June 27, 2013
As we saw at Winter NAMM 2013, this has certainly been the year of the synthesizer in many regards. While this has been great for the production based artist, these new synthesizers are more focused on great sounds rather than performability. All the great sounding oscillators and filters in the world won’t amount to a hill of beans if you can’t play the thing with an ease and fluidity that a traditional piano can offer. We saw quite a few keyboards at Winter NAMM 2013 that had some serious advancements in the way of performance and feel. One in particular, the Casio Privia Pro PX-5S, has that great hammer style action that you get from a real piano but within a lightweight and portable body that has some great built in sounds.
Casio have certainly been putting out some quality keyboards within the last few years including the popular Casio XW-P1…
October 30, 2012
In this overview we cover the features of the Casio XW-P1. The XW-P1 is one of Casio’s latest professional synthesizers and comes loaded with all kinds of cool features. But let’s start with the basics. There are 61 semi-weighted keys on this unit. Two large transpose buttons give you easy access to five different octaves. The P1 has all of the standard PCM voices you expect from any synthesizer both sampled and synthesized. You’ve got your piano, brass, strings, and some great drum sounds. Four large assignable knobs control of some basic filters and envelopes on each of those voices by default.
But there’s a lot more going inside the brain. You’ve got your sine, triangle, sawtooth, ramp, pulse width, hard sync, etc. waveforms with many variations including waves like sub-octave sine. You can layer them as well, so if you layer a bunch of sine waves, you can do …
October 5, 2012
When I think of Casio, I tend to think of the first digital watches and calculators I had as a youth in grade school. I also think of the first synthesizer keyboard I’ve ever owned that is collecting dust somewhere. That’s not to say that Casio isn’t a worth contender – they just no longer own their market share of the industry like they used to.
Casio’s XW-P1 synthesizer has really become their performance end prized keyboard, at an affordable price when compared against their competition. They’ve announced plans to make 200 copies of a gold version of the Performance synthesizer for limited sale.…
January 24, 2012
So, in the weeks leading up to NAMM, there was a bit of eye rolling about Casio’s announcement that they would be re-entering the world of professional synthesizers. This is an unfortunate side effect of Casio’s exit from this market in the 80s. At some point Casio set their sites on the consumer market and have been firmly occupying from rooms and dorm room closets with their home keyboards for so many decades that a large enough percentage of folks have completely forgotten their influential CZ synths. The Casio CZ synths were based on a synthesis method known as Phase Distortion Synthesis. I am not going to get too deep into this, but Phase Distortion had some similarities to FM synthesis and Casio’s synths built during this period are classics that fetch good money from eager collectors on eBay.
That said, as one of those geeks who does remember, after …