Released in 1987, the HT-6000 appeared just at the moment Casio made a determined effort to conquer the professional audio market. Cars like the CZ-1 phase-distortion synthesizer have already made a name for themselves, suggesting that Casio is not just known for its home keyboards; the subsequent FZ-1 sampler was a real revelation, offering 16-bit sampling at a shockingly low price. Obviously, Casio had serious projects in the studio space – which makes the appearance of the HT-6000 even more confusing.
On the one hand, it boasts truly impressive features: four digital oscillators, each of which is capable of generating 32 different signals, plus analog filters and decent modulation capabilities. On the other hand, it had built-in speakers and a general atmosphere that fluctuated hesitantly between a studio synthesizer and a home keyboard. Probably, as a direct result of this, he could not make a noticeable impression on any of the arenas, and now remains a kind of iconic keyboard – largely forgotten, and almost buried after the release of the DX7 and D50.
This is a shame, because the sounds that the HT-6000 can make are really unusual by the standards of the 80s: thick and grainy at low frequencies and airy at high, they are neither like the brilliance of FM from Yamaha nor the breadth of LA Roland. In fact, the combination of analog circuits in the filter path and what is clearly quite low-resolution bit streams from digital generators gives something completely different, and we really like it.
The original HT-6000 made several compromises in its sound architecture, the most notable of which was that these impressive-sounding four generators could only reproduce one signal between them (although you could at least adjust them against each other). Therefore, we made several improvements to the structure: centrally, now we have three generators instead of four, but they can be freely assigned to any of 32 signals – so you can create complex complex sounds very easily. Equally important, each oscillator has its own envelope, pitch, tune, dial, high-pass filter and LFO controls: when you configure them, you can enter everything from slow tone shifts to clan patches controlled by the attack, which then merge into attenuation.
In addition, we have an integrated multi-mode low-pass filter circuit, switchable between 2-pole and 4-pole mode; Using this in conjunction with separate high-pass filters can give you neat band effects. Help add weight and texture to the Sub Subscillator (digital sine wave from Ensoniq SQ-80) and an analog white noise circuit. An effect stand and various performance modulation options, so you can set the MIDI speed to the cutoff frequency or amplitude and adjust the Mod Wheel vibration to your liking.
Of course, getting the HT6000 to do new and exciting things is just a click away: the Glitch Control has its own small space on the front panel and is eager to click! Musically randomized patches are incredibly easy to generate, and if you want to go deeper, a set of controls are laid out for easy customization.
The glory of the HT-6000 lies in its marginal status: it is largely ignored, even more widely forgotten, however, it creates a seductively peculiar sound. Now freed from its original restrictive architecture, this sound can compete with any Yamaha or Roland in versatility – but with an individual, unusual tone that does not imitate any. We really like this strange car, and we hope that you too