Discontinued Model
Downloads and support materials maintained here as a courtesy to owners.

The Evolution of Sound Continues

Professionals around the world use Kurzweil instruments for all their production needs. From film studios and composers to the U.S. Government, Kurzweil delivers the quality and award-winning audio that is required by the best.

Continuing this tradition, Kurzweil is proud to offer the K2600X. Fully compatible with all K2 models that Kurzweil offers, professionals can continue their work without interruption, always confident that archived work will be compatible.

Building on Kurzweil’s world-renowned operating system, the K2600X can do more than ever before. The new operating system expands the algorithms from 32 to 127 with Kurzweil’s exclusive Triple Modular Processing. The K2600X is a complete workstation, allowing the user to work from concept to completion without changing stations.


Kurzweil is known for quality instruments that are upgraded, not outdated. All K2000 and K2500 Series libraries are forward compatible with the K2600X. That is how Kurzweil was able to build the largest sound library in the world. In addition, Kurzweil reads other major formats directly into the system for use with its V.A.S.T. architecture. New operating systems and options are always being created, expanding an artist’s power while preserving his investment in time and programming.


Kurzweil’s award-winning proprietary Variable Architecture Synthesis Technology (V.A.S.T.) is a state-of-the-art synthesis system, giving an artist powerful expression not available with any other brand. V.A.S.T. can accurately model or emulate many synthesis processes offered by the competition, past or present. In addition, V.A.S.T. has many processes not available anywhere else. A simple comparison will prove the K2600X is the clear choice for any sound professional.

Ask and Receive

The K2600X also includes new features that players around the world have asked for. Most options on the K2600X are now user-installable, allowing quick and easy upgrades to the workstation. Kurzweil’s exclusive KDFX is now standard on all K2600X units allowing digital effects processing to any signal. Flash ROM has been upgraded from 2Mb to 4Mb, giving twice the memory for fast system upgrades and setups. The KB-3 Tone Wheel Organ Mode is now standard, providing powerful tone wheel synth models and control.


The KB-3 Organ Mode is standard on all K2600X series instruments. The sliders and mod wheel accurately model the drawbars of a Tone Wheel Organ. This revolutionary synthesis modeling tool gives the user the power to blend harmonics in real-time to create and control unique new timbres. Full polyphony is always maintained, with a single-voice containing 9 harmonics that may be blended, controlled and/or recorded in real-time. KB-3 is just the beginning, future software enhancements will unlock the true potential of this new tool.


The K2600X’s full-function 32-track sequencer is equipped with many features only found on the most sophisticated software-based sequencers. With a maximum internal resolution of 768 ppq, sequencer functions include: Linear, Pattern and Step (Drum Machine), Record Modes, Reference Quantize, Event Edit List, Cut, Copy, Paste facilities, Advanced Auto Arranger functions (allows sequences to be triggered from keys with velocity sensitivity and transposition), grab (imports tracks from other sequences) and more. Reference Quantize allows the user to quantize to a groove track, and to quantize tracks not previously recorded with a click. The Event Edit List, with view filters and audible scroll, enables precise, computer-style editing. If the user already created work on a computer sequencer, or wants to use a computer for additional development, the K2600X can import and export either Type 1 or Type 0 MIDI files on DOS format media. The K2600X sequencer is the most sophisticated available.

MIDI Control

The K2600X is a complete MIDI controller. The 600mm ribbon controller is programmable in three distinct zones or one long zone. It can be assigned to respond to finger positions as follows: relative to absolute center; relative to “virtual center” (initial finger-press defines the virtual starting point); return to center when finger is removed; or maintain current value when finger is removed. A shorter, pressure and direction sensitive ribbon controller below the pitch and mod wheels allows natural vibrato and subtle nuances of expression. Two buttons above the pitch and mod wheels are completely programmable. The front panel also has eight independently assignable sliders, useful as MIDI sliders, for sequencer mixdown, or as organ drawbars in the KB-3 Mode. Additional controllers include sequencer “transport control” buttons, 4 footswitch inputs, and 2 continuous control pedal inputs (1 CC2 and 1 CC2/breath controller). The breath controller input accepts Yamaha BC-1, BC-2, and BC-3 breath controllers. The multitude of flexible control surfaces make the K2600X the ideal center piece for any MIDI production.

Balanced Outs

The K2600X includes 18-bit Balanced Audio Outputs that deliver professional audio signal levels (1/4″ t/r/s). Unbalanced (1/4″) outputs are also supported.

User-Installable Options

Now more accessible than ever, the K2600X user can install options including PRAM memory expansion (from 477K to 1.5MB), Sample RAM (up to 128MB) and up to four optional Sound ROM boards can be installed.

Improved Keyboard Action

Improved keyboard actions offer greater performance and reliability for the most demanding situations. Available in 76-note semi-weighted (K2600) or 88-note fully-weighted (K2600X) keyboards.

Live Mode

Powerful V.A.S.T. DSP capabilities to process any incoming mono or stereo signal via the analog or digital sample inputs (pitch processing requires the sampling option). Imagine plugging your guitar, microphone (mic pre recommended), mixer or tape track directly into your K2600X and customizing the sound using any of the V.A.S.T. parameters, all in real-time. Then add effects using the K2600X’s on board effects or the state-of-the-art KDFX. The K2600X is the most advanced real-time signal processor ever created. With various digital I/O options such as the DADAT-26 ADAT I/O option card and the venerable DMTi Digital Multitrack interface (ADAT, TDIF, AES/EBU, SPDIF support) you get an 8 channel digital highway in and out of the K2600X.


Kurzweil is renowned for its non-obsolescence through their design philosophy. With Flash ROM, the user can now easily upgrade their operating system from disk or SCSI and customize the factory program and setup lists, always keeping your instrument current with new features and technology. New software is made available via this web site or from your local Kurzweil dealer. The user may also choose to upgrade the K2600X’s program and sample memory: battery-backed program RAM can be expanded from 477K to 1.5MB via a cost-effective memory upgrade. Sample memory can be upgraded to 128MB for recording or capturing over 24 minutes of CD-quality sampled sound. The K2600X is the most flexible and upgradable instrument available.

On Board Sounds

The K2600X offers over 450 programs (with 100s more available) for a wide and useful selection. Handy search string functions allow the user to locate a program, setup or object quickly in memory. The K2600X uses a file format that is K2000 and K2500 compatible, enabling it to read Kurzweil or third-party sound libraries for each instrument from disk or CD-ROM. The K2600X can also read other manufactures’ sample libraries including Roland’s™ 700 Series, Akai™ S900, S950, S1000, S1100 and S3000, and Ensoniq™ EPS and ASR file formats. V.A.S.T. processing will give new life to these files. The K2600X gives the Kurzweil owner access to the largest sound library in the world.

Interactive Setups

The K2600X interactive setups allow for easy creative inspiration using multi-timbral “grooves.” Kurzweil gives the user instant access to the most useful parameters for real-time control of programs and setups from a wide assortment of preassigned controllers.


The rear panel of the K2600X has been designed for better I/O placement. It also provides additional controller inputs for a multitude of interfacing possibilities. The controller inputs include four footswitch, one breath-controller and two continuous control pedal jacks. Interconnection is easy with two 25-pin SCSI connectors and MIDI In, Out and Thru (Thru switchable to a copy of Out). Rear panel outputs are balanced and include a pair of mixed audio outs, eight individual audio outs and one headphone output. Add K2600X Options (SMP-2X Sampling Option, DADAT-26 ADAT I/O or DMTi Digital Multitrack interface) for a full range of additional analog and digital I/O. The K2600 brings unparalleled control, distribution, and communication to your digital audio environment.


Kurzweil KDFX is standard on all K2600s. KDFX utilizes Kurzweil’s VLSI DSP chip. It includes a versatile 5-stereo-bus design, 24-bit signal processing, cutting edge DSP functionality, and unparalleled real-time control, all with an extremely flexible routing scheme. All I/O can be routed through KDFX including 8 outputs and 8 inputs from Kurzweil Digital Stream (KDS + DMTi) digital I/O, or sampling I/O or DADAT-26 ADAT I/O. KDFX opens a whole new realm of possibilities for the K2600.

Sound ROM

The K2600X has four expansion slots for up to 44MB of on-board sample ROM. Expansion board selections include the Orchestral and Contemporary ROM options (included in US models) from the legendary K2000 and K2500 series, as well as the Stereo Dynamic Piano, Vintage Electric Pianos ** and General MIDI** ROM options.

(**As there are only FOUR expansion slots in the K2600X, only ONE of these two ROMs may be used at the same time.)

The Choice is Clear

Kurzweil’s award-winning instruments have always been known for their excellent sound quality, long-life, and state-of-the-art synthesis and sampling technology. Once again Kurzweil delivers the next generation of music with the K2600X. The right features, the right technology and the right sounds. Now more than ever Kurzweil is the choice of professionals around the world.


All specifications subject to change without notice.

K2600X Features

Models: K2600X – 88-note fully-weighted

K2600XS – 88-note fully-weighted w/ sampling

Display: 64 x 240 fluorescent backlit display
Physical Controllers: (8) sliders, (1) Pitch Wheel, (1) Mod Wheel, (2) buttons, (4) Foot Switch Pedal inputs, (2) CC Pedal inputs, (2) Ribbon Controllers, (1) Breath Controller input – all assignable
Polyphony: 48 sample-playback voices (192 total oscillators)
Multitimbral parts: 16 MIDI channels (each can be a 32 layer deep program)
Architecture: V.A.S.T. – Variable Architecture Synthesis Technology with 60 DSP functions
ROM Programs: Over 450 plus thousands on floppy and CDROM (both included)
Sound ROM: 12 MB base ROM. Expandable to 44 MB via FOUR ROM expansion slots (see Options & Accessories tab)
Sample RAM: Up to 128 MB via non-composite 72 pin SIMMs

(units sold in the USA come with 64MB)

Sequence / Program RAM: 486KB user-programmable battery-backed RAM, expandable to 1.5 MB via PRAM upgrade kit. (see Options & Accessories tab)
Sequencer: Full-function 768 ppq sequencer with 16 song and 16 arrangement tracks. Offers pattern, linear, loop and step recording, cut/copy/paste, advanced ‘groove’ quantizing, event list editing and other powerful track editing tools. Sequences can be also triggered in real time from the keyboard.
KDFX: Powerful, flexible 5-stereo bus, 24-bit digital effects engine offering a wide range of time, frequency and dynamic based effects as well as effects chaining.
Triple Modular Processing: Triple Mode offers 126 sound shaping algorithms and in-series processing of VAST layers. KB3 Drawbar Mode
KB3 Drawbar Mode: Allows blending of nine harmonics per voice in real-time (full polyphony maintained at all times). KB3 Mode allows realistic tone wheel organ emulations and innovative, dynamic new timbres
Live Mode: Process any incoming signal via the optional analog or digital inputs with powerful V.A.S.T. synthesis functions and built in KDFX capabilities (requires sampling option, DMTi or DADAT-26).
Arpeggiator: Fully programmable arpeggiator featuring 7 different modes of operation and a host of features including the ability to sync to MIDI Beat Clock.
Waveform Editing: Full functional graphic sample editor with a host of sample editing tools (Sampling Option NOT required)
Sample Processing: Non-real-time DSP functions include time compression/expansion, pitch shifting, re-sampling, pasting samples on beats-per-minute timeline (Mix Beat), volume ramps, mix sample, and many other functions. Sample Processing DSP does not require the sampling option to be installed.
File Compatibility: Reads/Writes: Standard MIDI Files, AIFF, WAVE

Reads: ISO-9660, Roland 700 series, Akai S900, S950, S1000, S1100, and S3000, Ensoniq EPS/ASR file formats.

AFMS File System: User-friendly cataloging and retrieval of individual objects. Powerful utilities including: file search, info about media/available space, disk macros, startup file applications, and more
Analog I/O: (8) balanced audio outs plus mix stereo pair -18 bit DAC’s (can also be used as unbalanced).

600-ohm stereo headphone out.

With SMP-2X sampling option: Stereo 1/4 in. unbalanced analog hi-Z input (tip/ring/sleeve); two balanced lo-Z (XLR) inputs.

Digital I/O: With SMP-2X/R: 2 channels AES/EBU, SPDIF (via Optical and Coax) inputs and outputs.

With DMTi Digital Multitrack interface: 16-bit ADAT, TDIF, AES/EBU, SPDIF support.(requires (DIO-26 Digital I/O Option Card)

With DADAT-26 ADAT I/O Option Card : 8 channels of 24 bit 48kHz ADAT i/o

SCSI: Two external SCSI-1 25-pin connectors

Internal SCSI Hard Drive optional (requires drive mounting kit)

FREE OS Updates: User-installed upgrades via 3.5 in. DOS-compatible diskette or SCSI. Software available for download from this web site. DOS compatibility required.

K2600X Specifications

Height: (4.80″) (12.18 cm)
Depth: (18.80″) (45.10 cm)
Length: (54.30″) (137.90 cm)
Weight: (72 lb.) (32.70 kg)
Power: Internal, user-switchable international AC power supply

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Base ROM

Contemporary ROM Option

Orchestral ROM Option

Stereo Dynamic Piano ROM Option

Triple Mode

Vintage Electric Piano ROM Option


Audio Output


How do I route programs/tracks to different outputs?


Lets take a moment to talk about the audio outs. You will find that there are ten balanced, 1/4″ connectors (TRS), configured as pairs labeled Mix, A, B, C, & D. It is important to understand that even though there are ten jacks, there are only 8 independently routable outs. In the K2600, the Mix Outs ALWAYS carry a combined signal of everything sent to the A, B, C, & D output jacks. Unlike the K2000 and K2500, the separate outs can’t be used as inserts.

You begin routing the Outputs in one of three places:

  1. You can do it on a per layer basis in a program on the OUTPUT page in the Program editor.
  2. You can do it on a per zone basis in a Setup on the CH/PRG page in the Setup editor.
  3. You can do it on a per MIDI channel basis using the OutPair override parameter on the MIDI Channels page (this option overrides the above 2 parameters).

When you assign a sound to output A, B, C, or D, via these methods, it DOES NOT mean that the signal goes to those physical outputs. Instead it means that it the sound is sent to the A, B, C, or D inputs of the current KDFX studio. At that point, the signal is routed to the FX1, 2, 3, or 4 FX Buses, and from there to the physical output jacks. You choose which physical output the signal will be sent to on the Output page of the Studio editor (for the current studio). If you are using one of the preset Studios, ALL of our Studios have all four FX buses sent to the A Outputs by default.

If you wanted to use all four of the stereo pairs, you might try editing the Output page in the Studio editor as follows:

Out A: FXBus1
Out B: FXBus2
Out C: FXBus3
Out D: FXBus4

In this manner, signals assigned to KDFX-A thru D would be routed into the current Studio, pass through any effect(s) currently assigned on each respective FX bus and then appear out the corresponding physical output on the back panel.


I would like to generate a digital audio output signal from my K2600, what are my options and how does each work?


You need to have either the Sampling Option, Digital I/O (DIO-26) Option or ADAT I/O Option installed in your unit if you want to be able to have Digital Output. Each offers different features and functionality.

For a K2600 with the Sampling Option (no Digital I/O option):

The sampling option provides a 16 bit stereo digital output, with both coaxial and optical connectors. This digital output is actually the output of the sampler’s Analog to Digital Converter, and can convert external analog signals, or the K2’s analog mix output, into AES/EBU or SPDIF format. This can be at a selected rate, either 48, 44.1, 32 or 29.6kHz, or can be slaved to an external clock.

Here’s a step by step explanation of how to make the sampling option digital output work:

  1. Go to the Sample Mode page. (In Program, Setup, Quick Access, or Master mode, press the Sample soft button.)
  2. Set the value of the Input parameter to Digital to access the Format parameter.
  3. Set the value of the Format parameter as needed. SPDIF is the most common setting. You may want to use AES/EBU in professional environments.
  4. Set the value of Input to Analog to access the Source and Rate parameters.
  5. Set the Src parameter to Int for the K2’s own analog mix output, or if you want to convert an external analog source to digital, set it to Ext.
  6. Set the Rate parameter as needed for cases where the K2 is the master. If you need to slave to an external clock, connect the master signal to the digital input, switch Input to Digital, and set the value of the Cable parameter to coaxial or optical, based on the digital input. The Input parameter controls whether the K2 is the master (Input=Analog) or slave (Input=Digital).

At this point if you generate audio on the K2 you should see its sample mode meters light up active, indicating the digital output is sending.

Assuming your receiving device is setup correctly (meaning as either master or slave, depending on your desired configuration) you now should have audio.

For a K2600 with the Digital I/O Option (no Sampling option):

The provided Coax & Optical outs are “always-on”, fed by the internal A-bus. This is a fixed unalterable routing. Only audio routed to the A outs (Studio Editor/ OUTPUT page) will appear at the digital connectors. The signal is output at a fixed rate of 48kHz and must serve as clock master (ie it cannot slave). The output bit depth is 16 or 20 bits, software selectable via the “DigOutLen” parameter (Master/MAST2 page). The eight channel KDS output (for connecting to the DMTi) is also active and provides a copy of the signals routed to the eight separate outputs.

For a K2600 with both the Digital I/O and Samping Option:

With both the Digital I/O and Samping Options installed, you will see a new parameter added to the Master/MAST2 page called “AESOut”.

If AESOut is set to “A (Dir)” (Direct), things will behave as described above (K2600 with the Digital I/O Option – no Sampling option).

If AESOut is set to “Mix (A/D)”, then things will behave as described above (K2600 with the Sampling Option – no Digital I/O option).

For a K2600 with the ADAT I/O Option:

The provided 8-channel ADAT Out is “always-on”, fed directly by the internal KDFX “Output A-D” studio FX busses (Studio Editor/ OUTPUT page). The signal is output at a fixed rate of 48kHz and must serve as clock master (ie it cannot slave). The output bit depth is 24 bits.

The output signal routing from the ADAT Option is as follows:

A Left > ADAT channel 1
A Right > ADAT channel 2
B Left > ADAT channel 3
B Right > ADAT channel 4
C Left > ADAT channel 5
C Right > ADAT channel 6
D Left > ADAT channel 7
D Right > ADAT channel 8

The ADAT option also provides a separate, standard stereo optical out labeled “AES Out”. This output is “always-on”, fed directly by the internal KDFX “Output-A” bus (Studio Editor/ OUTPUT page). The signal is output format is selectable AES/EBU or SPDIF (Master/MAST2 page – ‘Format’). The sample rate is a fixed at 48kHz and must serve as clock master (ie it cannot slave). The output bit depth is selectable at 16, 20 or 24 bits (Master/MAST2 page – ‘DigOutLen’).

Disk Mode, Drives & SCSI


When I turn on my unit, the display says “About to Load Startup File”, and then switches to “Problems Loading Disk” or other error message.


The problem is that the Startup parameter on the Disk Mode page has been enabled, set to a SCSI ID number, Floppy, or SMedia (K2661), and you do not have a Boot Macro on the specified disk. If you set it to Off, these messages will not show up when you turn on the unit.

A Boot Macro is located at the root level of a disk, which will load automatically when you turn on the unit. By setting the Startup parameter to a value other than Off, you cause the Kurzweil to look for a file called BOOT.MAC on the root level of the specified disk and load that file when you turn on the unit. If you have created a Boot Macro and still see these messages, check to make sure the Boot Macro is saved at the root level on your disk, and that Startup is set to the correct SCSI ID number of your drive (or to floppy, or SMedia if you are using those instead).

For more information on Macros and the Boot Macro, please see the “Using Macros” tutorial here. Additional information can also be found in the disk mode chapter of your manual.


What are the basic guidelines in using my K2 with SCSI devices?


  1. Never, ever plug or unplug SCSI cables when your equipment is turned on. SCSI cables carry power. The act of plugging or unplugging cables causes momentary short circuits, which can result in damage to the internal circuitry of your SCSI device. The only damage that usually occurs to SCSI hardware comes from static electricity “zapping” SCSI connector pins when the cables are disconnected. The silver colored shell of the SCSI connector on the end of the cable is connected to ground and is safe to touch, but the brass colored pins inside eventually lead to the SCSI interface chip and are vulnerable. One should discharge static from one’s body before touching SCSI connectors by touching the 1/4″ jacks on the rear of the Kurzweil or another grounded metal object. Any devices connected to the SCSI bus should be turned off when plugging or unplugging SCSI cables.
  2. Including a minimum of 1 foot for internal cabling of each device in the chain, the total length of the chain should not exceed 18 feet. There are some people who suggest that you shouldn’t go over 10 feet, but in our experience, if you use good cables and follow the rules of SCSI, you can create a chain up to 18 feet in length (which is what the SCSI specification says is allowed).
  3. No single cable length in the chain should exceed 8 feet.
  4. The first and last device in the chain must be terminated. Poor termination is a common cause of SCSI problems. Having more than two terminators on the bus will overload the bus drivers. This will not cause permanent damage to the hardware. However, poor termination can corrupt the data on your disk. There are two “exceptions” to this rule. If the chain is less than 18 inches only 1 terminator is needed. If the chain is 10 feet or more, the chain may need to be terminated at the 10 feet point, using a pass through terminator. The reason that we say you “may need” to do this is that we have found that some people don’t seem to require a third terminator, while others can’t get a longer SCSI chain to work without one. The Kurzweil comes internally terminated, and so you will normally want it to be on one end of the chain. The K2000 and K2661 keyboards must be at the end of the chain since they only have one SCSI port. (If you are hooked up in a chain with a computer, the computer will always be the other end of the chain.) If you need to have the Kurzweil in the middle of the chain, the termination must be removed. This should be done by an authorized service center. In the case of the K2000, it involves removing termination resistors. In the case of the K2500, there are several different possibilities – some have termination resistors that must be removed, others have jumpers that get moved. The newest K2500s and all K2600s have a termination switch on the back, so you can disable termination yourself. If you install an internal drive in the Kurzweil, termination must be removed from the Kurzweil. If the Kurzweil is at the end of the chain, termination resistors should be removed from the K2000 and the termination left on the internal drive. This makes the drive at the end of the chain. If you install an internal drive and the Kurzweil is in the middle of the chain, termination must be removed from both the Kurzweil and the drive. If you add an internal drive and the Kurzweil is not hooked to any other devices, termination should still be removed from the Kurzweil. (See the rule about a chain less than 18 inches, above.) External drives may or may not be internally terminated. If a drive is not terminated and is on the end of the chain, you can purchase an external termination clip, which plugs onto the second SCSI port (most drives will have two ports). Some drives also have an automatic termination feature – if you only have a single SCSI cable plugged in, the drive terminates itself, but if you plug in a second SCSI cable, termination is turned off.
  5. Use only true SCSI cables – high quality, twisted pair, shielded SCSI cable. Do not use RS232 or other non SCSI cables. The majority of SCSI cables we’ve tested were poorly made and could cause damage to data transferred to and from the disk. Nearly all the SCSI data problems we have encountered have been due to bad cables that didn’t twist pairs of wires properly. Good cables that use twisted pairs of wires and twist each SCSI signal wire with a ground wire are essential to reliable data transfers to and from the disk drive.
  6. Impedance mismatching between cables from different manufacturers can cause problems. Avoid this when possible by getting all your cables from the same manufacturer.
  7. Each device in the chain (including internal hard drives) must have its own unique SCSI ID. For the SCSI1 and SCSI2 protocols, there are 8 ID numbers (0-7). For SCSI3, there are 16 ID numbers. The Kurzweil is SCSI1 and SCSI2 compatible. If you have a SCSI3 device, it should be backwards compatible with SCSI1 and SCSI2, but you should make sure to set the ID numbers to 0-8 if you want the Kurzweil to be able to access that device. The default Kurzweil ID is #6. Macintoshes use ID 7 and SCSI cards for PCs are also normally set at 7. The internal drive of a computer is normally set at 0. For an external drive, there will usually be an external switch which allows you to choose the ID, although with some drives, it may have to be done by opening the drive and changing jumper pins. Most drives will allow you to choose any ID, although there are some which limit your choices – for example the Zip drive only gives you the choice of 5 or 6. You can change the SCSI ID of the Kurzweil on the MIDI Receive page, but we recommend leaving it at 6 and changing your other devices if needed, since each time you hard reset the Kurzweil, it returns to 6. If you forget to change it after a reset and have a SCSI ID conflict, you can lock up your SCSI chain and forget the reason why. One thing to watch out for if having a hard drive installed in the Kurzweil – many fixed drives come set with their default at 6 (the same as the Kurzweil). Make sure your service tech knows to set the ID to a different number (this is normally done by moving jumper pins on the drive). One curious side effect of this problem – if the internal drive is set to the same number as the Kurzweil and you have nothing else in the SCSI chain, then you will see the drive show up on every ID except for its own (the Kurzweil shows up on that ID, since it is also on the ID). If you do have more than one device with the same ID, the Kurzweil may lock up when you scroll through the SCSI numbers in Disk mode, or if you are in a chain with a computer, it may not boot up at all. If you have more than one Kurzweil, they can be on the same chain and both be able to access any drive in the chain (though not at the same time). Make sure to change the ID on one of them. If you are having problems getting the Kurzweil to see a device on the chain, sometimes just changing its ID to a different number may fix the problem, even there was no device ID conflict before. There is no logic to this phenomenon – it’s just another SCSI weirdness. As a general rule, we recommend only changing the ID of a drive when the system is powered off. It is possible (although unlikely) that data could be corrupted if the ID of a drive is changed while it is turned on.Theoretically all eight SCSI IDs can be used, however, we often hear of users having problems with more than 5 IDs. This may be more of a result of not following all the other rules (especially concerning cables), but some SCSI devices seem to be picky. We have also gotten reports from users who state that they can only get their SCSI chain to work when their devices are hooked up in a specific order. Other than having the two ends of the chain terminated, order should not matter, and yet it does for some people. This may be due to impedance variations in the various units, varying internal cable lengths, etc. The bottom line is that if you are having problems getting your chain to work and you have followed all the other rules, try changing the order of the devices.
  8. If the Kurzweil is in a chain with the computer, power up the Kurzweil and other devices before booting up the computer. Some people report that they can’t get their computer to boot up if the Kurzweil or other devices are turned off, while others are able to do this Your best bet is to have everything turned on.
  9. Like with any disk that is read to and written from many times, the data on a Kurzweil disk can become fragmented. If the disk becomes severely fragmented, there is a chance that the file allocation table can become corrupted and some or all of the files unreadable. For this reason, we recommend that every so often you back up all your data to another drive and reformat your disk. Or, if the disk was formatted in DOS from a computer you can run an optimizing/deframenting a program to maintain disk health.


How can I burn a CDROM of Kurzweil data for loading into my K2?


If you want to burn your own CD-ROM for your Kurzweil, you will need to be aware of the following information:

For K2000 Series Models with version 3.87, or K2500 Series Models with version 2.88B (Non-KDFX) or 4.21B (KDFX) or later, or any K2600/2661 Series

These versions add support for ISO 9660, making it extremely easy to burn a CD-ROM. You should consult your CD-Writer software for instructions on how to burn a CD-ROM in ISO-9660 format. Of course, your computer will need to be able to read the disk that contains the data you want to burn on to the CD-ROM. There are a few rules you should be aware of for burning an ISO-9660 disk.

ISO9660 support key points:

  • The Kurzweil OS supports CD-ROM XA (Mode 2) as well as CD-ROM (Mode 1)
  • The Kurzweil OS supports multi-session CD’s, but some older CD-ROM drives may not support multi-session. In this case you will only see the first session.
  • File naming conventions that work: ISO-9660 level 1, MS DOS, and Joliet.
  • Do not select “use Macintosh extensions” when making ISO-9660 CD’s.
  • Do not select “append version numbers” when making ISO-9660 CD’s.
  • The maximum “path-length” (total file name, including directory names and slashes) is 63 characters, which means that files in highly nested directories may not be loadable.
  • Unicode characters do not display correctly.

For All K2000 and K2500 Series Models with older OS versions

These older versions don’t support the ISO-9660 format, which is often used by computers. So to burn a CD, you must make a disk image copy of the DOS or Kurzweil formatted source disk that has your files. In essence, you will need to have another drive which is used as “staging” drive. By making a disk image copy, you copy sector by sector the exact format and data on the staging drive.

There are a couple of issues to be aware of. First of all, if you have a drive on which you have been constantly loading files, editing them, and resaving them back to the disk, you are likely to have a fair amount of disk fragmentation. Although not necessarily essential, it is recommended that the staging drive be defragmented. If the disk is currently in DOS format (instead of being formatted by the Kurzweil), you can use disk utilities program to defragment the disk. If the disk is in Kurzweil format, or you don’t have a disk utility program, then the solution is to use the Kurzweil to backup all the data to another drive, reformat your staging drive, then restore the data to the staging drive using the Backup or Copy functions.

The second issue concerns drive size. If your staging drive is less than the maximum size of a CD-ROM (650 Mb), then you can simply make the disk image copy. But if the staging drive is larger than 650 Mb, then you need to be able to only copy a certain portion of the staging drive. In this case, defragmenting the drive is absolutely essential. Since a disk image copy simply copies data sector by sector, without regard to what is in those sectors, all of the data for your CD must be contained within the first 650 Mb of sectors on the disk. Also, your CD-ROM burning software will need to have the ability to copy only a specified part of the staging drive when doing a disk image copy. You will want to consult your CD-ROM burning software to find out how to burn a disk image copy.

K2x00 CD-ROM Image Maker is a freeware program for the PC, created by Bernard Perbal, which allows you to create a disk image file.


What SCSI CDROM and other removable drives are compatible for use with my K2?


The K2 series supports the use of SCSI-1 or SCSI-2 compatible devices. SCSI drive compatibility and capacity issues have been improved during the lifetimes of these products. To have the best possible compatibility, we strongly recommend downloading and installing the current version of the Operating system if you have a K2500, K2600 or K2661.

For K2000/K2vx owners, who must purchase the update and have it installed by a service center, we strongly recommend updating if you have a version prior to 3.52.

CD-ROMs – Most are compatible. One exception is NEC drives – most older NEC drives will not work, although some newer NEC drives were reported to work. Problems have also been reported with the Plextor 12x CD-ROM.

  • For versions of the K2000 3.18 or earlier and the K2500 2.13 or earlier, drives must be able to support 512 bytes per sector. Drive mechanisms from the following manufacturers are known to support this format: Sony, Toshiba, Chinon, Plextor, Aiwa, and Matsushita. (Chinon drives not compatible with a K2000 with v2 or earlier.) Faster speed may not work in these older versions of the OS – you may have to look for an older, slower speed drive.

CD-ROM Speed – Most of the newer, faster drives will work, but will not perform any faster than slower models.

  • For the K2600, and the K2500 starting with v2.52, drives up to 8x will perform faster than a slower version. Drives faster than 8x will function correctly but not perform faster.
  • For the K2000 with v3.87, drives up to 4x will perform faster than a slower version. Drives faster than 4x will function correctly but not perform faster.
  • For versions of the K2000 previous to 3.87, and versions of the K2500 previous to 2.52, drives faster than 2x will not perform any faster than a 2x drive.

Writeable CD-ROMs – supported in later versions of the operating system for reading disks only. You can’t burn a CD from the Kurzweil. Our page on Burning a CD-ROM disk contains more details.

  • Supported for the K2600, the K2500 with versions 2.88 or higher, and K2000 version 3.87.
  • Not supported for versions of the K2500 previous to 2.88 or the K2000 previous to 3.87.

Iomega (Bernoulli, Zip, and JAZ) – Compatible. However, these drives are designed so that they go to sleep if the cartridge is not accessed after a specified time.

  • For versions of the K2000 3.18 or earlier and the K2500 2.13 or earlier, this auto sleep function will cause the Kurzweil to lock up, either immediately or when Load is pressed. To avoid this problem, eject the disk when not in use. This prevents the drive from going into sleep mode, and therefore prevents the lockup.

Syquest – Compatible.

Orb – Compatible

Magneto Opticals – Most 230 Meg drives and cartridges are compatible. Media must be hard formatted as 512 bytes per sector. Larger drives use a format of 1024 or greater bytes per sector and therefore will not work.

Tape Based Drives – Not supported.


I have a Kurzweil format CD-ROM. I put it into my computer and received a message saying it could not read the disk.


There are two problems with putting the CD in your computer:

  1. The first is that initially in their development, the K2 series units (K2000+K2500) did not support the ISO-9660 format, which is often used by computers for a CD-ROM format. As most commercially available Kurzweil soundware CDROMs were created in these “early years”, your computer must be able to deal with a CD that is not in ISO-9660.
  2. The second problem has to do with the formatting of the disk itself. The disk will be a disk image copy of the DOS or Kurzweil formatted source disk that originally contained the data. Our disk format is similar to but not fully implemented DOS. So if the disk was taken from a Kurzweil formatted source disk, the computer may or may not recognize that format, depending on the drivers or software running in your computer.

Note: For user-created disks made with a K2500 with an OS version 2.88 or later for non-KDFX units or 4.21 or later for KDFX units or with a K2600/2661:

Starting with these versions, we added support the ISO-9660 format, so if the disk was burned using IS0-9660, the computer should be able to read the disk. However, remember again that most commercially available CD-ROMs were created prior to the addition of this ability and instead were burned as disk image copies, so you are still likely to run into the situation described above.


What CDROM sample disks are suitable for use with the K2?


Many 3rd party companies have released CDROMs in K2000/K2500/K2600 format. Please see our Developer Listing for info on some of these companies.

Aside from native titles, the K2 can also read Roland S series, Ensoniq EPS, and Akai S1000/3000 series, format CDROMs (version 3 or later required for the K2000). It is important to understand that with foreign formats, the samples and keymaps will be read, but not the other program information (envelopes, filter settings, modulation routings etc.). For a CDROM of loops, sound effects, or any file where there is little or no programming added to the sample, you will be able to obtain good results very easily – but for a CDROM file that has an extensive amount of programming, the samples will convert correctly but the programs may sound different. Some programming effort may be required to duplicate the programs as they were on the original sampler. Also, file loading times are slower for conversions from other formats. If given the choice between a native Kurzweil format CDROM or a foreign format disk, you will want to choose the Kurzweil disk.

In addition to prefabricated soundware titles, the K2 can also import raw .WAV and AIFF sample files. If you have a CDROM of .WAV or AIFF files, they are typically formatted in ISO-9660 format. If you have current versions of the operating system for your K2500 or K2000 or a K26000, you will be able to read these disk. Older versions (for the K2000 and K2500) do not support ISO-9660, but if you use your computer to copy the files from the CDROM to a DOS formatted disk, you will be able to read them.

How can I get a K2 sequence into an external sequencer?


The easiest way to export a K2 sequence to another sequencer is to save the file as a .MID file to floppy disk (SMedia for K2661 users) and then insert that disk in your computer for copying (may require adding a USB-floppy or USB-SMedia drive to your computer).

On the K2, the steps to generate a .MID file are:

  1. Go to Disk mode
  2. Press [ SAVE ]
  3. Press [EXPORT]
  4. Press the [ MIDI ] soft button. You will see a list of all Songs currently in the K2’s memory
  5. Highlight the song you want exported and and press [ OK ]
  6. Follow through the rest of the save dialogs (naming and selecting Type 0 or 1 file type)

Model-Specific Notes:

K2000 require OS v3.87 in order to save a Type 1 .MID. Older versions can only export a Type 0 file.

K2500 require OS 2.52 or better in order to save a Type 1 .MID. Older versions can only export a Type 0 file.

K2600/2661 units can save Type 0 or Type 1 files regardless of OS revision.


User Manuals

K2600 Musician’s Guide – 4.7 MB
Owner’s Manual

K2600 Reference Guide – 1.9 MB
Supplemental Reference

K2600 Version 4.11 (ADAT I/O) User’s Guide – 96.3 KB
Manual Addenda

K2600 Version 4.00 (GM Mode) User’s Guide – 177 KB
Manual Addenda

K2600 Version 2 Supplement – 637 KB
Manual Addenda

KDFX Version 2 Supplement – 456 KB
Manual Addenda – (for use with: K2600 OS v3 and above / K2500 version 5 and above)

Stereo Dynamic Piano ROM Block – 65.2 KB
ROM Option Supplemental Guide

Vintage Electric Pianos ROM Block – 127 KB
ROM Option Supplemental Guide

Best of Vast User’s Guide – 311 KB
ROM Option Supplement (includes new program/setup lists for v4 of the Base Objects)

K2600 ROM Installation Guide – 203 KB
Installation Guide

K2600 PRAM Installation Guide – 104 KB
Installation Guide

KDFX Algorithm Reference – 1.0 MB
Supplemental Reference

OS Updates

K2600 v4.11 OS Update – 779 KB
To be used with either:
v3.00 Base Objects (minimum) OR
v4.04 Base Objects / Best of VAST (optional – requires that both the Orchestral & Contemporary ROM Blocks be installed.)

Object Files

v3.00 Base Objects – 418 KB
Factory Base ROM Objects

v4.04 Base Objects / Best of VAST – 458 KB
Optional Factory Base ROM Object Set
(requires that both the Orchestral & Contemporary ROM Blocks be installed.)

Orchestral ROM Option Objects (ROM 1) – 46.5 KB
(for units with V3 Base Objects plus the Orchestral ROM installed)

Contemporary ROM Option Objects (ROM 2) – 67.5 KB
(for units with V3 Base Objects plus the Contemporary ROM installed)

Stereo Dynamic Piano ROM Option Objects (ROM 3) – 11.9 KB
(for units with V3 or V4 Base Objects plus the Stereo Dynamic Piano ROM installed)

Vintage Electric Piano ROM Option Objects (ROM 4) – 34.4 KB
(for units with v3 or V4 Base Objects plus the Vintage Electric Piano ROM installed)

General MIDI ROM Option Objects (ROM 5) – 35.8 KB
(for units with v3 or V4 Base Objects plus both the Orchestral and GM ROMs installed)

Live Mode ROM Objects – 1.8 KB
(for units with the sampling option installed)

Compatibility (Converter Files)
(loading/usage instructions are included within the downloads)

K26TOK2K – 1.9 MB
Makes K2000 data useable within K26 Series (requires a minimum of 2MB SIMMs)

K26TOK25 – 86.5 KB
Makes K2500 data useable within K26 Series

K26V3COMPAT – 168 KB
Makes K2600 v3 data useable within K2600 running v4 Base ROM (Best of VAST)

Compatibility (General MIDI files)
(loading/usage instructions are included within the downloads)

K26GM1 – 1.9 MB
For a v3 or earlier K2600 w/ NO Optional ROM Blocks
(requires minimum 2MB SIMMs)
(unnecessary if you already have the GM ROM block)

K26GMORC – 1.5 MB
For a v3 or earlier K2600 with the Orchestral ROM Block
(requires minimum of 2MB of SIMMs)
(unnecessary if you already have the GM ROM block)

K26GMFUL – 1.2 MB
For a v3 or earlier K2600 with the Orchestral and Contemporary ROM Blocks
(requires minimum of 2MB of SIMMs)
(unnecessary if you already have the GM ROM block)

For a v4 K2600 w/ NO Optional ROM Blocks
(requires minimum 2MB SIMMs)
(unnecessary if you already have the GM ROM block)

For a v4 K2600 with the Orchestral ROM Block
(requires minimum 2MB SIMMs)
(unnecessary if you already have the GM ROM block)

GMV4OC – 1.2 MB
For a v4 K2600 with the Orchestral and Contemporary ROM Blocks
(requires minimum of 2MB of SIMMs)
(unnecessary if you already have the GM ROM block)

FARM Files (extra presets)
(Note: These FARM files are to be LOADED into RAM through Disk mode. For instructions on how to load files though Disk mode, please see your Musician’s Guide Manual.)

Orchestral FARM (requires the Orchestral ROM)

Contemporary FARM (requires the Contemporary ROM)

Stereo Dynamic Piano (requires the Stereo Dynamic Piano ROM)

Vintage Electric Piano (requires the Vintage Electric Piano ROM)

Triple Mode (requires O.S. v2 or better)

KDFXAccessoryDisk – 497 KB
KDFX and LIVEMODE (works for all K2600)
(Requires KDFX option for K25xx series. Live Mode files requires the Sampling Option)

K26ADAT – 96.4 KB
ADAT I/O Option (requires the KADAT-26 ADAT I/O Option)

K2500FARM – 484 KB
Works on all K26xx and K2661 models
contains: Original K2500 Farm, KDFX Farm, K25 Piano Farm, Vocoder

V.A.S.T. Vintage Programs VINTX1 + VINTX1B
(requires Contemporary and/or Vintage Electric Piano ROMs)

K26 Series – Collection 1 – 18.5 KB
Most programs require one or more of the following:
Contemporary ROM, Vintage Electric Pianos ROM, Orchestral ROM, Stereo Dynamic Piano ROM


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