Casio CTK-601
Auto-accompaniment keyboard



Casio CTK-601 audio demos

(For web-space and time reasons, I recorded only the most significant, well-programmed rhythms and the most good-sounding and intriguing tones:)


The two Casio CTK-601 factory demos:

Factory Demo 0       a cool Fusion song.

Factory Demo 1       another cool Fusion track.

The Casio CTK-601 100 Rhythms

Intro, Normal rhythm, Variation and Ending.  The solo instruments are improvised in real-time.

Stream all rhythm examples below:

Rhythm name with audio demo My comments
Pops I  
00  World Pop A dreamy, well-programmed world rhythm.  Typical AOR style.

01  Soul Ballad 1

Sweet arrangements, a bit in the vein of the '70s -
02  Pop Shuffle Groovy pattern with slap bass, power drums and soul electric guitar.
03  Pop Ballad The standard "love" song - '80s style.
04  Pops 1 Vocal group, a la Take 6.
05  Ballad A piano-based ballad, very dreamy, with arpeggios.
06  Fusion Shuffle 70s rhythm.  With slap bass and electric piano.
07  Club Pop Cool Euro Dance rhythm - A pity the on-board ROM doesn't include TR-909 bass and snare...  they instead opted for an "Aeugh" vocal sample that should act as a 909-bass drum.  This one reminds me of many songs of the '80s, though.
08  Pops 2 Another shuffle funky rhythm.
09  Soul Ballad 2 A ballad with a choir in the background.
Pops II  
10  16 Beat 1 A powerful, radio-ready arrangement.  80s style.
11  16 Beat 2 Variation of the above, quite different actually, with shuffled rhythm, and tambourine.  Reminds me of Paul Mc Cartney's style, for some reason.
12  16 Beat 3 Funkiest of the bunch - with picked guitar.
13  8 Beat 1 Standard Rock style, straight 8ths.
14  8 Beat 2 Classic '60s rhythm - in the vein of "Can't hurry love"
15  8 Beat 3 Variation of 8 Beat 1, with guitar strums.
16  Pops 3 An R'n'B rhythm with organ and mouth drums.
17  Dance Pop Think Madonna during the True Blue period.
18  Pop Fusion Cool 16th rhythm, with picked guitar and electric piano.
19  Pops 4 Good for TV jingles - with TR-808 drums.
20  Jungle Well-programmed, although a bit on the fast side (204bpm!)  The typical Jungle/D'n'B  is about 160.  Good synthesizer work.
21  Rave Again, this rhythm should have a 909 bass drum, not that "Aeugh" sound.  Other than that, it's a pretty cool dance rhythm.
22  Techno Similar to the above, with a saw-synth accompaniment.
23  Groove Soul Welcome to the '70s!
24  Disco Classic late '70s disco - think Donna Summer et al.
25  Euro Beat There was a hit from a French girl in the '80s, Caroline Loeb, called "C'est la ouate":  this rhythm reminds me of that song
26  Rap Standard rap/hip-hop rhythm.
27  Trance Tight, powerful dance rhythm - although it reminds me more of a sped-up "I feel love" by Donna Summer/Giorgio Moroder than the typical Trance.
28  Funk This is a great pattern!  Just add the obligatory James Brown screams and grunts - and you're set.
29  Very Funky And this is when the band is rehearsing before James' arrival.
Rock I  
30  Rock Waltz "You make me feeeeel.... you make me feel... like a natural.... woman......."
31  Slow Rock 1 A la Stevie Wonder - Solina-type strings in the background included.
32  Slow Rock 2 Piano-based ballad, very '60s.
33  Soft Rock 1 Perfect for The Carpenters' songs.
34  Soft Rock 2 Variation of the above, with more Soul - think "The Dock of the Bay".
35  Soft Rock 3 Similar to the above
36  Folkie Pop John Denver style.
37  Pop Rock 1 60s style - "Rolling.... Rolling........Rolling on the River".....
38  60's Soul Typical rhythm for the vocal girl-bands of the '60s.
39  Pop Rock 2 Variation of Pop Rock 1, with halved rhythm.
Rock II  
40  Rock 1 Classic '70s Rock.
41  Rock 2 Another classic rock.
42  Hard Rock the guitar could have been programmed a bit better
43  Riff Rock Awesome rhythm!  You can "feel" the band grooving to the beat!  The guitar riff is well programmed.
44  Heavy Metal Very Deep Purple.
45  50's Rock This is such a great pattern - great, obviously, for early Rock and Roll a la Gene Vincent, Elvis and all the others, but slow it down and it's great for Country 'a la Patsy Cline too!
46  Twist Classic, and great Twist rhythm.
47  N'Awlins R&R New Orleans style rhythm - like Dr. John.
48  Chicago Blues Very cool electric blues rhythm!  Jam on this one and pretend you're B.B. King.
49  R&B The old-style version, not the new one.
50  Big Band Awesomely programmed intro... and then it's of course for Glenn Miller and similar styles.
51  Jazz Voices A swingy pattern with Doo's and mouth noises.
52  Slow Swing Totally Frank Sinatra "I got you under my skin"
53  Swing 1 Ok
54  Swing 2 Cool swinging rhythm with piano and -yes!- vibraphone.
55  Fox Trot Killer jazzy rhythm.  This transports us back in time to the 1940s and '50s, in a smoky dance-hall.
56  Modern Jazz Fusion style, with a cool triangle underlining the beat in 16ths.
57  Acid Jazz Funky rhythm with baritone sax.
58  Latin Fusion This would be great to play "Copacabana" by Barry Manilow!
59  Jazz Waltz A bit in the Dave Brubeck vein.
60  Polka 1 Typical Polka, with Tuba and Accordion.
61  Polka 2 Similar to the above, with a different accordion pattern.
62  March 1 Happy parade rhythm.
63  March 2 Italian style.
64  Slow Waltz Dreamy waltz - with beautiful, warm strings.
65  Viennese Waltz Delicate waltz.
66  Waltz Classical-sounding, with classical guitar and grand piano.
67  French Waltz With a French twist.
68  Serenade Classical pattern, with strings and harpsichord.
69  Tango Classic Argentine style.  The drums are very well programmed.
Latin I  
70  Bossa Nova 1 Perfect for "The Girl from Ipanema" of course.
71  Bossa Nova 2 Variation of the above.
72  Samba 1 This is just perfect to play "Brazil".
73  Samba 2 The perfect title-track for a post-soccer match TV program.
74  Jazz Samba Variation of the above, with a jazzy rhythm.
75  Mambo The great Latin rhythm.
76  Rhumba Excellent conga programming.
77  Cha-Cha-Cha The other great Latin rhythm.
78  Merengue Very well programmed.
79  Bolero Nice slow rhythm.
Latin II/Various I  
80  Salsa Excellent programming!  The maracas feel a bit static, the rest is great.
81  Reggae Slow, Rasta man vibrations here.
82  Punta Reminds me of the Lambada.
83  Cumbia Cool cowbell-based pattern.
84  Pasodoble Another Latin rhythm.
85  Rumba Catalana Spanish.
86  Sevillana Here's one with plenty of Spanish feel.  Add flamenco guitar.
87  Ska Awesome!  This is perfect for The Specials, Madness, and similar.
88  Tex-Mex Great as a base for Tijuana Brass Band songs.
89  Folklore "Modern Gipsy" rhythm, maybe?  With synthesizers?
Various II  
90  Country Well programmed Far West sounds.
91  Bluegrass Spot on.
92  Township Cool South-African rhythm.
93  Fast Gospel Standard Church fast rhythm.
94  Slow Gospel Its slow counterpart.
95  Rai The classic Algerian style.
96  Adani More Arabic styles.
97  Baladi And more Arabic.
98  Enka Very nice pop Japanese style.
99  Str Quartet Vivaldi style.


The Casio CTK-601 200 Tones


Stream all rhythm examples below:

Tone name with audio demo My comments
000  Grand Piano A very nice-sounding grand piano - adaptable to many genres.
001  Bright Piano Brighter variation, suitable for Rock 'n' Roll.
002  E Grand Piano The classic Yamaha CP-70 sound.
003  Honky-Tonk Realistic ragtime piano.
004  Elec Piano 1 A smooth and great-sounding Fender Rhodes electric piano.  Nice.
005  Elec Piano 2 The ubiquitous DX7 electric piano.
006  Harpsichord Cool classical instrument.
007  Clavi Well sampled Hohner Clavinet.
Chromatic Perc  
008  Celesta Great sound!  Very ethnic-sounding, beautiful, mysterious, evocative...
009  Glockenspiel Good only in the high register.
010  Music Box Ok.
011  Vibraphone Not sampled too well.
012  Marimba Perfect sample.
013  Xylophone Nice and woody.
014  Tubular Bells The samples are too short but it's okay.
015  Dulcimer ..ok..
016  Drawbar Organ Excellent "full-out" Hammond drawbar organ .  Versatile, with a bit of EQ, for many different genres.
017  Perc Organ Jazz organ - a la Jimmy Smith.
018  Rock Organ Deep Purple'ish.
019  Church Organ Very nice-sounding mid-size pipe organ.
020  Reed Organ Good samples.
021  Accordion Very nice accordion - perfect for scoring a movie in which two dogs share a plate of spaghetti by the moonlight.
022  Harmonica Very nice harmonica sound.  Pity the 601 doesn't have a modulation wheel/control - to control the vibrato.
023  Bandoneon Argentine accordion.
024  Nylon Str Gt Excellent sound - very warm and woody.
025  Steel Str Gt ok..
026  Jazz Guitar Good, solid hollow-body guitar tone.
027  Clean Guitar The standard Fender Stratocaster.
028  Muted Guitar Realistic.
029  Overdriven Gt A bit static.
030  Dist Guitar Aggressive, with a '60s tone.
031  Gt Harmonics Useful for fx.
032  Acoustic Bass Nice.
033  Fingered Bass Cool.
034  Picked Bass Powerful bass tone.
035  Fretless Bass Sampled very, very well.
036  Slap Bass 1 Classic "Seinfeld" tone.
037  Slap Bass 2 More muted.
038  Synth-Bass 1 A bit liquid-sounding, but effective.
039  Synth-Bass 2 More "rubbery" than the above.
040  Violin Great for quick passages - but too static if you keep holding the note (and no vibrato)
041  Viola Very nice sound, with the obligatory vibrato this time.
042  Cello Realistic enough.
043  Contrabass Nice low tone.
044  Tremolo Str Great "suspense" string ensemble.
045  Pizzicato Str Fabulous ensemble.
046  Harp Natural-sounding harp.
047  Timpani Realistic.  Thunderous.
048  Strings 1 Nice, defined attack.  Realistic.
049  Strings 2 Mellower, darker and slower strings.
050  Synth-Str 1 'A la Prophet-5.
051  Synth-Str 2 'A la Jupiter-8.
052  Choir Aahs Honest choir sample.
053  Voice Oohs The typical Roland sample that made it to the General MIDI set.  Very cool and jazzy.
054  Synth-Voice Sweet as a pad, as well.
055  Orchestra Hit Powerful and piercing stab.
056  Trumpet Nice trumpet.  But there's no vibrato...
057  Trombone Gorgeous tone... warm!
058  Tuba Ok Tuba.
059  Muted Trumpet Miles Davis.
060  French Horn Works better as 1980s synth-pad
061  Brass Honest patch.
062  Synth-Brass 1 Ok
063  Synth-Brass 2 Ok
064  Soprano Sax Warm, but not brassy enough...
065  Alto Sax Ok but a bit static.
066  Tenor Sax Nice tone.
067  Baritone Sax Cool instrument!
068  Oboe Realistic.
069  English Horn Ok
070  Bassoon Nice
071  Clarinet Realistic.
072  Piccolo Happy tone!  And realistic.
073  Flute Nicely sampled and programmed.
074  Recorder Nice.
075  Pan Flute Beautiful - but maybe "too produced"?
076  Blown Bottle Short loop.
077  Shakuhachi Lovely tone.
078  Whistle Very good in the very high octave.
079  Ocarina Cool sound.
080  Square Wave Standard square lead.
081  Sawtooth Wave Standard saw lead.
082  Calliope Thing Of Beauty.
083  Chiff Lead Great for Fusion or Smooth Jazz.
084  Charang Cool.
085  Voice Lead Nice dark quality.
086  Fifth Lead Keith Emerson style.
087  Bass + Lead Powerful synth.
088  New Age Beautiful "Fantasia" sound.  Fantasia is the famous first preset on the D-50.
089  Warm Pad Warm and smooth.
090  Polysynth The sonic glue.
091  Space Choir Add reverb and delay for spaced-out symphonies.
092  Bowed Glass 'A la Ben Franklyn.
093  Metallic Pad Cross between a pad and a violin.
094  Halo Pad Another D50-style patch.
095  Sweep Pad It sweeps, but it's not resonant.
096  Raindrop Standard sound FX.
097  Soundtrack Fine patch.
098  Crystal Glassy.
099  Atmosphere Pad + guitar.
100  Brightness Useful to play "Moments in Love".  Cool synth.
101  Goblins Good for FX.
102  Echoes See above.
103  SF See above again.
104  Sitar Real.
105  Banjo On the spot.
106  Shamisen Cool.
107  Koto Nice.
108  Kalimba Great sound!  Excellent to score documentaries
109  Bag Pipe Scottish goodness
110  Fiddle Warm-sounding violin.
111  Shanai Realistic.
112  Tinkle Bell Cool.
113  Agogo Nice.
114  Steel Drum Yeah!
115  Wood Block Yep.
116  Taiko Powerful and interesting instrument!
117  Melodic Tom Like in the early '80s.
118  Synth-Drum = Simmons
119  Reverse Cymbal Ok.
Sound Effects  
120  Gt Fret Noise Fx
121  Breath Noise fx
122  Seashore fx
123  Bird fx
124  Telephone fx
125  Helicopter fx
126  Applause fx
127  Gunshot fx
Synth Tone  
128  Syn-Pad1 Utilizes the programmable envelopes - from the simple but effective synthesizer engine of the CTK-601.  Very cool sound.
129  Syn-Pad2 With interesting envelope.
130  TouchStr Touch changes the attack of the strings from soft to marcato.
131  Do Ahh Velocity-switched Doos and Aahs.
132  Str Hit A great variation on the Orchestra stab!!!
133  VibesPno Exactly what it says.
134  SawSynth Nice!!!  This is really warm and powerful.
135  Touch Bs Velo-switch from picked to slapped.
136  StrPiano Yes.
137  E.P. Str Yep.
138  St.Piano More noticeable with headphones.
139  12StrGtr Nice.
140  BrasFall Nice.
141  Bs Slide Ok.
142  Feedback Fine.
143  Pno-Str Awesome preset - this is a goldmine for the piano-bar player.
144  Echo Org Really good organ.
145  RotryOrg The vibrato is way too too much.
146  ChorusEP yep.
147  StringGt Nice and very classy.
148  Pad Ens1 D-50 again.
149  Pad Ens2 More D-50.
150  Squence1 Interesting synth tones coming from a lower-end accompaniment keyboard??  Yes.
151  Squence2 Festive.
152  Syn-Pad3 Nice pad with descending portamento effect.
153  Syn-Pad4 Mysterious pad.
154  Syn-Pad5 Great pad with ascending portamento effect.
155  Syn-Pad6 Interesting pad.
156  Syn-Pad7 See above.
157  Syn-Pad8 Crazy LFOs!
158  Rev.Echo Again, a very nice synth tone from the CTK-601.
159  F.Tremlo UFO incoming!
Drum Set  
160  DrumSet1 Standard Set.  Standard drum set.
161  DrumSet2 Power Set 1.  An aggressive, rock drum kit
162  DrumSet3 Power Set 2.  Variation of the above
163  DrumSet4 Voice Set.  The kit with the "Gaeuh" bass drum.
164  DrumSet5 Synth Set.  Standard TR-808 kit.
165  DrumSet6 Jazz Set 1.  A mellow, gentler set, suitable for jazz.
166  DrumSet7 Jazz Set 2.  Variation of the above.
167  DrumSet8 Orchestra Set.  An orchestral trap kit.
168-199  User Tones By factory these sounds are the same as Synth Tone 128-159, but they are erasable.  You create your patches and store them here.


Casio CTK-601 pictures (click on thumbnails to enlarge)



  • light and portable;
  • surprisingly some very good sounds;
  • good accompaniment programming;
  • powerful, crisp on-board speakers

A great little keyboard!  Best Buy used to sell these for very little money, and I got one new.  Its set of General MIDI sounds is pretty good, and the synthesizer section offers a great way to shape your own sounds very easily.

Features at a glance
Year of release: 199_
Polyphony: 24-voice
Presets: 200 (168 ROM + 32 User) tones
Rhythms: 100, with auto-accompaniments
Keyboard: 61 keys (five octaves)
Responds to velocity: yes
Sound generation method: PCM
MIDI: yes, in-out
Sound expansion capabilities: No
Effects: digital reverb (Room, Stage, Hall)
Controls: pitch bender (a bit awkward to use)
Outputs: stereo output/headphones
Display: yes, LCD non-backlit






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