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Boasts sleek new style, advanced action, and the latest sound engine technology from Kurzweil.
With a sleek new look on the outside, and an arsenal of Kurzweil's latest cutting-edge chip technology under its hood, the 88-note PC3X delivers 128 voices of incredible sound quality along with a host of powerful, easy to use features. The PC3X is Kurzweil's ultimate performance controller keyboard, with an enormous collection of stunning sounds combined with comprehensive real-time controller functions.
In addition to Kurzweils's renowned Triple Strike Grand Piano, the PC3X features hundreds of new sounds; basses, drums, guitars, and synths suited for every style and taste, along with a collection of flawless vintage keyboard emulations, KB3 Mode and over 250 orchestral and string section programs.
The PC3X Keyboard's Dynamic V.A.S.T. architecture is a huge step forward in synthesis, the fruit of several major strides they've made in improving processing power, flexibility and user-friendliness. Good news for synth enthusiasts - Kurzweil has seamlessly integrated the legendary VA-1 Virtual Analog Synthesizer into the new system!
For good measure Kurzweil included an unlimited-track sequencer with 1536 PPQ resolution and more effects processing power than the acclaimed KSP8 processor, making the PC3X a full blown music production workstation. Add in USB, flash xD card port, a newly designed keyboard action, and a new intuitive user interface, and you've got the next generation of Kurzweil instruments.
One thing which clearly sets Kurzweil apart from the competition is the fact that Kurzweil designed their own chips (called ASICs) for all their products. Simply put, Kurzweil's chips are customized for optimum audio performance. What does this mean for the end user? It means that all of the processing power in a Kurzweil chip is devoted exclusively to sound. It means no noticeable latency - the performance is always lightning fast. And most importantly, it translates into that rich, full, glitch-free sound for which Kurzweil has become famous. Yes developing their own chips is more expensive and more time consuming. But they think it's well worth it. Once you've heard the PC3X, you'll agree.
The Kurzweil Sound
The PC3X Controller Keyboard offers an enormous sound set of over 800 programs, raising the bar once again for both audio quality and variety. With the best samples in the industry, and a powerful, responsive synth engine breathing life into them, you'll feel like you're playing an actual instrument, not just playing samples. Of course there's the famous Kurzweil Triple Strike Piano, with dozens of variations to accommodate every kind of player. All of the basic sounds - basses, guitars, drums, horns and synths - have been painstakingly programmed to reflect the needs of today's professional players, representing a broad selection of styles and flavors from the '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s and today.
Also included is Kurzweil's Classic Keys ROM, which puts an impossibly large vintage keyboard rig at your fingertips. These are vintage emulations which actually sound like vintage instruments and classic recordings. The recognizable sounds of those classic electromechanical instruments, with all of their characteristic imperfections, have been faithfully re-created, along with pedals, amps and speakers. Lush Mellotrons, growling electric pianos, and punchy Clavinets are all there at the touch of a button, programmed to sound just like those classic albums.
For more vintage firepower, the PC3X is equipped with the most advanced version of Kurzweil's widely lauded KB3 Mode tonewheel organ simulator, which screams, sputters and sizzles just like the original. In addition to newly developed Leslie effects, and a new bank of B3 programs, they've also included sounds from the classic Vox and Farfisa combo organs. The PC3X's 9 sliders provide real-time drawbar control.
The PC3X keyboard offers a full range of world class orchestral sounds, including a new String Section ROM bank, making it ideal for film-scoring and soundtrack projects. Every type of articulation, every nuance has been captured, with samples of full and divisi sections of violins, violas, cellos, and double bass. The details, the warm swells, animated pizzicatos and the sound of scraping rosin all add to the breathtaking effect of these string sections. You can plug and play with sounds worthy of a finished production - instant gratification with uncompromising sound quality.
Under the hood of the PC3X is simply the most powerful synthesis engine ever created by Kurzweil. Dynamic V.A.S.T. picks up where the K series left off. Having up to 32 layers per program means that emulations of real instruments can be extremely detailed and accurate, while the synthesized sounds can be extraordinarily large and complex.
Expanding upon V.A.S.T. architecture, the PC3X's architecture delivers more power and flexibility combined with unprecedented ease of use. Users can now create and store their own DSP algorithms, with nearly limitless possibilities for routing.
In another huge development, Kurzweil has resurrected the VA-1 Virtual Analog Synthesizer, having built it's synthesis engine right into the new system. Hear the VA-1's power-shaped, anti-aliasing oscillators combined with a newer, larger set of V.A.S.T. filters and non-linear processors and you'll understand why the internet is buzzing about this feature.
Every layer in a program can be routed through the DSP of any other layer, in series or blended together, with up to 32 layers. It's the same concept as Triple Mode on Kurzweils's K26 series, without the 3 layer limit. You can run your sound through literally dozens of filters (which can all move independently in real-time) in addition to Kurzweil's signature DSP processors like Shaper, Wrap and Distortion, allowing for some truly dazzling results. This is one more feature which makes the PC3X's synth engine so powerful and so different than anything else on the market.
While the PC3X's user interface may look familiar to veteran Kurzweil users, major improvements have been made, allowing for a much more user friendly experience. The PC3X's backlit 240 x 64 display conveys all the information you'll need, when you need it, in an elegant, easy to navigate environment.
All programs and setups will be accompanied by help messages which can be accessed by pressing an "Info" soft button. These help messages may contain controller assignments, or other relevant information. Programs can be selected by scrolling or by using bank and program select buttons for easy one touch access.
Complimenting the PC3X's killer soundset is the Easy Audition feature, where every one of the PC3X's presets is linked to a bank of "riffs", recorded sequences which demonstrate each sound in an appropriate context. Just hit the "play" button on the front panel and get a quick musical preview of the current selection. Program selection and navigation, fast and easy.
Move a controller while holding the Cancel button, and the display will let you know what that controller is doing. Whether it's a wah effect, tremolo control, a filter sweep, or something less obvious, the PC3X will let you know what is happening, in musician's terms. This system allows us to maintain the flexibility of not having to silkscreen permanent labels on the front panel sliders, as is the case with the competition. Every sound can have its own set of controller assignments which can be viewed at the touch of a button.
Also available will be a software-based PC3 Desktop Editor (for both Mac & PC) with comprehensive, easy to use features.
With up to 16 insert effects plus two available auxiliary sends, the PC3X offers more than twice the processing power of Kurzweils's acclaimed KDFX engine. Effects can be chained together in series, or distributed among the PC3X's 16 multitimbral channels. And these are simply the best effects in the business - burning distortions, transparent compressors, warm phaser and chorus effects, perfect reverbs - everything from flawless vintage emulations to concert halls which decay into complete silence. All parameters are assignable to any of the PC3X's real time controllers - sliders, pedals, wheels, etc.
The PC3X will feature a newly designed sequencer, with unlimited tracks and 1536 PPQ resolution. Combining a set of powerful song editing functions like step editing, swing, and controller scaling with a new friendlier interface, the PC3X Keyboard truly excels as a song writing/arranging workstation, ideal for music production on the fly. Chasing controls and a global "set song length" function are just a couple of the features Kurzweil has incorporated.
Also included are four independent arpeggiators as well as a collection of pre-recorded beats and musical phrases.
Reviewed by 1 customer
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Absolutely the best keyboard I've ever owned. Bar none. The sounds and control you can get from this board are just stellar. I can't even begin to convey the amount of power this thing has. The ONLY thing I can fault is that it has no sampler...which I personally don't use anyway but it's certainly something to consider if you're looking at this board. My live rig used to consist of a stage piano, an analog synth and a clone-wheel organ. Now I just take this one board out on gigs and I've never looked back. But don't take my word for it. Get out there and look at this thing.
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