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
- Power on the Casio VL-Tone / VL1
- Move the top-right Switch to Calculator Mode (next to Off)
- Press the MC (Memory Clear) button
- 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.
- Move the top-right Switch to Play
- Move the instrument switch to ADSR
- Play the keys to listen to your sound!
- 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.
Interesting fact: The Casio VL-Tone VL1 was used by Trio in their song Da Da Da.