MESSE12: More Sounds From Casio XW-P1

Synth and orchestral from lead and Hex      25/03/12

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5:31 mins

We were trying hard to get a look at the new XW-G1, but sadly there was no-one on-hand to give us a tour at the newest of Casio's new synthesizers. However, we did get another demonstration of the XW-P1 , both synth and Hex layers from product specialist Ralph Maten. I must say that it did sound pretty fullsome.

We also hope to have one in for review just as soon as possible.

 

 

 

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13 Comments...  Post a comment    original story
impressed    Said...

Very cool Demo, showcasing the strenghts of this synth. I am interested in one now!

Would be very cool to see some of the features in the G1, such as sampling.

25-Mar-12 05:26 PM


WaveFormTX    Said...

I look forward to a review Nick.

26-Mar-12 12:20 AM


Voice of truth    Said...

I 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.

I tried really hard to overlook this little problem and rationalize that one as I delved deeper and deeper into the new Casio, 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 or what others are being led to believe that it can. It does not matter who Casio has negotiated a business deal with to serve as 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 deluded oneself into thinking that they are entering the realm of sound synthesis. 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 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 back to return this mitake I made.

22-Apr-12 01:43 PM


Voice of truth    Said...

One correction to my first post about the new Casio XW-P1: it does offer the basic waveforms, an oversight on my part that apparently is included in the manual, which I admittedly did not read as closely as I could have. However, this has no bearing on the sound quality that this unit produces.

22-Apr-12 02:54 PM


Keyguy    Said...

"Voice of Truth"

Your comments about the XW-P1 are not factual. The XW-P1 and XW-G1 do have hundreds (actually thousands) of basic waveforms which you can build use to build your own sounds.

This text is word for word identical to the several inaccuracies you also posted in the Pro Review section of Harmony Central with Craig Anderton.

http://acapella.harmony-central.com/showthread.php?2900825-NEW!-Casio-XW-P1-Performance-Synthesizer

This indicates you're simply on a mission to discredit what appears to be a remarkable instrument with incredible value. Not sure which other keyboard company you work for but your post is total BS.

10-May-12 02:01 PM


Lavender_ /_Skies    Said...

Voice of Truth - Im not to sure what school of sound engineering you claim to attach yourself to, but speakers, especially reference speakers [ Further yet - Active studio monitors ] are designed with the lowest THD [ Total Harmonic Distortion ]as possible. Given this fact, how is it your maxing out the keyboard volume not the amplitude of the monitors? Also the statement about the board not having the simplest of waveforms gives the impression you might be, for want of a better expression, a little bit of a noob? I appreciate your attempt to be informative and putting in your 2 cents worth but you will come off looking a little brighter having your facts right and knowing your stuff, Heck id even go so far as to say you should have given the User manual guide a "Tickle", before you started shooting off at the cakehole. Im not going to spank your monkey anymore until i get a XW-G1 later on in the week, however as having owned many and Varied music equipment and quite a few Casio's over the years i doubt i will share your xprience broooo ;]

28-Aug-12 01:19 PM


Andy    Said...

It is a thin, cheap bedroom keyboard. You are better off spending $500 on a small desktop analog synth , and use your laptop for production. No self respecting electronic musician uses the keyboard for production. I agree with Voice of truth , something that claims all that for such little money is going to dissapoint sonically , albiet full of features and sliders and blinking lights. Also The Crystal Method should be asmaed of thenselves shilling for this weak product

12-Mar-13 01:06 PM


Jeff McHarg    Said...

Good synth for 12 year olds beginning their naive journey into music.

12-Mar-13 01:08 PM


Helmut    Said...

Did that guy just learn the synth that morning . Reporter: "does it have effects ?" Klaus : " Ya , its got 2 on the DSP and..... err.. lots of others .. don't know how many ?"

Right ? , any synth sounds good played by a rep, cos who doesnt love a little Star Wars. But put it up against a real VA or actual analog. Sheet !! , you can get yourself a 15 year old Nord Rack with immeasurably superior sonic quality to this thinly veiled toy.

12-Mar-13 01:20 PM


Triple M7    Said...

Guys I must say I've never owned or operated an XW-P1. But if I were I'd really have to weight my options. Am really on my back from a laughing so hard from some of the things voice of truth has said. Am an intermediate adolescent keyboard player. I own a couple of Casio keyboards. I've never had any problems out of them. Overall I feel Casio does make or subcontract a fair product. However there's a possibility some Casio products may have been subcontracted cheap. When you take shortcuts such as that to save you end up loosing. Thanks guys TM7

26-Apr-13 11:35 AM


BT Player    Said...

Great sound AND just fun to play. Love the step seq. and solo synth. Also a very controller for ipad or VST synths.

So much to like about this besides the sound.. weight, battery op, solo synth, funky design. Loving mine! :-)

09-Jan-14 08:27 PM


BT Player    Said...

Great sound AND just fun to play. Love the step seq. and solo synth. Also a very controller for ipad or VST synths.

So much to like about this besides the sound.. weight, battery op, solo synth, funky design. Loving mine! :-)

09-Jan-14 08:27 PM


richard mcdonald brown    Said...

Got my new XW-P1 yesterday, and I'm using it alongside a Kurzweil Ensemble Grand, and a Kurzweil 1200. I also have VZ10m and many EMU Proteus series synths.

The strings, pianos, basses, and organ sounds on the Casio are by no means inferior to those of the Kurzweils, only different, but the poly synth sounds are not as complex as those on my 1200. However, the drawbar Hammond is simply great, really accessible, and for the most part, makes up for it.

The operating system and the user manual descriptions leave a lot to be desired,( Casio's typically impenetrable efforts) and I have still to work out how to make the drawbars send different notes in step sequence time.

If the display and user interface had been more sensibly implemented, it would be a killer. An alternative might be a total OS and menu re-think and re-write.

Also missing is a basic simple overview about what the XW-P1 can do over midi, and I found myself wondering why the XW wasn't triggering arpeggios a lot of the time, when controlled from a Kurzweil.

However, perseverance will pay dividends I imagine, and some of the voices are great and voice building is easy, and will get more in depth as I learn to edit envelopes and vary velocities in voice layers. Manual and OS, not so easy at all.

The hex and solo synth sounds are great, and the PCM drums and other PCM voices are eminently useable. Step sequencer unfortunately, is laborious, fiddly, and obscure. The display should also have been angled, as on top of another synth it's almost illegible, because the Casio is quite high.

6 out of 10, but 10 out of 10 if the OS was re-written and the whole interface made more friendly.

28-Jun-14 05:07 AM


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