Although definitely best-known for their rather cheesy range of home keyboards (see our Cheddartastic Orgatone 601 for a classic example), Casio kept making slightly halfhearted stabs at a more professional outing. These included things like the really rather good FZ-1 sampler and its beatbox little bro, the RZ-1 sampling drum machine; and, on the synth front, the HT series of keyboards. Top of this range was the HT6000, which coupled some seriously pro features (MIDI, velocity response, 4 digital oscillators per voice, analogue filters) with some slightly naffer ones (inbuilt speakers, home-oriented splits, auto-accompaniment).
But it does have a unique sound. While the promised 4 oscillators per voice don’t quite materialise – in fact you can only use one wave stacked four times and detuned – the inclusion of oddities like metallic noise and a primitive ring-mod, plus a very healthy selection of 32 basic waves, gives the machine a surprising amount of sonic scope. The results vary from very shiny and digital-sounding to quite warm, hybrid-style sounds, thanks to those analogue filters. All in all, it’s a bit of a forgotten gem, especially since Casio decided in their wisdom to push the lesser-specced HZ-600 as their ‘pro’ machine over the much better HT6000.
Here in the PatchVault version of the HT6000 you get all 20 Upper Register patches to play around with – great for layering with analogue patches for a really rich sound, or for channeling your inner 80s wild child. Makes a deadly pairing with the Orgatone 601, too 😉