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About pfontaine2

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  • Birthday 03/04/1963

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    Westchester County, NY

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  1. Why do you like CASIO instruments?

    I have owned quite a few Casio keyboards over the years. I always appreciated that Casio could bring interesting music technology to the masses for a good price and excellent quality. Even though I no longer have it, I really enjoyed having my CZ-101. It was a breeze to program and I really enjoyed getting interesting new tones out of it. I sold it during a purge about fifteen years ago and I've regretted it ever since, especially now that I'm making music again. In order of purchase, I still have a Casio MT-100, SK1, HT-700, WK-7500 and XW-P1. Each of these offer something that sparked my imagination at a price I could afford. Also, I like the sound of the early Casio consumer keyboards over similarly priced Yamaha consumer keyboards. I never really cared for Yamaha's 2-OP FM synthesis and thought many of their early keyboards sounded thin and uninteresting. To be brutally honest and fair, I'm not a fan of everything that Casio has produced. Casio's later PCM-based consumer keyboards sound terrible to my ears. However, I appreciate what Casio has been able to produce over the years and I continue to be a big fan of their musical equipment. In an earlier thread, I wondered aloud if a company like Casio could produce something like Teenage Engineering's OP1, given that the OP1 is clearly styled on Casio's VL-Tone keyboard though it offers so much "bang for the buck". I'd love to see Casio produce something like the OP1 (or like Korg's Volca series) that had a couple different synthesis and sampling engines as well as an onboard sequencer and some effects in a very portable package. I think something like this would sell like hot-cakes! Thanks Casio for making my life a much happier and musical place! Pierre
  2. Over at the unofficial Teenage Engineering OP1 forum, someone asked why none of the big companies have followed the OP1 with their own innovative portable synth. Personally, I'd love to see Casio come out with a portable keyboard that approximates the OP1, such as an updated SK1. Think back on how ground-breaking the SK1 was. It could sample, it could sequence, it had additive synthesis and some decent though limited built-in sounds as well for a very affordable price. If an updated version of the SK1 came out with additional synthesis functionality, better quality sampling, a robust sequencer (as opposed to the 4 track audio recorder that the OP1 has) and effects for under $300, I think it would sell like hot cakes. I'm a big fan of Casio's XW synths as well as their earlier CZ series. I even have an HT700 as well as some other Casio and Yamaha portable keyboards. Casio definitely has the technology to create great sounding synths. Korg has released so many cool electronic instruments over the past few years, such as the Kaos and Volca series, as well as their Monotrons and the Monotribe. The upcoming Electribe looks really interesting as well. It's clear that there's a market for low-cost music "toys" and I'd love to see other companies like Casio pick up on that strategy as well. Does anyone have any additional thoughts on this?
  3. Hi Simon, Thanks for your tips. I will certianly give it a shot. Thanks! Pierre
  4. Do you love progressive ROCK!.

    That article is a great find. I visit ProgArchives often but never came across that post. I too have been a long-time prog fan, starting with ELP to Genesis to Marillion and up to more "modern" prog bands. The reason I have my Casio WK7500 and XW-P1 is that it gives me lots of "Prog" horsepower in a two keyboard setup. Thanks for sharing! Pierre
  5. Any old Genesis fans?

    I'm an enormous Prog Rock fan myself. Keith Emerson was my true musical hero while growing up. His style and Wakeman's were different enough that I could enjoy both. I discovered Genesis around the time that Seconds Out was released. I instantly fell in love with the band. Tony Banks remains an inspiration to me, especially during the Gabriel years up through the 1970's. I still enjoyed them as a band even as they became increasingly commercial. There were certain strains of Prog I never really enjoyed but the genre as a whole remains a source of much inspiration. I even enjoy a bit of Prog metal like Dream Theater as well as Spock's Beard/Neal Morse. Great topic and I enjoyed sharing a bit of my love of Prog!
  6. Here are a couple of links to YouTube videos I've uploaded. Both pieces are improvisational. Here's the latest, where my WK7500 is midi'd to my XW-P1: And here's another that's just straight WK7500: Enjoy! Pierre
  7. Prog Rock on a WK-7500 and XW-P1

    The original version (probably recorded around 1993) is already on my SoundCloud page: https://soundcloud.com/pfontaine/hammond-eggs This version certainly sounds fuller because of all the keyboards I was using at the time including a Casio CZ-101, a Yamaha YS-200 FM synth, a Korg piano module and a Kawai PH50 Pop Keyboard. It was sequenced into a Yamaha hardware sequencer and played back over MIDI. The audio was routed through an Alesis reverb unit and recorded directly to cassette. I could certainly do a more polished version with my current keyboards but I really wanted to see what I could do playing it live rather than sequenced. Pierre
  8. I made this video earlier today with my two Casio keyboards, trying to recreate a piece of music I wrote about twenty years ago. The XW-P1 is doing a classic Mini Moog lead sound and the WK-7500 is doing the backing pattern and Hammond organ sound. The sound isn't direct input so the "mix" isn't great (there's no bass to speak of) and you hear my fingers hitting the keys, but it was a fun experiment for a Sunday afternoon! Pierre
  9. Quick Survey

    I've been using an iPad 2 for a couple of years now and use quite a few music apps. My favorite is Music Studio, which I use as kind of a musical sketchpad. Later, I hook it up to my Casio keyboards (a WK-7500 or the XW-P1) to use as sound modules. The iPad 2 is great but is a little long in the tooth and isn't always up to playing back everything I sequence. I also use NanoStudio and other stand-alone synths.
  10. Solo Synth ADSR settings question

    The suggestion about turning Legato off didn't really work. Rather than bang my head against the wall, I decided to start with the Lucky Man sound. I turned off the third and fourth oscillators and just used the first two detuned oscillators to create my Moog emulation. This approach works well as I can now just swap out various waveforms to make whatever classic Moog-like patch I'd like. Thanks for the help!
  11. I've had my XW-P1 for a short time now and have started to create some solo synth sounds. I've made a simple detuned sawtooth patch using two oscillators to recreate a classic "mono-synth" sound. I've increased the attack time on both oscillators to take the edge off, preferring something that ramps up quickly rather than instantly playing at full volume. Occasionally, a note will play with a hard attack when played quickly. Is there a way to stop this from happening? Should the attack time on both oscillators be identical? I've set the attack time on both oscillators using one of the knobs. I also want to try and have a ADSR-controlled filter sweep while the sound is held but wanted to get the first problem solved. Just curious and any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Pierre
  12. How my love for synths came about...

    I too have never heard The Minotaur by Dick Hyman before now. Thanks very much for sharing this! The comment about it sounding very ELP-ish is more accurate than you might think. Emerson definitely quotes this piece during the live version of AquaTarkus on the triple live album "Welcome Back My Friends..." I've always loved prog-rock, primarily because the keyboard players used the latest synths and produced the coolest new sounds. When I was old enough to be able to start buying my own keyboards, I purchased a Casiotone MT-100 which I kept in my dorm room and played for years. As the years went by, I really started to collect "cheap" keyboards, mostly by Casio. I never really liked the sounds of Yamaha keyboards and FM synthesis left me cold. However, many of the Casio sounds seemed "warmer" and more "analog" to me. Eventually I got myself a CZ-101, which was my first programmable synth. I eventually added more gear and wrote quite a bit of music. Most of my gear was put away after I got married and had a child because my "studio" became my daughter's nursery. It's only been the past couple of years that I've begun writing music again, due in large part to some great apps on the various iOS products. I've sold some of my old gear in order to purchase newer gear such as a Casio WK-7500 and XW-P1 and I'm happily creating music once again! Pierre
  13. I've created some patterns and assigned them to the registration buttons. The registration buttons trigger the new patterns as soon as they are pressed (sometimes causing a little glitch while switching between registrations). Is it possible to set up the registration buttons so that the registration switches at the end of the current pattern? I see this being done on the XW-P1 videos (mine should arriving today BTW!), but would love to do something similar on the WK-7500. Any information would be greatly appreciated! Thanks as always, Pierre
  14. Just ordered the XW-P1

    I hadn't thought of the ethics of noting prices and dealers on the forum. Therefore, I've updated my post to remove the specific information and replaced it with another message. Thanks for bringing that to my intention. I don't want to get on anyone's bad side, especially Casio's! Pierre
  15. I finally broke down and ordered a "factory restock" XW-P1. It won't arrive for at least a week since it's on backorder but I'm looking forward to finally getting my first "real" Casio synth since my CZ-101 many years ago. Pierre