Casio VL1 VL-Tone Program Your Own Sounds

Program your own sounds in the Casio VL-Tone aka Casio VL1

I have made a short video to show you how to program your own sounds in the Casio VL-Tone aka Casio VL1.

The Casio VL1 aka VL-Tone is a hybrid synthesizer and calculator from the 1980s. It has 5 built-in sounds, a rhythm machine, and a 100-note recorder/sequencer. You can also program your own sounds using the calculator function. This video shows you how to do that!

If you don’t want to follow the video, here is a step-by-step guide on how you can programme your own sounds in the Casio VL-Tone / VL1

  1. Power on the Casio VL-Tone / VL1
  2. Move the top-right Switch to Calculator Mode (next to Off)
  3. Press the MC (Memory Clear) button
  4. Press the number keys to make a number up to 9 digits long. The numbers correspond to functions such as the waveform type, the Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release, and Vibrato of the sound itself.
  5. Move the top-right Switch to Play
  6. Move the instrument switch to ADSR
  7. Play the keys to listen to your sound!
  8. Repeat from step 2 to make a new sound

For an explanation about the different waveforms and functions, see this great article by Syntherjack.

The VL1 in the video is a bit worse for wear but it still works perfectly after nearly 40 years!

The keyboard in the background is the Akai MPK Mini Play Mk3 MIDI keyboard controller with built-in sounds.

Watch my video review of the Akai MPK Mini Play Mk3 here.

Interesting fact: The Casio VL-Tone VL1 was used by Trio in their song Da Da Da.

I have released a New 5-Track EP Today

I have released a new 5-track EP today on my Bandcamp page. It’s called “Never Let You Go EP” and features new versions of my song Never Let You Go.

The first track is the “alternative version” of the song, with different lyrics to the original song. It’s the version that I named the “radio edit” on other websites and which is currently on the Amazing Radio Pop music schedule.

There is a “classic” 1980s type 12-inch extended version of the song, along with a dub version, in the style of my remixes for Pitch Black and Tom Bailey.

The EP also features an instrumental version and radio edit of the original song.

I wrote the song for my wife’s birthday. She’s definitely the perfect mother and perfect wife.

The song has already been played on the radio in the UK and round the world. It was been described as tragic and a heartbreaker!

It marks a move away from my previous chillout and dub styles to a more new wave and synthpop style which is inspired by my love of bands like OMD, Kraftwerk, Soft Cell, Depeche Mode and other bands that started out in the 1980s.

Please help to promote the EP in any way you can!

Never Let You Go – New Song Out Now

Listen to the new song by mistrust….

“Never Let You Go (For Kathryn B)” is a new song that I’ve written for my amazing wife, Kathryn, to celebrate her birthday.

It’s a lullaby / synthpop song, which is influenced by bands like OMD, Kraftwerk, Human League, and early Depeche Mode.

It’s quite a departure from my dub/downtempo instrumentals and remixes, and has me on lead vocals.

I wrote and recorded loads of “proper” songs in the late 1980s and early 90s, but haven’t done anything like this since then.

After numerous instrumentals, I thought it was time I sat down to see if I could actually write a real song!

I would love to hear what you think of it!

Don’t forget to check out some of my other songs!

Scan below to listen on other devices:

Bandcamp joins Epic Games

Bandcamp, one of the best independent music hosting platforms, has just announced that it is joining Epic Games, the makers of Fortnite and Unreal Engine.

In an announcement made this week (March 2, 2022), Ethan Diamond (Bandcamp co-founder and CEO) said:

Bandcamp will keep operating as a standalone marketplace and music community, and I will continue to lead our team.

Bandcamp Update March 2, 2022

I’ve been a part of the Bandcamp community for several years. It has always been an independent place for artists like me, and many others, to distribute music, without the influence of big corporations who want to make millions of dollars streaming music to the masses and offering a very poor return to the artists. The great things about Bandcamp, and the things that convinced me to sign up, were that they don’t take much in commission for selling your music, and you can charge what you like (even zero!). You can also sell vinyl records, merchandise, and offer complete discographies to your fans.

Why choose Bandcamp?

With Bandcamp, there’s never been any outside influence, and every part of the deal between an artist and the company is transparent. No having to work out how much you’ll earn based on some intangible algorithm. The only issue for me has been the more artists and bands signed up to it, the less chance there was of new listeners discovering my music. I’ve always felt a certain amount of trust and faith in Bandcamp and it’s owners, that they keep their independence, and put artists and bands first.

Now Bandcamp has joined Epic Games, I don’t know if they’ll be able to keep that independence, and keep putting artists first. I realise that operating such a big platform costs money, probably more than they earn in fees. I know they may want to expand into other areas, and offer more features. However, I’m concerned that despite Epic being “champions for a fair and open Internet”, that Bandcamp will have a responsibility to its paymasters. It can’t just be a joining of minds! There’ll be some sort of corporate and financial incentive for Bandcamp to deliver a return on Epic’s investment.

Bandcamp Community

As I said earlier, a big reason for my joining the Bandcamp community was that was free from corporate influence – free from the issues and demands of being just another streaming service.

I used to feel the same about Soundcloud, when it was a smaller independent community and platform. Now it’s dominated by big labels and established artists, and the little guy can’t get hard.

I just hope Bandcamp stays independent and does what it’s promising to do, and keep artists first. I’m not going to jump ship and take all my tracks off the platform. I’ll give the company the benefit of the doubt for a while, and hope I can get more plays and sales on Bandcamp Friday.

While you’re hear, please take time to listen and buy my songs on Bandcamp!