Sounds in the key of live

In an era dominated by soft synths and MIDI controllers, the ultraportable Casio XW-P1 marks a refreshing return to the traditional performance keyboard. Browsing through the presets, we were immediately floored by its array of outrageous lead tones, which would make any keyboard player from Keith Emerson to Jordan Rudess equally proud. Also impressive was the selection of hands-on controls, which made it easy to create our own stage-worthy sounds by avoiding any tedious menu diving. As a songwriting tool, the mic and instrument inputs proved to be extremely handy, eliminating the need to remain tied to a computer. And thanks to both USB and MIDI connectivity, adding this 61-key synth to any studio or live rig couldn’t be easier.

–Doug Doppler

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