The Technological Legacy of Kurzweil Keyboards

  • by Ortizo Instrumentos musicales


The new Kurzweil keyboard models arrive in Colombia stomping and with all their artillery ready to create music. In this blog we will show you the new collection, we will tell you a little about its history and how a Kurzweil digital piano made the musician Stevie Wonder lose a bet.

Kurzweil, a digital keyboard and piano brand, was founded in Boston by the American visionary and inventor Raymond Kurzweil (current Director of Engineering at Google). Ray Kurzweil was a developer of reading machines for the blind, and his company used many of the technologies originally designed for reading machines, and adapted them for musical purposes.

They released their first instrument, the K250 synthesizer/sampler in 1984: This instrument was inspired by a bet between Ray Kurzweil and musician Stevie Wonder over whether a synthesizer could sound like a real piano. Although limited by the standards of the time and quite expensive, it was considered the first truly successful attempt to emulate the complex sound of a grand piano.

However, the electronics used to win the bet generated other interesting discoveries such as the MIDI language (which allowed one or more sequencers to be connected and chained) as well as the principles of what would become the ROM technology of computers in the 90s. Since its inception Founding the company has been a benchmark in the world of digital pianos and has generated important technological advances, led by the visionary Ray Kurzweil, Bruce Cichowlas (software developer), and Stevie Wonder himself.

Kurzweil joins the Ortizo catalog with its best models and its latest technology. With renewed faces and circuits, Kurzweil shows these seven models of digital pianos and keyboards to our most loyal followers.

New M Series Models: M90 , M100 and M110

After the success of the M210 and M230 models, Kurzweil brings us three new models of the M Series, with the same sound quality but at a much more accessible price. The M90 , M100 and M110 digital pianos feature an 88-note, fully weighted hammer-action key with 7 levels of adjustable touch sensitivity. Offers a wide variety of preset sound selections with acoustic/electric pianos, organs, and orchestral instruments. Everything we are looking for in a digital piano at a very good price.

MPS 110 Portable Digital Piano

After the success of the reliable KA90, Kurzweil's audience has been waiting for a high-end portable digital piano for quite some time. Aside from a sober and elegant design, it features a fully weighted graded hammer action keyboard and an astonishing 256 polyphony. Both string and damper resonance, along with keyless samples, add realism to piano programs. It retains a variety of sound selections with 24 Kurzweil factory presets and the ability to connect a smartphone or tablet wirelessly via Bluetooth, allowing music to be played through the built-in speakers. We can't ask for more.

The new faces of the SP family: SP1 and SP6

The Kurzweil SP series are stage pianos based on the popular Kurzweil Micro Piano half-rack module from the mid-1990s. It originally provides 32 sounds, including pianos, electric pianos, organs, strings and synthesizers. They were also quite reliable MIDI controllers. In the summer of 2007, Kurzweil launched the legendary SP2, and later the SP4 and SP5 models.

SP1 : Just play!

A perfect keyboard for students/schools, light concerts, home recording and music lovers of all ages. With a very simple interface, it allows you to enter and begin to understand the world of synthesizers. Enjoy 16 carefully selected presets including: Pianos from the German Artis Grand series, Electric Pianos from the legendary Forte® SE, Strings, horns and basses from the PC3 series, and a selection of organs, clavs and synths. Its synthesis interface includes four individually adjustable FX: Reverb, Chorus, Tremolo, Delay. 3-band Master Equalizer. Quickly split and/or layer up to 4 sounds together for ensemble performance. Dual mode for '4 hands' instruction (teacher + student). All framed in a surprising polyphony of 256, and a weight of only 12Kg so you can take it wherever you want.

SP6 : Powerfully Simple

Following the standard of sonic excellence set by the Forte®, Forte SE and PC3 series, the SP6 , powered by the new LENA® processor, takes your performance to new heights with its amazing sound quality, light weight, depth of control and simplicity. operation: everything at your fingertips. With 2 Gygabits of sounds, the SP6 offers all the sample content of the Forte SE and features a wide selection of custom sounds from the acclaimed Forte® and Forte SE (EP, Clav, Celeste, Crotales, Harpsichord), as well as the PC3 expansions Series and KORE 64™ - All handcrafted to offer more control over these sounds than we've introduced before. Maximize your real-time control over each preset through its interface of 4 knobs, 1 switch, 2 wheels (pitch and mod), 2 dual-switch pedal inputs, and 1 continuous control pedal input. At just 12kg, the SP6 is the lightest professional 88-note model.

Crown jewel. The PC Series.

In the mid-90s, Kurzweil introduced the PC88 keyboard, which was advertised more as a MIDI controller. It was good for this purpose because it had 88 fully weighted keys and the ability to set four zones to control different instruments. The instrument itself had over 300 internal sound patches and the ability to combine them with different effects. It was common for artists to use this instrument in combination with a rack-mount K-series synthesizer. The PC88MX included a General MIDI sound card with additional high quality sounds taken from the K series, although the sounds could be edited and new sounds created.

In the 2000s, Kurzweil introduced the PC2 series of keyboards which contained the famous Triple Strike Piano and used a VAST synthesis engine similar to the K series.

In spring 2008, Kurzweil launched the PC3 Performance Controller, which features next-generation VAST synthesis technology derived from the K2xxx series but greatly improved with new features, new algorithms, virtual analog synthesis, sequencer, powerful effects based on the Kurzweil KSP8 unit, and overall better sounds than previous Kurzweil synths.

In January 2010, Kurzweil introduced the PC3K series of keyboards, which adds the ability to load samples and programs from the K2xxx series (with limitations). Includes sample playback capability and 128 MB of flash memory storage for user samples.

PC4 : Explore, create, perform.

After almost 10 years of reign of the PC3K8 in the world of synthesizers, Kurzweil presents its new PC4 synthesizer. Renewed with Flash-Play® technology, the PC4 provides an astonishing amount of power; 2GB sample content with zero loading time and ultra-fast performance. Over 1000 hand-selected factory presets organized into 13 program categories and featuring acclaimed German 9-foot concert pianos and Japanese 7-foot classics (with "KSR" - Kurzweil String Resonance). Also included is a wide selection of custom sounds from the acclaimed Forte® (EP, Clav, Celeste, Crotales, Harpsichord), as well as the PC3 Series and KORE 64™ expansions, all handcrafted to deliver unprecedented expressiveness with obsessive attention. to the details.

Featuring the VAST engine, the PC4 offers more polyphony than any other product in Kurzweil's history, granting full access to Kurzweil's legendary variable architecture synthesis technology right from the front panel. With 32 layers per program, each with its own signal path, and a wealth of modular DSP tools, the PC4 offers a wealth of sound creation and modification that is truly immense. Build massive sonic combinations through Kurzweil's famous Multi mode (also known as Setup mode) which offers 16 zones of unparalleled MIDI controller capabilities, plus an internal 16-track sequencer for recording/editing/mixing/producing your own tracks. , all in the box. Import MIDI files (.mid) as well as songs from the Kurzweil PC3 family.

Load up to 2 GB of your own custom samples to non-volatile flash memory. Supported sample formats: .WAV, .AIF (up to 16-bit/96 kHz) and Kurzweil formats (.P3K, .KRZ, .K25, .K26). Its synthesis interface offers 9 sliders, 9 knobs, 10 switches, 2 wheels, 2 switch pedal inputs (supporting half dampers for pianos), 2 continuous control pedal inputs, Aftertouch and ribbon controller input, driven from an impressive 4.3” 480 × 272 widescreen color LCD screen. The most advanced Kurzweil synthesizer is now in Colombia.


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