Synth Site: Casio: VZ1: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.9 out of 5
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Soren a professional user from Denmark writes:
I used to own a VZ1, and I still regret the day I sold.

This synth can produce rich sound textures including pads, strings, strange complex sounds as well as "in-your-face" basslines.

Don't judge it by the preset sounds, most of them are really naf.

If you wanna spend time programming, thise monster can deliver some sonic capabilities that makes it sound like nothing else.

If you don't wanna program anything, you'll be disappointed.

Understanding the synthesis can be somewhat difficult, as normal additive filtering is made using phase distortion rather than just tuning oscilators. It's complex, but once you get the idea, you'll know how to manipulate the thing.

Even if there is no square wave, you can make one by parring two saw waves, and let one PD the other. Really simple.

With the 8-step DCA envelopes, you can program delay effects too.

I guess the VZ1 was made for nerds rather than musicians, but it fits in greatly with the sound of electronic music today...

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Thursday-May-19-2005 at 07:15
Reno Vieira a hobbyist user from Brazil writes:
i bought a VZ-1 here in Brazil, Sao Paulo City, missing the LCD (without it) and the whole equipmente is in perfect order, but i really miss the LCD functions as you can imagine. I have a frieng going this sunday (08/01) to the USA and i'm asking him to try finding the LCD for me, even USED , but working of course. Can anybody pls help me where can he find this for me there in USA ? I'll be waiting for your reply anxiously ! You people can also use my son's email that is renoneto@uol.com.br ! This is for our Synth Player of our band that you can see at http://www.bandaplantseed.hpgvip.com.br (sorry, it's only in portuguese but at FOTOS (photos) you'll see the VZ-1 and the whole band ! thanks in advance !!! Reno

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Saturday-Jul-31-2004 at 16:50
Oswald von Wolkenstein jr. a part-time user from Deutschland writes:
Casios Masterpiece in PD synthesis. This machine had all,what earlier PD synths hadn´t ! The VZ was proudly presented as Professional Synth.And that´s what it is.... The VZ was not a toy machine or a fashionlooking synth.This synth was made to be used in several varieties,based on the PD synthesis.The VZ is not an eyecatcher for a mode,it is a solid designed synth.All in black,with userfriendly tools(LCD) and an easy operating system.The VZ was together with the FZ1 thought as team,to work like a cheaper version of the Synclavier(R.I.P.). The Quality of the VZ can not be found in an unique sound.The VZ is more academic,and with that it gives you freedom in sounddesign,wich you find never in other synths. This freedom makes it hard to find sounds,wich you like. But the VZ is very flexible and easy to use. Trace the VZ as an 8 operator FM synth,with flexible routing. No fixed algorithms like in the DX/SY series. A decade later Yamaha offered such a flexible synth with 8 ops(FSR1). The VZ was ahead of its time.But when it was released it was a commercial Flop.Casio retired from the PRO- market. The Casio VZ is still a great soundmachine.Editing with it,is like jamming in a Bluegrassband. The VZ can offer some good standard sounds,like EPs strings and brass.But this is only the Tip of the iceberg.The VZ rules perfect in SciFi Pads,FX sounds and pre-Sherman Filterbanksounds. It is only a question of programming skills. The VZ can be abused as Fouriersynth,also as Pseudo FM-synth.Its high qualities are the morphing sounds. Long Pads with smooth changing sounds.Flexible Modulation Matrix. The only negative aspect is the to short manual. Explaining each function is well done,but I am missing more detailwork. But the VZ is an 80ths synth,and at that time manuals were never good.(with the exception of Ensoniq!!!). Nevertheless the VZ is one of my main synths. You can use it as FX device or normal synth.

YOU like odd synths ? Then this VZ is something for you.But beware,the VZ is not easy to catch, but it is it worth. The VZ is your (nearly) perfect,musical Chess partner.And beside that,it is build like a rock. Your total audible gym-trainer. The VZ1 is one of that synths,that lacked in economy,but still are masterpieces.Like the Kawai K5.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Dec-16-2002 at 11:44
Martin Tauchen a professional user from Germany writes:
The VZ1 is one of the most underrated synths ever. The Hardware is pretty good and professional.After 13 years of usage,every button,slider,Wheels, LCD and of course the keys are wourking very well, eventhough this synth has seen some hard times on the road.Convincing quality. The synthesis itself by far not as "poor" as most people think about. The problem of the synthesis is,that it is to complicated to programm and lets the user a high freedom to the routing of the modules. In five minutes you will not get a boombastic sound of it.It can take 24hours,before you have realized a special sound. The VZ is also not a FM synth.FM is also very complexe,but FM is much better described in thousands of sources.For the VZ were only one book available"Powerplay VZ". The VZ can produce some very complexe sounds,wich are by far not "thin".... And the tuning capacity of each module is very amazing and smooth.They can also be used as LFO for tremolo. What I find a little "thin" are the basic waveforms.Eight are not enough.It would be better if the VZ had maybe 32basic waveforms.Including a Squarewave.The CZ1 had already more different choices for waveforms. Anyway,I can get also a Square out of it,but it costs me two DCOs.... With an external FXdevice the VZ will come to wild life.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Friday-Sep-06-2002 at 10:37
Shane M. Edmonds a professional user from Philadelphia, Pa writes:
I have owned the VZ-1 since it first came on the market. The keyboard hardware is very nice. I think the synthesizing capabilities of the unit, while vast, are difficult to grasp. The modules also lack a square wave, which is pretty important in creating quality sounds. The sounds that came with and were available for the VZ-1 were also a little lacking in usefulness. I still use the board as a controller, and at around $300US it is a steal for this purpose.

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Jan-02-2002 at 17:14
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