MIDI

Next Casio Product Wish List

11 posts in this topic

As most  of you may know Casio produce pretty decent gear, but as of late their products are really lackluster. I understand the market they are in with their low budget, school friendly musical instruments, but at one point they were attempting to make serious tools like the Casiotone 1000p and the FZ-1 sampler, which mine is getting repaired as I type. 

 

I briefly said that to suggest that Casio should delve back into the professional space by creating an all in one production tool that can be used standalone without a computer and in conjunction with a computer.  This device's control interface will incorporate a 25 key controller, with a 4x4 velocity/pressure sensitive drum pad and function assignable pitch/modulation wheels. All data and device navigation will be managed with a very responsive 7-10" multi-touch color screen and traditional transport controls.

 

The device will be of a hybrid nature with analog, sampling, FM manipulation capabilities and come with at least 8 gigs of premium Casio sounds. These sounds will also come from key players within the music industry. There will be highly capable master grade effects. The device will have the ability to record audio tracks in a linear fashion exactly like a computer DAW and manipulate this data just like a DAW. 

 

The device will have multiple analog/digital input and output options and include high grade microphone pre amps. There will be ample onboard storage and various external storage options. Also the device will use traditional midi input/output and CV control options. Importantly, this device will be very user friendly and not be hindered with an illogical user interface. 

 

There's more to include so this will be ongoing. 

Casio this is a super premium product and will be expected to retail anywhere around $1500-$2500 US dollars. This will not be a product marketed to the home/ school segment but rather to the professional studio market. 

 

 Will chime in again when time permits. 

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Lackluster? The latest pro-level keyboards Casio introduced are the PX-560 and the MZ-X300/500. Those are, in my opinion, the best keyboards they have released since the MZ-2000. Neither is perfect but they demonstrate to me that Casio is seriously trying to step up their game. We'll have to see what new products show up at NAMM, if anything significant, but if Casio continues on this trajectory we should see even better products in the next few years. Everyone is expecting a true PX-5S replacement (the PX-560 is not that). Personally, I am hoping for a pro-level synth with 76 keys (my wish list for that here).

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30 minutes ago, AlenK said:

Lackluster? The latest pro-level keyboards Casio introduced are the PX-560 and the MZ-X300/500. Those are, in my opinion, the best keyboards they have released since the MZ-2000. Neither is perfect but they demonstrate to me that Casio is seriously trying to step up their game. We'll have to see what new products show up at NAMM, if anything significant, but if Casio continues on this trajectory we should see even better products in the next few years. Everyone is expected a true PX-5S replacement (the PX-560 is not that). Personally, I am hoping for a pro-level synth with 76 keys (my wish list for that here).

The MZ series are nice indeed, but to me, anything with built in speakers just doesn't seem pro level. Still they could use them as a very basic skeleton of what I'm proposing. The sequencer inside the concept I suggested will be based off of traditional DAW functionality i.e. Reason 9, Studio One, Logic, etc. The user will be able to start and finish a whole production, vocals and all, with this device, no computer needed.  But if the user wants to connect to a computer for vst's they can. 

 

The Px 5s is cool, but it's really limited with just a stereo recorder and 8 track sequencing. That's what I mean about Casio, they seem to hinder their products. It could be limited features or an illogical user interface, Casio isn't making the gear that I expect them to. I know it's not only about me, but I'm assuming for many professional studios/producers because you rarely see any Casio products in these places. 

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OK, I'm in on this! :D

 

My ideal Casio would feature the following:

 

- 88 key Privia keyboard
- Step sequencer from the XW Series
- Solo synth mode
- 4 hexlayers
- 8 arpeggiators

- lots of knobs and sliders

 

 

 

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39 minutes ago, MIDI said:

The Px 5s is cool, but it's really limited with just a stereo recorder and 8 track sequencing. That's what I mean about Casio, they seem to hinder their products. It could be limited features or an illogical user interface, Casio isn't making the gear that I expect them to. I know it's not only about me, but I'm assuming for many professional studios/producers because you rarely see any Casio products in these places. 

 

The PX-5S, PX-560 and MZ-X keyboards aren't really meant for studios/producers. That's not the market they are addressing. Besides which, they are relatively new on the market (the MZ-X is just a babe in arms). The PX-5S is old enough to have made considerable "penetration" into the stage piano market. Based on comments in the Keyboard Magazine forum it appears that the PX-5S is actually well respected and quite popular with working musicians, despite a few flaws (show me a perfect product).

 

But regarding studios, how exactly do you know how many are using (or not using) Casio products? Do you have statistics on their equipment usage? Have you visited many throughout the world? I expect your statement is actually correct and that not a lot use Casio equipment (anymore) but the absolute way you express it makes me curious.

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2 hours ago, Scott Hamlin said:

OK, I'm in on this! :D

 

My ideal Casio would feature the following:

 

- 88 key Privia keyboard
- Step sequencer from the XW Series
- Solo synth mode
- 4 hexlayers
- 8 arpeggiators

- lots of knobs and sliders

 

Let's hope a PX-5S successor is revealed at NAMM. I think Casio is overdue on that one. Such a successor will likely have a few of the items on your list at the very least (e.g., 88 key Privia keyboard and 4 hexlayers are a safe bet :) ).

 

PS. Expression pedal input and 5.3-inch touchscreen are also safe bets. I thought these obvious enough not to be worth mentioning.

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Here is my wish list for a PX-5S successor (PX-7S?)

 

- Increase the size, quantity, quality of samples. Put about 1GB of sample data on-board instead of the current ~128MB.

- Put in memory for 1,000 stage settings instead of 100

- Make all four zones capable of receiving hex layers. (Forcing drums to Zone 1 when only zones 1 and 2 can have hex layers limits the current PX-5S)

- Have 9 knobs + 9 sliders for drawbar organ players, more performance controls, etc.

- Add 2nd modulation wheel

- Add expression pedal input

- Add digital output

- Add a color touch screen (like the MZ-X series)

- Combine the features of the different lines (XW, WK, MZ, etc.) - step sequencer, arranger patterns, synth mode with real-time control (I would prefer polyphonic to monophonic)

- Allow MIDI + digital audio on the USB interface to allow digital recording to computer. 

- Allow placement of sounds in a 5.1 or 7.1 channel layout for creating surround sound music (like what the Roland Integra-7 can do)

 

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I always ask as well....how much are we willing to pay for all of this?  Since adding features will no doubt increase prices.   

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Prices have to be a little bit better than competitive; a little bit better because Casio is starting from behind in the pro market (although not in the home market or the digital piano markets). They know that, of course and the prices thus far _have_ been better than competitive, sometimes significantly so. 

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I incline of to expectations of keyboards specifications in what the manufacturer puts in it,

As long it is in front of the time to each musician needs being it pro or amateur , beginners

it needs to feel and sound good and a must have recording / overdub ability without aliasing.

 

"The shame isn't from which the instrument is from the shame is not using it to its fullest."

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I seriously doubt that a 2500$ synth (which may be sold in quantities of some 100 to maximum few 1000) would be considered by Casio worth to start a production run. Casio tends to make rather several 100000 copies of their plastic products than deciding to go that low. (Exception was the "Symphonytron 8000" modular stage organ system, of those only 100 were made - likely because it sold so badly.)

I doubt they will add 8GB samples anywhere in their hardware. E.g. the XW-G1 contains only 32MB flash memory and 512KB RAM, operated by a COB (black blob) CPU that likely runs on something like 48MHz. I suspect that they perfected that special CPU in 1990th (thus it has limited address space) and only slightly improve it among keyboard generations. They have learned to write a nicely complex and versatile synth engine software (may be in highly optimized assembly language) on it, but can not easily port that to modern hardware and so keep making inexpensive instruments with low memory and strange limitations.

in this thread is my brief analysis: Pooched XW-P1

Casio better should keep making their normal instruments and iron out technical flaws those deter professionals (like missing midi-sync in XW-PD1).

Also offering e.g. their Privia hardware to furniture companies to built digital grand pianos (those don't sell in large enough quantities to be shipped by Casio from Japan) would make sense, because reasonably cheap piano-shaped objects by noname companies revealed to contain toy grade hardware (like those silicone rollup pianos) those weren't good for anything than room decoration. Casio is not that low-end as some snobbish musicians claim; nowadays Chinese no-name tablehooters often were much more horrible than Casio home instruments. (With Yongmei-like trash e.g. polyphonic play failed by omitted matrix diodes, flimsy plastic resembled yoghurt cups and tiny switching power supply PCB on flimsy wires looked like designed to set the room on fire once the brittle single screw plastic post falls off.)

Casio should focus on making a new equivalent of the VL-1, i.e. inexpensive hardware with editable sound parameter. I would love to see e.g. a remake of the classic SA-series (SA-20 etc.) with LCD display, USB and a fully editable version of its unique "PCM" (first softsynth on a chip) sound engine, made for about 50 to 100€. It should be useable with or without computer and be capable to store sequencer data and sound patches on USB stick or SD card.

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