The Casio SK-1 Sample Bank includes over 250 sounds specifically created for this fine vintage sampler. There are dozens of perfect and near-perfect instrument and drum loops, plus an overwhelming number of one-shot samples covering a wide range of tones, often with multiple copies in different octaves. The Casio SK series samplers are legitimate instruments, not toys, and not just for for circuit-bending. Their biggest weakness has always been the lack of sample memory and storage. But in the age of powerful portable devices it takes little effort to move countless sounds onto your Casio in real time through a 3.5mm jack (and it's certainly faster than loading samples onto an ASR-10 through a floppy drive).
Visit the demo page to try out a curated selection of samples. Connect your device and sampler input with a 3.5mm cable, press any of the SK-5 styled buttons to load a bank, press any name to play the sound, then press the "sampling" button on your keyboard within one second. The prefixes give an indication of what kind of sound to expect.
|looping instrument sounds such as organs and pads
|basic waveforms such as saw, square, noise, and combinations
|drum loops, either full or half measure
|sounds with natural decay such as pianos and plucked strings
|general percussion sounds, sometimes tuned
|traditional orchestra instruments
|atonal sound effects and oddities
These demo sounds are free to download and use under Creative Commons license CC BY-SA (No redistribution / sharing without attribution). The demo package also comes with a copy of the demo website. Please note the demo tool does not work as expected when running locally without a webserver and I've only confirmed it to work properly in the Android version of Firefox.
I plan to make a full-fledged mobile app one day.
The full Casio SK-1 Sample Bank is available for purchase (click the "buy" button above). Once payment is received I will email you a one-time download link. This is a manual process so please give me about a day to get the confirmation from PayPal and write you back.
Sample Pack v0.1 includes:
- 46 Instrument Loops
- 94 One-shot Instruments
- 19 Synthesis Waveforms
- 34 Orchestra Sounds
- 28 Percussion Sounds
- 18 Sound Effects
- 21 Drum Loops
- 260 Total Samples! (40MB)
- List of file names
Creating this sample pack involved many weeks of work sampling real instruments, tweaking analog synth patches, and combing through different sources to create a well-rounded library. Each sound has about one second of pre-roll and post-roll silence, and consistent gain whenever possible. All samples are presented in mp3 format and can be played in practically any media player. Note: looped sounds are only confirmed to work well on the SK-1 and SK-5 models as I have no other keyboards to test. I will be happy to hear feedback from owners of other models.
According to soundcloud user RippleTank, Hal Leonard Corporation released a cassette with 100 samples for use with SK series keyboards. Another version of the audio is also on archive.org. While doing some research I came across images with the official sound names, and from there it was just a matter of cutting up the waveform into chunks for easy sampling. While this cassette was marketed for the Casio SK, the sounds do not consider the limited sample length and many of them run way over 1.4 seconds. A good number of them work well and some even loop almost seamlessly. Here they are for download in .WAV format (37MB). Note: I only sliced up the recording from archive.org and there is no noise reduction.
In 1986 a Wisconsin company named Sight & Sound Music Software, Inc. published the book "Fun with your Casio SK-1" which came with a cassette, similar to the Hal Leonard one above. There are more samples and they better suited for the SK series, though none of them loop. The book lists 121 samples but there are 126 on the tape, and those last several are the most interesting ones! (I gave them proper names.) Here they are for download in .MP3 format (9MB). Note: I did not apply noise reduction or do any special clean up or gain matching. A digitized version of the book and cassette are now on archive.org. I actually found the instructions on the b-side helpful and listening to the woman with the wonderful Wisconsin accent reminded me of family from that part of the country.