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  CT-101 At a Glance
Picture needed arrowReleased: 1980  Specifications
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Mather's Studios writes:
What I really love about this instrument is that it is built like a tank and is a real treat to look at. With the current re-emegence of vintage keyboards which were all constructed with wooden end-cheeks and metal front panels, this instrument really feels at home in my studio. The front panel of the instrument comprises just seven switches and an analog rotary control for volume, which makes this a very easy instrument to use indeed. Apart from high costs for the circuitry when the keyboard was originally built, it would have been nice to have had individual program selectors on the front panel for every sound rather than first having to commit it to the Tone Memory before being able to play it. Most people seem to say that the sounds are thin and cheesy on the 101, but I often wonder this: how do you actually determine whether a sound is bad or not? If we are talking in terms of emulation then yes, this is not a very good instrument (but the Organ patches do diserve some credit here), but with today's use of synthesizer and abstract sounds, they all have their own uses. I personally think that the xylophone program (which doesn't sound anything like one) sounds perfectly OK for little synth solos, and played in unison with a piano from another synth, it adds a nice 'shiny' metallic edge to the sound.

If I were to have to give this keyboard a score out of ten, I think I would award it an eight. It looks good and feels good to play, and for pure synth sounds and the addition of a vintage edge to a mix, this is the one.

Comments About the Sounds:
The general sound quality of the 101 is somewhat poor and thin, and many people quote it as being useful only for humour. However, for certain applications this keyboard can still produce usable sounds, and can sound very good layered in with higher quality synth sounds. On the rear panel of the keyboard is an analog controller which allows you to offtune the sound plus or minus half a semitone, which allows the sound to be detuned in relation to other synths. This can be extremely useful in fattening up and reinforcing sounds when played in unison with another synth. Although physically you can play only eight notes from the keyboard, because some sounds use two oscillators, you can actually hear a maximum of 16 notes simultaneously.

(Thanks to Mather's Studios for this info.)

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