Synth Site: Kawai: XD5: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.1 out of 5
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The Sawblade a hobbyist user from The Permanent Interdimensional Void writes:
I have had this box for less than 24 hours, and am still figuring everything out. It's incredibly fun to play with. I'm getting a lot of weird sounds. I can see the potential for making a lot of electro-sounding drum sounds. If you want realistic or acoustic sounds don't get this, but for electro, techno or industrial it's quite nice.

Most of the presets patches are a joke, and I don't know what kind of sounds make rap music in Japan (place of manufacture) but the preset "rap kit" is so shytty you might as well sample a Nintendo if possible. So it requires some tweaking but I'm down with that. The kicks are good but the cymbals are only vomit-quality. But this is before I've messed with the patches...

The 8 outputs are real nice. Now I need 8 amplifiers! (A big one, a very big one, and six gigantic ones, hee hee hee!)

Right now I'm controlling it with my only other piece of musical equipment, my itty-bitty Roland TR-505, am waiting for my Q-80 to come in so I can actually attempt to hand program some songs. (Step Time Programming Rules...)

I picked this up for $109 at a pawn shop, did I get a good deal or what?

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Oct-31-2000 at 14:25
Spectralab a professional user from Canada writes:
For some reason, the first review I wrote didn't get posted, so let's try again...

It's really a shame Kawai isn't still making these. In my opinion, it's one of their more successful attempts at an Additive synthesis module. Technically, it's a drum module, but it's essentially the same synth engine as their K4r, with drum sounds instead of digital waveforms as the building blocks. The editing structure is much like, if not identical to, their earlier Additive machines. As far as drum sounds go, the presets in this box sound great for the most part. The outputs are incredibly clean. My only gripe would be the pairing of the filters: you get 4 sources per patch, but only two filters; one works on sources 1-2, while the other works on 3-4. It would have been nice to get a seperate filter for each source. But that said, it's still nice and tweakable. I have trouble NOT programming long, evolving sounds on my synths, so this is a good unit to keep me in check with shorter, but still strange sounding percussive sounds. This makes me want a sequencer with strong MIDI-arpeggiation capabilities, just to make the XD-5 come alive with crazy/random, unpredictable drum patterns. They may have made some so-so machines along the way, but Kawai nearly got it right with this beast (the K5000 deserves a mention in this sentence as well). All in all, a VERY welcome addition to my rack that I can see staying there for a while, and would recommend it to anyone who want's to create their own unusual percussive sounds for unusual electronic music.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Saturday-Aug-12-2000 at 06:32
olafmol a part-time user writes:
if you're looking for that typical 80's Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis drumsound look no further...these box has it ;-) and also nice kraftwerk-esque sounds.....very great box!


Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Saturday-Aug-12-2000 at 05:32
Spectralab a professional user from Canada writes:
What a great little machine... the presets that came on mine are mostly useable and of very good quality - the outputs are super clean. But get into edit mode, tweak some envelopes and filters and you're getting some whacked out, though still percussive synth sounds. This is basically a K4r with drum sounds instead of digital waveforms as the basic samples for the Additive engine. It's editing is nearly identical to other early Kawai additive machines I've owned, and it's easy to get strange percussive blips and bleeps out of it. Since I have a hard time NOT creating drony, long, evolving pads on my synths, this is the perfect thing to keep me in check for shorter percussive elements while still getting unusual sounds. I've only had it a few days and I'm already in love with it - I see a strong relationshil developing with it. It makes me want a sequencer with good arpeggiator functions just to get some insane/unpredictable beats out of this box. Truly a unique piece of machinery... Kawai may have made a lot of so-so machines, but with this (and the beloved K5000), they nearly got it right... the only thing that sucks is that there are four additive sources to a sound, but only two filters, which are applied in groups 1-2 and 3-4. I wish it had an individual filter for each source. But it's a minor complaint - overall, I love this beast.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Saturday-Aug-12-2000 at 03:08
Mick from USA writes:
This beast makes fat and nasty drums especially in the kick department. I won't part with it. I wish there were newer digital drum synths instead of just the analog modeling ones because this can do some crazy stuff. Killer for heavy stuff, deadly resonance. Freaky hi-hats, lousy cymbals. It even can do some basic synth sounds! Multiple outputs are handy. Will probably be my oldest synth as I do not plan on selling it. The memory locations are few but then I mostly use one or two sounds at a time in conjunction with a sampler and other stuff. I've had several other kawais and sold them but this is unique and a permanant resident in my setup. Programming through the front panel is quick and easy once you get the hang of it. Wall wart power supply is an annoyance for live use but unit is light and sturdy otherwise.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Apr-09-2000 at 20:36
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