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THE SENSITIVE CZ ?!

Unable to sell my CZ-1000 I decided to work at it in the hope that I could


make it work for me. Normally in my studio an instrument must have velocity
sensitivity and respond to MIDI volume control (continuous controller #7), and
the CZ is simply dead in those respects. Or is it ?
The volume of any patch is controlled by the level(s) of the DCA, the digi-
tally controlled amplifier, while the patch's timbre (brightness) is control-
led by the level(s) of the DCW, the digitally controlled waveshaper. Obviously
then these (DCA & DCW) are the parameters to adjust in order to achieve the
differences in volume and timbre which are normally associated with velocity
sensitivity. But since the CZ's keyboard is *not* designed to respond to velo-
city, these volume/timbre changes are unfortunately not dynamic. Or aren't
they ?
The CZ 101/1000 has three memory areas : the presets, the cartridge, and the
internal. By storing only a very few patches into the cartridge and the inter-
nal memories, and scaling those patches' DCA and DCW levels, I now have "sen-
sitive" sounds available via program change (!). A typical set-up looks like
this (in my machine) :
patch=any patch DCA DCW
memory location: 1 99 96
2 96 94
3 93 92
4 90 90
5 87 88
6 84 86
7 81 84
8 78 82
This scaling will yield rather subtle volume/timbre changes, though obviously
the scaling can be enlarged or reduced to fit particular needs. If a RAM cart
is used, up to 32 variations of a patch's output can be stored.
This method should be of interest to anyone using the CZ primarily as a mul-
ti-timbral instrument via MIDI sequencing, though some observations are in or-
der. When I played a 4-part, 4-instrument sequence with a patch change per bar
per instrument, the CZ stumbled and glitched pretty noticeably. Reducing the
number of changes and "staggering" their entries solved that problem : the CZ
seems able to handle no more than two coincident program changes at a time.
My studio is already fit with a number of multi-timbral synths & samplers :
why go to this trouble ? Because the CZ makes truly unique sounds, because
it's here, and because I want to make it earn its keep. This method has re-
vived my CZ : I hope it proves to be of some value to others.

A note on the banks included with this text :


DCA_1,2,3, & 4 are Patchmaster Plus banks for the CZ-101/1000, and are not
compatible with any other editor/librarian. Sorry 'bout that. If you're using
a PC or clone for MIDI and you need a superb librarian, I strongly recommend
Voyetra's Patchmaster Plus. Only Club MIDI's Prolib rivals it, and Prolib
lacks many of PM+'s most valuable features.
The patches in the banks were created with the help of Mark Insero's excel-
lent CZ-Edit, which is available as shareware on many MIDI bbs's. The only
drawback to Mark's program is that it doesn't upload (it was originally de-
signed for quick entry of text patches). However, it will download to both the
internal *and* the cartidge memories. The adjustment/scaling of the DCA/DCW
values might appear to be rather tedious, but with the help of keystroke mac-
ros I reduced the whole process of programming/scaling/storing to mere min-
utes. CZ-Edit had no problems with Borland's SuperKey. BTW, there are other
e/l's for the PC\clones and the CZ, the most well-known being available from
Dr.T's.
One other note : I arranged a C major scale in 16th-notes at a tempo of about
140 bpm (in Sequencer Plus) and inserted a program change per note. The CZ
flew right through them without glitching or missing a beat (this was a mono-
phonic performance, i.e., only one instrument). It must be pointed out though
that program change *will* cut short any notes sustained into the program
change, so that MIDI volume swells and fades are still unavailable.

If you have any comments re: this brief text, or if you have any other CZ
tricks to share, drop me a line on MIDI-Net (IEMUG), MIDIum, or Illusions :
I'm somewhat active on all of those fine MIDI bbs's.

Dave Phillips
4/21/89
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