Revel In The Sounds of The 1980s With UVI KAWAI Vintage Legacy

Revel In The Sounds of The 1980s With UVI KAWAI Vintage Legacy

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The eighties were dominated by some of the best new synthesizers by Korg, Roland, Moog, and Yamaha, but during this time, KAWAI also released some great hardware. UVI invites music makers to re-experience some of the classics by the Japanese manufacturer with their KAWAI Vintage Legacy collection. The collection features five instruments that are based on vintage KAWAI synthesizers from the 1980s. According to UVI, these were all selected for their distinct character and unique edge, making them all true hidden gems for today’s producers and composers.

UVI has stated that each of the five instruments included in the collection takes inspiration from classic KAWAI hardware, including the K1, K3, K4, XD5, and R100. The diversity of these instruments makes for a massive range of creative options, and users can even add some dirty, lo-fi vibes to their beats with the R100/XD5 drum module and its tasteful 12-bit sample engine. In addition, users can access all the included instruments individually or as together as a monolithic “multi” instrument. 

Each instrument in the KAWAI Vintage Legacy collection has an ADSR envelope, multimode filter, vibrato, tremolo, and filter frequency controls that can be linked to a MIDI controller’s mod wheel. Included effects range from drive and bit reduction to chorus, phaser, and 3-band equalizer. All instruments also feature a powerful arpeggiator, and the multi-version includes bus effects and more. 


K1U - The K1U is based on the KAWAY K1 synth, released in 1988 as an entry-level digital synth. This instrument can create everything from punchy and character synth sounds to walls of noise thanks to its 256 16-bit PCM samples and DC waveforms of acoustic instruments.

K3U - The K3U is based on the 1986 KAWAI K3 6-voice digital synthesizer. It uses some of the same technology as the K1 but makes use of analog filters and envelopes. Highlights of this instrument include its gritty wavetable engine and resonant filter.

K4U - The K4U is based on the 1989 KAWAI K4 digital synthesizer, which was widely used in a number of ‘90s electronic music styles. Thanks to 16-bit PCM samples with DC waveform and acoustic instruments, as well as a digital filter section, it is deeply configurable and competent. 

K5U - The K5U is based on the 1987 KAWAI K5, which features an additive synthesis engine. In addition to allowing users to design sounds using 127 harmonic levels, the instrument is also a 15-part multi-timbral. 

R100U - Last up is the R100U which is based on the KAWAI R100. The R100 was first released in 1987 and is the first digital drum machine from KAWAI. The sound quality was impressive for its time, thanks to the 12-bit PCM format and 32kHz sample rate that KAWAI used to record the samples. The original was released with 24 basic sounds and eight individual outputs, but the R100U has been customized with additional EPROMS. These include modern and acoustic sounds and a large selection of sounds created with the KAWAI XD5 Drum Synthesizer. 

The KAWAI Vintage Legacy collection runs in UVI Workstation version 3.1.11+ and Falcon version 2.8.5+. It requires a free iLok account, but a dongle is not necessary. Check out the video below to hear the collection in action, and visit the official website to purchase a copy at the discounted price of $89 (the regular price is $149.00). The official site also features more specifications as well as downloads for the manual and soundbank installation guide.