Synth Site: Casio: VL1: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.5 out of 5
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adam loavenbruck a part-time user from nyc writes:
hi i'm always wishing people would give up the how-to on this page, so here's what i figured out since i got my little vl-tone yesterday. possibly a lot of this info won't be news to some, but everyone i've met has been unclear on how to use the ADSR function. last night i stayed up too late and figured it out (i think). you prgram the ADSR by going into calculator mode and entering an 8 digit number into the calculators memory. each digit defines something about the sound. i think i've figured out what each digit does. first digit is waveform, or tone. 1,4, and 5 are about the same, like a sawtooth. 2 is more harsh, like the violin preset. 3 is a squre wave, like the icecream truck. 6,7,and 8 are arpeggiated octaves (far as i can tell). 2nd digit is attack time, higer = longer. seems with vl-tone attack time is only apparent if you let sound of previous note played die down. otherwise attack is abrupt, there is no key-follow (like on the CZ line). 3rd digit is sustain level, higer = louder (i think, though on mine this value doesn't seem to make much difference) 4rd digit is decay, higher = slower. this is vague though, because next 2 digits also control decay. 5th digit is decay after key is released, higher = longer. 6th digit is decay while key is held (might be mixing up these last two). 7th digit is a nice pitch modulation, higher = deeper. 8th digit is tremelo, higher = deeper.

anyway. i like the keyboard because it has creates simple, pure tones. portamento would be nice, but you can get that elsewhere. this is an electronic instrument with a distinct sound, that's all. the little speaker, when overdriven gets a nice mild distortion to it, and if you cup your hand over it like a harmonica, you can get a nice vocoder type effect, with the vioin or waveform-2 sounds especially, that's fooled some of my knobhead type friends. my dad thinks it's cool. the drum sounds are awaful but distinctive and the beats are well done. there are other good things too, but i'm done here. it's going for like 20 25 bucks on ebay. try to find one with a manual to really know what they were going for with the ADSR stuff. like any of the casio 80s synths it has a limited character but in a mix produces an interesting presence, kind of retarded and blissful. definitely not bad. can even produce some evil sounds if you want. i like the modulation and long decays. the pitch modulation can produce almost like a busted tape machine sound, like on some of the Latin Playboys' first album's songs. like drunk. the vibrato can sound like a delay when mixed with a longer decay. i'll use it on some songs, i'm sure.

please let me know if you have any other ideas about the ADSR!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Jul-28-2000 at 12:17
dknation a hobbyist user from swden writes:
I just can't stop loving it. I got mine when I was three years old, since then I have put my entire life into the wounderful world of waveforms, today I fancy KORG synths but still I pick up my VL-1 sometimes and listen to the awesome and geeky sounds you can get with the adsr part. The rythm section is to good to be true, especially the swing (in high speed tempo), the rock-2 and the bossanova. Try changing between swing and rock-2 while playing, after that you just wanna sample the thing and make the coolest tune ever produced by man. You gotta have one it's unique.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-May-02-2000 at 15:37
Pat McNeil a professional user from Canada writes:
This is a thoroughly unique device. One the one hand, it looks like a calculator and an organ had sex, and their child was delivered at Radio Shack.

On the other hand, run through some processing (try a Lexicon 224, it is the ultimate in audio perversity to run your Casio cheese machine through one of these..) and taking the time to play with the little ADSR can yeild some truly bizarre tones.

It's a ball of fun - I got mine for $5.00 CDN. A Steinway it ain't, but you can't do multiplication on your Steinway either. Every SynthGeek should have one.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Apr-04-2000 at 21:43
Honest Steve a part-time user from usa writes:
I just rediscovered mine and dusted it off after reading some of the other reviews. Dry, the sounds are pretty tame but run it through some chorus and reverb and the analog engine really comes to life. You can program your own sounds with the ADSR, tremolo and vibrato to allow for some flexibility in the sounds. I saw someone selling brand new boxed left over stock of these for $70.00 last week if anyones looking.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Dec-17-1999 at 19:49
Dave H a hobbyist user from England writes:
I never had one of the originals but I was bought the Realistic Concertmate 200.This was exactly the same machine except with the badging.When I went to look at the machine,the Realistic MG1-the Moog clone,was on sale too-Tandy/Radio Shack must have been inspired in those days!

Anyway the Concertmate 200/VL Tone is still a great sounding machine.How many other keyboards could go into school bags to entertain at breaktimes and be used as calculators in lessons??

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Nov-28-1999 at 12:16
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