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Article from One Two Testing, February 1986

The whole music industry sliced into Twiglets

News of "one of the most spectacular concerts ever staged" reaches us from the Casio camp. There were all these lights and lazers and clouds of smoke and things, all directed by some geyser who calls himself Tomita and spent the evening suspended 100 feet above the stage in a glass pyramid. Sounds like a Duran Duran video but in the midst (or mist) of all this was poor little Mariko Senju trying to concentrate on his violin. Then there was the rock and roll bit featuring various ex-members of YMO and David Bowie's band and led by one Yukihiro Takahashi who is apparently a household name in Japan. Like Nesquik. The whole bash featured a range of Casio's current and future electronic keyboards which leads me on to the vast range of Casio equipment to be unveiled at the 1986 Frankfurt MusikMesse.

There's the RZ-1 drum machine for a start. It's a PCM based unit with 12 preset sounds, separate audio outputs and volume controls and three accent levels for each sound. The memory will hold 20 songs and 100 rhythm patterns, auto compensation ranges from ½-1/96, as well as MIDI in, out and thru', tape dump and an LCD display. There are 4 sampled voice locations with a sampling time of 0.2 secs for each memory but looping all four will provide one memory of 0.8 secs at a sampling rate of 20KHz.

Back with the keyboards there's the CZ-3000, a 5-octave keyboard incorporating Casio's "Phase Distortion" sound source. This little number features 32 user-programmable memories, RAM dump and recall, and MIDI in, out and thru', all wrapped up in a new style black casing.

The CT-6500 is another 5 Octave keyboard with 'Phase Distortion' digital based sounds. It'll give you synthesised bass and chord sounds, auto rhythms and a performance memory function, plus on-board digital memory, keyboard split, pitch modulation wheels and full MIDI capability and the sounds are reproduced through a two-way speaker system with built-in bass and treble drivers.

Taking care not to neglect the home-keyboard market Casio have come up with the MT-500. This includes on board drum pads that can control sounds from the built-in PCM rhythm unit and may be used in conjunction with the DP-1, a miniature set of remote pads which can be played with either sticks or hands. And there's more! A full-sized, budget-priced keyboard offering 12 digital preset sounds, with 1944 possible accompaniment variations, called the CT-320 and the newest edition to Casio's mini-key sized models called the MT-86, a polyphonic keyboard with a choice of preset sounds and rhythms and the self-teach system with melody lights. Q: What can you get for £99 these days?

A: A World Cup Final ticket, nine return tickets on the London to Bristol coach, a large number of Yorkie bars, the new Casio SK-1 polyphonic sampling keyboard... come again! A sampling keyboard for less than £100?

Straight up, and it's got 8 preset sounds, all utilising PCM rhythms, 11 preset rhythms, multi-memory recording and auto-accompaniment'n'all plus 1 user-programmable sound with the facility of harmonies addition and 1 user-sampling sound with looping facility and envelope modification. It's also much less fattening than Yorkie Bars.

The list goes on...

The CZ-230S is a preset synth with 100 preset sounds and a range of facilities including LCD display, MIDI in, out and thru' and 4 which can be programmed via MIDI from external equipment. With song memory, 12 PCM sounds sources, solo control and built-in monitor speaker theCZ-230S retails at £345.

... and on...

A 5 octave, 8 note polyphonic, full-sized, touch-sensitive keyboard with 14 presets, 12 rhythms and Casio Super Accompaniment with chord memory and auto harmonize. It's called the CPS-201 and it's yours for £545.

To complete the Casio lineup they've brought out the Casio Digital Drum Kit comprising of 5 touch-sensitive pads routed into a MIDI translator box. There is no sound generating facility but the drum pads may be connected to any MIDI equipped drum machine, synthesiser or keyboard. It sports 8 MIDI out ports plus a memory for 4 system performance set-ups and the whole unit is compatible with Simmons and other makes of digital drums.

Premier are also going to Frankfurt and if they can find any room amongst all that Casio stuff they'll be revealing the new Resonator drum outfit. This kit incorporates the patented inner shell made of top quality birch and held together by craftsmanship alone. No glue. No protruding parts.

Also from Premier comes the APK (Advanced Power Kit). This is a "reasonably priced kit" which comes with a "power" bass drum, extra-deep mounted toms, a 6in rock snare, regular floor tom and either Tristar or Trident stands.

In the line of accessories we find the new Prolock 2392 double tom-holder, a hard cymbal case, a new series of drum heads, a range of practice pads called 'Deadheads' and a new multiclamp which will clamp onto any tube from 1¼ down to ⅝.

Two snares, the 6½in deep 2009 and the 8in deep 2010 round off the Premier line-up for Frankfurt '86, while they are proud to announce that Danny Gottlieb, known for his work with Pat Metheny, has become "the latest in a long line of top drummers to endorse Premier products." Far out.

Although no details have been released, we are told that Akai will be exhibiting over a dozen new products in Frankfurt, all of which will be available for U.K. delivery in April/May 1986.

Brace yourselves! "Dynamix have uprated their series II stereo mixers — with no increase in price!" The Mk2 versions of the 6:2, 12:2 and 16:2 mixers feature headphone socket, lower noise circuitry and improved mic balancing.

Following the intensely loud 'X' Series Convention on December 8th, Yamaha announced their contribution to the Musik Messe.

The keyboard exhibit will be based around four new products — the DX100, DX27, PF70 and the PF80. The PF70 and 80 are the replacements for the PF15/10. Both feature MIDI, 10 FM voices and weighted actions, the PF80 being 80 keys and the 70 being 76 keys. They also offer tremolo and chorus, 3-band EQ, built-in rehearsal speakers and two function modes giving access to 16 programmable functions relating to MIDI usage and performance parameters etc. The PF70 and 80 will retail at £899 and £999 respectively.

Next up, a new guitar and bass from Marlin retailing at £225 each. The ML-40 guitar is fitted with the new Accutone tremolo locking system and two humbucking Powersound pick-ups. The ML-60 bass has one split type and one strip type pick-up. Both have a rock maple neck and rosewood fingerboard and come in a variety of finishes.

On Yamaha's modular side we find the RX21L. This is a Latin Percussion version of the RX21 featuring 16PCM voices and retailing at £249.

Three MIDI processing units, the MEP4 (MIDI Junction Controller), MCS2 (MIDI Control Station) and the MJC88 (MIDI Junction Controller) will also be on show.

Some of the new software for the CX5M Music computer will also be there; the new Disc Compatible ROMs such as DX21 Voicing Programme, FM Composer II, FM, Voicing Programme II and FM Music Macro II. Of special interest to the CX5 owner will be the SFG05 Tone Module. This boasts the tone generator as used in the DX100 and DX21 and can be used as a direct slot-in replacement for or alternative to the present SFG01. The SFG05 has MIDI 'IN' so allowing the CX5 to be used as an FM expander unit and is expected to retail at under £100.

Home recordists will be interested in the MT1X Multitrack Cassette Recorder/Mixer. This is a very compact, all-in-one 4-track cassette and mixer measuring only 14⅓" along its longest side.

Features include dbx noise reduction, front entry inputs, MIDI Sync In/Out, punch in/out, 2-band channel EQ and individual monitor pan/level for each channel. The unit may be operated from battery or mains and should retail around £450.

Striking back into the FX pedals market, Yamaha are unleashing a Compressor (CO-10MII), Chorus (CH-10MII), Distortion (DI-10MII), Flanger (FL-10MII), Overdrive (OD-10MII) and Graphic EQ (GE-10MII). Price indications suggest the Distortion retailing at £39 and Chorus retailing for £54.

There will be some new electric guitars, the cheapest of which, the SE150, is expected to retail well under £200.

Their contribution on the drum front features a range of brass-shell snare drums plus some updates in System Hardware.

To justify the rumours, they will be exhibiting pre-production samples of electronic drum pads and MIDI Interface Unit.

Back at the 'X' Series convention the tentacles (check spelling carefully) were going out to encourage innocent punters to join the DX Owners club. If you missed out then here's the address to write to for your 'I'm a DX owner' badge and T-shirt: DX Owner's Club, (Contact Details).

John Parr is doing the same for Tokai and is apparently "knocked out" by the guitars they've provided. A week in bed and 30 years with his jaw wired up should cure it.

Alternatively he might be impressed by the new DOD PDS 1700 digital chorus/flanger footpedal which offers full bandwidth with up to 51 milliseconds of delay. The chorus function features speed control, depth control and a delay time of 4-51 milliseconds. Flanging is covered by speed, depth, regeneration and a shorter delay that guarantees up to 12.8ms of delay time. A dry signal bandwidth of 20Hz — 40KHz and a delayed signal bandwidth of 20Hz — 16KHz means that this dual footswitch system will be successful with guitar, bass and keyboards. Price: £199.95.

Meanwhile, down at the Nomis Complex the finishing touches have been applied to Studio A, the latest development to add to the nine existing studios, and the largest and most sophisticated in design. The studio features a full production P.A. system comprising Turbosound speaker enclosures, Court acoustics 15/15 graphic equalisers, DDA D series desk, Yamaha digital delay, and digital reverb, Drawmer compressor/limiter and a Tascam 122 cassette deck.

Previous Article in this issue

Kahler Bass Tremolo + EMG P-Bass Pickups

Next article in this issue

Roland Alpha Juno 1

Publisher: One Two Testing - IPC Magazines Ltd, Northern & Shell Ltd.

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One Two Testing - Feb 1986


Previous article in this issue:

> Kahler Bass Tremolo + EMG P-...

Next article in this issue:

> Roland Alpha Juno 1

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