Synth Site: Kawai: K4 Synthesizer: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.0 out of 5
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tHe souP NaZi! a part-time user from Norway. writes:
I use the K4 sometime in my prof. work. Dont listen to the guys saing its not a pros. instruments. It can delivere some excellent sounds. I use it for strange/grungy sounds, and it has very nice pads. It is 8 part multitimbral, but here the K4 lack processing power, and when a lot of stuff r happening in multitimbral mode.. clicks and delays occour...simply underpowered.

But as a monotimbral instruments its fun. Its sounds are very "sharp" and "digital". The low quality of some of pcms just makes the synt sounds even more unique. An IceQueen!!

If you dont have any other synths in your rig, this is maybee not the one to buy. But if you have a few boards and wont sometnig do brighten up that mix, check out th K4. Its very cheap..has good editing capabillity..and a very unique sound palette... It blends excelent with my Yamaha SY77 and Roland JX-10 in making super pads!

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Friday-Oct-18-2002 at 21:13
Tim Joannides a hobbyist user from Sweden writes:
I just noticed a mistake in my previous review, the K4/K4r CAN HAVE 2 FILTERS/ per single patch and they can be serial as in all 4oscillators will pass through both of them (DOUBLE) and there are 4 oscillators per patch. You can also have the 2 filters in parallell which means 2 oscillators/filter (TWIN). You may be wondering why i only gave the K4 a 4, well it´s because in multi-timbral mode this synth has terrible timing so notes get stuck all the time. That´s all from me.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-Jun-20-2002 at 07:13
Tim Joannides a hobbyist user from Sweden writes:
I bought the K4 back in ´89 and loved it then, really got programming on it as it was my first synth. After ca 2-3 years i sold it and quite a few other instruments too, such as my Korg Wavestation(no resonant filter there baby). Anway last spring i bought the K4 again but this time in rack form (1350 SKR!). I agree with some of the things stated about the quality of the PCM samples they just can´t compare with the Tritons or the Proteus 2000s but who cares, for the price you can learn about synth programming, that is if you can do without a decent piano? I´m glad i got my baby back. You can definitely make some sick sounds for Techno, Electronica, Ambient, New Age etc. Shame there´s only one LFO/patch that can be assigned to the filter to get an auto-wah effect. Good thing is it´s got 4 different wave forms including random which is great for getting weird effect sounds as it affects it´s destination i.e. filter/vibrato in a random way. It´s got 256 waveforms that make up the starting point for a single patch, which can consist of 4 or less wave forms together, alas only one filter/patch which is not how they do it these days (JV-1080=8 LFO´s & 4 filters/patch if i remember rightly). Anyway nuff said, i could go on all day, but the morale of this tale is that if you learn to programme synths and accept the K4´s limitations it´s very good for emulating analogue type sounds, mostly due to it´s resonant filters which you can configure in 3 ways: normal, twin or double. Need i say that you´ll get very sharp/harsh sound using double. Altogether there are 60 odd parameters /patch which should last you a while. Oh, i forgot to mention that there are multi patches which can comprise of 8 single patches and if you use the same midi channel you can play it as one massive patch with 8 LFO´s, the restriction being that you´ll run out of voices before very long. Also forgot to mention that it reacts to aftertouch which you can make modulate the LFO for example. Anyway thats enough from me, my songs will soon be on, where you´ll be able to here how this classic 80´s synth sounds.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-Jun-20-2002 at 06:51
Norm Vogel a hobbyist user writes:
Why do so many people judge a synth by it's ability (or NON-ability) to make "piano" or "traditional instruments"????

The K4 specialises in making weird, industrial noises -- and, for people like ME, that;;s what we want!

This is a SYNTHESIZER; not a piano.....not strings. If you want piano sounds, buy an electric piano, not THIS!

This machine KICKS ASS!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Jan-16-2002 at 17:16
The Sawblade a hobbyist user from Limit Break Studios, E.C. Indiana writes:
I purchased this keyboard for $200 used primarily for two reasons: 1) because I needed some kind of keyboard controller for my S1000 and Proteus/1 and might as well spend $50 more and get a new synth, and 2) Front Line Assembly uses it.

Programming this synth is almost identical to programming the XD-5. As far as realism goes, I'm sorry but the piano sound is realistic enough for me (but that's it). Drum sounds are cheesy 80's...good or bad however you like it...

I'm SO glad I can junction the mod wheel to DCF - this means TRANCE (a little bit) baby!!!

Haven't tried sequencing it yet - and you all are scaring me (but I have a Kawai Q-80 so maybe it will work OK????)

Keys have a real good feel to them (semi-weighted)...

posted Friday-Jul-20-2001 at 21:43
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