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Kawai K5000
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> General Gear Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Author Kawai K5000
richard
any users/lover/haters here? No idea what they go for these days, but I must admit I am curious
ejr27233
I had a 5000s.
It was wonderful. Nice keyboard and fantastic sounds.
Unfortunately I sold it as I was using VST's mainly....... big big mistake.....
wavecircle
I played one years ago. I think for the 90s it was a great way to made additive sounds. I think there are easier ways now with software. The k5000 wasnt the most user friendly synth.
chvad
had it for years. bought it new back in the day. one of my all time favorite synths. Nothing sounds like it. The filter is an intense brain melter. I only recently sold it after having had it for a decade so and only because I wanted a refreshed palette after so many years.

The build is FANTASTIC. Best keys on any synth I've ever played. Semi-weighted, textured black keys. Super sexy. Heavy.

Lots of parameters. Decent FX. Programmable Arp. It has a morphing function to help ease the pain of over 1000 parameters per patch but the menus are laid out well, the screen is easy to read and after some time editing isn't the chore it seems to be when first diving in.

The only drawback I think was the reverb. I couldn't never get it to sit in a mix well with that on. Small thing.

If you get one make sure the drive is working, these things dont have TONS of internal memory and depending on your patches it can get used up rather quickly. Without the memory expansion, even though you have cataloged space for 2 banks of 128 patches... that's not a promise of 256 patches... you will prob run out of memory first. The disk drive is mad handy.
chvad
also... make sure you get the k5000s. the W is missing a lot of features and has a shit GM sound set. The R needs the external knob box and doesn't have the beautiful keys (obviously).
jonah
Good timing! I was just about to post that a new editor has been released. (I'm going to try it after I write this...) http://www.retouchelibre.net/index.php?categorie2/k5k-editor

Maybe browse the Wizoo guide to the k5000 in the yahoo group.

I'm a fan, but it took me a while to get it. It depends on what you want to use it for, but I think it's still sonically relevant because of it's limitations and interesting failures. The filter is ridiculous. If it was the only one I had I would hate Kawai.

Seconded on the S version. You can create some really expressive patches that you can radically change with slight tweaks. I found that the lack of memory is somewhat of a bummer and was thinking about getting a CF or SD emulator, but because the k5000 is so expressive and mutable I tend to treat it like a modular and just start recording once I have something I like.

I also agree about the reverb, some post processing to give it more stereo image does wonders for the sound.
ndkent
The K5000S with the keyboard has built in knobs. The knob box is not at all common but exists. To me the knobs are like macros in that you can't complete a patch with the knobs alone or reassign they are extremely performance oriented.

As mentioned the k5000W drops the knobs and throws in a general MIDI soundset (which by the nature of GM is pretty generic). The K5000R rack drops the knobs and has no GM. Not that I'd recommend the GM sounds but I can see why Kawai went for them. Being an additive synth it just does additive sounds. It can't do noise, think about it. So what they were doing it seems is to put in the General MIDI ROM synth in there to get the sort of staple sounds expected on a keyboard. But it's not like you can proceed to synthesize with the ROM presets

As for additive editing it's not super easy but the big graphic LCD sure helps.

As to the keys. Yes since Kawai manufacture their own keys (many makes don't and buy them from Italy or China) they made distinctive ones. As mentioned the smooth feel of the white keys and the sort of satiny black texture is really interesting on the fingers, the unweighted action is quite good. I do not like the rounded black key shape. I personally find I make more flubs because the rounded edge makes me hit a neighbor white key.

I think it is in the running as best, most advanced arpeggiator ever.

The sounds are fairly original but it's not a synth for noisy modulation fests, more for tonal evolving sounds that are free of ROM waves (not counting the W). You can do resonant filter style effects so it's not bland. But being based on additive harmonics gets you an alternative to FM that doesn't get you some of the noisy bursts that FM can do.
ultrashock
geniuos instrument, unfortunately forgotten by all within wrong marketing.. just as lots of other unique but not popular instuments :(
btw, Buchla 148 and 259 are also some kind of approximations into additive synthsis yet much more basic comparing to K5000 digital engine
Kent
I've had an 'S' for a dog's age. I've had it stored away for some time now but won't sell it as it is great and I'm really looking forward to moving into a bigger place where I'll have more room.

Cvhad has hit the nail on the head. I concur with all that he wrote.
joey
chvad wrote:
had it for years. bought it new back in the day. one of my all time favorite synths. Nothing sounds like it. The filter is an intense brain melter. I only recently sold it after having had it for a decade so and only because I wanted a refreshed palette after so many years.

The build is FANTASTIC. Best keys on any synth I've ever played. Semi-weighted, textured black keys. Super sexy. Heavy.

Lots of parameters. Decent FX. Programmable Arp. It has a morphing function to help ease the pain of over 1000 parameters per patch but the menus are laid out well, the screen is easy to read and after some time editing isn't the chore it seems to be when first diving in.

The only drawback I think was the reverb. I couldn't never get it to sit in a mix well with that on. Small thing.

If you get one make sure the drive is working, these things dont have TONS of internal memory and depending on your patches it can get used up rather quickly. Without the memory expansion, even though you have cataloged space for 2 banks of 128 patches... that's not a promise of 256 patches... you will prob run out of memory first. The disk drive is mad handy.



could you post some demos of your favorite k5000 sounds?
jonah
@ndkent All versions have waves to use for things like noise, in fact I'm pretty sure you can't integrate the GM sounds in the W directly into a patch.

I wish Kawai would get back in the synth game....
worstofthewurst
Fantastic synth. Others on the board have complained about its sound here and there - namely the filter and a hump in the mid section, but I think these thinks contribute to the unique sound of the K5000. I love how the digital filter distorts - its really gnarly. Others have complained about the high end, but in my experience, the K5000 is capable of really crystal clear, sparkly highs - its a matter of programming. The arpeggiator is really inspiring.

There are some really terrific presets floating around in the cloud, but you'll need a floppy disk drive and some command of DOS to make any use out of it, but if I can do it, anyone can, really.

I wouldn't have anything but the S version, but having the S version, I'd never ever ever sell it. Like some of the other digital synths I own (Fizmo, FS1R), a twist of a couple knobs radically change timbres in a way thats very different from anything analog.

They should be going for $500. Also be aware that yellowed keys are common, and not for being in smoking studios. The ABS plastic contains a bromine compound as a fire retardant, and this yellows over prolonged exposure to UV light. This may be reversible with retr0brite, but I didn't have luck with it.
cv slime 800
Here is some fun I had with the K5000W.

[s]http://soundcloud.com/cv-slime-800/kawai-k5000w[/s]
chvad
joey wrote:
could you post some demos of your favorite k5000 sounds?


Happy to!
The lead synth in this is the k5000s:
http://www.outside-the-skin.com/wp-content/plugins/mp3-player-plugin-f or-wordpress/YKIAA2005/08%20-%20Another%20Dead%20Comedian.mp3

Also the rhythmic lead in this:
http://www.outside-the-skin.com/wp-content/plugins/mp3-player-plugin-f or-wordpress/YKIAA2005/01%20-%20American%20Way.mp3

In this its the slurpy chirp weird shit fighting for bandwidth with the bassline. The bass was a Darkstar and both synths were being pumped through a DOD Metal Maniac. Through the sludge I still feel the K5ks is distinctive:
http://www.outside-the-skin.com/wp-content/plugins/mp3-player-plugin-f or-wordpress/YKIAA2005/04%20-%20The%20Most%20Appealing%20Thing.mp3

Similar to the second one and a bare bones dry as hell mix so you can hear the woody/nasal character of this patch a little better:
http://www.outside-the-skin.com/wp-content/plugins/mp3-player-plugin-f or-wordpress/YKIAA2005/unreleased%20-%20American%20Way%20-%20Pudn%27s% 20Minimalistmix.mp3
scozbor
I have the w. Love it! A few times I have thought to sell it, set it up again, and have my brain blown - again!
I use an external knob box, so the only thing I miss about the s is the arpeggiator which is no big deal because I use it for pads mostly. With the w you cannot mix gm roms within an additive patch, but you can use the other rom waves as oscillators alongside the additive stuff. I find this very useful actually.
stk
I've had a K5000S for years. Lovely keyboard, great (heavy!) build quality.
Capable of some really amazing, unique sounds, but is a real pain to program (the old quote about decorating your living room through the letterbox, whilst IIRC originally referring to the Wavestation, comes to mind).

Mine cost ~1200 around 9 years ago. I've seen them go for 500 these days.
scozbor
jonah wrote:
Good timing! I was just about to post that a new editor has been released. (I'm going to try it after I write this...) http://www.retouchelibre.net/index.php?categorie2/k5k-editor



Wow just fired this up and it looks great! have not hooked up the kawai to it yet but will try tonight! thanks and great work! I will be so stoked to finally have a good editor for this thing thumbs up
Adam-V
I'm sure there is a similar k5000 love thread here somewhere.

Bought mine in 2000 but I've only just started using it. Yep, it sat gathering dust on a shelf for the first 12 years of it's life...

From what I've experienced, it's a brilliant synth.

Cheers,
Adam-V
DougD
Great synth, I would never sell mine. I use it as my main controller keyboard as well because I like the keyboard action.
stepwriterun
I had the rack version back in 2002 or so but I sold it because I kept on having some weird midi loop issues that I couldn't solve. Basically, it would randomly send sysex messages and overload My sequencer. I loved the sound but never liked editing it. Too many parameters for the interface.
widdly
The 16 knobs on the k5000s also map to the controls in Roland JV synths, so you can use it for tweaking those too. It makes for a nice controller keyboard.

The PCM sounds are actually pretty cool. When I first got my k5000 I though they were a cheat and tried to do everything with ADD sources only.
mhtones
widdly wrote:
The 16 knobs on the k5000s also map to the controls in Roland JV synths, so you can use it for tweaking those too. It makes for a nice controller keyboard.


What??? eek! That's cool. Do u need to map the parameters or just plug a midi cable from the k5000s to the jv? I've got to try mine with my jv2080! That's a cool unexpected bonus. Thanks for sharing. thumbs up
widdly
You just plug it in. From memory, the bottom four knobs do the tone levels, the filter and res match up and some of the envelope controls match too. I think the portamento switch and knob work as well. It's fun for making drones on JV and fading the different tones in and out.
projectwoofer
Any MIDI controller such as the Behringer BCR or the Novation Remote SL can control the K5000(R/W)'s parameters...as I don't have much space, I've found the rack+controller much more efficient to my needs...
mhtones
widdly wrote:
You just plug it in. From memory, the bottom four knobs do the tone levels, the filter and res match up and some of the envelope controls match too. I think the portamento switch and knob work as well. It's fun for making drones on JV and fading the different tones in and out.


Great! Will have to try! thumbs up

Had a k5000r with knob box about 10 years ago to save space, but ran into the midi issues someone else mentioned earlier. So, ended up finding a local k5000s to replace it. I agree with the comment about the arpeggiator! It's a lot of fun to play with. And the arpeggiator notes are sent via midi out so you can use a midi/cv converter (I use dark energy) and send the arpeggiator thru to the modular! Hours of fun! w00t
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