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rsaintjohn last won the day on October 9 2016

rsaintjohn had the most liked content!

About rsaintjohn

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 10/31/1965

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    Cleveland, OH USA
  • Interests
    Casio CZ and Casiotone series, classic analog synth, synthwave music, Doctor Who

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  1. How to Simulate a Duophonic Synth on the XW-P1

    Sold my XW-P1 ?!? Never!!!! Sorry, Alen, and thanks for posts and the info. I'm still at it with both my P1 and some other recent additions, and even dipped my toe into the ocean that is modular. I just finished collecting the pieces of and restoring a vintage Roland System 100, and the first quarter of the year was dealing with family and work issues. I just completed reorganizing my "studio" (i.e., Man Box... it's not even big enough to be a cave) and have a "Casio Corner". Pulled out my old HT-6000 on Sunday to give myself a week or so with that, because I'm going to understand it so much better now. Once I'm finished with that, the XW-P1 goes back into its place so I can introduce it to some of this new (old) gear. I definitely want to give your duophon emulation a try, as it's become one of my preferred methods of playing. Thanks for the second "heads up", and hope all is well!
  2. Which ipad can run MIDI Designer?

    I've been very happy with the old iPad 2 and MIDI Designer (and the XW Solo Synth editor), but it's 4 1/2 years now and the battery is draining fast these days. And with these older iPads, there are very few ways to use it as a controller (data over USB) and still power it over USB. So if you do get something older or refurbished, try to make sure that the battery doesn't drain 1% per minute just by being on, or that the battery has been replaced. Also, it's started to get pretty sluggish with each iOS update. I think it started on 7 and is now up to 9.2. I don't think you can go wrong with an iPad, even a used one, with these things in mind. But I would recommend you stay away from iPad 2 or earlier with the older 30-pin connection sockets like I have. Go with something that uses the smaller Lightning adapter, then you can get a connection kit like this that will let you use the iPad for MIDI data and charge it at the same time: http://www.apple.com/shop/product/MK0W2/lightning-to-usb-3-camera-adapter?fnode=37 A used/refurb'd iPad Air or Air 2 should provide all you need at a significant discount from newer models. Just be aware: you may intend to use it just as a MIDI controller, but it's easy to get sucked into all the other cool things like synths and sequencers that are available. You can use up a basic 16GB on one of these tablets fast!
  3. Xtracator - Casiotone 405 meets the Minilogue

    Thanks much! Yes, the 405 rhythms are awesome. Lots of possible combinations and the individual controls for bass, chord and arp give it the ability to get around the sometimes cheap and cheesy sounds often associated with early Casios (not that there's anything wrong with that). I have the MT-68 as well and, with limited space, keep telling myself I don't need both. But I just can't give up The Wood. The Minilogue is awesome and has consumed me for the past three months, but the 405 is really what makes this tune work. It's a tune that's been going around in my head since last summer and I've done versions of it with the XW-P1, Garageband and some Roland Boutiques, but this was the one where it all came together.
  4. Old meets new! My Casiotone 405 from 1983 teams up with my Minilogue, and more than holds its own against 21st century technology
  5. How to Simulate a Duophonic Synth on the XW-P1 (and maybe the XW-G1 too!) After decades of defaulting to polyphony, I've finally become fascinated with mono synths and the awesome Solo Synth of my XW-P1. As a result, I've also found myself interested in the duophonic play style of synths like the ARP Odyssey and Moog's Sub 37. It got me to thinking if there was a way to simulate a duophonic synth on the XW-P1 (and the XW-G1) to support that kind of sound. After a week or so of experimenting, I think I came up with a suitable way to pull it off. It won't support the full spectrum of those synths, but it does give me the ability to, for instance, play or hold single notes on one part of the keyboard, and play or hold the Solo Synth on the other. Since you obviously can't have two Solo Synths going on at the same time, the next best thing is to pair up the Solo Synth with a PCM synth tone/tones, split them using Zones, and have them share the same filter. Fortunately others like AlenK, Chas, BradMZ and others have deciphered all the elements I need to do this. The XW-P1 Companion, in particular, was really helpful to me. Also thanks to Clark Denham over on the Facebook Group who said something to me that clicked and kept me from giving up. The XW-P1 Solo Synth app for iPad was also invaluable for the fine tuning I needed to do. Once I accepted that I was going to have to work the Solo Synth and PCM tones, I set out on finding some Solo Synth tones that I liked, ones that were reminiscent of the sound I was going for. I chose a handful of them, then set out to find some PCM tones that sounded similar. I decided that I was going to need a combination of PCM tones to sound right side-by-side with a Solo Synth. In the end, I found a good match between XW LeadSyn 2, and the combination of PCM tones Slow SawLead and Seq.Square. So I put XW LeadSyn 2 in Zone 1 (so that I could later apply its filter to the other Zones), Slow SawLead in Zone 2 and Seq.Square in Zone 3. I assigned Zone 1 keys as the Lower Key Split (C- to B2) and Zones 2 and 3 both (layered) as the Upper Key Split (C3 - G9). The first test was to play Lower and Upper to hear how it sounded, and this is where the first lightbulb went off. What I really wanted to do was play the Solo Synth as the Lead, and let the PCM tones either do bass duty or just be the lower held note. So I switched my key arrangement and that was much better. So Zone 1 as Upper (C3 - G9) and Zones 2 and 3 both as Lower (C- to B2). Much better. So I played B2 and C3 (the split point) to hear how natural the progression was, but found that it sounded like it jumped an octave. So I set Zone 1 with a +1 Octave Shift, and the split matched quite naturally. The tones were close, but it required some fine tuning of the Solo Synth sound and envelope to bring it into line with the layered PCM tones. This is where the iPad app came in really handy, and with a little tweaking, I had a custom Solo Synth tone that sounded pretty much just like Slow SawLead+Seq.Square. (note: I save a lot as I go along, and even save temporary variations in case tweaking goes too far and it becomes difficult to get back. So it really helps to use that Write function on both Performance and Tone so that you can audition variations and finally choose the best combined settings) The next step is some housekeeping to help keep your sanity later on. Basically, you want to normalize the Performance. Go through the Volume/Level settings and match them, match the Reverb settings, do everything you can to get those two sides of the split to match as closely as possible. The goal is a set of keys that sounds like a single tone on a monosynth (on which you can play two notes at a time!). What comes next can be as small or big as you want. Remember that I put the Solo Synth on Zone 1 specifically so that I could apply effects and behavior that was available to the PCM tones as well (see posts like Chas's Filter All and XW surprises). For what I was working on, I wanted an automated LFO Sweep running in a cycle for all the notes. I went back to my SoloSynth tone, set (and saved!) the Cutoff and Resonance of the LPF to where I had a nice medium "growl", went to LFO and set LFO1 and LFO2, made a Virtual Controller for LFO2 routed to the Cutoff of the Filter, and added a Flanger to the DSP. Tweaked as I went along and got the sound I was looking for. Resaved the Tone. Went back to the Performance, into Zone, and set the PCM tones on Zones 2 and 3 to DSP Line "On" so that they could tap into the same effect. Tested it out across the keyboard, probably did some more tweaking and came up with a single sound I really liked. Saved the Performance. The other big lightbulb was serendipitous. I started messing with the Sequencers for the Performance, knowing that I'd probably want to assign Arpeggio to one Zone (only) and Phrase/Key Play to the other. At first I was thinking that Arpeggio would be great for an automated bassline on the Lower Split. But I was messing with the Phrase Recorder and assigned it to the Lower half (again, Zones 2 and 3). I recorded a long single C note on the Phrase Recorder and saved it. When I tried it out, I realized I had just made the Lower half a monosynth! Keep in mind that with the PCM tones in the lower half, I could still play them as poly. I would just have to be careful to play only one note at a time. But with a single note Phrase/Key Play assigned to the Lower Split, I can only play one note at a time. That, combined with the Zone 1 Solo Synth on the Upper Split gives me the "two-note monophonic" synth I was looking for. Essentially, a Pseudo Duo Synth. I saved my custom Key Play sequence, set it to be limited to the Lower Zone keys (C- to B2), set Key Play default as "On", and saved my completed Program (I even named my Program "PseuDual"). I still have some more experimenting I want to do with envelopes, and switching my Upper/Lower assignments to see how that sounds. And since I really have very little hands-on experience with actual Duophonic synths (Sub 37 coming soon), I don't know what I might be missing. Feedback from others here would be welcome and I hope that someone else will find this useful and possibly take it further. I'm not sure if I upload just the Program file if that will include the Tone and other elements, so in the next day or so I'll upload all of the associated files. I'll also try to do a video or audio demo of the results (all of this was for a specific song I've been working on). I just had some time this evening and wanted to make sure I got the basic steps down in writing before they started to drift out of my mind.
  6. Help or advice needed (CZ230S)

    I have both the 230S and the CZ-101. I don't know for a fact that they keys look the same on the inside (I've never opened up the 230S), but I think it's a pretty sure bet that the keys are the same. I wouldn't be surprised if the 230S keys were the same as a whole range of Casios (MTs, Casiotones, etc.) from the same period. But to stick to the CZ-101 and other CZ replacement parts, your best bet might be Syntaur and their CZ-101 key replacements page.
  7. Filter All and XW surprises

    I just wanted to sort of pop this to the top and cite it as an example of how helpful even these older posts are. Between this particular post, other posts from Chas, Brad and others, and especially Alen's research, posts and fantastic, invaluable XW-P1 Companion document, I've been able to push the P1 into some places I wasn't able to a year ago. This forum and its Search feature is such a big help as well, and I thank Casio and Mike for making it available. For those who don't know, a forum like this seems to be a frustratingly rare thing for a lot of other brands. I've had a lot of exciting gear rise to the surface of my setup over the past year (Boutiques, minilogue, Circuit, a CZ-1), but the XW-P1 remains the only one that has not been swapped around, and literally stays at the top of my setup. Thanks so much, all of you! I'm hoping a little experiment I'm working on comes out to be something cool and useful, and I'll be sure to "pay it forward".
  8. Ben Folds on a Casiotone 201, the first consumer keyboard!
  9. step sequencer to drive external drum machine

    I just want to thank Brad and say that this is probably the most important post I've ever seen in this section of the forum. THANK YOU!! I've spent the week putting together a really complex sequence using almost every feature of the XW-P1. But there were two tracks I wanted to send out to other synths for their unique sounds. I knew that this could be done, but I simply couldn't find where to set the MIDI out parameters, other than just sending stuff out to Channel 1. This would never work for my idea. Spent a day going through the menus, changing everything I could find, combing through the manual, but I just wasn't finding it. I was just about to give up when I came here, did a search and found this thread. Thanks to everyone who contributed. Just another affirmation that the P1 is just about the most important piece of gear I own. BTW, those two synths? Two Roland Boutiques (the JP-08 and the JX-03). These are simply amazing little boards with BIG classic sounds, and they really shine when you connect them to the XW-P1 sequencer and phrase recorder. Just fantastic. The three of them together are a dream come true.
  10. Trying to find my first Casio

    The MT-520 came out in 1987. If you're pretty sure the keyboard had those drumpads, you're in luck; there were only a few with pads like that, and they were all in the market around the same time ('87-'88): MT-220 - 4 squarish drumpads MT-500 - 4 hexagonal drumpads MT-520 - 8 hexagonal drumpads MT-640 - 6 hexagonal drumpads, and big SK-8 - small, 4 squarish drumpads, sampler Do just a search on those, and you should be able to nail down the exact one.
  11. Hands-on with the CGP-700

    Stopped by the local Guitar Center tonight and the new CGP-700 was out and on display. I'm not in the market for the 700 specifically (I'm more of a synth guy), but I wanted to check out the new touchscreen display system and hear the sound system. I was pretty impressed! I spent 30 minutes with it, and felt I could master the menu and navigation within an evening. I was very impressed with the keybed, they felt so solid compared to anything I own. The built-in speaker/sound system was very good: great volume and tone, and I didn't even mess with the mixer. The accompaniment options and implementations were great as well. I haven't tested that out since my CTK-900 about 10 years ago, and it's really come a long way since. Most of the included tones were basic and familiar, but there was a nice selection of synth-oriented sounds in there, more than I expected. A really nice start for a new era of Casios, and I think those of us who have enjoyed them for years should really be looking forward to the PX-360 and (especially for me -- I'm addicted to Hex Layers) the 560.
  12. I'm definitely "sold". I can't recall... do you have both the G1 and the P1? I'm trying to stay laser-focused on saving up for a new synth that costs over $2000, but I'm feeling really drawn to the G1 right now for more hands-on solo synth design. The iPad app goes a long way, but I keep picturing how nice it would be to have both the P1 and the G1 on a single stand in front of me. I just can't decide if the overlap is too much, and the workarounds on the P1 are enough to keep me happy.
  13. I dove back into the XW-P1 big-time over the past month, and this is the first completed result: I got my XW-P1 in January, the first serious new synth I've bought in years. I'm not ashamed to admit that I was stumped and overwhelmed. But a few weeks ago I dug back in and swore to myself that I would figure it out. The manual made more sense this time, and Mike's great blog and video clinics helped a lot (as did the questions asked and answered here!). This week I finally made the "breakthrough" and all the things that had confused me before - zones, parts, the sequencer, the sliders, the mixer - finally clicked. I'm not sure why I chose this particular piece, but the build of all the individual parts and the grandness of it all seemed really well-suited to the sounds capabilities of the P1. Above all I wanted to try to do it all on the P1, and I did! It took a lot of days and hours (and mistakes, and lost work!), but I finally feel completely comfortable navigating the whole interface. I love this synth.
  14. Summer NAMM 2015

    I saw this one earlier today with Rich presenting the CGP-700
  15. Summer NAMM 2015

    This new CGP-700 sounds a lot like XW-Addict's reference to Technics: "The CGP-700 also incorporates a unique 3-way sound system with 40 watts of total amplification. Four speakers are located in the top of the CGP-700 which provides a rich stereo experience, and two additional speakers are located in the included stand, to provide the low frequencies to handle instruments like bass and drums with ease." http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/casio-hits-all-the-right-notes-with-launch-of-new-compact-grand-piano-300110214.html