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.
Take an XW-P1 and add an iPad and it opens a world of possibilities. We’ve discussed how to use the XW-P1 to drive software based instruments – this app is controlling the Solo Synth on the XW-P1. Which app? How is this possible? More details coming, we’ll be showing this at the Summer NAMM in Nashville next week.