How good is a Kurzweil K2500/2600

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How good is a Kurzweil K2500/2600

Postby vcs3 » Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:31 pm

Hi,
I'm thinking of getting a Kurzweil 2500/2600.
In a synth, view how good are they.
does the sound sound engine is powerful as they say?

Thanks for your help.
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Re: How good is a Kurzweil K2500/2600

Postby rhino » Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:22 pm

vcs3 wrote:does the sound sound engine is powerful as they say?


in a word, yes.

easy to program? no.

if you feel it's a good price, go for it.
"A thing may seem impossible...until it's done."
--Nelson Mandela
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Re: How good is a Kurzweil K2500/2600

Postby vcs3 » Sat Mar 14, 2009 11:17 am

Thanks rhino.

May a k2500 be update with a sampler option?
Are any good free editor for Windows?
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Re: How good is a Kurzweil K2500/2600

Postby 23 » Sat Mar 14, 2009 1:50 pm

Whether or not VAST is as strong as it's touted to be I think is largely debatable now.
You have to recall when VAST rolled out and what was around at the time; once this is kept in perspective, the relevance of VAST I think stands without question, but it's arguably not the lone wolf it used to be.

When VAST rolled out, if one was to look for a highly modular environment one could arguably only look to one place, which was the analog domain. This meant tons of money and a good amount of space taken up.
There really was relatively nothing (I can think of anything off hand) within the hardware synth/sampler domain that offered up anything similar. And software wise, you were really weren't going to be looking at anything that worked in real time (soft synths weren't at all what they are today).

The first thing I can think of that began to also really make some serious entry into this sort of modular domain would have been things like the EMU P2000 (and to a lesser extent Morpheus) and more notably things like the EMU E-4 (the ESI-32 may have hit on this a bit earlier, but I'm unsure to be honest).
The problem like the EMU P2000 was that it fell short of being any kind of full blown work station, short changed on the effects (in comparison to the territory the E4 and K2500/2600 could hit), and most notably, did not allow for sampling.

The next thing I can think of that hit into a similar area was a little fly by night piece from Alesis....
The Fusion.
In certain ways, I'd say Alesis took it further than had been taken before (and perhaps even since). Like anything it had it's limitations within this department for sure, but none the less, the extent / size / scope of it's modular environment was in many regards unparalleled within the (now) hardware department. It essentially lost the "function generator" aspects held by the Kurzweil and EMU systems, but it arguably had little need for them as it typically was possible for users to connect enough modules together to sufficiently come up with equivalents(all be that a more labor intensive way of accomplishing the goal). Along with the Function Generator loss, it lost out on the ability for multiple "layers" to make up a single patch (a "Layer" essentially being like synth/patch stacks that all retained their individual settings yet acted as one none the less and did not consume timbrality).

Between the K2500, K2600, E-4, E64 Ultra, EMU P2000 and 2500, Alesis Fusion, I'm not really sure who I would say comes out as an overall winner. All were and are pretty darn powerful sample based modular systems within their own rights.
The Fusion, being the monstrous jack of all trades it was, dropped off on the multi-layer stacks and function generators (which as I noted, it's questionable as to how big a loss that was), but easily came out on top in the available polyphony department, and tacked on an overly hefty dose of additional synthesis methods, and was by far the most user friendly in regard to programming.
The P2500, dropped actual sampling ability and Osc FM capabilities, but came out with an unhealthy dose of available filter types and the most hands on control of all of them.
The K2600 offered up sampling abilities, OSC FM capabilities, and arguably the most robust effects area of all the systems short of E-4 (which it arguably tied with), but drew the shortest straw on poly and some other things.
Etc. Etc.

So is VAST still amazing?
Sure, but it'd be a mistake that it was the sort of singularity in regard to implemented concept that it use to be. And I'd say some of the other things that ran with similar concepts are just as note worthy.
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Re: How good is a Kurzweil K2500/2600

Postby vcs3 » Sat Mar 14, 2009 11:06 pm

23:
so you think it a good buy to who as a P2500?
Where can I get info about e-mu e4? vintagesynth does have nothing.

Thank you.
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Re: How good is a Kurzweil K2500/2600

Postby 23 » Sun Mar 15, 2009 10:49 pm

vcs3 wrote:23:
so you think it a good buy to who as a P2500?
Where can I get info about e-mu e4? vintagesynth does have nothing.

Thank you.


Despite the amount of hands on control it has on offer, programming the P2500 can still end up being a bit tedious at times.
I personally really like the P2500, but I'll confess, I really don't think it's for everybody.
If someone is into sound design and willing to be a bit patient at times, I don't think they'll be disappointed with it.

In regard to getting information on the EMU E4 or E64 Ultra, the quickest means I can think of to find information would be just googling.
Here's an old review on the E4 I found to help give a quick start:
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/aug99/a ... multra.htm
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/May02/a ... urfx32.asp
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Re: How good is a Kurzweil K2500/2600

Postby JB » Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:12 am

It's also very much worth checking the "K2600 V2 supplement" manual here:
http://www.kurzweilmusicsystems.com/Pro ... =downloads

...and reading Chapter 2 about "Triple Modular Processing" as this was a significant (free) operating system upgrade that took the K2600 from being a rich-mans K2500 and gave it its own unique functionality (i.e. instead of having just *three* DSP blocks it allowed up to *eleven* to be chained with various routing options), this pretty much blitzed any restrictions that the K2000/K2500 had (one noticable issue being the lack of a 2-pole high-pass DSP block meaning that you couldn't have a variable resonant high-pass filter in the chain after a DSP generated oscillator).

The thing about the Kurzweils (which, looking at my kit list you'll know that I'm biased towards) is that there are often ways to achieve something that there may not be a dedicated function for (e.g ring modulation, FM etc).

As a single "workstation" they really cover a lot of bases (especially considering their age) including sampling (the sample option literally just gives you the physical sample inputs but you can import .wav and .aif samples via floppy/SCSI and use these on a K2000/2500/2600 which doesn't have the sample option installed), Virtual Analogue (each DSP block can be a real-time DSP-generated oscillator), ROMpler (built-in ROM samples plus optional Piano/Classical/Contemporary ROM expansion boards), multi FX (with KDFX - an option on the K2500 and fitted as standard in the K2600) and a very flexible sequencer (not that I use it much but it's arguably on a par with that in an MPC).

A few thing about the Kurzweil voices (good and bad):
Each layer uses 1 voice (if mono) or 2 voices (if stereo) therefore a stereo sample uses up two voices (one for the left channel, one for the right channel). A 32-layer "Drum Channel" therefore uses 32 voices (if all layers are used and sounding at the same time.... even more voices if the layers are stereo).
A Triple Modular layer uses three voices (as it's effectively three single voice layers chained end to end)....
however.... a normal program (i.e. non-Triple Modular program) can consist of one ROM/RAM sample plus three DSP generated oscillators per layer - this only takes up a single voice. So effectively a 48-voice K2500 can actually play 192 oscillators simultaneously (48 being ROM/RAM samples and the remaining 144 being DSP generated).
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