Synth Site: kawai: q80: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.3 out of 5
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Stef a professional user from Montreal, Quebec writes:
This is more of an R.I.P. message than a review, but it is a bit of a review...

I once had a software sequencer, back in the early nineties, and I did not at all enjoy using this as opposed to a hardware sequencer. I eventually traded in the Atari for an EPS+16, which I did all of my songwriting and sequencing with until three years ago when a friend lent me his Q80 as the EPS became unreliable. I never looked back after that. Today, August 15th, 2002, my Q80 (for I purchased it from the above-mentioned pal) died. We have just finished tracking our album, and were just getting ready to go into the studio to mix, along with what we call our 'fifth band member', when the Q80 just... stopped. This is not to say the Q80 is a piece of shit just because it died. On the contrary, it is an amazing hardware sequencer, allowing us to seperate our sequenced drums from each other, have pre-sampled loops play for up to 32 bars, audition tracks seperately from each other, and it slaved very easily to our Fostex D108s (sometimes it didn't latch on properly, which is to be expected when you're having machines from 1999 work with ones from 1989). The only thing I could never wrap my head around was the motif thing Kawai tried to explain in the Q80 manual; the other thing that didn't work was the 'move' function. It didn't ever move the events, no matter how many times I tried it on different tracks.

Software sequencing is starting to look tempting, but I'm going to try to find another Q80 before I bite with modern technology.

Stef Caron

PS I give it a 4.795 out of 5, just to set the record straight.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-Aug-15-2002 at 21:53
ben a part-time user from brunei writes:
I prefer it to the inbuilt sequencer on my Korg M1 and even my brand spanking new TRITON! So easy to use, i couldn't go without it! The best part are those track mute/unmute buttons. Easy to audition parts 'on the fly' , like arranging your song while listening to it. Only thing is i have the old Q80 that can't read SMF so I'm looking for a EXE versionto convert all my 11 YEARS WORTH OF SONGS! My greatest fear is that my ole beast will die on me and i can't find another. I don't miss the 'swing' function cos i can get around it eg putting the off beat hihat on an adjacent track and useing 'move' to offset it to any feel i like. Brilliant stuff. Simple, quick, doesn't hamper the creative flow. What else can you ask for? I love it dearly....

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Jan-17-2002 at 11:04
Earl Brinkley a professional user from usa writes:
Great machine! I've used it professionally for the past 5 years. I've found that the easiest way to create intense productions using lots of notes is to forget using motifs (who cares about memory space thats why you have a disk drive man, store the song and erase it). Decide how many bars you want the song to be (25-30 is average on 16/4 time signature), insert these bars into all 16 tracks, then punch record 1 bar of your foot on ch 1, 1 bar of snare Ch 2 , bass ch 3, etc. Simply copy the parts as often as neccessary(like looping) if something like the bass changes on a certain bar, just punch record on that bar. Quantize your drums and bass exactly and give 2/96th variance on keys, guitars, etc to create a more live sound and to avoid digital dropouts( that's when to many notes are being played on any beat. The timing starts to feel weird). Go to my website and check out songs that were recorded exclusively with the Q-80 (

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Aug-14-2001 at 13:54
Tony Towles a professional user from North Central Texas writes:
Q80 is a great hardware sequencer, been using it for 10 years. One suggestion some of you may not know, I discovered this little trick by accident. When you playback a song, you might be keeping a catalog of the programs for each midi channel. You don't have to do that. Let's say when you start out recording on channel 1, i.e. piano, take program off piano, push record, and while its doing the countdown press program back to piano and so forth with channel 2, 3, 4 etc. Then when you press play from then on each channel will revert back to the desired program. I have songs on disk 10 years old, and I have never had to keep a catalog of the programs of each song. It's as easy as playing CD's. Try it out!

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Friday-Aug-03-2001 at 12:43
Ringo a part-time user from Trinidad WI writes:
The Q80 is the most user friendly sequencer I've ever used, no problems for the past 5 years... until recently when my disk drive failed to store my new songs, the Disk is formatted and the write protect is off, so if there is anyone one who can help me, please don't hesitate. Since I lost my Manual, I forget how to initialize to factory setting.

Thanks Ringo

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-Jul-26-2001 at 15:00
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