Is This The Most Powerful Casio Synth Ever?


It looks like Casio has a new synth to introduce at the 2013 NAMM Show!

This image has leaked out of a new full-size Casio keyboard that looks a bit like one of their digital pianos crossed with the XW-P1 synthesizer, introduced at the 2012 NAMM Show.

The new Casio synth is also rumored to be ‘the most powerful synth” that they’ve ever built.

We’ll have the details on this new Casio synth when they are officially available.  In the meantime, check it out and let us know what you think!

26 thoughts on “Is This The Most Powerful Casio Synth Ever?

  1. Looks a bit more workstation-like than synthy (all those buttons),but that’s a pretty small screen. But it looks like a quality product aimed at the mainstream. Their XW offering last year seemed quite nice quality-wise even though it wasn’t very exciting sonically. With the current popularity of electronic music these are probably good times for the company; if they can sell enough of these keyboards perhaps they’ll attempt something more adventurous.

  2. Hmmm… Been getting the invites to come check this out next week… but can’t get excited. Last year the Casio thing was more curious because they had the mysterious allure of a company that might bring back a certain phase distortion based series of synths… but then they just made 2 big plastic workstations…

    Cool that it’s powerful I guess…

  3. Stack 128 orchestra hits on top of a physical modeled acoustic bass and 16 different sampled grand pianos split between 64 different midi channels and polyphonic aftertouch all with one button! Feel. The. Power.

    Nothing can doom this groove, man.

    1. it might be the most pweful synth ever, but like all other recent synths, its got no interface, no knowbsand sliders which is what synth players want,. All these companies korg, Roland, Yamaha, and now Casio and just making the same old rompler based workstations with the same old sounds, I can remeber when synths were cutting edge instruments, they all seem like old hat now, just boring though the new Moog sub phatty (terrible name) looks interesting even though that in itself is nothing really new

      1. “The same old sounds…” Well, as much as not, people do want pianos, organs, strings, percussion, etc. That’s not boring, that’s part of the bread-and-butter. Those established touchstones are certainly important to me. The way people argue over the quality of those sounds when a new instrument comes along says I’m not alone.
        Then there’s that endless cry for a “new” sound. I dunno about you, but I have sampling, VA, physical modeling and a simple FM synth that offer all I can think up plus quite a few staring points I would never have imagined without the wits and creativity of some sharp designers behind those tools. Besides, the real advances have been not in actual sound creation, but musical access to sound. I’m not yet sold on pads, but both those and the unique architecture of the Roland V-Synth GT interest me because they’re focused on how you interact musically, rather than some imagined lack of design depth.
        Don’t let that voracious appetite for novelty cloud the fact that you can make just about any imaginable sound and more with what you have. No manufacturer can hand you an imagination, but they sure offer the means to bring what you have to the surface. IMO, Casio synths are too much like a digital watch-maker’s idea of what they should be, but I’ll be perfectly happy if this new one zags well and knocks people’s preconceptions to one side.

  4. yawntastic, who buys this crap these days, shame on you. We want analog / or V-analog with loads of twiddly knobs and sliders and we are not opening our wallets until we do !!!

    1. there are plenty of analog and virtual analog synths on the market and that is the last thing that I feel Casio should involve themselves with. I do agree that it has a very meager looking user interface.. oh well, here’s hoping for something new and not just another bloated workstation.

    2. I’m one of the people who “bought this crap,” heh heh. If you pay too little, you tend to get a crap piece, but even that’s not always true. A semi-newbie who can’t afford a Kronos might buy this, use it as a central controller and like it just fine. No one synth can “do it all” and you have to start somewhere to learn your way towards a more ideal rig. I started on piano, then a couple of Casios and a MiniMoog, then a Prophet-600 and on up. If you’d handed me a workstation at the start, I would have underused it and been too frustrated without having gone through a few beginner stages. Don’t diss a new piece before you know if it SOUNDS good. After all, you kind of need at least 4 different synths to cover the various sound-production methods without any deal-breaking lacks. This thing could wind up as several peoples’ #4s and complete a few rig-puzzles.

  5. Why doesn’t some company make a new PD or FM synth with all the nice knobs and style of an analogue? That would be cool.

    1. Right below where it says Privia is where the usb drive is. There’s also the obvious pitch and mod wheels (probably the same pathetic ones as on the XW boards), along with the sliders and 4 parameter knobs. This is the XW for people who want a piano. Move along, nothing to see here.

  6. Casio has some really great digital pianos, esp. for the price. I’ve been looking for one lately to learn piano and music theory better. If they can cross that keybed with a synth that has anything at all to offer for studio work, that’s a win for me 🙂

  7. It is amazing how difficult it is for Casio to shake off that “calculator” association…
    Many years ago, i have purchased Casio FZ-1 sampler, which was a breakthrough technology at that time and yet most musos rejected it purely on the grounds of Casio being Casio 😉
    What a shame, it seems to me that no matter what this company will release, it will be doomed simply because it is Casio 🙁

    1. I’m kind of in two minds as to whether I agree. Casio coming back to the pro synth world was a shocker, and quite exciting for those who were fans of the CZ and FZ lines, but the offerings they produced just didn’t have anything particularly amazing about them. Sonically they’re a bit dull, and the interface wasn’t nearly as flexible as it looked (that’s just my opinion anyway). If they’d have included a proper synth engine and not just the same rompler-type stuff Roland has been churning out of late (GAIA aside!) then I might have bought one, especially if it had PD.

      Having said all that, I have never liked Casio’s piano line (the keys are awful compared to Roland’s) and their home keyboards have never really compared to what Yamaha and Roland have produced.

    2. Most musicians rejected the FZ1 because the HIgh Density drive, a new and unproven technology for at the time, was prone to failure and the cost for a box of HD disks, when you could find them, was expensive. Casio eventually sorted the drive problem but by then newer, better machines were available.

  8. Hey! is that one of those grey on yellow LED screens?
    Maybe it’s one of those hot modern greyish blue on slightly darker blue?

    Where do you even find those components?
    Maybe they could source parts for Dark Energy One?

  9. Casio could have a blockbuster by bringing out a 1:1 knob-to-function virtual analog polysynth under the 1k price point. Pair a fantastic high quality engine with total control. No screen, no shift buttons, no combos. Just a load of solid switches, knobs, and sliders. Casio’s cheap toy association would vanish overnight.

    Casio is the ideal company to do this: it would be such a surprise it would generate its own viral marketing as people discussed it. Unlike Korg and Roland, they are not under pressure to repackage the same stuff over and over to save development costs.

    We could be talking about a Sledge or Gaia killer instead of what is obviously another blah UI romplerstation for church music.

  10. the xw-p1 seemed promising but the nice VA part was mono only and the hexlayer synth didn’t seem to have per-note flter envelopes (only amplitude I think along with a single filter for all voices – can someone verify this????.) If they either made the “solo” synth polyphonic or added filter envelopes for each voice in hexlayer mode it would be pretty interesting!! On the other hand, I expect you can still make some interesting sounds by using six additive parts in hexlayer mode.

    Of course I would really like to see the return of phase distortion too….. at least I still have Thor and my old CZ-1000 !

    1. Just watched the video – if I understand it correctly, they added per-voice filter envelopes for each layer of the hex layer synth!! Assuming this is true, this is actually an excellent synth: it’s basically six oscillators and filters on each layer. If you have 256 oscillators overall, then it’s still 42-voice polyphonic/multitimbral. Per-layer arpeggiators as well. Remapping the 6 sliders and 4 knobs makes it OK for performance as well.

      No phase distortion (and no aftertouch alas 🙁 ) but still I have to say: well done, Casio!! This looks like a great instrument.

  11. Casio did produce their Privia PX-3 digital piano which was a bargain for what you got. Now they introduce their Privia PX-5s digital piano with more knobs, sliders and wheels and still people are complaining in advance?

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