Now it’s official: With the CT-S1000V, Casio is releasing a new keyboard that features an exciting vocal synthesizer. With the associated app, the Casiotone CT-S1000V generates vocal phrases that can be phrased harmonically and rhythmically as desired. That sounds like a lot more than just a gimmick. Does Casio have a new insider tip for electronic producers?
At first glance, the new Casio CT-S1000V looks like any other Casio piano keyboard. Of course, includes everything the Japanese manufacturer is notorious for: lots of sounds (900) and rhythms (243), integrated effects (reverb, chorus, delay, and 100 DSP effects), and the usual extras such as an arpeggiator and an automatic harmonization function. The sound generation is called AiX and is already used in the keyboards of the CT-X series was released in 2018.
Innovative Vocal Synthesizer
However, it seems as if you should take a closer look at the CT-S1000V because Casio has managed to implant a function in the keyboard that you won’t find in any other hardware synthesizer in this form. The vocal synthesis in the CT-S1000V makes it possible to create synthetic vocal phrases simply and intuitively – with the text you have entered yourself and with full flexibility in terms of rhythm and melody or harmony.
The keyboard comes with an app for iOS and Android, in which you can enter text and set it rhythmically. It can then be transferred to the CT-S1000V and saved as a new vocal synthesis preset. Then you can play the vocals on the keyboard or via MIDI – in the desired pitch and as chords or monophonic melody.
Vocal synthesis offers two modes. In Note Mode, the keyboard plays a new syllable of the entered text each time a key is pressed. In “Phrase” mode, the entire phrase is played in the rhythm that you set in the app. During playback, you can influence the “sung” pitches. Of course, different synthetic voices are available.
If you don’t listen carefully, you could mistake some of the sound samples available so far for a vocoder. But this form of vocal synthesis goes well beyond what is possible with a vocoder. Freely harmonizing any text and setting it rhythmically, in real-time, and controlled by keyboard or MIDI – that’s not so wrong what Casio came up with.
What do you think – will the CT-S1000V become the new insider tip that every electronic producer suddenly has to have?
Casiotone CT-S1000V price and availability
Last year, Yamaha presented the PSR-A5000 61 Key keyboard with new features and musical genres. It features 1,161 Voices, including 299 Oriental Voices, 44 Oriental Drum Kits, 20 Revo!SFX kits, 454 Styles (including 260 Oriental Styles, Khaleeji, Shami, Masri, Maghrebi, Persian, and Turkish). Crossfade Portamento with velocity, time-related parameters, and is priced at $2,045.