Monday, March 09, 2009

Kawai K3

via this auction
"Basics: 6-voices. Although it's structured like a conventional subractive analog synth, instead of dual VCOs with a choice of waveforms the sounds are based on 31 discrete digital waveforms. These are then routed through standard VCF and VCA. The keyboard is semi-weighted (still fairly light) and is velocity and aftertouch sensitive. MIDI in, out & thru. 50 built-in patches (all user-modifiable). Oh, and it's built like a tank (read: lots of metal parts & very heavy)...

Despite having a variation of digital-access control, it is still very easy to program. Each parameter has a button - go into edit mode, press the button for the desired parameter, and turn the increment dial. The values change in real time and you can immediately hear the effect. I don't miss having a mod wheel at all - I find the aftertouch so much more intuitive for controlling modulation effects. In addition to the LFO, you can route aftertouch to the filter and VCA as well (great for swells on string patches). There is portamento, and a mono mode which stack all six voices. The MIDI implementation is good. There's also a built-in chorus with seven different variations, including a very cool stereo panning effect. As far as the sounds go, some of the presets are quite good, and with the ease programmability you can whip up a nice set of teeth-setting basses, cutting lead lines, and syrupy strings in short order. And if you get tired of the built-in waveforms, you can also build your own from scratch."

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