Casio has posted a mysterious video on YouTube asking “Are You Ready?” Well, are you? Please let it be a new synthesizer.
Are you ready?
There’s definitely a bit of synthesizer style action going on in the video’s audio, followed by some alarming workstation type sounds and finishes up with a vocodered rendition of the question.
On screen all we get is a date for January 2022 and the words “AiX Sound Source”. Stick that into Google and we go straight to a description of Casio’s CT-X series of “portable keyboards”, two words that strike disappointment into the heart of any synthesizer enthusiast.
AiX, it seems, stands for Acoustic Intelligent eXpression and is Casio’s new sound engine combining cutting edge DSP effects and EQ with meticulously sculpted instrument sounds. Casio says the innovative AiX Sound Source is overturning expectations of what a digital keyboard can be. That’s all very nice but this information is from 2018 and was directed at their flagship CT-X5000 portable keyboard.
However, this can’t be about the CT-X5000 because you can buy one now for £389. But it is likely to be about something that uses the same sound engine and so my hopes of some kind of innovative synthesizer are draining away.
In terms of synthesizers, Casio did its best work between 1984 and 1992. The legendary Phase Distortion CZ digital synthesizers arrived first, followed by the FZ samplers, the VZ interaction Phase Distortion, the SZ sequencer and the VL-1 Tone module. Since then they’ve focused on very successful portable electronic keyboards and digital pianos. While synth enthusiasts would love to see the return of a Casio synthesizer I think it’s extremely unlikely. This new thing, whatever it is, using the AiX Sound Source sound engine is probably not what we’re looking for.
- Casio AiX webpage.