The capabilities of the XW-series specifically for House or ACID house are quite incredible and mostly untapped. With the recent craze for some re-issued products, here on our blog we’ll be showing you a number of things that the XW’s have been able to do all along, in their own unique and powerful way.
The first two core essential components in this genre are drums and bass. The TR-808, TR-909 and other drum machines sounds were often used. Both XW’s provide these kinds of sounds first place to look are the Synth Kit1 and Synth Kit2. TIP: On these kits, be sure to use the -octave switch to find an additional kick on note B1.
The XW-G1 does have the overall advantage when it comes to drum sounds. Not only does it have more built-in drums but you also have the opportunity to supplement those using its sample memory. Take a look at some of the sounds available for download at http://www.casiomusicforums.com
Next, the XW’s Solo Synth can provide the next core ingredient for the sound of the baseline. The oscillators in the XW’s provide a wide assortment of waveforms including some specifically from the TB-303. Since the XW’s architecture allows for 4 waveforms at once, you can blend these or switch between them live to create bass sounds far beyond the traditional. Tip: The secret to really getting the XW’s bass sound to squeal like the original TB-303 is the Distortion DSP effect. The TB-303 didn’t become famous because it sounded good in a traditional way, but because it sounded NASTY in a good way. The XW’s Distortion effect can be used to really bring these sounds to life.
Here is a quick example using the XW-P1.
In the next article, we’ll discuss the differences between the XW series and the advantages of the XW-G1 over the XW-P1 for this style of music.
In 2012 so much attention was given to the XW-P1 that the XW-G1 was a little over looked. With the XW-P1 reaching the market first and being Casio’s first synthesizer in over 20 years it’s no wonder that the XW-P1 got so much attention. While the XW-G1 was at that same NAMM show, it wasn’t much more than a prototype at that time and began shipping several months after the XW-P1. So what makes the XW-G1 unique and if you’re look at both the XW-P1 and XW-G1 which is the right one for you?
- Sampler / Sample Loading. Probably the single most distinguishing thing about the XW-G1 is it’s sampler. The XW-G1 allows you to supplement it’s existing sound set with sampled sounds that are stored in flash memory. This means after you turn the XW-G1 off any samples you load in are still there the next time you turn it on. The XW-G1 can hold 50 user samples. It’s architecture makes it best for drum sounds but samples can also be used within the Solo Synth too.
- Solo Synth Control. The XW-G1 doesn’t have the drawbar organs and Hex Layer modes that the XW-P1 has. This means that the sliders on the left are dedicated to controlling the Solo Synth. While the XW-P1 only allows volume control over each oscillator, the XW-G1 provides access to nearly every parameter the Solo Synth has to offer. You can manipulate each oscillator individually or all at once. The capabilities for tweaking are quite remarkable. This video shows some of these capabilities:
- Sample Looper. In addition to being able to load in sampled sounds, the XW-G1 also has a sample looper. It will record what is happening live on the XW-G1 in addition to the audio inputs. The applications are remarkable. Since it syncs with the Step Sequencer it allows you to capture a groove, then dial in something else on top using the Step Sequencer and/or Solo Synth.
- Stock Drum Sounds. The XW-G1 has several drum kits that aren’t in the XW-P1 so even before you get to the sampler you have access to some aggressive electronic drums that are powerful and unique.
So which one is right for you? Both XW’s are great and they each have different strengths. The XW-P1 can do some great textured sounds with it’s Hex Layer mode, it can also do some drawbar organs which makes it well rounded as both a production and performance keyboard. If your focus however is on using the Step Sequencer, creating drum grooves and if you’re really into tweaking the monophonic Solo Synth for those ACID baselines and more the XW-G1 has the edge.
Of course if you still can’t decide, just get both.