Nils Schneider Releases FREE Kawai K1 Emulation Plugin

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Nils Schneider has released Nils K1v, a freeware VST plugin that faithfully emulates the Kawai K1 digital synthesizer.

Nils K1v is a sample-based instrument that recreates the sounds and the functionality of the Kawai K1 synthesizer. The plugin includes K1’s original factory bank and all ROM cards, adding up to 768 presets in total. The preset browser includes a search feature and the ability to edit and store presets. Also, the Nils K1v plugin can import, and export SysEx presets and banks from and back to the original Kawai K1. It can be used as a patch editor for the hardware synthesizer.

The instrument features a resizable user interface with full editing support for the synth engine parameters. Nils K1v has four sound sources per voice, each holding 256 waveforms (204 additive and 52 PCM waveforms). The user can adjust the tuning, envelope, and modulation properties independently for each sound source. It is possible to apply ring modulation between the layers, or use an LFO to modulate various parameters.

Located in the upper-left corner is the XY pad, which controls the level of the four sound layers. It is handy for changing the timbre quickly, with real-time control during a performance.

I owned the original Kawai K1 synthesizer (the module version) for a short while a few years ago, and I can confirm that Nils K1v captures the tone of the original. One significant benefit of the plugin is that it provides direct access to various synth engine parameters. I loved Kawai K1 evolving pads and soundscapes, but the lack of hands-on control over the tone was something I didn’t like, so I decided to sell it.

The parameter editor lets you customize and save presets.

The parameter editor lets you customize and save presets.

Nils K1v is available for free download from Nils Schneider’s website. The software is compatible with 32-bit and 64-bit VST plugin hosts on Windows. Optionally, the users can support the developer with a donation.

More info: Nils K1v (5.15 MB download size, ZIP archive, 32-bit & 64-bit VST plugin format for Windows)

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About Author

Tomislav is a journalist, music producer, and web designer from Belgrade, Serbia. He is also the founder and editor-in-chief here at Bedroom Producers Blog.

22 Comments

  1. Fun little Instrument. When I was messing about with the patches the other day it reminded me of something between a Korg M1 and the Commodore Amiga. you know? As in OctaMED style Sampling etc…

    • Ian / Nihil Quest

      on

      I get Amiga vibe from it too. It’s possible some of these samples were in use by many musicians in Amiga games and demo scene.

      • The Amiga Soundtracker disk ST-52 has literally a sample called “k1panflute” on it, and I must say it has some Shadow of the Beast vibes… :-)

        • Ian / Nihil Quest

          on

          Nice. There was a soundpack here a while ago with synth samples very much in the same vein and now I’m trying to remember what it was. Some of it reminded me Pinball Dreams soundtrack. I still get excited when I hear that stuff.

        • Mike Clarke

          on

          There never was an official ST-52 I’m afraid. The only official one was ST-01. All others that you might have come across would have been compiled and spread by users.

        • Tomislav Zlatic

          on

          Cool! :) I’m a C64 fanboy but I know there was a lot of excellent music-making software for the Amiga.

    • Hum, no it’s not. It’s using the VSTGUI framework from Steinberg, a C++ library. The Mac and Linux ports are being worked on, Flowstone doesn’t support either. It is to be noted that FS is getting 64bit support for Windows and some VSTs are already using an alpha, but I digress. Enjoy, or not. :x

  2. Did someone has a problem with GUI showing up? Once I have proper GUI and next instance is made with default knobs…

    • Tomislav Zlatic

      on

      It worked fine here. Anyway, the new version fixed a lot of bugs, so you should update your installation and try again.

    • Tomislav Zlatic

      on

      Hi Nico, thanks for sharing the news. I’ll check it out today! I took a short break and now I’m back to work. :)

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