Kawai K4

As I reset my Atari! After many requests worldwide, the new Bitley 2019 Kawai K4 bank is finally here and it’s coming bundled together with all our previous K4 libraries (Analog, New Age Pads and Xtravaganza) for just $59.

The sounds include amazing, truly jaw dropping pads, dirty digital tricks – to fool anyone the K4 is an analog beast, but you will not find any doable pianos: K4 is not the go-to piano source anyway.

Where four becomes the loop. Where two becomes the loop. The patches are mainly programmed with just two active oscillators (where four is the maximum per patch – but that makes patches 8-note polyphonic). This means you can create multi-timbral arrangements with the K4 and it won’t take you back into “midi hell” with sluggish response if programmed this way.

So what’s more to say about the K4? It should ideally be seen as a very “synthy” type of instrument, as this is where it absolutely shines.

Cars and synths. Automobiles and synthomodules. Fordon och syntetitasorer. To make the synth jungle easier to navigate, here’s a fun little car comparison. Remember Leisure Suit Larry? You smell like a motorman’s gloves! It’s of course seriously unserious but seriously fun if you’re like Herbie. Remember Herbie? It was a euro pop guy who had a seminal 90’s hit with Right Type Of Mood.

This synthIs aBecause
Roland Juno 2Volvo 240Goes from A to B with a classic style
Kawai K4Golf GTINot for the family but for the sporty
Yamaha SY77Saab 9-5 2,3tSuperb register all over & huge size
Yamaha SY99Saab 9-5 AeroFast like a Porsche and rather stunning
Roland D-50Volvo 480 TurboNothing compares to it
Prophet VSBMW M3Not flexible, not smart, but amazing
Kawai K1Volvo 360Wow, is that one still around!
Yamaha DX21BMW 318iNot fast. But looks fast. Solid for babes.
Roland D-20Old Jeep Grand CherokeeTakes space. But a very nice engine.
Waldorf WavePorsche 911It looks amazing. But it’s very rare.
Moog MinimoogMini CooperClassic. But not too versatile.
Arturia Minibrute 2Nissan JukeNew, not expensive, flexible!
Kawai K5Volvo 760 GLEClassic, deluxe & very beautiful.
Korg TrinityNissan King CabCan take you anywhere.
Korg TritonNew Jeep Grand CherokeeBetter, but less personal.
Ensoniq ESQ-1Ford Mustang SVOAlways stands out in the mix.
Akai AX73Toyota MR2Are you really using that one?
Yamaha V-50Honda ConcertoUnique late 80’s memory.
Korg DW-8000Subaru XT TurboNot flexible but exciting.

Patience is a virtue.

All orders sent out manually within hours after your purchase. The invitation with a download link goes out to the email account you have connected with your PayPal account.

Have you thought about that design mockup flashing around on these video clips? It’s actually a true story. I completely rebuilt a K4 once, using lots of glass fiber based Plastic Padding (TM) and remodeling the shape of the synth to be more like a Jupiter 8. This was then sprayed with a grey Fleck Stone paint, to look a little like the E-mu Emulator Three. I was fed up with the plastic look of the K4 at the time. Sadly I of course traded this original piece of artwork with some other gear. I still want to know if that K4 is alive somewhere and of course I’d like to have it! 😉 Keep your digital ears and eyes open, it might still be in use. I think the guy lives somewhere around the southern Stockholm area. Instantly let me know via the Facebook page for instance please. Hope you’re enjoying the demos, there are more coming. By the way, the grey tinted video for Dreamy pad & Erasure comes very close to the look of the rebuilt K4.

To talk a little about the new patches they start with a bubbly fifth sound which really can be interesting to hear in a new track production. While we’re at it, always check this on a K4: Hold down the System button when you start it up and you’ll see in the display which ROM revision it has. I absolutely recommend updating to the last version, which was 1.4. Synths with 1.2 or even older ROMs are producing audible clicks in the envelopes. This can be worked around with setting the resonance to a maximum value of four or five and by setting the attack to 10, 20 or somewhere around there. Patches made with older versions also sound slightly different when played back on a 1.4 machine, but that’s easy to fix by doing some minor changes.

These patches have all been made with 1.4 which is the “click bug free” version. It’s fairly easy to update; just open it up and replace the ROM socket. Shouldn’t cost much either; lots of gearheads are selling 1.4 ROMs on Ebay. A word of caution; don’t mix up the K4r chip with the K4 chip, because it will lead the K4 to believe it’s a K4r so the keyboard won’t work and it won’t even produce sound via MIDI. Happened to me once so it was some pretty nerve-wrecking days until I got the K4 chip again.

A sea of poly synth patches are included, as the synth is really good re-creating those sounds despite being fully digital. This was one of the original selling points of the K4 of course.

Do you have a video link to that Simmons drum station – from one of Tina Turner’s late 80’s concerts? I’d love to see that again. The guy is surrounded by synthesizers and diamond shaped electronic drums. And those drums sounds so cool. A slightly lesser known sister product to the K4 is the XD5 drum module. This is a machine I would like to try out some day but they certainly aren’t your everyday rack modules. Now the K4 itself ain’t too bad for drum sounds either. A pretty cool Simmons kit should be able to lift an eyebrow or two. How was that sampled? It wasn’t. Fixed it in the mix.

Eternal classics like Howard Jones’ Hide And Seek work well with patches like this one. Being careful with the filter settings, captain K4 can sound pleasing and respond well to velocity, aftertouch and modwheel assignments. A factor making the K4 so nice compared to the K4r is also that the keyboard version has built-in effects which are highly usable in many situations.