Analog/Digital synthesizer

  A very interesting analog/digital synth, the SX-240 offers powerful sounds.  One cool feature is the glissando effect, which allows to glide from note to note in semitone steps.

Another great feature on this synth is the super-warm, lush, on-board chorus, that contributes greatly to many of the best sounds it can produce.




Kawai SX-240 audio demos


Stream all preset demos below:

 Preset name with audio demo My comments
*MOVIN* A solid, fat analog comp-synth sound.
*STRING* The quintessential analog string patch.
HISTRING Similar to the above (the chorus shines), but an octave higher
SLOSTRNG Warm, mysterious string ensemble
BOWCELLO Realistic cello sound.
BRASS-1 Great synth brass sound.  I have to say that this synth sounds almost as full as the Jupiter-8 and this sound reminds me of the latter.
BRASS-2 Softer brass sound.  Great emulation of French Horns.
T*DOLBY Inspired by synth-pop hitmaker Thomas Dolby.
DIGIBASS Killer synth bass!
DOGHOUSE Subsonic, powerful synth bass (watch your woofies...)
PICKBASS Great, typical '80s synth bass sound.
MEATY Interesting, evolving "hollow" synth sound.
TRUMPET Honest emulation.
MUSHROOM Outstanding sound.  The portamento effect is the king in this patch, where the filter opens up slowly to follow the portamento curve.
JUMP Yet another version of the classic Van Halen patch.  Yawn... 
BIRDLAND Inspired from the famous song by Weather Report.
CLAVINET Very cool reproduction of the classic Hohner.
WAH-CLAV Wah-wah version of the above, utilizing the filter to achieve that effect.
ELCPIANO Very usable Wurlitzer sound, with awesome fast tremolo.  A+!!
FLOOTE" Nice flute reproduction, with lifelike vibrato.
VIBES Gorgeous sound!  It reminds me so much of the sound used by the french band "Air" for their song "Playground Love", from "The Vergin Suicides" soundtrack (awesome record, by the way, like all Air material).
VIBE-PT2 A shorter, simpler vibe sound.  The attack portion.
HARPSICD Very medieval-sounding harpsichord - that is, the way it should sound.  Perfect.
HARMONCA Excellent reproduction!  Where's the campfire??
PIANO BR Obviously it means "PIANO BRIGHT".  Well, piano sounds are always a limitation in analog synths, but this one stands out.
PIANO ML And of course this means "PIANO MELLOW".  Basically the programmer closed the filter a bit.
RAGPIANO Standard ragtime piano.  I can visualize the smoky bar and the pianist getting it going.
ROSES Mysterious electric piano sound... great for soundtrack work.
STEELDRM I've heard much better steel drums on other analog synthesizers...
AUTOBEND Cool analog synth.  It bends the notes lightly at the beginning of the sound - thus the name.
FOREIGNR Gorgeous pad!!!!!!!  Classy, beautiful, evolving... they don't make them anymore like this!  :D  Does it take its name from the homonymous band?
CELESTE Sounds more like a sick harpsichord... but OK.
LEADLINE Standard solo mono-synth sound.  Good for fusion and other '70s prog rock styles.
BEETHREE Hammond B-3 naturally.  Comes pretty close, actually!!!  Thumbs up.
TREMOLO Obviously refers to an organ with the Leslie set to "tremolo" (fast rotation)
JAZORGAN with the polyphony reduced at four voices, only the lead line is possible, not the bass walk to keep it company
CATHEDRL Solid pipe organ.  With pseudo hall reverb included.  But you add a proper reverb and you got a very respectable and intriguing sound.
CHIFPIPE This chiff pipe sounds quite nice.  Also called Puff Organ in other synths.  Or pump organ.
CHOIR Very interesting, moving analog choir sound.
CHIME Did anybody reset the clock tower??
PHASE-ST Extra-gorgeous, haunting, hypnotic and evolving synth sound!
2010 AD Awesome!  The SX-240 is just really good for special effect sounds.
SPACHIRP Standard UFO sound.  It was typical of the era to include such sounds in the last memory locations of synthesizers.
SPACE Again, what a great sound!  This synth is phenomenal for scoring Sci-Fi movies.
U F O ? Great sci-fi effect.
SQUARES Standard square wave pad.  Or synth.
ECHO Interesting programming - with slow tremolo.
MODULATE Dulcis in fundo.  A fantastic sound, that's still modern after many years after this synth's introduction.  Warm



Kawai SX-240 pictures (click on thumbnails to enlarge)



Kawai SX-240 owner's manual.pdf   - at

Factory presets

Here are the original factory presets in  format - just connect the audio out from your computer to the synth, follow the instructions on the manual (tape interface - load) and load the original presets in the machine.

Kawai SX-240 presets waveform



A little-known and valid synthesizer.

Features at a glance
Year of release: 1984
Polyphony: 8-voice
Sound generation method: DCO (two oscillators per voice)
Preset memories 48
MIDI: in, out, thru
Sound expansion capabilities: cassette interface
Sequencer yes
Arpeggiator no
Effects chorus
Velocity no
Aftertouch no
Sample Memory: N/A
Display: yes, 8-character




SITE Type of resource DESCRIPTION Homepage The piano / electronics giant link a song composed entirely by SX-240 sounds (except drums) by Gunnar Loeb