Casio DJ Controllers – 2 new XW Series Controllers for DJ market
These 2 new Casio DJ Controllers signals the Japanese tech company’s entry into the DJ market although not for the first time. At NAMM 2014 they showed off the Casio XW-J1 DJ Controller which was actually a Vestax Spin rebranded and dressed up as a Casio. Sadly, as we reported, Vestax declared bankruptcy late last year so we’re not too sure how long the XW-J1 will remain in production although it is still listed on their website.
But the new Casio DJ controllers are something completely different to look at. These new devices look nothing like the standard all-in-one layout of a central mixer with DJ decks either side. For a company that has specialised in keyboards for so long, mainly at the entry level and youth sector of the market, these new toys are a strong indicator as to what kids are into these days… no learning to play piano…. it’s all about being a DJ now!
The two new Casio DJ controllers are:
The Casio XW-DJ1 is a DJ controller with a 7-inch platter presumably to feel like a turntable platter, filter controls and dual crossfaders. It can be battery operated and also has a built-in speaker in keeping with their keyboard ranges which also have almost always sported built-in speakers. You can connect the Casio XW-DJ1 to your PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad or other devices and it is compatible with djay 2 for iPhone / iPad / iPod touch (a DJ app for iPhone and iPad), djay for Mac (a DJ app for Macintosh), Deckadance (DJ software for PC).
The Casio XW-PD1 Groove Center is a standalone production controller which combines a 16-pad sampler with a synthesizer, sequencer and effector. The sound engine comes from their XW series of synthesizers and sports many of the preset patterns from professional beat makes for dance music, trap and EDM. The pads are velocity sensitive.
The Casio XW-PD1 also has built-in DSP effects such as filter, bit crush, vinyl break, pitch shift and roll. Sequences using the pad tap can be recorded in real time and sounds sampled from the built in mic can be triggered via the pads.
Both the Casio XW-DJ1 and XW-PD1 can also be used together for a full performance.
Are the new Casio DJ Controllers too gimmicky?
Many working DJs may no doubt laugh at these new Casio DJ controllers as gimmicky.
Admittedly they don’t look super pro and seem a little toy-like and plasticky. But you gotta hand it to the company for trying something new and different and who knows – we may actually see some other more professional looking controllers taking on a new format outside of the standard pad and DJ controller layout on the market.
These new Casio DJ controllers sure look space aged enough but will you be taken seriously jamming on one of these?