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Kurzweil PC2 Classic Keys Expansion ROM & DLN FM Sounds


keyoctave

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I recently added both these options to my PC2X and wanted to share some impressions with the forum.

 

To start, Kurzweil has done a wonderful job with it's Classic Keys expansion ROM. It has 16mb totaling 132 sounds along with 32 setups. The EP sounds are fantastic!. Many things were done right. They have an authentic flavor that surrounds them. I like the fact that you can adjust the upper tine harmonics with a slider (much easier than doing it manually on a Rhodes). They also got the phaser and stereo sweep sounds right. Wurlys are also done well. My surprise was how good the Clavinet sounds are. These sounds are very realistic. The Mellotron samples use the choir, flute and string sounds. One of them is called 'Siberian Khatru' and sounds just like the one Rick Wakeman used on that song. CP-80, Horner Pianet, and RMI pianos are also represented. I never played those keyboards much so I can't say how good they sound. The Arp Solina was also on the ROM along with pads and sweeps that emulate Oberheims and Arps. Kurzweil makes use of it's controllers by giving one 'on the fly' user interface with the sounds (mostly effects, filter cutoff, and layer volume levels). They are very useful on the Clavinet sounds by using the sliders to simulate the band-pass filters and the mod wheel to vary the wah. There was also 4 new KB3 mode organs on the ROM. They are a cut above the other 16 that come with the PC2.

An interesting note is how these ROM sounds are labeled. Some of the sounds are as they read. CP80 Enhanced, Flaming Horner, Tobacco Road RMI, etc. Others are named after songs that they represent or were popular back then. 3 dog Zepplin, These Eyes, RocknrollSuicide, etc. This may make it easier or harder for one to know what the sound is.

Installation was easy on the PC2X. You did have to upgrade the OS version to 4.0 (CD was provided with the ROM). I don't know if anything else was upgraded in the PC2X with this new OS. As far as I can tell, everything stayed the same.

IMHO, I have always found Yamaha to be the standard to shoot for when it comes to EP sounds (I have owned a few Yamaha keyboards over the years). I can now say that Kurzweil has met that standard and perhaps surpassed it with this ROM.

 

I also downloaded the FM sound set that DLN Sound has availible for the PC2. In a word....Marvelous! Great DX style sounds. Crisp and clear. You can here those subtle overtones in the higher frequencies that other samples dont have. This really brought back memories of my DX-7 that I stupidly sold after 6 months because I didn't like the 'digital interface' that it had as compared to the analog keyboards that I was used to. There are some other great sounds with this download (pads especially) but also some extra stuff that you really dont need (how many bells, mallets, steel drums, and church organs do you really want...even if they are FM). The total is 69 sounds. DLN has done a superb job in creating these sounds. When you listen, you can tell a lot of time an effort went into them. I am thankful that they made this soundset (originally done for the K series) available to PC2 owners.

 

All in all, pretty darn good. Most sounds were great, a few average, but I feel that it was worth the price to have them. :thu:

Kurzweil PC3, Hammond SK-1 + Ventilator, Korg Triton. 2 JBL Eon 510's.

 

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Dallas:

 

If you don't have the polyphony option, you can still add both the orchestral and classic keys ROMs to your board without any problems. (If you do get the polyphony option, you'll actually need 2 of each chip!)

Tom F.

"It is what it is."

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Originally posted by geekgurl:

Does anyone out there know how this "classic keys" set compares to the Nord Electro's e.piano and organ sounds?

IMO, 'competitive', to put it mildly. I'm not aware of online demos, but these K2600 \'Vintage Electric Pianos\' ROM demos will give you an idea - in character, they're comparable to the PC2 'Classic Keys' sounds.

Paul Dillen

DLN Sound - FM sounds for Kurzweil *NEW* Forte, PC3, PC2, PC1 and K2 series

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Originally posted by keyoctave:

...To start, Kurzweil has done a wonderful job with it's Classic Keys expansion ROM...

Thanks, keyoctave.

 

I am desparately trying to get a local store to stock this ROM, but progress is slow.

 

What is the sound used on "127 The Ancient"? I have a guess but am curious.

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Originally posted by Prague:

Originally posted by keyoctave:

...To start, Kurzweil has done a wonderful job with it's Classic Keys expansion ROM...

Thanks, keyoctave.

 

I am desparately trying to get a local store to stock this ROM, but progress is slow.

 

What is the sound used on "127 The Ancient"? I have a guess but am curious.

It is a CP-80 based sound with stereo chorus and multiple echo.

 

I would also like to add that as with the Classic Keys ROM, the DLN FM sounds are very controller friendly. They provide a Musicians Guide (sent with the sounds to your email) that describes each sound and it's controller function.

Kurzweil PC3, Hammond SK-1 + Ventilator, Korg Triton. 2 JBL Eon 510's.

 

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Originally posted by geekgurl:

Does anyone out there know how this "classic keys" set compares to the Nord Electro's e.piano and organ sounds?

I´m with DLN on this, I haven´t had the opportunity to hear these sounds live, but the MP3:s sound great! Maybe it´s time to get that PC2r now... :rolleyes:

 

/J :D nas

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Help! I installed the classic keys upgrade into my PC2R, and now it's acting a bit weird.

 

While the new sounds are really great, the problem is, when hooked up to my peavey master keyboard, the kurz is now responding strangely to some, but not all, midi program change commands, whereas it all worked fine prior to the upgrade. When I call up certain presets, the wrong sounds come up on the kurz. I'm baffled. Any ideas of how to fix it?

Tom F.

"It is what it is."

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Have you tried a hard reset, Tom?

 

Did you load the correct software file after you installed the ROM?

 

Is There Gas In The Car? :cool:

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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OK, Gas. Here's what I did.

 

1. Install chip

2. Check boot block version - mine was 2.0 so I didn't need to upgrade.

3. Since I don't have either polyphony expansion or orchestral expansion chip, the instructions weren't too clear about which file to load into my PC2rack. I guessed and picked the PC2rorch400.

4. Did a hard reset.

 

Did I load the wrong file?

Tom F.

"It is what it is."

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Tom, since you don't have the Orchestral ROM, use the PC2rgm400 midi file. If you are using a sequencer, make sure the tempo is around 100 bpm. I used Windows media player to load mine.

Kurzweil PC3, Hammond SK-1 + Ventilator, Korg Triton. 2 JBL Eon 510's.

 

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Update....I rebooted with the gm files and adjusted the midi parameters in the global section, and now it seems to work fine.

 

Crisis averted! Now I can gig with it tonight.

 

And yes, those new sounds are REALLY GOOD.

 

I especially like the pianets ("Those eyes", "She's not there") and Hohner sounds.

 

I think it sounds much better than the e-mu classic keys product.

Tom F.

"It is what it is."

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Played the Classic Keys ROM this weekend, and I was blown away! I also tried out both the E-mu Vintage board and the Nord Electro II, and neither came close to the Kurzweil, imho.

 

The sound quality and attention to detail were there as expected. A good amount of the programs are dead ringers for sounds from classic albums, which I liked. Best clavs and eps I've ever played. Nice variety too, with mellotrons, arp, and some useful 'hybrid' synths. Enjoyed some of the 'little things' like the key-release sound and the quality of the reverbs too. Also, the 4 new KB3 programs are real screamers. And the PC2's internal piano is a real bonus.

 

IMHO this one's a no-brainer.

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Originally posted by ArtCKeys:

Played the Classic Keys ROM this weekend, and I was blown away! I also tried out both the E-mu Vintage board and the Nord Electro II, and neither came close to the Kurzweil, imho.

 

IMHO this one's a no-brainer.

Better than the Electro in a side-by-side? Holy crap, I gotta check this out for myself ... Are you guys finding PC2s stocked with the Classic Keys in stores? I'd love to actually play the programs before I buy them if possible.

Original Latin Jazz

CD Baby

 

"I am not certain how original my contribution to music is as I am obviously an amateur." Patti Smith

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Originally posted by geekgurl:

... Are you guys finding PC2s stocked with the Classic Keys in stores? I'd love to actually play the programs before I buy them if possible.

I'm working on it. No luck yet, though. The ROM is still only a month or so old.
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Holy Crap!!!!

 

I finally got everything loaded properly.

I couldn't be happier with my PC2X. It is now an extremely valuable piece of gear to me.

 

A local shop was going to charge me $250.00 for the chip and install but I bought mine from Sweetwater for $179.00 and saved enough to make the last few hours of frustration ( involved with installing the new OS ) well worth it.

Peace

 

 

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