasant surprise to Casio neophytes.  The action is smooth and fast, and the dynamics of the sound set are meticulously tuned to provide seamlessly responsive integration with it in order to evoke a delightful and satisfying playing experience.  Even the onboard sound system punches above its weight!

 

I’m spending some time getting to know the sound set as well as the rhythm section and recording capabilities of the 1000V.  I look forward to sharing my impressions. 😎

 

dB

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:snax:

 

:keys:==> David Bryce Music • Funky Young Monks <==:rawk:

 

 

Affiliations: Cloud Microphones • Music Player Network 

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Thanks Craig and Dave for the setup to my area of coverage.

 

 First a required disclosure for those that don’t know me.

 

I worked for Casio for eight years starting in 1981, first as a for-hire demonstrator and then as the first Product Manager here in the US through 1988. Fast forward about 24 years and I started helping them do demos/performances at the NAMM Show, and helped Mike Martin with some feature improvements and voicing for the PX-5S. I’m not an employee, and I don’t have any ongoing relationship with them beyond that. 

 

OK, with that out of the way let’s dive in.

 

Sounds

 

The CT-S1000V has a surprisingly large range of sounds, with some categories overflowing with more sounds than I expected. I’ll let Casio’s words lead off the introduction (look past the marketing-driven superlatives):

 

“The AiX Sound Source delivers sound quality that you'd expect from a keyboard costing hundreds, if not thousands more. Power on the CT-S1000V, and you'll be presented with a dynamic, expressive German concert grand piano placed in a virtual concert hall. The huge collection of 800 Tones also has stellar examples of electric pianos, organs, strings, synths, and so much more, with Advanced Tones adding complex layers that react to your playing. A collection of vintage keyboard sounds is also included, featuring recreations of timeless, sought-after keyboard instruments. We've even included classic Casio sounds from our VL, VZ and CZ series.”

 

Looks like a lot of things to delve into. To help with the overview, I counted up how many sounds (Casio calls them Tones) are in each category:

 

Acoustic Piano: 28 Tones

E. Grand Piano: 3

Harpsichord: 4

E.Piano/Wurly: 29

Clav: 8

Chromatic Perc/Bells: 15

Electric Organ: 38

Pipe Organ: 4

Accordion: 8

Harmonica: 2

Acoustic Guitar: 15 + Mandolin and Uke

Electric Guitar: 55!!

Acoustic Bass: 3

Electric Bass: 33

Synth Bass: 14

Solo Strings: 7

Harp: 2

Section Strings: 18

Orch Hits: 3

Solo Brass: 13

Section Brass: 16

Synth Brass: 11

Solo Sax: 20

Section Sax: 2 plus 1 placing various saxes split across the range

Solo Reeds: 7

Pipe: 18 (2 Mellotron flutes included)

Synth Lead: 77

Synth Pad: 55

Choir: 18

EDM Synth: 14

Casio Classic: 16

Indian: 20

Indonesian: 10

Arabic: 13

Chinese: 20

Brazilian: 4

Ethnic Other: 10

Drumkits: 36

GM Level 1: 128

 

That’s a lot of fodder for our creativity and performance, and there’s no way I can go into microscopic detail on everything. I’ll start by focusing on the keyboard sounds, since for so many of us that’s ground zero in evaluating a new board.

 

Acoustic pianos

The first sound is very nice, maybe a 3-way switch… it’s hard to tell. Casio’s AiX technology morphs between layers excellently, so there’s no discernable velocity-switch points. There’s no fancy stuff like damper or sympathetic resonances, or release samples. But who would expect that at this price point? Sure, under the microscope I can easily hear where the sound goes into the loop, but it’s all well done. All in all, a very nice sound that was satisfying to play. I find Casio’s pianos warm when I need them, and to be honest, I prefer playing piano from my PX-S3000 or PX-5S than my Korg Kronos for solo and small group jazz. Heresy? Nah, just personal taste. 

 

Moving on, there’s a good variety of piano Tones, including a dedicated mono piano, and a super-bright dance piano a ‘la the M1. A couple of already layered sounds (w/strings, pad, choir etc) are provided so you don’t need to use the Layer function. I also appreciate that there’s two honky-tonk versions, so while the first is the caricature cartoon saloon piano, the second is a more tame version. A couple of Electric Grand sounds (Yamaha CP-70/80) are there, that will do in a pinch, at best.

 

There’s few harpsichords, some with key-release plucks, and a nice coupled sound.

 

 

Electric Pianos

 

The opener StageE.Piano is a nice 3-way(?) switched sound (no jarring changes thanks to the morphing), with not too much bell that plays nicely. 

 

Now is as good a time as any to mention that the CT-S1000V has a boatload of effects algorithms:

 

Reverb: 24 (+Preset for each tone) 

Chorus: 12 (+ Preset for each tone) 

Delay: 15 (+ Preset for each tone) 

DSP Effect: 100 (+ Preset for each tone) 

Master EQ: 10 (+ User: 1) 

Surround

 

A setup for a Tone might be anywhere from 1 effect to a chain of 4, and some categories go way over the top (in the best way possible!) like 127 amp cabinet types, and 16 amp head choices. Someone in the Casio voicing department obviously likes guitar processing and had way too much time on their hands, and we’re all the better for it!

 

All that to say that most of the Rhodes are coupled with a proper pre-amp or cabinet – the StageE.Piano uses a RD-MKII-Cab which is obviously a model of the right thing. And it has four variations. It is followed by two modules of auto-pan. Nice!!

 

A Phaser EP uses a cabinet and 2 phase shifters, and can be tweaked from the preset sound into a great swirly, resonant thing of Fagen delight. Amped, auto-wah, played through a rotary speaker, clean, crunchy, chorused and more, the tonal diversity is impressive.

 

Here’s a quick video to show you how I’m getting to the Tone effect and navigating around.

 

 

Back to the sounds!

 

There’s a very bell-prominent Dyno E.Piano (as it should be!), which is only a single velocity layer, and a whole slew of other tine-based sounds that are not always clearly labeled as such, but your ears will tell you. Some FM-style and even some MK-sounding digital ones, and then things like Lucent EP, which sounds like a hybrid of the FM and MK style. It’s a large selection to choose from. 

 

Want Wurly? It’s called 60’s EP and there are straight, tremolo, amped and other flavors. They sound like 2-way switches. Every time I began thinking that I wanted more out of them, I reminded myself of the price-point and said that they’re all playable and would absolutely work in a gig situation. Clearly this board is punching higher than its weight/price class.

 

Clavs

 

The Clavs are nice, with a bit of key-off thwack, but not too much. These are sampled sounds, not a modeling of the complete pick-up and tone controls of a Clavinet, but Casio covers a decent range of sounds. It sounds like they sampled two different settings, which I just confirmed with Casio – CA and CB. A nice preset and an auto-wah round out the collection, but with all the DSP controls present there’s a lot more you could do get a wider range of sounds from the instrument.  I wish that there was a manual Wah effect, since they’ve put so much work into creating a variety of the models, and the CT-S1000V does support a sweep pedal. But the most common classic pairing was a Mutron III auto-filter/wah effect so that sound is well-covered.

 

Misc

The chromatic perc category covers mallets, bells and such. Six vibes sounds are done nicely, with a dedicated Vibes Tremolo effect. Marimba, xylophone, celeste, and more are included. I was wishing there were more bell sounds, but I haven’t gotten through all the synth and ethnic sounds, so we’ll see what that uncovers.

 

That’s a good start for today, next up will be the organ sounds. For today’s players that’s a tough category to cover in a ROMpler. Can the S1000V pass muster? Stay tuned.

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I just posted my thoughts about the CT-S500 (same board without the vocal stuff) at https://forums.musicplayer.com/topic/184422-casio-ct-s500-thoughts/ but I'll chime in here too!

 

On 1/4/2023 at 1:17 PM, Anderton said:

Not all Android smartphones support MIDI

 

They were late to the party, but Android did add official MIDI support in 6.0 (Marshmallow) which came out on 2015, so at least most phones these days should work. 

 

On 1/10/2023 at 12:38 PM, Anderton said:

Before taking a tour around the front panel, let's check out the rear panel I/O. Here are the audio and controller connections.

 

image.png.09f14ca8ead2c2b31091012329d47e30.png

 

 

 

Something I commented on in that other thread...  It really bugs me that some companies make these legends so unreadable. Bad enough on that well-lit photo, imagine dealing with those connectors on a dimly lit stage or under another board! Time to get out that old Brother label maker...

 

On 1/10/2023 at 12:38 PM, Anderton said:

There's a micro B (not USB-C) USB connector for connecting to a host

 

I hadn't even noticed that uncommon choice. I'm used to seeing USB-B for connection to a host. One more adapter or alternate cable needed...

 

On 1/10/2023 at 12:38 PM, Anderton said:

I guess this is just another indication that the 5-pin DIN jack that served us so well for decades continues down the road to irrelevance, albeit not obsolescence.

 

Kicking and screaming! I give them a pass on this one, just because it's simply now the way of the world on boards under $500 (and sadly, even some above). But I did have the thought of pairing this with another small board, where that board could also be used to play some of its sounds, and alas... As I discussed in the other thread, I'd often be using this with an iPad, so there is a workaround there.

 

11 hours ago, Anderton said:

We’ll cover the vocal synthesis in depth, but I just wanted to insert a reality check—there’s more to this than just vocal synthesis.

 

Absolutely... so much so that, for my purposes, I bought the version that only had everything else!

 

32 minutes ago, jerrythek said:

to be honest, I prefer playing piano from my CT-3000S or PX-5S than my Korg Kronos for solo and small group jazz. Heresy? Nah, just personal taste. 

 

Brave man to admit that in public. :-) But in fact, while I didn't really enjoy the stock piano on the PX-5S, Mike Martin came up with a mildly tweaked version which he posted on the Casio forum, which to me, made a world of difference. And yes, I'd probably take that over the Kronos pianos! (Though having only used the original Kronos, I haven't played the pianos they added later.)

 

 

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2 hours ago, AnotherScott said:

Kicking and screaming! I give them a pass on this one, just because it's simply now the way of the world on boards under $500 (and sadly, even some above). But I did have the thought of pairing this with another small board, where that board could also be used to play some of its sounds, and alas... As I discussed in the other thread, I'd often be using this with an iPad, so there is a workaround there.

 

There's no real need for DIN connectors on new gear any more, other than to connect to other devices that have DIN connectors. But, 

there are DIN <> USB adapters that work really well.

 

2 hours ago, AnotherScott said:

Brave man to admit that in public. 🙂 But in fact, while I didn't really enjoy the stock piano on the PX-5S, Mike Martin came up with a mildly tweaked version which he posted on the Casio forum, which to me, made a world of difference. And yes, I'd probably take that over the Kronos pianos! (Though having only used the original Kronos, I haven't played the pianos they added later.)

 

I think Casio has put a lot of effort into piano sounds, and it shows. The piano in the CGP-700 is a joy to play, especially with the 88-note keyboard. 

 

As Jerry pointed out, one of the CT-S1000V's strong points is the sheer variety of sounds. It makes it that much easier to find a sound that will inspire you.

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9 minutes ago, Anderton said:

There's no real need for DIN connectors on new gear any more, other than to connect to other devices that have DIN connectors.

Well, that's kinda the only reason they ever mattered. ;-)

 

9 minutes ago, Anderton said:

But, there are DIN <> USB adapters that work really well.

It's nice that there are more (and cheaper) options for this than there once were, but they're still not cheap, or universally compatible, or even that widely available (e.g. Sweetwater and Guitar Center don't carry them). And they're still a nuisance (i.e. they require a wall wart, and are another piece to place, and another cable connection to make). So... it's good that they're available, but a shame that we need them, when for so many years, we had perfectly usable MIDI connectors on even some of the cheapest gear.

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Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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2 hours ago, AnotherScott said:
3 hours ago, jerrythek said:

to be honest, I prefer playing piano from my CT-3000S or PX-5S than my Korg Kronos for solo and small group jazz. Heresy? Nah, just personal taste. 

 

Brave man to admit that in public. 🙂 But in fact, while I didn't really enjoy the stock piano on the PX-5S, Mike Martin came up with a mildly tweaked version which he posted on the Casio forum, which to me, made a world of difference. And yes, I'd probably take that over the Kronos pianos! (Though having only used the original Kronos, I haven't played the pianos they added later.)

 

Ha! For me, the PX-5S acoustic piano came into its own with an EQ tweak that Jim Alfredson did. I then kept working with it to make it my own. And for large gigs through a good PA I have a version that rolls off a lot of the low end. Before the soundman did it for me. 😉
 

There is just a warmth to the Casio piano that my beloved Korg lacks, as much as I do like some of the pianos, especially the later Berlin Grand. It (the Kronos) is much more cold-sounding, if that conveys the thought to others. Anyway - I don't want to derail this thread too much, nor malign the Kronos, which is still for me the best, most versatile keyboard I have ever owned, not to mention helped develop. Back to our regularly-scheduled programming!

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1 hour ago, AnotherScott said:

It's nice that there are more (and cheaper) options for this than there once were, but they're still not cheap, or universally compatible, or even that widely available (e.g. Sweetwater and Guitar Center don't carry them). And they're still a nuisance (i.e. they require a wall wart, and are another piece to place, and another cable connection to make). So... it's good that they're available, but a shame that we need them, when for so many years, we had perfectly usable MIDI connectors on even some of the cheapest gear.

 

Just FYI - SweetwaterKraft Music, Full Compass, and Guitar Center all carry the Roland UM-One MK II ($40). It doesn't require a wall wart. However, it is $40. So at least there are ways to get USB from your computer to 5-pin DIN devices. However, I hear you that it does get more complicated if you want to use a USB controller to drive a bunch of 5-pin DIN devices. 

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4 minutes ago, Anderton said:

 

Just FYI - SweetwaterKraft Music, Full Compass, and Guitar Center all carry the Roland UM-One MK II ($40). It doesn't require a wall wart. However, it is $40. So at least there are ways to get USB from your computer to 5-pin DIN devices. However, I hear you that it does get more complicated if you want to use a USB controller to drive a bunch of 5-pin DIN devices. 

 

The Roland UM-One is the opposite of what you would need for the CT-S500 or any other board that lacks 5-pin connectors. The UM-One adapts a board that HAS 5-pin MIDI so that it can connect to a USB host (like a computer), essentially giving a USB connection to a board that only has 5-pin connectors. In this case, we need the reverse, we need to give 5-pin connectivity to a board that has only a USB connector. Probably the best device for this is the one from Kenton. But there are some others you can get for as little as about $50, like the Camola DoReMIDI.

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Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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Organ Sounds

 

Next up is the organ category. Having 38 Tones provided for electric organs looks like a good offering. And a quick fly-by audition has me hearing a lot of sounds that I like well enough for a sampled instrument.

 

First up is called JS Organ, which is an obvious allusion to the great Jimmy Smits, right? Loved him in Sons Of Anarchy and NYPD Blue! OK, enough with the Dad jokes… This is the classic first three drawbars with percussion sound that recalls the late, great Jimmy Smith. Remember, this is not modeling, so characteristic sounds, including the percussion, are baked into the samples. But that’s not surprising for a non-clonewheel instrument at this price point. What is surprising is that there's no rotary speaker used in this sound. The DSPs are an amp cabinet, a tremolo that's not really doing anything I can hear, and a 3-band EQ, which has a knob assigned to low-frequency gain and another to high-frequency gain. Why not start with some traditional rotary speaker, some chorus/vibrato etc? Maybe Casio has a reason for that.

 

AMP Organ 1 offers satisfying crunch, and I hear some pseudo-leslie swirl. Rock Organ 1 is full drawbars and has a nice Jon Lord vibe, with a little bit of swirl, but coming from a phaser. Tremolo Organ is a tasty “whistle-stop” sound. DP Organ captures that Jon Lord sound even better than Rock Organ, with only a guitar amp DSP - as it should be. Amp Organ 2 sounds like Keith Emerson territory. 

 

Velo.Organ has realistic key contact thump, and velocity switches from the first three drawbars (no percussion) to a sound with the fourth drawbar added (an octave higher). I find these types of sounds unnatural and hard to control, but I'll assume there are players who like this kind of preset.

 

F-Organ and V-Organ emulate those classic Farfisa and Vox sounds accurately enough, and later on there are variations of those models run through a rotary speaker. There’s plenty more: a solid range of material for an affordable ROMpler approach.

 

But when I was playing them, I ran into some issues that are irritating in the studio, but graduate to problematic for playing live. When playing organ sounds I (and most organists) naturally want to go toggle the speed of the Leslie speaker. We may want to interact with the Chorus/Vibrato settings and the percussion, but this is not a clone-wheel, so I don’t assume that those controls will be readily accessible, as much as I might wish they were. But rotary speaker control is job #1, and as I mentioned earlier, a lot of the sounds don’t even use one. This is one of various design decisions that left me scratching my head.

 

My next issue is the way the CT-S1000V handles the use of its three assignable knobs. When you just play Tones from the main selection screen (press Instrument and turn the dial, or then use the next screen’s Category selection buttons, or the + and – next Tone selection buttons – see picture below), the knobs are all assigned in a Global fashion, affecting all Tones the same. That default for Knob 3 (above the pitch bend wheel) is LFO modulation, Knob 1 is Filter Cutoff, and Knob 2 is Filter Resonance.  So, for every sound I was playing, the knobs weren’t giving the kind of organ-centric controls I expected.

 

cqavuiX.jpg

 

To make your assignments for specific Tones active on the Knobs, you need to press the Menu button to the left of the Tone Mode Select area,

 

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and then press ACTV DSP (Active DSP).

 

WRlTv9N.jpg?1

 

 

If the design required one button push in performance to get to this functionality, I’d begrudgingly accept the quirk and move on. But two button pushes - and then another button push to get back to sound selection - is something you won't love if you want to interact with this live.

 

To be fair, when recording in my studio I can easily call up a sound, get to the right page, and then track away with the knobs doing (hopefully) what they’re supposed to. Also to be fair, no one said Casio was positioning the CT-S1000V as the ultimate gigging board for the player who wants that level of interaction with each organ sound. But it seems like a missed opportunity for those who want real-time control in their playing.

 

The next issue is with the choices the sound designers made for each sound. It wasn’t until I got to the fifth sound, GospelOrgan1 that I found a complete rotary speaker DSP being used. Although I felt the acceleration (ramp up), deacceleration (ramp down) and stop (brake) rates were way too slow, at least the rotary speaker was employed to help the sound, and I could easily tweak the parameters to match my taste - something I wanted very much on the other sounds. However, it seems that the best full rotary speaker algorithm (which includes Chorus/Vibrato emulation parameters) uses up all of the processing power. So, if you use it, you get no other sonic tools to shape your sound if desired. I assumed the sound designers didn’t just always slap it on and be done – they wanted to get more range from the sound selection.

 

But that wasn't the case. I dug a little deeper and found a couple of 2-module effects chains like DrvRotar, DrvRotarEQ, and DvRotPan that had adjustable Leslie controls and more. So you can get an OK Leslie and some extra drive plus EQ at best. But I didn’t find that being used until pretty far into the organ offerings. I can't really wrap my head around why so many obviously Hammond-emulating organ sounds don’t have a Leslie. Maybe someone from Casio can chime in, and describe the design philosophy (or technical limitations) behind these choices.

 

[Edit] Based on pj's list/report on the effects used for the organs perhaps I was a bit harsh on my critique of not using rotary enough, but that was the feeling I got from first playing through the soundset).

 

Casio’s solution for dealing with the unusual implementation of how the knobs work with per-sound assignments is to write Tones that have lots of custom settings/edits into Registrations. I’m getting ahead of this review to describe all their capabilities, but by using Registrations you can shape your sound and knob assignments as you want, and they'll be playable from the main screen, as needed. I was able to tweak any of the onboard sounds into something much more realistic to my ears, and into much more capable sounds (my opinion) than what's currently provided. But...there are only 64 Registrations, and you can’t name them. This is clearly not optimal for the player who wants to try to coax stage performance control of every sound, in an easy-to-recall/navigate way. Again, for the studio this is less of an issue. It just seems that much more was within Casio's grasp, yet they didn't go there.

 

That was a lot of words on just the electric organs! Then again, organ sounds are a big part of what many players want, and these days expect. And while the sounds on offer were good, IMHO they could have been so much better, and I found the implementation frustrating. 

 

Time for a break - I’ll be back with the pipe organs and more in a little while.

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Hey @Craig Anderton@Dave Bryce and @jerrythek

I'm thrilled to have all of you diving deep into the Casiotone CT-S1000V. In case anyone has any questions, I'll be here throughout the review. There might be a few tricks I can share along the way. 

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-Mike Martin

 

Casio

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The Big Picture Photography Forum on Music Player Network

 

The opinions I post here are my own and do not represent the company I work for.

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Hi --

I've been using the CT-S1000V for about one year, so a retrospective might be in order.

 

My main gig is church services. The repertoire is contemporary liturgical music  with a little gospel and trad sacred music thrown in.

 

In preparation, I pulled together about 16 or so combi's. I rarely use a single voice alone preferring a woodwind section over a solo oboe, for example. This generally hides the imperfections of a lot of solo voices, especially on an entry-level keyboard. (I once owned and played a Yamaha PSR-E443.) I use this approach on Yamaha MODX, too. In all cases, I dial down reverb since the church hall is reverberant. 

 

The combinations were good enough to use the CT in church. Normally, the MODX is my gig instrument. When I went back to MODX, again, I realized the difference in quality level and MODX is my gig instrument once more, using the CT for rehearsals. The CT is so light and compact that I can swoop into rehearsal, set up and go. Not so easy (or light) with the MODX.

 

As to rear panel markings, I have trouble reading ALL keyboards. So, both the CT and MODX have vinyl press-on letters right above the critical connections that I have to make. We have only a few minutes for set-up before a service and I don't have time for horsing around; it's plug and go.

 

I agree with comments WRT switching organ rotary speaker speed. There ought to be a way to switch speed via foot pedal. Turning a knob to change speed is not a natural gesture for me although one can keep the knob near its center where not much motion is needed right or left.

 

As to the use of the rotary DSP effect, Yamaha PSR voices and use of DSP effects are similar. These instruments evolved from no DSP effects to rotary sim (and other DSP effects). Older voices have the rotary "sampled-in" and remain in the sound set for backward compatibility. [I see Mike typing...]

 

I like the CT's keybed and prefer it over the MODX. (!) Yamaha need to pay more attention to keybed characteristics and quality of their entry- and mid-range products. 

 

Hope these few comments helps -- pj
 

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24 minutes ago, pjd said:

Glad to see a review thread for the Casio CT-S1000V. I posted several articles on my blog site and have collected the links

 

Your post is a great public service. Thanks!

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7 minutes ago, Anderton said:

 

Your post is a great public service. Thanks!

 

Thanks, Craig!

 

Hopefully, this old dog (me) can learn some new tricks. ☺️ The CT-S1000V is a keeper.

 

-- pj

 

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4 hours ago, pjd said:

Glad to see a review thread for the Casio CT-S1000V. I posted several articles on my blog site and have collected the links:

Great stuff there!

 

4 hours ago, pjd said:

I wonder, has anyone been able to load these into a CT-S500 using a Mac? The Casio is telling me no file found. I tried formatting the USB stick on the Casio itself, but the Casio is just not seeing these registration files that I've copied onto the stick, it still says NO FILE when I look for Registrations under the Media tab. And I know the stick is good, and the Casio recognizes it, because it's the same stick I ran the firmware updater from. Maybe these only work in the 1000?

 

3 hours ago, pjd said:

The combinations were good enough to use the CT in church. Normally, the MODX is my gig instrument. When I went back to MODX, again, I realized the difference in quality level and MODX is my gig instrument once more, using the CT for rehearsals.

It's funny, I haven't had the board very long at all and have been generally impressed by the sounds, but I have not yet A/B'd it against the MODX, and I do wonder if some of my positive impression is also one that is relative to expectations. So I guess it remains to be seen in just how many of the potential use cases I do end up choosing to use my CT-S500... but I have no doubt that it will find many good uses. In an "absolute" sense, I do think most of the sounds are plenty good enough for most gig uses, but in a "relative" sense, I imagine I may ultimately often be more tempted to use one of my higher-end boards after I hear them next to each other... which in a way is a silly thing to base a decision on, since if I can't be sure something is much better until I hear it side by side, certainly the audience is not going to know, if that's the only one they hear! And really, I have often not brought my favorite board for something, just because I wanted something easier to shlep. (Hence the reason my Korg SV1 saw so few gigs, for example.) So exactly how much I use it and for what scenarios remains to be seen, but it's definitely going to get use. No matter how you look at it, these Casios are really impressive, and between sounds/action/interface, more appealing to me than numerous much pricier boards.

 

3 hours ago, Mike Martin said:

In case anyone has any questions, I'll be here throughout the review. There might be a few tricks I can share along the way. 

I'd appreciate if you might also take a look at the thread I started on the CT-S500 linked below, in case anything there may prompt some input as well...

 

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Pipe Organs and Such

 

 The CT-S1000V offers only four pipe organ sounds, but they’re good and will get the job done.  A decent range of accordions, both French and Italian are on hand, along with a few bandoneons, used in Argentinian tango music. Not being all that familiar with this category of instruments I found this page enlightening. 

 

Harmonicas are included in this category, and two are provided. They both have some tremolo built into the samples/looping if you care about that. To my ears it sounds better than trying to apply LFO modulation to it after the fact, and given that the CT-S1000V uses a knob and not a wheel, I think this is acceptable. What I am missing are some distorted/amped blues harp sounds – given the excellent DSP choices onboard these would be easy to make. And you can.

 

Acoustic Guitars

 

Guitars on a keyboard can be a touchy subject, and I’m not going there. 

 

Both nylon and steel string instruments are represented and sound really good: cleaner and more high fidelity than I would have expected in an instrument in this price range. Maybe it’s just the fine speaker system that I’m appreciating. Anyway, I enjoyed them all. There are Dynamic versions of each, which use 3-way velocity split samples, and versions ending in V that use 2-way velocity splits. No magic morphing here like for the acoustic pianos, but they’re acceptable. A nice guitar with pad Tone saves you going to the Layer mode.

 

Towards the end of the range there are a couple of Tones designated with Vst (standing for Versatile in Casio-speak) at the front of the name. These are interesting “construction set” offerings that use both velocity switching and key ranges to capture performance gestures and instrument noises within a single Tone. 

 

As an example, 156:Vst Steel Gt is a two-way velocity switch of regular plucked tones between MIDI velocities 1-30 and 31-60, then provides ghost notes between 61-75. Velocity 76-90 is muted strings, 91-105 is hammer-ons, 106-120 is string slides/glisses, and 121-127 is open harmonics. But wait, there’s more! Starting at C7-Ab7 there are different strums, from A7-Eb8 are string slaps, E8-B8 offer body thumps, and C9-E9 are fret noises. Finally, from F9-G9 is the sound of plucking the string above the headstock. Whew!

 

It is not possible to control these effectively from the keyboard and they are not intended for that. Casio clearly points out in the manual that this approach is designed for computer sequencing, and I was both surprised and pleased to see this offered. If you have the time and patience to take advantage of them you’ll no doubt be able to create much more realistic guitar performances using these sounds, or record a part using another Tone, and then go to this Tone to add some unique-to-the-guitar gestures after the fact.

 

A mandolin and a ukulele round out the acoustic offerings. Having lived in Hawaii for nine years I’ve been steeped in ukulele music and players. This makes me wish Casio had offered a Versatile version of that instrument to capture the strumming (sometimes manic) that is essential to that instrument’s performance. A haole can dream, right?

 

Electric Guitars

 

Even more dangerous territory to discuss on a keyboard. But the selection and range is broad (55 Tones provided), covering most things you would want and expect. Clean sounds, chorused, phased, flanged, jazz, rock, slightly crunchy, deep distortion, distorted leads and rhythm, wah-wah, mutes and so one. It’s all there. And if you recall from my earlier post, the DSP resources dedicated to guitar are surprisingly abundant: 16 guitar amp types, 127 amp cabinet types and 8 models of wah-wah pedal.

 

Another interesting type of Tone is used in some of the guitars (and other sounds) called an Advanced Layer Tone. When three or more notes are played at the same time a secondary layered sound is added. It’s used mostly for pad-type sounds, so for example on Tone 142:Guitar Pad when you play one or two notes you’re playing only the guitar sound. Play three and a nice synth pad element is added. I found a nice way to play it is to sustain a 3-4 note chord and then move around an inner voice of only the guitar sound. Good stuff.

 

Acoustic Bass

 

Not a lot to report here: two different finger-plucked upright sounds, one with more exaggerated attack, and the obligatory bass plus ride cymbal. They’re single velocity layers and get the job done, but no more.

 

Electric Bass

 

A broad range of electric bass Tones are onboard, with plenty of choices for fingered bass with and without effects. There’s some nice slap basses which velocity switch between the basic slap and the hard pull. Amped and wah variations are on-hand, and a decent fretless as well. Some of the sounds are pretty short PCM going into a quick short-cycle loop, but if played for their attack characteristic they can still work. Two picked basses, a muted pick bass, plus two of those for-sequencing Versatile construction kit Tones round out the basic (sorry, not sorry!) collection.

 

Synth Bass

 

Fourteen synth bass Tones, a number of which are three-way velocity switched are here, and those switched ones really speak well. Some squelchy resonant ones stood out to me, as did some Moog-in-octaves ones. What I found missing were some more harder-metallic ones, some wobbly basses, and some more ugly (in a good way) dance genre sounds. But I’m thinking that the synth and synth lead Tones which are coming up may work to cover those holes. We’ll see soon enough.

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26 minutes ago, jerrythek said:

Guitars on a keyboard can be a touchy subject, and I’m not going there. 

 

As a card-carrying lifetime guitar player, I'll go there. I was doing a sampling/synthesis seminar in Nashville, and during Q&A, someone in the audience asked how do you get a good guitar sound. I said "You're in Nashville! Hire a good guitar player, one just probably walked into a 7-11 near you."

 

You can't play guitar from a keyboard, BUT you can play guitar sounds from a keyboard, which is a whole different thing. I often sample my guitar, and play it from a keyboard so I can make sounds and voicings I couldn't obtain with conventional guitar. AFAIC, the point of guitar sounds in a keyboard is to expand the keyboard player's options.

 

So the question isn't "does this sound exactly like a guitar?" but "does this sound like something I'd use when playing keyboards?" For me, the answer is often yes, even though I play guitar. I particularly like the CT-S1000V's nylon-string guitar...because I didn't have to mic it :)

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Solo Strings

 

The CT-S1000V has a few solo violins, the first with a quick-onset and rapid baked-in vibrato, another more straight, and a slow attack version. I found the first very expressive, if a bit quick into the vibrato onset. A single viola, both a normal and slow-attack cello (I liked the transition into the vibrato better here), and a single contrabass round out the offering. There are no other articulations on hand, but I was surprised not to see a solo string pizzicato offering. Two harps follow, and I liked them both.

 

String Ensemble

 

Right off the bat I really liked the ensemble string and the wide selection of programming variations. It’s a full tone and would certainly cover most of your basic needs, unless you’re scoring pictures and such. Legato, slow-attack, marcato, octaves, a chamber ensemble; there’s a good variety here.

 

Sound Tweaking

 

This is as good a place as any to talk about what controls you have to adjust Tones in the CT-S1000V. 

 

First up, from the main page there is a button under the display labeled SUS; when enabled it give a longer release to the sound, and this can be set to nine different levels (ten if you consider off a level). 

 

For more ways to adjust your sounds you need to explore the knob functions. Basically, you assign a function to a knob, adjust its value and then move on to another function – the edit remains as long as the Tone is being worked on. When you want to work on a few parameters that need to be tweaked interactively you just assign two or all three of the knobs and tweak away. To save your work you need to write the Tone to a Registration. It’s not the most immediate design but it works fine once you get used to it.

 

Available parameters to adjust are:

 

Filter Cutoff

Filter Resonance

Attack Time (Amp)

Release Time (Amp)

Portamento Time

Modulation (the amount present all the time)

Modulation Range (the range for the knob you choose to control Vibrato)

Vibrato Rate (LFO rate)

Vibrato Depth (if always present)

Vibrato Delay

Part Volume (there are 2 Upper and 1 Lower Tones possible to be combined)
Pan

Reverb Send

Chorus Send

Delay Send

EQ Low Gain

EQ Mid1 Gain

EQ Mid2 Gain

EQ High Gain

EQ Input Level

EQ Output Level

 

So we’re definitively in limited tweaking territory here, but it’s helpful for adjusting things, especially when you’re layering sounds together and want them to match up better. And don’t forget the abundant effects, which are all very editable.

 

OK, back to more sounds.

 

Solo Brass

 

First up is a trumpet with a horrendously wide mariachi-style wide vibrato baked in. Not what I would lead off the category with! Thankfully it’s followed by a much more tasteful one, and then a more pinched-tone variation. Trumpet 3 uses an interesting Reflection DSP to give it a small room ambience. Things like this keep reminding me of how much the DSP power in the S1000V adds. More variations follow, like mellow, muted, and so on. A tasty flugelhorn, a nice bold trombone, a “jazz” trombone (not sure what type of mute is on it), a French horn that sounds like more than one at the attack (?), a French Horn Sect (I thought this was solo brass?), and more. Sure, the PCM is generally short on these, but they all sound decent when not overly exposed. 

 

Brass Ensemble

 

There’s some good stuff in here – the opening SymphonicBrs is bold and full, followed by a few more orchestral blends. The next Tones labeled as Brass Sect. 1, 2,3 and on work well for pop and so on, as do the nice BigBandBrass and Hard Brass, but you won’t be convincingly getting your E,W&F on. That’s a tall order to expect from this board, and honestly for most sub-$1500 keyboards. Am I being too fussy/critical? Let me know your thoughts. I don’t think anyone will disagree with me that the Brass Sfz is pretty weak, though.

 

A blend of Trumpet, Trombone and Sax is satisfying, and I was happy to find a few Tones that velocity switched from open sound to a fall, a wide shake, and a gliss up (commonly called a doit). There’s a couple of those Versatile Tone construction kits, but they’re less effective due to wide timbral variations between some of the elements.

 

Synth Brass

 

I liked everything in this category, and making use of filter cutoff and resonance I had a good time playing them all. I’m not sure that the Trance Brass is really genre appropriate, but I could certainly hear it being used in a layer to good effect.

 

Sax

 

If we all just acknowledge up front that single velocity samples of saxes can’t possibly really emulate a real saxophone performance, and accept these sounds for the timbres they offer, I can report I liked a lot of them. SoloTnrSax 1, while a bit heavy on the breath element has a great soft tone, and nice delayed vibrato. SoloTnrSax2 has a little more body to it, which masks some of the breath. Solo AltoSax delivers the breath plus vibrato approach for that instrument, and the VeloAltoSax is a four-way switch – nice! I’m partial to soprano saxes for melodies and the one here is tastefully done. Not too much breath and a subtle use of vibrato. The second variation ups the vibrato, and another version ups the breath. There’s a nice 3-way switched Tone as well. I’m impressed.

 

Plenty more harder Alto and Tenor saxes, some with velocity-switches into growls follow, and finally two sections approaches. The first lays out the instruments in their optimal ranges across the keyboard, and the second layers them.

 

Reed

 

Yeah, I know, saxes are reeds too, but I was glad to see them broken out into their own category for easier access. Here we have a somewhat lackluster oboe that swells up in volume slightly (a better one come later), a really nice bassoon, a single layer and a velocity-switched clarinet (surprised there was no vibrato baked into either of these), and an english horn. I don’t write music or perform stuff that requires these sounds but I always like to use them in blends with strings and pads and such. 

 

Pipes

 

Here are the rest of the things you blow into. Can I just report that I like almost everything here, save for a rather seasick Pan Flute 1? OK, I’ll call out the full-bodied Solo Flute 1, the Jazz Flute 1, a spot-on recorder, and the two Tape Flutes.

 

Synth-Lead

 

OK, there’s 77 Tones in this category, I’m beginning to regret how much of a deep dive I’ve undertaken here! 

 

The CT-S1000V is a rompler, so I’m not going to make comparisons to analog/virtual analog and more “authentic” approaches. But there are a lot of great sounds here, and plenty to use and enjoy without making any excuses. 

 

The opening Saw Lead has a good sustain sound, with the slightest of pitch cycling to imitate moving oscillators. Thumbs up. SuperSawLd 1 has velocity control over the resonant filter: not sure how they’re doing it but it plays great. And SuperSawLd 2 articulates the filter with a bit more wah and is also really good. DSP Mod Syn3 caught my ear with some cool sample and hold, which I finally found in the flanger effect being used.  VA Synth 1 is fat, and has a slight beating that slows down at lower ranges and speeds up at higher, but in a pleasing fashion. I’m not clear what VA stands for; I’m going to guess it was sampled from one of Casio’s previous models like the XW-P1 or G1 that had a VA engine in it. Mike/Rich – care to chime in? At any rate, all the VA prefixed sounds are wonderful.

 

Most every flavor of general-purpose synth sound you’re looking for is here — all the usual waveform suspects are covered, as are sounds tuned in intervals etc., and short blippy things for arpeggio control. OK, I never did find the wobble bass patch I was hoping for, but you can’t have everything. I bet with the Modulation and DSP effects I could make one. I guess the only caveat is that without deeper/more complete programmability you aren’t going to be able to cover every synth sound you need for playing cover material, but no one said you should expect to cover those types of gigs with only one board in the price range. Here is where I wished you could set the bend range separately for up and down bends so I could get those deep downward dives. Version Up? Onward.

 

Synth-Pad

 

Once again, a really nice, broad compliment of sounds: 55 in total. In a category like this, filter control and attack and release can take you a long way in shaping the sounds to your liking. And this area is great fodder for creating layered blends.

 

Choir

 

A mixed bag here, some real standouts, like the DSP ModVoi2, a great phased spacey choir, a good Aah choir, and some strings and vocal blends. Some others are rather plain, but they’re part of the GM spec so we’ve heard them plenty at this point, and they’re still good fodder for blends.

 

EDM Synth

 

Some synth sounds that could have been encompassed in previous categories are broken out here to attract “the kids” I guess. Anyway, they’re all good, including a few riser/breakdown sound effects. I’m greedy, I wish they did a little bit more of them. 

 

Casio Classic Tones

 

OK, I’m a nostalgic sucker for these…. They’re part of my DNA. VL Tone, CT, CZ, VZ: I enjoyed them all, and remember them fondly.

 

Ethnic Sounds

 

I’m lumping all 77 of these together: Indian, Indonesian, Arabic, Chinese, Brazilian and Other. I’m a big fan of the diversity included here. There’s so many cool sounds here that you won’t get if you’re not playing an arranger keyboard designed for the whole world. Here’s the full list, clipped from the manual:

 

rtDspIm.jpg

 

What’s left? How about 36 drumkits which can be powered by the 243 built-in rhythm patterns, or used for your own sequencing. You don’t have to be using full auto-accompaniment to use them: often on a gig I’m happy to play a keyboard sound, or a split bass and keyboard sound and use a rhythm pattern to accompany a singer or horn player. It’s nice to have.

 

Wrapping this up, I’m more than impressed with enough of these sounds to give the CT-S1000V a big thumbs up for sound quality far beyond its price point. I often start with a “good enough” threshold for an instrument, and the 1000V is levels beyond that. Will it hold its own against $1500 boards like the Korg Krome EX or Yamaha MO-DX+? Most likely not but you could buy almost three Casios for that price, so it’s not really a fair comparison. As I mentioned before, the 1000V can certainly get the job done with no shame, and the gigging musician can add one other board of your choosing and you’ll have a good rig and some coin left over for other gear, or to put gas in the car.

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Good sound overview there!

 

1 hour ago, jerrythek said:

Right off the bat I really liked the ensemble string

Yes, there are some nice sounds here, but I'm having trouble figuring out how to control the effects.  The first tone here is "StereoString" and it seems that, no matter what I did, I could not get rid of the delay/reverb tail effect. There was just too much going on after I let go of the keys, and I couldn't get rid of it. Any clue?

 

1 hour ago, jerrythek said:

I don’t think anyone will disagree with me that the Brass Sfz is pretty weak, though.

Yup, that's one I called out as well. It's actually a tricky sound on many boards. I like Yamaha's. Kurzweil has one that's too tame, almost hard to notice. Korg PA1000's also misses the mark for me. I couldn't find one on the Fantom-0 at all. 

 

1 hour ago, jerrythek said:

a really nice bassoon, a single layer and a velocity-switched clarinet (surprised there was no vibrato baked into either of these)

Same with an harmonica, IIRC. At least you can program in a judicious amount of LFO-based mild delayed vibrato, which may be able to get you most of the way to what you'd like. I played with it a bit and got a result I was pretty happy with.

 

1 hour ago, jerrythek said:

Will it hold its own against $1500 boards like the Korg Krome EX or Yamaha MO-DX+? Most likely not but you could buy almost three Casios for that price, so it’s not really a fair comparison. As I mentioned before, the 1000V can certainly get the job done with no shame, and the gigging musician can add one other board of your choosing and you’ll have a good rig and some coin left over for other gear, or to put gas in the car.

Yes, I think these sounds can get the job done, and especially if you're willing to shore up some areas with another board (or maybe a phone/tablet). But also, even if Sound X doesn't compete with some much higher board, you may find that Sound Y surprisingly betters it. Even the $1500+ boards have their areas of vulnerability!

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18 minutes ago, AnotherScott said:

Yes, there are some nice sounds here, but I'm having trouble figuring out how to control the effects.  The first tone here is "StereoString" and it seems that, no matter what I did, I could not get rid of the delay/reverb tail effect. There was just too much going on after I let go of the keys, and I couldn't get rid of it. Any clue?

Did you go to the knob assignments and take down the Reverb Send and the Delay Send? It helps, but it doesn't get rid of everything. From there I would set one to Release Time and cut it back a little. That should get you where you need to be. Let me know...

 

Jerry

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Thanks, Jerry. Yes, I had used the knobs for the Reverb and Delay sends, and also edited the system effects...  it was taking down the Release time that was the missing piece! It's unusual in the way it works. With settings of about +25 and up, it affects the release pretty much way you'd typically expect; at about -25 and down it sounds kind of as if it's controlling some kind of reverb (even with all tone and system reverbs off), and in the middle, you get a mix of the two behaviors. 

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FYI firmware update 1.02 was released in October. I checked, and my keyboard was still on 1.01. Updating involves the usual legal agreement not to use the update to further the forces of evil. Then you download the 186 MB update, copy the firmware to a FAT-formatted USB stick (the instructions caution against using any kind of Quick Format), and load the data into the CT-S1000V. I prefer this approach compared to streaming an update directly from the internet into a device, but patience is a virtue - the updating process takes a while.

 

Anyway, here are the tweaks - the one in red makes me particularly happy:

 

• Added the ability to change the routing of MIDI IN channels 1–5 from Port C to Port A (the parts used for keyboard operation)
• Added the ability to recall setups saved using the registration function using MIDI messages (CASIO General System Exclusive or a combination of Bank Select and Program Change messages)
• Added the ability to load user lyric tone data, user vocalist data and lyric tone sequence data from a USB flash drive 
• Changed the sounding balance for each tone when played via MIDI in or SMF
• Improvements to some operations

 

I'm always encouraged when a company lets loose occasional firmware updates. FWIW, Casio's instructions are clear, detailed, and concise.

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16 minutes ago, Anderton said:

FYI firmware update 1.02 was released in October.

 

• Added the ability to change the routing of MIDI IN channels 1–5 from Port C to Port A (the parts used for keyboard operation)

And this one is important for me, as I was trying to play the CT from another weighted action keyboard, with no luck. I have an older, but simply brilliant MIDI interface from iConnectivity that allowed me to get the two units talking to each other, but no matter what I did with MIDI channels on each the external keyboard would play the CT but not the Tones that I was selecting from the screen. It completely baffled me and I gave up. I should have looked into the update!!

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