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Casio SA-1 alive in Kontakt

Casio SA-1 alive in Kontakt

Where I’ve left you with the physical connection between the Arduino Nano and the keyboard, the time has now come to completely transfer all sounds to Kontakt.

Arduino talk

In the Arduino  I’ve programmed a midi receive routine that sorts out which key is played translates that to an index. That index is used to look up the correct combination of key and column to be activated in the arrays called key and column.

There are 8 keys and 4 columns which make a total of 32 keys, how convenient, that is the precise number of keys on the casio as well.


Since the idea was to record each individual key, I did not bother to program any polyphonic routine. The midi track being played from the DAW only plays one note at a time, all with the same length. The length is somewhat longer to make it easier later on to loop the sound in Kontakt.

The DAW is connected to the casio with a physical MIDI plug. There is an Edirol UM-1 USB MIDI port adapter connected to my DAW and its output goes to the MIDI input of the Arduino. The processor then translates the incoming bytes to the corresponding key and plays its magical sounds.


Kontakt eats the samples

The recording session of hundred sounds is somewhat boring as it is a repetitive process. But in the end it is good fun having all these badly dither sound right at your finger tips!

Each recording is about 4 minutes long, so every sounds can start in complete silence. Then the sound is being played for a about 6 seconds and then some seconds to die out. The beautiful non dithered release is absolutely one of the best features in this keyboard!

None of the keys being played overlap each other so there are 32 absolutely clean recordings of each key per sound.



Importing the sounds in Kontakt is a breeze. I just dragged in the correct complete audiofile with all 32 keys. Then Kontakt sorted out the grid in “auto”-mode. Then I dragged all those note to host and all keys were projected onto the keyboard.

I transposed all keys to the correct key, the first one is an F-2, and save the patch under its original name and presetnumber.


Alright, now the real work still has to start, looping what has to be looped. Still work in process I might say, I like working with workflows and there is a challenge to it with nearly 100 sounds…

But it sure is good fun already!

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