Synth Site: Kawai: K4 Synthesizer: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.0 out of 5
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Terminus Nord a part-timer user from Boston, USA writes:
I have had a K4 for 6 years now, and I love it! When I need dark and evil pads, strings and weird noises, this is the board. I like it so much I got a used K4r for my rack rig.

If you're at all into industrial or dark electronica, this board will not dissappoint. The best tip I can give prospective owners: erase the presets (or most of them). Most are just plain awful, and don't tap the dark side at all. It doesn't take much programming to get killer pads from this board.

Why not 5/5? The drums. There are a couple usable drum wavs, but you can't put together a respectible kit with this unit alone. If the K4 had some drum samples from it's sister unit the XD-5, it would be a 5. The K4 and XD-5 together make a nice inexpensive setup for industrial music. Add a cheap sampler like the A3000, and you're in business.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Friday-Sep-10-1999 at 18:00
Thomas Emil Hansen a hobbyist user from Denmark writes:
Pros: - Cheap - Release Velocity Sentitive keyboard (a rarity among lo-end keyboards, indeed!) - Some weird sounds

Cons: - Very lousy sound quality - Very, very lousy effect units (indeed!) - Black keys produce lower velocity values than the white keys - Far too easy recognisable PCM's

I wouldn't recommend this toy to anyone. At best it takes up valuable keyboard-space in your studio.

However, I know someone who loves it. He always ends up making tiny high-pitch twiizii-wiizii filter sounds (*hi Flemming*).

Rating: 1 out of 5 posted Friday-Jun-11-1999 at 05:42
Robert a part-timer user from ca. writes:
Ive had two of thease monsters!I sold the first one when I was desperet.But the second one Ill never part whith!For industrial and acid this baybe makes some crazy ass sounds.At a $150.00 used, you cant beat it with a stick!

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Saturday-Dec-05-1998 at 00:53
BeyondTetra a part time user from USA writes:
Despite this machine's limitations with sequencing and its obsolete coprocessor, the K4 does make some really cool sounds if you play with the editing enough. Like many machines, once you get past the factory presets, there is lots of great and strange sounds that only the K4 can make. I'd never rely on it to be my primary synth in my unit, but as a background/secondary synth, I would want no other by my side.

I do find the system effects on the machine to leave a lot more to be desired, but the filters make up for that, I've never gotten such a wide range of sounds, from cool analouge-ish blips and bleeps to screeching, grating noises.

For it's budget price in the secondhand market, I'd highly recommend picking one up, there's always new things to be discovered.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Aug-05-1998 at 23:41
Courtney a part time user from USA writes:
I have had one of these since about 1991, and I will probably never get rid of it. True, it can really sound budget if you want it to, but underneath, there's a monster. I have created some of the fattest, bassiest analog and acid sounds with this thing. trying to emulate acoustic sounds is bad with this one, but for a hybrid/analog synth, it's great for the used price it's at these days. The one huge complaint I have with the K4 is the resonance filter. It sounds great, but there are only 7 settings for it, so you may end up with too little or too much. It also chokes MIDI-wise now and then if you record the mod wheel data, but every time it has choked, it sounded good for some reason by doing a rapid sweep of the filter. In a nutshell, this is a great acid house synth. Quite a hidden treasure, actually...

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Aug-05-1998 at 23:41
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