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Casio Tone VL-1

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The VL-1 was the first instrument of Casio's VL-Tone product line, and is sometimes referred to as the VL-Tone. It combined a calculator, a monophonic synthesizer, and sequencer. Released in 1980 and selling for around $70. The VL-1 is notable for its kitsch value among electronic musicians, due to its cheap construction and its unrealistic, uniquely low-fidelity sounds.

Its 8-bit sounds were mostly composed of filtered square waves with varied pulse-widths. Its piano, violin, flute and guitar timbres were nearly unrecognizable abstractions of real instruments. It also featured a "fantasy" voice, and a programmable synthesizer which provided for choice of both oscillator waveform and ADSR envelope. The six voices include: Piano, Fantasy, Violin, Flute, Guitar, and ADSR.

The VL-1 featured a small LCD display capable of displaying 8 characters. This was primarily used for the calculator function, but also displayed notes played.

The VL-1 also had changeable tone and balance, basic tempo settings and a real-time monophonic music sequencer, which could play back up to 100 notes. This was programmed by entering a number into the calculator section's memory, then switching back to keyboard mode. It had a range of two and a half octaves.

There were also 10 pre-loaded rhythms which utilized just three basic drum sounds.

Ten Rhythms: March, Waltz, 4-Beat, Swing, Rock-1, Rock-2, Bossanova, Samba, Rhumba. Beguine

Technical Specifications
Type: Digital
Synthesis: Subtractive
Oscillators: 1
Waveforms: Pulse Variable, Square
Osc Modulation: Keyboard, LFO, Sequencer
Envelopes: 1
Evelope Paramerters: Attack, Decay, Sustain, Sustain Level, Release
LFO: 1
LFO Parameters: Sine, Square
LFO Notes::
+ Vibrato (sine)
+ Tremolo (square)
Polyphony & Tuning
Polyphony: 1
Timbrality: 1
Tuning: Standard
Modes: Mono
Patches ROM: 6
Storage: Internal
+ 10 rhythms
+ 3 Drum Sounds
+ 100 notes
+ Key entry record
+ Manual advance and reverse step
Case: Keyboard
Case Details: 29 Keys
Keyboard: Buttons, Plastic
Controls: Buttons, Sequencer, Switches
Display Type: LCD
Display Count H: 8
Display Count V: 1
Dimensions (WxDxH): 300 x 75 x 30 mm / 11 3/4 x 3 x 1 1/8 inches
Weight: 438 g / 15.4 oz with batteries
Audio Output Connections: 1/8" Phone Jack, Mono Out
Audio Output Count: 1
DAC Bits: 8
Power: 6V DC 6W, 4 x AA batteries
Year Released: 1980
Year Discontinued: 1985
Used By
Trio, Thomas Dolby, Beastie Boys, Bill Nelson, Stevie Wonder, Monte Cazazza, The Human League, Gorillaz, Tony Banks, Andy Partridge, Lady Gaga, Devo, Talking Heads, Cars, Dee-Lite, Sting, Vince Clarke
Manuals & Documents
Repairs and Support
[+] weltenschule.de
Editors & Software:
[+] www.polyvalens.com
MSRP List Price: $69.95 - convert
Used Price: $40 - $60 - convert
References & Sources

  Report Synthesizer

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