Which one sounds better? Korg Microstation or Casio XW-P1?


Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
22
Reaction score
13
I know they are very different from each other (larger keys vs mini keys, etc.) I am looking purely at the sounds of the things. Which of the two has better sounds (piano, strings, organs, synth pads) in your opinion?

I can't try out the Korg, as no one has it (discontinued) but I can get one used. The Casio is hard to find locally, too. I am on a tight budget, and I can get the Korg for a good price used, and new the Casio is pretty cheap.

So - anybody weigh in on the tones from these things?

Thanks a bunch!
 
Ad

Advertisements

happyrat1

Destroyer of Eardrums!!!
Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
12,108
Reaction score
5,019
Location
GTA, Canada
I'd suggest listening to a few youtube demos to get an idea of the sound.

I own an XW-P1 in my arsenal but I use it mainly for the virtual analog sounds. The bread and butter sounds are all there, but they're kind of anaemic without a good deal of tweaking.

Instead of the Korg Microstation I could recommend the Korg X50 from about the same era. Korg does a nice job of tweaking their factory sounds so they are quite usable from the get go.

One other thing to consider with the Microstation is that it uses mini sized keys so playability might be an issue for you with that particular choice.

My advice is to watch every youtube demo you can find on these two models and make your decision from there.

Gary ;)
 
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
22
Reaction score
13
I'd suggest listening to a few youtube demos to get an idea of the sound.

I own an XW-P1 in my arsenal but I use it mainly for the virtual analog sounds. The bread and butter sounds are all there, but they're kind of anaemic without a good deal of tweaking.

Instead of the Korg Microstation I could recommend the Korg X50 from about the same era. Korg does a nice job of tweaking their factory sounds so they are quite usable from the get go.

One other thing to consider with the Microstation is that it uses mini sized keys so playability might be an issue for you with that particular choice.

My advice is to watch every youtube demo you can find on these two models and make your decision from there.

Gary ;)
Thanks for the reply! I have watched a bunch of demos, and the Microstation sounds better to me so far (for the things I am looking for) - but you know how YouTube is. I am playing (pretty badly) a Korg microKORG right now, and I am used to the small keys, but I kinda want to graduate into larger keys...
I'll check into the X50 - thanks for the tip!
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2017
Messages
69
Reaction score
30
I'd suggest listening to a few youtube demos to get an idea of the sound.
Great idea! I would also try to listen to videos from the same channel showing both keyboards (if you can find such a thing) because a lot depends on the video's sound quality
 

happyrat1

Destroyer of Eardrums!!!
Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
12,108
Reaction score
5,019
Location
GTA, Canada
Big Jilm contacted me privately to further inquire about the suitability of the XW-P1 as a standalone gigging instrument.

For the sake of others who might have similar questions I'll state what I stated there.

Truth be told, the XW-P1 does some great virtual analog sounds and the hex layers are excellent. However, on the bread and butter side the PCM voices are pretty weak and require extensive tweaking to make them usable on stage.

As an alternative nowadays I am recommending the Roland Juno DS61 or the DS88 for a standalone gigging instrument.

It has about 1300 Roland Supernatural Patches and it's the most current model of the ones mentioned so far in this thread.

It's a little pricier than the XW-P1 but the 61 key version sells for around $699 USD and is well worth saving up an extra $100 or so to purchase. Even the DS88 is a bargain at $999 USD with 88 weighted, hammer action keys.

The Roland patches are beautiful and nicely tweaked and ready for stage performances, and the controls are relatively simple to work with.

My advice is that if you are gigging on a budget and can only afford a single keyboard then the Juno DS is the one to get. On today's market it definitely offers the most bang for the buck.

Gary ;)
 

happyrat1

Destroyer of Eardrums!!!
Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
12,108
Reaction score
5,019
Location
GTA, Canada
One other site worth mentioning btw is Soundcloud.

Simply search on the synth you want to audition and a lot of people post the instrument in the search tags there.

Also people tend to post on that site using CD quality so you'll get a fair audition.

Gary ;)
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
22
Reaction score
13
Thanks, Happyrat - I am looking at the Juno now. I really want nice sounding organs, strings, synth pads, synth leads, and maybe an arpeggiatior for a decent (read cheap!) price! Keys are pretty low on my ability list - but I want to be able to cover some Floyd stuff along with some 80's synth stuff.

I can afford a used MicroStation right now - I am just trying to figure out if spending the extra cash on a Juno is worth it to me or not.

I really appreciate all the advice!

Oh - yeah, whatever I get I will be writing the notes onto the keys - lol!
 

Fred Coulter

Collector of ancient keyboards
Joined
Feb 15, 2016
Messages
825
Reaction score
427
Location
Central Florida
If you need to put notes on the keyboard then use stickers and put them above the keys on the chassis instead of on the keys.

While I like the ability to not just have the note name but the notation on the sticker, that brings up a question I've always wondered. What's middle C on a 61 note keyboard? Are there two or three octaves below it?

It's much easier on my keyboards. The bottom keyboard is an 88 key, so it's obvious. And the Tyros, even though it has half an octave less on each side, is damn near the same width as the 88. So the middle C on the Tyros is directly above the middle C on the 88.
 

happyrat1

Destroyer of Eardrums!!!
Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
12,108
Reaction score
5,019
Location
GTA, Canada
First off, most 61 keyboards usually are already marked as to Middle C with a small arrow or other marking pointing down at the key.

Secondly, on every 61 keyboard I've ever seen Middle C defaults to two octaves above the leftmost key and three octaves above from there for leads. Generally speaking this is the most usable configuration though of course when using transpose and octave shift buttons these formalities go out the window.

Gary ;)
 
Ad

Advertisements

SeaGtGruff

I meant to play that note!
Moderator
Joined
Jun 6, 2014
Messages
3,930
Reaction score
1,656
In MIDI, Middle C (~261.6 Hz, depending on how you tune Concert A and which tuning system you use) has a Note value of 60. If you aren't sure which key on your keyboard (normally) outputs a Note value of 60, you can check the manual to see if it says so, as the specifications page will often list the number of keys and what Note values they're (normally) associated with. Of course, if you transpose or octave-shift the keyboard then that will affect the Note values generated by each key-- and if you split or layer multiple voices, with each voice having different octave or transpose settings, then it's possible for a single key to generate multiple Note values on different MIDI channels, as well as for multiple keys to generate the same Note value on different MIDI channels.

If your keyboard's manual doesn't say what the (normal) Note range is for the keys-- which would mean it's not a very good manual :p-- you can clear or disable any transposing and octave-shifting, then use a MIDI monitor to see which Note values are being sent. As Gary said, for a typical C-to-C 61-note keyboard, Middle C is always(?) the third C from the left.

One thing to beware of is the annoying (to me, anyway) practice that companies and software writers have of changing the "name" of the notes to suit their own personal preferences. In "Scientific Pitch Notation" (a.k.a. "American Standard Pitch Notation" and "International Pitch Notation"), Middle C is referred to as "C4." One explanation I've read is that this is because it's the fourth C key (starting from the left) on a standard piano keyboard, but the real reason is because the person who originally proposed this pitch notation-- Harvey Fletcher, I think (see http://asa.scitation.org/doi/10.1121/1.1916017)-- recommended using ~16.35 Hz as the reference pitch, or "C0." Unfortunately, some companies and software writers use notation which looks like Scientific Pitch Notation yet which really isn't, because they refer to Middle C as "C3" (e.g., Yamaha does this) or "C5" (e.g., I think Cakewalk does this). So it's important to go by the MIDI Note numbers rather than by whatever note names are listed for the keys, since the MIDI specifications don't allow for any such ambiguity regarding the Note values.

[Dear Diary: Today I gave myself a blinding headache by trying to make sense of keys, notes, note notations, reference pitches, tuning systems, octaves, scales, chords, and the number of white keys versus the number of black keys. Why do octave numbers change from B to C instead of G to A? Why do notes go from A to G instead of A to L if there are 12 notes in an octave? Why is the interval from one key to the next a "semi-tone" instead of a "tone"? And don't get me started on MIDI channel numbers and MIDI program numbers. I mean, if somebody asks me to send him something on channel 1, should I send it on channel 0, 1, or 2? Maybe he numbers the channels from 0 to 15 and I number them from 1 to 16, or vice versa? It's no wonder there's so much strife and discord in the world if people can't even agree about such simple things! The next time I start to think about these issues, please remind me not to start thinking about them, or to at least have some aspirin handy. Well, Diary, I hear the kettle whistling, so I have to go for now. Until next time, I remain faithfully yours.-- Perplexed]

[Announcer]"We now return you to the previously-unhijacked thread."[/Announcer] :p :p :p
 

Fred Coulter

Collector of ancient keyboards
Joined
Feb 15, 2016
Messages
825
Reaction score
427
Location
Central Florida
And the Europeans have their own system of labeling octaves. From Wikipedia:.
upload_2017-2-3_8-29-58.png
 
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
22
Reaction score
13
Thanks everybody for the replies and good advice! Looking at the suggested Roland Juno DS now.
Let me ask - there is a used Korg Juno D near me - is this an OK choice for what I am looking for?
There is also a used Roland Juno Gi for sale locally.
(I think there is a used Di at GC as well.)
Is the Juno DS enough better for my wants than the D, Gi or Di to pay the extra cash?

Thanks, all - this is really helping me!
 

happyrat1

Destroyer of Eardrums!!!
Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
12,108
Reaction score
5,019
Location
GTA, Canada
What's the difference in price?

If it's $200 or less I'd say get the DS.

A new DS ships with a warranty and 1300 patches.

It also offers sampler and vocoder functions.



If the difference between used and new is 30% or less then I'd say the DS is the better buy.

Gary ;)
 
Last edited:

scullen

Converts oxygen into carbon dioxide.
Joined
Jan 12, 2017
Messages
30
Reaction score
23
Location
North Texas
Someone will correct me if I'm wrong but I don't believe the older Junos have Pianos. The Juno DS does.
 
Ad

Advertisements

happyrat1

Destroyer of Eardrums!!!
Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
12,108
Reaction score
5,019
Location
GTA, Canada
And BTW, there's no such thing as a Korg Juno D. Either you mistyped or the person selling it has no idea what he's selling.

The Juno line is entirely manufactured by Roland and while I'm not 100% certain about the release order of the various Juno models my advice is to do your homework and don't buy anything older than 5 or 6 years old if you end up buying used.

Once a keyboard hits ten years or older, depending on usage and care during its lifetime, you are starting to look at some major repair bills in the near future.

Keyboards are electromechanical devices which are subject to normal wear and tear and neglect and misuses and abuses and ultimately all will fail eventually.

If you're buying used, try and buy something that was only used in a studio and was never hauled around and bashed up by roadies or used as a coffee table by some slob who never even owned a dustcover for it.

As for prices? On a three to five year old keyboard expect to pay about 60% of the original purchase price.

On anything older it depends on wear and tear and whether or not it's some rare vintage analog unit that's been fully restored or not.

Honestly, given that most people selling used gear on ebay and craigslist are idiots asking 90% of their original purchase price and the fact that a new Juno DS is very reasonably priced and comes with a full warranty I'll say again that your best bet is to save up a couple extra hundred and pull the trigger on a new unit.

If you're lucky you might find a dealer that has a floor model or demo unit that he's willing to knock off 20% of the regular price.

It never hurts to ask. :)

Good luck...

Gary ;)
 
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
22
Reaction score
13
789423A4-6399-4BB1-93B4-654AD4A768DA.jpeg

This is the one that is for sale locally for 300 - my bad! I meant Roland. Ask me about guitar stuff, and I'm good. Tube amps, etc. Keyboards are a new world for me!

I think you are right - newer the better. I'm just trying to keep it low, price wise. I guess I'm better off with something new!

Thanks for all the help, everyone!
 

happyrat1

Destroyer of Eardrums!!!
Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
12,108
Reaction score
5,019
Location
GTA, Canada
Last edited:
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
22
Reaction score
13

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top