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Jokeyman123

sequencing aaarrggghhh part 2

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When recording in sequencer-confused again! In drum tracks 8-12 sounds recorded using the track buttons 1-16 are preset to an individual sound-bass drum, etc. No problem. but when I step record from the keyboard for a track, what exactly is supposed to happen here? Shouldn't the drum track I'm recording record the key I'm hitting, like every other recorder I've used? It doesn't and I'm not clear why. Also-am having fun with the "quantize" or note value setting in the sequencer. Trying to get anything beyond straight eighth, sixteenth or 32nd notes seems to be really difficult-using triplet values seems to confuse the sequencer-since there are only 16 possible steps-how does the XW "interpolate" triplets or doesn't it. Should be able to access any function I need from the edit and mixer buttons providing I'm in sequence mode, but after working with it for a few hours, it still is baffling me. Maybe I've hit a limitation of the instrument? Or maybe back to the old kazoo/jaw's harp.   Helppppppp....

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Part 2 came after Part 2 1/2- that's a sequencing problem right there!

Sorry, don't have an answer for you- I've had plenty of "WTF ?! " moments myself in the couple of weeks I've owned the XW...

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Now you can see how confused I am.....I thought if I approached it back**swards, I might be able to figure what I couldn't see forwards. I'll keep at it. After studying the manual...again........still can't figure what is happening here. I'll keep at it...I'll keep at it....I'll keep at it!!!!!!

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I can't help either. I haven't had a problem recording into a drum track. I hit different notes and I get the different instruments that correspond to those notes on the currently selected drum kit. Of course, you can only trigger one instrument at each step but each step can be a different instrument if that's the way you play it.

It is kind of wasteful the way each separate drum track by default only triggers a single instrument (meaning a single particular note) but it does make it convenient to alter the pattern played by each instrument (kick drum, snare, hi-hat, etc.) using the sliders and/or the step buttons. Of course, if you are playing live you don't care how many MIDI channels are used because you wouldn't be able to access them from the keyboard anyways. And If you are playing an external MIDI sequencer it is irrelevent because you would likely build up an entire drum performance on a single channel using that instead of using the step sequencer.

Regarding triplets, can you describe what are you hearing? If you select eighth-note triplets you are supposed to hear twelve equally spaced steps in each measure where you would normally hear eight. The step timing is midway between eighth notes and sixteenth notes.

Here's what you should hear: If you set the track length to twelve steps the sequence (on that track) should repeat perfectly in every measure. OTOH if you set it to 16 steps then you will hear the first twelve steps of the sequence in the first measure, then the remaining four steps of your sequence followed by the first eight steps of the sequence in the second measure, then the last eight steps of the sequence followed by the first four steps in the third measure, then the last twelve steps of the sequence in the fourth measure. The whole thing repeats again starting with the fifth measure. If you want to make it really obvious what is going on program a second drum track also with sixteen steps but playing sixteenth notes to trigger a sound only on the first step in order to mark the beginning of each measure.

Remember that your tracks can all be of different lengths. If you want to avoid confusion set them all to the same length. I'm pretty sure there is a way to do that at one time for all of them but off the top of my head I'm not sure exactly how.

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When recording in sequencer-confused again! In drum tracks 8-12 sounds recorded using the track buttons 1-16 are preset to an individual sound-bass drum, etc. No problem. but when I step record from the keyboard for a track, what exactly is supposed to happen here? Shouldn't the drum track I'm recording record the key I'm hitting, like every other recorder I've used? It doesn't and I'm not clear why. Also-am having fun with the "quantize" or note value setting in the sequencer. Trying to get anything beyond straight eighth, sixteenth or 32nd notes seems to be really difficult-using triplet values seems to confuse the sequencer-since there are only 16 possible steps-how does the XW "interpolate" triplets or doesn't it. Should be able to access any function I need from the edit and mixer buttons providing I'm in sequence mode, but after working with it for a few hours, it still is baffling me. Maybe I've hit a limitation of the instrument? Or maybe back to the old kazoo/jaw's harp.   Helppppppp....

 

Can you let us hear how this sound like by making an mp3 file if you may.

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(Deleted my original answer: I had thought that XW-Addict was addressing me. :))

Regarding eighth-note triplets, I just tried that out a few seconds ago. It works correctly on my XW-P1.

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Got it! AlenK once again-you could have written the manual, would have saved me alot of time. I overlooked the obvious, that eighth note triplets would need to be set to 12 steps, not 16 for establishing a measure across one loop. I was getting the overlap you describe. I will have to mess with this some more, haven't had enough experience with step sequencer "logic". I am still thinking in realtime linear recording logic which is why my blind spots. Then 16th note triplets with 12 steps will simply insert 24 triplet spaces in one loop-this means I can create odd time signatures and compound rhythms-16ths or eighths against triplets in the same sequence, very cool! And re the drum assignments-I think understand now...each track defaults to a particular sound in order to quick record using the buttons and this note assignment is readable in the edit screen or mixer I forget which. This can be changed for each individual track with the sliders assigned to that track, not only for the buttons but for the keyboard. I think the difficulty I'm having trouble understanding is that in order to get the keyboard to respond to a drum sound while recording live into the sequencer only one key will respond-the note that is assigned to that track for the bass, snare etc. None of the other keys are active (I think) unless I reset the range of notes which by default is set to one note, although I'm still not sure...will have to go back to trial-and-error method. This is a fascinating instrument, with all the other boards I play, this one is really pretty deep. Between looping, phrase recording, assigning parts to a sequence and chaining, I can see building some very evolved arrangements, not just repetitive short dance-type structures, pretty versatile. Just needs a different way of thinking than I'm used to. Thanks again, nothing but respect for your knowledge.

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Re recording a drum track live using the keyboard, try this: Press STEP SEQ then choose an empty user sequence. Hit EDIT and then select STEP EDIT (press the down arrow then ENTER to do that). Now hit the START-STOP button. The 16 step LEDs should each flash in succession but you should hear nothing. That's because there is nothing in the tracks. By default you should be on the Drm1 track (the first one). If you want to record on a different track press PART+ or PART- to get to it.

Assuming you are still on Drm1 start hitting different keys across the keyboard in time with the steps (or not in time - it will quantize to the nearest step). You should be hearing all kinds of different percussion instruments but only one instrument for each step since each drum track is "monophonic" in that sense. Drm1 and all the drum tracks use the drum kit "StandardSet1" by default but you can change that assignment in the mixer. You don't have to select a drum kit - you can select a PCM melody tone instead and play actual notes, just like some of the other tracks do by default. Each key in a drum kit triggers a different instrument (more than the 61 keys on the keyboard). In fact, there can be up to four different instrument samples on each key - which one you will hear (assuming they are there for that particular key) would depend on hard you hit the key (they are velocity switched).

There are 376 percussion instrument samples stored in the XW-P1 (more in the G1). You can't edit these in any way but you can make your own drum kits, assigning the instruments to whatever keys you like and setting pan position, reverb amount etc. independently for each key in the kit. (LFOs, on the other hand, are global for the entire kit.) With regard to assigning instruments to keys it's preferrable to use the standard General MIDI assignments just to keep things straight. The XW is hard enough to get around without making things more complicated. You can add extra instruments that are not defined in the General MIDI standard to other keys that it doesn't use. I believe but have not verified that this is how the XW's preset drum kits are structured. (If Casio has chosen not to use the General MIDI assignments for some reason that would the first user drum kit I would likely create myself.)

The note assignment for each step in a track is briefly visible when you hit a step's button, when you move the slider for that step or when you play a key. Unfortunately, the name of the instrument that is assigned to that note in the drum kit is not shown. To find out on the XW itself you would actually have to try to edit the drum kit. But it's simpler to consult the Appendix. (You did download it, right? You're gonna need it!). Unfortunately, without trying to edit a drum kit there is no way to see which keys, if any, have multiple velocity-switched instruments assigned to them from the "Instrument Number List" in the Appendix. The Appendix doesn't say explicitly but you can make some guesses from the names. I have not checked this myself (yet).

By default a given drum track is assigned to play a certain note, which selects a particular intrument in the "StandardSet1" drum set. Drm1 plays C2 by default, which the Appendix says is "Standard1 Kick 1". But with each step's slider you can change that to B1, F2 or G2 ("Standard1 Kick 2", "Low Tom 2" or "Low Tom 1"). Similarly, the Drm2 track allows a choice between C#2, Eb2, D2 and E2 with D2 being the default. The Drm3 track allows a choice between F#2 (the default), Ab2 or Bb2. And so on for the Drm4 and Drm5 tracks. (Looking up the instrument names is left as an excercise for the student. :))

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Clarity-ahhhhhh! Yes, the XW is IMHO tricky to work with but is capable of so much. I've already gotten some pretty neat sequences going just to doodle with the drawbar sounds feel like I'm back in the jazzclubs again, minus the smoke, stale beer and sometimes violent audiences! You have clarified what I needed to know-most importantly that I believe I need to be in step edit in the edit screen so the XW will record my keypresses as I expect when I am recording live into the sequencer. Seems simple enough but If I shift to any other screen (ie mixer) the keyboard changes to something else i think that is what confused me-I will experiment further today. Interesting work-around I hadn't realized-can select any PCM sound with mixer for otherwise default drumkit assignments on tracks 8-12, a nice option. And yes I have the appendix and manual hardprint from the original owner, but you are far more helpful although I think I have appendixitus and manualitus! Thanks again.

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Right Zymos, that is it. With so many options, i am discovering this is truly designed for quick changes "on the fly" for live playing rather than switching from one dedicated function to another isolated function to build a composition It is sort of "organically" connected together, but requires I learn how to command all the sections together while playing, much different than my "workstations" that require leaving one function to work another. I've never seen a keyboard that allows simultaneous apeggios, phrase recording/playback, sequence recording/playback and switching to 'tone" or "performance" as fast as i can switch around. It is like a Casio "auto-accompaniment" keyboard, with a programmable synth and three different auto-accompaniments-a sequencer, an arpeggiator and a phrase sequencer. Combine that with layered synth tones that can morph over time, the solo synth sounds can be used in the sequencer tracks (like the vector synths) whew! it is a handful, two handfuls, and my feet. Back to work.

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OK. Still trying to wrap my head around this sequencer.

 

I have made a simple beat with it, changed tone and all and saved it and it works fine. But...If it will only play one note/step, how does it play multiple sounds on a step preset?

 

Ex: when I first turn on the XW and press seq. I get 0-0 Electro pop. When I start the seq. I hear some beats and a synth all on the same steps. If I press a step button on, then I get the default Drm1. on that step.

 

Is the seq. triggering a phrase to get the synth and other sounds?

 

I'm probably just dense I suppose; but, I don't get it?

 

 

Edit: I found what I was needing. Loss of brain cells from when I was younger apparantly affected my eyesight and reading comprehension. LOL

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Hi all, the xw-p1 sequencer is the most baffling sequencer I have ever worked with, still haven't totally figured it out,but I do like the unpredictable weird cool stuff you can do with it.   Great Groove box.

I agree. It is kind of frustrating in some ways and cool at the same time. There are so many sub-menus and other functions that work with it. The manual doesn't cover a lot of it, and I personaly think the reason for that is, Casio doesn't even know what all can be done with the XW.

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Just when I thought I was getting there-listened to the demos again-its all there, just have to figure out how. Am guessing the demos with obvious changes over time (longer than can be done with sequencer alone) must be using the phrase sequencer recorded and played in sync with the sequencer tracks, and arpeggios thrown in for the heck of it! All this is then "chained" through the different parts of the sequencer's recorded tracks. And since each sequence "part" can have a different phrase attached to it (I think) there goes your "linear" melodic parts for a long arrangement. Understanding is one thing, doing it is another. Like putting a puzzle together-except with sounds. At least it didn't cost $50,000 like the first Synclaviers!

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If you are speaking of the XW's onboard demos I would be very surprised if they use or were even originally composed with the XW's internal sequencing resources. They are likely just MIDI sequences in ROM that access the preset sounds.

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Yes, that sounds right-would be alot easier using the XW as a "sound module" with an external midi sequencer or software.  Still pretty impressive sounding though. I've also noticed there is some "garbage" sound artifacts in the upper registers with many sounds-so this isn't as pristine as some romplers, I've read about this in other posts here and it seems true to my ears. Just loaded a ton of midi files onto my SD card to hear what these sound like in the Casio-strange how the card structure works-everything must be in the same card folder, sounds, performances, midi files etc. and the Casio sorts them out internally.

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Re aliasing ("'garbage' sound artifacts") it is there. But I wouldn't be overly concerned, especially if you're willing to program your own tones. In the case of the solo synth waves there are choices for most of the standard waveforms (sawtooth, triangle, square, various other pulse widths) that show reasonably low aliasing. The PWM (pulse-width modulation) waves are unfortunate exceptions. There are no alternatives for them but since PWM as it is implemented in the XW is not IMHO really usable for anything other than bass notes (unless you're looking for grunge, of course) the aliasing is a moot point. Aliasing can also be quite obvious when using hard sync, which for me is almost as unfortunate as the PWM implementation.

In the case of the PCM waves in a lot of cases the aliasing becomes audible only when you play way beyond the natural range of the sampled instrument. (See this: http://solomonsmusic.net/insrange.htm.) And most music doesn't go beyond the piano pitch range (A0 to C8), which is only one octave higher than the XW's default untransposed highest key (C7) and 15 notes lower than its lowest untransposed key (C2). In the few instances you might need to play beyond C8 you can choose a wave with minimal harmonic content (e.g., triangle, flute); any anti-aliased waveform up in those octaves wouldn't have many frequency components in any case.

 

In other words, if you keep in mind that the aliasing is there you can largely avoid it.

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Agreed and understood. One's ears get spoiled by the pristine quality of some of the keyboards I've played. Again, sometimes character to a sound is based on its imperfection-"circuit bent" projects show people's desire to create this. And of course the original B-3s had plenty of 'grunge" and beautiful tube distortion through those Leslies! As long as the sound interactions when setting up complex arrangements is relatively "transparent" (can I hear each part clearly) then I'm happy. So far, even compared to more costly stuff, the XW is doing very well. And the database of raw sounds is quite incredible, it will take hours even to quickly audition these. Only minor disappointment (again spoiled ears)-variety of basic drumkit sounds (bass drums and snares) could be better since these use so little memory although the variety of percussive sounds is definitely workable IMO. and too bad pitch change for drum sounds would be a big help. Just dropping a bass drum or raising a snare pitch can do wonders in a mix. I am going to try re-programming an entire kit and see what I can come up with. I'll post if I get anywhere. Thanks again AlenK.

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Re not being able to tune the drums, that is an unfortunate oversight that Casio fixed (and then some!) on the PX-5S. But here's a trick that MIGHT work for doing that on the XW (I have not tried it). The drum tones do support an LFO for controlling pitch, as well as another LFO for volume. One of the LFO waveforms is a pulse waveform with a 3:1 duty cycle (but even a square wave should work). If you select that waveform and program the pitch LFO rate to be VERY slow so that the first part of the LFO cycle lasts the length of the drum tone, when you hit the tone its pitch will be increased or decreased by the LFO amount that you set. Keep in mind that the two LFOs are global so the pitch LFO will affect every instrument in that kit. If you need different detunings for different drums, put them in different kits on different MIDI channels. The reason I say that this trick MIGHT work is that the LFO's phase needs to retrigger (start from zero) every time you trigger a drum tone. I'm not sure about that aspect of the behaviour of the LFOs.  Let me know if it works for you.

 

ADDENDUM: I just tried this and it works a peach. Be sure to set the delay and rise both to zero. Selecting zero for the rate, which I doubt actually makes the rate zero hertz, does seem to make the LFO run so slow that even the longish drum instrument hits like cymbal crashes keep the new pitch throughout their entire length (a few seconds). And remember that if you edit a preset drum kit you have  to save it in a user drum kit slot (there are ten).

 

OTOH, if you're looking for a special effect consider playing with the delay and rise parameters to ramp the drum pitch up or down over the course of a "note". Another possible special effect is a "throbbing" or stuttering drum or cymbal hit; just program the amplitude LFO with a square wave at a modest rate.  

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I'm thinking part of my confusion on the sequencer may be terminology. I mean we have patterns , parts, tracks ect.

 

In a Harmony Central thread Mike Martin says: "All the tracks except one are "monophonic" tracks. Meaning on each step of the 16-step grid you can only have one note on that step. The last track of the sequencer is polyphonic. Any of the tracks can be internal or external (MIDI) or both at the same time".

 

When he says "note" does that include drums?

 

I understand we can use like a chord on the last poly track. But, we can also use different mono parts on the same step, like kick drum, tom, high hat ect.

 

So I guess stuff is flying right by and I am missing something?

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