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Kawai K1
Old 8th October 2017
Gear Head
Kawai K1

Hi Danny,

First off, I would like to say thanks for doing this. I'm a fan of your music and its always a real treat getting to watch any videos of you in your studio talking about music. You've got some lovely stuff to download from your website and a the smakos stuff has found an appreciative home on my HD. Nice to have an opportunity to look into how you process sound.

Anyway, I wanted to ask a question about the K1. I've had one for the last year and its got a great sound. The stringy pads are my favourites, though I think pretty much everything takes on an interesting character and gets harmonics when its shoved through some dirt and a ms20 filter.

I enjoy making my own sounds usually, but I'll admit that I have yet to fully program a sound from scratch on the K1. It has lots of beautiful patches on the cards and I've been satisfied up to now with simply editing them if they're a bit off.

However, it'd be good to use it more than just a preset machine that gets mangled with fx. I'm also trying to ignore the new D05 and use what I have

Before I go in deep, could you maybe suggest some pointers or divulge some of the quirks that you find interesting? Anything else in-between would be good also

Thanks again
Old 9th October 2017
Special Guest
Legowelt's Avatar
Hello Oask

yeah the Kawai K1 is a fantastic cheap synth….looks cool and its beautiful brittle warm digital sounds are inspirational and often a joy to work with.

It is almost if the bits are evaporating…like the synth itself is continuously high on some digital cyberhaze

its really easy to program imo, all the functions are pretty much selfexplanatory…and there is not a lot to program really when you think of it - basically you just select the waves, pitch them (in the FREQ menu) and play around with the envelopes. Some LFO over it and its cooked!

Like a lot of these digital cheap synths (D10, D50, K4, EMU, SY22/35 etc.) these things shine because they have 4 oscillators (or sources as they are called on the K1) which give them enormous harmonious power, detune the oscs in the harmonic chord-like pitches, make some oscs come in later with slower envelopes, and give some oscs a longer release, have slight differences on all 4 oscs to give the sound a more ‘organic’ vibe.

And then there is the joystick too, you can do a lot of freaky stuff with that! Stir it like a porridge.

Filtering through an MS20 (or any other filter) is indeed a good idea...I wonder what filter is best suited to K1's 'magic' sound.

When you start out programming it as a ‘beginner’ just ignore the whole MULTI PATCH thing…multi patches are just a bunch of singles patches thrown together to make huge advanced complex sounds.

Just concentrate on editing the single tone patches, press ‘single’ and edit and then you can select any edit function like the FREQ, WAVE, ENV and common, select the oscillator (Or Source in this case) with the source select button….ah well thats all pretty obvious but maybe some incentive for someone who never dared to program it
Old 9th October 2017
Gear Head
Thanks Danny. I will read the manual again, then roll up my sleeves. Good advice with the single vs mult. Baby steps!

This board sounds so good when its being drenched in fx. MS20 filter or Sherman , delay and reverb = vibe overload . Sherman makes the K1 sound like a Reese machine. It's a keeper.

Appreciate the reply. Best of luck man
Old 14th October 2017
Gear Head
Just wanted to say thanks again for the rundown.

Got into some basic patches and modulated one source against another, which can sound pretty raw. The sound of waves beating off each other, so good. The RND lfo is great and I'm diggin how the tremelo modulation adds some shimmer at low settings.
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