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Anderton

Casio XW-P1 Performance Synthesizer

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Quote Originally Posted by copesland

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Here you use zones 1-4 (midi channels 1-4) and with the step sequencer we used midi channels 8-16. when using the step sequencer are the 8-16 stuck for the step sequencer alone or can i utilize say 8-12 and free the other four channels up for pcm sounds? and what happens to channels 5-7 ?

 

In Performance Mode you can only play 4 zones (or channels) from the keyboard simultaneously, by default these will be MIDI channels 1-4. The Step Sequencer will use MIDI channels 8-16 for its tracks. Basically any channel that isn't be used live from the keyboard or the step sequencer could be accessed over MIDI by another device (such as your computer).


-Mike Martin

Casio America, Inc.

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yeah sorry for the questions, i hope you dont mind them. this is just particularly different from boards i've used in the past. accessing the other channel by another device is coudy to me. these channels that are unused cannot trigger internal sounds presume. but they can trigger external devices like a sound module/computer /mpc smile.gif ?

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i saw you use the step sequencer then adjust a slider and switched a closed hihat to an open hit hat. how does this work? is there a way to choose what sound will play based on where the slider is?? can this be used to adjust note when using a synth on the step sequencer?

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Copesland,

In due time, Craig will get to things like the Step Sequencer in his review. Based on what he writes and the questions that come up, I'll be here to clarify and help out. Please understand that this is a product review. Casio does not currently have a "tech support forum" for this or other products on the web, this is something we're looking in to. Meanwhile there is a 33 page XW thread right here on Harmony Central, where you might find that some of your questions have already been answered.


The quick answer to your question about using the sliders with the Step Sequencer is that you can determine what note, or what range of notes are assigned to the slider. If you're working with synth or bass track you can determine the scale. If you're doing drums you can do things like switch between closed and open hi-hats. It is very flexible, but I'm sure Craig will cover this in detail.

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Quote Originally Posted by Mike Martin

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Craig,

Thanks for posting these. If you don't mind I may post another or two.

 

Post away!! Guitar is my primary instrument, I'm a "MIDI keyboardist" if you know what I mean...although the examples of me playing were real time, so at least I'm not terrible. ;-)

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Quote Originally Posted by Mike Martin

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Copesland,

In due time, Craig will get to things like the Step Sequencer in his review. Based on what he writes and the questions that come up, I'll be here to clarify and help out. Please understand that this is a product review.

 

Yes, that's right. This review goes at a certain pace, obviously I'm dealing with audio examples right now. While questions are great, I'd prefer that they be about material being covered at the time, so that as the thread develops it's as cohesive as possible.


Also, Mike does have a job smile.gif so he can't spend all his time here...although I'm sure he's gratified by the response! This is clearly a hot product that's generating a lot of interest.

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I don't know the exact number. If I were to guess I'd say 65% of the raw sample data is the same so but there is a lot of new content. There are waveforms that are accessible in both the Solo Synth and Hex Layer modes that simply don't exist in the CTK-7000. Due to the nature of the way Hex Layers and the Solo Synth function, the XW-P1 can get into some sonic territory that the CTK's simply cant.

 

Thank's Mike, that's cool, I rather like the ctk7000 sounds, and I have not even needed to tweek them yet, so the addition of the XW-P1 will give me the ultimate sonics possibilities, layers etc. to keep me happy for a long time to come, as well as expand my polyphony to 128 voices. cool.gif

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Got more 'boards for you with another whirlwind tour, with a different phrase and a spin through the presets...this time it's harpsichord, electric piano, and clav. Again, no processing, no tweaking, recorded straight into Sonar and converted to MP3.

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Quote Originally Posted by copesland

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i saw you use the step sequencer then adjust a slider and switched a closed hihat to an open hit hat. how does this work? is there a way to choose what sound will play based on where the slider is?? can this be used to adjust note when using a synth on the step sequencer?

 

Up slide = different/typically high pitched drum or higher major note; down slider vice versa...yet I still can figure out why some parts steps range begin at C# or D or whatever and end three,five, or whatever notes upscale and end at Bb or whatever...confused.gif

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Quote Originally Posted by Anderton

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Got more 'boards for you with another whirlwind tour, with a different phrase and a spin through the presets...this time it's harpsichord, electric piano, and clav. Again, no processing, no tweaking, recorded straight into Sonar and converted to MP3.

 

Those clav's sound nice Craig. smile.gif

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I need to say just one thing about some of the sounds that Craig has posted. The majority of the 400 PCM (Melody) sounds do not take advantage of the available insert effect (there is only one). The programmers prioritized it so that the Solo Synth, Hex Layer or Drawbar Organ modes would be used as the primary sound and take full advantage of the insert effect. Other sounds that may be layered or used in split in a performance can choose to share the insert effect but if not it would sound identical to the way it does in Tone mode when it doesn't normally use an effect. Make sense?


The reason I mention this is because we come up with some pretty remarkable sounds (such as rhodes and wurlys) by making some minor edits and taking full advantage of the effects. So if the electric piano is going to be your primary sound you can utilize the effects and get some better sounds than what you're hearing in Craig's examples. I'll see if I can get a rhodes example posted today.

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You have to program the PCI sound and save it somewhere, right? Will the XW-P1 send midi to a computer over usb to play software?

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Been playing keys for 34 years, have several high-end workstations/synths and midi instruments {MR-76, Karma, XTK, CS6X, XL7, DR202, DX&AN200,etc,} and I am not easily impressed.
I spent 45 minutes @ the local starving the other day jammin' on this thing. Had it figured out in five minutes and was playing trance, jazz, rock, blues and techno/prog/house/space riffs as soon as I figured out the basic scene/operations. This a POWERFUL PERFORMANCE SYNTH for beginner, intermediate or advanced player. I didn't even get into the sequencing or sound editing capabilities at all, but this thing was addictive in an analog subtractive synthesis sorta way...in other words I was blown out of the {censored}in' box, having not ever being in it to begin with...
This puppy sounds like 24 bit AD/DA converters and 120db of dynamic range regardless of the actual specs. I don't know how they did this at this price point but I for one, am damn glad they did.
Godamnit! I really, really wish I had an extra 500 bucks right now...OMG!@*@&$!{.}{.} and then some~ GET ONE.

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Quote Originally Posted by Mike Martin

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I need to say just one thing about some of the sounds that Craig has posted. The majority of the 400 PCM (Melody) sounds do not take advantage of the available insert effect (there is only one). The programmers prioritized it so that the Solo Synth, Hex Layer or Drawbar Organ modes would be used as the primary sound and take full advantage of the insert effect. Other sounds that may be layered or used in split in a performance can choose to share the insert effect but if not it would sound identical to the way it does in Tone mode when it doesn't normally use an effect. Make sense?

 

That's a good point...I was doing more of the "punching up presets in the music store" experience, but what I'm hoping is that when I come up with cool variations on a theme, I can post the program so people can download. Mike, feel free to do the same! I may have to mess with with forum permissions to allow attaching that particular type of file, but that's not a big deal.

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Quote Originally Posted by daviel

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You have to program the PCI sound and save it somewhere, right? Will the XW-P1 send midi to a computer over usb to play software?

 

If I understand your questions correctly...you can edit a factory sound and save it to a user memory location. As to MIDI, yes, the XW-P1 can serve as a controller and send MIDI data over USB. DAWs will recognize it as a valid MIDI input and record it, and you can send MIDI data out to the XW-P1 over MIDI as well.

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I'm thinking of buying one of these as the 2nd keyboard in my set up and would be mainly using the strings, pads, and brass section. Currently my 2nd board is a Motif ES6 and I have layered a few brass voices with detune in performance mode, and I'm assuming I could do similar with the XWP1.

Any thoughts on the quality of the above 3 types of sound would be welcome.


 

Quote Originally Posted by Anderton

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Let's check out the pianos!


There are two files. The first one is me playing, trying to hit a range of dynamics and note length (so you can hear the sustain characteristics). The sounds are (in order) Stereo Grand Piano, Dance Piano (sort of your basic M1 house patch), Harpischord - I turned up the performance control a bit to increase the treble - Electric Piano, and DX7-type piano.


The second file is a whirlwind tour of all the "acoustic" piano sounds (not all the keyboard sounds, though - more to come!). I called up a phrase so you could also hear an example of a typical phrase along with the various sounds. Basically, each piano sound lasts two measures before moving on to the next one.


You probably won't hear too much difference in the beginning. as some of the pianos have fairly subtle differences - a little bit brighter, more mono than stereo, etc. As the phrases progress, you'll definitely start to notice the range.


I'm planning on take the whirlwind approach - phase and stepping through programs - for several of the audio examples, as I think that gives a good overview of the available sounds without taking forever by tarrying on each one. Let me know if this approach works for you.

 

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Quote Originally Posted by Kevan Barrett

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I'm thinking of buying one of these as the 2nd keyboard in my set up and would be mainly using the strings, pads, and brass section. Currently my 2nd board is a Motif ES6 and I have layered a few brass voices with detune in performance mode, and I'm assuming I could do similar with the XWP1.

Any thoughts on the quality of the above 3 types of sound would be welcome.

 

IMHO, the XW-P1 is all about being a synthesizer. That's where it's strongest and most capable, especially when teamed with features like the step sequencer. It's not intended to be a Motif- or Fantom-style ROMpler, but instead, I feel the PCM sounds are there to complement the synthesis options. As was pointed out earlier, you can get some pretty magical stuff by combining the PCM sounds with synthesis using the Hex Layer option. I got sort of sidetracked on the PCM sounds because there was some discussion of the pianos, but they're just one set of building blocks in a very flexible architecture.

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Hi. I was wondering if Craig or Mike might go into more detail about how the step sequencer can be used to trigger external gear? If not here then in one of his video tutorials, which are excellent btw smile.gif. Mainly I am wondering about whether the step sequencer is polyphonic or can only trigger one note per track. While still useful with being able to trigger say a sample loop off of a fixed note, it would be more ideal for overall layering if i was able to trigger a whole drum pattern off one track and use the other tracks for other uses, like more synth layers for example. Still trying to get my head around how the sequencer works. And how it interacts with the arpeggiator and the phrase sequencer, so any more detail would be appreciated!


And Craig, thanks again for the review of this great piece of gear.

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Might have had my question answered across the pond:




around 9:42 he starts using the step sequencer in a more traditional linear method, by playing notes into it, and at 10:19 he plays polyphonically into the sequencer on a single track. so basically he does pretty much what i was wondering about. Now if that can be done to external MIDI equipment then i am buying one. biggrin.gif

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Quote Originally Posted by Kevan Barrett

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I'm thinking of buying one of these as the 2nd keyboard in my set up and would be mainly using the strings, pads, and brass section. Currently my 2nd board is a Motif ES6 and I have layered a few brass voices with detune in performance mode, and I'm assuming I could do similar with the XWP1.

Any thoughts on the quality of the above 3 types of sound would be welcome.

 

I think there may be quite a few of us who are interested in using this as a 2nd keyboard. Although the PCM tones may not be the strongest point of this keyboard for many of us they need to be 'good enough' for playing covers in clubs/pubs. So strings, brass, organ are important to us. I for one do not want to using three keyboards, portability is one of the attractive feature of casio keyboards. I have a Privia PX-3 which with tweaking in a club/pub setting is perfectly OK.


None of my local stores have an XW-P1 in yet so I would be interested in hearing what can be done to produce:


a brass section

a sax section

string quartet.


How close the organs can get for example to those used in Walk of life, A Whiter Shade of Pale, House of the rising Sun.

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None of my local stores have an XW-P1 in yet so I would be interested in hearing what can be done to produce:


a brass section

a sax section

string quartet.

 

Mike says the XW-P1, is using about 60% of the Casio ctk7000/wk7500 sounds, if you hear the demo's for that it should give you an idea what could be possible.



 

How close the organs can get for example to those used in Walk of life, A Whiter Shade of Pale, House of the rising Sun.

 

I think you should get what you want out of the organ sounds.

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Quote Originally Posted by ajaxblak

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Might have had my question answered across the pond:




around 9:42 he starts using the step sequencer in a more traditional linear method, by playing notes into it, and at 10:19 he plays polyphonically into the sequencer on a single track. so basically he does pretty much what i was wondering about. Now if that can be done to external MIDI equipment then i am buying one. biggrin.gif

 

All the tracks except one are "monophonic" tracks. Meaning on each step of the 16-step grid you can only have one note on that step. The last track of the sequencer is polyphonic. Any of the tracks can be internal or external (MIDI) or both at the same time.

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Thanks Mike! Appreciate the feedback. And that is still really cool. Since you can adjust the note of each hit of the step you can easily trigger a plethora of sample loops. Awesome gear.

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