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  • Casio XW-P1 Performance Synthesizer

    Ignore Casio at your own peril.



    I’m going to start this review with a story about the Peavey DPM-3 keyboard. Say what?!? Well, you’ll see why.



    The DPM-3 came out in 1989 and I took an immediate liking to it, in large part because it had non-volatile, flash RAM so it could store its own samples (and the RAM was expandable to a whopping 1 megabyte! Well, it was 23 years ago). But it also had a very “analog” filter, and could transpose sounds over a wide range and still sound musical.



    Shortly after it was introduced, I was visiting the offices of Keyboard magazine to visit a friend and saw a DPM-3. “Hey, are you doing a review of that?” I asked. My friend laughed, and basically said “Yeah, right. It’s a Peavey keyboard. C’mon, give me a break.” Or as someone else said to me, “They make amps for country musicians, I’m sure they don’t know how to make a synth.”



    Fast forward six months later...same friend, same Keyboard offices. He asked if I’d been doing any music lately, so I brought out a copy of a new song I’d recorded. He listened to it, then said “Wow, that sounds incredible!! What synthesizer did you use?”



    You guessed it.



    Indeed, you can’t judge a book by looking at its cover. So if you think Casio can’t make a good synth, put tape over the name on the back, then get back to me. Casio has made quite the comeback, which became abundantly clear when I reviewed their WK-7500 workstation. I’d seen it at trade shows, thought it was pretty cool, and assumed the review would basically say it was a good consumer keyboard with a few pro features folded in. Instead, it’s more like a pro keyboard with some good consumer features folded in. It hits on all cylinders: Solid feature set, transparent operating system, arranger options (or what I call an "audio for video soundtrack generator"), a variety of fine sounds, recording/sequencing options, and a $499 street price. Amazing.



    Of course, some people on the internet ridiculed it and in true internet fashion, the most vocal critics had never tried it. “Oh, it couldn’t possibly be any good, it’s a Casio.” But then people who actually used it started to chime in, which helped set the stage for NAMM 2012.



    Before the show, Casio hyped the introduction of two new synths. But by now, people were intrigued. Casio had pulled off a bunch of seriously cool low-cost instruments, and there was curiosity about the next step. Well, here's one of them: The XW-P1 (the XW-G1, a more groove-oriented keyboard, isn't out yet). [Edit: It has hit the stores since this post was written.]



    If you want to do some prep work, check out Casio's XW-P1 landing page for background info and specs. The list price is $699.99, but the street price is typically $500—if you can find one. I was fortunate to get one of the very first units, and it appears the “retail pipeline” hasn’t been filled yet. However, Guitar Center seems to have them, as shown on their XW-P1 web page with a “just arrived” banner.



    As is traditional with pro reviews, we’ll start off with a photo tour of the unit. But I have to admit that I’ve already plugged in headphones, and poked around the sounds. The XW-P1 can adopt an "analog" or "digital" character, and the step sequencer is extremely cool. It’s a very versatile synth that’s optimized for live performance, and it’s easy to get around on the buttons. And while the emphasis is on a combination of vintage and cutting-edge sounds, you can still find solid electric pianos, drums, and a wonderful drawbar organ.



    Of course, like any other product it’s not perfect; I could hear some stepping when sweeping the filter cutoff, the headphone jack is on the back, and the pitch bend wheel is just a bit smaller than I’d like—although its positioning with respect to the mod wheel makes it easy to do dual-wheel modulation moves that are killer for leads, so I can't complain too much.



    Most of all, though, my first impression is that this is a fun and inspiring keyboard. It was a major challenge to resist the temptation to start laying down tracks when I hit some really grooving sequences, but I was able to maintain my professional demeanor and keep typing...I’ll have time enough to play when we get to the audio examples, which I'm pretty sure will turn a few heads. Assuming I have the discipline to stop playing and start recording



    So here’s a preview of what to expect from the photo tour I’ll be posting tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to digging into this instrument in true pro review fashion--see you then!



    Note: Posts that contain attachments, like audio examples or patches, are shown with blue text to make it easier to find them as you scan through the thread.




    _____________________________________________
    There are now 14 music videos posted on my YouTube channel, including four songs by Mark Longworth. Watch the music video playlist, subscribe, and spread the links! Check back often, because there's more to come...

  • #2
    I'm saving gig money

    Comment


    • #3






      Quote Originally Posted by daviel
      View Post

      I'm saving gig money




      ...and you haven't even heard the audio examples yet!!
      _____________________________________________
      There are now 14 music videos posted on my YouTube channel, including four songs by Mark Longworth. Watch the music video playlist, subscribe, and spread the links! Check back often, because there's more to come...

      Comment


      • #4
        Let’s start with the rear panel, because one common characteristic of newer Casio keyboards is a lot of connectivity.







        The left rear has an SD card slot for SD or SDHC cards up to 32GB. This saves all the data you’d expect from the XW-P1, but you can also play back MIDI files directly from it.



        Next to it is a USB port for MIDI-over-USB. This talks to Windows (XP SP2 or later) and Mac computers as far back as 10.3.9, but it can also handle 64-bit Windows 7 and Mac Lion...so unless you’re still on Windows 98 or Mac System 9, you’re covered.



        Toward the right, you can see the MIDI in and MIDI out/thru 5-pin DIN connectors. Props to Casio for including both DIN and USB MIDI; those 5-pin connectors aren’t obsolete yet by a long shot.







        Now for the audio and related I/O. Going from left to right, there’s a jack for an optional sustain switch. This won’t accept an expression pedal, but offers several switched functions. Of course, if you want a continuous controller, you could use a MIDI controller pedal and feed its output into the MIDI input jack. One option is the MIDI Solutions Pedal Controller, which converts a standard expression pedal into one that produces MIDI continuous controller messages. You could also go upscale to a MIDI floorboard controller like the Line 6 FBV Shortboard, or Keith McMillen’s outstanding SoftStep controller (which you probably want anyway, even if you don't have an XW-P1 ).



        Next is an instrument input for electronic instruments; it has a relatively low impedance (about 10k) so it’s not designed to be a high-Z input for guitar. For best results with guitar or bass using passive pickups you'd need to put a preamp, compressor, or other high-impedance in/low-impedance out device between the guitar output and the XW-P1 instrument input.



        The minijack is intended for signals from MP3 players, CD players, and the like—another obvious use is backing track playback. Next up: a Mic jack for dynamic mics, and associated level control. The Mic and Instrument inputs can be processed through the XW-P1, and yes, we’ll definitely get into the possibilities that offers.



        The two line out jacks provide a stereo signal, or you can use just the left jack for mono. The final audio output connection is a stereo jack for headphones.



        The right-most connector is a 9.5V positive tip jack for the included AC adapter. My unit was so “first off the assembly line” the adapter was designed for European outlets, but I had a Euro-to-USA plug adapter, and as the adapter is global and handles 100-240V, 50/60Hz, I was good to go.



        Also note you can power the XW-P1 from six "D" cell batteries (hey, if it can't be battery-powered it's not a Casio...right?). According to Casio, the approximate battery life is around 35 hours.



        Oh, and one last rear panel picture: The logo on the back. Of course it has no functionality, but there's something I like about the XW-P1 typeface and besides, the name "Hybrid Processing Sound Source" is a challenge to reviewers—what does that mean, anyway? We'll find out!



        _____________________________________________
        There are now 14 music videos posted on my YouTube channel, including four songs by Mark Longworth. Watch the music video playlist, subscribe, and spread the links! Check back often, because there's more to come...

        Comment


        • #5
          The front panel has a logical layout, which is another characteristic of “nouveau Casio” keyboards.







          The left side is pretty much all about performance controls. The four knobs on top are assignable controls for parameters like filter, envelope, and the like. The defaults are logical, but you can re-assign them as desired. The lower button matrix relates to the step sequencer to turn steps or parts on or off, while the four switches toward the left determine the functions of the buttons and sliders along the bottom. Although a cursory look might indicate these are only about the drawbar organ, they have other editing functions. Here's a close-up of the drawbars.







          One point worth noting is that the lights that illuminate the switches are bright. Yes, you can use this keyboard live with stage lighting, and still see what you’re doing. In a darkened stage with low-light conditions, you can use them if you want to read a book (just kidding).



          Seriously, as someone who’s sometimes had to squint on stage, I appreciate the lights but also, the relatively large and readable typeface used for the labels. (I picture the engineers and graphic artists at Casio getting into pitched battles, and I'm glad the engineers won.) This is something I always seem to be complaining about (“Okay, who had the brilliant idea to use light gray typeface on a white background?!?”), but not this time around. Other manufacturers—please take note!







          The center section is about the display and a variety of utilitarian functions (tempo, operation mode, selecting tones, turning the arpeggiator on and off, etc.). The following shows the center left section, which emphasizes the step sequencer.







          The lower part of the mid-center section has more controls, and the upper section is where the LCD lives.







          The LCD is readable and informative. In this particular image, it’s showing the parameter assignments to the assignable performance knobs.







          The above is a close-up of the lower center section. This selects a tone category, or step sequencer pattern. Granted, we probably didn’t need to include a close-up, but face it—it looks cool. I also kind of like the orange-and-black color scheme...I wonder if I have any Halloween gigs set up for this year...







          The center right section selects presets, banks, performances, etc. Below that are navigation buttons, and at the bottom, transposition and octave buttons.







          And we'll bid adieu to the front panel by heading down to the lower left, which has the pitch bend and mod wheels.



          One last comment: If you were paying attention in the first post, you may have noticed the large, black area to the front panel's upper right. This is a rubberized, non-slip surface that is ideal for holding a smart phone, small tablet, KAOSS pad, an effect whose knobs you want to manipulate in live performance, and the like—including (since I knew you'd ask) an iPad.



          This is yet another example of the attention to detail in Casio's latest keyboards. A lot of keyboards have a similar blank area; most just have a continuation of the metal or plastic front panel. But someone at Casio (maybe the person who turned up the brightness on the LEDs, or chose the font point size!) had the proverbial light bulb go on over his or her head, and came up with an idea that surely added something to the cost, but is a welcome and intelligent feature.
          _____________________________________________
          There are now 14 music videos posted on my YouTube channel, including four songs by Mark Longworth. Watch the music video playlist, subscribe, and spread the links! Check back often, because there's more to come...

          Comment


          • #6
            Before I sign off for now, I should mention the construction. The XW-P1 is physically light, as it's primarily made of high-impact plastic. However, there may be some kind of reinforcement rod or strip inside, as there's very little flexing. Obviously you wouldn't want to drop it, but that's true of any synthesizer.



            The keybed isn't super-light like the typical synth keyboard, but it's not weighted either. It's more like there's just a little bit of resistance...I'd say there's a spongy quality, but that makes it sound soft and indistinct whereas the feel is actually predictable and has a certain stiffness. So think of it as a stiff sponge, I guess



            As to specs, the keybed uses 61 full-size keys that offer two velocity curves (as well as off). The XW-P1 doesn't generate aftertouch, but the electronics do respond to channel aftertouch coming in from external sources (sorry, no polyphonic aftertouch - well I can dream, can't I?).



            I'm sure this isn't an expensive keybed - it can't be at this price - but I really like the way it feels, as you can fly on the keys like a synth, but you get better tactile feedback than usual due to that bit of resistance. I wish there was some way to quantify this, but maybe someone could weigh in with a second opinion about the keyboard feel, given how subjective "feel" can be. Suffice it to say that for me, the keybed is not something I tolerate, but something I enjoy...which is all the more suprising, given the price point.
            _____________________________________________
            There are now 14 music videos posted on my YouTube channel, including four songs by Mark Longworth. Watch the music video playlist, subscribe, and spread the links! Check back often, because there's more to come...

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks for the review Craig, I am intending to get one of these beasts, I have heard some demo's and it sounds great.








              Next is an instrument input for electronic instruments; it has a relatively low impedance (about 10k) so it’s not designed to be a high-Z input for guitar. For best results with guitar or bass using passive pickups you'd need to put a preamp, compressor, or other high-impedance in/low-impedance out device between the guitar output and the XW-P1 instrument input.



              Being an owner of a Zoom R8, would the high-z input, through the effects, then output to the XW be ok, or would it sound poor because of mono, or use a stereo to mono Y cable be better.

              Comment


              • #8






                Quote Originally Posted by electrochrisso
                View Post

                Thanks for the review Craig, I am intending to get one of these beasts, I have heard some demo's and it sounds great.




                Sounds better in person I particularly like huge sequenced bass sounds in a left split, and leads in the right.








                Being an owner of a Zoom R8, would the high-z input, through the effects, then output to the XW be ok, or would it sound poor because of mono, or use a stereo to mono Y cable be better.



                The main thing you want is an impedance conversion, which the Zoom can do. First I'd suggest not using the effects in the Zoom and checking out the ones in the XW-P1. Odds are the XW-P1 effects would obviate the need to use the Zoom stereo effects. However, if there's a particular Zoom effect you like (e.g., a certain distortion), I'd suggest running it in mono. Combining outs can lead to unpredictable results.
                _____________________________________________
                There are now 14 music videos posted on my YouTube channel, including four songs by Mark Longworth. Watch the music video playlist, subscribe, and spread the links! Check back often, because there's more to come...

                Comment


                • #9





                  Sounds better in person I particularly like huge sequenced bass sounds in a left split, and leads in the right.



                  You have me drooling now.



                  I forgot to ask you about the keys, is the feel similar to the ctk7000 or a bit softer.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hey. I debated adding my comments here about the new XW-P1 because of the reactions I have seen here and elsewhere when people criticize a piece of equipment that another may be fond of, but I decided to go for it. However I will be brief.



                    I, too, was a very eager potential buyer of the new XW-P1. I originally per-ordered this unit in February but ordered it from another online retail audio site 7 weeks later when the first failed to deliver the goods. I drove 2 hours one way to pick it up, and then installed it in my studio the next day, next to my Tecnics workstation, my Korg microKorg synth and Kaossilator unit, my Roland Gaia and V-Synth GT synthesizers, and across from my Korg Kronos. I then used it for the next 3 weeks, trying like hell to like it, but in the end I arrived at the realization that it simply would not suffice, and that I had to declare publicly that the Casio emperor is not wearing any clothes.



                    This comes from someone who could not care less about what label is on a piece of equipment. If something can do the job that it's producers claim and if it satisfies my needs, I will purchase it regardless of what label is on the product, even if it said K-Tel or Mattel on the outside. I use my hard-earned cash to satisfy my needs, not my ego.



                    As I began using the new Casio synth, I tried really hard to overlook this little problem over here and rationalize that other problem over there as I delved deeper and deeper into it, but in the end I simply could not ignore the fact that the XW-P1 is a low-quality product that cannot meet the demands it claims to deliver or what other people are being led to believe that it can. It does not matter who Casio has negotiated a business deal with to serve as their publicity-serving frontmen for the XW-P1. Everything from its incredibly cheaply built quality, including its toy-like knobs, and many of its sounds clearly reek of cheese.



                    After cringing following several hours of hearing certain presets either fuzzing out, shrieking shrill, or breaking up in my studios six monitor speakers and several headphones, I read in the owners manual that this can be expected if the volume is set high - which is crazy, because conventional thinking is that you should always crank up the volume on your synth, keyboard, etc., and keep the gain low on your amp, mixers, monitors, etc., to achieve the lowest possible signal-to-nose ratio. And it does not stop there. The LCD display is cheap as well, all moving parts feel very low quality and so on. Also, this unit does not even provide access to the basic sound waves that all synths need in order to be a synthesizer (sine, triangle, square, saw, noise waves, etc.). It only allows a user to manipulate the pre-programmed waveforms it is preset with. This may be satisfactory for some, but one should not delude oneself into thinking that they are entering the realm of sound synthesis if they cannot independently call up even a single sound wave as a sonic building block in their sound design. As I write this I still cannot get over just how poor the sound quality is, something my wife even commented on when she was in the studio.



                    Folks, I do not have a dog in this fight. My life remains unchanged whether or not if Casio sells 2 or 2 million of these. I just felt the need to share my views with whoever may be receptive to what I have to say.



                    I am reminded about the old saying, "you can't cheat an honest man," because if you think about it we should all be asking ourselves, "Why?" Why would Casio give us thousands of dollars worth of audio power for a mere $500? Since when did the Casio corporation become a charity provider? This is really a very good marketing strategy. By preying upon the consumer's deep desire to relatively get something for nothing, quite a few things about this "synth" are flying below consumer radar. Remember: whenever something sounds too good to be true, it always is, something I will be thinking about during my 4-hour, 200-mile round trip to return this mistake I purchased.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      First let me say welcome to the forum. I'm that I'm sorry you didn't like the XW-P1, but I'd like to comment on a few things you said.









                      Quote Originally Posted by voice of truth
                      View Post

                      Also, this unit does not even provide access to the basic sound waves that all synths need in order to be a synthesizer (sine, triangle, square, saw, noise waves, etc.). It only allows a user to manipulate the pre-programmed waveforms it is preset with.




                      This is incorrect. The XW-P1 has all of these waveforms and more. Counting variations Oscillators 1 and 2 there are 310 of these kinds of waveforms available. Page 10 of the Appendix has a list of the choices. http://support.casio.com/pdf/008/Web...PEND-WL-1A.pdf



                      None of the preset sound distort unless they were designed to do so. You can however overdrive the engine internally. It is very possible in either the Solo Synth or the Hex Layers to do this. The can produce either a desirable or undesirable effect depending on what you're trying to do stylistically. Most people that I've demonstrated this to were actually happy that the XW could get so nasty. This has nothing to do with the level master volume knob which I'd agree you'd want all the way up in a studio situation. I think you're misinterpreting the manual.



                      In regards to build quality, the XW shares the same chassis and LCD as other Casio keyboards. I agree it is a little unusual to have a 61 key synthesizer that weighs only 11 lbs, but that is Casio manufacturing at its best. Remember we're a company that makes a 25 pound 88 note weighted action digital piano too. Durability wise, I'll put the XW up against anything.








                      It does not matter who Casio has negotiated a business deal with to serve as frontmen for the XW-P1.



                      Who or what are you referring to??



                      In regards to price. No one at Casio has compared the XW to any keyboard costing thousands. Customers that have seen the XW or played have made these comments but no one at Casio, in advertising or otherwise has made such claims. People have commented that individual features such as the Step Sequencer or the Solo Synth on the XW are worth $499 by themselves.



                      Anyway, I appreciate that you gave the XW-P1 a try. Good luck in your musical endeavors.



                      -Mike Martin

                      Casio America, Inc.
                      <div class="signaturecontainer">-Mike Martin<br>Casio America, Inc.<br><br><a href="http://www.casiomusicforums.com" target="_blank">Casio Music Forums</a><br><a href="http://www.soundcloud.com/casiomusicgear" target="_blank">PX-5S Audio Demos</a><br><a href="http://xwsynth.wordpress.com" target="_blank">XW Synth Blog</a></div>

                      Comment


                      • #12






                        Quote Originally Posted by voice of truth
                        View Post

                        Hey. I debated adding my comments here about the new XW-P1 because of the reactions I have seen here and elsewhere when people criticize a piece of equipment that another may be fond of, but I decided to go for it.




                        Thanks for chiming in, Mike. As I don't represent Casio I can be a little more unrestrained



                        Pro Reviews welcome all comments. During the course of a review, people will hear audio examples, see photos, see videos if appropriate, and can make their own judgements. They don't have to rely on my word or the word of any other participants in this discussion.








                        Everything from its incredibly cheaply built quality, including its toy-like knobs



                        It's a $500 synthesizer with a huge amount of functionality. People here are savvy enough to realize that it won't have the build quality of a Kronos. They're also savvy enough to realize that the build quality is better than the price tag would lead you to believe.








                        and many of its sounds clearly reek of cheese.



                        I will be posting the three demo songs later tonight or tomorrow, and people can judge for themselves. (Although frankly, I've already come up with some sounds I like better than the demo song sounds - but as I said, sound is subjective.)








                        After cringing following several hours of hearing certain presets either fuzzing out, shrieking shrill, or breaking up in my studios six monitor speakers and several headphones, I read in the owners manual that this can be expected if the volume is set high - which is crazy, because conventional thinking is that you should always crank up the volume on your synth, keyboard, etc., and keep the gain low on your amp, mixers, monitors, etc., to achieve the lowest possible signal-to-nose ratio.



                        It wasn't that way in the days of analog synths. This "conventional thinking" came about in the early days of digital, where the volume actually affected the resolution of the D/A converters - so with a 12-bit machine, you could end up with 9 or 10 bits by turning down the volume. The XW-P1 is intended for live performance, and has sufficient output to drive just about any mixer on the planet. Some people would consider that an advantage, and would be willing to adjust the volume control level to suit their playback system.








                        The LCD display is cheap as well



                        Meaning what...it's not color? True, it's not color, but it's informative and easy to read. See the photo above.








                        All moving parts feel very low quality and so on.



                        Try to break off one of the knobs or sliders. When people go to a store, they can determine for themselves whether the construction is on a par with similar devices of similar cost. With online retailers, most allow returns if you're dissatisfied. But I think most people will realize that the build quality is either equal to, or better than, the price point would indicate.








                        Also, this unit does not even provide access to the basic sound waves that all synths need in order to be a synthesizer (sine, triangle, square, saw, noise waves, etc.). It only allows a user to manipulate the pre-programmed waveforms it is preset with.



                        This is so 100% wrong it pretty much undermines your credibility. The XW-P1 provides sine, triangle, sawtooth, ramp, pulse width, hard sync, etc. waveforms with multiple variations including waves like sub-octave sine. I don't know how you could have missed this, it's one of the synth's key features. You can layer them as well, so if you layer a bunch of sine waves, you can do tricks like pseudo additive synthesis.








                        This may be satisfactory for some, but one should not delude oneself into thinking that they are entering the realm of sound synthesis if they cannot independently call up even a single sound wave as a sonic building block in their sound design



                        Again, you are 100% wrong. If you want a sound that consists solely of a single sine wave, you can do that.








                        As I write this I still cannot get over just how poor the sound quality is, something my wife even commented on when she was in the studio.



                        Sound quality is subjective, of course. But at this point, given your obvious lack of familiarity with the unit, I doubt that you knew how to tweak sounds to your liking. Very few synths give me factory preset sounds "out of the box" that I like, so I learn how to tweak them. The XW-P1 offers plenty of opportunities for tweaking, although it seems you did not know how to avail yourself of those possibilities.








                        Folks, I do not have a dog in this fight. My life remains unchanged whether or not if Casio sells 2 or 2 million of these. I just felt the need to share my views with whoever may be receptive to what I have to say.



                        Well, people would probably be more receptive if you paid more attention to being factually correct.








                        I am reminded about the old saying, "you can't cheat an honest man," because if you think about it we should all be asking ourselves, "Why?" Why would Casio give us thousands of dollars worth of audio power for a mere $500? Since when did the Casio corporation become a charity provider? This is really a very good marketing strategy. By preying upon the consumer's deep desire to relatively get something for nothing, quite a few things about this "synth" are flying below consumer radar. Remember: whenever something sounds too good to be true, it always is, something I will be thinking about during my 4-hour, 200-mile round trip to return this mistake I purchased.



                        I think this is a very condescending attitude toward customers who DON'T expect "something for nothing." They're smart enough to realize this is a $500 synth, and should be judged on that basis. I don't think they're expecting a $3,000 synth, they're expecting a versatile keyboard with a good feel, programmability, and an ability to perform its intended function - live performance - that they can afford. I don't know what your expectations were, but I doubt others here share them. I also suspect others here will figure out where to find the waveforms
                        _____________________________________________
                        There are now 14 music videos posted on my YouTube channel, including four songs by Mark Longworth. Watch the music video playlist, subscribe, and spread the links! Check back often, because there's more to come...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I obviously overlooked the basic waveforms that I discussed, and for that I do humbly apologize. I obviously failed to notice them, and so I will return to that area and give it another go. However, the sound quality is something that I am very much sure about. Good luck to you and Casio with this and any other products that may be released in the future. Without a doubt you will indeed have a piece of the market whose desires meet up with what this gear can provide. And again I do apologize for that slight oversight of mine and appreciate you correcting me.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I obviously have acknowledged my oversight of the basic waveforms being included, and I have no doubt that you will find that this product matches your goals and abilities. But as I mentioned from the beginning people such as yourself take these issues way too seriously. There is no reason for personal attacks now or later. Everyone has a right to an opinion, and sometimes that means being wrong sometime, such as my overlooking the basi waveforms. But that does not render my opinion invalid, but go ahead and attack; it is what I expected. Just know you will be fighting alone, as I am going back to more productive matters....

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              ...and his comments bring up another point that needs to be said. The user says he has quite a collection of instruments - "Tecnics workstation, my Korg microKorg synth and Kaossilator unit, my Roland Gaia and V-Synth GT synthesizers, and across from my Korg Kronos."



                              Is this kind of user the target market? Well, I suppose so, if you want to add a certain color you can't get from those other synths, which are extremely capable instruments. Otherwise, this is kind of like having a tricked-out Pro Tools HD system, buying a Zoom R8, and complaining that it has a cheap feel - instead of recognizing that for $299, the R8 lets you take a pretty decent portable studio anywhere you want to go, and do anything from grab sounds for future use as samples, or capture songwriting ideas. I love the R8, even though it doesn't have the capabilities of my DAW-based workstation. Like the XW-P1 I feel that it's an overachiever for its price point.



                              I want to see more people get into music and synthesizers. I want to see MORE people expressing themselves. Ten years ago, $500 wouldn't have bought you very much; price was a major barrier to entry. With an instrument like the XW-P1, those who don't have an armada of costly synths, but manage to bring home enough each week to save up for an XW-P1, will very likely feel they got value received, if not more.



                              After they go gigging with the XW-P1 and bring in some bucks, then they can get that Kronos they've always wanted. But I bet that when they do, they won't get rid of the XW-P1. It brings its own unique sounds to the party.
                              _____________________________________________
                              There are now 14 music videos posted on my YouTube channel, including four songs by Mark Longworth. Watch the music video playlist, subscribe, and spread the links! Check back often, because there's more to come...

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