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e-smile-z
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#1
19th December 2010
Old 19th December 2010
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kurzweil pc3 user feedback

hey i m looking for some kind of a user feedback from people using the kurzweil pc3 .
i. used the fantom a lot in the past which i found cool.i wanna use the pc361 as a luxery masterkeyboard for my daw with sounds...
only 'studio' use...
i watched a few youtube videos and the sound impressed me i have read a lot about the kind of modular soundengine.
do you really have fun creating sounds?(on a daw)
are there any ugly bugs?is the soundtower editor stable?
the build quality?
compared to the other big workstation?

i m gonna try out one the store in a few weeks...
#2
19th December 2010
Old 19th December 2010
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Well I don't own a pc3, but I looked everywhere in nyc for a store that had one in stock. When I finally found one, I brought my own headphones, played the first initial program. I stood there speechless, I literally stayed at the store till they were closing. I messed with them all from the motif, to the fantom, and even the oasys, not one of them made me feel the way I felt when I first heard the kurz.
#3
19th December 2010
Old 19th December 2010
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The PC3 is perfect as the centerpiece of a studio. I have one and I run everything off of it in my studio. It is amazing, and the master keyboard functions along with very realistic samples make it a real winner. It is also an incredibly deep synth and has a very nice VA under the hood as well. Such a good one that I am thinking of selling off a lot of my studio synths and using mainly it as the source material and running the rest ITB. Get one while the price is so low. The new 2.0 OS is going to add a new level of editing and they will be bringing out an additional sound expansion ( it has room for two). Get one and do not look back.
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#4
19th December 2010
Old 19th December 2010
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What's the main difference between the PC361 and PC3LE6? They're both called performance controllers but the LE6 is more of a workstation?
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#5
19th December 2010
Old 19th December 2010
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i have had one for a year and a half, have gigged it and its the proud master keyboard in my home studio. love it, dynamic v.a.s.t is a great improvement and the va-1 filters and osc are great too. also it has a way better soundbank than any other kurzweil and as much kdfx as a ksp8!

if i could have only one synth, it would be this
monster!
#6
20th December 2010
Old 20th December 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoBeach View Post
What's the main difference between the PC361 and PC3LE6? They're both called performance controllers but the LE6 is more of a workstation?
LE is a cutdown version. Grab the PC3 period.
#7
20th December 2010
Old 20th December 2010
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kurzweil pc3 user feedback

Pc3x is the one to get. I can't stop playing it. I'm neglecting other gear and just enjoying it. The keybed is about as good as it gets, too. The soundtower editor is sufficient in terms of getting deeper with it.
#8
20th December 2010
Old 20th December 2010
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Why I'd buy a PC3 (warning -- long): PC3 Nerd: Why the PC3?

Basically it dominates. And it's cheaper right now than any of its "competition".
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#9
25th December 2010
Old 25th December 2010
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Just go myself a PC3X. I also have a Motif XS8 and I can already say now that the Kurzweil will be my main instrument.
The Motif XS8 is great, it has more sounds, better sequencer, better sampling functionality, great keyboard and some of the sound are even better than in the PC3X. But you never get the feeling that there is something left to discover.
The PC3X outplays the Motif XS8 for orchestral, piano's, electric piano's and organs.
But there's more.......
The PC3X feels like an instrument, not like a workstation with thousands of predefined sounds. I don't care for all this extra stuff. I need a keyboard to use as a mastering keyboard in my home studio as well as on stage. There is no better piece for this than the PC3X. Period.
On top, I get killer sound for every instrument I use in my band and in the studio. Piano, rhodes, wurlitzer, orchestral, KB3, mellotron's, etc. I was pleasantly surprised with the drums sounds as well. Wow!
And...... I feel that pleasantly itchy feeling of wanting to discover everything VA-1 has to offer. The preset patches are just the top of a very large iceberg. The V.A.S.T. technology + KDFX leave SOOOOO much left to explore. Whoohooo!

Merry Christmas everybody! Make the PC3 your new year's resolution.
#10
26th December 2010
Old 26th December 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e-smile-z View Post
hey i m looking for some kind of a user feedback from people using the kurzweil pc3 .
i. used the fantom a lot in the past which i found cool.i wanna use the pc361 as a luxery masterkeyboard for my daw with sounds...
only 'studio' use...
i watched a few youtube videos and the sound impressed me i have read a lot about the kind of modular soundengine.
do you really have fun creating sounds?(on a daw)
are there any ugly bugs?is the soundtower editor stable?
the build quality?
compared to the other big workstation?

i m gonna try out one the store in a few weeks...

It is very good for the price. As synth it is really awesome, and I personally don't find making sounds that hard, though it might not be the fastest thing around (while not being slowest either). FX system is one of the bests out there.

As sample player... it is up there, maybe not quiet as good as say, motif. I still feel like samples are coming to the end of the road though. Anyway the piano sound's release is a bit fast and there is not enough velocity layers for sampled piano, it is better than Fantom X's though.

The classic keys stuff like melletron etc. is very good, too bad I don't use them much.

There is also organ modeler in the board, while it doesn't quiet sound like real hammond and the leslie is off, it is still whole class ahead of fantom x's terrible organ sounds.

The board is very stable, not many bugs around.
#11
3rd January 2011
Old 3rd January 2011
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it's amazing. Hmm, yeah. It's amazing. Play with the setup mode patches...yeah...now try to think about all the stuff you can do.
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#12
27th January 2011
Old 27th January 2011
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I got on PC3X a few months ago. I thought it was great compared to other keyboards I tried at the time which didn't really inspire me that much. Fantastic effects for a start. Presets are all pretty good. Totally feels like an instrument to be played rather than a workstation. Now I'm getting more into designing sounds. It's incredible. I really can't find any major faults with it. Even build quality is rock solid. A creative paradise. The more I use it the better it seems to get.
#13
27th January 2011
Old 27th January 2011
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im still uncertain about the pc3

what it does well is superb

but what it doesn't do at all is a strange omission

specifically , no sampling / audio tracks / audio input , 1992 user interface needs a total overhaul . vast still has some quirky limitations that have not changed , its just VAST on steroids ,which inst a bad thing but they could have addressed some limitations

so I am conflicted , especially as I have a 2500 with kdfx anyway
#14
27th January 2011
Old 27th January 2011
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The PC3 is more of a performance board with workstation functions thrown in. It sounds incredible, and would compliment a K2500, especially at these current prices for one. It does alot for the money, and is great at controlling my studio. However, my needs are probably pretty spartan versus what others need.
#15
27th January 2011
Old 27th January 2011
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I wonder if someone could comment specifically on the sequencer. I realize that the PC3 is not primarily a "workstation," but having just sold my M50, I'm looking for another workstation-like synth to be the hub of my (computer-free) setup. I was planning to sell off some other stuff for a Kronos -- and might still do that -- but the prices on PC3s are so low that it would irresponsible not to consider it as an option.

So, for one who is already accustomed to doing all his MIDI sequencing on a workstation, will the PC3 fly? Also, can the arp data be transmitted as MIDI data to external sound sources?
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#16
27th January 2011
Old 27th January 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CfNorENa View Post
So, for one who is already accustomed to doing all his MIDI sequencing on a workstation, will the PC3 fly?
I suppose so, the little sequencing I do is done in the PC3 sequencer for "riff" useage. I find it easy. You can transfer any midi file to the PC3 and save it if you need to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CfNorENa View Post
Also, can the arp data be transmitted as MIDI data to external sound sources?
Yes! No problem whatsoever. I tend to use the riffs for arp stuff too, since they're so flexible.

Two "boni";

- With the new os you can rechannelize, transpose and reroute incoming midi (and midi over usb separately) data to other synts, using all the controllers, riffs and sequencer on the PC3.

- It's an incredibly deep and versatile synth, moreso than the factory demos show. There are excellent 3rd party soundsets showing the true potential of the PC3, you can do true FM in os 2, and VAST sounds more analog than many dedicated VA:s. I find that the more I learn about the PC3, the more modules I sell. It covers a LOT of ground.
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#17
28th January 2011
Old 28th January 2011
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by analogaddict View Post

- It's an incredibly deep and versatile synth, moreso than the factory demos show. There are excellent 3rd party soundsets showing the true potential of the PC3, you can do true FM in os 2, and VAST sounds more analog than many dedicated VA:s. I find that the more I learn about the PC3, the more modules I sell. It covers a LOT of ground.
Could refer me to these 3rd party soundsets? I am very interested in them.
If not here, than maybe by pm.

Thanks!
#18
28th January 2011
Old 28th January 2011
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I think Commercial PC3 soundsets lists all of them. Moose Attack is by far the one I use the most, but I think they're all good (yes, I have them all!) and may also serve as starting points for your own programming.

Last edited by analogaddict; 28th January 2011 at 06:40 PM.. Reason: more thoughts.
#19
1st February 2011
Old 1st February 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oden View Post
It is very good for the price. As synth it is really awesome, and I personally don't find making sounds that hard, though it might not be the fastest thing around (while not being slowest either). FX system is one of the bests out there.

As sample player... it is up there, maybe not quiet as good as say, motif. I still feel like samples are coming to the end of the road though. Anyway the piano sound's release is a bit fast and there is not enough velocity layers for sampled piano, it is better than Fantom X's though.

The classic keys stuff like melletron etc. is very good, too bad I don't use them much.

There is also organ modeler in the board, while it doesn't quiet sound like real hammond and the leslie is off, it is still whole class ahead of fantom x's terrible organ sounds.

The board is very stable, not many bugs around.
It doesnt sound like real Hammond because you dont know how to create that sound. Leslie is killer, but you must know how to tweak it. This is not preset player machine....
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#20
1st February 2011
Old 1st February 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icecubeman View Post
It doesnt sound like real Hammond because you dont know how to create that sound. Leslie is killer, but you must know how to tweak it. This is not preset player machine....
I wish someone would post a tutorial on that. I have 2 B3:s and an XK3c and I can't get a B3 sound in KB3 I like enough to leave the others at home. I usually run VB3 on a V-machine, VB3 sounds great to me.
#21
1st February 2011
Old 1st February 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvsky View Post
im still uncertain about the pc3

what it does well is superb

but what it doesn't do at all is a strange omission

specifically , no sampling / audio tracks / audio input , 1992 user interface
needs a total overhaul . vast still has some quirky limitations that have not changed , its just VAST on steroids ,which inst a bad thing but they could have addressed some limitations

so I am conflicted , especially as I have a 2500 with kdfx anyway
I have the k2661 with the sampler installed. I have very much the same conflict and as tempted as I am (a pc361 just sold for 990 on ebay yesterday) I'm trying to hold off. Dave Weiser has addressed some of the reasons for this on the VAST forum (hostile take over, R&D suspended, people laid off, almost going out of business etc) The pc3 was an update to a keyboard that wasn't meant to be the next step in evolution to the K series. He has suggested that they have something else in the works that will be an interesting update in the next few years. Kurzweil has effectively been turned into a very small company. I can't recall how many people are still working there but it isn't large.

The VA engine sounds fantastic, the anti aliasing is a huge bonus and the improved VAST and the KDFX are better than any on board effects on a synth ever imo (though it can't be used on other synths or instruments which is a big negative). But if I didn't have a kurz already I would certainly have bought the pc361. I will wait and see what the next thing will bring. There is a thread on sonikmatter and the VAST forum for feedback to kurzweil about what users would like to see in the next installment. A larger LCD is definitely up there on the list. The ability to process external audio as well. Better implementation on the VA engine. And some KNOBS.

Although Poserp's suggestion of adding the BCR2000 is a great idea that I may well consider. I just don't like using a slider to effect resonance and cutoff freq. It's all wrong somehow. I don't know about the onboard sequencer on the pc3, I find the the one on mine kind of a bear with regards to having different effects on different patches playing at the same time. I think there is a work around but I haven't bothered because I sequence with the computer. I imagine for live application though this would be useful.

http://soundcloud.com/instruments-of-flight/max-msp-controlling-kurzweil-k2661
#22
1st February 2011
Old 1st February 2011
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editing patches is quite a pain at first with the "algorithm" patch structure.
#23
1st February 2011
Old 1st February 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gr8ape View Post
editing patches is quite a pain at first with the "algorithm" patch structure.
Yeah, the learning curve is steep... But then again it's more flexible than any other competing workstation/performance controller.
#24
1st February 2011
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I'm using the k2661 at the moment. I use the SM card constantly to import .krz files and even my own .krz filled with my own samples. This is a awesome way to access the kurz VAST and FX engines to use with your own samples - it's crazy!!!

At this point I'm completely drooling over having a pc3K to do this with $$$. Soon maybe

don't get the pc361, for the little extra you get so much more. pc361 is severly limeted for editing
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#25
2nd February 2011
Old 2nd February 2011
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is a there a great deal of difference between the PC2 and the PC3? Its just Ive got a maxxed out PC2R (with both ROMs) and I was told apart from the VA 1, there wasnt a great deal of difference soundwise between them?
#26
7th February 2011
Old 7th February 2011
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I actually have one gripe with my PC3x. The aftertouch requires you to press too hard in my opinion. Is this the experience of others here? I mean the physical amount you have to press to activate any aftertouch. I know you can alter it's curves after it kicks in.

I recently got an old Yamaha CS50 synth which has perfect aftertouch.
#27
7th February 2011
Old 7th February 2011
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can't you make your own scale maps for those things ?

you could on the K2000.
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#28
7th February 2011
Old 7th February 2011
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Efflux, you're not alone in that. I have to lean on the keys to get aftertouch.
#29
7th February 2011
Old 7th February 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by efflux View Post
I actually have one gripe with my PC3x. The aftertouch requires you to press too hard in my opinion. Is this the experience of others here? I mean the physical amount you have to press to activate any aftertouch. I know you can alter it's curves after it kicks in.

I recently got an old Yamaha CS50 synth which has perfect aftertouch.
I was like this first...

Now I think it is too easy to press.
#30
7th February 2011
Old 7th February 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muser View Post
can't you make your own scale maps for those things ?

you could on the K2000.
Yes. These are selectable in MASTER mode or you can tweak at response for any Program using the Lowpass FUN.

For the uninitiated, VAST structure is actually pretty straightforward. VAST consists of "Blocks" that are strung together via "Algorithms". On one side of an Algorithm you have the sample-playback block. On the other you have a final AMP block. The whole arrangement is called a "Layer". You can do all sorts of stuff in between sample-playback and the final amp, including changing the wiring between blocks (including using or not using sample playback). This ASCII representation is more or less what you'd actually see on the screen:

Code:
     -----       ------       --------
--- | SAW | --- | GAIN | --- | SHAPER | ---
     -----       ------       --------
The sample playback block is effectively on the left-hand side and the final AMP is on the right-hand side. You can bypass the final amp and send the output of one Layer into another if you want to use more DSP than what's available on a Layer.

Each block has some number of parameters that can be modified; for a filter the parameters might be cutoff and resonance, for a DSP oscillator it'd be pitch, and so on. These can be controlled using any MIDI CC, the two Layer-specific LFOs, the Layer-specific envelopes, random values, four Layer-specific FUNs (equations combining any two control sources and/or other FUNs), and so on. You can have up to 32 Layers in a Program, so you can have all sorts of mayhem going on.

Anyways, the ability to chain up to 32 Layers is a huge plus over the K2600 (which has "Triple Mode", but you can't change the wiring between blocks and you're limited to three Layers in series) and the PC2xx series and allows for all sorts of wild and crazy things above and beyond any keyboard out there.
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