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Why the hell is Kurzweil so popular in the USA?


Superbobus

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I've been rehearsing for three days now for a Dutch theater tour where they're only using Kurzweil K2600's and these dynosaurs are giving us NOTHING BUT TROUBLE! The software must be about the most unstable stuff I ever saw. This morning it took us almost two hours to get one working!

I load all samples in and chances are fifty-fifty that patches don't sound like they supposed to sound. Sometimes patches won't load or the thing just crashes in the middle of a tune. These buggers are programmed by somebody who knows the machine but who's also starting to get nuts.

Why do you guys choose for these units? In the last production I did, these things were also a nightmare. Crashes, keys that get stuck, displays that don't work anymore. You must be crazy to spend a fortune on a K2600. IMO they are plain crap. I'm starting to appreciate my trustful Yamahas and Roland more and more.

http://www.bobwijnen.nl

 

Hipness is not a state of mind, it's a fact of life.

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I've had my Kurzweil K2500XS for quite a while now and never had any trouble with it, but then again I use it as a "studio" machine as opposed to a live board. Maybe you've gotten your hands on boards that have either been "beaten" by players who don't take care of their instruments or just gotten a lemon :(

 

I have a Roland here as well, an old Roland JV-1000 but it feels like a kiddie toy compared to the Kurzweil :)

 

Darkon the Incandescent

http://www.billheins.com/

 

 

 

Hail Vibrania!

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I've been using a Kurz for 7 years now, live, and its never crashed once. My new Yamaha, on the other hand, is continually plagued by bugs. Interesting how we have different luck with different brands (another example, I've had four for four Behringers crap out on me, while others have nothing but good luck with them).

Guess its the same with car brands? :confused:

Botch

"Eccentric language often is symptomatic of peculiar thinking" - George Will

www.puddlestone.net

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I can understand your frustration. Unfortunately, the problem is probably related to corrupt patch files being loaded into the keyboard/rack units. It's a well known problem in the Kurzweil community that loading in corrupt patches can cause things like this...ie the keyboard crashing, or worse...loosing the display completely. The way to get the display back on the K2500 is to boot up the unit in the os loading mode (I don't remember what it's called, you can look it up in the manual or on the internet) and run the diagnostics. After the diagnostics have been run and the keyboard has been reset, everything should be ok. But, if you load in the same corrupt patch files, it will happen all over again...

 

I have had this exact problem happen to me years ago, but not since. It's an old site, but you might find this usefull:

 

http://www.k2users.org/k2/k_main.htm#HARDWARE

 

Anyway, good luck and I hope this helps.

 

SlopHappy

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I have four Kurzweils here and they all function well in my studio.

The trick with patches is you have to make certain there is enough address space for samples and try to load them in the lowest numbered bank possible. It sounds like you might be using samples that have a lot of discreet samples, using up all the address space to bank 999. When you run out of banks, weird sounds happen.

Hint: you can load banks at bank 0 and gain almost 200 extra sample bank addresses for that many extra samples.

The other possibilities are as above, corrupt samples.

But I thought they were more popular in Europe than the US. More of the folks I know in Europe have heard of and are using Kurzweil than in the US.

Best Regards,

 

Mark A. Weiss, P.E.

www.ampexperts.com

-

 

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The banks are set between 200 and 220. The problem is, all five units have the same problems, including mechanic failures. Some people also blame the power supplies of malfunctioning. I will ask why the samples are put in these high banks, but why give the thing so many banks when they know weird things will happen?

Another problem is that there's no Kurzweil support in Europe. We're using K2600's because a higher American authority said we had to use them. The only advantage I found was that patch switching is fantastic. For now, the rest sucks.

http://www.bobwijnen.nl

 

Hipness is not a state of mind, it's a fact of life.

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Three weeks ago I loaded a file that caused my 2500 to totally wig. The disk drive lights were flashing as if trying to load and the screen went white. I knew my hard reset soft button was in the master mode but the screen would fail and wouldn't allow me to get to it. I had to keep that "stay calm" feeling because I trusted that there was an answer. There are back doors, easter eggs, double button press' and crazy things like pong on these machines. When you turn the 2500 on it's display will eventually say please wait- that is when you press the enter button for a couple of seconds and release. This will get you to the system diagnostics and hard reset function. It worked. Corrupt files can ruin your day. I have never had a problem with my Kurz before. I believe it is the whole tank of lobsters at once. The 2600 is a very advanced instrument that takes years to really understand. I have owned Roland and Korg synths and was satisfied with them at the time. I haven't dealt with Korg/Unichord for 15 years because of their lack of product and customer support. They never responded to my calls or letters or followed through with a free 50 disk DSS-1 library. Customer support rules. Kurzweil wins, they loose at least me. Maybe that's the reason Kurzweil is so popular? Maybe it's the awesome rocking thrill of the sounds unavailable through any other synthesis technique(s)? Yeah, that's probably it.

-Chip Curtis VCA

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I own a Kurzweil 2600XS fully loaded,a K2VXS and a 2000VP. I absolutly love what these machines do. The LCD went dim on the VX a year ago,and I had it replaced.

I use a Motiff rack unit,(mostly for pianos) a Triton rack,(organs,accoustic guitars)a Roland D-50 for pads and atmosphere and my K2VX covers every accoustic inswtrument imaginable. I used to think that nothing would ever be able to pull me away from my DX7's and I still hold them dearly. I just wish I could play my 2600 on my weekend jobs,but it is just way to heavy. Thats where my K2 comes in

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Back to the original question, people choose Kurzweil because you can do wonderful and complex things with them. Every time time I program a VAST sound, I discover things that I had never used before. Sound quality is of the highest kind. And their OS' are usually pretty logical, though complex, and don't seem designed by a commitee of drunken engineers, like in some Yamaha synth (DX7, SY77, AN1x, FS1R), not to speak of Roland...

 

I'm aware that some people have experienced malfunctions with Kurzweil stuff. I've been really lucky: My several K2000s (One keyboard and three rack) and my Micropiano never had serious faults. One of the Ks froze once, from a SCSI incompatibility I wasn't aware of, and that's it. I've played them in every kind of live situation.

That's not to understate those cases where the Kurz *do* malfunctions; it shouldn't happen, so I guess Kurzweil still has a few quality issues to resolve.

 

Anyway, the issue with 'corrupted' files has been known for more than ten years; I'm also aware of problems due to bad RAM chips (sample memory) that can destabilize the system.

 

Originally posted by marino:

give the 2600s to me, get the Yamahas, and everybody will be happy!!

And hey, this still holds!! :D:D:D:D:D
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Originally posted by Superbobus:

....The problem is, all five units have the same problems....

Five K2600s with the exact same problem? Come on now, what are the chances of that?!!

 

It has to be an operational issue - like corrupted data. If someone saved files to a storage device that wasn't terminated, the data may have become corrupted. I'd say go back to the original source files. This time make sure of termination.

 

Groetjes aan Den Haag ;):wave:

 

~Peter Schouten

Pyramid Sound Productions

Specializing in Kurzweil K2x00

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That's the whole problem. We've been going back to the original source files for several times now and the programmer also doesn't get what's going on. Maybe we replace the source files too, because the sounds are not convincing at all IMO. This is not meant as Kurz bashing, but we've had it with all of 'em. Today was problematic again and the tour starts next saturday...

I don't know if the people out here without problematic K2600's are using them in studios only or also on stage. The units we're using have been schlepped around for some time and they have to go into the bus for the next couple of months.

http://www.bobwijnen.nl

 

Hipness is not a state of mind, it's a fact of life.

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Originally posted by marino:

My several K2000s (One keyboard and three rack) and my Micropiano never had serious faults.

No, wait, that was incorrect. One of my rack units died a sudden death. How could I forget - sorry. :o I guess we tend to remove bad memories.
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I'd agree that five units with the same problem has got to be some kind of software issue, as if something bad were loaded into all of them from the same source originally. I'm not sure what you mean by mechanical failures? Problems with the keybed? Buttons not acutating? Slider problems?

 

I've played many Kurzweils over the last ten years, from my first 2000 bought in '93 through several more through a couple of K2500s and now a K2600. They do get moody sometimes, but I've never had one crash in such a way that I couldn't get through a gig.

 

Superbobus, I'm gonna forward a link to this thread to a couple of Kurz experts I know, and see what I can find out. If you want to private-message me with really precise details about the symptoms, so much the better.

Stephen Fortner

Principal, Fortner Media

Senior Editor, Music Player Network

Former Editor in Chief, Keyboard Magazine

Digital Piano Consultant, Piano Buyer Magazine

 

Industry affiliations: Antares, Arturia, Giles Communications, MS Media, Polyverse

 

 

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Originally posted by Superbobus:

We've been going back to the original source files for several times now and the programmer also doesn't get what's going on.

Is it possible the original source files were overwritten and you are no longer working with the orginal? Have you been loading from hard drives? More detail would be helpful.

 

Also, what if you move the instruments to a different building? Maybe you are having power issues where you have been trying them out? Maybe you need a power conditioner. The sample RAM may have problems holding the samples if there are irregularities or low voltage in the line current that's running the Kurzies.

 

~Peter Schouten

Pyramid Sound Productions

Specializing in Kurzweil K2x00

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I've never had a single spot of trouble with my K2600XS. I have not seen this kind of fault reported on the Yahoo Kurz list either. My professional diagnostic fault-finding mind tells me that if you have 5 of them with the same problem in one locale and no one else (anywhere in the world) seems to be experiencing the same thing, then you should be looking for a local common denominator - like maybe the company/tech guy that set them up, right?

 

:DTR

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There is one external SCSI drive involved, but I would have to see how things are linked. It might be a software problem, although people in the company also had experience with bad RAM in the past.

Mechanical failures are keys that get stuck or make weird noises and keys that are easier to press than other ones, so that e.g. the Ab just below central C always sounds louder than the rest, with every patch.

Another program fault with the files is that sometimes a sample doesn't sound, which has to do with KDFX or something. Problem is, it's hard to get all the details because I don't know how the thing is working and indeed programmability is huge. It's like you can't see the forest because of the trees.

http://www.bobwijnen.nl

 

Hipness is not a state of mind, it's a fact of life.

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Sounds like serious troubleshooting is called for. Take one board and strip it down - get rid of all expansion RAM and all user data. If the machine has a button sequence that takes it back to 'factory' state, do it. (Does the whole thing load from disk? If so and if there's a chance your originals have been corrupted, see if you can get an uncorrupted one from elsewhere.) Then put the stock config through rigorous playing/testing for awhile, and see if any similar problems crop up.

I used to think I was Libertarian. Until I saw their platform; now I know I'm no more Libertarian than I am RepubliCrat or neoCON or Liberal or Socialist.

 

This ain't no track meet; this is football.

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The short answer to the title question is "Because they are the most flexible and wonderful-sounding keyboards in the world".

 

About those problems, I firmly agree with the others here that there is something in either the software, program data or loading procedures that is consistently affecting all 5 machines. Someone earlier in the thread mentioned something that should be taken very seriously - the amount of sample IDs that are loaded into a given bank. Each bank can hold a maximum of 100 sample ID's. If, for example, you load a piano sample that is comprised of 60 individual samples into the 200's bank, then you load a string ensemble that also consists of 60 samples into that same bank, you will get undesirable results. After the first 40 samples from the string ensemble, the OS will wrap back to the beginning of the bank (ID 200) and load the remaining samples from 200 to 220, overwriting the first 20 samples of the piano library. The result will be a corrupt piano program.

 

That's just one possibility. If you are positive that loading procedures are not the source of the problem, I would start by doing a hard reset to all 5 machines. Then, go to Kurzweil's website (http://www.kurzweilmusicsystems.com) and download the latest K2600 OS and install or re-install it on all machines. Then, load only pristine, original versions of your sample data. Test the machine after each data load - perhaps you will find that a particular library is causing problems. If so, request new originals from the vendor.

 

Finally, as others have said, make sure you are getting clean, regulated power in the building where these are running.

 

Be patient, those amazing K2600's are worth the effort!! :)

 

Kirk

Reality is like the sun - you can block it out for a time but it ain't goin' away...
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Is the RAM expansion common to all five, and is it Kurzweil approved RAM or did the tech go out and buy the RAM to put in. It could be incompatible RAM if it only happens when loading the samples.

 

You might try taking the CD Drive and sample set to a dealer or another musician to load on their K2600 and see if that machine has a problem.

 

Robert

This post edited for speling.
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My k2600 sometimes transfers the data incorrectly when read from CD, recently bought quantum leap brass and I had to reload some samples from cd a to get it right. After transferring them to the built in harddrive I had no problem at all.

 

Be certain that you don't overwrite the sample IDs of onboard sounds, if you're programs use any onboard waveforms. Reset the machine and load the latest os and soundsets best of vast(OS4 differs from 3 though so see what sound set is necessery for you're sounds. Are you're soundset using any of the expansions?

 

I also had some trouble with scsi cables buying one that were to long so all data was garbled when transfered.

 

I use my kurz live all the time connected to a yamaha p90, put in some extra pedals with anold anatek pocket pedal in the midichain just t get some control. Works much better than my new yamaha motif ....

 

Good luck

 

/Fred

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Originally posted by kad:

The short answer to the title question is "Because they are the most flexible and wonderful-sounding keyboards in the world".

Kirk

If these samples at least would sound wonderful...

My conclusion so far is that these boards with their incredible possibilities are not suited for common gig use, where you just need that board which is not that amazingly flexible but at least works all the time without very complex programming.

We'll see tomorrow. I'll ask about those original source files.

http://www.bobwijnen.nl

 

Hipness is not a state of mind, it's a fact of life.

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Seems to be a valid conclusion. And I think this is why many companies continue to make equipment which has preset banks which cannot be written over - if everything else fails you can reset the machine, select a piano or organ or basic synth sound, and play the gig.

 

Originally posted by Superbobus:

My conclusion so far is that these boards with their incredible possibilities are not suited for common gig use, where you just need that board which is not that amazingly flexible but at least works all the time without very complex programming.

I used to think I was Libertarian. Until I saw their platform; now I know I'm no more Libertarian than I am RepubliCrat or neoCON or Liberal or Socialist.

 

This ain't no track meet; this is football.

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Originally posted by coyote:

.... many companies continue to make equipment which has preset banks which cannot be written over - if everything else fails you can reset the machine, select a piano or organ or basic synth sound, and play the gig.

[/QB]

 

Kurzweil is one of those companies. All models of K2x00 have piano, organ and synth presets that are not dependent on new samples.

 

I think the presumption that there is something wrong with the instrument is premature. Whatever problems Superbobus has run into may be operational in nature. Let's hold off till the facts come in!

 

~Peter Schouten

Pyramid Sound Productions

http://wwww.pyramid-sound.com

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