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Kurzweil K150 Fourier Synthesizer

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The Kurzweil Model K150X Expander (K150X) has built-in programs you can play directly, and editors with which you can modify these programs to create an enormous range of sounds and playing/performance options. In most synthesizers, the sound begins with a simple electronic waveform that is then filtered and shaped to produce the final tone. The Kurzweil K150X Expander is also a synthesizer. However, instead of starting off with a simple electronic waveform, the K150X starts with a computer model of an acoustically rich instrumental sound. These models, which we call voices, are created by a Contoured Sound Model?, which produces the rich, authentic tones for which Kurzweil Music Systems has become famous.

Programs, Regions, and Layers

In addition to the voices, the K150X offers many sound-modifying resources. By using these resources, we are able to change a basic voice to create a great variety of new tone colors. The resources are referred to as modifiers. A voice, together with its associate modifiers, is called a layer.

With the K150X, you can combine layers to form a composite tone color, and then assign that combination of layers to a region. A region is one group of keys into which the K150X divides the incoming MIDI keyboard information. The K150X enables you to set up one, two, or three keyboard regions.

A complete keyboard setup is called a program. The program tells where the regions are, which layers are in each region, and which voice and modifier values are in each layer. The programs are numbered from 0 to 255. A given program may be selected by the K150X’s front panel, or by a MIDI program change command.

Thus, programs are built up like the branches of a tree. The program is the tree itself, the regions are parts of the tree’s "trunk", and the layers are "branches" that are attached to the trunk. To continue the analogy, you can think of the K150X as a "forest" of up to 255 trees. The size of the forest is fixed by the amount of memory in the K150X. You can have up to 255 "trees," but if you build up big trees with a lot of "branches" (that is, a complex program with a lot of layers), it will take more space in the memory than smaller trees with fewer layers, and you will be able to fit fewer than the maximum of 255 in your "forest" of programs.

The K150X allows you to build up a program of one, two, or three regions, each of which may have up to seven layers. In working on your programs, you may set up, change, or remove just a layer, a region of layers, or an entire program.

The Voices

Many voices are built in to every K150X. A list of the resident voices is given in Chapter 8 of this manual. In addition, every K150X contains voice expansion slots into which supplied voice block integrated circuits are inserted. Additional expansion slots are also supplied so that you can add more voice block integrated circuits later on.

All voices are instantly available for playing. That is, there is no waiting time to play any of the voices that you have installed within the instrument.

The Modifiers

Modifiers change a voice, or change the manner in which the voice responds to MIDI control signals. Modifiers may be applied at the layer level, program level, or be instrument-wide. A modifier which is applied at the layer level affects only that layer, a modifier applied at the program level affects all layers in all regions defined by the program, and an instrument wide modifier affects all the programs in the K150.

Technical Specifications
Type: Digital
Synthesis: Additive
Oscillators: 240
Waveforms: Additive, Sine
Osc Modulation: After Touch, Continuous Controller, Keyboard, Knob, LFO, Velocity
Envelopes: 240
Envelope Notes::
256 stage amplitude envelopes with looping function.
LFO: 1
LFO Parameters: Square, Triangle
Polyphony & Tuning
Polyphony: 16
Timbrality: 3
Tuning: Atonal, Micro, Standard
Modes: Mono, Polyphonic, Split
Patches RAM: 255
Storage: Internal, 6
Chorus editor featuring chorus, flange, phasing, and echo/delay.
Case: Rack
Rack Size: 19", 4U, Full
Controls: Buttons, Knobs
Display Type: LED, Numeric
Display Count H: 12
Display Count V: 1
Audio Output Connections: 1/4" Phone Jack, Stereo Main
DAC Bits: 16
DAC Frequency Rate: 20 kHz
Year Released: 1986
Design Notes:

Hal Chamberlin developed software to run on Apple II class computers.
Manuals & Documents

Product Links
Company Product Sites:
[+] kurzweil.com
Used Price: $900 - convert

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