Looking sleek on the outside, and with an arsenal of Kurzweil's latest cutting edge chip technology under its hood, the 76-note PC3 keyboard delivers 128 voices of incredible sound quality along with ... Read More
Looking sleek on the outside, and with an arsenal of Kurzweil's latest cutting edge chip technology under its hood, the 76-note PC3 keyboard delivers 128 voices of incredible sound quality along with a host of powerful, easy to use features. The PC3 is Kurzweil's ultimate performance controller keyboard, with an enormous collection of stunning sounds combined with comprehensive real-time controller functions.
In addition to Kurzweil's renowned Triple Strike Grand Piano, the PC3 features hundreds of 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 PC3's Dynamic V.A.S.T. architecture is a huge step forward in synthesis, the fruit of several major strides Kurweil has made in improving processing power, flexibility and user-friendliness. Good news for synth enthusiasts ” They've seamlessly integrated their legendary VA-1 Virtual Analog Synthesizer into the keyboard's system.
The Kurzweil PC3 keyboard also includes an unlimited-track sequencer with 1536 PPQ resolution and more effects processing power than the acclaimed KSP8 processor, making the PC3 a full blown music production workstation. Add in USB, flash xD card port, a newly designed keyboard action, and an intuitive user interface, and you've got the next generation of Kurzweil musical instruments.
It's a performance controller. It's a synthesizer. It's a workstation.
One thing which clearly sets Kurzweil apart from the competition is the fact that they design their own chips (called ASICs) for all Kurzweil products. Simply put, these 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.
The Kurzweil Sound...
The Kurzweil PC3 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 PC3 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 the Leslie effects, and a bank of B3 programs, Kurzweil also included sounds from the classic Vox and Farfisa combo organs. The PC3's 9 sliders provide real-time drawbar control.
The PC3 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 PC3 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 Kurzweil's V.A.S.T. architecture, the PC3's new 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 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 the 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 PC3's synth engine so powerful and so different than anything else on the market.
While the PC3's user interface may look familiar to veteran Kurzweil users, major improvements have been made, allowing for a much more user friendly experience. The PC3'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 PC3's killer soundset is the the Easy Audition feature, where every one of the PC3'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 PC3 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 PC3 offers more than twice the processing power of Kurzweil's acclaimed KDFX engine. Effects can be chained together in series, or distributed among the PC3'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 PC3's real time controllers - sliders, pedals, wheels, etc.
The PC3 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 PC3 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.
The PC3 sports sixteen (yes, 16!) independent arpeggiators as well as a collection of pre-recorded beats and musical phrases.
Reviewed by 1 customer
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Comments about Kurzweil PC3 76-Note Performance Controller Keyboard:
It is REALLY unfortunate that GC elects to sell this board only online, and not to stock it in stores (at least in St. Louis.) It IS the best un-heard and un-seen deal in mid-dollar keyboards. Almost every syllable of the PR released by Kurzweil on this board is absolutely true. Here's what you'll love: 1) String and orchestral patches that are SO rich, you'll make yourself cry just playing through the choices; 2) Famous synth patches we've come to know and love from ARP, Oberheim, Moog, and Roland...right there...at the push of a button (or dialed-in patch); 3) Organ patches (with 16 drawbars to customize them) that would send Hammond back to the drawing board. [Note, I sold a Hammond XK-1 to buy this board, and only wish that I had done so sooner.] If you're a gigging musician, here's what you may not like: 1)The "piano" patches on this board absolutely suck, BUT, I'm used to some highly customized patches I made for myself on my Yamaha S-90ES...nothing (bar none) can rival their sound; 2)Although this board is one of few on the market with fully adjustable aftertouch, the "action" can take some getting used to. For string and horn patches, you'll find the action perfect. Try to jam a little B-3 riff Gregg Allman style, and you'll suddenly remember how much you miss those trademark waterfall keys of the Hammond. This board's action seems sluggish when I kick into organ mode. 3)If you do outside gigs, you'll find out real quick that you need to concoct a make-shift cover or blinder for the LED screen. It is nearly impossible to see outdoors, and will appear completely blank if you're wearing sunglasses. I sold a Juno Stage and Hammond XK-1 after I got this Kurzweil; I was tired of hauling 3 boards around, and 4 was not going to happen. I don't think the PC3 is a good choice if you're a single board kind of person (buy the Yamaha S-90ES or XS instead). BUT, if you want to condense your secondary and tertiary boards to a single board that gives you total flexibility in patches, aftertouch and on-the-fly adjustments....this is the most logical choice. Its too bad that Guitar Center won't stock this in stores...I'm sure other experienced musicians will quickly find it to be as valuable as I did.
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