【Recommended model】iPad mini 3、iPad Air、iPad Air 2
This app reproduces the functionality of Casio’s best-selling CZ-series models, such as the CZ-101 (first released in 1984), and also includes new functions.
Featuring a built-in 4-part PD (phase distortion) sound source, its 36 waveforms are capable of generating an extensive and diverse range of sounds. The created tones can also be played on MIDI-compatible instruments.
======The PD sound source system========
Phase Distortion (PD) works by distorting a sine wave when it is read so that various different waveforms are produced.At the time, it was a ground-breaking system for generating waveforms other than simple sine waves. In the CZ series, 8 basic waveforms were generated by the PD sound source, with pairs of those 8 waveforms cascaded to provide a total of 33 waveforms.
----- An extensive parameter set to allow richly varied sound creation -----
Two block configuration systems are provided for each of the DCO, DCW and DCA
・ WAVE FORM (DCO1/DCO2)
Parameters to set basic waveforms. 8 basic waveforms can be selected for each of the 2 sound sources. You can play with a wide range of sounds based on eight basic waveforms and 28 combinations of those basic waveforms—for a total of 36 types of waveforms.
・ KEY FOLLOW
One Key Follow feature (DCW1/DCW2) controls waveforms based on the upper and lower extent of the keyboard's register while the other Key Follow feature (DCA1/DCA2) controls the envelope duration based on the keyboard's register.
・ DETUNE/LINE SELECT
CZ-series synthesizers allowed users to choose from 4 types of line output (1, 2, 1+2 or 1+1) depending on the purpose. Using 2 DCOs allowed the use of detuning to fine-tune the pitch shift in the two systems to within ±4 octaves, which is useful not only in creating a chorus effect, but also for producing sounds with specific harmonics emphasized.
・ RING/NOISE MODULATION
Ring modulation can be used to produce metallic tones that include non-integer harmonics, while noise modulation is effective in creating percussion-like sounds.
・ ENVELOPE GENERATOR
An envelope generator is provided for each DCO, DCW and DCA core block in the two systems, which makes it possible to vary the tuning, tones and volume over time.
-----Play along to your favorite audio files-----
You can use the keyboard to play along to audio files on an iPad.
-----Multi-play mode combines keyboard layouts to allow new ways of playing
The new performance interface lets you can combine 2, 3 or 4 keyboards, or even flip the layout so that other people can play along with you.
It is possible to play by reading the SMF.
The maximum number of MIDI channels is 4.
-----Supports external MIDI instruments and inter-app collaboration-----
・Inter-App Audio (iOS 7 or later)
・Audiobus compatible (input only)
・Playable using an external MIDI keyboard(via a third-party MIDI interface, an Apple Lightning-USB camera adapter* plus USB cable, or the Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit* plus USB cable)
・MIDI over Bluetooth
Ratings and Reviews
One of the better iPad synths
CZ app is a recreation of the Casio CZ synth engine, popular during the mid '80s. The app sounds great, it's very faithful to the original hardware (though it is less....ummmm...muddy or noisy). It's also -much- easier and faster to patch than the original hardware and has the benefit of basically unlimited save slots. The app also has a rather nice feature of being 4 part polytimblre (it can produce 4 different tones, not just pitches, on 4 different midi channels or using the built in virtual keyboards). The interface also looks nice and is easy to get around. As of the latest release Casio patched in background audio. This is fast becoming my favorite iOS synth between the ease of patching, the far out sounds and the polytimbrlety. The price may seem a bit high, but it's worth it for the quality of the product.
The only other things I could really hope for would be support for Scala tuning files, the ability to work with microtonal scales and support for the "hidden" waveforms that could be accessed on hardware PD synths via sysex. In a sense, the "hidden" waveforms are already partially supported as it is possible to select two resonant waveforms for the same voice.
It's nice to see Casio doing good work for musicians again, even if it is in the form of a recreation. Believe it or not, they were an extremely innovative in synth design until they closed their pro audio division.
Great emulation of an often overlooked classic synth
I had a CZ-1000 back in the day. Really liked the custom sounds that could be made with it, but programming was rather tedious. This app makes programming fun and adds some great internal effects. Having a blast in nostalgia-land recreating those great old noises.
Now for the quibbles:
I've only been noodling around for a couple of hours so I'm sure there's more to learn and explore, however the latency with a MIDI controller is bugging me. There does not seem to be a way to adjust it. The app also seems to only have four notes of polyphony when utilizing both oscillators. Mono mode is cool, though. CPU is easily maxed out with chords on sounds that utilize all of the internal effects which introduces audio drop-out and ugly digital distortion. Really wishing for MIDI learn so those awesome envelopes could be controlled easier with perhaps some more accuracy.
Still a great, unique sounding synth that brings back fond memories. Glad I got it on sale as it is still pricey for some of the limitations as synth-apps go. Updates seem to have slowed to few and far apart, so it is likely my wishlist will go unfulfilled. Two stars off as it is an average UI for a premium price. Full price would have ticked me off with the short falls.
Good CZ Synth App, could be great with a couple changes
Thank you Casio!!!
I've spent the last few years periodically checking the App Store, searching for a virtual CZ App, and I was thrilled when I found this. From a sonic standpoint, the phase distortion quality is dead on. The addition of DSP, reverb, and chorus is a nice touch. The interface is well thought out, and really does have the CZ look and feel. I have two chief complaints though: the app won't run in the background, and polyphony is limited to 4 notes when using line 1 + 2 (just like the CZ-101). In multi mode, way more than 4 notes can be played at the same time using the screen keyboards - I can't see any reason why the sound engine polyphony can't be increased for real-time MIDI playing. Even 8 notes would be a huge improvement. 4 star app. Would easily be 5 stars with increased polyphony and background process ability.
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.