Pro-Music-News Keyboard-Section

Casio launches synthesizers for performing and recording musicians

Recognizing that today’s professional musician wants more than the features of the CZ-series of 25 years ago, Casio re-entered the professional synthesizer market with two products which were introduced at Winter NAMM show 2012, Anaheim, and a few weeks later at Musikmesse Frankfurt 2012 in Germany. The XW-P1 is a 61 key performance synthesizer with Casio’s Hybrid Processing Sound Source (HPSS). Providing virtual analogue monophonic leads and basses, drawbar organs, complex layers, stereo pianos, drums and more, the XW-P1 has the sounds and real-time control the performing musician needs. While the XW-G1 groove synthesizer is designed for the DJ and club performer providing an interactive step sequencer and a sample looper for digitally capturing performance patterns and external instruments.
A six oscillator monophonic solo synth is one of the sound engines in both the XW-P1 and XW-G1. Two virtual analogue style oscillators, two PCM based oscillators, a noise oscillator and an external oscillator via mic and line inputs can be combined to make up a single solo synth tone. Each oscillator has an independent filter, envelopes, independent key tracking, portamento, two LFOs and access to master resonant filter.
The oscillators even have access to waveforms from Casio’s original CZ synthesizers. It can create a variety of classic analog sounds, but also has the power to deliver sounds with an aggressive edge,” said Mike Martin, general manager of Casio’s Electronic Musical Instrument Division. “Everyone is going to be surprised by the expressiveness and range of sounds the solo synth can create, but that is just one aspect of these products.”
In addition to the solo synth the XW-P1 performance synthesizer is provides gig ready sounds like stereo pianos, vintage electric pianos, strings, brass, guitars, basses, drums and more. It also has a new drawbar organ mode providing nine steps for each drawbar, vibrato, percussion and rotary speaker control. Rounding out the XW-P1’s sound-set are HexLayer; a HexLayer is a single sound comprised of 6 components, allowing complex layers, splits and velocity switched sounds.
The XW-G1 groove synthesizer is geared for the club DJ and dance music performer. In addition to 420 built-in sounds, solo synth and PCM based sounds, the XW-G1 also has the ability to sample. A 19-second sample looper captures internal sounds as well as external instruments allowing the performer to create layers and overdub sounds on the fly. Sampled sounds can even be saved in Flash ROM so they remain in memory after the keyboard has been powered off.
Providing everything from dance grooves to animated synth textures and arpeggios, the Step Sequencer in both the XW-P1 and XW-G1 is the first of its kind. With nine tracks for drums, basses, synths and chordal parts, four controller tracks for adding panning, filter changes and other animation to existing parts and eight patterns make up each sequence; the user can build and mix their performance on the fly. Sequences can even transpose live from the keyboard, providing a completely interactive experience.
“The XW series are not just new keyboards, they represent a new direction for Casio in the musical instrument business,” said Mike Martin. “Casio’s formula of value and quality that has been the foundation of award winning instruments like Privia has been applied to a new product category, and the XW-P1 and XW-G1 are just the beginning.”
Casio XW-G1
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