Casio RZ-1

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Casio RZ-1
“Digital Sampling Rhythm Composer”

The Casio RZ-1 was a drum machine manufactured and released by Casio in 1986. It was one of the first drum machines to allow the user to sample their own sounds, augmenting the unit's built-in sounds.

Either four samples of 0.2 seconds each, or one sample of 0.8 seconds, could be recorded and used. The sampling frequency was 20 kHz, which resulted in a playback bandwidth of around 10 kHz. The sampled sounds could not be edited in any way. This was unfortunate because the user recorded sounds had a tiny portion of silence before their start, causing them to sound slightly delayed in playback compared to the machine's built-in sounds. The only adjustable parameter provided for the samples was a simple low pass filter.

The RZ-1 had a built-in mixer section allowing adjustment of the mix heard through the stereo outputs. In addition to the stereo mix output, the RZ-1 had ten separate outputs for feeding the individual sounds into an external mixer. The unit also featured a backlit LCD and MIDI in/out/thru sockets. The internal memory held 100 patterns and 20 songs, which could be copied to cassette tape using an unorthodox socket labeled MT (Music Tape - not be confused with a MIDI Thru socket).

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