Casio RZ-1 Custom Firmware

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Casio RZ-1 Custom Firmware

Postby Rasputin » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:08 pm

I've been (very casually) mulling over the idea of making custom firmware for the RZ-1.

Features Wish List:

-- Being able to lock the "Accent" button so that all drum hits have extra emphasis by default. You can easily add emphasis if you're triggering by MIDI (velocity of 97-127), but if you're live drumming then you either have to hold down the Accent button (losing a hand in the process) or shove something in the button to keep it stuck down (jamming in a guitar pick works) -- not graceful.

-- Being able to change the MIDI notes corresponding to each pad. Maybe you want the drums to match General MIDI, maybe something else.

-- MIDI Sample Dump Standard (SDS); This would be hugely useful. Although an MT jack sideloading method exists, MIDI would be way more convenient.

Anyone else have any ideas or gripes about the RZ-1 that should be addressed? I think the MIDI notes issue would be very easy to hardcode into whatever was desired, but it would be significantly more difficult to make it adjustable on-the-fly and stored in NVRAM so it is recalled after reboot / power off.

Again, just an idea I'm toying with and something that isn't that likely to happen.
Last edited by Rasputin on Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:11 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Casio RZ-1 Custom Firmware

Postby madtheory » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:58 pm

To somehow magically be able to change the pitch of each sound independently, or even do that on the fly with an envelope, or even have it as programmable per step in a pattern?
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Re: Casio RZ-1 Custom Firmware

Postby sneakthief » Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:11 pm

Somewhat related: is it just me, or are there some versions of the RZ-1 where you can change the pattern while playing and others where you can't?
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Re: Casio RZ-1 Custom Firmware

Postby Walter Ego » Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:05 pm

Rasputin wrote:-- MIDI Sample Dump Standard (SDS); This would be hugely useful. Although an MT jack sideloading method exists, MIDI would be way more convenient.


Big +1 on this. I've read about the sideloading method. Way above my paygrade.
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Re: Casio RZ-1 Custom Firmware

Postby madtheory » Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:56 pm

Just read about the sideloader hacking Rasputin. That is very cool!
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Re: Casio RZ-1 Custom Firmware

Postby elsongs » Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:42 am

I used to own an RZ-1 like 30 years ago. I never used the standard kick/snare and only used the sample pads for those sounds :) My biggest complaint was lack of tuning and the fact that the thing gave off this faint high-pitched buzz/whine from the audio outs.
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Re: Casio RZ-1 Custom Firmware

Postby Rasputin » Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:10 pm

The buzz is a common problem. It's the inverter for the backlight (which probably doesn't even still work anyway!)

Here's how to upgrade to an LED LCD display, effectively killing two birds with one stone:
http://r-massive.cellarseer.com//?s=casio+rz-1
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Re: Casio RZ-1 Custom Firmware

Postby Rasputin » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:09 pm

sneakthief wrote:Somewhat related: is it just me, or are there some versions of the RZ-1 where you can change the pattern while playing and others where you can't?


Does anyone actually know about this? Or have any info on different revisions of the ROMs? Heck, does anyone even have an independent EPROM read of their RZ-1?

The only OS firmware for the RZ-1 (that I'm aware of) on the 'Net is one that came from me, so I'm kind of stuck with what I've got to work with -- just my own personal EPROM rip.

Project Update

So... I've revisited this project and (after way too many hours) have gotten to the point where I am quite confident I can make this (seemingly) simple accent hack. I don't know if it's clear where I was going with this, but the concept is that the ACCENT button would turn into a "ghost note" button. In other words, everything would be full velocity by default, ACCENT would actually de-accent, and MUTE would well... still mute.

Pretty trivial to implement, if you already know how the firmware is laid out. As they say: Everything is easy, once you know how.

Once I get that working then I might dig into the sample xfer / rhythm backup via MIDI thing. As a luxury I could try to add separate MIDI channels for Tx/Rx instead of them being tied together. But I shouldn't get ahead of myself.
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Re: Casio RZ-1 Custom Firmware

Postby Rasputin » Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:15 pm

Not exactly firmware related, but I noticed an omission in the Casio RZ-1 Service Manual. On page 27, they list the key scan matrix with the key common signals (KC0~KC7) and the KI lines (KI0~KI5), but--for whatever reason--there is no KC4 shown.

I'm fairly confident KC4 should be thus [this would be left-to-right like their switch matrix table]:

KI 5 - CHAIN/BEAT
KI 4 - INSERT/AUTOCOMP
KI 3 - DELETE
KI 2 - EDIT/RECORD
KI 1 - SONG
KI 0 - PATTERN

Might be handy to know while troubleshooting the TC40H368 chip if you've got multiple keys out at once. You know, for that one person on the planet who has that problem and finds this post... :roll:
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