I have a head cold. So I have not been in the right 'space' to review Casio's new XW - G1 sampling 'groove' keyboard. And the deadline is Tuesday. So I have about a day to get some idea of how this quite complex bit of kit works, and to formulate some opinions. Luckily Casio product guru Mike Martin has a number of tutorials online which are very helpful. The manual is written by Japanese people you see.....and then translated. And not just any Japanese people. Nerdy, technical Japanese people. So it isn't terribly easy to come to terms with, especially for an Aussie with the attention span of a gnat.
I like simple stuff. Like the Boss BR1600 manual. Obviously designed to be used by complete dickheads, ie musicians, it has a quick start manual that has everything very clearly laid out in big type, with numbers....it even shows you what buttons to push, with a shot of what is on the display. It is pretty much fool proof, unless the drummer gets hold of it. Oh.....it's a hard disc recorder by the way.
The XW - G1 isn't. It's a synth with a sampling function, and plenty of buttons. It reminds me of Roland 'groove' gear, at leats superficially in its intention to provide a hardware alternative to software sound processing and phrase creation. The keyboard is generous, and it is even a little weighted like a proper piano. Initial sounds ain't half bad.......tomorrow I will bite the bullet and delve in.