The Casio Casiotone MT-100 was sold in the mid-1980s as a low-to-mid-range portable home keyboard. It has 8-note polyphony, a 49-key keyboard, 20 instrument patches, and an analog percussion generator (two toms, bass drum, snare, open and closed high hats, and click) with 12 programmed rhythms of variable tempo. It also features fingered and Casio Chord accompaniment with three chord tones, four bass tones, and auto-accompaniment with four bass lines and four chord rhythms.
The MT-100 has been used in Homestar Runner cartoons, as well as by They Might Be Giants, notably the "funny" patch in their song "Put Your Hand Inside the Puppet Head." However, the latest public outing for the MT-100 was on the UK TV show 'Britain's Got Talent on 16 May 2015, where it was the sole accompaniment to Lorraine Bowen's act in the performance of The Crumble Song.
Sound generation method
The MT-100 and its cousins (such as the MT-68 and the MT-65) employed the NEC D931x chip to digitally synthesize its sounds. All 20 patches were composed of two short waveforms, usually crossfaded (see Vowel-Consonant synthesis).
The analog drums are produced by sine oscillators tuned almost to the point of self-oscillation. The variable resistors controlling the ring time of the sine component of the drums are accessible and may be adjusted.
The MT-100 has 20 instrument patches (called "tones" in the manual and in the panel legend), selectable through 11 radio buttons (10 patch select and 1 shift) on the front panel. They are:
- Pipe organ
- Elec. piano
- Elec. guitar
- Cosmic tone
Although the MT-100 is not nearly as popular as the SK-1 amongst the circuit bending community, its many easter eggs make it a popular platform for modifications. The keyboard includes the basic functionality for an arpeggiator as well as extra filter settings, but due to price and cost issues, these features are hidden.