The XW-G1 has another trick up it’s sleeve that is unique. It is called “Multi Function keys” and it is found in Performance mode. You may have run across this feature in some of the preset Performances. When you see the checkered box in the zone key range display, this shows that Multi-key is enabled in the top range of the keyboard. So what is Multi-key all about?
Multi-key allows you to assign events to keys, rather than just notes. With the XW-G1 this can be a Phrase, tempo change, controller changes, effects change or a switch to an entirely different Step Sequence. The possibilities here are nearly endless.
From Performance mode press edit and scroll down to find the Multi-key editor. Here you can choose what function is assigned to each key. If you use the Mult-function key to trigger a phrase, it can be assigned to any of the 16 MIDI channels, not just zones 1-4. So check out the factory performances that already use the Multi-function keys and come up with your own applications.
If you missed the LIVE clinic, don’t work it was recorded. Check out Mike Martin and the XW synths.
Thursday July 25th at 7:00pm EST, Casio’s Mike Martin will host a live clinic on the XW-series. Have questions about the XW’s, just ask Mike directly. www.ustream.tv/casiomusicgear
One of the great things about the XW synths is that there are a variety of different ways to work. If you’re not careful however you can make a change that could delete something that you’ve been working on. So here is what I do, when I sit down on the XW to make some new music.
I almost always start with drums. So the first thing I do is go to a blank user (untitiled) step sequence. Hopefully you’ve learned by now how to change some sounds and quickly put down some drums If not, I refer you to:
So assuming you’ve put down a basic groove, now you’re probably (if you haven’t started already) started playing something over the top. Before you do anything else STOP! Save your sequence.
Up to the point when you saved, your sequence was living in a temporary buffer. What can inevitably happen is that find a sound that you like, maybe an arpeggio pattern that goes with you sequence. The only way to save these two things together is in a Performance. So if you go to a Performance and accidentally change to a different performance you are likely calling up a different step sequence that is linked to that performance. So if your temporary sequence was not saved, it is now gone.
Take the time, save and name your work. Now back to making music!
So you’ve used the switches and sliders to quickly build a drum part, now you’ve reached the bass part and you want to play that part from the keyboard. Not a problem let me show you how.
Make sure you have the STEP SEQ button to the left of the display selected then press EDIT. Scroll down once and now select STEP EDIT on the screen. If the Step Sequencer is running, you can now enter notes from the keyboard and they’ll snap to the 16 step grid.
So why does it work this way? The XW’s are designed to always keep your primary keyboard sounds live. By doing this it allows you to build a sequence using the buttons and sliders while the keyboard is always available for a melody or other instrument part. Pretty cool. So if you’re not performing or building sequences live you can simply go into STEP EDIT to use the keyboard for all of your Step Sequencer parts including drums. Just stay in STEP EDIT mode and use the Part +/- buttons to switch between each of the tracks as you play the parts from the keyboard.
So you’ve bought a new XW-P1 and you’re ready to put down some parts in the step sequencer. You dial in a blank or untitled step sequence and begin but you don’t have the kick or snare part that you want. Don’t worry, changing tones is easy. Your first instinct may have been to press the TONE button, but that only allows you to change the sound that is live on the keyboard. The answer lies in the mixer.
Press the mixer button and it will take you to the MIDI channel that corresponds to the part you’re working on the step sequencer. Use the cursor button and select TONE on the screen then use the +/- (yes/no) buttons or the data wheel to dial in the sound you want. Scroll down further using the cursor keys and you’ll find the volume, pan and effects settings for this part. You even can use the Part +/- buttons to switch between different parts.
The parts in the Step Sequencer run on MIDI channels 8-16. Here is a quick summary:
- Drum1 – MIDI channel 8
- Drum2 – MIDI channel 9
- Drum3 – MIDI channel 10
- Drum4 – MIDI channel 11
- Drum5 – MIDI channel 12
- Bass – MIDI Channel 13
- Solo1 – MIDI Channel 14
- Solo2 – MIDI Channel 15
- Chord – MIDI Channel 16
Don’t get confused by the names “Solo1 and Solo2”, they simply mean that these are monophonic tracks that can only play or trigger one note at at time. The Solo1 track can be used to play a “Solo Synth” tone instead of one of the regular PCM tones. We’ll teach you that trick in an upcoming post.