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oildrops

Hello, a couple of questions from a new owner of the P1

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Hi, I just picked up this keyboard and I have a few questions. This forum seems like a great resource for learning this synth.

 

My first question is when using the the filter sweep in mono mode with resonance up, it is very scratchy, and almost sounds distorted with harsh midrange overtones. Is this normal behavior for this keyboard, or could there be an issue with my unit? I haven't been able to find videos demonstrating this function, and maybe I am expecting too much after watching many analog mono synth demos. 

 

My second question. I have a Yamaha electronic drum kit, and I would like to be able to play it through the synth if possible. I tried plugging it into the instrument jack, but the volume was very low. 

 

My third question: I just watched a series of demos on youtube and the person demoing complains nearly the entire time about what this synth CAN'T do, and he says it is useless as a performance synth. Please tell me he is exaggerating, because I want to use this keyboard in performance. All I want is a couple of cool sounds per song, and I don't plan on using the drums. 

 

Last question: What is the best place to start with building my own sound on here? I like some of the presets, but I would love to experiment with getting some nice vintage poly-synth sounds. My favorite synth artists are Jeremy Schmidt (Sinoia Caves, Back Mountain), Tame Impala, Pink Floyd, Wand. So yes 70's style psych rock stuff. 

 

Cheers!

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Welcome to the Casio community!

 

The XW's solo-synth filter (same in P1 and G1) is indeed a little rough (or, alternately, "full of unique character"). But to find out whether yours is rougher than normal (it's software so I don't see how it could be) you could download the "Moog Inspired Set" from the Downloads section here, install the sounds and compare them to what you hear in this video: 

 

 

Re running audio from another device through the P1 you could try the MIC input with the gain trimpot on the back set to minimum initially. That input is not meant for line-level devices but then again your drum machine seems to be outputting a very low signal. (I assume you already tried adjusting the volume on the instrument input in the P1's mixer and it wasn't enough.)

 

The demo you are referring to is mainly complaining about the fact that the P1 doesn't store user selections for the tones on the eight tone-selection buttons within a Performance. That would have been nice but it's hardly the end of the world. 

 

To answer your final question, in my totally biased opinion the best place to start is downloading Volume 1 of the The XW-P1 Companion. It even includes a section about emulating vintage synth sounds along with plenty of special techniques that aren't described anywhere else - I guarantee it. And full money back if you're not satisfied. ;)

 

PS. Also check out the excerpt from the still-in-process Volume 2.

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I was half expecting to get a reply saying "read the manual", but this is a better reply that I could have ever hoped for. A place to get moog style patches, a BETTER manual, and kind words from the person who wrote the manual to boot. 

 

You Sir, are a gentleman and a scholar. 

 

So, I actually haven't even figured out the mixer yet. I am 100% overwhelmed and daunted by this device. I'm really not the type of person who does well with these kinds of instruments, so we'll see how I fare. I might need to get a monologue or something in the meantime of learning this just to have something to turn knobs on. I actually imagine a Dreadbox Erebus sitting on the ipad shelf on this. For now, I think I might build a small pedalboard to sit up there. 

 

While I've got you here, do you have any favorite Rhodes patches on here? Seems like layering the Mellow EP Piano and the 60's EP would get something Rhodesy. I haven't figured out yet ho to build layers though. 

 

You got me thinking....I wonder if I can trigger synth sounds with my drum kit. That would be wild to hit a snare mid set and have it be an epic evolving pad. 

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Well, The XW-P1 Companion isn't so much a manual as an accessory guide. It really only covers the synthesis modes. The sequencers, arpeggiator, Performance mode and mixer are not fully explained; they factor in only in so far as they can be used to synthesize sounds.

 

Re a Rhodes tone, I don't really use that sound myself. I'm sure there are at least a couple of alternate Rhodes tones in the Downloads section. For sure the Hex Layers section is what you should use to build your own. Between the User's Guide and the Companion you should be able to master that.

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Sounds like exactly what I'm looking for, since my interests are not in creating whole songs on this keyboard. I am interested in synthesizer sounds, and I may dabble in arpeggiating mono synth sounds but I'm aiming for old school style sounds. Thanks for all your help. How do I implant patches from the net into the casio?

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Easiest way is probably to download them to your PC or Mac, unzip them if necessary and put them on an SD card within a MUSICDAT directory. Install the card in the XW-P1, turn it on, go into the mode required for what you are loading (e.g., Tone mode with a Hex Layer tone selected to load a Hex Layer tone from the card) and follow the instructions on page E-77 of the User's Guide. 

 

P.S. Don't load .ZAL files others have created. They will replace EVERYTHING in your XW-P1. 

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42 minutes ago, AlenK said:

P.S. Don't load .ZAL files others have created. They will replace EVERYTHING in your XW-P1. 

 

To clarify for new Casio owners, ZAL files will replace ALL user data in keyboard memory. Factory preset content will remain untouched.  

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That's what I meant. Sorry about the unintentional hyperbole. Preset data can't be overwritten but I forgot that a new owner might not know that. :huh:

 

In my opinion ZAL files are only really useful as a way to backup your own, personal machine. They are an irresponsible and frankly lazy way to distribute a collection of patches and/or other data structures. I really wish people wouldn't post them. 

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Understood, yes that would be frustrating to accidentally overwrite hours and hours of experimenting. I haven't saved anything yet, so I might download a ZAL file to get an idea of what else is possible and delete the patches I don't like. I'm probably going to be using the P1 for a while to just practice keyboard and for ear training before jumping into the synth tones too much. I have a few tones in my head that I would like to have, but I think they are pretty straightforward. Basically, some Juno 106 pads with stereo chorus, and some moog bass. Those two sounds scratch my synth itch. I mainly got the board for the organ and rhodes sounds. 

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There are quite a few Moog bass tones in the Downloads section. There might be some Juno-esque sounds too but I haven't checked. The P1 does have a stereo chorus but it's probably not like that of the Juno - that one is pretty distinctive. 

 

There is at least one ZAL file in the Downloads section and it does have some good sounds in it; the author did a lot of good work. I just wish he had zipped everything up instead of making a ZAL because of the danger for P1 owners who aren't aware of what happens. 

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As always, it is wise to regularly back up your synth just the same as you would back up a computer hard drive. Once I got my XW's back after waiting months for them to be shipped, the first thing I did was to back them up to my new music computer. That way, if anything happens to them, or I accidentally overwrite or delete my patches, I will have a back up :2thu:

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I am working through the manual, and then I will work through your pdf AlenK. If you could help me with something though, I would really appreciate it. Everytime I play an arpeggio a demo loop starts with drums and chords. 

 

Edit: okay I figured it out by going into performance and scrolling out of the setting it was on, it stopped it from automatically coming on. Now I just need to figure out how to turn the metronome off and how to change tone without the recorded part changing so I can layer.

 

I need to figure out how to drive this thing before downloading new sounds into it. Is there a need to update the firmware on it?

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Arp synchronization has been turned on in the Performance you happen to be in. You can try playing the arp in Tone mode but I'm not sure that mode will ignore the synchro setting. It probably doesn't. You can try an arp after loading a Performance that doesn't have synchro enabled or simply turn it off (see page E-40 in the User's Guide). If you turn it off when in a preset Performance it will only be turned off temporarily. You would have to save that Performance to a user memory to save the new synchro setting. 

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Thanks, I'm on pg 20 on the manual now, and it's clearing up a lot of the basic controls.

 

I have a connection question you might be able to help me with. I listen to music through a small philips stereo, and want to be able to play along through the speakers (I know, it could blow them, but I will keep levels low). The stereo has a USB connection which plugs into the laptop dock. I also have an audio interface connected via USB, but I can only run sound out of one of the other. Any ideas how I can make this setup work? 

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Some ideas but they might not be any good because of the exact features of your laptop and your stereo:

 

Does the audio interface for the laptop have a line-level input? If so you could run the P1's output into that (a lot of adapters required) and mix inside the PC for output to the Philips stereo (there should be a software control panel provided for setting the levels of all sources and outputs). Alternately, if the Philips stereo has a line-level input in addition to the USB connection you could connect from the laptop or dock's 1/8-inch stereo output (there must be one, no?) or a similar output from the audio interface to the 1/8-inch stereo input on the P1, then from that to the line-level input on the stereo. To hear the laptop on its own without the P1 turned on you would select the USB input on the stereo. (If it does have a line-level input in addition to USB then it must allow switching between them.)

 

For what it's worth I run my synths into an ancient 30W-per-side stereo receiver and out some nice hefty speakers (photo here). No troubles so far but then it's all probably a lot more power than your Philips stereo. Lack of sufficient power is what destroys speakers (and sometimes amps!)

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Cool rig. 

 

I have the XW-p1 plugged into the guitar/ line input on my alesis io2 express sound card and it works fine without adapters. As it is set up I can listen to spotify and play keys while listening through headphones, so I plugged the aux of the phillips stereo into the headphones jack of the audio interface and that works! Easier than trying to figure out why my computer won't allow me to run two audio outs. 

 

My P.A. system is a Peavey XR560, and two Yamaha 12"s in wedge cabinets, and it can't seem to handle the low end of the synth. 

 

Does your XW-P1 get staticky when the resonance is too high?

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I can hear something like static at times if the volume of the solo synth is high. Try turning It down in the mixer. It seems to default to a very high level relative to the other kinds of tones and my guess is that the "static" is actually digital overload. Strange that any keyboard would allow that nowadays but this one seems to. 

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I'm going to record some samples for you to check out...

Here you go, this is the preset 0-0 patch first, then I turn the volume down in the mixer which definitely helped, but there is still "digital overload" at anything over 80 (starts at 127...), then I move to one of the leadsyn patches and do the same then one of the moog pack sounds, numans lead.

 

At the end I turn the volume mixer way down and have to turn my interface gain up at the end which adds a lot of noise. You might say I don't need to turn the resonance up so high, but I'm actually very fond of the high resonance filter sweep sounds as effects. Interestingly, the compression of uploading to soundcloud seems to help a bit.

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Patient to doctor: "It hurts when I smile."

Doctor to patient: " Then don't smile."

 

You're running into the limits of Casio's filter algorithm. I hear the same thing on mine. 

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5 hours ago, AlenK said:

Patient to doctor: "It hurts when I smile."

Doctor to patient: " Then don't smile."

 

You're running into the limits of Casio's filter algorithm. I hear the same thing on mine. 

 

Seems like a lot of the user patches do better with the filter. It's odd that casio would include that range on all of their solo synth patches, since it seems too easy to accidentally get those unpleasant sounds. Looks like I'll be getting an analog mono soon for knobbing!

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59 minutes ago, oildrops said:

Seems like a lot of the user patches do better with the filter. 

 

I'll hazard a guess that if you analyze them they are not using quite as large a value for resonance. The filter goes from "okay" to "narly" in only a few steps of the resonance value.

 

The XW-P1's filter is not going to challenge the filter on an analog synth. But it will still give some interesting sounds. Case in point: The TB-303 like tone Mike Martin was able to coax from the XW: 

 And, in the other direction, some Moog-like sounds:

 

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Nice, yeah I like those moog patches, and some of the roland style basses and pads it can do. Don't get me wrong, the keyboard has some really cool sounds in it. Even some of the EP sounds are pretty good. The main thing that is lacking is my keyboard playing abilities, so I'm happy with what it can do right now. Even if I eventually only use it as a controller once I hone in on the sounds I love it's still a great deal. I don't understand the complaints I've read online about the organ sounds, I think they are one of the best features and the main reason I had for buying it. For EP I may still look into VST or a yamaha reface, but only after I actually learn to play. The leslie ramping is really cool.

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