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New Casio (well to me haha) looks pretty good..


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http://www.casiomusicgear.com/products/menu_mz-x/mz-x500

 

Came across this while reading the Casio FB page. TBH I never knew it existed :o I might look at adding one to the PX5-S would be a killer combo, considering pricing and weight!!

 

Anyone else here used one?

There is no luck - luck is simply the confluence of circumstance and co-incidence...

 

Time is the final arbiter for all things

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It's a very nice board. I used this to cover all the keyboard parts and sound effects for the musical "13". It's a breeze to set the sounds and sample pads up and the built-in speakers negated the need for a separate monitor. Even though it's billed as an arranger, it also is really nice general use gigging board.

 

14721547_1094139810702068_2606783690412320840_n.jpg

 

 

 

 

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Cool thanks DL :)

 

and thx for the links elmer :D that one that had the link to the Synthzone review was terrific!

There is no luck - luck is simply the confluence of circumstance and co-incidence...

 

Time is the final arbiter for all things

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just found out you cannot control it from an external board (in my case the PX) so perhaps its not such a good choice for a second board?

 

The arranger controls are a bit too far away for ease of access when playing live and singing and such. I was sorta hoping they PX buttons could be somehow used but according to Mike Martin this is not possible :( oh well, and it DID look like a really nice unit.

There is no luck - luck is simply the confluence of circumstance and co-incidence...

 

Time is the final arbiter for all things

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The PX-5S does not have any button that can be mapped to other functions. The MZ-X has 2 intro buttons, 4 variation / fill buttons, 2 ending buttons, break, fade in/out and more - far more than the PX-5S has. Operating the arranger capabilities in a keyboard like the MZ-X almost requires that these buttons are within reach. The MZ-X500 also has other things like its 16 pads that are very beneficial to its operation. Dependent on the double keyboard stand you're using the MZ-X and all of its controls could easily be within reach.

-Mike Martin

 

Casio

Mike Martin Photography Instagram Facebook

The Big Picture Photography Forum on Music Player Network

 

The opinions I post here are my own and do not represent the company I work for.

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The MZ-X has 2 intro buttons, 4 variation / fill buttons, 2 ending buttons, break, fade in/out and more - far more than the PX-5S has. Operating the arranger capabilities in a keyboard like the MZ-X almost requires that these buttons are within reach.

Can these functions be triggered via MIDI commands? If so, another solution could be something like the Behringer FCB1010 to trigger them from footswitches.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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The PX-5S does not have any button that can be mapped to other functions. The MZ-X has 2 intro buttons, 4 variation / fill buttons, 2 ending buttons, break, fade in/out and more - far more than the PX-5S has. Operating the arranger capabilities in a keyboard like the MZ-X almost requires that these buttons are within reach. The MZ-X500 also has other things like its 16 pads that are very beneficial to its operation. Dependent on the double keyboard stand you're using the MZ-X and all of its controls could easily be within reach.

 

thanks Mike for taking the time to comment :) The stand I have, well the second tier anyway, would place it just too far away to easily access the buttons. And any keystand that was low enough and with a tier forward enough, would then interfere with the PX controls haha! If I was holding just a keys slot in a band I would say no probs, but as a solo it probs isn't going to work.

 

I totally understand what you are saying and my comment is no indictment on how good the 'boards are :) ...just the plan I had in mind isn't going to work is all. The MZ looks to be a great unit though!

There is no luck - luck is simply the confluence of circumstance and co-incidence...

 

Time is the final arbiter for all things

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The MZ-X has 2 intro buttons, 4 variation / fill buttons, 2 ending buttons, break, fade in/out and more - far more than the PX-5S has. Operating the arranger capabilities in a keyboard like the MZ-X almost requires that these buttons are within reach.

Can these functions be triggered via MIDI commands? If so, another solution could be something like the Behringer FCB1010 to trigger them from footswitches.

 

Nice idea, but (apart from no space) my feet are already tied up with sustain pedal, stomp (kick drum) pedal, vocal harmoniser pedal and an airturn pedal for charts haha!

 

There is no luck - luck is simply the confluence of circumstance and co-incidence...

 

Time is the final arbiter for all things

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Does the MZ-X have any of the MIDI controller functions of the XW-P1/PX-5S for incorporating external sounds? i.e., do the organ sliders send MIDI CC (whether fixed or programmable)? Can registrations include Program Change commands (ideally separately for Upper and Lower)?

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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Sliders do send fixed CC messages. Registrations do not have programmable external MIDI program changes at this time.

-Mike Martin

 

Casio

Mike Martin Photography Instagram Facebook

The Big Picture Photography Forum on Music Player Network

 

The opinions I post here are my own and do not represent the company I work for.

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OT: I'm still in love with my 26 pound Casio Privia PX-360 digital piano with 4 ways speakers and the realistic super dynamic ivory touch keys. The Rhodes is very authentic too.

Harry Likas was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book." Find 700 of Harry’s piano arrangements of standards for educational purposes and jazz piano tutorials at www.Patreon.com/HarryLikas

 

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Sliders do send fixed CC messages. Registrations do not have programmable external MIDI program changes at this time.
Speaking of MIDI, Casio seems to be falling a bit behind releasing MIDI implementation documents for its more advanced models. I haven't seen such a document since the one for the PX-5S. Hope someone is working on them!
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You could just replace it with a version that is smaller, like this one:

 

casio_vl_tone.jpg

https://www.wired.com/wp-content/uploads/blogs/geekdad/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/casio_vl_tone.jpg

 

Assumes you can still edit the post. If you can't we're stuck with tiny text and/or a wide page (depending on the browser) unless Dave can be sweet-talked into doing it for you. :)

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Assumes you can still edit the post

 

Seems it is too late... Didn't know there was a time limit for editing (though it makes sense).

 

Looking at it now, the pic I posted is actually larger than life on my monitor. I just found my old VL-1 to compare (and I played the demo song and sang some da-da-da...). Big smile! :-)

 

Rock bottom bass

Fakebook Pro Sheet Music Reader - at every gig!

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By any chance, does the MZX have a mono synth mode?

 

Yes

Cool! In that case, at the same price as the Roland VR-09, I'd say the MZX300 addresses an awful lot of the complaints about the limitations of that board. From my perspective, the one functional advantage the Roland has is that its registrations do allow you to send a MIDI Program Change to an attached device. Other than that, it looks like the Casio is a way more capable board overall (though of course the interface/ergonomic approach is very different).

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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I've been gassing for the mz-x500 since it came out. Haven't heard or played one yet

 

Weak points are possibly the keybed and sounds.

 

Get very mixed reviews on the keybed, some say it's fine, some are surprised it's not better given the price point. I have the Casio WK7600, and I find that keybed really lacking, so I'm hoping this MZ is better than the 7600. I am drawn to the FA06 as well, and the awful keybed on that is a real turn off.

 

Apparently the sound quality is on a par with the PX-5s (bread and butter sounds), and the XW (for synth sounds). Have read a few reviews from arranger players that say the sounds and styles are not as good as the Yamaha and Korg arrangers around that price point (s770, pa600). Hear good things about the quality of the EPs and synth sounds. On the plus side it's got 256MB of expansion memory built-in, so you'll be able to load in new samples.

 

A super big plus for me is the 40 watt sound system. I go to jams all the time and bringing a full sound system and mixer is alot of hassle, so having something that'll do just fine by itself would be great, and in a pinch could even plug in guitar and mic.

 

Also, the touchscreen is a huge improvement in user friendliness, everyone says it makes it super friendly to dig in.

 

And I love the pads! Unlike the FA series, these pads are velocity sensitive, and the sheer number of things you can do with them is super cool. Gets a hardware keyboard closer in line with what a computer and controller surface can do, and being I'm computer averse for making music that's a great thing.

 

The hex layers could be a mixed bag. I had the Yamah xs7, and its architecture allowed a patch to have 8 tones associated with it. Turns out it's a lot of work to work like that, I prefer the Korg way of having 2 tones per patch, each of which can be worked with separately to create up to a 16 part multi, much more straightforward. However, with the casio it all depends on how many users and 3d party folks develop hex layer sounds (I'm unlikely to devote all my free time to that), and how easy it is to change volume levels and or mute each of the 6 sounds in real time. That would make it super useful.

 

I'm SUPER bummed it's not a 76 key board, and only 3 control knobs is a big let down. They've got all those organ sliders, but I believe it has very limited functionality beyond adjusting drawbars. And I have no idea on how functional it is as a midi controller.

 

AFAIK, even with its other workstation capabilities like sampling, pads, sequencer, it only supports 4 sounds at once, two above and two below the split point. However, 2 hex tones can be part of that mix, but I don't know if the hex tones get their own split points.

 

It's funny, since I've had the WK7600 I've wanted a bigger brother that had better sounds, better keybed, easier to use UI, bigger speakers, etc. I got most of what I wanted, but I can't afford it at this time! Oh well, gassing is gassing, I'm sure if I think about it and want it long enough I'll make it happen! And by that time I'll find a used one for much less money!

Numa Piano X73 /// Kawai ES920 /// Casio CT-X5000 /// Yamaha EW425

Yamaha Melodica and Alto Recorder

QSC K8.2 // JBL Eon One Compact // Soundcore Motion Boom Plus 

Win10 laptop i7 8GB // iPad Pro 9.7" 32GB

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I've been gassing for the mz-x500 since it came out. Haven't heard or played one yet

 

Weak points are possibly the keybed and sounds.

 

Get very mixed reviews on the keybed, some say it's fine, some are surprised it's not better given the price point. I have the Casio WK7600, and I find that keybed really lacking, so I'm hoping this MZ is better than the 7600.

Maybe Mike can confirm, but I was under the impression that the WK7600 and the XW-P1 had the same action, and figured that the MZX was probably the same.

 

But the funny thing is, they can still vary. I have played multiple XW-P1/XW-G1 actions, including ones right next to each other in the same store, and they felt different. Some are quite good, I'd even go so far as to say among my favorite actions of their type, while others felt poor! I don't know if there is significant variation unit-to-unit or product-run-to-product-run. Maybe they even source components from more than one sub-contractor.

 

When I was selling Apple computers in the 80s, there was a specific model of monitor, some looked great, and some looked fuzzy. First we were returning the fuzzy ones as defective. Then we discovered that all the fuzzy ones had a serial # beginning with S, all the good ones had a serial # beginning with Y, and we learned that the guts were made either by Samsung or Hitachi respectively. They were all made to Apple's specs, so it turns out that, technically, the Samsung models were not defective. But it was easy to see with the naked eye that the Hitachi-sourced units simply looked much better. This kind of multiple sourcing is one possible explanation for performance variation within a given model.

 

Anyway, I don't know why the ostensibly identical Casio boards felt different, but they did. This could be a good reason to buy from a local stocking dealer rather than over the internet, if you can try the action of your specific board before taking it home.

 

As for your other point... yeah, a 7x key version of this would be great. If I could get a "MZ-X700" which was the 500 with 7x keys, a little more MIDI functionality, and aftertouch (like on its forefather, the MZ-2000) for, say, a $200 premium over the 500, that would be an instant purchase for me.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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If I could get a "MZ-X700" which was the 500 with 7x keys, a little more MIDI functionality, and aftertouch (like on its forefather, the MZ-2000) for, say, a $200 premium over the 500, that would be an instant purchase for me.

Hear that, Casio? An instant purchase there.

 

The MZ-X500 is probably the best general-purpose keyboard they have released so far (although the MZ-2000 was great in its day). And although it's definitely an arranger it's got so many other things going for it that you could ignore that part of it and still justify a purchase. As a synthesizer the only thing missing that the XW-P1/G1 has is a few (but important) features in its mono-synth mode (like a 4-pole filter mode, PWM and sync) and the step sequencer (although it has a full linear sequencer instead). Add those, channel aftertouch and a few more keys (76 preferred) and I don't care if you call it an arranger.

 

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Hear that, Casio? An instant purchase there.

...

although it's definitely an arranger it's got so many other things going for it that you could ignore that part of it and still justify a purchase. As a synthesizer the only thing missing that the XW-P1/G1 has is a few (but important) features in its mono-synth mode (like a 4-pole filter mode, PWM and sync) and the step sequencer (although it has a full linear sequencer instead). Add those, channel aftertouch and a few more keys (76 preferred) and I don't care if you call it an arranger.

Well that's at least two instant purchases. I don't know if that's quite persuasive yet, though. ;-) But I agree, it's got so much stuff going for it, you can ignore the arranger stuff and still have a really useful performing board. If putting the arranger stuff in means they sell more of them, that's good for everyone.

 

I care about a few less things than you do (i.e. I don't care so much if it is missing some synth functions or a step sequencer) because (a) I'm not as sure so many potential buyers of this really need those particular things, but moreoever (b) as long as it has decent MIDI implementation, it's at least easy enough to add functions through an iPad app or whatever. But the 7x keys, the aftertouch, and the ability to access those MIDI-based enhancements from the front panel in the first place are things that have to be built in from the start.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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.

 

As for your other point... yeah, a 7x key version of this would be great. If I could get a "MZ-X700" which was the 500 with 7x keys, a little more MIDI functionality, and aftertouch (like on its forefather, the MZ-2000) for, say, a $200 premium over the 500, that would be an instant purchase for me.

 

We can dream, right? I'm pretty sure Casio wouldn't improve the keybed for many reasons:

1. This would be admitting their previous flagship mzx500 had a keybed in need of improvement

2. Being the low cost leader with a $1300-$1400 board would be a harder sell, they probably have to justify the $1100 price tag as it is. At least they were able to spread the r&d across many models with their new touchscreen.

3. They would probably just wait for the mzx550 to come out to improve the keybed

 

I am so agreeing with your wishlist. AT, 76 keys, better midi, wowee. They'd have to use the organ sliders for more than fixed CCs, they really went light on the controllers with this board.

 

Funny thing about the keybed. I had a similar experience at a local GC, some of the keybeds felt much better than others from the same model. I suspect mine, after several years of use has gotten looser. And it's not consistent, some keys are much worse than others. I'm OK with the action on the keys that work well, as long as I'm not getting too enthusiastic, but have a lighter touch. It also does that fulcrum thing where the higher up you play it feels unnaturally difficult to press.

 

A guy who loves his wk7500 and 7600 did a comparison video. Apparently Casio DID upgrade this keybed from their previous generation. The older generation was significantly "clackier", not sure about the overall feel.

 

I just wish there were more reviews out there. I saw KM, and all of the available reviews on forums. I suppose quality of sounds and keybed feel is subjective, but people could always compare to what they know and like.

 

Yes, I'm inclined to go the iOs route for new sounds as well. Now that there's little boxes like the Korg Midiplug?, it's not so clugey to tap into your ipad for additional sounds.

 

Speaking of sounds being sujective!!! Just read a 6 page thread on love for Korg Module- what!???? I hated most of the sounds, the piano was unuseable, the EPs were uninspiring, etc. (Korg does not get a free pass from me for making sound thin and shrill so they'll cut thru the mix. For the record, I LOVE Nord pianos and EPs, to my ear they do it right). The set list mode is pretty cool though. I like the iLectric from IK though, and look forward to more apps that'll let you layer and split!!

 

Beautiful day- time to get ready to play my keys, drums and guitar out in the drum circle!

 

Randy

 

 

 

 

Numa Piano X73 /// Kawai ES920 /// Casio CT-X5000 /// Yamaha EW425

Yamaha Melodica and Alto Recorder

QSC K8.2 // JBL Eon One Compact // Soundcore Motion Boom Plus 

Win10 laptop i7 8GB // iPad Pro 9.7" 32GB

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Funny thing about the keybed. I had a similar experience at a local GC, some of the keybeds felt much better than others from the same model.

...

A guy who loves his wk7500 and 7600 did a comparison video. Apparently Casio DID upgrade this keybed from their previous generation. The older generation was significantly "clackier", not sure about the overall feel.

Well then we're really back to the same question... Did they really upgrade the action from one model to the next? Or was that simply another example of unit-to-unit variation of the kind you and I have both seen on identical models? That does describe the two different XW-P1 actions I played... one was very clacky.

 

I like the iLectric from IK though, and look forward to more apps that'll let you layer and split!!

I believe you can layer and split multiple iPad apps using the app iMidiPatchbay, which in a sense would turn all your sound apps into one giant sound module... as long as the individual apps can be set to be addressed independently (by assigning them to different MIDI channels, or possibly through virtual MIDI), and you have enough RAM to load the apps you want to use simultaneously.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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