Casio XW-P1 Performance Synthesizer (Video Overview)

Here’s another look at the Casio XW-P1 Performance Synthesizer, which was introduced at the 2012 NAMM Show.

This is an official intro, featuring Casio’s Mike Martin. If you get beyond the swirling ‘XW’ graphics, the video offers a good overview of the new XW-P1 synth. It also has a lot better audio than most of the NAMM Show videos, giving you a better idea of what the new synth can do.

22 thoughts on “Casio XW-P1 Performance Synthesizer (Video Overview)

  1. Nice demo. The stacked sound mode is pretty wicked.

    This is way more powerful than old-school Casio synths and sounds pretty good, too.

    The Casio theme music was pretty terrible, though.

  2. Serious question: Does anyone really need those huge, psuedo-symphonic ‘layered’ sounds any more? I can’t see that as being very useful in a live setting, unless you are playing totally solo and want to sound like Enya when you are live-scoring a modern dance piece. Seems like the intricacies of sounds like that would just get lost in the mix in a band situation. Maybe I’m just not the target audience, but it comes off as a very ’80s-era marketing trick to make a synth sound more ‘impressive’ and ‘deep’ and ‘symphonic’ while showing off the X-TREME number of voices/polyphony. Always seemed to me like something designed to be flashy in product demos, but not necessarily practical in real life.

    1. This may be a very difficult concept to digest,for someone who is probably nothing more than a DJ that copies & pastes drum loops in a DAW program,but for those that can actually play a keyboard…there are plenty of musicians that can find the XW-P1 very useful.
      In addition to playing in a band,this keyboard can be used in the studio to lay down live performances(by people who don’t have to rely solely on midi sequencing,to make a song).

      By the way,not all bands are predominately comprised of guitars & other acoustic instruments(where the keyboardist is only a back-drop)…ever heard of Depeche Mode or Howard Jones?
      There were and are,plenty of bands that are keyboard-based;

      What about Stevie Wonder,Steve Winwood,Jan Hammer,Duran Duran,Genesis or Herbie Hancock…or any modern day band that is similar to said bands?
      You honestly don’t think such bands could not benefit from the layering capabilities of the XW-P1??
      A keyboard such as this with all of it’s versatility-according to you,is not practical in real life?

      You sound a lot more like a journalist or a movie critic,with all of your asinine,brain-fart- philosophical rhetoric….as supposed to a real musician with legitimate concerns.

      Anyone who is even remotely musically inclined,won’t take your “serious question” seriously.

      1. I gave a thumbs-up in part to support people’s right to make harder comments if something really bothers them. Those often get deleted in response to some merely not liking what is said. That makes the site poorer in the long run and simply supports what is already far too much censorship in general. The “bad” is part of the tone, as well as the good.
        Electronic music IS too rigidly labeled now. While amusing, dubstep isn’t all synths can manage. I am super-tired of formulaic music, so I applaud anyone who takes steps outside the usual realms. Casio has done a smart thing at a smart time. If this synth is even halfway well-built, I suspect you’ll see it in a lot of setups, both DJ and by-hand type players.

      2. Wow, thanks for your inspiring and insightful comments!
        I’ve been playing synths in countless bands for over 20 years. I’ve played in various ‘rock’ groups, jazz groups, electronic groups, and even entirely synth-based ensembles, as well as a solo performer. When did I infer there is no such thing as a ‘keyboard-based’ band? All I’m saying is that it can be quite difficult to properly blend thick sounds (with a wide-spread frequency content) with other instruments – be it a single guitar, horns, drums, strings, vocals, or even other synths, in a ‘performance’ setting. Unless you are playing completely solo with one of these huge layered sounds, it’s not really that practical. This would typically take place in a studio, say for instance in soundtrack work, but not so much performing on a stage. I guess you have to consider exactly what it means when companies throw around the term ‘performance synth’.
        BTW – Herbie Hancock is one of my favorite performers of all time. On his most famous synth-heavy recordings (when he wasn’t playing piano, Rhodes, or clav) he is generally playing an ARP Odyssey which is a 2-oscillator, duophonic synth, or something similar with a very focused sound and not a lot of ‘layers’. I don’t think one single sound that is bass, keys, strings, lead, vox, and evolving pads all stacked on top of each other would have every worked on ANY Herbie tune. He did eventually get into more ‘complex’ sounds in the ‘80s (Prophet 5, sampling with the Fairlight, Synclavier, etc.), but it was more about complex musical combinations and interplay on many tracks, rather than piled up stacks of one note playing all together. On Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstition’, there are like 8 Clav parts in the opening, but they are all different and intersecting. It would not be the same if it were 8 different Clav tones all layered on top of each other playing the same notes in different octaves all across the frequency spectrum.
        I’m not saying that this synth isn’t useful, or even pretty nice. I simply just don’t see the whole huge layering thing as a being very useful in *most* (certainly not all) practical situations. But since it does sound nice in a demo, it is used as a selling point – I just wonder how often it is actually put into play. Sorry if that came off as “asinine,brain-fart- philosophical rhetoric”.
        I guess I need to go back and re-visit my University degree in music, study up on some Duran Duran, and re-learn how to be a ‘real musician with legitimate concerns’ such as yourself.

        1. With your attitude,it’s your own damn fault for giving off the wrong impression,as you came across as an idiot and despite your education,you still managed to spout idiotic & utterly pointless comments towards a $499 instrument that was meant to be versatile machine that appeals to the masses.
          Casio has always been on the budget end of the market and Casio is following the most suitable course of action for their targeted demographic…so what the f**k are you bitching & moaning about?
          Just because YOU have no use for layering sounds,doesn’t mean that this keyboard is impractical for the majority of folks out there.
          What the f**k is it with people like you?People like you on Synthtopia,Gearslutz & YouTube…whining & complaining about the color of the XW-P1,that the Casio logo is too big,that the keyboard looks too cheap…but your complaints are just plain insanity.
          The XW-P1 being marketed as a performance synth is some sort of misnomer because it ALSO has layering capabilities?Are you f**king kidding me?
          According to you,this Casio is a sham & that Casio is trying to deceive the unsuspecting musician by implementing a layering function?Really?

          Dude…maybe you should contact the Better Business Bureau & inform them that Casio is trying to pull a fast one….what a sinister conspiracy this is…holy s**t!

          This is a budget synth…an entry level synth in the pro market…do you know what that means?
          It means that it’s a $499 synth,not some $3,000 Access Virus synth-jack-*ss…it is this fact alone,which renders your comments as rhetoric.
          In other words,your comments are completely erroneous.
          You’ve got money,so why are you here commenting?You obviously have no interest in Casio,so piss off and go buy yourself a Radikal Technologies Accelerator synth & take your elitist critique bulls**t elsewhere.

          On the contrary,Casio’s XW-P1 is the only synth under $1,000 that DOES make sense,because everything that Roland makes in or near this price range is uninspiring,overpriced junk.
          What’s the alternative for $500 synth-wise?The M-Audio Venom??
          Nobody besides Casio,is making a 64 polyphonic synth with full size keys,deep editing options,seamless real time control AND bread & butter sounds and all for $499…so what the f**k is so impractical about that?

          It’s too bad all of that education can’t teach you common sense.

          1. Hey,I’m just askin’,are you sure about the price?It’s just that I saw the price being $599,or something like that.I hope your right,because $499 would be fantastic.I’m going to buy this regardless,cheers!

    2. Enya?!..Are you serious! This Casio is not for those people that are stuck in the 80s. You are definitely not the target market. This is workhorse studio power for those on a budget and some who are not. For the price of it you could rip the top off and hack in your own frankenstuff and not even worry about what you spent. “”””Those huge, psuedo-symphonic ‘layered’ sounds wont be useful for live settings or get lost in the mix””””” I guess you wont be buying a Kronos or something by Roland. Seriously I would rather this synth than an OP1 or a lot of other newer releases.

      1. Jesus Christ people, relax will you? I was just joking around about the Enya stuff – In fact, I myself was at one time guilty of live-scoring modern dance pieces in such a fashion. I’m not bashing Casio or this product – not sure how that impression was given. I actually said it’s probably a pretty nice synth. I own several Casios, and love them. I’m probably not necessarily the target market for this type of product, but that’s fine. Just being a little intellecutally curious about the decisions behind the design and the marketing – trying to open up a discussion. I’m not sure why some folks seem to get so defensive and angry about a product they’re interested in. You guys are all welcome to buy one, and I’m sure you will enjoy it. I’ll probably end up getting one of those Arturia Minibrutes, which looks like fun to me, possibly not to a lot of others. Still doesn’t mean we can’t discuss the pros/cons as we see them. Use the gear that appeals to you, and we can all make some beautiful music!


        1. P.S. in all of these replies no one even actually answered my serious question about how they would use those types of big layered sounds. I was genuinely curious. Instead I just got lectured about how I don’t understand. I get that I don’t undertand. I was asking for help understanding.

          1. Plenty of places. I could try them on old prog stuff to replace mellotron for example. Lots of 70’s pop and schlager hits had nice orchestrations. Procol Harum for sure etc etc too numerous to mention. And I’m basing my own music on those roots as well. Its not my ambition, but I need to make film scoring to my friends too and some times they like to play the music of their films on their gigs.

            There is sound, and you use the sound to make music. The more, the merrier. I would become restless if the sonic versatility was reduced because its not fashionable anymore. “who needs organs, who needs piano, who needs this and that” You leave that to me. I use them all.

  3. Its dope… Haters be gone. I like that you can run audio in and transpose it on the fly, a cheaper version of Vsynth functionality. The arp engine sounds interesting, from what he is saying you can build the sequence and then change its key on the fly, so it sounds like an easy way to design your own auto accompaniment. I wonder if you can import standard midi files to the arp? If this comes in at 500 dollars or so I will be buying it. For all you haters….stay in the 70’s. I for one like the fact that we have Casio back and I’m not disappointed that its not a CZ.

  4. I don’t get this one. Why enter the market and build a tiny button, far too few knobs machine in 2012? And why have they crammed it with a step sequencer without real knobs to control it? It doesn’t make any sense at all. By the looks and the sound of it in the videos – this is NOT a professional instrument. My guess is that this new line will end just as abruptly as it came. A pity.

    1. Step sequencer is controller with sliders, great sounds, different synth engines and organ model, also nice rompler sounds, audio in, hands on control and all this for 500$. It doesn’t make any sense at all to not see any sense in this…

      Except for those retailers who have filled their storage with Moxes.

  5. When will this be available in INDIA..? I was drooling over a juno di when i heard about this. .. So which one will be a better option.. I am a member of a 5 member band consisting of guitars and bass and a drummr..

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