Casio Trackformer XW-DJ1 XW-PD1 NAMM 2015 (3)

So we got to see the DJ’s millennium falcons. And it was actually kind of awesome. The pictures make them look mind boggling, and a little insane, but putting my hands on them kind of convinced me what the point is. To be clear, they are weird products, done in a strange way, but the implementation and structure is actually kind of awesome. At a show that has really felt like “more of the same,” having something just completely out there is a nice change.

XW-DJ1

We saw a demo given by Sara Simms on the XW-DJ1 connected to algoriddim DJ, and the XW-PD1 as a stand alone groove machine. The DJ controller is set to control two decks, with the ring around split for decks a and b. The platter can be swapped for each deck, and you can rotate the whole device to assist left handed or right handed scratchers. These were pre production units, so I don’t want to talk too much about the feel, since the final products will be completely different.

The layout of the deck controller is definitely unique and will take a lot of work to acclimate yourself to the workflow, but I think it is definitely something smart. The integration with algoriddim djay was pretty smooth, and everything worked exactly as you’d expect. We are all looking forward to a chance to put it through its paces for a full review.

Casio Trackformer XW-DJ1 XW-PD1 NAMM 2015 (1)

XW-PD1

As far as the groove box goes, it also does some smart things with the layout. The surrounding circle can be used as your step sequencer and pattern selector. You can either tap in your steps using the pads, or play live and have it recorded down, you can load your own samples, as well as use the included ones. We weren’t able to get information on how many samples it holds yet, but I’m sure that information will be forthcoming. There are 150 included effects, though, and that is a mind boggling number for a device this small. The pads feel VERY similar to the Vestax VCI-380, so take that for whatever it is worth.

They can also be linked together, running the DJ-1 into the PD-1. That way you can play your own sequences over your tracks, live remix, and run through the effects on the PD-1. There was not MIDI sync available between the two, and that could cause some people some serious concerns. But if you are confident in your rhythm it shouldn’t be much of an issue. And being able to run the DJ controller through the effects in the groove box is a lot of fun. Once again, once we get our hands in these be ready for some crazy reviews.

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