On Friday I won a copy of VirtualCZ in a competition by online shop Plugin Boutique. It looks pretty good – a recreation of Phase Distortion synthesis as used on Casio’s range of ‘professional’ synths from the 80s. I still have a Casio CZ101 and a VZ8M (the latter of which I bought from Chris Carter of Throbbng Gristle and CarterTutti). I don’t use either of them any more since I went all virtual, so it will be really interesting to play around with PD again (I remember the VZ8M in particular having some great sounds – very digital but quite ‘organiic’). I haven’t actually installed it yet – haven’t had time – but will write more about it when I have.
Actually, by a strange coincidence I bought TAL’s Uno-LX from Plugin Boutique in their Friday Flash Sale (40% off) only a few hours before I won VirtualCZ. TAL’s synth is a virtual Juno 60 – Roland’s classic analogue polysynth from the early 80s (before Casio’s CZ synths). This one I have installed and played with (the main reason I haven’t been able to try out VirtualCZ yet). It’s great fun. A very simple synth (1 oscillator with sub-osc, 1 envelope, 1 LFO, 1 low pass filer with resonance and a simple high pass filer – not modulatable) but that means it is very easy and fast to experiment with. The chorus on this jobby is great – really brings the synth to life. The main addition to the original is being able to control the enevelope (and hence filter) and/or volume with velocity – which means you can make much more dynamic sounds.This version is a rewrite of TAL’s previous (free) Juno emulation – with a much better sound and a few more features.