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Kawai K5m
Old 10th February 2016
  #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bitleyTM View Post
With the right software (Atari I guess) you could convert samples into additive synth programs for the K5. I once played a K5 with such "translated" sounds, like choirs and other interesting things. That's the way to use the K5. Forget about digital DX- and VZ-like sounds, the K5 is much more powerful than that. The youtube video is just an example of a user who has misunderstood the hidden powers of this synth.
I find it really pointless to compare an additive engine to an FM synth especially saying it's much more powerful. Totally wrong, sorry!

Oh! Sounddiver and other programs (for Windows) let you also convert samples to additive for K5000. Sorry, couldn't resist!
Old 11th February 2016
  #62
Quote:
Originally Posted by projectwoofer View Post
I find it really pointless to compare an additive engine to an FM synth especially saying it's much more powerful. Totally wrong, sorry!

Oh! Sounddiver and other programs (for Windows) let you also convert samples to additive for K5000. Sorry, couldn't resist!
Oh wiseguy eh?
Actually I did see that (Sounddiver) it's cool but not a Mac person.
About this time tomorrow I should be waiting for a train with a duffle bag full of K5m and TQ5. At least I know I'll like and keep the Yamaha. A different flavor of FM to go with the FB-01. And its archaic little sequencer looks like big geekfest fun for me
Old 11th February 2016
  #63
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kier one's Avatar
 

Surprised someone started this thread back up. OK, its a decent synth. (I have 2) I haven't read every post so excuse me if I am reiterating what has already been said.
First, the outputs are noisy. That's really the only bad thing you can say about it. Period. What, do you expect an experimental synth that was designed to be affordable will sound like a real orchestra? No way... If you are creative it can make some extremely detuned harmonics with absolute control. On top of that you can detune the multi patches. The envelopes are extremely versatile. It's like you are building a sample from scratch. Those are the main plusses.
Old 11th February 2016
  #64
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kier one's Avatar
 

Think of it like this... You have 4 env's. 128 harmonics or split in two. You can assign any single harmonic to one of those 4 env's. as well you can assign subtle vibrato on/off, frequency of the harmonic, and stuff like odd or even harmonics. That is all before the filter and the Amplifier env. It is a weird synth, but not that tedious, and definitely not that difficult. Basically having any idea of how to mix these 4 env's together w different rates etc, and actually organizing what you do so it doesn't sound like mud. The Lightcycles patch for instance is pretty amazing, and so is Kromezone.

Lastly, the menus are really easy to access because there are dedicated buttons for all of them.

Admittedly I want to believe in this synths potential, which it has, but its no 303, or SP1200, or anything with instant gratification besides some of the presets. It takes a while to program a single patch but you can copy any of the building blocks of a patch from one to the other (Env section, Harmonics section, filter etc. all swappable pretty much instantly. You get the picture.
Old 11th February 2016
  #65
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kier one's Avatar
 

I've never tried to sell mine, but I guess they are worthless. K5m
Old 11th February 2016
  #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollowman9 View Post
Oh wiseguy eh?
Actually I did see that (Sounddiver) it's cool but not a Mac person.
About this time tomorrow I should be waiting for a train with a duffle bag full of K5m and TQ5. At least I know I'll like and keep the Yamaha. A different flavor of FM to go with the FB-01. And its archaic little sequencer looks like big geekfest fun for me
Haha! Cool!
Old 11th February 2016
  #67
Quote:
Originally Posted by projectwoofer View Post
Haha! Cool!
Which other programs were you referring to besides Soundiver?
I'd like to look them up even if I don't have a K5000. Just curious.
Old 11th February 2016
  #68
i used to use Atari software librarian which came with all 10 banks of patches Kawai used to sell for the K5, but i gave away my STe years ago now... think i found it on a cover disk of an old ST Format mag.

these two should be free
Papareil Synlib KAWAI K5 K5M
Kfuenf - Kawai K5 free librarian - bankloader

here's a collection of patches (don't know it, they want $... it's likely based off the 10 banks Kawai put out)
http://www.amazon.com/KAWAI-Original.../dp/B00JBH2K3I

and then there's soundquest
Sound Quest Kawai K5 Editor/Librarian
Old 11th February 2016
  #69
Quote:
Originally Posted by kier one View Post
Think of it like this... You have 4 env's. 128 harmonics or split in two. You can assign any single harmonic to one of those 4 env's. as well you can assign subtle vibrato on/off, frequency of the harmonic, and stuff like odd or even harmonics. That is all before the filter and the Amplifier env. It is a weird synth, but not that tedious, and definitely not that difficult. Basically having any idea of how to mix these 4 env's together w different rates etc, and actually organizing what you do so it doesn't sound like mud. The Lightcycles patch for instance is pretty amazing, and so is Kromezone.

Lastly, the menus are really easy to access because there are dedicated buttons for all of them.

Admittedly I want to believe in this synths potential, which it has, but its no 303, or SP1200, or anything with instant gratification besides some of the presets. It takes a while to program a single patch but you can copy any of the building blocks of a patch from one to the other (Env section, Harmonics section, filter etc. all swappable pretty much instantly. You get the picture.
This is great info! I really appreciate you taking the time to describe the synth. The copy function sounds nice. I wish more instruments had that!
I've got plenty of cool instruments I can go to for instant gratification and even more of the other persuasion. I'm not turned off by lengthy editing sessions I just wait until I'm sick in bed with the flu or something to do those so I pass the time. Even my arduous VZ-1 gets a session at least once a year so I have fresh new patches to use.

Tonight I'll get to experience the machine in person. All of the useful information shared about this synth on this thread has been a big help. It's given me some idea what to expect and also what I might achieve by putting some effort into it. Thanks everybody!

I'll report back here about how I like/dislike it.
Old 11th February 2016
  #70
Quote:
Originally Posted by robwood View Post
think these two are free
Papareil Synlib KAWAI K5 K5M
Kfuenf - Kawai K5 free librarian - bankloader

here's a collection of patches (don't know it, probably based off the 10 banks Kawai orig put out)
http://www.amazon.com/KAWAI-Original.../dp/B00JBH2K3I

and there's soundquest
Sound Quest Kawai K5 Editor/Librarian
Sweet! Thank you! these will be a big help
The second librarian runs on both Windows and Linux which is great since my PC is dual boot with those OS's. Very nice!

And I've got the Steem emulator downloaded now too which looks very useful for Atari programs.
http://steem.atari.st/

Oh hey! Wavemaker allows conversion of DX-7 sounds to additive. Interesting!
http://www.kfuenf.org/KAWAI.K5/
Definitely going to try that!
Old 11th February 2016
  #71
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multitrack's Avatar
Owned a Kawai K5 and loved it. Sold it for a K5000w and hated it. I should have got a K5000s. Regardless, I had made some really nice patches with the K5. There is kind of a secret to Additive programing. You need harmonic charts of the waves you’re trying to create. If you follow the patterns you can make the K5 sound like the wave you’re trying to create. If you just happen to be a Kawai K1 owner, the waveform chart of the K1’s waves included a chart of the harmonic content for each wave. There’s K1 waves for pianos, bass, and even classic saw and pulse waves. I’d plug those patterns into the K5’s oscillators and I’d get pretty close to the wave forms I was looking for. I had some pretty nice brass, bass, bell, lead, and digital piano patches. The sound is closer to FM then analog. It’s a very digital sounding instrument with lots of bright high-end but it could also be rich and full. It’s a nice digital instrument to compliment a phat analog.
Old 11th February 2016
  #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollowman9 View Post
Which other programs were you referring to besides Soundiver?
I'd like to look them up even if I don't have a K5000. Just curious.
Honestly I only use Sounddiver but there was also a software called K5K Cuisinart that could do that too although I can't seem to find it online anymore...
Old 11th February 2016
  #73
Gear Guru
 
Derp's Avatar
The TQ5 is awesome. It's basically a TX81Z with a sequencer slapped on, but there's one awesome function that was brought in from the YS200: The job function. It won't allow you to edit everything from the front panel, but it will let you get to a lot of functions very quickly. Use software to get a patch most of the way there, and then use the job functions to get it the rest of the way. Great and very underrated synth.
Old 11th February 2016
  #74
Quote:
Originally Posted by projectwoofer View Post
Honestly I only use Sounddiver but there was also a software called K5K Cuisinart that could do that too although I can't seem to find it online anymore...
Thanks! I also read that this Atari program can do it...
The Caged Artist Series
I'm setting up Steem anyway's for the TQ5 editor so I'll give this a try too.
Old 11th February 2016
  #75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derp View Post
The TQ5 is awesome. It's basically a TX81Z with a sequencer slapped on, but there's one awesome function that was brought in from the YS200: The job function. It won't allow you to edit everything from the front panel, but it will let you get to a lot of functions very quickly. Use software to get a patch most of the way there, and then use the job functions to get it the rest of the way. Great and very underrated synth.
I agree now that I have read through the user manual for it. It's got some surprising features. I didn't even know it had effects! I'm actually impressed with the sequencer. Not only does it have some rather sophisticated editing jobs but it is also pretty logical and quick to use. At only 8 tracks it isn't much more than a scratchpad for me but it's a nice scratchpad and it does transmit the track via Midi out and you can even set the transmit channel for each track. Nice!
@ multitrack that's good info about the harmonic charts. I'm going to try running some other synths through a spectrum analysis tool and then recreating the harmonics in the K5 to see how close I can get.
Old 11th February 2016
  #76
Gear Guru
 
Derp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollowman9 View Post
I agree now that I have read through the user manual for it. It's got some surprising features. I didn't even know it had effects! I'm actually impressed with the sequencer. Not only does it have some rather sophisticated editing jobs but it is also pretty logical and quick to use. At only 8 tracks it isn't much more than a scratchpad for me but it's a nice scratchpad and it does transmit the track via Midi out and you can even set the transmit channel for each track. Nice!
@ multitrack that's good info about the harmonic charts. I'm going to try running some other synths through a spectrum analysis tool and then recreating the harmonics in the K5 to see how close I can get.
Ya know, the MMT8 only had eight tracks... I'll bet that could be an awesome sequencer if you put your mind to it!
Old 11th February 2016
  #77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derp View Post
Ya know, the MMT8 only had eight tracks... I'll bet that could be an awesome sequencer if you put your mind to it!
This sequencer will be put through it's paces. Especially useful that it can sync to incoming Midi clock too. That sequencer, my RY30 and the FutureRetro Zillion would be a nice combo and permit some serious production while fitting on only a small night stand - fun!
I have myself another portable mini-rig to take on trips in a backpack.
Old 12th February 2016
  #78
The haterz tried to stop me, but my perversity was stronger
Attached Thumbnails
Kawai K5m-20160211_205029.jpg  
Old 12th February 2016
  #79
cool... gotta post some audio
Old 12th February 2016
  #80
Quote:
Originally Posted by robwood View Post
cool... gotta post some audio
Consider it done. If I really like the synth I'll do a full review with a demo. Need some time to come to grips with it and try out all the related software I downloaded. As of now all I can report is it is built as ruggedly as the K3. Kawai should have built trucks or tanks or battleships!
Old 12th February 2016
  #81
Gear Guru
 
Derp's Avatar
Rub your wiener on it to assert your dominance!
Old 12th February 2016
  #82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derp View Post
Rub your wiener on it to assert your dominance!
It's my bitch now.
1st patch made. 1 hour session, lots of blundering randomness and wtf...
But I made something I would use in my music and it sounds unlike any factory patch or online demo I've heard.
This thing is like 10 times easier to program than the VZ-1. On VZ, cursor, cursor, cursor, menu, menu, edit 8 stage eg, menu, menu, cursor, cursor cursor, menu, menu , edit 8 stage eg, repeat forever....
K5, press ENV button 1-4, edit 6 stage eg. On one ENV you have 4 egs on a single page with shadow option. Dead easy. I don't see what so many have whined so hard about

The sound is dirty. Grungy on the bottom. Crystal on top. Has character. Weird character. But the kind of rough surface FX can stick nicely to.

The filter is maybe 6db/oct. At best. More like a wah effect and useful if taken in that light. The graphic EQ on the other hand is surprisingly effective. Carves big swaths of harmonics at I'm guessing 12 or 15 db/oct.
Can take a distorted, dissonance and make it almost choir-like. Pretty cool!

In dual mode the DFG allows detuning the harmonic generators and you can set one or both to fixed pitch - nice!

The LFO is free running but shared by all voices. This does not seem to be the case with egs. Setting the harmonic egs to loop they are running per voice. Think Polaris LFO! This adds good movement to what would be a rather static boring sound.
only 1 factory patch does this

The harmonics are easy to edit but there's alot of them. The groupings do save time, especially range.

My unit has no back light
It has sticky buttons
I need to shut my eyes. Staring at the unreadable screen making me cranky

But so far I like it
But time for

Last edited by Hollowman9; 12th February 2016 at 07:10 AM..
Old 12th February 2016
  #83
Quote:
Originally Posted by projectwoofer View Post
I find it really pointless to compare an additive engine to an FM synth especially saying it's much more powerful. Totally wrong, sorry!

Oh! Sounddiver and other programs (for Windows) let you also convert samples to additive for K5000. Sorry, couldn't resist!
What I meant to say was that creating FM-like sounds on the K5, while doable, is not exploring what the K5 really can do. With conversion software, the K5 can do resynthesis. I doubt Sounddiver could do that though but I think a long gone Dr T's Atari program could.
Old 12th February 2016
  #84
here's two articles on replacing the LCD backlight of the Kawai K5.
if you're not a tech or tech-savvy you may wanna ignore this post.
Sequence 15: Adventures in Backlighting, Part 3: The K5m Lives!
Kfuenf - Kawai K5 LCD help area
better off programming via software editor anyway if possible... my lcd worked ok, but too small imo. good luck!
Old 12th February 2016
  #85
I'll replace the EL strip if I decide to buy the synth. And fix the damn sticky buttons. This weekend I'll try getting all this cool Atari software running so the buttons won't slow me down.
Old 12th February 2016
  #86
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acreil's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollowman9 View Post
The sound is dirty. Grungy on the bottom. Crystal on top. Has character. Weird character. But the kind of rough surface FX can stick nicely to.
Can you post a sample? Single oscillator, low pitch, miscellaneous harmonics. Probably I can determine the waveform resolution and type of interpolation from that.
Old 12th February 2016
  #87
Quote:
Originally Posted by acreil View Post
Can you post a sample? Single oscillator, low pitch, miscellaneous harmonics. Probably I can determine the waveform resolution and type of interpolation from that.
Ok, I'll try to make some during the weekend. Regarding the grunge I hear, think Casio FZ-1. Somewhat similar sounding. The FZ shared one DAC for all voices I think and the more voices you used the more grungy the bottom would sound - the highs too. but the K5 has pretty nice sounding highs. I think they are slightly s***** or faintly chunky (if that makes any sense) but there's something working to keep them clean and it does a very good job. Its bell and metallic sounds are some of the nicest I've heard. I think it is the hollowness of additive. It's almost like you can get sucked inside of it and go for a swim

Are there any particular harmonics you are interested in?
Old 12th February 2016
  #88
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acreil's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollowman9 View Post
Regarding the grunge I hear, think Casio FZ-1. Somewhat similar sounding.
That sounds promising.

Quote:
the K5 has pretty nice sounding highs. I think they are slightly s***** or faintly chunky (if that makes any sense) but there's something working to keep them clean and it does a very good job.
From what I understand it should automatically omit harmonics that would alias. But depending on the interpolation algorithm and sample rate there's probably still some significant aliasing.

Quote:
Are there any particular harmonics you are interested in?
Maybe just a few miscellaneous odd harmonics from 1 to 63. And maybe do pitch bend or portamento over a wide range too. Record at a high sample rate if possible.

I'm going to guess right now a waveform resolution of 256 samples per period, linear interpolation, 40 kHz sample rate. Let's see how completely wrong that is
Old 12th February 2016
  #89
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I had a K5M and really liked the tricks I could do with release velocity.
Then I got a K5000 assuming it could do the same.
Big mistake. While it had the nice and screechy formant filter, it just wasn't the same.
Old 12th February 2016
  #90
Quote:
Originally Posted by acreil View Post
That sounds promising.



From what I understand it should automatically omit harmonics that would alias. But depending on the interpolation algorithm and sample rate there's probably still some significant aliasing.



Maybe just a few miscellaneous odd harmonics from 1 to 63. And maybe do pitch bend or portamento over a wide range too. Record at a high sample rate if possible.

I'm going to guess right now a waveform resolution of 256 samples per period, linear interpolation, 40 kHz sample rate. Let's see how completely wrong that is
In "full mode" it can make 127 harmonics. You only want ones up to 63?
Do you need samples of individual harmonics alone or can they be mixed?
I can do 192k samples if you want.
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