Acoustic & Electronic Instruments, Musicians, News, Tutorials, Videos & Interesting Finds
Acoustic & Electronic Instruments, Musicians, News, Tutorials, Videos & Interesting Finds

Casio XW-P1 Professional Synthesizer

Casio XW-P1 Introduction

Twenty-five years after Casio launched the CZ Series synthesisers, the company is back with the introduction of the XW-P1 professional synth.

The Casio XW-P1 can be bought for under $500 yet it’s no pushover in the specification department.

Casio XW-P1 Overview

Casio XW-P1

The five octave (61-key) light touch keyboard may not suited to pianists but is certainly adequate for a wide variety of musical styles, as well as in use as a MIDI controller keyboard.

64 notes of polyphony may seem a little stingy these days, and musicians wanting to put complex sounds on the XW-P1’s 16 channels may run out of notes. That said, the keyboard will serve very well for more moderate sound usage, such as producing lead instrument sounds, pads and beats. Gear junkies may well want to add one or more XW-P1’s to their existing keyboard setup, particularly if they’re after some of those classic CZ sounds.

The XW-P1 has a wealth of input controls including pitch and modulation wheels, nine editing sliders and four assignable knobs.

Some synths suffer from a lack of more realistic instrument samples. Sometimes that’s what you want, but if you’re looking for a keyboard that can double as a decent piano or organ, the XW-P1 offers it.

There’s a tri-element stereo piano plus a versatile and highly configurable drawbar organ. Casio uses PCM tones for these real-world instruments.

Casio XW-P1 Specifications

Take a look at the specification list below to get a decent idea of what the Casio XW-P1 can achieve:

  • Number of Keys: 61
  • Controllers:
    • Pitch Wheel
    • Modulation Wheel
  • Assignable Controllers: Controllers; 4 Knobs
  • Assignable Functions: MIDI Messages (CC, RPN, NRPN, Mono After touch, Poly After touch, Pitch, Tempo)
  • Editing Controllers: 9 Sliders
  • Display: LCD; 72×31 Dot Matrix + Patterns, with Backlight and Contrast
  • Tone Generator: Overview; Sound Generator Type; HPSS(Hybrid Processing Sound Source)
  • Polyphony: 64
  • Number of Parts: 16
  • Total Number of Tones (Preset/User) : 620/310
  • PCM, Melody, PCM Drum, Drawbar Organ, Hex Layer, Solo Synthesizer
  • GM Compatible: Level 1
  • Mixer: Yes
  • Tuning: A4=415.5Hz – 440.0Hz – 465.9Hz (0.1Hz-Step)
  • PCM Tones: Preset/User Tones; 400/100
  • Tri-Element Stereo Piano: Yes
  • Tones with User Wave: N/A
  • Drum Kits (Preset/User) : 20/10
  • Hex Layer: Number of Tones (Preset/User); 50/50
  • Drawbar Organ: Number of Tones (Preset/User); 50/50
  • Solo Synthesizer: Preset/User Tones; 100/100
  • Maximum Polyphony: 1
  • Oscillator Blocks: 6 (Synth 1/2, PCM1/2, Ext Input, Noise)
  • Portamento: Yes
  • Legato: Yes
  • PWM: Yes
  • External Input: Yes
  • Pitch Shifter: Yes
  • Noise Generator: Yes
  • Non-Resonant Filter: Yes (6)
  • Resonant Filter: Yes (1)
  • Amplifier: Yes
  • Oscillator Mixer: Yes
  • LFO: Yes (2)
  • Envelope Generators: Pitch, Amp, Filter, LFO
  • Assignable Virtual Controllers: 8
  • Effects: System Reverb; Preset Types; 10
  • System Chorus: Preset Types; 5
  • Limitations: System Chorus, DSP and Solo Synthesizer are mutually exclusive
  • Master Effect: EQ; Editable 4 Band EQ
  • DSP: Number of DSP Sets (Preset/User); 100/100
  • PCM Tone Effect Categories: Compressor, Distortion, Enhancer, Wah, Auto Pan, Tremolo, Rotary, Phaser, Chorus, Reflection, Tempo Sync Delay , Ring Modulator, LoFi, 2-Module Multi
  • Solo Synth DSP: Tempo Sync Delay, Distortion, Ring Modulator, Chorus, Flanger, Pan
  • Algorithm Types: 46(Normal Tone DSP) 6(Solo Synthesizer DSP)
  • DSP Lines: 1
  • Audio Player: Storage Type; SD Card
  • Number of Songs: 999
  • Audio File Format: 42kHz Stereo
  • Limitation: Audio Playing, Musical Playing(SMF, Step Sequencer) are mutually exclusive.
  • Step Sequencer: Number of Tracks; Mono x 8, Poly x 1, Control x 4
  • Number of Patterns / Step Sequence: 8
  • Number of Step Sequencers (Preset/User) : 100/100
  • Number of Chains (user) : 100
  • Maximum Number of Steps: 16
  • Key Play: Yes
  • Other: Note Gate, Note Swing per Track
  • Phrase Sequencer: Number of Phrases; 100/100
  • Number of Tracks: 1
  • Play Mode: Loop, Hold, Key Play
  • Capacity: 8KBytes/Pgrase, 128KBytes/100 User Phrases
  • Recordable Events: Note On/Off, Controller Operations
  • Arpeggiator: Other; Phrase measure and note quantize, overdub
  • Number of Patterns (Preset/User) : 100/100
  • Data Types: Variation, Step
  • Editing Function: Variation ; Parameter Edit
  • Step: 16-Step Edit, Parameter Edit
  • Performance: Number of Memories (Preset/User); 100/100
  • Parameter Categories: Tone, Effect, Mixer, Controller, Sequence, Phrase, Arpeggio, MIDI
  • Recall Parameter Filter: Yes
  • Number of Keyboard Zones: 4
  • Multifunction Key: Yes
  • Transpose: Range; +/- 12
  • Octave Shift: Range; +/- 3
  • Tempo: Range; 30-255BPM
  • Tap Tempo: Button/LED; Yes
  • MIDI Clock: Transmit/Receive; Yes
  • Storage: SDHC Card; Capacity; 2GB-32GB
  • Dimensions and Weight in Packaging: Shipping Weight: 20 lbs Shipping Dimensions: 20 x 15 x 6 in

Casio XW-P1 Reviews

There are very few official reviews of the Casio XW-P1 at present, but we’ll be adding links to them as we find them.

Several forums are reporting a general consensus that the XW-P1 is a great synth (particularly at such a low price point) but that its build quality isn’t great.

Here’s Franz Schiller’s review of the XW-P1.

Casio XW-P1 Videos

Casio’s official 5 minute introduction to the XW-P1:

Sonic State interviews Mike Martin from Casio at NAMM 2012. This 13 minute video includes a decent demo of key features:

Daniel Fisher gives a 4-minute demo of the XW-P1:

Buy the Casio XW-P1

The Casio XW-P1 has an RRP of $699.99, but it can generally be picked up for under $500.