Synth Site: Kawai: K1 Synthesizer: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.7 out of 5
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jad novick hitchcock a professional user from kalamazoo,mi writes:
my K-1 was bought to maintain the feng-shui of my studio. i found it to be quite a tool for the imagination with the ability to edit sounds with a long list of parameters including doubling, delay, and specific note settings. i don't know everything about the kawai K-1 because i don't have a manual but i have found it to be touch sensitive in two increments(light and hard) and am en verge trying it out wth a yamaha QY10 the by if anyone has information on the QY10 please e-mail me at preferably with an in depth explanation of it's real time capabilities...

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Jul-08-2000 at 02:27
amavesa a hobbyist user from España writes:
Fue mi primer sintetizador despues de varios "casiotones" creo que esta infravalorado pués su sonido es bueno y la capacidad MIDI tambien aunque seria mejor si el joystick controlase algo más y los cambios de programa llegasen a 127 su capacidad multitimbre es buena aunque la polifonia hoy se queda corta.

posted Wednesday-May-31-2000 at 15:41
marc ellis a professional user from new orleans louisiana usa writes:
I've owned my K-1 since 1988. I have several synths. The K-1 has the greatest string pad, I have ever heard. Every other one I've tried on other synths, sounds harsh and grating. I have Korg N series, Roland Soundcanvas and a Yamaha XG Daughterboard.

They are all more or less interchangeable. But the K-1 string pad is the only irreplaceable patch I own. To hear what it sounds like, listen to "The Fantomas Waltz", MP3 at

The acoustic bass is great too. I don't use the other sounds. I hope this little synth never dies. marc ellis New Orleans

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Apr-17-2000 at 19:10
Michael Dahlman a hobbyist user from Sweden writes:
Hello all K1-users!

I just unpacked my old faithful K1 which I used a lot during the 80's in my homestudio, run by an Atari with Steinberg's Pro24 and Synthworks K1. While there are many sequencer programmes out there, I haven't been able to locate any Windows-based editors for the K 1. Have anyone of you seen one?

By the way, I still have the manual left, but it's 50 pages thick plus 16 pages with the wave list and MIDI data format...but I could try to scan some, if you send me a mail.


Michael Dahlman

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Sunday-Apr-16-2000 at 08:24
Mike Kasday a part-time user from Travis AFB CA writes:
Well just wanted to add a little info, I had a K1 and sold it a couple of years ago. I bought it when they first came out (1988 March/April can't remeber) and at the time the finding a Multi-Timberal Synth that offered the Sound Pallet that this unit had for under $1000 un-heard of. The M1 (Korg) Sounded better out of the box because the Presets were created by actual musicians who knew what the musicians would like. As well as CHORUS and I mean Chorus, The M1 wouldn't have been able to sell for $1000 even in '88 without the effects processor. The K1 mk II is the same Architecture as the K1 except it does have a very nice little FX processor, and even a Drum channel (to ease the burden of the main CPU for regular sounds.)

If you have a K1 I reccomend getting an in-expensive outboard effects processor. I used to have a Yamaha FX-500 (awsome reverbs, choruses, and flanges.) With the effects processor you can add a-lot of depth to your sounds and still use 2 sources (to save polyphony in sequencing situations) or you can use all 4 sources and come up with some really neat pads that star out percussive and fade into a couple of different tones. Having the Effects processor will keep the sounds warm, when normally doing what i just mentioned would sound pretty thin (in most cases every synth suffers from this, effects usually save the day) and you would have to use more oscillators just to get warmer sounds..


W/O Effects Proc. W/Effects Processing

S1: Wave 235 Tune +4 S1: Wave 235 Tune +4 S2: Wave 184 Tune -4 S2: Wave 184 Tune -4 S3: Wave 235 Tune -4 S4: Wave 184 Tune +4

and they would sound the same!

yet you would have more polyphony available for other sounds (which reminds me I was reading the specs and saw that the Min OSC used is 1 when actually it's 2 hence; 8 note poly with four sources or 16 with 2) or you could really spice things up..

S1: Wave 235 Tune +4 S2: Wave 238 Tune -4 S3: Wave 184 Tune 0 S4: Wave 185 Tune -1

This would sound magnificient with an effects processor and kind of dead with out one.

(Of course you would need to set the ENV's appropriatly but you get the idea.)

Here is another simple trick.. for those of you whom are Effects challenged :)

S1: Wave 235 Tune +4 S2: Wave 235 Tune +3 S3: Wave 235 Tune -5 S4: Wave 235 Tune -6

This is a neat way to add Flang and chorus at the same time... Well good luck with your voyage into sound creation. I do have A ton of sounds for the K1, and would be happy to help anyone out.

All in all this unit sounds pretty good (with the help of an effects processor or sacrificing Poly.) Bellzy sounds, breathy sounds, Amp Mod can create some interesting effects (use like tibred Waves to eliminate distortion unless you want it.) also note that use your identical Waves on S1 and S3 or S2 and S4. When you start using the Amp Mod you'll see (or hear) why. Also for some reason the Chours/Flange effect works better this way don't ask me why...

Wow I've typed a book here, thanks for your attention. Good luck.



Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Feb-16-2000 at 00:25
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