The Akai Max 49 is unique in the way it combines traditional keyboard controller functions with MPC pads, control voltage support and LED faders.
The Nord Drum is not sample-based, but uses a virtual analog synth engine that’s designed specifically from drum synthesis.
A lot of buzz around the WX-P1 – the first Casio synth release for 20 years.
Namm 2012 Casio XW-P1 WX-G1 by Rock oN Report
“Introduction to the new XW-P1 Performance Synthesizer from Casio by Mike Martin.” Casio has unveiled two new professional Synthesizers: the XW-P1, a 61 key performance synthesizer equipped with Casio’s exclusive Hybrid Processing Sound Source (HPSS) that meets the needs of the most experienced performing musician, and the XW-G1 groove synthesizer, designed for the DJ and club performer, provides an interactive step sequencer and a sample looper for digitally capturing performance patterns and external instruments. Designed with today’s professional musician in mind, both the XW-P1 and XW-G1 synthesizers are the ideal tools for performing and recording artists alike. With the launch of two new products Casio has re-entered the professional synthesizer market, ultimately demonstrating its commitment to innovation in the marketplace.
6 Oscillator Monophonic Solo Synthesizer
HexLayer – A single sound made up of 6 components for gig ready splits and layers
Drawbar Organ Mode with 9 sliders, adjustable rotary speaker, key click, vibrato and percussion
400 fully editable PCM based sounds like stereo pianos, vintage electric pianos, strings, guitars, drums and more
Performance mode providing 4 internal or external instrument zones with instant recall of effects, 13 Track Step Sequencer and 16 step programmable Arpeggiators and Phrases
4 real-time controller knobs
Pitch and Modulation Wheels
USB and MIDI ports and a 1/8” stereo line input to connect to an MP3 Player, laptop or tablet
The XW-P1 will be available March 2012 with an MSRP of $699.00
Mike Martin, General Manager, Marketing, Electronic Musical Instruments Division
“The XW series are not just new keyboards, they represent a new direction for Casio in the musical instrument business.”
“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.”
“The solo synth has an incredibly deep and powerful design. Among countless others, 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.”
‘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.'”
Casio has introduced two new keyboard synthesizers at the Winter NAMM, the XW-G1 Groove Synthesizer and the XW-P1 Performance Synthesizer, here are the full specs for both of them:
The Casio XW-G1 is a ‘groove synthesizer’ equipped with a keyboard and designed to offer the various kinds of digital equipment used by club DJs, including the ability to create and play back a variety of rhythm patterns and musical phrases.
- Step Sequencer
- 100 different rhythm patterns are available for playback in the preset sequences
- Up to 100 original rhythm patterns can be recorded as user sequences
- Users can improvise using the set of 16 buttons while playing back rhythm patterns
- Multiple rhythm patterns—as many as 99—can be connected in a sequence and played as loops using the Chains function
- Phrase Sequencer
- 100 musical phrases can be readily played back using the preset phrases
- Up to 100 musical phrases spontaneously played on the keyboard can be stored in memory as user phrases
- Live performance functions
- A multifunction keys enables users to assign essential functions for DJ performances to keys
- 420 preset tones including Solo Synthesizer and PCM tones can be quickly accessed in keyboard performances
- The Arpeggio function can automatically play arpeggios just by pressing keys
- Sample Looper
- Sounds performed on the synthesizer as well as sounds input from external source can be sampled and played back in loops of up to 19 seconds long, allowing overdubbing
- Sampled sounds that are saved as user tones can be played in keyboard performances
- Other features
- Wide variety of preset tones or internal PCM and Synth waves to create sounds
- Various input and output terminals enable connection of audio equipment and MIDI-compatible devices, such a DJ gear and musical instruments
- Portable MIDI devices or audio equipment can be placed on the designated rubber holding space
Specifications are available at the Casio site.
The XW-P1 is designed to be a true performance synthesizer that allows users to create a wide array of sounds from many preset tones, including Solo Synthesizer, Hex Layer, and Drawbar Organ tones, as well as numerous types of internal PCM and Synth waves.
- Wide selection of preset tones ensures quick access in performances
- 100 Solo Synthesizer presets can reproduce vintage analog synthesizer sounds
- 50 Hex Layer presets layer as many as six tones for ensemble sounds
- 50 Drawbar Organ presets can reproduce traditional Drawbar Organ sounds
- A total of 420 PCM Melody and PCM Drum presets have been produced from samples of various instrument sounds including pianos, guitars, and drums
- Synth features
- A total of 311 internal Synth waves reproduce vintage analog synthesizer sounds
- A total of 2,158 PCM waves are built in, including wave data from the CZ series, Casio’s best-selling digital synthesizers of the 1980s
- Users can create integrated sounds by layering analog synthesizer waves and PCM waves
- Users can produce original Hex Layer sounds by combining as many as six preset tones
- Users can create their own Drawbar Organ sounds by using the nine sliders
- Variety of functions useful for live performances
- Users can assign performance setups for up to four designated keyboard zones by using the Performance function
- The Phrase Sequencer lets users create and play back musical phrases to enhance their performances
- The Step Sequencer allows users to create and play back a variety of rhythm patterns
- The Arpeggio function can automatically play arpeggios just by pressing keys
- Useful features for applications ranging from performance to music production
- SMF data or audio data saved on an SD card can be played back while playing the keyboard
- MIDI devices, microphones, audio players, and other equipment can be connected using the various input and output terminals
- Portable audio equipment or MIDI devices can be placed on the designated rubber holding space
Specifications for the XW-P1 are available at the Casio site.
This is something we definitely need to check out at NAMM – don’t miss it
Circuit bent with 24 modifications + a new wooden framework and control interface. See the build here… http://www.cocoelectrik.co.uk/2011/12/s-cat-casio-mt40-build/
The Casio Casiotone MT-40 is a musical keyboard, formerly produced by Casio and originally developed for the consumer market. It is 9 voice polyphonic, with 37 main keys and 14 smaller bass keys. Eight notes may be played on the main keys, and one note on the bass. The bass section has one timbre, and the main section has 22, assignable to one of four presets. Like most small Casio keyboards, it also has a drum section with 6 different beats, a tempo knob, and a “fill” button. The fill button plays sixteenth note pulses of either the “snare” or “kick” as long as it is held down. Production started in the early 1980s and ceased shortly thereafter. The successor of the MT-40 came with a gray case, and was sold as the MT-41.
The keyboard is a prime candidate for modification through circuit bending, owing to simple circuits and a series of smaller potentiometers inside for factory adjustments, there are two examples of circuit bent units on Youtube, which have been built by S-CAT. The relative scarcity of these makes bending relatively risky, and most are left as stock.
The MT-40 had a built-in pattern based on the Eddie Cochran song “Somethin’ Else”. Because of this, a synthesizer version of the song’s bassline ended up as the basis of one of the most popular dancehall music riddims of Jamaican music – the Sleng Teng riddim which started the “Digital Reggae” revolution in 1985.
It has also secured a niche in indie music. It occurs occasionally in songs by The Magnetic Fields, and is featured prominently on most of Emperor X’s album Tectonic Membrane/Thin Strip on an Edgeless Platform. Its thin fuzz can be heard on lesser known Australian indie band Turnstyle’s top 20 single Spray Water On The Stereo. In the UK, The Farmer’s Boys, who were signed to EMI and beloved of John Peel, used it on a number of singles and album tracks – with an ironing board as a keyboard stand.
Ableton has released Kasio-M4L, a free Max for Live instrument by Oli Larkin.
Like its namesake CZ-series synths, Kasio-M4L uses Phase Distortion synthesis – in which the phase of a sine wave is modified in various ways to produce new waveforms. Kasio-M4L builds on its digital legacy, producing plastic basses, sharp bell-like timbres and shimmering resonant pads. Utilizing two CZ-style oscillators, ring modulation, three Envelope Generators and an LFO, a wide variety of timbres are possible. Kasio-M4L serves to bring the classic sounds of Phase Distortion to all Max for Live users.
Kasio-M4L comes with 32 presets inspired by the original CZ-synths. All controls are laid out on one easy-to-use panel for instant tweaking. Select from eight CZ waveforms for each oscillator in the “Wave” section. Different waveforms can be set for each alternating cycle; the second oscillator can also be detuned and mixed as a ring modulator signal. The ADSR Envelope Generator sections control amplitude, pitch and the all-important DCW (digitally controlled wave-shaping) which varies the amount of phase distortion. Vibrato is controlled via the LFO section.
Kasio-M4L is a free download from Ableton. Requires Ableton Live 8.2.6 or higher and Max for Live.
More a toy then a real thing, but still
The Casio VL-1 or VL-Tone as it’s also called has 29 little calculator-type button keys, five preset and one user memory patches, built-in rhythm machine (waltz, swing, rock, samba, etc.) and a 100-note sequencer. There is no chance at any external or MIDI control and there are no filters or effects. There is an LFO with vibrato and tremolo effects and an ADSR envelope.
The Casio VL-1 is a low cost monophonic keyboard from the year 1981. It has some rhythm patterns and a few preset sounds. It even has a mini synthesizer function (no, there is no filter). You can change waveforms, LFO speed, envelopes… the editing procedure is a bit complicated, but it works! If you have a VL-1 and want to program your own sounds, you need the manual – otherwise there is no chance to find out…
The VL-1 has an output jack, it runs on batteries or with an AC adaptor. You can also use the VL-1 as a calculator!
The Casio VL-1 was even used on recordings. It was used by Human League, Trio (da da da..), Stevie Wonder, Vengaboys and Robbie Williams. The VL-Tone is a real classic Casio!
iMASCHINE is a professional instrument designed for beat producers of all levels – you don’t need to have experience with MASCHINE to create spontaneous beats. With its intuitive threshold-based pad sampling, note repeat, auto-loop length feature, on-board mixer with six handy effects and the unique audio recording function, iMASCHINE makes it easy to instantly create grooves whenever the mood hits.
Use the included drum kits and melodic sounds, all in professional WAV-format, or expand your library with the iMASCHINE EXPANSIONS – available directly from your device via the in-app store.
The SK-1 has been used by a few major recording artists for its simplicity and lo-fi sound. It became very popular in the late 1990s among the circuit bending crowd after the first guide to bending it was published by Reed Ghazala in Experimental Musical Instruments magazine, though the SK-1 was being modified as early as 1987 when Keyboard Magazine published an article on adding MIDI support. The synthesizer was one of the first pieces of equipment that Autechre had when they began recording music. Musician and score composer Michael Andrews featured a circuit bent SK-1 heavily in the Me and You and Everyone We Know musical score. It was used by notable Jungle artist DJ Hype for his seminal production attempts, as written in book All Crews by Brian Belle-Fortune, and rapper and producer Large Professor used it in his early years of beat-making.