Kawai released the original K1 back in 1988 to compete with the Roland D50 and Korg M1. It did not sell as well as the Roland or Korg, but found a niche in the used instrument market as an inexpensive alternative since it has similar type sounds. Many musicians during the 80's referred to the K1 as "the poor mans D50"! The K1 has 256 digital samples of waveforms, 50 of which are from acoustic instruments. You combine up to four waves to create sounds. The K1 has a 61 note keyboard with velocity and aftertouch, 16 voice polyphony and is 8-part multitimbral.
There was no filter included which limits the variety of sounds that you can produce, but the 256 waveforms could be combined in various ways to create new patches. Kawai also released the the K1m desktop version and the rackmount K1r which were the same thing minus the keyboard. The memory on all thee included 64 single-patches and 32 combo-patches which combined up to eight single patches into one combo sound.
Kawai K1r Rackmount Sound Module
Kawai K1m Desktop Sound Module
In 1989 Kawai followed up with the K1-MK2. The K1ii has the same synthesis architecture as the original K1. The K1ii added on-board reverb effects and better drum sounds to the original K1. The rack version is identical to the keyboard version except for the effects. The K1iir has no effects processor built in as does the keyboard version.
Kawai K1-MK2 Keyboard
Kawai K1-MK-2r Rackmount Sound Module
Our K1 series patches are available in system exclusive (.syx) or standard midi files (.mid) and can be downloaded from our web site when you order our free e-mail delivery. We provide the software with your order that lets you load in the sounds. If your computer has a midi interface or sound card connected to the USB port, you can use your midi interface/sound card to load in the sounds. Midi interfaces are an inexpensive alternative to purchasing RAM or PCM cards and we sell them starting at under $100.
Our sounds will also get you back in business if your K1 battery has died and you lost all the sounds in the memory. Sorry, but the sounds are not available on the old ROM cards. The cards have not been made in many years and we no longer support that format. Looking for a used K1? Check out our hardware section. We also sell used music gear and often have a old Kawai in stock. Unlike E-bay, Most items come with a three month warranty and if you have any questions or problems we are here to help. Our customer support rules! If you need more info please contact us via phone or e-mail.