PC161 OVERVIEW

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

Affordable Excellence

Kurzweil introduced the first Performance Controller keyboard, the PC88, back in 1994, receiving both critical and public acclaim. Now the PC161, Kurzweil’s most affordable and lightweight PC model, continues the tradition of excellence. With breathtaking sounds, superior effects and impressive controller capabilities, the PC161 delivers the power of Kurzweil’s popular PC1X in a lightweight, elegant 61 note enclosure.

It’s the Sound….

The end result is the famous Kurzweil sound, which has made the entire PC series a resounding success. The many samples are impressive; they have been tuned, looped, noise-reduced, and processed with a level of expertise and precision found nowhere else in the industry. These include the Triple-Strike Piano, countless drum and percussion kits, Take 6 vocals, and built-in Orchestral ROM expansion. For those looking for even more sound choices, Kurzweil’s optional Classic Keys sound ROM expansion adds a world class set of stunningly realistic “vintage” sounds.

It’s the Effects…

The final ingredient to the PC161’s sound is its effects processor, using the same technology found in our award winning KSP8 processor and K26 Series keyboards. Stated simply, the effects section in the PC series sounds better than most stand-alone effects processors. Reverbs decay noiselessly into complete silence. The many chorus, phaser and flanger presets are full and rich. Transparent compressors, authentic rotary speaker emulations, and realistic distortion presets are ideal for “vintage” sounds. And of course there are the effects algorithms unique to Kurzweil, like shapers and Laserverb.

It’s the Control…

The PC161 offers comprehensive MIDI control, with multiple overlapping zones, inputs for dual switch and CC pedals, and a bank of assignable switches and knobs. Intelligent MIDI implementation, a full featured arpeggiator, and optional Super Ribbon controller make the PC161 an ideal controller whether you’re on stage, in the studio or on your desktop.

All specifications subject to change without notice.

SPECS

All specifications subject to change without notice.

PC161 Features

Keyboard: 61 note synth action, velocity and pressure sensitive
Display: 2×20 character LCD w/ rear panel contrast knob
Polyphony: 64 Voice Polyphony, dynamically allocated
Multitimbral: 16 parts (one per MIDI channel)
Factory Presets: Includes complete PC2 Sound ROM, plus the Orchestral ROM Expansion. 521 Programs. Expandable to 648 via Classic Keys Expansion.
Factory MIDI Setups: 64 factory programmed MIDI setups expandable to 96 via Expansion ROM Block. 128 user programmable MIDI setups, each with 4 independent zones, effects and arpeggiator settings.
General MIDI: standard
User Memory: 128 locations for user created preset programs. 128 locations for user created MIDI Setups.
ROM expansion slot: 1
Effects: Dual Processors (A & B) offering: 58 Reverbs, 6 Delays, 10 Choruses, 6 Flangers, 3 Phasors, 4 Shapers, 2 Enhancers, 8 Filtered Effects, 4 Distortions, 1 Mono>Stereo, 3 Wide Stereo, 4 Compressors, 2 Panners, 7 Rotarys, Stereo Tremolo, and 44 combination effects chains utilizing Kurzweil1s unique Laserverb
Effects Routing: All 16 MIDI channels can send to A and to B in any amount. Also there is a global send from A to B for serial effects chaining.
User controllable EQ: Global 3-Band
MIDI: In, Out, Thru (hardware switchable to copy of MIDI Out).
Controllers: Pitch wheel, modulation wheel, 4 front panel knobs, 4 front panel switches (momentary or toggle, software selectable), 1 continuous control pedal inputs, 1 dual footswitch input, mono pressure, Super Ribbon input.
Arpeggiator: Full-featured MIDI note arpeggiator with multiple latch modes, selectable play order, velocity, duration, tempo, and sync functions.
Outputs: Two 1/4″ balanced TRS analog (24-bit DACs)
Headphones: Rear panel 1/4″ headphone output
FREE OS Updates: Flash ROM upgradeable (via system exclusive dumps)

PC161 Specifications

Height: (3.27″) (8.30 cm)
Depth: (12.01″) (30.50 cm)
Length: (37.17″) (94.40 cm)
Weight: (23.15 lb.) (10.50 kg)
Power: 9.5VAC / 2.0A external power supply

FAQs

Basic Concepts & User Interface

Question:
I am trying to save certain settings I have altered in the Global menu but when I power down, they seem to be lost. How can I store all of my custom Global settings?

Answer:

Unfortunately there is no way to store all of the PC2 Global settings. Some will be remembered across power cycles yet others are always reset to default.

The following are those that are NOT remembered across power cycles and must be manually set with each power up as needed:

  • EQ
  • Local
  • Clock
  • FX Chg Mode
  • Bank Select
  • Xmit Buttons

Internal Voices/Program Mode

Question:
How can I set the Pitch Bend Range for individual programs via MIDI?

Answer:

Pitch Bend Range can be set by sending MIDI controller messages. Specifically, you do it with Registered Parameters (cc# 100 and 101).

On the MIDI channel in question, you need to send:

MIDI cc101 = 0
MIDI cc100 = 0
MIDI cc6 = value of desired bend range (in semitones)

Example: Lets say you want to set the bend range to 2 semi-tones. First you send cc# 100 with a value of 0; then cc#101 with a value of 0. This turns on reception for setting pitch bend with the Data controller (#6). Then you send cc# 6 with a value of 2 (in semitones; this will give you a whole step up and a whole step down from the center).

Once you have set the bend range the way you want, then you send controller 100 or 101 with a value of 127 so that any further messages of controller 6 (which you might be using for other stuff) won’t change the bend range.

Troubleshooting

Question:
How can I restore my PC1/PC2 to its factory defaults?

Answer:

Caution: Hard resetting will erase all user memory! Need be, save any custom programming via sys-ex dump before proceeding.

There are two methods for performing a hard reset on a PC2/PC1 Series keyboard:

  • Global Menu Method:
    1. press GLOBAL
    2. press >>> until you see “Reset PC2?” or “Reset PC1” (2nd to last item in menu)
    3. press [Yes] twice
  • -OR-

  • Boot Diagnostic Method: (useful if your screen is blank and cannot perform the Global menu method)
    1. turn the unit on
    2. when the display says “Please Wait”, press and release the Panic button.
    3. press the right arrow button >>> until the display says “Hard RESET”
    4. press Enter
    5. press the >>> button under “Yes” in the display.

Via either method, the unit will “initialize” itself for about 5 sec. or so and then reboot to factory specs.

If the above methods do not successfully restore your unit’s normal operation it will likely be time to take the unit to an “authorized Kurzweil service center for repairs.

Question:
I am trying to save certain settings I have altered in the Global menu but when I power down, they seem to be lost. How can I store all of my custom Global settings?

Answer:

Unfortunately there is no way to store all of the PC2 Global settings. Some will be remembered across power cycles yet others are always reset to default.

The following are those that are NOT remembered across power cycles and must be manually set with each power up as needed:

  • EQ
  • Local
  • Clock
  • FX Chg Mode
  • Bank Select
  • Xmit Buttons

Global Mode

Question:
How can I disable the PC1’s transmission of MIDI Program Changes?

Answer:

To disable the transmission of program changes on the PC1X:

  1. Go to Global mode.
  2. Using the L/R arrow keys beneath the display, locate the Xmit ProgChg parameter (2nd in the list). Simply change this setting to off
    (manual ref. pg 5-24).

Question:
I am trying to save certain settings I have altered in the Global menu but when I power down, they seem to be lost. How can I store all of my custom Global settings?

Answer:

Unfortunately there is no way to store all of the PC2 Global settings. Some will be remembered across power cycles yet others are always reset to default.

The following are those that are NOT remembered across power cycles and must be manually set with each power up as needed:

  • EQ
  • Local
  • Clock
  • FX Chg Mode
  • Bank Select
  • Xmit Buttons

MIDI Controllers

Question:
What pedals can I use with my Kurzweil instrument?

Answer:

Switch Pedals

A foot switch pedal from any manufacturer is compatible with our keyboards. Japanese pedals are wired in reverse polarity from American pedals. But all our products check the pedal polarity on power up and reverse themselves if needed, so as long as the pedal is plugged in before you turn on the unit, any pedal will work (be certain to not step on the pedal during power up as this can interfere with the auto-calibration).

In addition, some keyboards use mono jacks for each switch pedal input, whereas other keyboards use a single stereo jack for two pedals.

The PC3 Series, K2 Series, K1 series, PC2 Series, SP2 Series, SP5, PC88, and KME61 use mono jacks for each pedal. The standard single pedal available from Kurzweil is the KP-1.

The SP4, SPS4-8, PC1, SP3X, SP76/88 Series, Rumour/Mangler, Mark ProOneiS, Mark ProTwoiS, RG Series, and Troubador use a single stereo jack for dual pedal units (not sold by Kurzweil). It is still possible to plug a single, mono plug pedal into these units but you will only have access to one of the pedals. If the pedal is plugged in all the way, it will be the Left pedal, and if the plug is pulled out slightly, it will be the right pedal. A stereo (M) to dual-mono (F) “Y” adapter can also be employed to permit the use of two, single pedals.


Continuous Controller Pedals

Our keyboards require a pedal with a TRS 1/4″ connector and 10k linear potentiometer. Most manufacturers EXCEPT Yamaha and Korg make pedals with the same specifications and should work. Yamaha and Korg pedals typically use an exponential potentiometer and therefore will not work correctly. The CC-1 pedal is available from Kurzweil. You can order a pedal through your local Kurzweil dealer.

CC-1 Wiring Spec

The Control Pedal must be wired to a single stereo (TRS) 1/4″ plug as follows:

  • Wiper to tip connection of 1/4″ plug
  • Top end of resistance element to Ring connection
  • Bottom end of resistance to Sleeve connection

CCpedal_Wiring.gif

Question:
How can I set the Pitch Bend Range for individual programs via MIDI?

Answer:

Pitch Bend Range can be set by sending MIDI controller messages. Specifically, you do it with Registered Parameters (cc# 100 and 101).

On the MIDI channel in question, you need to send:

MIDI cc101 = 0
MIDI cc100 = 0
MIDI cc6 = value of desired bend range (in semitones)

Example: Lets say you want to set the bend range to 2 semi-tones. First you send cc# 100 with a value of 0; then cc#101 with a value of 0. This turns on reception for setting pitch bend with the Data controller (#6). Then you send cc# 6 with a value of 2 (in semitones; this will give you a whole step up and a whole step down from the center).

Once you have set the bend range the way you want, then you send controller 100 or 101 with a value of 127 so that any further messages of controller 6 (which you might be using for other stuff) won’t change the bend range.

DOWNLOADS

User Manuals

PC1 Series User Guide – 2.0 MB
Owner’s Manual
2005-11-09

PC1 Series Classic Keys ROM User’s Guide – 201 KB
ROM Option Supplemental Guide
2005-11-08

PC1 Series Classic Keys ROM Installation Guide – 50.6 KB
ROM Option Installation Guide
2005-11-08

OS Updates

PC161 v1.01 OS Update – 1.0 MB
(Installation instructions and a complete revision history are included within the download.)
2006-06-27

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