Kurzweil K2700 Synthesizer Workstation An Evolutionary Leap For V.A.S.T. Synthesis

Ahead of the 2021 NAMM Show, being held online Jan 21-24, Kurzweil has officially introduced the K2700 synthesizer workstation, a massive evolutionary leap for V.A.S.T. Synthesis.

Variable Architecture Synthesis Technology (V.A.S.T.) has for decades been recognized as one of the most powerful and flexible platforms for synthesis. The K2700 takes V.A.S.T. and the K2x00 series to a new level, though, offering 5 times the polyphony, gigabytes of sample capacity, FM synthesis, VA synthesis, 32-layers per program, sequencing and more.

Features:

  • 256 Voices of V.A.S.T. Polyphony – Over 5x the polyphony of any previous K2 series model.
  • 4.5 Gigabytes of Factory Sounds – The K2700 serves up a deep sound library of over 1500 factory Programs and over 700 Multi combinations, organized into 13 instrument categories, ranging from Pianos to Synths to Orchestral sounds and more, featuring unlooped German D, Japanese C7 and Triple Strike pianos, Classic Tine EPs (’73 & ’77), plus updated sounds from their SP6, PC3/4, and KORE64 expansion.
  • Patented FlashPlay Technology – Flash-Play provides the K2700 with a staggering amount of horse-power. Up to 8 GB total capacity with zero-loading time, and ultrafast performance.
  • 3.5 Gigabytes User Sample Memory – You can load up to 3.5 GB of your own custom samples into non-volatile flash memory. Supported sample formats: .WAV, .AIF (up to 16 bit / 96kHz) and Kurzweil formats (.FOR, .PC4, .P3K, .KRZ, .K25, .K26).
  • V.A.S.T. Editing – V.A.S.T. was born in the K2 series. The K2700 expands on Kurzweil’s Variable Architecture Synthesis Technology, offering 32-layers per program, deeply customizable signal paths and a host of modular DSP tools including new oscillators, filters, and FX.
  • 6-Operator FM Engine – 6 Operator FM Engine ,with the ability to load original FM SysEx files. FM layers are a new addition to VAST programs and can be combined with VAST features to go far beyond classic FM synthesis.
  • Virtual Analog – Embedded within the K2700 are powerful anti-aliasing, power-shaped oscillators, along with DSP processing from Kurzweil’s mythical VA1 concept synth, capable of delivering authentic analog emulations, as well as complex new sounds.
  • KB3 ToneReal Organs – Modeled after classic organs. A full complement of tonewheel controls are immediately accessible including 9 realistic drawbars, rotary speed, chorus/vibrato, brake, percussion and more.
  • Powerful FX Engine – Reverbs, Delays, Choruses, Flangers, Phasers, Distortions, Rotary Amplifiers, Compressors and more – all fully editable from the user-interface. The K2700 also offers a global Master FX section featuring 3-band EQ and Compression.
  • K.S.R. – Kurzweil String Resonance – Piano string resonance modeling for enhanced acoustic piano performance.

The K2700 continues the K2x00 tradition of offering tons of real-time control, including:

  • Monopressure (aftertouch)
  • 1 pitch wheel
  • 1 assignable modulation wheel
  • 1 assignable ribbon controller
  • 9 assignable sliders
  • 9 assignable knobs
  • 10 assignable buttons
  • 16 assignable velocity sensitive pads
  • 2 transpose switches
  • Tap tempo button and tempo knob
  • Arp controls
  • Transport controls
  • 2 switch pedal inputs
  • 2 continuous control pedal inputs

Other features include USB MIDI and audio support, plus USB Host mode, which lets you connect additional USB controllers – like an additional keyboard – the K2700. Software editors for MacOS & Windows are also in the works.

Details on pricing and availability are to come. See the Kurzweil site for more info.

35 thoughts on “Kurzweil K2700 Synthesizer Workstation An Evolutionary Leap For V.A.S.T. Synthesis

    1. 16 bit samples sound fine. They take up less memory than 24 bits.

      But yea, I suppose it would be nice to have 24 bit samples as an option.

      Still, only 7-bits of dynamic range on those MIDI keyboards (all of them).

      1. 7-bits of dynamic range? What are you talking about?? MIDI note velocity is 7-bit, but that has no bearing on dynamic range of the audio circuit.

        1. You’re right. The point I’m making is with normalized samples, and not factoring in all the various amp mod things, you are just getting 127 different volume “starting points”. The output is 32-bit, and I’m sure the fidelity is great. My point is that we will continue to wait for high-resolution velocity, much less any other features from the MIDI 2.0 spec.

          I also realize that high resolution controls come at a cost, processing wise.

          1. For what do you want to use more than 128 velocity levels? I understand for continues valies like CC and aftertouch. But volume. More than 8 velocity layers sounds unpractical.

            1. First, it would be good if keyboards actually gave you full resolution of those 7-bits. Many don’t. Fast velocity-switch scan rates are needed.

              Second, you want wide range– so you play YOUR very softest strikes and YOUR very hardest strikes and you want those defined as minimum and maximum.

              Third, you want enough resolution in between the softest and loudest, such that you can establish custom curves without sacrificing resolution.

              So if velocity is done right, 7-bits COULD be sufficient, but that’s not how it works currently. Also, because it is a central means of expression, we should have SOME over-kill, even 8 bits (255 values) would be better.

  1. Anyone please explain the need for a fully-weighted keyboard plus pads (sampling, triggering, sequencing, DJ-ing) altogether? DJ-pianist?

    Other thought. K2700 – PC4 seem to me the same as Korg Kronos – Nautilus, right?

    1. The fully-weighted versions must sell well, so they release them first. And may follow with other keyboard versions.

      It may be tempting to compare with the Korg workstations, but don’t. These are really different beasts.

  2. All in all, seems to be very similar to a Pc4/Forte, but with more memory, adding the VA-1 engine, and more physical controls. Nice addition to the lineup!

    1. It’s 2021? Look at all the 1970’s synths that are being rolled out.

      The pianos on the Kurzweils are very musical sounding. But they don’t look as good on paper, maybe.

      1. That’s nostalgia for ’70s synths. No one has nostalgia for the Triple Strike. Some legacy sounds should stay in the past lol!

        1. I disagree.
          With hammer action and triple strike, I’m getting excited ?
          Frankly, I’m disappointed they included A full complement of tonewheel controls that are immediately accessible including 9 realistic drawbars, rotary speed, chorus/vibrato, brake, percussion and more.
          Completely useless in 2021.

    2. Exited to see new stuff coming from this company ,truly am.
      all tho i think theres a big hit and miss with this model And i hope its done as a tribute to the past,other wise i cant really justify any need for this kind of machines in a modern studio.i mean who needs 16 ch sequencer giant keyboards these days?
      With all the menu diving hours i spent…at least put a proper screen its 2021 and were having hard time as it is.
      In short if the devs are reading this,Give us fully integrated daw power sound and effect unit please,you can keep nasty chips…gulum.

      Ps
      Welcome back

  3. Both as a workstation fan and a Kurzweil fan, this ticks most of the boxes for me. I’m familiar enough with Kurzweil’s approach to ROM sounds and know that they are excellent, musical and very playable. For what is lacking in ROM, there is now ample space for user samples in flash rom, so no more pre-gig loading. Nice to see competitive polyphony.

    The two mix/line/hi-z inputs with full pre-amps for inputs allow routing through internal effects, which are excellent– best-in-class. I expect they’ll also work as sampling inputs, but I don’t know. I hope they will allow you to route sound through vast as a “sample keymap” but again, I’m speculating.

    The synthesis methods and editing approach might not be for everyone. Some advanced synth users complain about mod scan rates and some aliasing at very high notes– which are weaknesses in the Kurzweil VAST system. But it is a very flexible approach to sound making. The modulation system with secondary depth mod sources, and FUN(ction) generators really rounds it all out. There’s a learning curve, but it is logical, flexible, powerful and effective. I have played in this realm for 30 years now, and have enjoyed every minute of it.

    There are two areas I’m curious about for this model: sample editing, and sequencing. Both of those were pretty nice in the K2600 era. But then we saw some capabilities stripped down. I hope that the sequencer and the sample editing both represent some evolution from the K2600.

    Nice that it is all self-contained and not requiring any additional installed options.

    Though many of the features have started in the PC3/4 and Forte lines, this is a significant step up for the K-series and is welcome news.

  4. God plays one of these, except His has poly aftertouch and hot racing stripes. That features list is awe-inspiring. I’d feel more daunted if I didn’t already have most of its powers in my DAW. I admire anyone who takes up a K, because it means 6 months with your nose in the manual. You’re serious at a noble level. This one puts a lot of your other gear on the sideline.

  5. Lemme get this out of the way first: Welcome back K2xxx series!

    Ok, now the crying:
    Does it reintroduce LiveMode?
    Does it sample?
    Stereo USB out…Stereo, that’s it? Really?
    Generous screen…compared to what…the 1990’s…pre-Korg Trinity?
    Same GUI as PC4…Same screen real estate too me thinks.
    88 keys, cool what about 76 & 61 key options? That shuts out a lot of potential buyers (me included)
    88 keys…must weigh a ton if it has a solid build…my 76 key K2500 weighed a ton.
    It’s a big rehash…they need to invest in fresh hardware/software interface design talent

    If Kurzweil had the gumption to take notes of the Roland Fantom in terms of how a 2020’s workstation ought to be, they could rightfully dominate as the definition of workstation as they did in the 90’s.

    I’ll stick with my PC3K6

    Nothing beats V.A.S.T
    Just get up to snuff with the hardware/software design please.

    Yo Kurzweil, why did you skimp out on the dual SCSI ports, ADAT/lightpipe, & PRAM upgrade…cheap skates

    Still ALWAYS have love for the K-series & Kurzweil

  6. Owned a 2500 from 1996-2008….sold in 2009 and never looked back….hope the lady who bought it off me got more out of it, then I did. Hard as heck to develop my own patches on it….the sampling technology omit was not easy to master…

    Hats off to Kurzweil though!!

    1. “sold in 2009 and never looked back”

      I feel your pain! The k2x00 series and V.A.S.T. are super-powerful, but also pretty challenging because of their complexity.

      I’ve got a couple of Elektron boxes, and I’d say that they are about the same in terms of driving you to RTFM.

      If you dig into these deep beasts, though, and figure out the things that you need to know for your music, you find that they do stuff that nothing else does as well.

      My K2500 has spoiled me for every other synth I’ve bought since. Every time I get a new synth, it’s not very long before I find features that would be really useful – features that were standard 25 years ago on the K2x00 synths – but that are missing on modern synths.

      For example, on the K2x00, you can control the ‘start’ and ‘stopping’ points for your expression pedal, what it controls (almost anything) and how it interacts with other controls. This adds complexity – but it also means that your pedal works exactly the way you want it to and is really musically expressive.

      I’ve never seen MIDI control implemented better than what Kurzweil has done.

      I’m really interested in the K2700 – because it addresses the weak spots of the earlier K2x00 synths. But I also feel like I’ve got a lifetime’s worth of capabilities left to explore on my K2500.

  7. Anyone bemoaning about the samples or comparing this to workstations from other manufacturers keep missing the point of VAST. This was the case back in the K2500/K2600 days and it’s the case now. I mean, don’t you guys synthesize? I never got why people got there just to play piano on them.

    I’ve always treated these as semi-modular synths pretending to be workstations 🙂

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