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 …
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 …