The Casio SK-1 is a small sampling keyboard that is one of the first of it’s kind. It has become somewhat of a revered keyboard over the years, although I’m sure it’s makers didn’t think that it would ever be. It’s general characteristics include connection jacks for microphone and line inputs, as well as for an output. On the bottom it has a battery compartment and a tuning knob as well. It’s got two and a half octaves of mini keys and a built in speaker and microphone.
Using the Casio SK-1 isn’t too difficult, but there’s a good amount that you can do with the keyboard that I’ve never touched. I’ve only really used it for it’s basic sampling, which is what I’m sure most users will be doing as well. It’s easy enough to record your voice using the built in speaker and play it back with the keyboard, but it also has a ton of cheesy built in sounds, rhythms, and a demo song. I can’t really speak to how easy it is to get in depth with the SK-1, but it’s easy to use the basic features for sure. The manual has everything that you’d need to know about the SK-1, but I never had a need to look at it much.
As far as I know, the Casio SK-1 is one of the first of it’s kind in terms of being a sampling keyboard. It’s a lot of fun to play around with, but for what I do I’m not sure it has any real musical value. Beyond the sampler, the built in sounds that it has are pretty cheesy, but I guess they are kind of cool in their own way, although I couldn’t see myself using any of them for serious purposes. It isn’t too difficult to find the SK-1 as it is to find some of these other older sampling keyboards, so if you want an ancient sampler, the SK-1 is a great place to start looking.
Did I say 8Khz, 1 second of sampling time? No turn-off memory. Basic sequencer, and only a handfull of presets. You know what? This is what makes the SK-1 special... You have to work around limitations, find ways to create something out of nothing. In contrast, it is surprising to find a MIC IN, LINE IN as well as LINE OUT on the back of the SK-1... This means that you can run some AUX tracks from your mixer, re-sample anything you want 8-Bit style, without being limited to the built-in microphone.
Gift - although they often go for ~$20 on ebay, and cheaper at thrift stores
The SK-1 is easy to use, BUT there are some features which puzzle me... The "Synth" feature is a bit obscure.
You know, for a 20 year old "toy" the SK-1 seems to be pretty solid. I have a second one I found at a thrift store for $3 (!!!) which needs repair.
Sound is a 10!? You probably think I am crazy! ......... Yes and No. The SK-1 is a 20 year old toy sampler. 8 Bit, 4Khz quality, and 1 second of memory. The BAD quality is what gives the SK-1 its charm and character... You pick it up, record thru its built-in microphone or via the LINE IN or the MIC IN, and it is instant fun The sound is very particular. The built-in presets are actually quite interesting. I have used its piano and flute presets on a number of tracks. They do sound vintage/lofi, but add a very nice "color" to a track.
One last thing I really like is the fact that the SK-1 "rattles" if you crank the volume to the max and press a bunch of keys (especially the Flute preset) MMHhhhh!!! 8 Bit heaven... I will *never* sell my Casio SK-10, and will buy all the ones I can find at thrift stores... MMhh a stack of SK-10 screaming 8 Bit samples...
Originally posted on FutureProducers.com
Posted by: mano 1 ( 6-, 2005)
Its raw...enough said. i was surprised to see that it had amp envelopes and options like portamento...
Price paid: $5.99 USD
as mano said, the weaknesses make it a distinct instrument. the presets, esp the piano, are rather nice. a trick that i love to pull with this is to take instrument samples out of reason or other sources (the keyboard always maps to a, so you need to have the note playing A), burn them to cd and then just load up on the sk-1. the coloration often changes the properties of the instrument a thousand times over...synth pads become only vaguely recognizable textures. when i like things enough, i just dump them to my akai and save the patch :D
It doesnt get simpler than this...you can create a patch by pressing a button. wow. almost like my Trinton
10. its really really useful...and makes for a very interesting tool in the right hands. and c'mon...i paid 6 bucks for mine- if you see one, BUY IT! you wont regret it!!!
Originally posted on FutureProducers.com
Posted by: Lodger ( 6-, 2006)