Casio – The Cosmo Synthesizer Series & FZ Sampler – incl. Hohner OEM

Casio CZ/VZ digital synthesizer series – called the Cosmo Synthesizer and successors – the VZ Series with iPD Synthesis.
Casio FZ sampler series
casio vl tone.. uuhm, a keyboard.. ;)

Casio Casio Synth overview / überblick..

casio CZ envelope

Casio CZ101
“the cosmo synthesizer”
the waveforms.
that the PD synthesis (phase distortion) supports are printed on all the CZ synths..

PD is much like FM
later models really compare nicely to Yamahas DX series!!
(8 OP but then called iPD “interactive PD” the VZ series)

casio CZ synthesizer
very simple 16 sound 16 on cartridge (see that quite big thing on the back)

the full size CZ1000 was the same but with “normal size” keys.

casio CZ synthesizer
this is how it looked like.. casio CZ synthesizer
digital oscialltorsDCO
(dcw = digital controlled waveform for “filtering” -sound..)

dco1 and dco2 – channels could be ringmodulated to create interesting new sounds. the DCW is some sort of simple filter (no resonance). but you could use the waves shown on the image..

the complex envelope is 8-stage level/rate quite complex those times!!

Casio CZ-101 synthesizer
4 octaves mini-keys
was one of the first with midi mono mode. th cz1000/101 has 8 voice polyphony as long as you only use one “channel”.. so in fact you will use both in most sounds, thats why the mono mode is 4part
still underestimated because of it’s name (casio).also later models came out with velocity (CZ1 is the top model of the CZ series.. the more advanced are the VZ family. and more synthesis features.)
the best and most sophisticated model is (racked casio VZ1, ) VZ10M, which was the most powerful model..
has iPD (fm like) but 8 OSCs and ringmod. so there are lots of possible sounds and potential in the CZ series!

CZ5000 and CZ3000 difference to CZ101/1000:
added: a chorus

the sequencer in the CZ5000 is a simple 8track system. but similar to CZ3000 (exept that sequencer).
the CZ series:
the CZ3000 and CZ5000 had more polyphony.
basically it is a double CZ101 / CZ1000
32 patch memories.

casio CZ101 synthesizer
the CZ top model was the CZ-1 ,
the only one of this series with velocity sensitive and aftertouch keyboard. so this is also the most cool model. (1986),

all VZ1 and CZ1 pics by SUMMA!
maybe pass by the CZ casio pro group and meet summa there!

casio CZ1 back
casio CZ1
casio CZ1
casio CZ-1 synthesizer

VZ synthesizer series

all VZ1 and CZ1 pics by SUMMA!
maybe pass by the CZ casio pro group and meet summa there!
the VZ10m (16voices) and the smaller VZ8m (8 voices) were released (not compatible to the CZ series! but the best casio ever!) as rack versions of the VZ series. 8 OSC’ed iPD (FM-like) synthesis
waves used: Sine, noise 6 x saw with different overtone content.

the later VZ-1 (1988) also has Velo/After Touch

back of Casio VZ-1 the iPD synthesis flag ship:
the vz10m – rack version of the vz1 sampler
casio VZ10m casio VZ1
click image to enlarge..

casio VZ1
casio CZ1
casio VZ1
casio VZ1
casio VZ1

casio VZ1

casio VZ1 synthesizer

more info here
CZ casio pro group
mailing list.
theCZ/casio mailing list
FZ1 – HS1 (hohner)
the FZ1 (same as Hohners only sampler HS1 in germany)
was the first reasonable 16bit-stereo sampler. some additive synthesis on board, quite nice.. and cheap those days..

the cheapst samplers – more toys were the SK keyboards (sk1, sk7)

ein sehr interessanter thread dazu und dem format des casio und vielen infos zum verbund mit dem pc gibts hier:
fz1-diskformat @ buchty it’s FAT,

some files for the fz1

cable: FZ –> PC
DATA0 1 <–[ 330 ]–> 2
DATA1 3 <–[ 330 ]–> 3
DATA2 5 <–[ 330 ]–> 4
DATA3 7 <–[ 330 ]–> 5
DATA4 9 <–[ 330 ]–> 6
DATA5 11 <–[ 330 ]–> 7
DATA6 13 <–[ 330 ]–> 8
DATA7 15 <–[ 330 ]–> 9
EARTH 2 <———–> 25
STROBE 19 <———— 1
ACK 21 <———— 16
STROBE 22 ————> 10
BUSY 24 <———— 17
BUSY 25 ————> 11

Jeff McClintock 1996

This cable connects a PC printer port to a Casio FZ-1 Synthesiser High Speed Port.

Both ends DB-25 pin Male plugs

this symbol [ 330 ] means a 330 ohm resistor, this prevents damage
to PC or synth due to too much current flowing.

– ALWAYS Disconnect the cable after exiting FZDUMP, if any other software accesses the port
while the FZ is connected you could damage your PC.

– Please be very careful to wire this correctly, clearly label the cable ends
‘PC’ and ‘FZ’, and always connect the correct end to the FZ and PC. If cable
is wrong, it is possible to damage either the PC or FZ.

– Try to keep cable as short as practical for reliability. Mine is 3 meters.

– Older computers may not have a bi-directional printer port, these
can send samples to an FZ, but not receive.

– FZDUMP uses your PC’s interrupt 7 to receive data. If another peripheral
(Soundcard etc) is using interrupt 7 or if your printer port is using
another interrupt, FZDUMP can not receive data.

– If you are having checksum errors receiving data you can try reducing the
value of the resistors (try 100 ohm).

– FZDUMP for DOS does not run under Windows.
– FZDUMP for DOS MIDI dumps support only Soundblaster, not MPU401.

FZDUMP is freeware, and may not be sold for profit. But I encourage every user to donate a
sound bank to the FZ sample collection at

FZDUMP updates can be found at
Author Jef McClintock’s email is

Thanks to Carsten Wolters, David Minodier for help developing FZDUMP.

the fz10m – rack version of the fz1 sampler
casio fz10m casio FZ1
click image to enlarge..
some samples:

the fz DUMP:
EL Folie für die Beleuchtung:

Trio “dadada”..? der (!) Casio VL1AR envelope, programmable waveform.. sort of.. ;)
drum machine RZ1 – very simple machine – but it had the ability to sample very very short samples (4). some still like it for it’S very loFi sound ;) somewhat lofi.. but seems interesting for old school hiphop sounds ;)
the little one (bottom) is a Casio SK1, it’s sample rate and resolution is really low, but it is perfect for clicks and cuts when you bend it..some guys bend it and sell it for a §$§$%§ price on “the monopolist auction …”

how does it sound? check “der warst” audio..

der memorymoog wird in der analogsektion (moog) erklärt .. der SK1 hat einen gewissen kultstatus als bending objekt, kam in den frühen 2000ern schonmal auf knapp $400 beim Auktionsmonopolisten von irgendeinem Star-Bender..

casio sk1 sampler
The Sequencer for the Cosmo Synthesizer Series was the SZ1it was built in in the big CZ model
the Fz1 behind it is the Sampler, there was a Rack also, also under the Hohner name in Germany as HS1..
Casio Sz1 Sequencer Fz1 Sampler RZ1 Drummachine
RZ1 Drum Machine

the Casio Rz-1 , it has 4 sample pads with somehing like 0.8 secs of sampling time (for all 4) – does not sound HiFi, .. ;)
casio rz1 drum machine