People outside the music tech world might remember Casio more for its wristwatches than anything else, but if you grew up any time before the 1990s you’ll have probably come across the company’s home keyboards and its synthesizers. Since this 1980s revival we’ve been in the middle of for ages seems to show no signs of slowing down, what better time to recreate some of these plastic monsters in software form? Enter UVI Cameo.
Paris-based UVI has gone back to some of the original CZ hardware models and done a ton of sampling as well as adding some new features that weren’t available on the original models, as is pretty par for the course these days. Drawing on the CZ1, CZ101, CZ1000 and other models, they came up with three different software instruments, all of which run inside their UVI Player.
Cameo CZ is made up of custom patches designed on the original hardware and uses phase distortion synthesis to generate everything from digital bleeps to big basses. The CX model is a dual-layer instrument that uses raw waveforms from the hardware as a base for sound design using more up-to-date technology. Finally the Cameo CM is again dual layer but this time uses wavetable oscillators and DSP shaping tools from the company’s mighty Falcon synth. This third model isn’t a recreation of an original so much as a springboard for doing more experimental kinds of sound design.
Weighing in at around 10GB it sells for $129 and is available now. Check out more about it at http://www.uvi.net/en/synth-sound-design/cameo.html