Jump to content
Tson

Next Generation MZ-X wish list

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

I thought it might be helpful to start a Topic that everyone could add their "wish list" ideas for the next MZ-X500 (MZ-X600?).  It seems that there are a lot of requests out there (some software, some hardware) but they're scattered across several threads.  I'll put a few of my ideas and others can add theirs.  Obviously, each of these are individual desires or preferences and may not be right for everyone.  Also, a few may already be on the board, but I was unsure (marked with ??); sorry about that and I appreciate any friendly education.  Some ideas will add cost to the board, but that's ok.  Just like other manufacturers, Casio could make both a 76 key AND a 61 key for the budget conscious.   Hopefully, Casio is already prepared with the next MZ release for NAMM 2018.  So here's my wish list.  What's yours?

 

- 76 keys (semi-weighted)

- better screen resolution

- bigger screen .... PLEASE

- iPad integration (less menu diving, and Casio wouldn't have to change the screen).

- Bluetooth connectivity for iPad.

- more assignable knobs

- fluid motion on knobs instead of detented clicks.  (just my preference)

- allow customization for "range of knob" to control full range of parameter; i.e. rotating knob from 7 o'clock to 5 o'clock position changes value from min. to max.

- sliders (and knobs) programmable for either "catch" or "jump" option.  (catching current value before change or jumping to value when moved).

- vocoder (Oh yeah)

- vocal harmony option (Oh yeah, in triples)

- separate DSP for vocal channel.  (??)

- add additional Tone and Rhythym group name buttons (currently 8 and 8) instead of combining them into one category.  This will make navigating to a Tone or Rhythym way easier.

- allow custom naming of banks and registrations for easier retrieval.

- create a "favorites" where you can add and recall favorite Tones or Rythyms, by name, quickly.  (Registrations kind of do this, but registration changes alters the patch remain and also recalls the entire keyboard setup.)

- the ability to assign and customize slider control over ALL levels and balances.  (??)

- assignable slider control of "layers" and "split" Tones. (Upper 1,2, Lower 1,2)

- with Hex Layers, display the specific name of the voice associated with a specific slider in the mixer control.

- more onboard memory (256 MB is a little small for some and memory is cheap)

- "dynamic rhythym" option that follows players tempo and volume. (Yamaha PSR does this and it adds so much expressiveness)

- improve the "Full Range" keyboard chord recognition and responsiveness.  Currently, Casio cannot recognize an octave with a fifth.  (See Yamaha PSR)

- improve the manual, going into more detailed and thorough descriptions of features.

- improve "patch remain" to hold previous patch, even through Registration changes or Tone DSP changes.

- allow patch/tone remain when switching between Hex Layer Tones, or when switching from Hex Tone to regular Tone.  Switching between Hex layers in the "Main" panel works, but not within the Hex Layer sub-category or changing registrations.

- add additional "Intro" and "Ending"

- Finally, pay Ralph Maten, Mike Martin, Brad MZ a lot of money to personally conduct MZ-X500 webinars.

 

Edited by Tson
Minor changes/additions
  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great topic!!!

 

I’m going to divide my list into several parts: 

1. Improvements of existing board with software updates

2. New board that has new hardware

 

IMPROVEMENTS TO EXISTING BOARD WITH SOFTWARE:

 

1. Allow volume of Upper 1,2, Lower 1,2, to be controlled with the organ sliders.  This could be done such that you see on the screen a super obvious flag that shows the sliders are now controlling ORGAN and now they’re controlling HEX TONE VOLUMES and now they’re controlling UPPER N LOWER 1 & 2 LEVELS, and now they’re controlling ALL VOLUME LEVELS and now they’re controlling ...

1.B. Short of that, have a way to go DIRECTLY from the Tone page to the Mixer page.  I’m constantly on the Tone page working on selecting and editing various Tones, and its a PITA that there’s no direct way to go directly from the Tone page to the Mixer page, being that I’m constantly adjusting volumes between the tones.  

1.C. Also, when auto accompaniment is playing along with live playing and mic/aux inputs,, it’s cumbersome to adjust the various levels, compared to grabbing a slider that corresponds to what you could be seeing on the screen.

 

2. Make creating and editing Hex Tones much more intuitive.  Number 1, create an IPad editor that allows you to see most of the parameters on one screen.  Number 2, redesign the software on the board so you can more easily see and adjust the Tone layers: There needs to be a screen where you can see all 6 Tones at once, their names, and be able to re-assign hex tone #1 to the #3 slot, for example, so you can re-order them in a way that makes sense to you.  Otherwise, it’s a crap shoot, both when you’re trying to edit and when you’re playing a hex tone, you don’t know what is assigned where, and so you’re playing blind unless you’ve got a super good memory or play just a few that you’ve memorized.  Major stumbling block for an otherwise stellar system, the Hex Tones would get a lot more users coming up with their own if this was implemented.

2.b. Hex Tones for every category of sounds, not just synth.  The Hex Tones are what gives this board much of its sonic firepower and it’s as if the creators thought it’d be awesome for EDM, but what about the rest of the sounds?

 

3. Many more video and pdf tutorials by Casio.  Many/most? Of the features are not covered or barely covered, there is a serious shortfall here.

 

4. Banks of sounds that can be put in the 256MB.  A perfect way to show Casio is into this board, and plans on supporting it in the long term.  At the least, 1 bank of sounds from Casio would get people acquainted with how its done and then they’d start to roll their own.

 

5. Fix existing bugs.  I’ve only encountered one bug, when you re-assign the 2d DSP to the Tones, it hangs.  Others have a fairly long and serious list of bugs.

 

6. Re-calibrate the knobs.  I’d RATHER have a great big data wheel, but working with this design, i don’t understand why the increment values are so slow on the Value knob.  Seriously, why do I have to do more than two big turns to go from 0-128?  There’s increment/decrement buttons for fine control.  As it is, it’s 5-7 turns to go from 0-128 is too much.

 

 

 

There’s more, but thats all that comes to mind at the moment.

 

Randy

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here’s one way to optimize hex tone editing using only 1 additional screen!

 

They did a fantastic job here, not only are the volume levels  on the HexLayer Edit screen super obvious, but you can edit 7 key hex layer parameters, 1 at a time, in addition to volume.

 

As I looked at this way of doing it, i noticed there was no way, other than volume, to see and change the values for ALL SIX TONES on one screen.

 

The way i see it, this board has a lot of limitations in terms of its split and layer capabilities compared to most boards I’ve played that cost over $1,000. In part this is like a charming limitation- because of this simple layout,  what you can do with the 4 Tones is clearly laid out and about as user friendly and well thought out as I’ve seen (Yes Yes Yes, this was a big part of my buying decision, that it was built with user friendliness in mind).  But the obvious downside is that you only have super basic mapping of the Tones possible.

 

Which is EXACTLY the things the Hex Tones allow you to do.  All of a sudden with Hex Tones you’ve got

- velocity layers

- low and high key ranges the layer can be set to sound

- seeing the Wave/Sample name and number

 

This exact, small set of parameters, needs to be seen, all at once, so you can visually see at a glance, the volume, velocity range, key range, and wave name/number for all 6 Tones.  Whether you’re editing or just want to know how to play a Hex Tone, you HAVE TO HAVE this information.  Otherwise you’re just stumbling in the dark.  And, there’s no consistency from one factory Hex Tone to another, so it is literally just banging on the keyboard to find out how this Hex Tone has been mapped.

 

 

So I’d really love to see the editing for the hex tones to be optimized, not be an oversight that is so simple to fix (relatively), and brings forward the ability to easily create your own Hex Tones.  It’d be a huge missed opportunity if they didn’t jump on this, their great invention and sometimes great implementation of Hex Tones is not user friendly for performing and editing, therefore not completing the built-in design for this board to be super user friendly and roll your own Hex Tones / Phrases /Chords/ samples/ etc.

 

As it is now,, you have the ability, on the Layer page, to see and edit these and other parameters, ONE AT A TIME.  This is a powerful way to work for some parts of the editing process, but I’d also like a page where its not one-at-a-time editing, but SEE-IT-ALL-AT-ONCE-ON-ONE-PAGE, a few key parameters that you need to see right in front of you, no dancing around to multiple pages.

 

What i propose, is that Casio ditch the rename button on the  HexLayer Edit page  (the Rename button is redundant, you can do this when you go to write a tone) and put a button for HexLayer Edit 2, or whatever they’d call it.  

 

It’d take you to a screen where you had the Volume indicators that go from white (0) to all red {volume of 128), but there’d be no separate numerical indicator (which takes up a lot of space) these actually be done within the white/red box by putting that numerical value in black in the middle of the boxing .

 

Above this would be the full names / numbers of the samples used.  Not sure how this would work, may take two lines per Tone.  You’d also have to be able to select new waves / samples from these names. 

 

Below this would be another set of boxes, these indicating velocity that it responds to.  So something that responded to 0-128 would be all red, if only responding from a velocity of 40-80, then only the middle part would be red.  Once again, using black numerals, you’d be able, within this box, to express the exact numerical values.

 

Below this would be another set of boxes, but denoting the key range for each of the 6 Tones..  So it’d be all red if it was from the lowest to the highest notes, and by contrast, it’d be red just in the middle, from left to right instead of up and down,  if it was from C2-G4.  This one is a little trickier, being that representing 88 notes in such a tiny space seems a little challenging, but at a glance, even with such a small box, you’d know if it covered the whole range of the keyboard, or just a discernible section.  Once again, numerals in black to say the exact notes it comes from and goes to would be another source of information.

 

Then below that or built in to the sets of boxes above, you’d have a system of copy and paste such that you could easily copy and paste one Tone Layer for another, maybe with an option to swap them, so like Layer 1 is swapped out with Layer 2.

 

There would also need to be a solo system on this page, the type where you can have as many parts soloed at the same time as you like.   Another way to do this i suppose is just having boxes to turn on/off each of the layers, like the Main Page does for Tones.

 

I know this seems like a lot for a page this size, but with clever implementation it’d be completely intuitive and get more done per square inch than the current industrial design, WHILE not breaking radically from the general layout of the screens, many of which are very different one from the other.

 

 

By my reckoning, you’d be able to get 5-6 full sized sets of boxes on one screen, more if some of the boxes were scaled in height as needed.  if you made this a for special ‘inside’ editing page, it’s worth bending that design aesthetic in the name of functionality, esp since this kind of editing needs to be done on 1 page, and this screen is on the smaller side for being able to do that.

 

And I’m convinced it could be done without sacrificing too much of the easy readability and overtall size of these boxes, you could still fit in 40-50% more info if you were motivated and could bend the design a bit.  

 

What are you more proud of and wanting to achieve as a diverse company that happens? to make musical instruments?  Respectability, consistency, repeatable industrial design- or perhaps you want you instruments to catch on, Casio develops even more of a name and excitement around it, and over the long term you have established a brand that is successful and a dynamic leader in the marketplace.  I certainly have bought a lot of Casios, appreciate them for being a price leader, and am excited to see them grow as a company that still offers extremely high value, but is also upping their game in all ways.  Why not be smart about it and pluck low lying fruit such as I’m suggesting-?  The natural evolution-

 

I’ve seen many keyboards orphaned, who knows whats going on in the governing corporate boards that make decisions of investment or not.  I for one, put a vote in for this product, i believe that with further investment to develop it completely, including more tutorials and PDFs,  more software updates and patch creation, making sure that the promise of this board, which has such a brilliant foundation, not be neglected but developed consistently-  in that case i promise that this board will go far, and be the blueprint for many successful boards and products to come.

 

Randy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Of what use these desires if the instrument hangs, 
can not handle, first we have to think about the correction 
of the bugs
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fix the bugs and publish tutorials that not only show how to take advantage of all the features but also explain why you would use them.  As much as I like the MZ-X500 I am frustrated that the support is so lacking.  My expectation for support is one of the reasons I purchased this arranger but it seems like we have been abandoned.  Perhaps Casio is working on a great new arranger but  no matter how good the next generation may seem on paper, our experience with the MZ-X500 will be hard to overcome.  I have set my Casio aside and returned to my Roland BK-9.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would be nice to have a 76-key version of the MZ-X as mentioned in the original post but with channel aftertouch...

   - having a 76-key version of their "arranger-type" workstation is just in line with what Casio has been doing in their WK-series line a couple of years back (e.g. WK-6600, WK-7500, WK-7600)

May be add in some newer if not better samples of strings (articulations) and other bread 'n butter patches...

Better MIDI-controller functionality (so that MZ-X may also be great MIDI keyboard controllers) - this will add value feature to the MZ-X so that people may also get to buy not just an arranger workstation but something which may also double as a MIDI keyboard controller.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And tutorial videos like Korg  and Yamaha so people can actually use MZ to do music and not trying to be programmers.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We are commenting on the new desires of MZ-X, 
being that, the current ones do not work, 
if they do not correct, there are no new MZ-X, 
I say we can forget and go to other brands,
because casio did not hit this line

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Amado Jose said:

We are commenting on the new desires of MZ-X, 
being that, the current ones do not work, 
if they do not correct, there are no new MZ-X, 
I say we can forget and go to other brands,
because casio did not hit this line

Apart from wishing for more tutorial videos,  I'm very happy with my Casio MZ-X500 thank-you, Amado. 

But good luck with whatever path you choose. :)

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Rick Sterling said:

 

Sorry, but my MZ-X500 is working just fine for me. Can improvements be made? Of course they can, but that doesn't mean we do not have a valuable instrument. 

Rick every user buys a product and waits with what has been promised in the marketing if it fulfills.
In the case of AMADO JOSÉ he refers to the samples part.
We Brazilians work on many samples because our musical culture is immense.
Casio promised in the marketing memory of samples and did not comply because the keyboard disappears with the samples. No has a 100% memory to run the sounds in real time in full (128mb and 256mb).
As far as preload we can take. But these bugs its bad.
What's good for you does not mean it's good for others.
The keyboard is great but we want to leverage Casio in Latin America.
But to make your fame Casio have to listen to us and help us too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps I may be a bit dense here, and please forgive me if I am, but what do you mean by "preload" samples?  I seem to not had the problems with the Sample Manager that has been reported, but maybe my samples are not large enough to create the problems.  But, the definition of "preload samples has me baffled...

 

All in all, the MZ-X500 is spectacular and I use it both in gigging and for home studio use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, CoreyW said:

Perhaps I may be a bit dense here, and please forgive me if I am, but what do you mean by "preload" samples?  I seem to not had the problems with the Sample Manager that has been reported, but maybe my samples are not large enough to create the problems.  But, the definition of "preload samples has me baffled...

 

All in all, the MZ-X500 is spectacular and I use it both in gigging and for home studio use.

 

A firmware update added the preload function.  The feature is simply an alternate method of loading sample expansion data. Without preload enabled, data is loaded as tones are selected.  With preload enabled, data is loaded during bootup.  Tones to be preloaded are selected in the preload menus. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the explanation Brad!  Much appreciated.

 

Hmm...never used this, but I'm going to try it.  The Mellotron samples I used are rather large (37 samples at about 670KB per sample (average)).  That would be about a 22MB tone when loaded and it does take some time for the sound to load, but I never viewed it as a bug because the documentation indicates this may happen with larger sample tones.  It takes several seconds, but I could see if you need to switch between tones quickly during a song in a performance that it could be a problem.  But, this hasn't been an issue for me personally.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Silvano Silva said:

Rick every user buys a product and waits with what has been promised in the marketing if it fulfills.
In the case of AMADO JOSÉ he refers to the samples part.
We Brazilians work on many samples because our musical culture is immense.
Casio promised in the marketing memory of samples and did not comply because the keyboard disappears with the samples. No has a 100% memory to run the sounds in real time in full (128mb and 256mb).
As far as preload we can take. But these bugs its bad.
What's good for you does not mean it's good for others.
The keyboard is great but we want to leverage Casio in Latin America.
But to make your fame Casio have to listen to us and help us too.

I agree with you but remember that Casio maybe have no interest in improving MZ maybe due to the poor sales at least in Europe (they didn't even try to Introduce it  in the UK)so yes they can will they do it not sure .

I am Casio watch fan and I have couple of them and price I paid is more than MZ X 500 you see what I am trying to say.

I will keep my MZ X 500 but if I was doing music for living then I would buy Korg or Yamaha not  because they are better but because they have excellent support.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, Leonh said:

I agree with you but remember that Casio maybe have no interest in improving MZ maybe due to the poor sales at least in Europe (they didn't even try to Introduce it  in the UK)so yes they can will they do it not sure .

I am Casio watch fan and I have couple of them and price I paid is more than MZ X 500 you see what I am trying to say.

I will keep my MZ X 500 but if I was doing music for living then I would buy Korg or Yamaha not  because they are better but because they have excellent support.

Hello Friend.
Where are the low sales of the MZ-X.
Many musicians here in Brazil are eager to have an MZ-X.
What is lacking for CASIO is very little, there is no question of sales or what compensates but rather prepare the ground for a future return to Arrangers professional line and CASIO proved that it may be possible to fight with the big brands.
Yamaha has also been heavily criticized with its PSRs and today it has acquired its respect with customers.
We can say with certainty that Casio is taking the place of YAMAHA as KEYBOARD WITH EXCELLENT COST BENEFIT.
There is not only EUROPE as a buyer. We have Latin America, India and many other markets where few are able to buy more expensive keyboards and Brazil is one of these markets.
A fix is not limited to spending on programmers but rather to the Brand name.
The Privia PX-5S was able to access the stages with great bands here because of the great support that Casio gave the instrument and is a very beloved instrument here.
As already said, there is no use in new keyboards if they do not correct what is already on the market. This is commitment to the users.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes so why Casio doesn't support MZ X 500 they can knowledge is there I had to go to Casio Indonesia to watch how to do pattern recording (did not understand language but video was very helpful)

Casio can do everything what Yamaha Genos can (obviously better sounds on Yamaha you expect that for 4000£) 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought the instrument due to the 256Mb, 
but I can not use it, so for me it will no serve 
me the same, just ask Casio to respect the consumers 
and make this memory work so that we can enjoy, 
because unlike for us Brazilians, 
this instrument the way it's no good 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK people. I think we got off track (topic).  This topic was supposed to be for improvements users would like to see on the next generation MZ, not back and forth disagreements over the MZ itself.  Just sayin’.  If you want something (firmware or hardware) on the next release, this is a great place to let Casio know, IMHO.  Everyone’s needs and “wants” are different.  Just put em in and see what happens. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tson, you're right. but the posts about Casio's support of the MZX are also spot-on and relevant: This is a very complex instrument with many different (ideally interconnected) capabilities and Casio has supported it hardly at all. it seems to me the company either signals its commitment to this product line w/ explanatory materials (tutorials, step by step instructions, whatever) as well as OS updates. or it doesn't.

right now, Casio is not listening to its arranger customers. it seems like wasted effort to make wish lists for a product that may already be abandoned. we'll know by NAMM.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, moontom said:

Tson, you're right. but the posts about Casio's support of the MZX are also spot-on and relevant: This is a very complex instrument with many different (ideally interconnected) capabilities and Casio has supported it hardly at all. it seems to me the company either signals its commitment to this product line w/ explanatory materials (tutorials, step by step instructions, whatever) as well as OS updates. or it doesn't.

right now, Casio is not listening to its arranger customers. it seems like wasted effort to make wish lists for a product that may already be abandoned. we'll know by NAMM.

GOOD moontom     

You said it all in a little text.
It's no use with our desires for Casio if it does not solve the current MZ line.
Who says that Casio can continue with the same errors in the new line?
If not correct this will customers believe in the new line?
If I have 128mb or 256mb of memory sampler I want to enjoy it to the maximum without fear of giving problems.
So my wish list would be:
NOT BUGS PLEASE

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/15/2017 at 3:50 PM, moontom said:

Tson, you're right. but the posts about Casio's support of the MZX are also spot-on and relevant: This is a very complex instrument with many different (ideally interconnected) capabilities and Casio has supported it hardly at all. it seems to me the company either signals its commitment to this product line w/ explanatory materials (tutorials, step by step instructions, whatever) as well as OS updates. or it doesn't.

right now, Casio is not listening to its arranger customers. it seems like wasted effort to make wish lists for a product that may already be abandoned. we'll know by NAMM.

 

  Enjoy much of  what my Casio MZ-X500  offers but looking to keep things simple as possible on this rather complex instrument.   My advice would be to Casio: 


    Please look after your bread-and-butter customers first,  those who like making music but who are not hi-tech experts, and whose busy lives preclude burying their noses in not-so-helpful owner manuals.

 

    In other words,  don't be stingy,  Casio, let's have loads more video tutorials.  Not surprised that no UK shop is stocking the MZ-X500 / 300. 


  Also disappointed that Mr Mike Martin of Casio (Marketing Director?),  has again taken premature bows  (Facebook) on promises he makes for forthcoming tutorials on the MZ-X500.  

 

   Is it just me, or are these so-called 'Webinarse'  sessions  (pardon spelling)  seem rather tedious in the viewing?   Trying picking the helpful hints from an hour-long mixed bag of chat is hard work IMO.

 
  I wonder if someone at Casio has been promoted above their abilities. (the Peter Principle)?   Why cannot Casio higher management recognize this basic error:   to  produce an incredible Flagship arranger / synth, like the MZ-X500, then allow it to flop down flat over the lack of basic customer support!  


That's my two-penneth and my personal opinion. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll keep it simple.

 

More keys with better feel.

 

Make the sliders assignable.

 

More DSP's so when sequencing many tracks you're not limited to 2 DSP's for the whole mix.

 

Give the assignable footswith all the parameters available on the PX5s.

Especially the on/off time settings.

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

×