THE ART OF SOUND DESIGN
The original CZ had such a broad user base and was used in such wide range of genres that we didn’t want to give our reborn version a single “style”. To make the most of this amazing instrument, we sought the sonic expertise of some of the world’s top sound designers, each one giving it their own unique flavor.
Tomás is a producer under the name MINIM. The music aspires to take the listener on a journey into a world where time moves slowly, evoking a sense of things bigger than us that are beyond language. The music is experimental, cinematic, minimal, orchestral, ambient electronic soundscapes. Lately he has been experimenting with the Synthwave too, really a return to his roots as a child of the eighties.
I was pleasantly surprised that the real character of the hardware is right there in CZ V! And I think there are four main strengths, in order of importance: The percentage level control on each envelope really opens up the possibilities in a very big way, allowing the CZ V to respond to the player in a much more organic way from modulation. It also makes it much easier to have bright or dark within the patch. Now it’s so easy to tweak the patch so that it sits right in your track. I love it!
I love the chorus. With one voice it is very much like the hardware CZ, and with two or three voices, it is pretty much the perfect chorus for a synth! When I got the initial specs, it was the looping envelopes that most excited me. I would have killed for this feature on the hardware, back in the day. It took me a while to figure them out, but I did, with relative ease, and they are hugely useful.
I have been using a CZ since 1992, starting with the CZ-5000 and ending up eventually with the CZ-1. Back then it was my only polysynth. With the sequencer it was like an affordable workstation, so I wanted it to make every sound possible. With CZ V it is more of an adventure. This is because it is exactly the same as the old hardware and at the same time is a very up to date synth with all the features we take for granted in software today. So the method was simply to explore and have fun. Several times I started from an initial patch and just explored the new possibilities, especially with the extra Mod Envelopes, the more detailed velocity modulation and the Custom Waveform.
I worked on this sound for a long time to get the release and atmosphere, but it originated from a set of patches that were accidentally randomised when my CZ RAM cartridge ended up in the washing machine! Amazingly it still worked! The resulting patches used the resonant waves in ways I hadn’t thought of so it was fun to explore this happy accident. With CZ-V my archive of patches since 1990 has really come back to life. I can finally put the samples away and use the sounds in a much more organic way with the Macros.
Don Solaris has been Waldorf's best selling sound designer for some time now, previously working on programming Roland's digital modules, providing sound design for Michele Luppi of Whitesnake, and now on to Arturia’s phase distortion adventure.
Don started out in sound design by analyzing and reconstructing the work of Eric Persing, his own audio hero, which lends a strong influence on Don’s current patches.
The main strength of CZ V in my opinion is definitely the user interface. It is heads and shoulders above other competitive products, making sound design and programming seem like child's play. I have built most of the patches so fast that programming was no longer an issue. In fact the only issue was inspiration - I was able to make sounds almost faster than I could imagine them.
When building this soundset I had two goals. First was to try to emulate some of my existing sounds from my beloved CZ-1 (which in the meantime I sold, since CZ V covers it 99%). The second goal was to try and push the software to the limit and see what will come back - whether it will break or continue to impress. Most of the time it was the later, especially when trying the things the CZ-1 never had. The only time i would briefly hang from a cliff was when stacking too many voices in unison which my Mac Mini (late 2012) was no longer able to push. But other than that, I was super happy to participate in this project!
These presets show what the power of phase distortion synthesis and the combination of CZ V modulation matrix and its effects can do.
Paul Schilling is a musician, sound designer and computer programmer. He became enamored with synthesizers at an early age and has created presets and demos for Arturia, Deckard's Dream and others.
One thing that surprised me about the CZ V is how warm and organic you can get it to sound. The original Casio synth was already very good, for example the wealth of waveforms, the phase distortion and the very flexible eight stage envelopes. But Arturia extended it to the ultimate dream of what the original could have been, with tons of powerful modulation routings, custom waveforms, awesome FX and real time waveform displays.
My approach is to treat the whole thing as an instrument - including the FX, routings, and all the other well-considered additions.First thoroughly understand the core synthesis engine and then expand outward to fully grok the whole thing. Be the synth. From that place I take sometimes an improvisational approach, sometimes a vector "must get a certain sound" approach. Either way, almost always something interesting happens, and such was the case with CZ V.
The updated effects for this V-Collection release, such as the Reverb and Phaser, have become so good that I made them a featured part of many of my CZ V's presets. This sound, in its dry form, is already very full and alive, with fast subtle vibrato and slow LFO sweeping of phase distortion. But adding Arturia's updated high-quality effects (Delay, Chorus, Phaser, Reverb) I think takes it over the top.
Thomas Koot is an electronic musician from the Netherlands. He spends half of his time as a professional DJ playing with live musicians, the other half as an acoustic fingerstyle aficionado. He is a former sound design teacher at the ArtEZ University of the Arts, and created sound for Native Instruments, Fabfilter and Arturia’s own heavyweight Origin synthesizer.
Just as with analog synths, the rawness and imperfections of early digital synthesizers give them an unmistakable character. Like the original CZ series, the CZ-V provides sounds with real character, it has a vintage feel, but in a completely different way than an analog synthesizer.
I like to push this digital feel to its limits, as with the ‘Hackers Glockenspiel’ preset. It might not be a pleasing sound, but I really like the intensity.
A classical pianist and multi-instrumentalist turned sound designer and engineer, Lily Jordy creates organic electronic music as Lyli J, mesmerized by the art of sample recording and transformation. She’s worked with Arturia to create preset packs like the Air Tribute and a signature bank, as well as introducing new sounds to V Collection.
Programming the macro controls was my favorite aspect of sound sculpting on the CZ V. Having two distinct oscillator lines lets you get creative with the interplay between DCW and amplitude envelopes, generating awesome textures.
I’m crazy about the deep pads sounds in the CZ! One of my favorites is the Altair preset: it really pushes the blend of deep and ethereal to another level.”
Simon Gallifet is a Music Producer and sound designer who has been involved in many projects
in close cooperation with ARTURIA.
As a multi-instrumentalist he has been playing drums since the age of 5 and learned classical music theory at university. He has been actively involved in sound design and electronic music production for 12 years.
Our brain is accustomed to hearing the imperfection and irregularity that it takes pleasure to correct. The original CZ synthesizer is typically the kind of digital synthesizer that sounds too smooth for me. Fortunately, Arturia developers have extended the functionality of the CZ synth by adding additional modulations such as "Sample and hold" LFOs, MIDI synced and Looped envelopes as well as a wide spectrum of audio effect. All these features allow me to take advantage of phase distortion synthesis with the possibility of giving it more warm and lively features.
I made this preset for Arturia’s CZ V promo video. Part of the drive was meant to show that CZ V has the potential to create more "modern" sounds, so I created this drum'n'bass sound by trying not to fall into the cliché of the ternary wobble.
Maxime Dangles is an electronic music producer from Valence in the south of France. Starting his professional music journey a decade ago with a KOMPAKT release, and working with techno label SRYPTÖM today, Maxime is also involved in several creative projects, including Möd3rn, DNGLS, and a solo live modular electronica act. Although hardware is his main love, he's been an avid follow of Arturia's V Collection since version 3.
I really loved working on the CZ V, to be honest I never had to work with a phase distortion synthesizer. I would do it more often in the future, it's very powerful, especially with the ability to create its own waveform.
I never had a CZ synth before so I really discovered it through the process of sound design, thanks to the modulation matrix and additional LFOs, it’s a very powerful way to create sounds. I was really helped by the Arturia added functions that let me go further and faster in the sound exploration. I was not looking for a specific type of sounds, just wiggling knobs until it sounds great.
For the preset "Morning_Circles", I used a looped envelope in MIDI sync to modulate the phase. With effects, it creates a beautiful pad.
Sunglasses Sunset Keys
This is The sound of the late 80's, where the instrument and the technology behind it was brand new. It evoke a kind of nostalgia for a time I've never known, a feeling of warmth and peace. It feels like an old summer TV shows recorded on a cassette tape was played. Add reverb and chorus and you can really feel you were there.
I started working on sound design to expend the sound of my electronic music projects. At first I wanted to recreate the sound of artists I was listening to, and then I started to experiment with new sounds that I could use in my music making.
The thing that really defines CZ V for me is its sound. It sounds like a mix between a classic analog synth and a FM synth. It's quite unique! The fact that there is no filter forces us to use new ways to shape the sound, pushing the boundaries of creativity.
There is a lot of sweet spots on the CZ. It's really easy to get to the sound you want on the front page, and then refine it with the help of the powerful envelopes and the modulation section. I particularly loved that we can create our own DCW waveforms.
Sunglasses Sunset Keys
This is -THE- sound of the late 80's, where the instrument and the technology behind it was brand new. It evokes a kind of nostalgia for a time I've never known, a feeling of warmth and peace. It feels like an old summer TV shows recorded on a cassette tape was played. Add reverb and chorus and you can really feel you were there.
Clément Bastiat is a musician and mastering engineer. Starting out on violin at age 5, Clément became heavily involved in electronic music. Always creating new and unusual sounds for his dark psytrance project Cubic Spline, Clément also applies his golden ears and sonic vision at Storm Mastering.
The way CZ V handles phase modulation is interesting. It has lots of envelopes so the sounds are alive. It seems simple and efficient at first, but with some clever phase modulation curves, you can really make it sound like an FM synth.
I sometimes let myself flow while discovering features and let myself be surprised, which usually get me to some exciting sounds I was not expecting. Other times, I have specific sounds in mind and just do what needs to be done
I like this preset because it reminds me of playing Wipeout 2 back in teh day, with those resonant futuristic sounds, hence the name. In that preset, it's the reso3 waveform been played with a loopable MSEG. There is also a loopable MSEG which controls chorus feedback, both line DCW and the dry/wet of the overdrive. All of that gives a quite groovy and futuristic sequence.
New Loops is an English sound design label publishing audio sample packs and synthesiser presets in the pro audio market. With a focus on quality and usability, New Loops sounds are used by DJs, producers, music studios, and composers all over the world.
One of the features in the CZ V that I found really useful was being able to loop the envelopes. This opens up all kinds of possibilities for rhythmic and sequenced sounds. The ring modulation is good fun too and is great for making harmonically rich sounds for example, bells and buzzy leads. For sound design, I usually start with my own initial preset that has the synth set up how I want. This is often different for each synth but with common settings like pitch wheel amounts set to 12 semitones, the mod wheel and after touch set up as modulation sources, and volumes at unity. I find this approach gives me consistency across all my presets.
I don't tend to start with a sound in mind when making a preset. I like to start with my blank patch and get multiple oscillators working together. Then I will look at the features in the synth and start adding modulation. The key is to experiment with all the different features as these can vary quite a lot between synths and this is where you start to get unique sounds.
If I had to pick 3 of my favourite presets from CZ V they would be these: they show a wide range of possibilities for this synth.
Airy plucky keys using the lfo to modulate pan giving a big wide sound. Great for trance melodies. Mod wheel controls lowpass filter. Use macro 2 for vibrato. Use macro 3 for a more plucky sound.
for it's aggressive tone and modulations possibilities.Aggressive wobble bass. Play low on the keyboard and use the mod wheel and after touch to control speed. Can also be used as a hard lead. Macro 1 changes timbre. Macro 2 changes speed. Add more reverb with FX macro.
for the way one part is a deep pad, the other, an approach to timbre evolving.Pitched sequence with deep rising backing pad using multiple looped envelopes. Use the macros to change the different modulation speeds. Macro 2 speed rate. Mod wheel controls highpass filter. Use after touch to create a washed out effect.