I’ve ordered the new Casiotone CT-S1000V which is currently making a bit of a splash around the blogs of late. I think I may feature it on my FAWM 2022 album this year. It’s supposed to arrive just before that so I should be able to play around with it and get some use-cases for you all after FAWM is over and I have something to showcase.
I’m almost entirely just interested in the vocal synthesis functions of the synth and not that it reportedly has a lot of pretty decent sounds on board.
There are random youtube commenters throwing down that this is merely a toy, but I’m not all that concerned with that. I like experimenting within limitations. The limitations themselves are often part of the instrument and expression.
The keyboard came a day earlier than Guitar Center indicated when I purchased it, so I drove out to pick it up after work. It’s a couple days later and I’ve got it set up in my studio and so far have just had a little time to explore the onboard sounds.
They’re organized by type with a large number of pianos starting off the 800+ options. For me, there are some that I liked instantly, but nothing really at this point that would likely have me using these sounds over what I have available in software elsewhere. Our choices these days are countless.
It’s a busy work week and a couple days pass by before one morning I download the app. For iOS it doesn’t appear when you search for “Casio.” I found it by searching “Casio Vocal.” The app is called Casio Lyric Creator. It’s not mentioned in the quick start guide that came with the instrument, although it’s probably a highly essential piece to making this thing literally sing.
I have a song that’s been kicking around in various stages for 20 years plus that is going to be the perfect initial attempt for me to jump in and explore the vocal synthesis capabilities of the Casiotone CT S1000V I think.
The app has a Connection button that links out to here: https://web.casio.com/app/en/lyric_creator/support/connect.html
I learn the lyric app unfortunately doesn’t connect to the keyboard via the bluetooth adapter that comes with it. I need a lighting to USB connector which I think was left behind at a hotel in San Diego so I order another and it should be hear when I get home from work tonight. After which, the fun and games shall continue.
More fun and games
The Lightning to USB connector came and did not work with my iPhone. I did find my official Apple Camera Connection Kit adapter and that doesn’t work either. I’m connecting it as instructed to the micro-USB port, but the app is not responding at all. I’ve tried a number of micro-USB chords, all of which are less than the specified 2 meter length. The documentation does say not to use chords which are dedicated to charging, but I don’t really recall using micro-USB chords for anything except charging, so I don’t know if my chords are charging-dedicated or not.
The keyboard comes with bluetooth connector for playing audio over bluetooth. This seems like a function that is less essential than using the keyboard for the lyric function. Casio should have included the proper Micro-USB cable, don’t you think?
I downloaded the manual and it seems to indicate that I may possibly be able to transfer the lyric files to the keyboard via a USB Flash drive. So I think that’s my next attempt. It’s now Sunday and Casio support isn’t staffed today.
Transferring Lyrics via USB Flash
It didn’t work.
Just in case the above doesn’t work.
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I Order Micro USB Cables
For my next performance, I order the following micro-USB cables and pray for the cable gods to smile favor on me.
And connecting the micro-USB from the Casio to the Apple connection kit to my iPhone, the Lyric Creator app WORKS! (click the image above to order from our affiliated link).
Typing lyrics into the app is straightforward and transferring them out into the keyboard is not difficult. It feels kind of kludgy but it’s probably the best method. No doubt it saves a lot of cost on the keyboard to offload the lyric/voice generation to iOS or Android which 99% of people who buy this keyboard have, I venture.
The resulting vocals vary in intelligibility between the available voices. Some appeal to me and some not so much. I think they will be fun to play with as time goes on. Here my initial foray below. The lyric is “If I fell off this earth tonight.”