The 5% Nation of Casiotone

Skip to the bottom

  • @spingo  Feb 2019

    TL; dr: Get a thrift keyboard with auto accompaniment for instant demos!

    I got a Casio CTK-651 home keyboard at Goodwill a while back just for the hell of it. I haven't owned a little Casio-ish keyboard since college, and I wasn't writing songs then. I grabbed this one thinking it would be kind of fun/funny to use cheese-o auto accompaniment for FAWM and holy hell, I'm a convert.

    Last FAWM I used a couple of simple chord-organ type Ipad apps (Chordion, iOptigan) and got the bug to find a realtime auto-accompaniment app, and it looks like there really isn't anything like there is on the low notes of one of these kinds of keyboards. The PolyChord app kind of does it, but it's more limited and less goofy.

    I play guitar, not keyboard, but you can do major, minor, and 7th chords with 1,2, or 3 fingers respectively, and that's all I really need anyway. My last FAWM demo was me hollering while playing with 2 fingers, into my phone, and I am SOLD.

  • @spingo  Feb 2019

    (Title is from my beloved Soul Coughing: )

  • @spingo  Feb 2019

    It is PERFECT for skirmishes, where you just need to hork out audio documentation as quickly as possible.

    Oh, and there's a couple of good iPad apps that let you map out a song and it'll play it for you (I've used iReal and Chordbot Lite) and those are pretty good but more of a forethought kind of thing versus a slapdash one. Two seconds of any of my demos will illuminate which of those I am.

  • @zecoop  Feb 2019

    @spingo - I am absolutely on board with this... I seem to have frisky Casio and Yamaha PSS keyboards, because they somehow multiply!! I always write a lot with them and sometimes dedicate entire songs to them. I love everything about that sound. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • @spingo  Feb 2019

    @zecoop I think I'm on my way to at least another Casio, a tiny one, and probably a Yamaha so I have a choice of Foxtrot accompaniments!

  • @spingo  Feb 2019

    Which of the small ones (I was looking at the Casio SA 46) has the most styles/rhythms, do you know offhand? Mine has 100 rhythms but it's really kinda big for me, so I may go smaller for most use.

  • @standup  Feb 2019

    Song title alert: "A group of foxes is referred to as a skulk, leash, or earth" -- a couple more keyboards and you could have a skulk of foxtrots. A leash of foxtrots...

  • @zecoop  Feb 2019

    My favorites are all for different reasons, which might be why I have so many. Among my all-time favorites are:
    Yamaha PSS-170 - small keys, but lots of different sounds, plus it has a portamento button so you can slide up and down between notes.
    Yamaha PSS_470 - has five sliders which allow you to change the sound of any of the presets (small keys again)
    Casio CT-360 - full size keys. Doesn't have a ton of sounds but it has a few that are great.
    Casio MT-41 (or MT-40) - are hard to find because they have awesome drum sounds and people hack them (circuit bending) and add all kinds of switches. I have not circuit bent mine because I don't know how, lol. ๐Ÿ˜€

    I have a bunch of others. I like my Casio CTK-2080, which has lots of great sounds, realistic drums and can sample using a microphone.

  • @zecoop  Feb 2019

    @standup - LOLOL I think I might have one in my studio already...

  • @timfatchen  Feb 2019

    Just for the record; my workhorse piano is a Casio.

  • @standup  Feb 2019

    And for the record, I do love Soul Coughing, and that's why I dropped in on this thread.

  • @oddbod  Feb 2019

    My Casio family includes -
    Casiotone 101 (complete with fake wooden end cheeks)
    Casio MT-65
    Casio PT-30
    Casio VL1

  • @konemake  Feb 2019

    I love Casios + other old similar home keyboards.
    I have many of those but I can't rember their names, at least I have one CT-series, one SA-series and one older + SK-1 -sampler.
    Also I have some Kawai + Yamaha ones and even cheap Hammond one. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Couple of years ago there was a casiocore theme where you had to do song(s) using only Casio-stuff or something like that, here is my entry for that still online:

    Personally I like most the oldest ones, but they are also the most limited ones, there is only something like 8 rhythms and 16 sounds in total, but the sounds are just great for my taste.

    Here is another old one which I did using only Casio + effect pedals:

    (EDIT fixed the links)

  • @spingo  Feb 2019

    @konemake I liked those! Thanks for the models and such. I think I may just end up letting the fates and Goodwill decide what I end up with. There's a couple at the pawn shop around the corner, too.

  • @spingo  Feb 2019

    @standup A skulk! I don't think I have room for that, with the guitars and such.

  • @tawalker  Feb 2019

    I wonder how many other Brits reading this, thought of John Shuttleworth... ๐Ÿ˜

    (JS is a comic character created by British comedian/musician Graham Fellows. John is a rather nerdy singer-songwriter from Sheffield, who accompanies himself on a Yamaha PSS keyboard. I'm a fan, BTW...)

    If you want to know "where I'm coming from" here, look up JS on Spotify, and try "The A1111... And Other Ones!". It's a *very* British kind of humour, with lots of luverly Yamaha PSS keyboard backing!

  • @zecoop  Feb 2019

    So.......... *this* happened, lol. It was kind of an accident. I was going to do something completely different last night, but ended up writing an entire song on my Casio MT-41. I put it through delay, chorus, reverb and fuzz pedals so it doesn't sound much like a Casio. It's really, really dark and strange. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Lost in an Ancient Subway Tunnel

  • @evinwolverton  Feb 2019

    ๐ŸŽฎ ๐Ÿ• ๐ŸŽน
    Here's a silly thing I made with a dusty Casio SK-5:

  • @scottlake  Feb 16

    I keep trying to find Casio keys of the MT line at local thrift shops and I'm only finding more modern CTK and WK stuff which doesn't have the same cheese factor. I have a WK-200 here and a XW-P1, and I use a PX5S at church which is a killer stage axe.

  • @spingo  Feb 20

    Update! I went even bigger and ended up with a CTK-4200. It has 180 rhythms, including some world stuff I'd never even heard of. I'm happy.

    @scottlake Maybe a $30 Yamaha Portasound VST to tide you over?

    I'm happy with the ambient cheese level of the later ones for now, but I understand the impulse.

  • @vomvorton  Feb 20

    My collection (from memory, may have forgotten something):
    Casio VL-1
    Casio SK-5
    Casio DM-100 (look at this beast: !!)
    Casio MT-65
    Yamaha VSS-200
    Yamaha SHS-10 (keytar!)

    I can't say I use the auto-accompaniment stuff that much (although I have occasionally), I just love how they sound. The PT-30 has featured on every song I've posted so far this year!

  • @scottlake  Feb 20

    I have a VL-1 plug-in somewhere. I think it was called VL-Tone

  • @zecoop  Feb 20

    Technically not Casio but same vintage and similar sounding, I used a Yamaha PSS170 and a PSS470 on this song with Holly from Japan, who did vocals and some additional synth


  • @splittybooms  Feb 20

    When I was a child back in the early 80s, I got a little white Casio for Christmas one year. I just tried to find what the model was by looking at some pics on Google - I think it was the PT-1. I remember those pastel colored buttons for rhythm selection and such, but can't quite remember the 2 blue keys on the far right side...but....kinda do?? lol
    In any event, this was a fun thread to go through. I'd love to get that little board back - who knew Casios would become so popular, esp the older ones...
    There are a few on ebay...and I see you folks find some at thrift stores. Honestly thinking of finding the PT-1 many fading memories attached to that thing for me. only experience with Soul Coughing is 'Rolling', which I love, and saw a video for it on I think Cartoon Network. It was VERY late at night, I was a youngin' and I was falling asleep when they did one of their things where they put cartoons to music - they did a Betty Boop thing with her as a racecar

  • @splittybooms  Feb 20

    (hmm post gets cut off)...
    ....driver. It was one of the most mysterious, amazing, curious, mesmerizing thing I'd seen/heard...something about that old cartoon and this great song...

  • @zecoop  Feb 20

    @splittybooms - The PT-1 is almost the same as the VL-1 (VL-Tone) I have. Very limited, but a very distinct sound. The VL-1 has a calculator built in! (also used to pick different sound functions)

  • @vomvorton  Feb 20

    @splittybooms @zecoop I used to have a PT-1 and, if I remember correctly, they don't have a jack / headphone output whereas the VL-1 does - quite a dealbreaker if you like feeding old keyboards through FX pedals and stuff like I do!

  • @zecoop  Feb 20

    Very good point @vomvorton - mine is definitely the VL-1 and I live putting them through pedals and effects so that's a must have for me

  • @splittybooms  Feb 20

    I'm looking and the PT-1 does indeed have a headphone jack, and now I remember being yelled at to use my headphones as a kid lol
    There's a PT-10 very similar but no jack. Thanks, @vomvorton.
    And that's quite cool @zecoop, i'm looking at pics - are the little squares the keys??? The pic I'm seeing has little squares on all the white notes...
    Question - how do you all get these hooked up so you can use them in your DAWs?? (if you do at all)
    As you would any other instrument like a guitar, I suppose, right?

  • @vomvorton  Feb 20

    @splittybooms ah yes, the PT-10! You're right, that's the one I had.

    I generally do connect them direct to my audio interface via jack lead just like a guitar, yeah! Or through FX pedals or even my guitar amp sometimes.

  • @zecoop  Feb 20

    @splittybooms - yep, I use a cable with an 1/8" headphone jack on one side to hook into the keyboard and a 1/4" jack on the other side to go right into my interface, or into pedals which then go to an amp or the interface.

  • @splittybooms  Feb 20

    Excellent! Thanks, you two.
    Also, now I have a bunch of casio songs to listen to from this thread!
    Hope to join you all next FAWM! Perhaps....we could all form a..a...CASIO BAND!!

  • @splittybooms  Feb 20

    woooo! just bought this one!

  • @splittybooms  Feb 20

    i don't remember those books coming with it...but its awesome to have them!

  • @vomvorton  Feb 20

    DEFINITELY up for an all-Casio collab in 2020!

  • @mikeskliar  Feb 20

    Satirical song done with Casio Casiotone MT-46

  • @spingo  Feb 22

    Congrats to all the new proud owners!

    Collaborations and such: I can barely make a C chord, but would be happy to add aimless noodles or something. I play guitar, hence my love of the autoaccompaniment!

  • @zecoop  Feb 22

    @splittybooms - congrats!! I'm definitely down for the 2020 Casio Explosion. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • @declan Feb 23

    I have a Casio SA-8 that me and by flat mate got in the early 90s by saving up cards from Lambert and Butler cigarette packets.

    This song was made using it.

  • @calumcarlyle  Feb 23

    @spingo, my better half has lost the power adaptor for my casino keyboard, meaning I will never be able to play it again. She says it will turn up.

    Anyway, Soul Coughing are awesome. That's actually what drew my attention to this thread. Nice to find other people with similar musical tastes.

  • @scottlake  Feb 23

    Shopped all the local thrift shops and nary a Casio could be found.
    @calumcarlyle you should be able to replace your adaptor with no issue. What model number is the keyboard?

  • @lanasolyluna Feb 24

    I own a ridiculous amount of old Casio and Yamaha and some I have more than one just in case they break! ๐Ÿ˜‚ Theyโ€™re such fun instruments. Most of the stuff I do featured at least one retro Yamaha or Casio. The auto chord instruments are so great too. Really warm lo-fi sounds.

  • @zecoop  Feb 24

    I did another one last night to get me to 14 - most of the song was written on the Yamaha PSS170 (@lanasolyluna I'm with you... I own two, just because I love it so much and wanted a backup). The drums and chimes were recorded both straight and through delay, chorus and reverb pedals, with the reverse reverb giving the song most of the character. I added a 'bass' line with my Roland RS-202 Strings synth.

    Steaming in Reverse

  • @calumcarlyle  Feb 24

    @scottlake , it's a Casiotone MT-45 which says it takes a 7.5V adaptor. I even have one of those multivoltage adaptors which has the right size circular thing to plug into the keyboard, but when i set it to 7.5V i get a buzzing sound but no power light, and nothing else seems to function either. I am not sure why but it seems only the original adaptor will do (the multiadaptor works fine, because i use it sometimes with my practice drumkit thing).

    But thanks for the thought! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • @spingo  Feb 25

    @calumcarlyle , that is a damn lie. She put it in the bottom drawer, behind the twist ties and rubber bands. Also, get some rechargeable batteries.

  • @scottlake  Feb 26

    Casio CA-100. Yes or no? Concerned it is not cheesy enough.

  • @vomvorton  Feb 26

    @calumcarlyle it's probably the polarity - if the adapter has way to reverse it then try that (if it's one with interchangable connectors then you can just take it off, rotate it 180 degrees and plug back in). Casio and Yamaha keyboards tend to use opposing polarities from each other for some reason (I like to imagine it all coming from an argument between two stubborn Japanese businessmen).

    @scottlake I don't think you'll struggle for cheesiness, it looks like the CA-100 has a Rick Astley demo song!

  • @calumcarlyle  Feb 26

    @spingo This keyboard takes those huge R-20 batteries, so i've not really looked into the concept of having to recharge batteries that size, however it doesn't matter because @vomvorton was right! Yay! Thanks for that, i turned the head round on the adaptor thing and now it works fine! Let's see if i can squeeze out a Casio song before the end of Feb! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • @spingo  Feb 26

    @calumcarlyle HOORAY

  • @scottlake  Apr 10

    Just got my first vintage Casio. CT430

  • @vomvorton  Apr 10

    @scottlake I've never played one of those but they look gorgeous!

    @owl and I have a Casio-heavy song in the latest Song Fight:

    I used an SK-5 for all the synth sounds.

  • @zecoop  Apr 10

    @scottlake - I agree with @vomvorton - that thing looks so cool. Completely different look than the CT-360 and CT-380 that I have. Bet you'll love it. Give it some FX pedals and you'll have endless fun! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Vom - LOVE that song with @owl. Awesome ๐Ÿ˜€

  • @scottlake  Apr 11

    I realized after buying it that this is the first electronic keyboard without midi. And the first one with a tuning knob

  • @scottlake  Sep 8

    It is now many months later. I have not fallen in love with my CT-430. I also picked up a radio shack Realistic Concertmate 660, which I believe is the same as a CT-360. I will make these available to any FAWMer interested at very good prices; I paid only 10$ for the CT-430 and 15$ for the Concertmate 660. If you can cover the shipping and what I paid + a little extra, I will be your FAWMer friend forever.

  • @scottlake  3 weeks

    I actually made quite a good pile of cash on these after a guy that collects 80โ€™s stuff and has a pretty good band paid me over 1000% of what I paid for the CT-430. I threw in the Concertmate 660 as a good will measure.

Leave a Message. Log in to FAWM or sign up first...