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Plugin Boutique VirtualCZ review at Computer Music

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This virtual instrument oozes authentic old-school vibes and brings an unusual synthesis method to your DAW

Back in the mid-80s, analogue synths were viewed as outdated and expensive, with digital technology finding favour as the next big thing. The Yamaha DX7 was the undisputed king of this pre-workstation era, but Casio also found success with their CZ range of synths. While Yamaha's DX series was based on relatively complex phase modulation synthesis (marketed as frequency modulation aka FM, though the results are very similar), Casio's hardware relied on simpler phase distortion (PD) synthesis. Though not as powerful as PM/FM, PD could be used to generate a range of interesting sounds, and the technology seems to have come back into vogue recently, being implemented in u-he's excellent semi-modular Bazille, for example.




  • Cool, characterful sound
  • Compatible with original hardware
  • Good Library of presets
  • Great for old-school DnB reeses
  • A change from analogue emulation
  • Sensibly priced


  • Manual isn't very illuminating

A fantastic emulation of the original synth, VirtualCZ makes a great buy for Casio fans and bargain hunters alike.



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