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WNAMM13: Nothing from Kurzweil ?
Old 26th January 2013
  #1
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🎧 10 years
WNAMM13: Nothing from Kurzweil ?

Any news from Kurzweil ?
Old 27th January 2013
  #2
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muziksculp's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Kurzweil =
Old 27th January 2013
  #3
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Mind-Over-Midi's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Are they still in business?

Seriously, it's been a long time since we've seen anything new from them. I used to love the K2600 stuff.




Old 27th January 2013 | Show parent
  #4
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mind-Over-Midi ➑️
Seriously, it's been a long time since we've seen anything new from them. I used to love the K2600 stuff.
What' stopped you from loving it? And what's wrong with the current PC3K line? Still no synth engine that can touch it...and it's got waaay more firepower than the 2600.

dB
Old 27th January 2013
  #5
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🎧 10 years
I really wish Kurz would leverage their incredible DSP prowess into a line of stompboxes like the Eventides for cool new products that would turn much profit and therefore provide more funds for synth development.

Also, my PC3X is crying out for an iOS editor/controller!
Old 27th January 2013
  #6
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Hope for a PC4 with larger screen, more sample memory, Kore64 and ribbon controller as a standard.
Old 27th January 2013 | Show parent
  #7
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by asynchro_nous ➑️
I really wish Kurz would leverage their incredible DSP prowess into a line of stompboxes like the Eventides for cool new products that would turn much profit and therefore provide more funds for synth development.

Also, my PC3X is crying out for an iOS editor/controller!
Sound tower was showing something like that.
Old 28th January 2013
  #8
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🎧 10 years
Kore 64 ROM Expansion

Product: KORE 64 | Kurzweil
Old 29th January 2013 | Show parent
  #9
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Entrainer's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryce ➑️
current PC3K line? Still no synth engine that can touch it...
Really? I'd say Komplete 8 with Kontakt, Reaktor, Absynth goes further.
In hardware, the John Bowen Solaris is more appealing to me as a polyphonic
synth. JB Solaris runs EVERY part inside @ 96kHz, the envelopes, lfos too.
It never takes a hit with polyphony and drops from 44.1 to 22 like the Virus.
JB Solaris is rocking 3rd gen SHARC chips.

In terms of acoustic instruments, nothing is topping VSL or Kontakt libraries.

I was a big fan of Kurzweil but they've got to get their hustle on if they intend
to compete in that arena (ground-breaking, best) and not just quality HW
keyboard controllers for performance.
Old 29th January 2013 | Show parent
  #10
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryce ➑️
What' stopped you from loving it? And what's wrong with the current PC3K line? Still no synth engine that can touch it...and it's got waaay more firepower than the 2600.

dB
While what's been done with the V.A.S.T. architecture is quite amazing and it's very impressive the functionality you guys have been able to achieve it's putting lipstick on a pig at this point. I'm going to speak purely on synth architecture as I have no experience with sequencing on a Kurzweil.

"Still no synth engine can touch it" is a bit of a stretch as well in 2013. While technically one could say it's still true, in a practical sense there are other alternatives. For Example: The Korg Kronos is pretty deep and more than enough for 99% of the applications most people would use. You can route and process yourself silly in V.A.S.T., but there's only so much you can do to ancient samples (keymaps), a b3 engine that is really a hybrid rompler (from what I understand reading it), and even newer samples of limited size. The VA1 is interesting for sure and no doubt immense, but after awhile I'd want to kill myself working on that interface. There are still a few tricks only Kurzweil does (Like that AMAZING blues harmonica!) which is a feat in itself all considered, but if there's any R&D budget available, change is WAY overdue.

Before posting this I actually read the manual on the PC3K to ensure I have a clue what I'm talking about and to have the best understanding I could of the machine between the documentation and previous experiences playing it. While most everything is EXTREMELY well documented (Kudos), I MUST ask: why isn't there a list of the dsp blocks available for the algorithms? I searched the manual, the internet, and all I could short of joining the cunka forum. If it's there, it needs to be easier to find! It's kind of hard to appreciate V.A.S.T. when such a vital part of what it can do doesn't appear to be documented or readily available. Outlining those functions to those that know, and explaining them to those that don't would be helpful.

Now before you get on the "V.A.S.T. is a deep architecture" trail, let me put out I'm a computer programmer for a living with a masters in the field and have been programming synths for 25+ years. That's not meant to impress you, but an attempt to illustrate I can "get my head around" V.A.S.T.. I'm also passionate about sound design and audio principles too! So it's not a matter of I "can't", it's I "just don't want to" what appears to be "work that hard" just to create. Free time is limited these days, and the less time figuring out a workflow/interface and the more time being able to apply synthesis principles from imagination the better!

Which brings me to my next point: For all the power in that architecture it REALLY needs to be presented with a new interface. A more graphical representation of the architecture would go a long way. Something more inviting and intuitive will encourage more programming and make it more fun and less of a chore. Was part of the reason I passed on the PC3 in addition to the dated pianos. I LITERALLY felt like I was in 1992 when I auditioned it! Yes improvements since the original PC3, but that ship sailed long ago.

While it's really something how much quality you guys have crammed into limited sample space, the limits of sample based sounds are now becoming obvious on the Kurz. I don't care HOW intense V.A.S.T. is, those samples can't compete with streaming multi GB samples on the Kronos and the SuperNatural Roland stuff. The fact that we (Kronos owners) can make our own streaming libraries without having to bother with looping is quite liberating! Again, time is limited but the idea of making my own guitar library of substantial quality is a realistic endeavor. And expandable to 128MB of RAM? REALLY? That was fairly modest even 5 years ago. On par with 10 years ago. I understand Kurzweil had some tough times and limited resources in recent years, but just sayin'.

KB3 was a great value-add but is now really behind. VA1 I'd say holds its own, but that's not enough as a workstation IMO.

The 128 polyphony is now a drag as well. Very easily eaten up with the V.A.S.T. architecture.

For the record, I'm not trying to down on Kurzweil here. You asked the question and it's an honest answer from someone who's been in the game for awhile, has a knowledge of synthesis, and gigs about 100 times/yr and thought it could be useful feedback. Obviously I only speak for me, but that's my take.

P.S. Still really looking forward to the K3K! Hope it eventually happens and is at least parity with the current cutting edge.
Old 29th January 2013 | Show parent
  #11
Brb
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by NuSkoolTone ➑️
Good read.
Old 29th January 2013
  #12
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1 Review written
🎧 10 years
I started this thread.

While it all may be well true, its really the SOUND of these machines that makes me happy and smile during recording and mixing and programming sounds on them. I have a K2661 and PC361 and I love the sound over anything Roland, Yamaha, Korg etc.
I tried them all and then took the leap of faith and bought my first Kurz never too look back when it "cliqued" with the VAST engine.

Anyway, its really true: Kurzweil really needs to step up with the next K3000.
And they should not wait too long anymore.
But it should be on the works as we speak and they had to come back from the almost state of company "death".

Still the PC3 is superb in its KB3, EP's and some other sounds.
I only wish it was more like a 5080 or now Integra with loads more programs.

I firmly believe the K3000 will have a colour bigger LCD with a much better user interface and all the sounds of the PC3 line adding some libs from the K2000-2500-2600 series of CD's on perhaps a SDD drive like the Kronos.
And they want to add several special features too, I am sure.
Kurzweil should not forget to really put efforts in making a superb soundset for the K3000 to start with covering ALL genres, even ambient and ethnic and modern electronic, not just the typical bread and butter sounds.

I sure wish the Kurz developer team all the best of luck in getting the K3000 a full featured machine.... but PLEASE give them more resources and staff !!

To conclude, its people like me LOVING their sound are anxious for ANY hint of this K3000 and its basic set of features at the very least. Its way overdue and the PC3(K) line indeed is more for performing, not studio work, and the K26 series is getting really old.
And since the PC3 series is based on the K26 series in terms of interface espec. this does the PC3 more harm than good.

No news is not good news in this business. People move on quickly.
Its a real shame they did not at least hang out a big picture of the preliminary front panel of the K3000 just that people could drool over it...

I for one will stick to my Kurzweils to the grave.
I cannot do otherwise but wait and HOPE my K2661 will survive the passing of time of being used intensively on projects.

But then again, WHEN Kurzweil, when ... ? Summer NAMM perhaps ?
Old 29th January 2013
  #13
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"The fact that we (Kronos owners) can make our own streaming libraries without having to bother with looping is quite liberating! Again, time is limited but the idea of making my own guitar library of substantial quality is a realistic endeavor."


How does this work on the Kronos I wonder ?
Old 29th January 2013
  #14
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'The 128 polyphony is now a drag as well. Very easily eaten up with the V.A.S.T. architecture. "


Now this is crap: the K26 series had 48 voices and it could still cope well having VAST in the past during live gigs. And you can multitrack the thing through your DAW in the studio.

I NEVER had the PC3 cut out notes, its ALWAYS 128 notes of polyphony.
Dont know what you do to put out 128 notes always at the same time ??

Try that on a Roland like the Integra, 128 voices you get when you're lucky if your patches dont use 4 tones each ...
Old 29th January 2013 | Show parent
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grahamdwc ➑️
Kore 64 ROM Expansion

Product: KORE 64 | Kurzweil

Was old news before NAMM
Old 29th January 2013 | Show parent
  #16
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Googlyman ➑️
No news is not good news in this business. People move on quickly.
I was asking about a K3000 about 3 years ago here, still trying to
keep the torch lit. Since then, I've all but forgotten about them.

But if you knew me about 18 years ago, I was one of the first with
the K2000RS + raved about it to anyone who'd listen. At the time,
V.A.S.T. truly was ground-breaking in digital synthesis. It was like
VAs/modular before there was such a thing.

Now I'm more into straight HW modular or great digital software/samples.
I haven't bought a HW keyboard/workstation since the Triton... well,
I did buy one controller piano-style keyboard since then. And a AXIS-49.

Solaris is the first HW digital keyboard/synth that's made me GAS in
about 10 years, although I did feel gas slightly when the Kronos buzz was
initially going. But that's because I love the Wavestation which John Bowen
had a strong hand in designing. The JBS rotary oscillators sound amazing, as
does the looping envelopes and lfos going into audio range doing audio-rate
modulation @ 96kHz. Best thing I've heard outside my modulars which
are duophonic at best.
Old 29th January 2013
  #17
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🎧 15 years
Excellent comments, especially by NuSkoolTone - thank you for taking so much time to post such a thoughtful response! I have a Kronos sitting on top of a PC3K8 in my studio, so I can certainly appreciate some of the things that have been said. I quite like my Kronos, and think it excels at certain things - for example, it's ridiculously cool to be able to combine the software synthesizers in the Kronos, for sure - but there are a bunch of things I think the 8K does better. Sure, the sample set is older and could be bigger....but I don't find too many of the sounds to be unusable. Quite the contrary, in fact - especially for live use. I'm not sure the 8k would be my first choice for a live solo piano gig, but then again, I don't play many of those. If I did, I'd probably go for a Receptor with Ivory loaded into it; however, for ensemble gigs, I think the K stuff still holds it's own.

As far as the depth of the VAST engine, for me it's not necessarily about what you can do with the extra deep stuff like the FUNs, shapers, wrap and quantize functions, etc., it's more about things like being able to choose between 30 or so different filters - and then to be able to cascade a bunch of them, if you want. How can any self-respecting synth weenie not love that? And being able to use up to 32 layers in a program doesn't suck.... heh

Speaking of which....as far as the polyphony, most of the deeply layered programs aren't stacks - they're very intricately layered velocity cross fades and key maps. I fully agree with Googlyman's assessment of Kurz's voice stealing algorithm - Kurzweil has always been better than anything else in my arsenal in that respect, even back to the days of the 24 voice K2000. I've also never had any problems with voice stealing on my PC3.

I also believe the Kore64 is going to make more of a difference than people think at first blush. It doubles the onboard Wave ROM, and adds a whole bunch of sounds that really impressed me. I think it's worth it just for the new synths and the drums, but the new horns and guitars are a pretty serious improvement over the stock sounds, too. A whole lot of outstanding programming work on the new presets in general - no real surprise there, though.

FWIW, I had been lost to the Kurz fold for many years - K2500 was the most recent board I had until the PC3 came out. I really think they got it right on the PC3 - finally, a ton of polyphony, a good price point, and a bunch of onboard ROM - Classic keys block, String block, Orchestra block - and, while I do prefer my Electro for organs to KB3 mode, I quite like the VA-1 engine, and use it a bunch. I think it's a killer meat and potatoes live board - I actually prefer it to my Motif or Kronos and use it in both the bands in which I play. I also really like using it in the studio - it's the only one of my synths that I use in mulitimbral mode specifically because I think that multiple sounds blend on it better than any of my other boards.

Don't get me wrong - I quite agree that there are cosmetic changes that should be made, and don't think there's much doubt that something new as far as engine and available sounds will be extremely well received....but I still love my PC3 to bits, and still stand by my assertion that there's still nothing like the VAST engine, and that it makes a fine addition to just about any arsenal.

dB
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