Casio Outs Two Crazy-Looking New DJ/Producer Devices

Phil Morse | Founder & Tutor
Read time: 2 mins
Last updated 7 January, 2015

Casio’s XW-DJ1 is launched today alongside the XW-PD1: two new DJ/producer devices that from looks alone are clearly daring to be different…

Casio has today announced the XW-DJ1 and XW-PD1, two new products aimed at DJs and DJ/producers. Both are battery powered and have built-in speakers, and are also bound to have people scratching their heads and wondering exactly where the company took its design cues from.

The Millennium Falcon: The first thing that sprang to our minds when we saw these two new devices.

Well actually, the XW-DJ1 and XW-PD1 appear to have been influenced by the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars, although their ambitions are a little less lofty: The XW-DJ1 is a single-jogwheel DJ controller for Algoriddim’s djay 2 iOS software, and the XW-PD1 is a groovebox, with a 16-pad sampler, synthesiser, sequencer and effects engine.

Casio XW-DJ1

The XW-DJ1 has a decent sized jogwheel, but many DJs are going to wonder where the other jogwheel is.

The XW-DJ1 works with Algoriddim’s djay 2 and appears to have been intended for using that software on an iPhone, as it has a built-in clip for attaching such a device to the side of it. The 7″ jogwheel is bigger than that found on most DJ controllers, although there’s no word on whether it’s possible to plug two together for a dual-deck experience. It has a filter knob, but we couldn’t see any standard EQs, although it does offer FX; looping, cues and so on.

Casio XW-PD1

The XW-PD1: Casio pedigree under the cover, and can take the output of the XW-DJ1 as its input which could be creatively inspiring.

The XW-PD1 has a bank of 100 preset sounds lifted from Casio’s popular keyboard range, and can take the output from the XW-DJ1 as its input, allowing the creative-minded DJ/producer the chance to sample and remix directly from the output of djay2 on the fly. This unit can also double up as a Midi controller when connected to a computer. It’s unclear as to whether that’s also the case for the XW-DJ1, although as both can also be plugged in to your computer for USB power if needed, the XW-DJ1 looks likely to also be able to work with PC/Mac DJ software too.

The XW-DJ1 DJ Controller will have a recommended price of US$299 when it goes on sale this month, and the XW-PD1 Groove Center will be available from March for an MSRP of US$399.

First thoughts

Casio’s first foray into the world of DJing was a rebadged Vestax controller, the XW-J1, but this new brace of devices is altogether something different. We look forward to experimenting with the new controllers when we get a chance to review them, although at first glance we can’t help thinking they are being a bit too bold for the mass market they’re attempting to target.

Numark’s Orbit: Another controller that dared to be different, but which failed to take off… will Casio’s bold new direction go the same way?

They bring to mind the Numark Orbit, not because they do the same thing, but because that was another product that had some good ideas, but that ultimately appeared to answer a question nobody was asking. We’ll take a closer look at the Casio devices at NAMM in a couple of weeks and let you know our thoughts having seen them first hand.

• Someone actually had a go at a Millennium Falcon / platter mashup before! Check this out, and also a Pioneer version

What are your first thoughts about these two new devices? Do you like the fact that they’re battery powered and with built in speakers? Or does the whole concept feel a bit too far from the norm to you? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

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