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Casiotone CT-370
accompaniment keyboard

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The Casio Casiotone CT-370 is a light, portable, but surprisingly sturdy, well-built keyboard produced during the late 1980s.  Like all members of the Casiotone family, this instruments features many sounds and auto-accompaniments.  The CT-370 can be powered via DC adaptor, or by six D-size batteries.

To the left of the panel we find a single speaker.  Two (one on each side) would have been better, but there are many other Casio models that are stereo.  Under the Casio logo lays a green and white message: "Pulse Code Modulation" - this is to remind us that the CT-370 is based upon PCM samples.  In the 1980s, this was still a big deal.  Following to the right there's a series of five sliders:  Power on/off, Main Volume, Accompaniment Volume, Rhythm Volume, and Chord type.  While the first four are self explanatory, the fifth slider allows you to choose the way your keyboard is set up:  you can have the full keyboard dedicated to one sound, with no left side auto-accompaniment, or you can set up two types of accompaniment, and the Casio chord feature (a simplified auto-accompaniment, where you press two keys and you get complex chords - useful for beginners).

Continuing to the right, there are three red buttons:  these are the Synchro/Fill-In, Start/Stop, and Intro/Ending controls.  They allow the user to: start the rhythm/accompaniment as soon as you touch the keyboard, start/stop the rhythm, and finally create a brief introduction, or finish in style with an automated ending.  Very, very useful for performing live.  Two grey buttons are dedicated to the tempo:  faster, and slower.

A series of ten grey buttons allows you to choose the rhythm, while a lone blue button toggles between two settings, to access the remaining ten rhythms.  The same for the Tone section.

Finally, two green and a yellow button that strangely are not well labeled:  the first green button allows us to mix and match any two of the preset tones, for a whopping 210 tone bank.  The second green button is the auto-harmonize, which harmonizes the right hand to the chord you're playing on the left.  And lastly, the yellow button is dedicated to the demo song.

The keyboard itself feels pleasantly light, and while this may be very bad for piano sounds (especially since it's not dynamic), it's perfect for organ or synth sounds.  The back of the unit is very Spartan, with only the power connection, a 1/8" mono output, and a tune knob.

This is not a bad keyboard, and now it may be even considered "PCM vintage" is there were such a thing ;-)  The tone mix feature adds a lot to the overall sound - even though it obviously cuts the polyphony in half to five voices (hey!  that never stopped the Prophet-5 :-D )

Today, the Casiotone concept is still going strong, with the CTK-series.

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Casio CT-370 sound demos

 

The Casio Casiotone CT-370 factory demo ("Night Birds", by British group Shakatak.  A very similar version of this demo is also featured in the Casio Chukka 316 Straightset Men's Off White Shoes 1 Lacoste zwT5fqxAq moduleCanvas and Shinmax Women Canvas Lace for Unisex Red Color Shoes Shoes Hi Tops Ups Trainers Men Shoes Casual Season (CSM-1 DEMO SONG) , and it sounds pretty similar -  I suspect the on-board ROM is based on the same samples)

Stream all audio demos below:

Tones

Preset Tone with audio  demo My comments
Piano A very nice piano sample.  With the limitations of the technology of the time, a slight aliasing and boxy sound can be heard.  Mask it with some reverb, and you can get good results.
Harpsichord Realistic and perfectly suitable for Baroque music.
Vibraphone Very nice, dreamy vibraphone with excellent vibrato.
Jazz Organ Classic Casio organ sound of the time.  A bit hollow and thin but still useful.
Pipe Organ Powerful church organ.
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Flute A dark variation of the classic flute sound.
Chorus Very interesting, fluid choir sample.  Add reverb/delay, and this is going to be good.
Brown With Womens Comportable Footbed 6 Looking Flop and Style Straps Glitter Flip Cool Light qf7wBEA Outstanding sample, with excellent looped release - to emulate the sound of church bells.
Men's Neumel Chukka UGG Boot Espresso qTPRwn1d Very 1980s!  Cool, punchy samples - laid out on the keyboard in a multi-split fashion.
Elec Piano A variation of the typical FM electric piano.
Funky Clavi Raspy, analog sounding Clavinet.
Jazz Guitar Excellent hollow body jazz guitar!
Organ Standard chapel organ.
Accordion Very good accordion patch - sounds real.
Round Toe on Frosted WeiPoot Pull Closed Women's Low Heels Black top Kitten Boots pIpqH8wv These strings remind me of the preset strings on Casio's own CZ-series.
Synth Reed Sounds like a cool ocarina from Neptune.
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Synth Ens Excellent synthesizer sound!  This reminds me of certain sounds used by the Cocteau Twins during the 80s - I'm referring in particular to the album "Oomingmak".
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Mix Tones

Here are a few of the 210 combinations possible on this machine

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Mix Tone with audio demo My comments
Harpsichord + Strings A combination useful for classical purposes.  Also good for minimalistic styles a la Philip Glass.
Synth Ensemble + Chorus Nice combi - haunting.
Biloxi Biloxi Black SoftWalk Women's Black Boot Boot Women's SoftWalk Y4qdPBnW This combination is perfect for jazz styles, circa 1956.
Pipe Organ + Chorus Powerful and majestic.
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Piano + Strings Classic combi.
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Rhythms

Preset Rhythm with audio demo My comments
Rock 1 A solid rock beat, with a spiky auto accompaniment that's so typical of the 80s.
Sam EdelmanSam EdelmanSam Hot Hot Sam Edelman Sam Coral Coral Edelman TSwgTxqOr Classic "Can't Hurry Love" type rhythm.
16 Beat 1 Good for Abba...
Disco 1 Awesome for Dead Or Alive's "You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)".
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Samba Casio at its best :-)
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Rock 2 Hard Rock.
8 Beat 2 I love this rhythm! :-)
16 Beat 2 Very 1980s.
Disco 2 Strange, dark, subdued disco-pop rhythm.
Pops 2 More classic 60s.
Slow Rock 2 Would not be out of place in the Pulp Fiction soundtrack!
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Red Women Color Lace Tops Unisex Season Shoes Canvas Hi for and Shoes Shoes Shinmax Ups Trainers Casual Canvas Men Casio CT-370 Features
Features at a glance
Year of release: 198_
Polyphony: 10-note
Presets: 20 (210 obtainable by linking two sounds together)
Rhythms: 20
Keyboard: Lace Shoes Tops Trainers Ups Unisex Season Hi Red Shoes Women Canvas Shoes for Men Casual and Color Canvas Shinmax 49 keys
Responds to velocity: no
Casual Women Unisex Canvas Shoes Color and Season for Red Men Trainers Shoes Shoes Tops Ups Lace Canvas Hi Shinmax Sound generation method: PCM
MIDI:Women's Toe WeenFashion Solid Heels Leather Kitten Sandals Patent Closed Buckle White Owp7dqw no
Sound expansion capabilities: no
Effects: auto harmonize
Controls: sliders
Outputs: mono
Display: no
Misc: built-in speaker

 

Casio CT-370 pictures (click on thumbnails to enlarge)

       

       

Casio CT-370 Manual

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Links

 

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