Jump to content
Maxwell

New Owner of Casio XW-P1

Recommended Posts

Hello, I'm not sure if this forum is still active(I hope it is) and I'm glad I found it, so here I go. I recently purchased both P1 & G1 as I was impressed at their capabilities and I must say that for the price, these are both really good sounding synths. Anyhow, I was wondering if someone knows how to create kind kind of a bubbly, laser gun sound. I don't know how its made or its real name and if its even possible but you can hear it on Angel's Tower song intro. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYOQ2FeCET8.

 

please let me know

thank you all

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After listening to the video I would hazard a guess that the solo-synth engine could probably do it. You'd need to use a pitch envelope to get the downward swooping effect. This would be a monophonic sound (although duophonic is actually possible!) but if you enable a delay effect (it's one of the options in the solo-synth DSP effects block) it should sound similar. If I had time I'd take it as a programming challenge but I don't. Perhaps someone else?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The classic way to produce a laser zap, heard in countless sci-fi movies and computer games and occasionally in electronic music, is with a rapidly closing self-resonating filter. Unfortunately the XW solo synth filter does not self resonate. But we can synthesize it because most filters produce sine waves when self resonating.

 

Start with a basic “Untitled” patch in the solo synth with Syn1 already set to a sine. The pitch sweep is easy: set Edit->Osc Block->Oscillator->Env. Depth to +63 and the pitch envelope (Envelope immediately below Env. Depth) Atk. Level to +63. Use Dcy. Time to set the desired timing of your pitch drop, maybe somewhere around 20.

 

The only tricky thing is shutting off the sound once the pitch drop reaches its minimum which is probably best done via an amp envelope. In Edit->Osc Block->Amp->Envelope, start with all values zero, then set Init Level to 126 and Atk. Level to 127. Adjust Atk. Time to hold the amp open just long enough for the pitch sweep to complete, maybe around 25. You may want to set Dcy. Time to 2 or 3 if you hear any clicks or pops.

 

There are other ways to produce a pitch sweep of course, using the pitch bend wheel or portamento from a high note to a low note, but they involve a carefully timed real-time performance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys. I realize I'm trying to recreate the effect of either an Arp or Moog, not sure which one he used to create it but I will give it a go as soon as my new studio is setup. I'm new at these XW synths so still don't know much about them. Question for Alen, I printed/read the XW-P1 companion manual and learned a lot from it,  do you think you'll be writing a companion manual for the XW-G1 as well?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Indeed Scott, I think I've watched all the clinic vids by Mike particularly the one he shows all the synth samples, very interesting.

I usually get bored of synths after a month or two and sell them off but not these two. I'm hoping to do some nice things.

I appreciate the guidance, thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/13/2017 at 8:50 AM, BrettM said:

Unfortunately the XW solo synth filter does not self resonate.

 

I thought they did? When you crank the resonance close to maximum (approx. 110 and above) and then sweep the cut off, at sweet spots you get that classic "sine wave" resonance sound added. Certainly the XW's solo synth filter is in reality a digital simulation of a real analogue filter, though it can sound and work similar (if a little harsh at times). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On July 13, 2017 at 4:36 PM, Maxwell said:

Question for Alen, I printed/read the XW-P1 companion manual and learned a lot from it,  do you think you'll be writing a companion manual for the XW-G1 as well?

 

Unfortunately, the answer is "No." For one thing I don't have an XW-G1; you can't write a guide like that without actually using the instrument it's about. Second, even if an XW-G1 were to magically appear at my door, writing a similar guide at this late date for a five-year-old product is probably not a productive use of my time. Writing the Companion took uncounted hours over a couple of years in my spare time. (I chose to work on that instead of actually making music :(.)

 

That said, I'm in the process of writing Volume 2 of the Companion which is all about emulating vintage synthesizer sounds and acoustic (and electromechanical) instruments. While Volume 1 is a guide to the XW-P1's synthesis capabilities, Volume 2 is more of a tutorial about using those capabilities. The sounds that I'm coming up with that use the solo synth and those that use the Performance mode without Hex Layers, should be usable on the G1 as well as on the P1, perhaps requiring some wave substitutions since the two instruments have different wave lists.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On July 14, 2017 at 0:19 PM, Chas said:

 

I thought they did? When you crank the resonance close to maximum (approx. 110 and above) and then sweep the cut off, at sweet spots you get that classic "sine wave" resonance sound added. Certainly the XW's solo synth filter is in reality a digital simulation of a real analogue filter, though it can sound and work similar (if a little harsh at times). 

 

I think it is TRYING to break into oscillation, which is why it sounds so "narly." But if it actually did self-oscillate it would output a sine wave (or something reasonably close) that would never stop (unless you turn down the resonance), since there is no equivalent of a VCA after the filter.  The fact that Casio designed the solo synth that way actually proves the filter can't self-oscillate. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One way to demonstrate that the XW filter does not self-resonate is to, again starting with a fresh "Untitled" patch, turn down the volume of Syn1 (found in its Amp submenu). No oscillators are sounding at this point. Now turn up the total filter resonance to full and sweep the cutoff. What do you hear? Nothing. If the filter was self-resonating it would be screaming.

 

I don't see the lack of self-resonance as any great problem because Casio have done an excellent job of emulating a filter at the point of break-out, making it very "narly" and usable as Alen just said. Self-resonance is most useful for creating another oscillator but it's usually so loud it drowns everything else out. The XWs already have four in any case so there is less of a need here. For effects, you can always emulate it as I suggested above.

 

I have thought of an improvement to the laser zap patch mentioned above in post 3. (Why do I never get them right first time?) When setting the envelope for the pitch sweep, as well as setting Atk. Level to +63, you can also set the Sus. Level to -64, thereby doubling the range of the sweep. The timings would also need to be tweaked to accommodate this broader sweep.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you AlenK, your contribution is well received / appreciated already. Can't wait for volume 2 so I can learn and discover more about the synth. I'm glad that I was able to find knowledgeable people like yourselves in this forum that know these synths well and make my life easier learning about them. Too bad I only found out about them years later.

BrettM, I'm almost finished setting up my studio and will get into trying this out soon. thank you for your assistance. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AlenK and BrettM, thanks for putting me straight with regards to "self oscillating" filters. I feel stupid now, getting "resonance" and "self oscillating" confused - duh! In my defence, I was thinking of those synths that have rather tame filters i.e. Casio HT series, Roland AlphaJuno and even my own Roland JX-3P. They all have "resonant" filters, but even at extreme resonance they barely produce that high pitched sine wave sound when sweeping the filter. In comparison, the XW's Solo Synth filter is quite a beast, on the point of breaking up and producing that high pitched sound at extremes of resonance. Of course, you are both right in that though it sounds as if it might be self resonant, it's not and is still a digital emulation of a classic filter. Oh, and to my knowledge the Roland AlphaJuno's filter resonance cannot be changed, but good news for me, the Roland JX-3P and the Casio HT's CAN be made to self oscillate (I have a JX-3P and a few Casio HT's in my collection). The JX-3P has resonance trim pots for each of its six filters, and these can be adjusted (they were set to be quite tame from the factory)  to push the filters into self oscillation. The Casio HT's need a few simple mods to modify and take control of their filter's cut off and resonance, and to fit external potentiometers that allow adjustment way beyond the onboard settings.

 

Still, despite not being self oscillating, the XW's Solo Synth filter does have quite a character :2thu:  

Also Maxwell, I'm sure you probably already know, the XW-P1 Companion covers a lot of the G1 too. Other than the sampling and looping features obviously, the G1 has much of what the P1 has (obviously exempting the Hex Layers and the Drawbar Organ section). As much as I'd love to have a G1 Companion too, the fact that AlenK wrote the P1 Companion purely in his own time and for free means that we've already been incredibly lucky that he was prepared to research and write that for us. But I do agree, for those of us with G1's it would be wonderful to have a Companion as good as the P1 version, especially as the official Casio Manual left a lot to be desired.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×