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AlenK

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AlenK last won the day on November 14

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About AlenK

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    Music and synthesizers (duh!), astronomy, astrophotography, writing

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  1. So what should I buy next?

    I'm going to suggest not buying anything at all. Your XW-P1 can generate sixteen simultaneous tones. You can make decent music with that as your ONLY sound source. But to add even more and increase the variety you can choose from dozens of free VSTs. You can run them and your P1 from a free DAW. (The P1's step sequencer is good but you will probably be frustrated if you attempt to use it to make full songs.) There are literally dozens to choose from and some are surprisingly full-featured. http://routenote.com/blog/the-top-10-best-free-daws-updated-for-2017/ https://audioskills.com/data/daws/free/ At the very least trying a free DAW or two will tell you how you prefer to work to help you wisely choose a decidedly-not-free DAW.
  2. For those who wants to get a brand new PD or DJ

    For that price the PD-1 is certainly tempting. The only two drawbacks from my perspective are (1) it doesn't have 5-pin MIDI, only USB, which has been discussed here before and (2) you can't edit the built-in tones - at all. The sampling and the sixteen velocity-sensitive pads are nice, however. One of the reviews on Musicians' Friend is amusing and perhaps a caution: "The problem is the steep learning curve and poor manuals. Well built and great sound but it would be easier to learn to play the sax with your feet." And from a review on Amazon: "Both manuals seem to be written by a team of crazy people, or sadists... may be easier to fiddle with the box to figure out what the tech writer & editors were trying to say."
  3. PX-5S Organ Tones

    While I don't have a PX-5S it seems to work similar to other Casio models in regard to downloading tones from a memory device (USB Flash drive in this case). You have to select the tone category you want to store the tone into by pressing a tone category button before the final step of storing it. See page E-32 in the PX-5S User's Guide (Basics). In this case you would press the "Organ" category button, labeled 16 on the diagram on page E-2. If you followed those instructions and it didn't work then something else is wrong. I'm being presumptive I know but I'm thinking perhaps you didn't RTFM.
  4. FA-06, MOXF6, Krome 61, Kross 61 and MX-49/61 (to add three other low-cost workstation models) all have fairly crappy keyboard actions, IMO. Yes, worse than MZ-X models, again IMO. I tried them all in a local music store (with a well-stocked keyboard department but no Casios). The reasons varied from shorter-than-normal keys, narrower-than-normal key pitch, shallower-than-normal travel, light easily-bent keys and worst of all the hinge point too close to the visible start of the key exiting the case, which means the same velocity results in different volumes from black keys than from white keys (because the former are significantly shorter). Some keyboards suffered from more than one of the problems described above. The Kronos keyboard feels very nice, as one would expect for the price. It used to be that even lower-cost boards had good keyboard actions. For example, my Roland D-10 from 1988 feels nicer than any of the keyboards I named above (apart from the Kronos, which is superior) while not as nice as the D-50, which was at that time the top model. Not anymore. You have to buy a top-of-the-line model or the next one down, usually. For instance in the Roland line the J50 and J80 have great feeling actions.
  5. Both the XW-P1 and XW-G1 synthesizers provide three independent and quite different types of sequencer: the step sequencer, the phrase sequencer and the arpeggiator. You might not recognize the arpeggiator as a sequencer but that is what it is, the only difference being that the notes it sequences are based on the keys that you hold down (or latch). All three of these sequencers are typically used more-or-less independently. For example, play a backing rhythm using the step sequencer while using the argeggiator in a zone to play a note sequence with one tone while periodically triggering a phrase in another zone with another tone. However, the XW synths contain a number of features that can tie two or even all three of the sequencers together into a seamless, synchronized whole that is more than the sum of its parts (the definition of "synergy"). It may seem serendipitous (by chance) to us but I have a hard time believing that the XW’s designers who added these features didn't know exactly what they were doing. The first feature is called Sync. You’ll find it described, somewhat confusingly, on page E-40 in the XW-P1’s User Guide and page E-41 in the XW-G1’s User Guide. When it is turned on it starts the step sequencer when an arpeggio starts playing, which of course happens as soon as you press one or more keys in an area (note range) of the keyboard in which the arpeggiator is enabled. If you are playing in Performance mode that range is determined by the Performance parameters ArpKeyRgLo (Arpeggio Key Range Low) and ArpKeyRgHi (Arpeggio Key Range High). The Sync feature can also stop the sequence automatically when you release the keys (or release the "hold" condition if you used that to keep the arpeggio going without needing to keep pressing keys); the "S/S" setting enables that. The other feature doesn’t have a name. It is the ability to start and stop a specified phrase from the fourth control track (Ctl4) of the step sequencer. You’ll find the parameters for that feature described on page E-56 in the XW-P1’s User Guide and page E-57 in the XW-G1’s User Guide. I have previously described here in this forum one way to use that feature, allowing phrases to be selected using the step sequencer’s pattern buttons. But it can also be used merely to synchronize a phrase to the step sequencer. Note that a phrase initiated from the step sequencer is actually independent of a phrase initiated from the phrase sequencer, the latter done using the PLAY/STOP button in the PHRASE SEQ area of the front panel. Hence the XW-P1 can be playing two independent phrases at any given moment. The XW-G1 can actually play up to four phrases indpendently, since two additional phrases can be initiated from the multi-function area of the keyboard. (It is a great pity that the multi-function feature did not make it into the P1. There is no reason for its omission other than artificial feature separation between the models.) If you count the G1's independent sample looper as another phrase (because it can easily record phrases played by the G1 itself) then five phrases can be going on at the same time. With all that going on plus the step sequencer who needs to actually play the keyboard?? There is yet another interaction between sequencers, this one between the primary phrase sequencer and the arpeggiator. If a phrase is started by hitting PLAY/STOP in the PHRASE SEQ area of the panel while the arpeggiator is also active, the arpeggiator behaves as if the notes played by the phrase sequencer are actually being pressed on the keyboard. Those that are in the range over which the arpeggio is enabled then supply the arpeggiator with its source notes. Furthermore, if KEY PLAY is enabled then pressing a single key in an area enabled for both the phrase sequencer and the arpeggio will immediately transpose the phrase and hence transpose the source notes for the arpeggio. This is powerful stuff. (Note that if you DON'T want such behavior you need to enable the phrase sequencer and the arpeggiator in different zones or in different key ranges within the same zone.) So, to recap: The step sequencer can be started automatically, and optionally also stopped, when we play an arpeggio. A phrase can be started when the step sequencer starts playing or indeed at any time during a pattern, depending on which step(s) in the pattern the start command appears. If the step sequencer is started by the arpeggiator and a phrase is started by the step sequencer, then all three can start at the same time. Finally, if a phrase is started from the PLAY/STOP button on the panel then that phrase can be used to automatically change the notes played by the arpeggiator. What can we do with such synchronization? Here are a couple of ideas: (1) The control tracks of a step-sequencer pattern can rhythmically modify parameters like volume, filter cutoff, pan position or even tempo while an arpeggio is playing using the four control (Ctl) tracks. For example, if we arrange an arpeggio to play an upward sequence of four sixteenth notes from a fingered four-note chord we could also program a step-sequencer pattern to increase volume and raise the filter cutoff with each cycle of the arpeggiator. This could go on for eight cycles, then the cutoff and volume could be progressively lowered back down to their original settings on the next eight cycles, after which the pattern repeats. The resulting “composite” sequence is sixty-four notes long and it is chord-interactive (because of course the arpeggio is chord-interactive). The only other way to accomplish such a long sequence on the XW-P1 would be to chain four 16-note patterns together but the result would not be chord interactive (but could still be transposed). (2) A user arpeggio is set up that does nothing (!) The arpeggio's Sync option is set to "S/S." This “null” arpeggio is enabled in a zone, which consequently becomes silent (because the null arpeggio has no notes). However, its noble sacrifice allows the step sequencer to be started and stopped by pressing a single "trigger" key without an accompanying arpeggio. For our trigger key we choose C3 immediately above the untransposed first octave of the keyboard. We use the step sequencer to call a phrase using part 8 set to an acoustic-guitar tone (we could choose part 1 or any one of parts 8 to 16). The phrase implements an acoustic-guitar strum or perhaps a complete rhythmic strumming pattern that we sourced from the internet or created ourselves in a PC-based MIDI sequencer. We enable KEY SHIFT on the panel. We now use our left hand to press the trigger key, producing our strum or strumming pattern in the original key. Simultaneously pressing the trigger key and another key in the octave below it with our left hand produces a transposed strum or strumming pattern. We thus produce a rhythm-guitar accompaniment with our left hand while our right hand is playing a melody in another zone using another tone. Need different kinds of strummed chords? Then create phrases for them, call each up using a separate pattern and then select them during live play using the pattern buttons, as described here. Think of this as "Motif Lite." PS. I have added a gratuitous shot of Amy Poehler and Bradley Cooper comping on a keyboard from the film "Wet Hot American Summer." It has nothing to do with the post but it's funny and some people just won't read long articles without a picture or two attached.
  6. Multitimbrality

    Unlike Brad I don't have a PX-5S but going by the User's Guide (Tutorial) it would appear that there are a total of four insert (DSP) effects, one dedicated to each of Parts 1 to 4. They cannot be shared among those parts (e.g., to use two of them in series on a single part) or used by other parts. See page E-7 in the PX-5S User's Guide (Tutorial). Pages E-19 to E-22 describe the editable DSP effect parameters. - AlenK (so old I don't need no stinkin' signature block )
  7. members status

    Nine posts since September 2013. Scott has nearly 3.5 million! Not really, but a good joke, no?
  8. PX 560 M Organ and leslie

    This past thread may help, depending on how you want to control the rotary speaker effect using the mod wheel: http://www.casiomusicforums.com/index.php?/topic/11790-px-560-organ-leslierotary-effect-assign-to-modulation-wheel/
  9. Is the MIDIOutSel parameter in the MIDI Settings menu set to MIDI (page E-71 of User's Guide)? It likely defaults to KEY.
  10. Many of the preset PCM melody tones offered by the XW-P1 (and by the XW-G1) offer velocity switching, which automatically switches between waves at preset velocity levels. Typically, two waves are used but a few voices switch between up to four. In almost all cases the purpose of the velocity switching is to introduce changes in harmonic content with increased playing force, which is a characteristic of acoustic and electromechanical instruments. The Hex Layer mode of the XW-P1 goes further, allowing user programming of the velocity-switch points between up to six user-selectable waves. In that case the waves need not be related; they could be samples from different instruments. (Some of the orchestral Hex Layer presets do exactly that.) The only downside to using velocity switching to change harmonic content (timbre) with playing force for a single instrument is that the change can be rather abrupt, especially when only two waves are used. A much better method is crossfading, which can achieve the same thing in a smooth manner. Unfortunately, the XW-P1 doesn’t overtly support crossfading. However, it can still be done. This post describes one method using the Hex Layer mode. One simple method of crossfading between two waves in a Hex Layer tone is to set the TouchSense parameter of one wave in a layer to a negative value and the TouchSense parameter of the other wave in a second layer to a positive value. The volume of the first wave will then reduce for larger velocities while the volume of the second layer increases. By adjusting the relative volumes and TouchSense values of the layers you can achieve crossfading while retaining some semblance of the normal dynamic response of the tone, which is normally still required. However, linear crossfading, which is all that is possible using only two layers, is not perceptually accurate. Perceptual accuracy requires a pair of non-linear curves that map velocity to volume. This can be accomplished by using more layers since the Volume and TouchSense parameters of each layer are completely independent. If we restrict each layer to a certain velocity range and use suitable values for those two parameters within each range we can do a piecewise-linear approximation of the curves required for an accurate crossfade. Here’s an example that uses all six layers for maximum accuracy. It splits the total velocity range from 000 to 127 into three ranges, with two layers in each. Three of the layers together approximate the crossfade curve for one wave, while the other three layers approximate the very different curve required for the other wave. The relevant settings are shown in the table below and the resulting piece-wise linear approximations to the required crossfade curves are shown in the attached illustration. Value Parameter L1 L2 L3 L4 L5 L6 LayerOn/Off On On On On On On PCM Wave WaveA WaveA WaveA WaveB WaveB WaveB Volume -109 -068 -053 -032 -088 -034 TouchSense +053 +083 +127 +063 000 -064 VelRangeLow 000 043 085 000 043 085 VelRangeHi 042 084 127 042 084 127 Unfortunately, the above method takes all six layers to crossfade between only two waves, which is a heavy price to pay. A somewhat less accurate approximation shown in the next table uses only four layers to crossfade, leaving two layers still available for other components of the composite tone. Value Parameter L1 L2 L3 L4 L5 L6 LayerOn/Off On On On On On On PCM Wave WaveA WaveA WaveB WaveB TBD TBD Volume -083 -063 -031 -019 TBD TBD TouchSense +053 +063 +057 -064 TBD TBD VelRangeLow 000 064 000 064 TBD TBD VelRangeHi 063 127 063 127 TBD TBD Example files for six layer (three-segment) and four layer (two-segment) crossfading are available here. Diagram of crossfade curves and their three-seqment piecewise linear approximations:
  11. Version 1.0.1

    2 downloads

    The attached zip archive contains two examples of crossfading between two waves in a Hex Layer tone. Crossfading is a much smoother way to transition between two waves with playing force than velocity switching. In these examples the crossfading occurs between two waves that are sampled from the same instrument and which are used for the velocity-switched "60's E.Piano" PCM melody tone (P2-0 in the PCM Piano category). One sample was presumably recorded from a low-velocity strike; the other from a high-velocity strike. A key feature of the crossfading is that the full dynamic range of the instrument is maintained over the velocity range. One example—3-SEG_XF.ZLT—uses all six layers while the other—2-SEG_XF.ZLT—uses only four layers, leaving the final two layers available for introducing other waves. Two additional files are included in the zip archive: TESTVELO.ZSS and TESTVELO.ZPF. These can be useful to test for the smoothness of the transitions between each segment in the final tone. The first file is a sequence that repeats the same note at increasingly higher velocities over the total velocity range. The second file is a Performance that calls up the sequence and the tone. The Performance is required only because the single active track of the sequence needs to point to Part 1 not Part 8. That assignment can only be done from within a Performance. Load the Performance, the sequence and the tone wherever you want in your XW-P1 then edit the Performance to tell it where you put the sequence and the tone. A full description of how the crossfading is accomplished can be found here.
  12. Smooth Crossfading in a Hex Layer Tone View File The attached zip archive contains two examples of crossfading between two waves in a Hex Layer tone. Crossfading is a much smoother way to transition between two waves with playing force than velocity switching. In these examples the crossfading occurs between two waves that are sampled from the same instrument and which are used for the velocity-switched "60's E.Piano" PCM melody tone (P2-0 in the PCM Piano category). One sample was presumably recorded from a low-velocity strike; the other from a high-velocity strike. A key feature of the crossfading is that the full dynamic range of the instrument is maintained over the velocity range. One example—3-SEG_XF.ZLT—uses all six layers while the other—2-SEG_XF.ZLT—uses only four layers, leaving the final two layers available for introducing other waves. Two additional files are included in the 1.0l.1 version of the zip archive: TESTVELO.ZSS and TESTVELO.ZPF. These can be useful to test for the smoothness of the transitions between each segment in the final tone. The first file is a sequence that repeats the same note at increasingly higher velocities over the total velocity range. The second file is a Performance that calls up the sequence and the tone. The Performance is required only because the single active track of the sequence needs to point to Part 1 not Part 8. That assignment can only be done from within a Performance. Load the Performance, the sequence and the tone wherever you want in your XW-P1 then edit the Performance to tell it where you put the sequence and the tone. A full description of how the crossfading is accomplished can be found here. Submitter AlenK Submitted 11/07/2017 Category XW-P1  
  13. Here is a technique to generate a random value for use in modulating parameters of the solo synth and which holds for an entire note. Each subsequent note gets a new random value. This is quite different behavior than the Random waveform offered by the solo synth’s two LFOs. When the Random waveform is used the LFO generates two random values within each cycle; one holds for the first half of the cycle and the other holds for the second half. To generate our random value both of the solo synth LFOs are needed as well as a virtual controller. Choose the Random waveform for LFO1. Set the Rate to exactly 126. The setting of the Depth parameter is up to you; it determines the total range within which random values from the LFO will occur. For LFO2 choose one of the pulse waveforms. Set LFO2's Rate and Rise to zero and set the Delay to 001. Set the Depth of LFO2 to 127. In a virtual controller choose LFO2 as the source and the Rate of LFO1 as the destination. Set the depth of the virtual controller to -128. With this arrangement pressing a key allows the Random waveform to cycle between values very rapidly. But after a short delay of about 1/16th of a second (roughly 60 milliseconds) the virtual controller forces LFO1's rate to zero, at which point the last random value it output is held until you press another key while no other key is being held. Unfortunately, the required minimum delay time still allows the random value to change during the small interval that LFO1's rate is not zero. So there will often be a quick transition ("blip") between two random values at the very start of a note. (Lowering the rate of LFO1 does not appear to help.) Consequently, try to apply this technique to a parameter that is not audibly affected by the “blip.” Also, tones with attack times of 007 or longer on their volume envelopes will effectively mask it. An example file is available here. All it does is modify the pitch of a single oscillator with the random value. In practice the value would be used to modify something more useful, such as filter cutoff or, by using another virtual controller, attack time.
  14. Generating Random Values

    Generating Random Values View File Here’s an example of a technique to generate a single random value within the solo synth that holds for the length of a note and that can be used to modify parameters of the solo synth such as filter cutoff. How it works is full described here. This example merely modifies the pitch of a single oscillator in order to allow you to clearly hear the effect. The file should work on both the XW-P1 and XW-G1. Submitter AlenK Submitted 11/07/2017 Category XW-Synths  
  15. Generating Random Values

    Version 1.0.0

    0 downloads

    Here’s an example of a technique to generate a single random value within the solo synth that holds for the length of a note and that can be used to modify parameters of the solo synth such as filter cutoff. How it works is fully described here. This example merely modifies the pitch of a single oscillator in order to allow you to clearly hear the effect. The file should work on both the XW-P1 and XW-G1.
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