Very common in electronic dance music is to have a bass sound that “pumps” on the off beat and doesn’t clash with the frequencies of the kick drum. The common way to do this is to “duck” the volume of the bass sound down using a compressor so that when the kick drum hits, the volume of the bass sound is reduced, then the bass sound returns to normal volume as the kick disappears.
The XW’s can recreate that effect a number of ways but I created a sound that utilizes a very powerful feature of the XW’s Solo Synth engine. The envelopes have a “Clock” feature that will cause the envelope to repeat to the tempo and division of the beat that is chosen. In this case it repeats each beat and with a slow attack time you get a nice swell into the off beat.
This sound can be heard in this demo which also uses the PX-5S for some other sounds.
Download the bass sound at http://www.casiomusicforums.com/index.php?/files/file/774-pumped-bass/
It is so easy to be inspired by the Minimoog. Such as classic design and sound that is still sought after today. While being a digital synthesizer, the XW-series can do a pretty remarkable job of mimicking those classic Moog sounds. The Minimoog had 3 oscillators plus a noise generator and although the XW has a 4th oscillator in its Solo Synth engine – all of these sounds were crafted with the original in mind. A set of 10 Leads and basses, the specialties of the Minimoog
Go to the downloads section at Casio Music Forums to download the set of 10 presets crafted by Casio’s Mike Martin. There are separate downloads for both the XW-P1 and XW-G1.
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.
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
Casio released updates today for the XW’s Data Editors for both Mac and Windows platforms. This update fixes some issues with Windows 8 compatibility and improves performances on OSX.
Download the XW-P1 Editor:
Download the XW-G1 Editor:
Casio debuted a new limited edition XW-P1 at SXSW today. The Crome Orange XW-P1 is really something to see. Only 200 available in the US. Check the story at Gizmodo