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Kawai K5m
Old 12th February 2016
  #91
Quote:
Originally Posted by felis View Post
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.
I've used the K5K before. Spent several months with one when they 1st came out. It is definitely different from the K5 now that I can compare. I think the K5's filter is a bit disappointing but it makes up for it in other ways.

Nice tip about the release velocity. I'll check that out.
Old 12th February 2016
  #92
A little help here?

One thing I got stuck on last night is the EFF parameter on DHG2. It couldn't determine what it did by changing it. And reading the manual now is not helping.
It says it's a modulation source, but which? It has a rate control, is it a slew or does it actually generate an LFO or something?
Attached Thumbnails
Kawai K5m-dhg2.png  
Old 12th February 2016
  #93
IIRC, it's a primitive LFO for the harmonics generator.
Set to 0 to turn off. Set to 1 = slow, up to 31 = fast.
You can assign a different speed for each envelope... there is no "amount" setting

warning.. sorry if i'm wrong, it's been a while
Old 12th February 2016
  #94
Here for the gear
 

Just jumping in on this thread as long time K5m owner. I worked in the trade back in the 80's and picked one up direct form Kawai when it was first released. It's the one old synth I've hung onto simply because I loved the sounds.

The soft brass pad is just like the most wonderful flugal horn and the brighter patches really cut through a mix. It is like Marmite to many people though.
At the time the multitimbrel mult-out ability was a dream to us old Atari users
Old 12th February 2016
  #95
Quote:
Originally Posted by robwood View Post
IIRC, it's a primitive LFO for the harmonics generator.
Set to 0 to turn off. Set to 1 = slow, up to 31 = fast.
You can assign a different speed for each envelope... there is no "amount" setting

warning.. sorry if i'm wrong, it's been a while
So there are 4 more LFO's besides the master LFO?
Are they modulating the ENV depth?
Are they per voice or global?

It seems odd to me that 4 LFO's were forgotten from the specs and product literature

This seems too good to be true...
4 EG.s which are loopable and assignable to any combination of harmonics AND 4 dedicated LFO's each also assigned the same destinations as the corresponding EG or modulating the EG depth. The possibilities here are huge.

The patch I made last night was already so dynamic in so many ways I couldn't tell what effect these parameters or any others were having anymore.
I need to start from scratch and go to these EFF's 1st and investigate their function.

EDIT: My bad, the DHG ENV's are not loopable. Only the DFG (pitch) ones are...

Last edited by Hollowman9; 12th February 2016 at 09:16 PM..
Old 12th February 2016
  #96
Quote:
Originally Posted by thumbtwang View Post
Just jumping in on this thread as long time K5m owner. I worked in the trade back in the 80's and picked one up direct form Kawai when it was first released. It's the one old synth I've hung onto simply because I loved the sounds.

The soft brass pad is just like the most wonderful flugal horn and the brighter patches really cut through a mix. It is like Marmite to many people though.
At the time the multitimbrel mult-out ability was a dream to us old Atari users
Out of the factory patches I'd say the brass ones are rather well done. Some are pretty dramatic and others nice and smooth. I think brass is 2nd only to tonewheel organ patches which are my favorites so far. Damn good organ!
Old 12th February 2016
  #97
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acreil's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollowman9 View Post
In "full mode" it can make 127 harmonics. You only want ones up to 63?
I get the impression from patents that "full mode" effectively uses a frequency shifter to transpose the second set of harmonics. But that would be a good thing to test too.

Quote:
Do you need samples of individual harmonics alone or can they be mixed?
Mixed is fine.

Quote:
I can do 192k samples if you want.
Probably 96k is enough.
Old 13th February 2016
  #98
Hey guys the EFF's are LFOs!
They may be hard wired to a single destination at a fixed depth but it's a good one.

So let the record show that the K5 is officially a 5 LFO synth.
Old 18th February 2016
  #99
Haterz can hate. I'm buying this thing.
I performed my experiments. The distortions I can get from this synth are unbelievable! I can sculpt the distortion harmonics with absolute precision. Scraping sheet metal, broken machinery, howling monsters and even a damn nice growling saxophone of all things. There's an endless range of possibilities here. I only used one distortion unit too. Can't wait to try some others!

Detuning the two DFG's with the envelopes normally or looped sounds very nice. Again, the factory patches that take advantage of this ability I can count on one hand. 95% of the factory patches don't even have different ENV settings for the 4 harmonic buses - duh! No wonder everybody walked away from this synth unimpressed....
Using those ENV's creatively and using all of the LFO's totally rids that static sound this machine is notorious for. Things move and take on depth and interest using these mod sources.
That craptacular filter even has redeeming qualities when don't use resonance. I think the resonance is faked by the additive engine. It's seems like it is a generated harmonic and not actual resonance. Just shut it off, it sounds like crap. The filter is much more effective without it. Then use the graphic EQ in conjuction with it to create a bandpass response and a bit of pitch mod and hey suddenly you can get good useful modern sounding patches from this machine.
With the harmonics and their ENV's you can even simulate filter resonance that sounds better than the actual thing in the filter!

I love the positional connector panel on the back - brilliant!

Getting around while editing is really pretty fast once you know what you are doing. I can't complain about the UI anymore except for the sheer number of parameters.

couldn't get Steem and the editor to run. Will try again though. Must have done something wrong.

Samples coming soon....
Old 18th February 2016
  #100
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollowman9 View Post
Haterz can hate.
So what is it that makes the k5m better than a k5000 for you?
Old 18th February 2016
  #101
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluegreengold View Post
So what is it that makes the k5m better than a k5000 for you?
It does what I need and it's dirt cheap.

That being said, I could actually argue the case for owning both. They are different animals. Along with it's alleged weaknesses I think the K5 actually has some surprising strengths and can do some things the K5K cannot. And it sounds quite different too.
Old 18th February 2016
  #102
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollowman9 View Post
and can do some things the K5K cannot..
what are these things?
Old 18th February 2016
  #103
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluegreengold View Post
what are these things?
Well for one it can sound like sh!t!

The K5000 is much cleaner sounding, which is something I didn't care for personally.

Then there's the matter of more LFO's on the K5. There's 7 if you count the DFG ENV's in loop mode compared to two on the K5000. Not a huge difference but it does permit some harmonic sweep possibilities in a different way than the K5K. I'm sure if somebody wanted to torture themselves they could go ENV editing on the K5K's loopable ENV's for the same effect.

I'm not done digging. Or head scratching for that matter. I'll report any more differences I mange to find.
Old 11th March 2016
  #104
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kier one's Avatar
 

Just checking back about this synth. You definitely can create some great noises, pads and the like. One thing I like to do is use the increment wheel to do real-time pitch effects. The downside is you can waste a lot of time for not much progress. One of the first patches I made using this I literally didn't know what I was doing, but i managed to create an ear shredding sound that while terrible, was at least somewhat musical. I used it as the lead sound, mainly to showcase the K5 because you never hear it. Its not great but it was cool at the time.
Old 11th March 2016
  #105
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollowman9 View Post
Well for one it can sound like sh!t!

The K5000 is much cleaner sounding, which is something I didn't care for personally.

Then there's the matter of more LFO's on the K5. There's 7 if you count the DFG ENV's in loop mode compared to two on the K5000. Not a huge difference but it does permit some harmonic sweep possibilities in a different way than the K5K. I'm sure if somebody wanted to torture themselves they could go ENV editing on the K5K's loopable ENV's for the same effect.

I'm not done digging. Or head scratching for that matter. I'll report any more differences I mange to find.
For the record, the K5000 can indeed sound like sh!t. I've been making sh!t patches on mine for years.
Old 11th March 2016
  #106
I've been so busy lately I haven't had time to spend with the K5 for the past 3 weeks. I'm hoping to squeeze in a session with it this weekend if things calm down.
Old 18th December 2016
  #107
Gear Head
This is such a great thread. I posted my musings about the k5 in the most underrated synth thread. Terribly misunderstood in its day, yet did things no other contemporary synth could do. Between after touch, multi timbral capabilities and just pure polyphony, it was a leader in all those categories. Remember it was a peer to the dx7 and Roland d50. What it lacked for the time was some effects. Which is why the d50 took off.

Don't forget how impossible to program the DX7 and D50 are.

I was a Kawai sponsored artist in 88 and 89. I had both a k5 and k5m. Wish I still had them today. Great synths.

Would love to get a working K5M again.
Old 18th December 2016
  #108
Lives for gear
Can't believe that no-one has posted some audio. Would be really nice to hear the k5 doing something, anything beyond the presets.

Gotta say I tried the k5000 and didn't like it at all. Not because it didn't sound good, it did, but for ambient music. Took me forever to figure out how to turn off the effects section to hear what it sounded like without it, and that's when I figured out why they made it so difficult to turn off! It's an excellent multieffects processor tacked onto a very, very thin sounding synth. Without the multieffects, it sounded like there was no synth there.

The k5 at least seems to have the potential to sound harshly glassy and interesting like FM when it's programmed right. But seeing as it's nearly impossible to wrap the head around programming this sort of synth, getting resynthesis to function would seem essential.

Demos and sound examples appreciated!
Old 7th June 2017
  #109
Deleted User
Guest
A guy has for sale now a K3m and a K5m for $350CDN each.
Which to get, don't say both.
The digital in me says k5m, but the analog says K3M
Old 7th June 2017
  #110
I've owned both... still have the K3, gave away the K5.

Get the K3, do not get the K5 unless you know what you're getting... there are threads on GS (elsewhere too no doubt) about the K5/K5m; if the tone in them is somewhat negative, they are correct.

Here's a recent GS thread about K5 (I posted remarks about halfway)
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/elec...-kawai-k5.html

Also also, 350 is way too much for a K5. Try 100, 150, 200.

Whereas

K3/K3m is a wavetable synth (think ESQ, DW8000) with a good-sounding filter, running the synth in mono mode does big things to the sound. It's worth the asking price.
Old 7th June 2017
  #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fromthepuggle View Post
Gotta say I tried the k5000 and didn't like it at all. Not because it didn't sound good, it did, but for ambient music. Took me forever to figure out how to turn off the effects section to hear what it sounded like without it, and that's when I figured out why they made it so difficult to turn off! It's an excellent multieffects processor tacked onto a very, very thin sounding synth. Without the multieffects, it sounded like there was no synth there.
That's just down to the patches you tried. Not an issue with the synth. Adjust the harmonics (this is the whole point of additive) you will find it quite easy to make big raw overdriven sounds if that's what you want.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fromthepuggle View Post
The k5 at least seems to have the potential to sound harshly glassy and interesting like FM when it's programmed right.
No more than a K5000.

Anybody suggesting that a K5 can out kawai additive a K5000, sound better, do something extra special that the K5000 cannot (I'm discounting added line level noise and 'converter charm' as not being extra special) better back it up with sound examples.
Old 7th June 2017
  #112
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaphod Betamax View Post
The digital in me says k5m, but the analog says K3M
Definately get the K3M. rare in the rack and a lovely synth. The digital in you should say K3M too. Ideally you get a RAM cart so that you can save 2 different user waves. Velocity or aftertouch crossfading between two user additive waves is a simple but satisfying way to modulate timbre in unusual ways. I'd only skip it if you already had a microwave 1.
Old 7th June 2017
  #113
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluegreengold View Post
Definately get the K3M. rare in the rack and a lovely synth. The digital in you should say K3M too. Ideally you get a RAM cart so that you can save 2 different user waves. Velocity or aftertouch crossfading between two user additive waves is a simple but satisfying way to modulate timbre in unusual ways. I'd only skip it if you already had a microwave 1.
The Kawai additive synth architecture (K5/K5000) is far more interesting and unique than what the K3 has to offer. I don't think anyone needs both a K5 and K5000, but I'd take either one of them over the K3 in a heartbeat.
Old 8th June 2017
  #114
crap,,, four pages of blabber, promises... and then - no audio.





give us something for god's sake
Old 8th June 2017
  #115
I'd be happy to post some if the front panel buttons on mine didn't crap out shortly after buying it. It's at the bottom of my repair pile. Bigger fish to fry
Old 8th June 2017
  #116
Deleted User
Guest
Do you have to have an Ebay account to view what an item went for?
I quit paypal/ebay in 2002, and can't find a way to view sold prices.
probably should be called dumb question #23 in Eb!!!
Old 1st July 2017
  #117
Here for the gear
 

I'm don't think you can directly compare the K5 to the K5k. If you're looking for a synth that does it all, then K5k for sure. The K5 does have it's interesting points though.

Here's some info from an old website:


The K5 has a key scaling function(I miss this the most in the K5000) with breakpoint, left slope and right slope.
The K5 has a compare function!
All K5 parameters are editable in realtime(sends sysex too)!
You can edit both sources simultaneously!
The K5 doesn't have individual envelopes for each harmonic. Instead it has 4 envelopes(which is enough?). For each harmonic you can select which of the 4 envelopes it should be assigned to. The envelopes has 4 attack segments(the 4:th being sustain) and 2 release segments. Each envelope has an LFO for modulation of the sustain segment.
The K5 was built for interactive synthesis. You can temporarily mute/bypass objects in the sound chain which makes it easier to understand and modify the sound. Kawai, probably, thought this would be better taken care of with the included editor program(which it isn't. In my opinion the Emagic crew don't know how to make synth editor programs).
Nicer looking display with better visual feedback of DHL level(I just love that warm green LCD. When it feels like working that is. Should anyone read this and know where to get hold of a NI03-05-5 NICHIA 14S7Z T LCD backlight driver, please let me know.). In the K5 16 clicks is 6dB which is twice the resolution of the K5000. This means that peaks are more evident in the K5 DHL(DHG) display.
Better edit 'Macros'. In the K5 you can select a range of harmonics to be edited simultaneously with either equal, positive or negative slope. Furthermore you can choose to alter only even, odd... harmonics in that range.

----------------------------------------------------

Also, it has 4 outs so you can get some interesting routing going. I have two K5m's which makes stereo possible... haven't messed with it too much yet.

Both synths take work to tame but they are each good for different things.
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