Kawai K4

Kawai K4 Image

The K4 from Kawai can be thought of as a warm and fuzzy digital synthesizer. A sample-based digital synth, its sounds are those typically weird industrial type sounds that can still be useful in lo-fi, big-beat and trip hop music styles. The sounds are 16-bit preset PCM samples of acoustic instruments. However, unlike its predecessor the K1, the K4 adds a welcomed digital filter section. This truly makes the K4 more flexible, fun and useful for today's filter tweaking music effects!

Kawai K4r Image

The K4r is the eight output rackmount version which has all the same features except for the effects processor. Both feature 8-part multitimbrality which is great for stacking, splitting and layering sounds. The K4 will give you strange, new and unique sounds with plenty of flexibility and analog-style sound shaping and control at an affordable price. It is used by The Chemical Brothers and ATB.

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The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings with more images, specs and information. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace. Our marketplace gets thousands of visits every week so make sure to check back often if you want to buy or sell a synth.

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Are you looking to buy or sell a Kawai K4? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

53 Visitor comments
December 9, 2008 @ 7:15 am
Further to my previous post, this is a loverly little synth - it's so easy to program (if you've got something like Unisyn). I say again that the "rom" samples aren't very good (I said something else previously and it got edited!), but once you've programmed up some of the "cycle" samples and THEN layer up to 8 x 4 voice patches you've got a great pad!
December 1, 2008 @ 6:12 am
Got a K4r on the weekend - programming it with Unisyn (would be a pain to do otherwise). The "real" instruments [beep] (one short sample stretched over the entire key range with no velocity switching) but the pads that can be created are great (especially if using the "cycle" digital samples). The filters are a bit weak but useful when sent to the mod wheel. I'm glad I didn't pay a lot for it but none-the-less am happy to have it in my rack just for the pad and effect sounds.
September 5, 2008 @ 2:09 pm
I just picked one of these up 4 hours ago and I love it. I've already made some really nice swirling pads with it.

The keyboard and build are a bit flimsy (the used one I got is being held together by ductape) but it's a great value for the price. The kawai K-series is really unique.


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User Rating

Rated 4.45 (853 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 16-voices, 8-part multitimbral
  • Oscillators - 16-Bit PCM digital synthesizer
  • Filter - Digital Dynamic Filter
  • Effects - Yes
  • Keyboard - 61 keys with velocity and aftertouch
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1989
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from Synthony and

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