2009 NAMM Rumors: The Kurzweil PC361

2009 NAMM Show rumor: GearJunkies reports on a 61-keyboard version of the Kurzweil PC3, the Kurzweil PC361, which is rumored to be coming in January. 

It would be welcome to see a new keyboard from Kurzweil, but we’d rather see something revolutionary than evolutionary.

Got any more NAMM rumors? Leave a comment!

Kurzweil PC3 Features:

  • Polyphony: 128 Voice Polyphony, dynamically allocated, lightning fast performance.
  • Multitimbral: 16 parts (one per MIDI channel)
  • Architecture:
  • Dynamic VAST: Powerful new synthesis engine, with user programmable DSP algs and routing. More DSP power than even our K Series instruments.
  • VA1 Inside: anti-aliasing, power-shaped oscillators and DSP processing from Kurzweil’s VA1 prototype synth, capable of delivering authentic analog emulations as well as incredibly complex new sounds.
  • Cascade Mode: lets the user route one layer through the DSP of any other layer within a program – up to 32 consecutive layers deep!
  • Sequencer: Unlimited tracks; 1536 PPQ resolution. Song editing functions include both event and track-based tools like quantize, swing, remap, controller scaling and more. Controller chasing and a global “set song length” functions are also featured.
  • Effects: 16 insert effects distributed over 12 busses, plus two auxiliary sends; featuring over 300 of our award winning effects – reverbs, delays, chorus, flange, phaser, EQs, distortions, Leslie simulators, compressors, and more.
  • Master FX Section: User controllable master EQ section and master compressor for quick adjustments during live performance or putting the final touches on your studio mix. (These do not use up the insert effect resources.)
  • Controllers: Pitch wheel, modulation wheel, 9 front panel sliders/drawbar controllers, 2 front panel switches (momentary or toggle, software selectable), 3 switch pedal input, 2 continuous control pedal inputs, mono pressure, Super Ribbon input, breath controller input. Controller values can be “captured” and stored as part of a program.

16 thoughts on “2009 NAMM Rumors: The Kurzweil PC361

  1. As former longtime user of K2000 and pleased one back in 1990 the
    PC361 seams to be a disaster! 64x 256 pixel wite on blue LCD in the
    year of 2009? Someone at K- headquarters must be a real idiot!
    The K2000 UI was no easy deal back in 1990 and this seams even
    way worser. Hopfully this will be just a roumour and newer ever
    hit the market unless a complete UI design change has been done.
    Learn from KORG and Roland Mr Kurz! Perhaps you have been to
    long in the djungle!

  2. Lars, it is true what you say about the screen of the PC3, but we need to be objectives and we need to talk from the perspective that this was made for musicians, and no matter what kind of screen Korg or Roland have or how many lights shining they have, the PC3 is still sounding way better than competition and that for me is the most important thing on an instrument. Also VAST is most advanced than ever, which is the most advanced synthesis I have tried, plus 128 poliphony plus double KDFX, which is A LOT taking in count that you can create awesome things in a k2600 with less poliphony and less KDFX, etc. So the screen is just a detail compared with the big tools this instrument has or provides to the musucians to create music. I agree BTW that the screen could or should be improved but the most important thing is not how the screen or the keyboard looks like, in my opinion of course.

    cheers!

  3. Kurzweil? They are still in business? Wow. I remember when I was at Mars Music we use to sell a lot of their blue digital ‘pianos’ for stage use, but they still insist on making a workstation? I would not bother. They fell off the back of the wagon a long time ago as far as workstations go. I’d probably get a Yamaha before a Kurz, Roland and Korg are the top workstations, and looking at what bands are using in L.A. and Hollywood, you wouldn’t even know Kurzweil was still breathing. (the notion that a Kurz sounds better is absurd, btw. Play one if you don’t believe me)

  4. Well, I have some stuffs to reply:

    1) if Korg and Roland sell more than other companies doesnt mean that their boards are necessarily better. Thats not necessarily a truth.

    2) Yamaha has very good boards (I will buy a Motif XS BTW), if you choose Yamaha thats your option and congrats for that, but, this would just a matter of tastes. I have friends that have Yamaha and PC3 and they say that while Yamaha “sounds very good”, Kurzweil sounds “impresive”.

    3) I dont know why a PC3 would be a bad workstation, before they said that the poliphony was too low (even though k2600 is a BIG and powerful keyboard), and now they say: “they should not insist”. Thats not a true argument IMO.

    3) “Kurzweil sounds better than competition”, thats something every user I have known that has other boards has told me. I have also played Roland Fantom and Korg M3 and I personally like much more Kurz than those boards than in my opinion they sounded weak compared with a k2600.

    4) if you believe Kurzweil boards dont sound good, then maybe it is your opinion, but there is a lot of famous artist that I dont believe they have “bad taste” (including big ones like Vangelis and Jean Michel Jarre):

    Eddie Van Halen of Van Halen 1984 Tour
    Paul Schaffer of CBS Orchestra
    Ashton Miranda of Cherry BlackStone
    Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake and Palmer
    Amanda Palmer of the duo The Dresden Dolls
    Richard Wright, of Pink Floyd on their 1994 Division Bell Tour (K2000s)
    Jon Carin, of Pink Floyd on their 1994 Division Bell Tour (K2000s)and on the album itself
    Duran Duran
    New Order
    Front Line Assembly
    Delerium
    Steven Johannessen, visual music composer, synthesist, virtual reality artist
    Alicia Keys
    Guy Babylon, Elton John Band
    Mike Rowe (Sheryl Crow)
    Morten Sandager (Mercenary)
    Chris Kilmore (Incubus as of July, 2007)
    Lisa Brigantino (Lez Zeppelin)
    David Paich (Toto)
    Terry Lawless (U2)
    Jamie Orlando, The Crash Motive
    David Innis, Restless Heart
    Geri Allen
    Tori Amos (on her albums From the Choirgirl Hotel and To Venus and Back)
    Lukas Wooller of Maxïmo Park
    Skinny Puppy and their adjuct projects aDuck and Download (band)
    Peter Gabriel
    John Novello
    David Bowie
    Jordan Rudess, Dream Theater
    Mike Garson
    Maurice Gibb
    Jean Michel Jarre
    The Postal Service
    Henrik Klingenberg
    Lucas, White & Edsey
    Lexaunculpt
    Brian M. Murphy
    Kate Laurel Smith
    Eva Kathryn
    Alex Tirrell, Shryne
    Flood (producer)
    Steve Walsh, Kansas
    Kerry Livgren, Kansas
    Vangelis
    Stevie Wonder (he was already a user of Kurzweil reading machines)
    Billy Joel, usually only in concerts.
    Roy Bittan
    Brent Mydland (Grateful Dead) 1987 until death (1990)
    Dntel
    Aaron Rothe
    Robert Miles
    32crash
    Implant

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurzweil_Music_Systems

  5. FLA uses Kurz? I’ve seen them quite a few times and never saw a Kurz.
    But they had a Korg Prophecy, lucky bastards.
    Many of those listed used the OLD Kurz’s (when they were still a relevant synth maker). Doubt that they are using the current models.
    And Jordan Ruddess uses Nord, he is in all their ads. (not that I care what he uses anyway! LOL!) Just to be a nice guy, I’ll demo this board at Namm, and maybe post a review. I’ll even bring my own headphones (proper!). Just keep in mind, this is just my opinion, and I am a renegade when it comes to music gear, I base my opinions on real world experiences on stage, studio, and store.

  6. Looks like another redeux of the K2000 from 1990. I wouldn’t expect anything new from Kurzweil for many years if they even stay in business. They (Hyundai) fired almost every single engineer and development person a couple years back without notice or severance. Without the “head” left on the body, the chicken will run around and around for a long time before it drops! LOL

  7. There is a LOT of difference between k2000 and the PC3… both technically and in the sound quality. I have played a PC3 and you need to play and try it before commenting. A-m-a-z-i-n-g.

    BTW, what kind of music do you all usually play?.

  8. Mibrilane: Pull your head out of your crack & update yourself to the present before you post…since the PC3 76-key is $1,999-what do you think the 61-key version will be priced at? Do the math & show me a comparable workstation synth AFTER you do the research on the PC3

    Lars: I agree,the size of the PC3 screen is not competitive & it is disappointing-especially so,with all of the PC3’s advanced functions on such a limiting display,but as for the rest of the PC3’s features-THEY ARE NOT A DISASTER…don’t believe it?…DO THE RESEARCH.

    DEAD PANDA: Are you BRAIN DEAD? In your first post,you claim it as a fact,that Kurzweil keyboards sound like crap(as if you’ve actually played the PC3) and then in your second post,you decide that your going to demo one,because someone rattled off a list of famous names tha use Kurzweil?
    So then…your the cat that has real world experience..why?Because your a Korg & Yamaha user…I’m sure your a legend in your own mind.

    Your a complete fraud…stick to what you know…flipping burgers at McDumpster’s & shut your anus.

    Synth: Your clearing making unsubstantiated claims..like someone who is talking with their head cut off….just pucker up & stop spewing butt-wind.

  9. Mibrilane: Pull your head out of your crack & update yourself to the present before you post…since the PC3 76-key is $1,999-what do you think the 61-key version will be priced at? Do the math & show me a comparable workstation synth AFTER you do the research on the PC3

    Lars: I agree,the size of the PC3 screen is not competitive & it is disappointing-especially so,with all of the PC3’s advanced functions on such a limiting display,but as for the rest of the PC3’s features-THEY ARE NOT A DISASTER…don’t believe it?…DO THE RESEARCH.

    DEAD PANDA: Are you BRAIN DEAD? In your first post,you claim it as a fact,that Kurzweil keyboards sound like crap(as if you’ve actually played the PC3) and then in your second post,you decide that your going to demo one,because someone rattled off a list of famous names that use Kurzweil?
    So then…your the cat that has real world experience..why?Because your a Korg & Yamaha user…I’m sure your a legend in your own mind.

    Your a complete fraud…stick to what you know…flipping burgers at McDumpster’s & shut your anus.

    Synth: Your clearing making unsubstantiated claims..like someone who is talking with their head cut off….just pucker up & stop spewing butt-wind.

  10. Synth,

    Actually, when Hyundai took over they hired 8 engineers that very day. And they have been hiring more ever since. We have a great sales oriented and dedicated engineer’s team in Boston.
    And as for the PC3 being another K2000, it’s quite the contrary, 128 note polyphony, virtually unlimited tracks on Sequencing, up to 16 FX at one time, additional DSP block in vast. Cascade Mode, 16 Arpeggiators in Setup Mode, New Riff functions in Setup. Info button in program mode tells what controllers are working in that particular program. There is quite a bit of difference……

  11. Own some big screen korgs and have to say the PC3 is easy to navigate and don’t feel I need the novelty big screen? Would be nice but I make real fast track on my PC3. Can’t say that about the menu on my fusion 8hd…slows me down a lot! love it though.
    The sonic muscle comes so easy with the pc3 with the small screen and that kept the costs down….way down. Don’t want to pay 4500.00 for it>>> wake up and enjoy this sonic monster. Depth of it are years in the making and you will never out grow what it can do…..NEVER!

  12. Hi all.
    I feel I must echo the Kurzweil defense.
    I am a great lover of my K2500 workstation.
    Yes it is old and clunky and impractical.
    BUT: compared to all other digital hardware and software that I’ve used, this machine just sounds better.
    It’s hard to explain.
    As an instrument it is easily misunderstood.
    It’s complex and intimidating for synth rookies.
    Once you mind ‘gets’ a Kurzweil synth, you realise what a sculptural artistic tool it is. If you are willing to make an effort, read a manual and actual program a synth, then a Kurz is the one.
    If you are lazy and want a quick software preset, then you go use software and sound like everyone else.

    There is a certain detail to the Kurzweil sound.
    The attack is better then other digital synths I’ve heard.
    The sounds are 3d-like, having body and weight, before you even apply reverberation.
    With controls and mods used correctly this puppy can breath some musical fire…and the flames are detailed and realistic.
    The KDFX are of excellent quality.
    You can’t compare them to software plugins, which is more then I can say for the effects on say a Virus or
    a Novation synth…not that it’s fair to make that comparison.

    Think of it as boutique technology.
    It’s extremely musical.
    The architecture is so deep, it will unfold into your consciousness over many many years.
    A Kurzweil is an instrument of beauty that you develop a relationship with.
    It always amazes me how people seemed to get duped into caring about the wrong things.
    If one can appreciate the value of Kurzweils past R&D, the glory of Kurzweil’s algorythms, the sheer quality…then one can further appreciate what the new PC361 truly offers:

    You get the Kurzweil quality of sound and expressive control.
    You get double the power of KDFX (not a joke hey, it sounds brilliant..great reverbs in there too…to hell with software.

    Cascade mode, for me is the big freakout.
    You kind of have to understand the architecture to really appreciate what the implications of this technology is.
    It’s musical, sculptural sound shaping heaven.
    You know, I have not even heard it of course, but I understand what Kurzweil have done. And judging by my old K2500, I can only imagine.

    I’d love to hear Kurzweil’s new Virtual Analogue implementation, simply because it’s theirs.

    I’d rather not spend money on a fancy colour touchscreen.
    Rather put the money into sound and ‘instrumentalism’.
    On my K2500, the screen and the buttons all work together to create a very comprehensive workflow that is actually quite efficient for the sound sculpting process.
    One thing that’s always been tough though is not nowing what assignments I’ve given the sliders. It’s impossible to remember them for each sound.
    A cool thing about the new PC361 (if I have this right) is that if you hold down some modifier key (like ‘CTRL’ or something like that) and then move a physical controller, you will get an info readout on the screen about what assignment the controller has and what values it’s respective parameters have.
    This simple measure does goe a long way in helping one keep a grasp on what controller controls what in the programs you create.
    That helps with the screen limitation.

    I also believe that there is an official software editor now.
    Again, this helps overcome the frustrations with the admittedly small screen.

    The new multi- arpeggiators and step sequencers have the ability to rival Korg’s karma technology.

    By this stage you may think I work for Kurzweil.
    The truth is, I wish I did cos then I’d get them cheap…sure as hell
    won’t be any time soon before I pick up a PC361, but boy would I love one.

    My romance even extends to fantasies of models not yet invented and I know for a fact that all Kurzweil users that I know are besotted and dream of a tasty K3000 with a vga output.

    Now let us pray.

Leave a Reply