Monday, December 10, 2012

Casio CZ-3000 "Musical Creativity Unlimited" brochure, 1985


Casio CZ-3000 synthesizer "Musical Creativity Unlimited" four page brochure from 1985.

Out of all the CZ-series synthesizers, the 3000 always seemed to be the odd one out. All the other CZs had ones and zeros, except the grand-pappy of 'em all, the 5000. And "5000" just sounds cool, so in my brain it works well with the series.

Maybe it was that I've never actually played (or seen) a 3000 in person, so there's been no bonding experiences to make me love 'em like I love the others.

I can't even figure out why they named it the 3000.

According to the CZ Wikipedia page, it "used the same phase distortion engine as the CZ-101 and the CZ-1000". But it had double the voices, double the patch memory,  and you could split the keyboard. Plus a few other things like chorus and I think an extra octave of keys.

So, wouldn't it have made more sense to call it a "2000". Two. Double. Get it?  Meh.  Whatever.

And while I'm on the topic of naming things, I'd like to finally address what I believe is the elephant in the room when it comes to CZs.

Sure, maybe its just me. Maybe everyone else is totally fine with it.

I'm talking about *that* word. 


(I instinctively rolled my eyes even when I typed it).

It just sounds cheesy to me. And honestly, I've NEVER said the word out loud. Ever. I LOVE my CZ-5000 to death, and back in the day I would mention the awesomeness that is phase distortion any chance I could get. But I *never* referred to it as a Casio "Cosmosynthesizer".


Just to dang embarrassing.

A similar word that others may relate to is "Robocop". As in the movie.

When that movie came out, I thought the title was the worst cheesy name for a movie ever. I refused to lend any legitimacy to the movie by saying that title name out load, instead generally referring to it by what I considered to be a much better title:

"That movie with the robot cop".

When my friends actually convinced me to go see it at the movie theatre, I remember looking around that big, full-to-capacity space and asking myself if anyone else in here is secretly pooping themselves with embarrassment. Anyone?

And looking at the Wikipedia page for Robocop kinda lends legitimacy to my feelings about the movie. Some fun facts:
  • The film was produced for a relatively modest $13 million.
  • The 1986 Ford Taurus was used as the police cruiser in the movie, due to its then-futuristic design.
  • The movie was given an X rating by the MPAA in 1987 due to its graphic violence.So they toned it down for the release.
I'm not making any of that up. I don't know which of those three facts is most unbelievable.  :)

Okay, enough pooping on "Robocop" and "Cosmosynthesizer".

Besides having to look at *that* word on the front cover of this brochure, the cover of this thing really is a little piece of awesomeness. The fonts, the glowing pyramid, the title - Musical Creativity Unlimited (BTW, a great name for an electronic band). All of it knocks my socks off.

And flipping the page rewards you with a big yummy photo of the CZ-3000. One thing I've never really paid attention to is that extra room at the end of front panel. Casio has used the space to include a whole extra table of Parameter/Variable Range information that I don't think is found on other CZ front panels. Awesome!

The descriptive brochure copy on the inside pages flip back and forth between the promotional and technical and in the end, I think, leaving the reader feeling a little awkward. But if all the person is looking for is information, they will find it in there, as well as on the back page's "Specifications" section.

That back page also gives us a print date: 10-1985. Which I assume is October 1985.

Most sites reference the CZ-3000 production start date as 1986, but this document date does provide some evidence that it may have actually been 1985 when it first appeared. Alternatively, there is also the possibility that this was just printed in advance of its release in 1986.

Either way, a cool little piece.  

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