Kurzweil PC3K

Kurzweil PC3K series (PC3K8, PC3K7, PC3K6) are 128 voice Dynamic V.A.S.T. synthesizers, direct  successors of legendary K2xxx synthesizer workstations.

The user interface has been improved. Factory programs are categorized and can be selected by scrolling or by using bank and program select buttons, favorites programs can be can be organized into "Quick Access" banks. Each preset sound has an "Info" screen for viewing the current controller assignments and other info. The Easy Audition feature provides link to a bank of "riffs", recorded sequences which preview each sound. Free computer Desktop Editor provide easy editing for both Mac and PC platforms.

Synthesis architecture

All Kurzweil PC3K synthesizers have 128 voice/up to 32 layers per program latest generation Dynamic V.A.S.T. synth engine with improved processing power and integrated Virtual Analog oscillators based on VA1 Virtual Analog Synthesizer prototype. The PC3K comes with 64 MB of ROM sounds (include the Orchestral and Contemporary sound blocks, General MIDI (GM), Stereo Triple Strike Piano, Classic Keys for realistic vintage electric piano sounds, and new String Sections.

The VA -1 anti-aliasing oscillators include saw, super saw, triple saw, square and hard sync oscillators. There is also larger set of V.A.S.T. filters (including 4-pole Moog style LPF) and non-linear processors. KB3 tone-wheel organ simulator mode is also available.   

The Cascade mode enables to route every layer in program through the DSP of any other layer, in series or blended together, with up to 32 layers. The concept is the same as K26 Triple Mode, but it is not limited to three layers only. User algorithms can be created as well.

PC3K series instruments are capable of loading samples, WAVE, AIFF files and most of the K Series programs and setups. 128MB of re-loadable, non-volatile, user flash ROM. Loaded samples stay in memory even after power cycle.

Sequencer

PC3K´s  sequencer is newly designed, having unlimited tracks and 960 PPQ resolution, set of song editing functions like event editing, swing, and controller scaling with a new friendlier interface. The sequencer can play back MIDI type 0 or 1 sequences, record and play back songs, and record multi-timbral sequences received via MIDI.

Arpeggiators & Riffs

16 full-featured independent arpeggiators featuring 48-step programmable, pattern generators with both pitch and velocity controls with multiple latch modes, selectable play order, velocity, duration, tempo, and sync functions as well as pre-recorded beats and musical phrases.

The 16 "Riff" generators (used for triggering MIDI sequenced phrases, beats, or complete multi-track arrangements from notes on the keyboard and/or any on-board physical controller.)

Effects

16 insert effects distributed over 11 buses, two available auxiliary sends, PLUS a global Master FX section. The PC3 offers more than twice the processing power of KDFX engine. It includes over 500 effects - reverbs, delays, chorus, flange, phaser, EQs, distortions, Leslie simulators, compressors, and more. Effects can be chained together in series, or distributed among the PC3K's 16 multitimbral channels. Master effects feature EQ section and master compressor. 

Physical appearance

Keyboard: Velocity and monophonic aftertouch sensitive (see the Models available for more details), pitch wheel, modulation wheel, 9 front panel sliders/drawbar controllers, 10 front panel switches (momentary or toggle, software selectable), 3 switch pedal inputs, 2 continuous control pedal inputs, optional ribbon controller input, breath controller input. Controller values can be "captured" and stored as part of a program.

Display: 240 x 64 backlit graphical LCD with brightness and contrast controls.

Outputs: 4 analogue balanced TRS outputs, 1 headphone output, 24-bit, stereo S/PDIF (44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, and 192-kHz modes, externally clockable),

Data terminals: MIDI IN/OUT/THRU, USB (MIDI over USB), Flash Memory XD card.

Sounds never before imaginable (after more than 20 years)

The Kurzweil PC3K synthesizers have a unique "fat" sound and it is excellent in multi-timbral settings. The comprehensive editing functions offer immense sound programming possibilities PC3Ks offer superb acoustic sounds, excellent pads, as well as aggressive non-harmonic digital colors. It is suitable for all contemporary music styles.

Models available

There are three keyboard models, rack version as with previous K series is not available.

PC3K6 

61-note lightly-weighted synth action keyboard (Fatar TP9) velocity and pressure sensitive

PC3K7

76 note semi-weighted-action keyboard (Fatar TP8) velocity and pressure sensitive

PC3K8

88-note, fully-weighted hammer-action keyboard (Fatar TP40L) velocity and pressure sensitive

 The technical specs are identical for all three models.

Compatibility

With OS V2 and above:

PC3LE 

Fully compatible with PC3LE  (except of different onboard controller assignment)

PC3

Fully compatible except of sample objects

K2 series

Although „majority of Setups, Programs and Keymaps“ compatibility is advertised, only simple programs that do not use advanced synthesis and certain V.A.S.T. DSP blocks really works. From our experience not more than 20% of our K:Works K2600 programs really works trouble free. The K2661 compatibility sample file is provided.

Plus:

  • Excellent sound, still surpasses most of the main-stream synthesizers, workstations and VSTis
  • Comprehensive V.A.S.T. synthesizer engine
  • VA-1 Anti-aliasing oscillators
  • New classic Moog 4pole low pass filter emulation
  • KDFX effect processing
  • USB storage media support (no clumsy SCSI)
  • Samples stored in non volatile flash ROM
  • K25/26 sample compatibility
  • Upgradeable OS in Flash ROM (via USB)
  • 2000 locations for user object (the expensive P-RAM expansion times are gone)
  • Arpeggiators and Riff generators
  • Onboard assignable sliders
  • Still decent design and sturdy construction
  • Soundtower computer editor available

 

Minus:

  • Some of the K25/26xx VAST DSP blocks are missing (cause problems with K25/26xx compatibility and limits more advanced and experimental programmability)
  • K2xxx compatibility does not provide successful results for “more advanced” K2xxx programs
  • Higher level of aliasing within some DSP blocks compared to K25/K26xx further limits the quality of several types of sound programs
  • Small LCD by today´s standards
  • Ribbon controller now optional with short cable and not enough place to comfortably accommodate on the front panel
  • Extremely slow USB load/save time (seems like it emulates old floppy drive)
  • Only 4 analog outs (enough for live, but insufficient for studio use)
  • No ADAT or other multichannel IN/OUTs

 

What we love to have in next OS versions

  • Improved K2xxx compatibility
  • Add the missing DSP blocks from K25/26xx
  • Advanced library functions for both factory and user programs (the Waldorf navigation system known from Blofeld e.g.)
  • Faster USB load/save