Casio MT640

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Casio MT640




The MT640 is a stereo 4 octave keyboard with 6 in built drum pads and 4 sound pads.

There is an on board memory for recording one song as well as a ROM demo tune.

It is billed as a 210 sound bank which means that it combines the 20 or so sounds (I believe the MIDI program numbers access more than the facia sounds) in layers. There is also keyboard splitting on certain presets.
The peculiar feature of this instrument is the dynamic bass speaker which has its own slider and set of LEDs to add reflex bass.
 
SOUNDS
There are twenty preset sounds which are of passable quality.The Chorus sound is notable,but the bass guitars and strings are effective.There seem to be another set of 10 voices under MIDI program control which are not accessed from the facia. Overall sound quality is impressive for a budget unit,especially with the dynamic bass on.
 
RHYTHM
There are 20 rhythms comprising quite a few percussion instruments,some of them outside of the norm,including a couple of human vocal samples,wind chimes and Quijada which cross the stereo field when chosen from one of the two percussion presets.
There are two banks of rhythm sounds which spread across the keyboard,some pitched sounds using 3-4 keys for different versions of the note.

The orange drum pads (which oddly cannot be enhanced by the DP1 add on pads) are fixed drum sounds,3 Simmons type toms,2 agogo and one crash cymbal.
The pads also send MIDI notes,so can be used as triggers.

The 4 grey sound pads are Quijada,Voice,Wind chime and Orchestra hit,which double as the MIDI channel selectors,choosing 1 - 4 channels.

Sliders operate a mini mixer which offsets the volume of the main voice from rhythm and accomp,and there are the usual lower keyboard casio and fingered modes for auto chords.
 
MIDI
The rhythm unit sends MIDI sync but does not respond to it,so the MT has to be the source clock.It has synchro,fill in and ending modes. It does not seem to have an INT/EXT select as on the MT540.

There is MIDI in and out but no thru,headphone jack is 3.5mm and power is the usual -ve centre 9v.

Good points: The addition of Dynamic bass enchances the sound and the aesthetic appeal of having red and orange LEDs jump about as you play.The overall sounds are good quality considering the age of the unit.

Niggles: The lack of external clock control is a problem,I am not sure whether this is possible,because I cannot find the PDF manual for the 640 (other manuals are at templarseries.atspace.com/synths.html).
There is no pitch bender and PB is not responded to.

Expect to Pay: £35-45


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