New Toys: Casio CT-S1000V Vocal Synthesizer

Casio's new CT-S1000 is the first vocal synthesizer that turns typed-in text—such as song lyrics—into a musical phrase and then "sings" them in full harmony (if you like) based on notes played on its keyboard. Sounding like a vocoder except there is no microphone required, there are 100 Lyric Tones (phrases inspired by familiar songs) built into the CT-S1000V. These can be overwritten and/or there's space for 50 more brought in from the Lyric Creator app. The instrument works with both English and Japanese text.

Lyric Creator (app for iOS and Android) allows for typing in lyrics and then loads them into the CT-S1000V via USB. It then, under your control on the keyboard, is played using any of 22 vocalist types, including talk boxes, processed choirs, robot voices, vocoders and whispering vocals. Phrases can be played all at once rhythmically, or one syllable at a time with or without legato and then sequenced together to play complete songs. The onboard MIDI recorder can store up to five songs.

The CT-S1000V has its own AiX tone source with 800 high-resolution sounds in 64-voice polyphony, and the keyboard may be split or layered to play multiple sounds together. The accompaniment section puts a complete backup band under the player's fingers, including 243 built-in rhythms, 50 user-programmable rhythms, and auto-harmonies.

The CT-S1000V will sample up to ten seconds of high-quality audio samples via its 1/8-inch stereo input jack or wirelessly using the included WU-BT10 Bluetooth MIDI & audio adapter. There are 100 studio-quality effects including many amplifier and cabinet simulators, modulation effects, choruses, reverbs, delays, and much more.

The CT-S1000V sells for $679.99 MSRP.