Kawai XD-5

Kawai XD-5 Image

This is an awesome drum synth module that has 256 waveforms, four of which can be combined to create a drum sound. It also has great resonant lowpass filters and envelopes for shaping the sounds and is excellent for techno, electro and industrial drums. For effects, a delay type effect is possible as well as a ring-modulator. It also has stereo outputs plus 6 individual outs for the studio pros. Mouse On Mars might use it.

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11 Visitor comments
Reg Rodgers
December 29, 2009 @ 9:00 pm
I purchased this unit at one of those Guitar Center blowout sales.
It was needed because it could produce better sounding 909 hats than my Roland DR-660. It was used for Random Access, Reggie R, No Down Payment, Vitamin C, Bizzy B, Jackstreet Inc, and DJ Tools tracks and songs way back in the day. I still have it.
June 5, 2009 @ 11:27 pm
Forgot to mention--Kawai will still support machines this old. Ask them for ROM upgrades and they will hook you up. All praise to Kawai tech support.
June 5, 2009 @ 11:25 pm
This is a really underappreciated, wonderful machine. And there are a lot of lies and half-truths being spread about it by reviewers. It can transmit and receive on MIDI channels other than 10, contrary to what others say. It does not sound thin and delicate unless you program it that way--you can create some mindblowing kicks with it. Sure, a manual helps, but it's not incredibly difficult to program on pure intuition either. Download the manual, give it a glance, and you'll understand Kawai's methods.

I'll grant that the construction leaves a little to be desired--it has a PLASTIC FACE--on a damn rackmount box! PLASTIC POTENTIOMETER HANDLES, ugh! But it seems solid enough, the plastic is still pretty thick and you'd need real effort to break it especially in a rack. Features more than make up for this small weakness though--I'd recommend it to anyone.
December 29, 2008 @ 10:12 pm
I purchased this drum module back in the day, it was underestimated, the magic word for this piece is drum synthesis, for the most part you can create most any drum sound you desire. It has a sound of its own similar to a mpc60. I have use this piece for years and its a very vital part of my production.
Jamie Andrews
November 12, 2008 @ 3:43 am
I bought one of these in um, 1996 maybe?
The filters are loverly and squelchy and you can fiddle with them on the fly with the slidely knob
VSE Rating

It’s Good

User Rating

Rated 3.55 (179 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
  • Drum Tones - 256 Waveforms; 1 to 4 per voice
  • LFO - None
  • Filter - DCF: digital resonant lowpass
  • VCA - DCA: digital envelope
  • Keyboard - None
  • Memory - 64 patches, 16 DrumKits, external memory card
  • Control - MIDI (1 channel)
  • Date Produced - 1989 - 1990
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from

    Thanks to Tom J for providing information.

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