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Jokeyman123

Linear recording with XW-P1

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I understand phrase and sequence recording which are amazing tools and layered with arpeggios, wow! However-anyone figure out the best way to do "linear" real-time recording for building arrangements as with typical software or hardware sequencers. I know there is no measure-by-measure sequencer in the XW-P1 but there must be a way to record longer phrases and multitrack aside from the 16-step sequencer or phrase recorder. and thanks Mike Martin for the excellent product demos on Youtube-a picture (video) paints a thousand sounds!

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No way to record longer sequences in one go but you can chain together almost a practically unlimited number of sequences/patterns after recording each individually to create a longer song. (In truth a chain can contain no more than 99 sequences/patterns but that's likely far more than most applications for this capability would need, which is why I say "practically unlimited". I don't know about you but I wouldn't have the patience to record and assemble a 99 element chain!)

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I posted a reply under another topic-thanks for reponding to both. So I can chain "patterns" in any order i want within a sequence to create a longer arrangement, now I get that.  But Is each "pattern" limited to the length of the sequencer (16 steps) or can I record changes I make in the sequencer in "real time" beyond each 16-beat pass? Maybe a confusing question but an important distinction I think since this would mean I can extend the sequencer recording function beyond one 16 beat loop.  Again, this is not made clear in the manual. And again, thanks for responding-I just got this last week and despite having many "heavy duty" (read expensive) workstation keyboards this one is very deep, sounds wonderful and is as much fun as a barrel of monkeys!  I will try to contribute whenever I can. I cut my programming teeth on the CZ-101, CZ-3000 and CZ-1 many years ago.

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My understanding is that you can't record past the 16-step limit in any given pattern (in reality beyond the maximum number of steps you have programmed for any given track in the pattern). When a track reaches the maximum number of steps you have programmed for it (which could be less than 16 steps) it resets back to the first step. If you are recording that track when it does this you will overwrite the beginning of the track if you continue to play. The track will not, for instance, automatically increment to the next pattern, which in theory would allow you to extend the recording beyond the 16-step limit. Given that each track can have its own step size and maximum number of steps, there's really no way Casio could have done this because when one track resets (loops) another may still be advancing toward its own limit. 

 

So the multi-track linear recording we are used to with traditional MIDI sequencers is not possible with the XW's step sequencer. You are limited to recording relatively short patterns and then stringing those patterns together in a chain or selecting them for playback in real time using the eight pattern buttons. The step sequencer is true to its name.

 

However, you CAN record "linearly" into the phrase sequencer, up to a limit of 1600 events per phrase. But the phrase sequencer is not multi-track; it will only play back whatever sound(s) you have set up to play live on the keyboard (by default). And you can only play back one phrase at a time. But a phrase can store pedal, wheel and knob changes alongside, or instead of, note information, which makes it useful for automating stuff that would otherwise be difficult to do in a live situation. Playing things live is what the XW is primarily about, after all.     

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Right-one final puzzle-at least for me-I noticed some of the preset sequences have chord progressions that evolve through two cycles of the sequencer's 16 steps-the chords change over the course of 32 sequence steps. I am again, guessing these must be longer phrases that have been specifically created for the sequence and are being triggered by the sequencer in order to get the chords stretched over 32 "ticks" of the sequencer. then I would also "guess" that at least for one phrase, I could create any length of phrase with my programmed chord progression which will play of course with every other sequenced part lasting 16 beats only. A rather weird way to go, but I always like to push the "envelope" when it comes to these things (no joke intended!). Over and out for another day.

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I would guess that in the examples you site eighth notes were chosen for the step size for the chord track (there is only one of those). That would stretch the 16 steps over two measures in 4/4 time (which is the default "beat"). If another track (say, a solo track) were set up with sixteenth notes it would play all 16 of its steps in the first measure and then repeat them during the second measure. That would make it seem like the chord track is using 32 steps because you are counting the sixteenth notes from the other track, but it really doesn't. 

 

As far as I know none of the preset sequences trigger any of the preset phrases.

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I'm still trying to figure out how I can put all of these cool features together.  If my history is any indication,  I still haven't used the MZ-2000 pattern sequencer to it's full potential and it's been my main board for over a decade.   Hmmm......  Maybe I should surrender to the XW Step Sequencer before I get hurt too bad.   :)   I mean, the potential behind triggering phrases from a step sequence alone is gonna be interesting. 

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AlenK-Watched Mike's sequencer tutorial and your description and I finally get it!  Thanks as this really opens it up for me. Hard part was understanding that within the same sequence, different note values on separate tracks will actually create the "illusion" of creating longer measures, but within the same sequence. Like software sequencers that allow different length "loops" within the same multi-track arrangement. I wonder if this limits live recording from the keyboard to that duration-in other words if I set the sequence track to 1/4 notes providing 4 measures of 4/4 in one loop, am I limited to only playing quarter notes on the keys? Guess I'll have to experiment to try this out.  Even if this is true, still maxes out what the sequencer can do and certainly nothing in the notorious manual clarifies any of this!

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Just a follow-up to my own post above. I can create a seemingly longer loop by using quarter or eighth notes as my step values in the sequencer-but I can only record notes with that value or longer-if I set my step to quarter notes I cannot input eighth or sixteenth note values live from the keyboard and of course from the step sequencer buttons. Still is a way to extend the limitation of one measure loops for putting chord progressions and other less repetitive parts in a live or recorded sequence. sorry if others already know this and posted same, but just in case ...posting anyway.

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I understand and thanks again Mike. Since I've only had this keyboard for two weeks, think I've made some real progress thanks to you and other forum members here. It has taken two weeks just to preview all the sounds, sequences and phrases in this.This is the one of the most active and supportive music group online I've ever joined, very helpful, and the XW-P1 not only is completely unique and a barrel of fun, the more I play the more impressed I am. I've spent years studying music technology, performing in bands and as a music educator for 30+ years (retired). I used Casio keys \in my music classroom and was impressed with the organ and piano sounds 5-6 years ago. I've already posted elsewhere (I am trying to contribute as much as I can) that part of the fun for me with this instrument is pushing the limits of what it can do-like John Coltrane squeezing every imaginable sound out of his saxes. I can only imagine there is a present day Bach out there somewhere who will get his or her hands on one of these-perhaps we will hear a looped version of the Mozart Requiem!

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My last post on this for at least another day or two-might be old news for more experienced XWP1 players. I created a "linear" arrangement using a multi across the keyboard. I discovered that I could record 4 separate continuous parts for as many measures as I needed by recording live from the keyboard in each zone (bass in bottom octave, drum kit in 2nd octave, a string pad in thr 3rd and piano in final 2 octaves. I was able to record each part in the phrase sequencer as 4 separate phrases using the performance I created, saved the entire 4-part arrangement as one phrase, and saved the performance separately. I dial up the performance saved, the phrase to match and bingo it works! I have the ability to use the phrase recorder as a kind of crude multi-track sequencer. Having to share 61 keys with 4 different parts of course iis  very limiting, but it can work for laying down tracks of limited ranges-close chords for instance. I had done this years ago with an old Korg DSS-1 sampler creating keyboard zones and multi-tracking from this. i know this method may sound kind of crazy-but I am enjoying milking everything out of this keyboard it has so much in it. Now if only I can.....overcome DSP limitation somehow.............

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Sure, overdubbing a phrase with a multi-split keyboard works fine for keeping the instrument parts ("zones") separate as long as the limited range of keys for each is okay. I must assume you know about using the transpose function to play the actual note range you need for each zone.

 

Overcoming the DSP limitation is going to be difficult. Here are a few possible ideas to create "effects" without the DSP (leaving it free for adding another, real effect). I haven't actually tried these on the XW yet so I could be blowing smoke here!  Tried them now. They work.

 

- To create an auto-pan effect program a Performance so that one of the knobs controls pan position. Now record a phrase in which you move the knob smoothly back-and-forth between the left and right pan positions (or wherever you would like the sound to move). End the recording back where you started and set the phrase to repeat. Playing back the phrase will apply an auto-pan to whatever zones on the keyboard the phrase is enabled on. Alternately, use the step sequencer instead of the phrase recorder. Program the equivalent of the desired knob movement into one of the control tracks of a sequence and set the Ctrl.Ch parameter for that track to 1. It would probably be a good idea to enable smoothing for the control track as well. In this case playing back the sequence will apply an auto-pan to zone 1 only.

 

- To create a chorus-like effect on PCM tones play two variations of the same tone on two zones, one of them programmed with a constant but very small amount of reasonably slow vibrato. To thicken this up add additional zones (to a maximum of four, of course) with slightly different amounts and rates of vibrato in each. This should also work for MIDI sequencing with any set of parts, not just zones 1 to 4, by sending the same sequence to multiple MIDI channels, each channel's part with slightly different vibrato settings, or setting multiple parts on the XW to receive on the same MIDI channel number.

 

- To create a chorus-like effect on the solo synth program the same differences in vibrato described above between pairs of oscillators.

 

- To create a chorus-like effect on a Hex layer sound, ensure one of the knobs controls detuning (K2 by default). Now record a phrase while you slowly vary the amount of detuning over a small range using the knob. End the recording with the detuning back where you started from and set the phrase to repeat. Ensure the phrase is enabled only for zone 1. Alternately, program a sequence as described above for auto-pan but simulating the movement of the detune knob instead. Of course, this works best for pad sounds that use nearly identical layers; the more layers, the thicker the sound.

 

- To create a pseudo-echo effect program the arpeggiator to repeat the notes you hold down (maximum five at once) at each step while successively reducing their velocities until they are gone (over a maximum of 16 repeats). The repeat rate is set by the current tempo. I'm still trying to wrap my head around arpeggiator programming so maybe it can't actually do this.  (UPDATE: This is actually already available as an arpeggio preset: P5-0.)

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My last post on this for at least another day or two-might be old news for more experienced XWP1 players. I created a "linear" arrangement using a multi across the keyboard. I discovered that I could record 4 separate continuous parts for as many measures as I needed by recording live from the keyboard in each zone (bass in bottom octave, drum kit in 2nd octave, a string pad in thr 3rd and piano in final 2 octaves. I was able to record each part in the phrase sequencer as 4 separate phrases using the performance I created, saved the entire 4-part arrangement as one phrase, and saved the performance separately. I dial up the performance saved, the phrase to match and bingo it works! I have the ability to use the phrase recorder as a kind of crude multi-track sequencer. Having to share 61 keys with 4 different parts of course iis  very limiting, but it can work for laying down tracks of limited ranges-close chords for instance. I had done this years ago with an old Korg DSS-1 sampler creating keyboard zones and multi-tracking from this. i know this method may sound kind of crazy-but I am enjoying milking everything out of this keyboard it has so much in it. Now if only I can.....overcome DSP limitation somehow.............

Oh I really like this idea and would not have thought of it on my own.  Even if using it for the sole purpose of laying out a longer drum & bass beat, that is really great.  Thanks for sharing Jokeyman!

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