Desktop digital synthesizer module

A variant of the popular K1 in a space-saving desktop form.  The K1's were offered as a low-cost option for musicians to get the (back then) must-have Roland D-50 and Korg M1 sounds --- The starting portion of a sound was sampled (very short, low-fi samples), and the remaining "bulk" of the waveform was supplied by standard digital waves.  This was the new way of designing synthesizers in the late '80s and early '90s.  The K1m is a great-sounding little synthesizer that can fill many roles even in a modern studio.  From haunting pads, to '80s FM style bass, to "DigitalNativeDance-style" combis, the K1m delivers those types of sounds.  


Kawai K1m audio demos in mp3


Stream all audio demos below

Preset name with audio demo My comments
"I" internal preset banks
IA-1  Ahh Typical early sampled choir.  This would benefit from a good dosage of hall reverb (available in Kawai's K1 MkII...).  Reminds of the Korg M1.
IA-2  6 String Warm acoustic guitar.  The tone is not bad.
IA-3  String Pad Beautiful, haunting analog string pad.
IA-4  Al'sRhodes Who's Al - maybe Al Jarreau?  Anyway, this is his Rhodes.
IA-5  Visitors Outstanding preset - typically in the Korg M1 vein!  A nice sci-fi choir, with bells in the distance, and spaceship landings in the background.
IA-6  Pan Flute Typical Roland D-50 sound.
IA-7  Trumpet Realistic if not particularly expressive.
IA-8  1 Key Beat Showing off the on-board PCM samples.
IB-1  Sitar Very nice emulation of the famous Indian string instrument.
IB-2  Piano 1 Back then, this was OK, I suppose.  Like D-50 and M1, these types of synthesizers are not noted for their acoustic piano sounds.
IB-3  Jazz Harp Cool and interesting harp sound.
IB-4  Fuzz Clav Curiously analog-sounding Clavinet sound.
IB-5  Jazz Organ Nice!  This is a well-sampled jazz B-3 sound.
IB-6  Clarinet Cool.
IB-7  Bowed Strg The sampling technology of the era.
IB-8  Pizzicato Ok but it's synthy.
IC-1  Stratocast Nice Stratocaster sound - mellow and dark.
IC-2  StrutNstuf Wow!  An interesting amalgam of sounds.
IC-3  AnalogBras Analog?  Not really - but it's definitely late '80s digital!
IC-4  Crockett's Clearly inspired by Jan Hammer's sounds in "Miami Vice".  Great patch.
IC-5  Reflection Sweet and gentle synth.
IC-6  HeavyHittr Another "Miami Vice" sound.
IC-7  Terminator And this one was of course inspired by the movie "Terminator".
IC-8  Nomads Another typical LA / AI , classic sound.
ID-1  Kick Bass Great!  A powerful FM bass.
ID-2  Pull Bass OK - very '80s.
ID-3  Vybes I love the ensemble effect on this patch.
ID-4  Bellery Bells a go-go
ID-5  Music Box Beautiful!!!  It seems like every synth has a haunting, dramatic bell percussion patch on board.
ID-6  Kick+E.Snr More waves for you.  These are typical mid/late '80s percussion sounds.
ID-7  ETom+HiHat More of the above.
ID-8  Cymbals And a little more.
"i" internal preset banks
iA-1  Voice Breathy digital vox.
iA-2  12 String So-so..
iA-3  String Ens Nice ensemble.
iA-4  Digi Piano DX piano.
iA-5  ReturnHome Another filtered breathy vox pad.
iA-6  Flute Nice flute with realistic vibrato.
iA-7  FrenchHorn Nice and powerful brass combo.
iA-8  GongOfKngs The Gong of the kings.
iB-1  Kimono Japanese koto sound.
iB-2  Piano 2 mmh...
iB-3  Saxy Sounds more like an accordion.
iB-4  Harpsicord Very nice and gentle.  Useful for Vivaldian accompaniments.
iB-5  DeepPurple "Rock" organ, drawbars all out, chorus.  Similar to the D'50s "Rock Organ".
iB-6  Oboe Bad.
iB-7  Cellos Airy and delicate strings.
iB-8  Orchestra Actually not a bad sound.
iC-1  Steel Keys Like a Dulcimer.
iC-2  Club Piano Tinny house piano.
iC-3  NastyBrass Heavily chorused brass.
iC-4  Jan'sTheme Beautiful synthesizer - this one also obviously inspired by Jan's Miami Vice soundtrack.
iC-5  Ole! Flamenco guitar + string pad.
iC-6  Aftertouch Reminds of many pads on the E-mu Proteus/1.
iC-7  DragonHall Another breathy, long pad.  This is actually very good.
iC-8  Arrangment Cool "vectoring" style synth.
iD-1  Ac Bass Ok.
iD-2  ElectrBass Very short loops.
iD-3  Marimba Very, very nice marimba tone.
iD-4  Glocken Okay.
iD-5  SteelDrums Bell-like.
iD-6  Kick+Snare Standard rock drums.
iD-7  ATom+HiHat Same as above.
iD-8  Rim+Snare More of the same.
MULTI preset bank
IA-1  VOICE+ORCH Very beautiful mega-pad multi.
IA-4  SUSPENSE Interesting use of the combination.
IA-5  EASY SONG Two-finger performance.
IA-1  Peace Nice soundtrack pad
iA-2  Nino Rota One of my favorite Italian soundtrack masters
IB-6  Whistle Yep
iD-1  KillTheFly Awesome programming!!!
ID-1  Sky Writer A fantastic WW1 airplane sound!!!
IA-7  ZORBA! Greek ensemble!
ID-4  TOMITA Great sound, inspired by the great Japanese new age master.
IA-1  That Bass Very nice Jaco Pastorius bass.
IA-4  Soundtrak Inspired by the classic Roland D-50's preset
iA-7  Spielberg Classic "Encounters" sci-fi sound.
iC-6  PPGee Very beautiful and particular synth - obviously inspired by German classic, the PPG.
ID-3  W-DIAMONDS Inspired by the Beatles's organ intro to "Lucy in the sky with diamonds".
ID-4  EMERSON & Classic Emerson, Lake & Palmer split.
iA-3  I'mFalling Spook sci-fi effect
IA-6  RealRhodes Nice and smooth electric piano
IA-8  Lil' Italy Hearty accordion
iA-1  InsectMask Interesting loop-based waveforms.
IA-4  Contemplation Ambient synth
ID-1  DREAMFORST Gorgeous and hypnotic synth pad
ID-6  TONTO Inspired by the great TONTO (The Original New Timbral Orchestra) SUPER-MEGA modular synth
iA-8  Vox Jaguar Nice '60s combo organ sound - the Jaguar
ID-5  HEAVEN ENS Beautiful ensemble.
IA-8  Seagulls Wonderful sound fx
IC-3  OB-Brass Very powerful Oberheim OB-series synth brass.
IA-1  K1 goes LA Beautiful preset - obviously inspired by LA synthesis and Roland D-50's famous first preset, "Fantasia".
IB-8  JazzGuitar Meaty hollow-body guitar.
IA-1  SANCTUARY Gorgeous, powerful pipe organ.
iD-1  Maultromml Nice jew's harp sound (Maultrommel)
iD-6  Interstelr Awesome "2001 - A space odyssey" sound.
IA-3  GlassVoice Another sound inspired by a Roland D-50 preset, "Glass Voices"
iC-1  Flex Solo Interesting solo synth - reminds of the tones used by Yellow Magic Orchestra.
IC-8  Train 1 Uncanny recreation!  There's also a variant with the train whistle instead of the bell.
IA-4  Gong Powerful gong!
ID-2  REVERBELL Beautiful and hypnotic digital bells
iD-5  N.9th Weirdo ensemble.
iA-4  Firefly Beautiful synth pad with nocturnal insects flying by!
IA-7  ESNO Eno maybe?  Great atonal sounds
IB-1  Busker Cute and usable breathy sound.


Kawai K1m pictures (click on thumbnails to enlarge them)

Kawai K1m manual

PDF Manual at www.kawaius.com

Features at a glance
Year of release:  
Sound generation method:  
Preset memories  
MIDI: in, out, thru
Sound expansion capabilities: cards
Sequencer no
Arpeggiator no
Effects yes
Velocity yes
Sample Memory:  
Display: yes, backlit green




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