To my surprise, my Kawai K1 emulation, started out of a personal need, was a tremendous success. Something that I never expected, I’ve got tons of (good) feedback, some magazines even interviewed me and I’ve got loads of traffic on my web page.
One thing that stood out is the request to emulate the K1 successor, the K4. What prevent me from even thinking about it is that I would need to have a K4 to analyze it. I have read some documentation and the K4 is – more or less – a K1 with filters and improved samples. But as long as I didn’t have a K4 there wouldn’t be a chance for me to come up with something that is even close to a K4.
Then, all of a sudden, a mail from Evan Sirchuk arrived, saying that he would like to donate a K4r 😍 That was around Christmas. Even though I was blown away by this offer I didn’t have the time to react immediately but I replied some weeks later, I was interested of course!
Some mails went forth and back about how to ship it, customs questions (he is US citizen while I am German/EU citizen) but he obviously had a lot of shipping experience and he did it!
Some additional weeks later, I picked up the K4 at customs. Very well packaged and fully functional! Absolutely amazed by this. Of course, I sent him the shipping costs via PayPal. He didn’t even ask for it, what a great guy.
Look at this beauty:
K4 Emulation coming?
Most probably, yes. Hereby confirmed. The K4 is technically quite similar to a K1. It will be challenging to model the K4s filters though and how similar it will sound, I can’t give any guarantee yet, but I already have an idea how to do it.
But I cannot give any ETA. I still have some private things going on that I need to finish before I can dive deeply into the K4 and at the moment, free time is a rare good (Covid etc).
There’s one thing though that I couldn’t resist doing with the K4r. People that looked closely at the picture above might have noticed that the K4 is missing its rack ears. This is because I already opened it. 😎
I dumped the wave roms (3 chips). Luckily, they have socketed them in the K4r so this was no big deal. I wanted to know upfront if I can make use of the content, and yes, the content is not encrypted. More on that in a separate article.
Of course, you will be able to watch my progress in my K4 development blog, this is the first of many articles in this category. And the resulting VST/AU will be free, for sure 👍
Once again, big thanks to Evan Sirchuk for this great opportunity!