The Calculus CZ soundset by Homegrown Sounds features a collection of patches for VirtualCZ, Oli Larkin’s virtual instrument that recreates the unique synthesis engine of Casio’s CZ series of synthesizers.
Calculus is a collection of presets for the Virtual CZ Plug-in of mainly Pads inspired by the likes of Eno, Harold Budd and the Boards of Canada. Some of the sounds were designed on a CZ1000 and transferred to the plugin, although they make full use of aftertouch and also the loopable envelopes which which really add to Virtual CZ’s Pad creation appeal.
There are 128 presets in total which are mainly Pads and Atmospheres with a few Basses and Leads thrown in for good measure. The Presets are provided in VST2, VST3, Audio Units and Pro Tools formats so you can use whichever you prefer.
Calculus CZ includes 8 basses, 2 fx, 8 leads, and no less than 110 pads!
Check out the audio demos below to get an idea of the lovely sounds included in this soundset.
So what do I think?
With over 100 pads in a single soundset you might think Calculus CZ would be in danger of running into same-ish sounding patches. Sure, there are some patches that sound a bit alike, but luckily for me I enjoy pad sounds a lot. And these pads are really nice.
The set has captured that vintage digital CZ feel. There is lots of movement in the sounds, which gives them a bit of analog-like character. I love the warble, the slight detune, a bit of a dark edge. The bass, lead and fx patches are a good addition to this solid soundset.
The Eno, Harold Budd and Boards of Canada references are spot on, so if you’re into that kind of thing you should definitely check out Calculus CZ.
For Kontakt users there is also this Multiverse library based off of the Calculus soundset.