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Kurzweil PC3K

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Re: Kurzweil PC3K

Postby Guest » Mon Jan 21, 2019 6:54 am

I have been using Kurzweil instruments since the K2000 first came out, so that is a pretty long time. Started with that, then upgraded to a K2500XS, now I am using a Kurzweil PC3K7.

I would like to reply to a few comments made about the Kurzweil PC3 and PC3K being too difficult and complicated to use. Let me start by saying that I recently took a serious look at some other keyboard workstations because I liked some of the new touch-screen LCDs and the ability to sample directly into the back of the keyboard with a mic or line input. Can't do that with the PC3K, and the LCD screen is small and monochrome compared to most of the competition - which brings me to the Korg Kronos. The Kronos is amazing, to say the least, and it has a large color touch screen as well. However, I found sampling, creating multisamples and programming the Kronos extremely difficult. I soon realized it was going to take me a long time to learn even the basics of the Kronos operating system. I get what some people are saying about the PC3K having 32 layer programs, but that in itself doesn't have to make programming difficult. Not every layer in a program has to be tweaked every time. Many PC3K programs already sound great as they are. Also, a Kurzweil user can select a one-layer program to work with instead of a multi-layered program if they want to (i.e., PC3K default program 999).

Next, I tried the Roland FA-06, which I found much easier to use than the Kronos. But as great as it is as both a workstation and sampler, it has significant limitations wit regard to sample editing (samples can only be edited with regard to volume, sample start and end time, and can't even be panned - I don't know what Roland was thinking.

Also tried the Korg Pa1000 Arranger (great instrument, but for me, ridiculously complicated, and the multitrack sequencer does not have a loop function - which was confirmed by Korg tech support). I didn't feel very comfortable with the Yamaha Montage, either. Guess I'm just an old dog

In summary, I'm back with my PC3K7 with its small monochrome LCD screen and flash drive sample uploading only, but I realize it has so much to offer. I would be crazy to start learning a new operating system from the ground up when the PC3K can do almost anything every other workstation can do. Again, you can't sample directly in and the PC3K can't sample itself, either, but it does have a sophisticated sample editor once all your samples are loaded in via flash drive.

With regard to KDFX, the onboard effects processor in the PC3K is not only far more advanced, but it's actually even easier to use.

Brian
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Re: Kurzweil PC3K

Postby Dave B » Mon Jan 21, 2019 3:10 pm

Hi Brian and welcome to the forums!

It's funny to see an old thread like this get resurrected. I can barely believe that it's been 9 years - in the intervening time, I've owned all three sizes of PC3K[x] and now only have the 6 left around. I do have the very spiffy Forte (went for the 7 of that as it's quite neat size-wise) and that's a real keeper.

I also went Kronos and that gave me so much to think about - I really think that Korg pulled a blinder when they built that one. Yes, it has it's faults, and is arguably insanely overpriced for what it is, but it has a couple of things that are truly brilliant -

- you can plug any class-compliant usb device in - which means that a second physical keyboard can just be usb-remote one
- the inputs are proper inputs and don't suffer from ground loops

But the PC3K series still is ridiculously powerful for the money.
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Re: Kurzweil PC3K

Postby The Elf » Mon Jan 21, 2019 3:55 pm

It's a familiar path you're describing.

I was thrashing around for something to replace my old K-series synths (and a few other relics, TBH).

I tried the Roland JP-80, which has its merits, but is let down badly by its dubious audio quality - the top couple of octaves are almost unusable when you're using a VA patch. Shame.

I tried the Kronos, but found it hopelessly complex. Just trying to remove velocity response from a single brass patch had me searching around in page after page - there's a lot of power in there, but it's tough and time-consuming to master. I remain utterly baffled by the filing system, which seems complex to the point of insanity. My Kronos remains criminally under-used, since I know that anything I do with it beyond the patches loaded in there right now will likely not be repeatable. By contrast VAST is a doddle.

Dave B brought me back to sanity and the PC3 series. I haven't looked back - wonderful synths.
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Re: Kurzweil PC3K

Postby Guest » Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:57 am

Thanks for the welcome, Dave. What I actually meant to say is that after working with Kurzweil instruments for so many years, I find the PC3K7 very easy to navigate and program. Of course, if I had been using Korg instruments all these years, I'd probably be saying the same thing about the Kronos.

I only know that programming the PC3K is pretty straightforward. I admit, as with any new workstation, it was a little daunting at first, but not quite as frightening as some of the competition. Jean at Kurzweil operational support helped me get going over the telephone and walked me through some of the basics, and I haven't had any problems since. The PC3K is really a beauty. With regard to V.A.S.T., it may not have changed much over the years, but as far as I'm concerned, it's still light years ahead of the pack and the programming possibilities are endless.

P.S. I am not a spokesperson for Kurzweil...lol
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Re: Kurzweil PC3K

Postby Dave B » Tue Jan 22, 2019 10:49 am

lol - don't sweat it. There's a few Kurz heads around these parts - for a very good reason! :)

In some respects, it's a shame that Kurzweil can't make VAST much easier - it has so much, but does take a little time to wrap your head around it. I barely scratch the surface. There's an occasional poster here called Malc who is stunningly good at it. His patch of the old Fairlight 'sararr' (arrr1 as it's sometimes known) is just about the closest to the old Series I/II Fairlight that I've ever heard. And he uses no additional samples - just VAST (using subtractive AND additive techniques apparently).

There is a theory that the next stage of VAST development is 'macro views' with simplified editing so that people can get comfortable then dig 'under the hood' when they get more confident. It's just speculation and, like most things Kurzweil, is a rumour that's been around for years. I'll be interested to see if that's the road they take..
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Re: Kurzweil PC3K

Postby Eddy Deegan » Tue Jan 22, 2019 11:12 am

The Elf wrote:I tried the Kronos, but found it hopelessly complex. Just trying to remove velocity response from a single brass patch had me searching around in page after page - there's a lot of power in there, but it's tough and time-consuming to master.

You're right ... it is baffling on occasion but for some reason I do persevere with it and I've slowly gotten more used to it over time.

As an aside, call me nuts, but I did this (through a professional contact a while back) and it really helped:

Image

Image

Image

Full colour bound printouts of the Kronos manuals :thumbup:

They don't include the latest OS versions, but are a useful resource to have on occasion nonetheless.
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Re: Kurzweil PC3K

Postby BillB » Tue Jan 22, 2019 11:25 am

Not quite as massive or as beautifully bound, but yes, sometimes PDFs, on their own, just don't cut it!

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