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Kawai K1 Synthesizer Emulation

So... why bother? Nostalgia!

The Kawai K1 was my first synth. It had scads of additive wavetables and a few 11khz/8-bit PCM sounds. You could mix four of these partials in a sort of vector style. It was a cheap-ass version of a Roland D-50 or a Korg M1.

But what's not to love? Sure it lacked a filter, had only only LFO that you could link to just pitch or volume. But what it lacked in features it made up for in inspiration. Great pads, basses, bells, fx, leads. And sometimes when you lack features, you have to come up with creative solutions that sound unique.

Well... that's what I think, anyway. And I suppose a few other people apparently do as well!

The Project Thus Far

I'd started working on a Kawai K1 VST instrument, originally. The first step was to sample the wavetables, writing a custom code suite to automate the process. Then I did Fourier analysis on the additive wavetables to resynthesize "clean" copies.

However, I got sidetracked along the way. I pimped my additive synthesis knowledge out to other developers, joing beta testing, third-party coding, and providing content. I had a hand in ConcreteFX Adder, Micron, and Unison, Camel Audio's Cameleon CA5000, and xoxos Steam.

But that was way back over the last two years! In the meantime, my K10ne project stalled.

Finally, I got on board with WusikStation, pre-ordering it based solely only the proposed specs. I'd been prototyping K1 patches in Reason's NN-XT sampler using my single-cycle waves and PCMs, but here was a new synth with four dedicated sample oscillators and strong vector functionality! It was quite suited to sample set testing, and since I was in the first alphas (even pre-beta), WilliamK was happy to provide a lot of the features I suggested.

Then... I stalled again! But upon release of WSv2, I figured I'd dust off the old sample set. And then I though, heck, why not make it available to people?

The Samples

So I'm now offering a Kawai K1 sample set in WusikSND format.

But there's a catch: upon reviewing them, I decided that they're not really ready for release. The additive cycles weren't resynthesized far enough, so it aliases toward the high end on the keyboard (which is kind of okay: the K1 also aliases, but not that soon!). The PCM samples, on the other hand, need to be sampled lower, as they lose the characteristic "grit" of the K1 on the low end when shifted down.

However, I also realised that if I delayed release, I'd just stall again and another project would take precedence for another 6 months!

The Deal

Okay, so they're not quite ready. But they *are* usable, and one might even say "inspiring".

So here's the deal: $5 (USD) buys you into this "flawed" sample set. We'll call this the "pre-release".

Then I'm going to go *back* and rerecord the samples over a greater range (to fix aliasing issues on the top end, and the PCM sample dullness on the low end). Then I'll officially release them for $10.

Luckily, thanks to the WusikSND format, you can write patches right away with the pre-release samples, and then just drop in the final samples and things will sound instantly better!

Finally, I'll get my K1 patch sysex converter program working and generate a whole slew of presets. Then the whole package will be somewhere between $15-19 (including the sysex program, for those of you with some dusty hardware in the closet).

Buy in at any time and you get later updates/features for free! $5 gets you on-board for the rest of the ride. And if I eventually do a VSTi version, you'll get a hefty discount. But don't hold your breath, okay? ;)

How To Order

Really, I'm not set up for any other kind of payment by PayPal. Go here:

When I get your order, I'll send you a download link.

Sound like a plan?


Here's one. Keep your eye here for more.

This is the Orchestra patch from the original K1 factory set, rebuilt in WusikStation without embellishment. It's one pass, with no overdubs or layering. It could sound even better by giving stereo separation to the oscillators and adding some reverb! (0:17, 274Kb)


What's that? You say you'd like to relive those K1 days, but don't have Wusikstation? Look no further...

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