Kawai K3 - Analog Knobs hack?

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Kawai K3 - Analog Knobs hack?

Postby DX21 » Sat Dec 14, 2013 11:16 am

I was thinking, since the Analog filters are CPU controlled, I could simply set them to 100% on and wire inline a set of potentiometers to reduce the individual voltages, or is there more to it?

I really like the nice punchy bass she gives me, but I think with a few extra knobs It'll be a formidable Crazybox for on stage.

does anyone know of a reliable service manual?
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Re: Kawai K3 - Analog Knobs hack?

Postby Alex E » Sat Dec 14, 2013 12:41 pm

You could try, but be sure not to hurt the K3. It's easy enough to program as it is.
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Re: Kawai K3 - Analog Knobs hack?

Postby Z » Sat Dec 14, 2013 2:35 pm

Why not just buy a KiwiTechnics Patch Editor?
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Re: Kawai K3 - Analog Knobs hack?

Postby DX21 » Sat Dec 14, 2013 9:08 pm

Alex E wrote:You could try, but be sure not to hurt the K3. It's easy enough to program as it is.


I took a nice peek inside, It is doable , but the K3 is a rare beast here in Canada so I won't be messing with it.
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Re: Kawai K3 - Analog Knobs hack?

Postby Synthetech » Sat Dec 14, 2013 10:32 pm

The problem I see is you can adjust them individually, but if you are looking for 1 knob to adjust all 6 together, then you need a data wheel/ encoder modded in and use it like the data +/- buttons, but with the encoder's rotary action.

The VCF's are being adjusted by the CPU for each voice.. probably one at a time via a multiplexed DAC.

The potentiometer mod you refer to like on a Korg Poly 800 works since it is a paraphonic/ single VCF synth.
The K3 has 6 VCF's, I believe... totally different beast.
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Re: Kawai K3 - Analog Knobs hack?

Postby Aaron2 » Sun Dec 15, 2013 2:45 am

Z wrote:Why not just buy a KiwiTechnics Patch Editor?


Good suggestion. I have both the PE and a K3, but haven't used them together yet. I will say that, in general, the PE is great at breathing new life into these hard-to-program, no-knob '80s synths.
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Re: Kawai K3 - Analog Knobs hack?

Postby DX21 » Sun Dec 15, 2013 7:23 am

Synthetech wrote:The problem I see is you can adjust them individually, but if you are looking for 1 knob to adjust all 6 together, then you need a data wheel/ encoder modded in and use it like the data +/- buttons, but with the encoder's rotary action.

The VCF's are being adjusted by the CPU for each voice.. probably one at a time via a multiplexed DAC.

The potentiometer mod you refer to like on a Korg Poly 800 works since it is a paraphonic/ single VCF synth.
The K3 has 6 VCF's, I believe... totally different beast.


See the multiplexed DAC is what I'm trying to figure out. I'm ok with having 6 different knobs, but i'm not sure how the removal of voltage will affect the other settings.
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Re: Kawai K3 - Analog Knobs hack?

Postby DX21 » Sun Dec 15, 2013 7:31 am

Z wrote:Why not just buy a KiwiTechnics Patch Editor?


Yes, This looks like a way easier thing, plus it looks like I can write some custom knobs for other synths as well :3

Plus its inexpensive as well.
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Re: Kawai K3 - Analog Knobs hack?

Postby Synthetech » Mon Dec 16, 2013 5:37 pm

Its fairly easy to make GUI knobs using Ctrlr, and FREE too.
The K3 uses a Sysex msg about 10 bytes long for each parameter change.

F0 40 00 10 00 01 0A 06 00 F7

I'm fairly certain the above example is a MIDI hex code msg to set VCF to 96. The red byte is parameter # and the green ones are high nibble/ low nibble pair to set the param's value.. 06 00 = 96 in decimal.

I cant test it to verify, but you could easily using SendSX, MIDIox or some other MIDI utility app.




DX21 wrote: See the multiplexed DAC is what I'm trying to figure out. I'm ok with having 6 different knobs, but i'm not sure how the removal of voltage will affect the other settings.


It really isn't feasible to do the mod, or it'd have been done by now and been popular.. I foresee you'll put the filters out of balance.. I'm guessing Kawai had to use a scope to synch them all to the same thresholds/limits.


I have bumped my Korg poly 800's VCF Resonance limiter up via the PCB trim pot and just a tiny bit up has given it a new howl and screeching whistle that my amp 'n speakers can barely contain before frying.

Take a listen. Watch out at 1:00! Its a very high spiked whistle.

http://m.soundcloud.com/sythetech/korgkrazymp3
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