The Complete K2000 > Most Often Asked Questions About the K2000

Most Often Asked Questions About The K2000 (and the answers)

The following pages contain the questions most frequently asked about the K2000 by Kurzweil users, dealers, artists and educators. Some of these questions concern comparisons with other products, and some concern features and benefits.n Loading Sound's from the Sweetwater Web Site into the Kurzweil for help with multi-part files.

Question 1:
Regarding purchase of a K2000: Why should I buy a K2000 rather than the other models on the market?

Answer: The K2000 represents a real breakthrough in sonic flexibility, hardware, software growth potential, and unparalleled ease of use. The high quality sounds: Kurzweil has spared no expense on the sonic fidelity and full bandwidth of the K2000.

The K2000 will expand as your needs require. The K2000 is the BEST sampler ever made. The K2000 contains the widest selection of instantly accessible sounds (ROM samples). You can also add 2 additional 8 MB sound blocks, or if you want to use other sample libraries, the K2000 reads Akai floppies and Akai, Ensoniq and Roland SCSI libraries. The K2000 can download your already-created sequences for live performance. The K2000's programming capabilities are impressive: per voice DSP is revolutionary and 96 oscillators provide the richest, fattest sounds possible.

If you compare the sound, value, cost, and features of the K2000 with the competition, nothing can even come close.

Question 2:
Regarding synthesis technologies: What kinds of synthesis can the K2000 do?

The K2000 can create sounds using analog principals (Subtractive), or what Roland refers to as Linear Arithmetic (L/A: adding attack transients from acoustic instruments to digitally generated or PCM digital waveforms), Additive (up to 96 partials can build a monophonic voice which can be re-sampled into a polyphonic model), PCM ROM Sample Playback, User Sampling, Wave Shaping (using a sine wave to change the harmonic characteristics of PCM samples), and others yet to be named. The K2000 does not do FM synthesis (at Yamaha's request) but can create timbres of a like nature using other synthesis techniques.

Question 3:
Regarding the cost ratio of Rack vs. Keyboard: What are the main differences between the K2000R and the K2000?


OUTPUTS: The keyboard has 4 separate audio outputs plus the stereo master pair; the rack has 8 separate audio outputs plus the stereo master pair.
SAMPLE INPUTS: The rack has a pair of balanced XLR sample inputs.
SCSI BUSS: The rack has a second SCSI buss connector (acting as a SCSI through), allowing multiple K2000R's to share the same hard drive.
INTERNAL HARD DRIVE: The keyboard can house a 540Mb internal hard drive; the rack can house a 1 Gig.
DAC's: The rack contains two more stereo high quality DAC's (digital to audio converters) than the keyboard for the additional audio outputs.
STEREO OUTPUTS/AUDIO JACKS: The rack contains 4 more stereo audio jacks than the keyboard (to allow the outputs to double as inserts).
FAN KIT: The basic keyboard does not contain a fan kit; the rack (and the units with the sampling option already added) comes standard with the fan kit.
PRICE: The cost between the two differs by only $100.00 retail because the cost of the K2000's enclosure and keyboard are relatively inexpensive, and the rack contains the above features not included on the keyboard.

Question 4:
Regarding polyphony, layering up to 4 sound sources, and channel stealing: Why does the K2000 only have 24 voices when almost every competitor has 32?

The K2000's variable architecture allows for up to 4 simultaneous sound sources (one of many DSP functions) to be 'layered' without using up voices. For a good example, see Program 136 "Oh Bee!!!". Move the data slider to detune the oscillators .... remember that this is still a 24 voice program! Try layering 4 oscillators with an O1-W, JV 80 or whatever else exists and you'll notice the dramatic reduction in the number of available voices. Most other synths must layer to get a decent fat sound, so do their 32 voices really give you 32 usable voices? As for channel stealing, see Program # 2, "Stereo Grand". Strike a large chord on the bottom of the keyboard and do a gliss up and down while holding the sustain pedal. The original chord remains intact. Try that on other products and listen for channels (voices) dropping out. The K2000's channel stealing scheme dances rings around most 32 voice synths.

Question 5:
Regarding the definition of Oscillators: What is an oscillator and what in the K2000 would be referred to as an oscillator?

An oscillator is, simply put, a tone source. In the K2000, an oscillator can be a PCM ROM based sample, a digitally generated wave form (one of the custom DSP functions), a noise generator, or a RAM sample. We have in ROM the ability to stack (in drum mode) up to 96 oscillators in unison (24 voices x 4 sound sources = 96 oscillators).

Question 6:
Regarding quality control (QC) issues: Is the K2000 a trustworthy instrument?

We have worked very hard to raise our QC above industry standards. We have increased our QC check list to 120 items, to ensure that all areas of the machine are covered in QC testing. Further, we have changed our packaging materials and established QC agents in Cerritos, California to further ensure secure quality. Since the implementation of these controls, quality control has risen to excellent levels and remained there.

Question 7:
Regarding the sequencer: Does the K2000 have an onboard sequencer?

The K2000 V2 has a playback sequencer which plays back multi-timbral sequences. Sequences may be loaded into the K2000 by connecting any MIDI sequencer's MIDI OUT (including software based computer sequence programs) to the K2000's MIDI IN port. The K2000 can record all 16 MIDI channels of data (including notes, velocities, aftertouch, all controllers, tempo maps, etc.) in one pass. The K2000 can be a slave to an external MIDI clock, or act as the master MIDI clock.

Version 3 software adds a full featured 32 track sequencer. It has stop record, quantizing and input quantizing. You can cut, copy and paste from track to track. And you can reference quantize any track to any other track.

Question 8:
Regarding Upgrades: What upgrades will be available for the K2000/K2000R and how are these installed?

The K2000/K2000R can both be expanded in a number of ways which include:

Software revisions of the operating system (adding features as well as fixing any reported 'bugs') which can be updated by changing the instruments' Eproms (Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory). Such changes expand the functionality of the K2000 (V.1.3 adds new programs, SMDI functionality, streamlined operating system; V.2.0 adds visual sample editing and powerful editing functions, as well as capability to read new disk formats - Ensoniq, Akai, etc.). V.3.0 adds a powerful 32 track sequencer with full editing.

The P/RAM upgrade expands the battery backed memory of the K2000/K2000R (from its current 120K to 760K) so you can load more sequences/programs/setups/QA banks and effects programs. Up to 1000 programs can reside in permanent memory (not erased when the instrument is switched off).

SIMM's (Sample Memory) may be installed into your K2000, which allows you to load samples into your instrument. SIMMs is available from a wide variety of sources.

SMP-k/r Sampling Options for keyboard and rack are now available. This is a hardware and software package that allows for user sampling from digital and analog sources as well as digital transmission.

Orchestral ROM and Contemporary ROM are two additional 8 Mb ROM sound blocks offering more Kurzweil high quality samples in permanent memory (these are in addition to the 8 Mb the units are shipped with). Orchestral ROM is the classical orchestra block and Contemporary ROM is the street/top 40/dance/ethnic percussion block.

Internal hard disk drives may be installed. Contact your local Kurzweil service center for a complete list of approved drives.

Kurzweil insists that all upgrades be done by a factory authorized service center, which many times is your local dealer. We have available a national/wordwide list of all authorized service centers.

Question 9:
Regarding the Fan Kit: When do I need a fan kit for my K2000?

Kurzweil recommends that end users install a fan kit if any options are installed, i.e. SIMMs sample memory, P/RAM, SMP-k or SMP-r, or an internal hard disk.

Question 10:
Regarding sampling: Do I need the sampling option to get samples into the K2000?

No, you can get samples into the K2000 from a variety of sources. You may load samples in from the floppy disk drive. Sample memory must first be installed in the form of Mac style SIMMs modules. The K2000 accepts 1Mb, 2Mb, 4Mb, 8Mb, and 16Mb SIMMs.

Kurzweil released a 40 disk library of high quality samples for the K2000, and the K2000 also reads Akai S1000(tm) HD, S900/950, Ensoniq EPS(tm), and EPS16Plus(tm) disks. Version 1.0 software just reads the samples while V2.0 reads the samples and keymaps and also constructs a playable program! V.3.0 adds Roland SCSI libraries to your palette.

Many third party companies produce high quality samples for the K2000 (Sweetwater Sound, Stratus Sound, Pro Rec, Eye and I, etc.).

The K2000 accepts the SDS (Sample Dump Standard) format allowing you to dump samples from other products into the K2000 via MIDI. The K2000 also supports the SMDI (Sample MIDI Data Interface) protocol allowing you to transfer samples to and from a computer over the SCSI port (additional software is required- Passport's Alchemy(tm), Opcode's Max(tm) etc.).

Question 11:
Regarding the Sampling Option: What can I do with the sampling option?

The SMP-k/r Sampling Option comes in a package containing software and hardware; however, the Version 3 software will be sold separately for those who want the editing functions and visual waveform display without the sampling hardware.

With the Sampling Option, you can record samples into the K2000 from analog sources (stereo or mono), i.e. other keyboards, guitars, etc. The keyboard offers unbalanced stereo 1/4" analog inputs while the rack offers both unbalanced 1/4" stereo and separate left and right XLR balanced analog inputs.

You can record samples into the K2000 from digital sources i.e. DAT recorders, CD players, digital mixers, etc. There is an XLR input for S/PDIF and AES/EBU and an optical input as well. You can also send samples out as digital information for mastering to DAT recorders or further processing through a digital mixer.

You can perform a wide variety of editing tasks with a very highly developed and precise visual graphic waveform display. Just a few of the editing functions include: fade in/out, cut/copy/paste, clear samples, delete samples, insert silence, time compression/expansion, pitch shifting, sample rate conversion, and many more.

Question 12:
Regarding separate effects/audio output routings: Can I use different effects on different MIDI channels in a sequence or send different effects on separate outputs?

The K2000 has a stereo effects processor capable of up to 4 simultaneous effects. Only one global effect (containing up to 4 types of effects) may be selected for use during sequence playback. You can program a separate send level to the effects processor by re-programming the patches (programs) you are using in your sequence. To do this, you must edit your programs and select an algorithm that uses the panner, or mixed amps (alg#'s 2, 3, 13, 14, 15, 24, 25, 26, 31). You then select the OUTPUT page, set the panning indicators to the middle and set the lower output group to B(Dry). By adjusting the F3 and/or F4 controls (either panning position POS, or amplifiers AMP) you will control the wet/dry mix for that program. This configuration allows you to create sequences with programs that send different levels to the effects processor, and the end result is instruments that are wet, dry, or anywhere in between.

Also the separate outputs double as insert points allowing you to send a sound (on a per program or per MIDI channel basis) out a particular output to an external effects processor and return the effected signal back into the K2000 where it will be combined with the other internal sounds and passed together out the MIX outputs. Your owner's manual contains more details.

The K2000 can also read type 0 MIDI files (provided they are saved to a DOS formatted floppy disk). Mac based sequences must be converted to DOS format, using software such as Access PC or Apple File Exchange, and named according to DOS protocol. (Prior to v2.07 the name must have the .KRZ suffix. Starting with 2.07, the 2000 will also recognize the .MID suffix).

The K2000's sequencer can also be used as a real time scratch pad recorder. You may overdub or 'track' an infinite number of tracks. You can loop sequences and chain sequences together as well as adjust tempo. There is a user definable metronome. Songs can be up to 64K each, and memory is shared with the program battery backed memory (120K expandable up to 760K).

Question 13:
Regarding external media compatibility: Can the K2000 access CD ROMs and can it read other manufacturers' formats via SCSI?

Yes, there are several third parties releasing CD ROMs for the K2000, including East West (Denny Yeager string collection), Q Up Arts (who have a CD ROM version of their Heavy Hitters(tm) audio CD of famous drummers, including Alan White [of YES], Tommy Vee [of Motley Crue], and Jim Keltner [noted studio session drummer]), and Greyt Sounds to name a few. Sweetwater Sound has 5 CD-ROM's created specifically for the K2000 and K2500 including Classical Instruments, American Standard Collection, Exotic Instruments, The Grand Piano CD-ROM Collection and the RSI CD-ROM Library.

Question 14:
Regarding MIDI functionality: Can the K2000 be used as a master MIDI controller, and is the Sys Ex implementation complete?

Yes, the K2000 can be used as a powerful MIDI controller and can send on 3 separate MIDI channels with overlapping keyboard ranges (zones). Each of the separate MIDI channels (zones) can send different assignments from the K2000's controllers (footswitches, wheels, pedal slider, after touch, etc.), and each zone can enable/disable program changes, pitch bend and local control. Further, the K2000 can send or receive any button presses, controllers activated, or program/setup/QA bank selection via sys ex messages.

Question 15:
Regarding the Drum channel: Why do I sometimes scroll to a program that has ( ) around the name and no sound plays?

The K2000 has a special 'Drum Mode' that allows the user to layer up to 24 sounds or split up to 32 sounds across the keyboard creating a program known as a 'drum' program. Drum Mode programs can use any sound, not just percussion! The user is limited to one drum program (programs using over 3 layers) set to one MIDI channel (user selectable) per multi MIDI configuration. If you select a different MIDI channel other than the one you've designated for the drum channel and scroll to a 'drum' program, you will notice a ( ) around the program name and no sound will play. This occurs because you have already designated another MIDI channel as the drum channel. To see the selected MIDI drum channel assignment press the Master button; you will see DRUMCHAN and the MIDI channel # that is currently selected. The new K2500 has 8 drum channels!

Question 16:
Regarding General MIDI: What is General MIDI and is the K2000 General MIDI compatible?

General MIDI is a defined set of programs organized in a prescribed order. Kurzweil has a General MIDI disk set available. There are two versions of this - one for units without the ROM-1 Orchestral Block, and one for units with the block. There is also a General MIDI drum map which can be used with any GM sequence or as a template for the user to follow to create different General MIDI mapped kits.

Question 17:
Regarding K250/1000 series programs and samples: Does the K2000/K2000R have my favorite sounds from the K250 or K1000 series modules in internal ROM or on disk?

While the K2000's internal ROM samples contain some samples from previously released Kurzweil instruments, there are many newly recorded instruments as well. The piano, electric piano, strings, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, trumpet, and trombone have been reprocessed for the K2000/K2000R from the K250 and/or the 1000 series modules. The choir, sax, flute, basses, drums, percussion, and digital waveforms are all new. We may release CD ROMs or Syquest formats of the 'Best of the K250/1000 Series' samples in the future. Currently, there is a disk library on floppy that offers many of the favorite K250/1000 series samples including the solo violin, solo cello, clarinet, acoustic bass, baritone horn, vibes, plucked harp, choir, harpsichord, bass guitar, etc.

Question 18:
Regarding service: Should the need arise... where can I get my K2000/K2000R serviced?

Kurzweil can provide a complete list of authorized service centers where service can be performed. It is not necessary to ship your instrument back to Young Chang America in Cerritos, California for service; however, you always have that option.

Question 19:
Regarding Macros and programming shortcuts: Are there, or can you program, macros to make programming easier?

The data slider functions as a macro controller changing as many as 8 or 10 parameters at once (changing oscillator, tuning, effects wet/dry mix, various effects parameters, envelope response, amplitude, etc.). There are no limits to how many parameters a controller can control, and these assignments are done on a per patch basis. Once a program has been created it may be used as a template for future programs (programmable macro templates!).

There are many editing shortcuts so I will list only a few: you can search for any object (program, effect, keymap, control source, etc.) using any of 10 selectable search strings (these may be stored to disk as well). To select a search string, press and hold ENTER and strike one of the other numbered keypad buttons. Type a few characters from the name of what you are looking for, and then press ENTER a second time.

You can assign any controller or even assign keyboard ranges by holding down the ENTER button and activating the controller or striking keys on the keyboard. You can even scroll through the control source list (in edit mode only) by pressing and holding ENTER and playing up and down the keyboard!

Question 20:
Regarding Battery backed memory vs. Sample memory: Why do I sometimes get a message indicating not enough memory to load when I am only using a small amount of sample memory and have so much sample memory unused?

There are two forms of memory in the K2000/K2000R. The first type is battery-backed for continuous and permanent retention of objects such as programs (only internal ROM samples, not externally loaded RAM samples), setups, QA banks and sequences. The total memory allocated to all of these objects is 120K expandable to 760K.

The second type is RAM sample memory (SIMMs) that is NOT battery-backed. Programs, setups, QA banks and sequences cannot access this memory; it is reserved for only sample data! If you get a message saying not enough memory to load and have plenty of sample memory available, you have filled up your battery-backed internal memory. It is for this reason that we created the P/RAM option.

Question 21:
Regarding artist awareness: I notice many professionals endorsing Korg, Roland and Yamaha, but I am unaware of what professionals endorse Kurzweil. Could you list a few?

Sure. Rick Wakeman, legendary multi-keyboardist for YES, uses the K2000 extensively, as does Tower of Power. Stevie Wonder is using the K2000 for his upcoming projects. Many noted film composers including Fred Mollin (Friday the 13th series) as well as Frank Serafine (Hunt for Red October, Lawnmower Man), Michael Kamen (Robin Hood), and Jerry Goldsmith (Basic Instinct and Medicine Man) use the K2000. The list continues with Roger Powell (legendary keyboardist for Todd Rundgren's Utopia), Wendy Carlos (Switched On Bach), Patrick Moraz (keyboardist for YES, Moody Blues, and solo projects), Bias Boshell (keyboardist for the Moody Blues), Ray Charles, Brian May (Queen), Kerry Lingren, William Bolcom (Pulitzer Prize-winning composer of the opera McTeague - the first to combine a synthesizer with the traditional orchestra where the synthesizer is treated as a musical instrument rather than a sound effects generator), and many others. Also, artists don't always use what they endorse. Note that on the recent Genesis tour no O1-W was to be found. Also Chick Corea, who frequently endorses Yamaha, is a big Kurzweil user, as is Herbie Hancock!

Question 22:
Regarding future models: Does Kurzweil plan to make the K2000 in a 76 or 88 note version?

The new K2500 keyboard will come in both a 76 and 88 note version.

Question 23:
Regarding Multi-timbral MIDI setup: Can you create and store multi-MIDI channel assignment setups?

Yes, you can assign each MIDI channel a program then save this configuration to disk by saving the Master parameters or saving as an EVERYTHING FILE. This is helpful when using a lot of sequences with no program changes assigned in the tracks. If asked to save dependent objects... press YES.