Using the Kurzweil K2000 and K2500 Keyboards

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This document is prepared as a series of questions and answers on the basic operation of the K2000 and K2500 keyboards. While these instruments are very powerful and capable of supporting advanced use, they should also be relatively easy to master for most simple musical needs, which is the focus of this document. At the bottom of this document are links to other sites for more extensive and/or more advanced information. In addition, the Music Library has ten K2000 manuals, located in the Reserve Room next to the main circulation desk. These manuals, which are excellently written, will provide answers to most questions not addressed by this document.

1. How do I begin a session with a K2000 or 2500? The instrument seems to display unusual information, the PROGRAMS do not sound right, the instrument does not respond to MIDI or otherwise operate properly when I try to play.

K2000 software will remain in whatever state a previous user may have left it in, even if it has been turned off. It is possible for keys not to sound, for the normal sounds to be altered, or for the instrument to be in an advanced programing mode, as opposed to simple performance mode. The easiset way to return the instrument to its factory settings, an operation which you may want to do at the beginning of each sessiom, is to perform a HARD RESET by pressing MASTER then the RESET "softbutton" under the display. This will wipe out any previous alterations to the instrument's software and return it to normal playing mode. A HARD RESET will solve a majority of the problems you are likely to encounter. A less severe method to simply reset volume and panning data is to press the PANIC softbutton in PROGRAM mode.

2. I don't hear any sound when I play .

Check the simplest things first--K2000 power on, headphone amp on (with headphones plugged in), volume slider on K2000 up. As explained below, the K2000 has built-in sounds numbered 1-199 and 900-999. Using the alpha wheel, dial up one of these sounds (though not one in parenthesis). Some sounds, such as electric basses often sound only on the lower portion of the keyboard. If there is still no sound perform a HARD RESET as described in Question 1.

3. I want to play directly from the keyboard. How do I choose a sound?

The simplest method to play a PROGRAM (particular sound) is to enter PROGRAM mode by pressing the PROGRAM button. The red light next to it should illuminate. If it does not, press the EXIT button to the right of the display once or twice until it does. Once you are in PROGRAM mode, simply dial the alpha wheel, use the - or + buttons, or enter a PATCH number on the keypad followed by ENTER to select a sound.

The K2000 has 3 banks of sounds 1-99, 100-199, and 900-999. The K2500 has several more. Any sounds that appear which are not included in these banks have probably been modified by other library users. They will be deleted by the HARD RESET above.

The VIEW softbutton will toggle between a large program name and a view which contains more detail about the PROGRAM.

4. I'd like to choose sounds in a more organized fashion, for example, see all the KEYBOARD programs at once.

Instead of using PROGRAM mode, press the Q ACCESS (Quick Access) button. As above, if the red light next to the button does not illuminate, press the EXIT button once or twice followed by Q ACCESS until it lights. To choose different families of PROGRAMS, use the up and down CHAN/BANK buttons located to the left of the display. Then use the alpha wheel to choose a PROGRAM in that family.

One additional performance mode, called SETUP, combines various PROGRAMS in interesting combinations and may split the keyboard between them. The individual PROGRAMS from which they are comprised are displayed on the left.

5. Some PROGRAMS show up in parentheses and do not sound.

These are usually DRUM programs and will only be playable when the MIDI Channel (indicated in the upper right corner of the display) is set to correspond to the DRUM CHANNEL setting. If the instrument was reset as explained in Question 1, this should be MIDI Channel 10. To use a DRUM patch, press the CHAN/BANK buttons until Channel 10 is displayed in the upper right-hand corner of the display. You can ascertain (and change) the DRUM CHANNEL by pressing MASTER and observing the DRUMCHAN setting. Use the arrow keys and alpha wheel to change it if you wish. Press PROGRAM to return to performance mode.

6. I'd like to use my K2000 with some MIDI software, for example FINALE, but I don't know how to set the PROGRAMS so I hear the sounds I want.

The K2000 works very well with certain software, such as the Performer sequencing program, which use extended patch numbers (bank number + patch number). The K2000 is capable of playing 16 different programs simultaneously from any of its 3 banks. Some software, such as FINALE, does not specify banks which makes it slightly more complicated to use. The simplest method for dealing with this issue is to manually set the K2000 to the PROGRAMS you want. Assign a MIDI channel to each voice in the software. Say you would like Staff 1 to play a piano sound and assign it to transmit on MIDI Channel 1. In PROGRAM mode (see above), use the CHAN/BANK buttons to set the display to CHANNEL 1 in upper right-hand corner. Then use the alpha wheel or keypad to select a piano PROGRAM. More than one staff may play the same PROGRAM simply by assigning it to transmit on the same MIDI channel. To use additional timbres, assign subsequent staves to new MIDI channels and follow the procedure above, first changing the display to the MIDI channel using the CHAN/BANK buttons and then setting the PROGRAM.

Specifically for Finale:

1. Under the Window menu select Instrument List
2. Set a different MIDI channel for each staff or layer requiring a different K2000 program. (note: you cannot have a single instrument in the Instrument List assigned to more than one MIDI channel. You may need to create more instruments----the name of the instrument is not necessarily relevant to the sound (K2000 program) that you will assign to its MIDI channel). The patch number in the Instrument List is also not relevant using this method.
3. Select Playback Controls from the Window menu. Click More Choices, then Playback Options. Under the Options, make sure that Send Patches Before Play is NOT selected. This will disable the initial patch settings in the Instrument List allowing the manua l assignment of K2000 programs to MIDI channels as described above.

7. My sequencer, notation or ear-training software is playing PROGRAMS that sound differently than they did before.

The K2000 can play 16 different timbres simultaneously. Each of these PROGRAMS is designed with a specific type and amount of EFFECTS, such as reverb or chorusing. However, all sounding PROGRAMS are played through the EFFECT set for the PROGRAM currently showing in the display. For example, a piano PROGRAM will sound unusual if played while a heavily chorused PROGRAM, such as #1 is showing in the display. If you are playing a number of different PROGRAMS simultaneously, use the CHAN/BANK button to select a PROGRAM with an EFFECT you can live with for all PROGRAMS. You can, alternatively, press the EFFECTS button and select a new effect which will, as before, apply to all sounding PROGRAMS.

8. Can I record music just using the K2000?

Yes. The K2000 contains an on-board sequencer which can be used to record 16 different tracks. See the K2000 Manual Chapter 12 SONG MODE. Sequences can be save to floppy disk.

9. Can I modify the K2000's on-board sounds?

Yes. With the sound you wish to modify selected in the display, press EDIT. Using the softbuttons at the bottom of the display, you can find an enormous number of parameters of sound to edit. Chapter 5 and 6 of the K2000 Manual address these parameters as well as methods for saving your modifications to floppy disk (see Chapter 13).

10. I'd like to learn how to use Performer sequencing software, available on the Music Library server, with a K2000.

Click here for a document with step-by-step instruction for sequencing with Performer and a K2000.

11. I'd like more on-line documentation on the K2000/K2500.

Click here for an extensive on-line K2000/K2500 tutorial from Kurzweil.

12. I'd like more information on MIDI and electronic music in general.

Click here to visit the Indiana University Center for Electronic and Computer Music Home Page.

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This document is prepared and maintained by the Indiana University School of Music
Center for Electronic and Computer Music
Last updated: 11 Septmeber 2000
Copyright 1998-2000, The Trustees of Indiana University