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What are your thoughts on the Casio HT-6000? (Just got one.)

Posted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 7:30 am
by grahamrlang
I've just acquired a Casio HT-6000, and it seems to be a pretty powerful synthesizer dating back to 1987. I came to Vintage Synth Explorer expecting to see something about it and was surprised to see there isn't.

It's an analog/digital hybrid, and I read an article saying something about how when it was released, it was mistakenly marketed as a consumer grade machine when Casio started to cut back on creation of making their more professional quality synthesizers. It seemed to imply that the HT-6000's label as a consumer grade synthesizer hurt it's reception and it became relatively rare. I'm not sure how rare it really actually is... but was interested as to why it may not be up on the site. Nonetheless it seems to be a pretty versatile synth! Was interested in knowing what anyone's thoughts on it might be in general, if you've played one, etc. Gimme the scoop!

Re: What are your thoughts on the Casio HT-6000? (Just got o

Posted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 11:04 am
by elmosexwhistle
It's Digital Waves run through analogue filters, the waves are interesting and allow you to come up with many sounds you won't find anywhere else. It's a h**l of a pain to program, one alpha dial and a load of numerical values to change (and you have to read the manual to find out which number equals which value!)

I have the HT3000, the 6000 is basically the same with 4 of everything, so you can really layer up some big sounds.

I have a demo of the 3000 here, so you can gauge the kind of sound world you'll be able to get out of a HT range synth:

http://soundcloud.com/elmosexwhistle/ca ... -alex-juno

Go to about 2:10 in for what i think is the best thing about the synth, play some notes whilst scrolling back and forth through the waves in edit mode, and you get the most lovely, scratchy, bleepy, wavetable effect pad i've ever heard.

All in all, you've got a VERY unique synth capable of some great sounds.

Re: What are your thoughts on the Casio HT-6000? (Just got o

Posted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 3:26 pm
by Pro5
HT-3000 was my first ever synthesizer, I bought it new back in the late 80s. I don't really consider the 3000 (at least, not sure about the 6000) as a 'real' synthesizer, more a home keyboard with a pretty cool synthesizer section built in. And I don't remember it sounding particularly warm or powerful in any respect. It kinda just did 'some synth sounds' but didn't set my world alight (even though I loved it for a couple of years, i was young!)

Sound wise I remember doing some cool stuff on it, still have tapes somewhere 20+ years old :mrgreen: but i think next to many 'cheap' real/pure synths you could pick up, it's gonna sound a bit thin.

I sold it when I bought a Juno 6... around early 90s. I don't think I'd track one down today but that's about the unit as a whole rather than it's sound capabilities, it could surely do some useful sounds - as can most synths.

Re: What are your thoughts on the Casio HT-6000? (Just got o

Posted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:03 am
by minime123
excellent synth. 4 oscillators, cool waveforms, nice filters, lightweight, portable, built in speakers, programmable auto-accompaniment (really cool feature). we've got one for sale but will be sad to see it go.
mini

Re: What are your thoughts on the Casio HT-6000? (Just got o

Posted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:39 am
by grahamrlang
Thanks for the information guys!
I haven't really gotten into the synthesizing portion yet, although I did notice that ability to toggle through waveforms with the wheel and change them while playing and that's really great. Some of it's stock sounds are also great for getting some authentic 80's synth-string and brass sounds. The electric piano doesn't sound bad either!

I've never really fooled around with synthesizers much in the past, and this is my first synth (besides a Casio Sk-1). I also haven't ever messed with the HT-3000, but this synthesizer sounds relatively warm to my ears. That might just be in part due to the extra oscillators, but any chance the components of this synthesizer being of any higher quality than previous models? It seems like a pretty capable synthesizer to me.

I also noticed it has a slot for a Casio RA-100 Ram card. Is this the only way to save sounds to the synth? I'm pretty unfamiliar with what the Ram card does, but I would assume it's just a memory card to expand it's memory. I also understand they're pretty hard to come by.

Any thoughts on where I might be able to find an instruction booklet for the HT-6000? I'd really like to learn how to use this synthesizer to it's fullest potential. I'm open to any information on how to control it and really utilize it's quirks and unique features to their highest aesthete...

Re: What are your thoughts on the Casio HT-6000? (Just got o

Posted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:55 pm
by minime123
there are onboard locations for saving sounds but make sure your batteries are good or *poof* theyre gone.
the card is optional. google ht-6000 manual. i think theres one somewhere out there. or maybe that was just the ht-700 manual. i dont remember...
mini

Re: What are your thoughts on the Casio HT-6000? (Just got o

Posted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:13 pm
by factual35
Pro5 wrote:HT-3000 was my first ever synthesizer, I bought it new back in the late 80s. I don't really consider the 3000 (at least, not sure about the 6000) as a 'real' synthesizer, more a home keyboard with a pretty cool synthesizer section built in. And I don't remember it sounding particularly warm or powerful in any respect. It kinda just did 'some synth sounds' but didn't set my world alight (even though I loved it for a couple of years, i was young!)
I also have the 3000, and I pretty much agree with Pro5. It's not mindblowing(though I've heard good things done with it) but it can sound decent at times. I recall using it alongside an EA-1, and it sounds fine in that track. I think I only used it on one track, and haven't used it since. Despite having analog filters, it's very digital sounding, and not the greatest thing out there.

It also weighs as much as a baby elephant. :D

Re: What are your thoughts on the Casio HT-6000? (Just got o

Posted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:45 pm
by minime123
maybe not mindblowing, but as someone who has played almost every vintage synth, i can say that its unique and worth owning. as for it weighing as much as a baby elephant, you might wanna take your vitamins and get to the gym or something. :p
mini

Re: What are your thoughts on the Casio HT-6000? (Just got o

Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:55 am
by factual35
minime123 wrote: as for it weighing as much as a baby elephant, you might wanna take your vitamins and get to the gym or something. :p
mini
Never! I intend to preserve my androgynous physique. ;)

Re: What are your thoughts on the Casio HT-6000? (Just got o

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 7:44 pm
by Juno6
I´ve got two HT6000, an HT-3000, an HT-700 and a RA100 card. To me they´re really special sounding synthesizers.
I´ve got a big list of synths, but these are fantastic. The more simple 3000 and 700 are more complex than a Juno 60, with two envelopes, more waveforms, more lfo waveforms, etc. There´s no sub oscillator per se, but the DCOs are made of additive pulses, so most waveforms have various octaves, so it´s a similar effect.
The 6000 are surprisingly complex, with 4 DCOs, different envelope curves, velocity modulation of filter and VCA, etc.
The waveforms are analogue, they´re a pulse output of a clock going to an octave divider, so what you´re hearing is an analog signal, without aliasing, etc. The different waveforms are the result of various pulse levels and tunings, not of digital waveforms stored in memory.
So what you get is a very analogue sounding synth, analogue chorus included, with a very pleasing sound, (which reminds me of a mixture of Juno-60 and a SID chip), for very little money.

Stay tuned, an article about them is going to be released soon.

Re: What are your thoughts on the Casio HT-6000? (Just got o

Posted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:55 am
by StepLogik
I own both the HT-6000 and HT-700. They are both deeply underrated synthesizers, particularly the 6000. One thing to note is that the HT series have an abysmal MIDI implementation. There is absolutely no sysex support for patch storage or editing. The only MIDI CC support is sustain pedal and mod wheel, but the mod wheel cannot be assigned to anything other than osc pitch.

The drum sounds cannot be triggered via MIDI but few will consider this a shortcoming since they are so bad :lol:

Interestingly, the auto-rhythms generate and sync to MIDI clock - a curious feature to implement when so much else is missing.

Re: What are your thoughts on the Casio HT-6000? (Just got o

Posted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:28 pm
by calyx93
Had one for about a week - loved what it could do despite it looking like a home accompaniment keyboard. DCO's didn't seem to go low enough for good bass patches, but IIRC you could use the ring mod to pitch things down an octave. BTW - the ring modulator really helps with creating cool patches on this. Nice filters - never really got into the programmable accompaniment. Decent envelopes - pretty punchy. Makes some very nice pads too :)

Re: What are your thoughts on the Casio HT-6000? (Just got o

Posted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:03 pm
by wjmwpg
Forgive my revival of an old thread. I'm wondering if anyone here has decent scan or an original copy of the HT6000 manual?

I'm just starting to get to know my HT6000, and the only manual for it that I can find online is such a bad scan I can't read it at all - I have a bit of an eye condition that doesn't help. It's just chicken scratch to me.

Re: What are your thoughts on the Casio HT-6000? (Just got o

Posted: Fri Jan 30, 2015 4:38 pm
by phineus_ii
I got the HZ600 which is the speakerless version of it. prety cool sounds even if it is super thin sounding.

About the casio RA-100 ram card... good look finding one lol! I have one and it doesn't even work. I remember getting into a bidding war on it ages ago.

Re: What are your thoughts on the Casio HT-6000? (Just got o

Posted: Fri Jan 30, 2015 4:52 pm
by Walter Ego
phineus_ii wrote:I got the HZ600 which is the speakerless version of it. prety cool sounds even if it is super thin sounding.

About the casio RA-100 ram card... good look finding one lol! I have one and it doesn't even work. I remember getting into a bidding war on it ages ago.
RAM and ROM carts usually have a memory battery to keep the memory going. You might want to carefully open it up and see if there's an old watch-type battery to replace. There could be corrosion or it could just be dead. That might revive the old girl.