A little bit of perspective (3)

(Starts in previous posts)



Photo taken from http://kurzweil.com/product/pc3k8/


Photo taken from http://kurzweil.com/product/sp4-7/

MP-10, CUP-2

Photo taken from http://kurzweil.com/product/mp-10/



MP20, MPS20, MPS10

Photo taken from http://kurzweil.com/product/mp-20/




Photo taken from http://kurzweil.com/product/sp5-8/




Photo taken from http://kurzweil.com/product/artis/


Photo taken from http://kurzweil.com/product/mpg200/




Photo taken from http://kurzweil.com/product/forte/

Artis SE

Photo taken from http://kurzweil.com/product/artis-se/


Photo taken from http://kurzweil.com/product/cup110/



Forte SE

Photo taken from http://kurzweil.com/product/forte-se/


Photo taken from http://kurzweil.com/product/cgp220/




Photo taken from http://kurzweil.com/product/cup310_320/




Photo taken from http://kurzweil.com/product/sp6/



A little bit of perspective (2)

Starts in previous post…



Photo taken from http://kurzweil.com/product/pc2/




Photo taken from http://kurzweil.com/product/ksp8/




Photo taken from http://kurzweil.com/product/kme61/


Photo taken from http://kurzweil.com/product/me-1/



Rumour, Mangler

Photo taken from http://kurzweil.com/product/rumour/




Photo taken from http://kurzweil.com/product/k2661/




Photo taken from http://kurzweil.com/product/pc1x/




Photo taken from http://kurzweil.com/product/sp2/




Photo taken from http://kurzweil.com/product/pc3x/


Photo taken from http://kurzweil.com/product/sp3x/


Photo from http://kurzweil.com/product/x-pro_mg/




Photo taken from http://kurzweil.com/product/pc3le6/


Continues in next post…

A little bit of perspective (1)

Once in a while I read something online like “I just bought a PC88 in this or that second hand website and it has a problem…”. In my mind I can’t stop thinking that for a keyboard made in 1994, only having that problem is kind of a miracle but, at the same time, I wonder if the person that has just bought that keyboard really knows the actual age of that keyboard. The keyboard market is not like the car market, where you buy a Toyota Prius 2010. In most cases, buyers don’t really know how old a second hand keyboard is unless they do some research and, let’s face it, some people just don’t do it.

Also, apart of problems, expectations might face a pretty brutal reality check. Imagine buying a computer that runs a Windows version previous to Windows 95 and expect to watch YouTube on it. Well, that’s more common that you think with keyboards.

So, in order to put a little bit of perspective, I’m going to list a bunch of Kurzweil keyboards ordered by their release year. The list does’t include them all but enough to get a better sense of Kurzweil product history and, hopefully, it helps those people buying old keyboards in second hand markets.

But before the list, you should start watching this video that, even if it has already like 6 years, it tells a lot of the beginnings of the company.

So, let’s start with the Kurzweil product list, but, before, yet another clarification. I’m not going to mention upgrades, expansions or similar. It’s very typical that once Kurzweil releases a product, for the next years the company releases updates or variations of that model. Including all of those would make the list incredible long and boring.




Photo taken from http://kurzweil.com/product/k250/




Photo taken from https://encyclotronic.com/synthesizers/kurzweil/k150-r600/




Photo taken from http://kurzweil.com/product/midiboard/

EG Mark II




Photo taken from http://kurzweil.com/product/k1000_series/

Ensemble Grande: EG Mark III, EG Mark IV, EG P

Photo taken from https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/kurzweil-model-egp-electronic-76701604




Photo taken from https://en.audiofanzine.com/digital-synth/kurzweil/K1200/medias/pictures/a.play,m.204704.html

MS-1 MIDI Sequencer



EP 300/400/500

Photo taken from https://collegestation-tx.americanlisted.com/ad/gallery/28222931/




Photo taken from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurzweil_K2000



Mark 5

Photo from http://www.pianoworld.net/Product/6442/KURZWEIL-MARK5DigitalEnsemble




Photo taken from http://kurzweil.com/product/micropiano/

Mark 10

Photo taken from http://kurzweil.com/product/mark_10-110-150/




Photo taken from https://en.audiofanzine.com/digital-piano/kurzweil/PC88/medias/pictures/a.play,m.274754.html

RG 100/200

Photo taken from http://en.advisto.com/auctions-classifieds-sale/pianos-synthetizers-19885.htm




Photo taken from https://en.audiofanzine.com/digital-synth-rack-sound-module/kurzweil/K2500R/medias/pictures/a.play,m.502069.html




Photo taken from http://www.vintagesynth.com/kurzweil/k2500.php

Mark 12

Photo taken from http://kurzweil.com/product/mark_12i/downloads/



Mark 2/3

Photo taken from http://www.moltenimusica.com/images_pop_up/KurzweilMark3.htm




Photo taken from http://kurzweil.com/product/k2600x/

SP 76/88

Photo taken from http://kurzweil.com/product/sp88/

Troubador, Mark 6/8


(Continue in the next post)

Follow PoserP’s tutorials


A brief post to make sure that nobody misses this.

PoserP is one of the greatest Kurzweil Power Users. He has been doing Kurzweil tutorials and great Soundware for a long time and it’s one of the most active members of our Kurzweil underworld. One day I should write a whole post about him but today I just want everybody to follow his tutorials in YouTube. Like this one:

Make sure you subscribe to his YouTube channel here to get notified every time he posts something new.

In addition, he is uploading the objects for these tutorials here at ksetlist. Just follow this link: https://ksetlist.com/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=2944



Now you can comment using your Twitter account


If you want to make comments on the Ksetlist Journal posts you can either log in via a Word Press account that you can create for free, as explained few days ago, or now you can do it just using Twitter!

When you click on a Journal post, at the bottom you will see “Login with your Social ID”. Click there and you will be able to log in with your Twitter account. It will ask you for your email as well.

And, sorry, I tried doing the same with Facebook but it requires the website to be https not http as it currently is. Sadly there is no budget to make this website https.




Ksetlist Master – Thorsten Kaffenberger (Kaffimusic)


Among the 3000+ Ksetlist users out there, there are some that are just simply outstanding. Some of them because of the number of sounds they upload. Others because of the quality of the few sounds they have uploaded. And others because of their overall participation in the forum or in the Challenges. Whatever that reason is, those ksetlisters totally deserve our collective recognition and appreciation. Therefore, in this Journal we will be writing special posts about these unsung heroes.

Thorsten Kaffenberger, aka Kaffimusic, is one of those outstanding contributors to the forum. I asked him to write some words to let us know more about him, what kind of music he plays, what keyboards he used and what Ksetlist sounds he likes the most.


My name is Thorsten Kaffenberger and I play Kurzweil keyboards. Mostly. I am German and I also live in Germany. In 1972, when I was 6 years old, I started to get lessons to play the accordion. When I was 16 I bought my first synthesizer from my savings and some money that my grandparents gave me: A KORG Poly 800.

Over the years I owned many synthesizers and some samplers, I mostly bought them used: KORG, with the DW-8000, DSS-1, DSM-1, and a 01-W pro. I owned a ROLAND D-70 back then, too, but only for a short time. I did not like it. I also used YAMAHAs for a long time, the TX81Z, FB-01, TX802, CS6X and a classic Motif, wich was my last big workstation for roughly 10 years before I came to KURZWEIL. All those instruments taught me about different technologies and how to program sounds on them. Today I’d say this is my base to understand how VAST on the KURWEIL’s works.

My first real contact to a KURZWEIL was a K2000 that I bought in 2011 as a used instrument. After so many years with instruments of other brands I immediately realized this is something very different. Athough 20 years old and digital, it sounded somehow fuller and more organic than everything I owned at this time. Back then I also looked out for something to replace my ageing classic MOTIF and I decided to get a KURZWEIL PC3-61, wich was on sale at a big german musicstore.

I fell in love with it immediately, started to explore VAST and the sonic capabilities of it. I found the the internal structure and philosophy behind it was so much different from what I knew before and how much it was superior to everything I saw on the market. I learned to value it as something much closer to what you really need in a professional environment. As a tool to make a stand in a studio or live on stage, to program sounds and not as something to impress you in your livingroom with headphones on.

Today, my current live-rig consists of a PC3K6 and a PC3-61, wich have identical soundsets, besides the samples in the K6. The last two years, also a Talkbox is a constant part of my rig, I use it on the PC3-61. Sometimes I take a NOVATION Ultranova with me, for fun or for a special purpose.
I played music all my life only for hobby-purpose, but always tried to keep it on a high-level. Currently I play in three bands and occasionally I am asked to help out elsewhere as a sub.

I am lucky to live in an area with a high densitiy of good musicians and opportunities for live-music. Over the last years I was taking part in live-music-sessions and met lots of musicians, wich brought me contacts and new opportunities to play and I was able to make a (small) name in the local area.
At least one of my PC3’s was always with me. I tend to believe they were an important key for me to achieve this. People like my sounds and I like the way those instruments handle on stage. I kind of became a better musician with them. They make me feel much closer to what I play and enable me more to do what I want to do than any other instrument I owned before.

What I like most about my PC3s:

  • The unexcited but high quality sound that sits in a mix without any further tweaking
  • You can put sounds in favourourite QA blocks and you have many of those
  • The incedible amount of flexibility how to change sounds – the VAST engine
  • The programmable extra outputs (talkbox) and the many controller inputs (+breathcontrol!)
  • The synth action keybed wich I came to like more and more over the years
  • The transpose buttons with immediate access from the front panel

What I don’t like:

  • The poor quality of internal connectors wich cause instruments to fail

KSetlist sounds

I often look for soundsets when learning new songs. But many times there are none, so I mostly end up programming my own. Sometimes I program sounds exlusively for just one song that I have to learn. It depends on the time and spontaneous ideas I have.

For “butter and bread” I mostly use my own tweaked sounds, wich are decendants of factory presets and which I have uploaded as a soundset to Ksetlist. Those are the sounds I like most, because they feel musical to me and are flexible to be adapted to different situations. They have been tweaked over the years. They are not many, but they are made to be changed on the fly while playing to adapt to different needs.

For example, you can find some of Thorsten’s sounds here: https://ksetlist.com/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=270&p=531#p531

Check ksetlist.com for more.

I couldn’t forget this amazing and superfun video.

For the organ I have a starter, that I mostly tweak while playing with the band to a sound that I want right now. Other sounds, like the pianos can add a string that can be mixed to it and change the behaviour and style of it in a wide range.

Those “butter and bread” sounds are arranged in several rows of QA banks, every sound, like “the piano” or “the lead” are at the same position in the list, but every QA block might have some different versions of it. So I always find them blindly, even without looking at the display, just by their position on the keypad.

Setups or sounds that are used exlusively for a song are also arranged in QA banks, and I have a row of them for every band. I use setups as well as programs. Since I have two PC3’s at once on stage, it saves me some work, instead of programming setups I can use two instruments, and it also enables me to react more flexible to changing situations or spontaneous ideas. I always have the basic sound ready, while I can switch to something different on the other machine or getting ready for a solo.

There is one important guideline for me to decide what sound to use: It has to “feel” right when I play it. Sometimes it’s better to use something that is just close enough, instead of trying to copy something that – in the end – does not feel good to play.

Finally, you have to think about the situation on stage and how the band will probably handle a given song. There are moments when it simply makes no sense to stick to what you hear in a studio-recording, because it does not work on stage.

Currently my main three bands are

Soulmaxx soulmaxx.de
A kind of old-fashioned cover-soul-band with music from Aretha Franklin to current pop songs

Jo’s Mum josmum.de
A girls-gock coverband between AC/DC, Cranberries and current funky popsongs, good level, good musicians.

Paule Pathers Groove Club Sorry, no website.
The most interesting band to me, a basic lineup with changing guests and good musicians. You get just a setlist, that always differs and is played on the upcoming gig, no rehersals. Mostly funk, rap, reggae, rock, or current popmusic. Always an adventure, always new songs to learn and sounds to program. Often meeting new musicians, great party, great fun.


Thorsten is a multi Ksetlist Challenge Champion, check out his sounds for Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop This Feeling here


Or this video for Keane’s Under the Iron Sea

The sounds for this song can be found here:



You can follow Thorsten’s Youtube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/Kaffimusic

And Big thanks to Thorsten!!!

Playing Chords using switches (buttons/keys/pedals)


Recently I posted few videos about KeyVel, KeyNum and other controllers that could help you to trigger notes using physical controllers. Those setup/multi destinations are a little old-school and are not the most easy to use due to the obvious limitations they have. Still, if mastered appropriately they can be really useful.

But the Forte and Forte SE offer something way easier and more powerful to use. Each switch (switch pedals, buttons, or keys) in multi mode, can be programmed to trigger a chord in a very simple way. Just specifying the notes of the chord and the velocity of the notes (one velocity for all of them at the moment).

Note, that there are 12 keys per zone, whichever you want to, that can act like a switch, sending a MIDI CC or playing a chord. So, you could be physically pressing one key, but that key could be triggering whatever chord you want to. This is incredible useful when you, as a keyboardist, have to multitask and do, for example, bass + chord + solo. You could just program the bass keys to trigger the chords as well and therefore free one hand to play the solo. When you use the keys as switches you have a setting that lets you decide whether you want that key to also sound as it is supposed to, or just act like a switch.

So, with that mind, I have done a small video showing that concept of playing chords using single keys.


One of the goals of this Journal is to do more videos like this one and, hopefully, I could be improving little by little how they look. So, apologies for the imperfections!

By the way, the background music of this video was done using only Forte sounds.




Loading Samples and compatibility between products


Forte, Forte SE and SP6 can load PC3/K/A sounds (also Artis, Artis SE, PC3LE, SP4 and SP5). But there are some details or terminology issues that some of you are not familiar with and I’m going to try to explain in this post. Of course, I would always recommend first to read the manual and check the Kurzweil Knowledge Base, that have lots of useful information.

I’m going to focus on loading PC3/K/A sounds on the Forte/Forte SE/SP6.

Files generated on the PC3 have extension .PC3.

Files generated on the PC3K have extension .P3K.

Files generated on the PC3A have extension .P3A.

Files generated on the Forte have extension .FOR.

Files generated on the Forte SE have extension .FSE.

Files generated on the SP6 have extension .SP6.

If you download one file in the ksetlist with these extensions you can load it in your Forte, Forte SE and SP6.


Kurzweil files have objects. Objects can be Programs, Multis, Keymaps, Samples, FX Chains among others.

All of those can be loaded from a file. And you will get those and more in files you download from ksetlist.

Sample objects are a little special. They can have sample data attached to them or not. By sample data I mean actual samples of a sound. Normally, when we talk about a sample object we just talk about the header of the sample, which includes information about the sample pointers, tuning, etc, but not the sample data itself.

Samples pointing to factory memory

Basically, a sample header can say “the sample data that I’m going to play is in the factory sample data of my keyboard between memory addresses X and Y”.

You can have a user sample object that is pointing to factory sample data. For example, in the PC3/K/A or Forte/Forte SE you can go into the Sample Editor change a loop point position and save that sample object as a user sample. When you store that sample into a file, it will NOT copy the factory sample data. But you will still have a user sample object that can load back into your unit.

In brief, sample objects pointing to factory address will NOT have sample data attached to them.

These sample objects are small. Few Kilobytes each at most.

Samples with user sample data

You can actually have samples with user sample data. PC3K, Forte and Forte SE let you load files with user sample data. Either coming from wave or aiff files, or from K26 or KRZ files. Those sample objects can have sample data. The Forte has 3.3 GB of space for user samples, the Forte SE 188 MB and the PC3K 128 MB.

These are files normally with Megabytes of sample data.

So, when you try to load a sample object with user sample data into the SP6/5/4 or PC3/LE/A/Artis/Artis SE you will get some sort of error.

At ksetlist we allow you to share samples with user sample data only if you own the rights of the samples. And, if they are large in megabytes, you ask me first. Some samples that you can find in some online sites might be copyrighted. We do NOT want those at ksetlist. We are all about sharing free stuff. Not copying other’s work. If you don’t know if a sample is copyrighted, do not share it. Just in case. Also we don’t allow samples that have been taking out of auto-samplers from products that are in the market. Never auto-sample some Kontakt library or an Ivory piano or any of those things. Those are big No-No’s!!! N.E.V.E.R. do that.

Auto-Sampling SOME sounds from old 70’s or 80’s keyboards? That’s normally accepted in the industry but, still, if you do it, try to get permission first. I’m not a lawyer and these things can get complicated. So, in general, try to avoid it. Just create new and exciting sounds!

Loading factory samples into different keyboards

So, what happens if you load a PC3 sample object, pointing to PC3 factory sample data, into a PC3K/A/PC3LE/Artis/Artis SE/SP4/SP5? Nothing bad. All’s good as long as they are just factory stuff, not Kore64. All those products have the factory samples in the same addresses.

But, what happens when you load those samples into a Forte/Forte SE or SP6? Weird sounds will happen. Because while these products have all those samples, they are in different addresses and in some cases even in different format.

Similar to Kore64/German Grand expansion samples. They are in different places in the Forte/Forte SE/SP6.

So, take that into consideration.

KUF files vs non KUF files

PC3 didn’t use KUF file format for updates. KUF file format is a compressed file that might include the operating system, objects, boot loader and more stuff. When we update a modern product, we just give you a KUF file. You install that, and that’s all. In PC3 times and before, you had to install the operating system first, then the objects, then whatever other components you needed to update. One by one. Each one of them in different files.

Forte vs Forte SE vs SP6

Forte has 16 GB of total (factory + user) sample space.

Forte SE and SP6 have 2 GB of sample space. These 2 keyboards have the exact same sample set.

So, obviously, not all Forte samples are in the Forte SE or SP6. So, some Forte objects will not sound properly in the Forte SE and SP6.

All these 3 products include the factory samples of the PC3 + Kore 64 + German Grand Exp… plus their own newer samples.

Old vs New

Always remember that New products can load old files. But Old products cannot load new files.

So, PC3/A/K/LE/Artis/Artis SE/SP4/SP5 cannot load Forte, Forte SE or SP6 files.

But Forte, Forte SE or SP6 can load them all.

PC3 objects

Some people have found that in the PC3 updates loaded at kurzweil.com you can get the PC3 factory objects in there because, as explained above, KUF files didn’t exist at that time.

So, they will load the whole PC3 file into their Forte/Forte SE/SP6 and will have lots of problems.

Factory objects have LOTS of stuff in there. Not only all the programs and multis, but all the keymaps, samples, velocity tables, and many, many, many more kind of objects. You do NOT want to have all that as user data in your Forte. That’s a bad thing. You will likely fill all your user IDs with duplicated objects, because the Forte will already have, for example, all the FX Chains of the PC3.

Then, Sample objects will load as is, and, as explained above, they point to different addresses in memory in the PC3 than in the Forte. So, a Program that uses a Keymap that uses a Sample that points to the wrong address will sound bad.

So, I totally do not recommend doing that.

As an exception, you can do the following if you still need one PC3 program. Load – Open the file and select just the programs you need and load them without dependencies.

If you load them with dependencies, then it will load the keymaps and samples dependent on that program having the same problems as when you load the whole file.

But if you load without dependencies, then just the programs will load. And, here is the good news, the keymaps and samples on the Forte/Forte SE/SP6 will have the same IDs than on the PC3. So, that program will use keymaps X, Y and Z, and those will be the correct ones! And as those keymaps will use the samples from the Forte or the Forte SE or the SP6, then they will sound correctly.

So, loading factory PC3 files without dependencies are OK.

Parameters vs Non Parameters

PC3/K/A don’t use virtual parameters. All the rest do.

What are virtual parameters? These parameters map a MOD in VAST with a physical controller with an entry value.

For example, in Forte, the first page when you edit a program is the Parameters page. You will see a list of parameters with the MIDI CC controller assigned to each one and their entry value. This is great for easy editing.

PC3/K/A didn’t use this.

So, when you load a PC3/K/A program into the Forte/Forte SE/SP6 and rest of products using virtual parameters, the system tries to auto-generate as many virtual parameters as possible and assign the best entry values and controllers to them. But the sytem can’t be perfect so normally you might want to go the parameter page and adjust some of those controllers and entry values. You can even change the name of the parameters that might not be the prettiest ones when they are auto-generated.



Comments are working


Somebody mentioned that comments were not working. They are. But you first need to register.

Go to one of the posts of the Journal, go down to the comments and you will see a link to Log in.


That will get you to a page like this where you can click on Register.

Once you have registered you can start commenting in the posts.



KeyNum, KeyVel and more


I made these videos long time ago explaining KeyNum, KeyVel and some related Setup/Multi Destinations. They were done on a PC3 but they still apply to products like Forte or Forte SE as well.

Basically you can define scales to be triggered by controllers with the appropriate use of these controllers.

Then, you can change keys as well…