The Ultimate Performance Controller Keyboard
With a sleek new look on the outside, and an arsenal of Kurzweil’s latest cutting edge chip technology under its hood, the 76-note PC3 delivers 128 voices of incredible sound quality along with a host of powerful, easy to use features. The PC3 is Kurzweil’s ultimate performance controller keyboard, with an enormous collection of stunning sounds combined with comprehensive real-time controller functions.
In addition to our renowned Triple Strike Grand Piano, the PC3 features hundreds of new sounds; basses, drums, guitars, and synths suited for every style and taste, along with a collection of flawless vintage keyboard emulations, KB3 Mode and over 250 orchestral and string section programs.
The PC3’s new Dynamic V.A.S.T. architecture is a huge step forward in synthesis, the fruit of several major strides we’ve made in improving processing power, flexibility and user-friendliness. Good news for synth enthusiasts – we’ve seamlessly integrated our legendary VA-1 Virtual Analog Synthesizer into the new system!
For good measure we include an unlimited-track sequencer with 960 PPQ resolution and more effects processing power than our acclaimed KSP8 processor, making the PC3 a full blown music production workstation. Add in USB, flash xD card port, a newly designed keyboard action, and a new intuitive user interface, and you’ve got the next generation of Kurzweil instruments.
It’s a performance controller. It’s a synthesizer. It’s a workstation.
One thing which clearly sets Kurzweil apart from the competition is the fact that we design our own chips (called ASICs) for all Kurzweil products. Simply put, our chips are customized for optimum audio performance. What does this mean for the end user? It means that all of the processing power in a Kurzweil chip is devoted exclusively to sound. It means no noticeable latency – the performance is always lightning fast. And most importantly, it translates into that rich, full, glitch-free sound for which Kurzweil has become famous. Yes developing our own chips is more expensive and more time consuming. We think it’s well worth it. Once you’ve heard the PC3, we think you’ll agree.
The Kurzweil Sound…
The PC3 offers an enormous sound set of over 850 programs, raising the bar once again for both audio quality and variety. With the best samples in the industry, and a powerful, responsive synth engine breathing life into them, you’ll feel like you’re playing an actual instrument, not just playing samples. Of course there’s the famous Kurzweil Triple Strike Piano, with dozens of variations to accommodate every kind of player. All of the basic sounds – basses, guitars, drums, horns and synths – have been painstakingly programmed to reflect the needs of today’s professional players, representing a broad selection of styles and flavors from the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and today.
Also included is our Classic Keys ROM, which puts an impossibly large vintage keyboard rig at your fingertips. These are vintage emulations which actually sound like vintage instruments and classic recordings. The recognizable sounds of those classic electromechanical instruments, with all of their characteristic imperfections, have been faithfully re-created, along with pedals, amps and speakers. Lush Mellotrons, growling electric pianos, and punchy Clavinets are all there at the touch of a button, programmed to sound just like those classic albums.
For more vintage firepower, the PC3 is equipped with the most advanced version of Kurzweil’s widely lauded KB3 Mode tonewheel organ simulator, which screams, sputters and sizzles just like the original. In addition to newly developed Leslie effects, and a new bank of B3 programs, we’ve also included sounds from classic combo organs. The PC3’s 9 sliders provide real-time drawbar control.
The PC3 offers a full range of world class orchestral sounds, including our new String Section ROM bank, making it ideal for film-scoring and soundtrack projects. Every type of articulation, every nuance has been captured, with samples of full and divisi sections of violins, violas, cellos, and double bass. The details, the warm swells, animated pizzicatos and the sound of scraping rosin all add to the breathtaking effect of these string sections. You can plug and play with sounds worthy of a finished production – instant gratification with uncompromising sound quality.
Under the hood of the PC3 is simply the most powerful synthesis engine ever created by Kurzweil. Dynamic V.A.S.T. picks up where the K series left off. Having up to 32 layers per program means that emulations of real instruments can be extremely detailed and accurate, while the synthesized sounds can be extraordinarily large and complex.
Expanding upon our V.A.S.T. architecture, the PC3’s new architecture delivers more power and flexibility combined with unprecedented ease of use. Users can now create and store their own DSP algorithms, with nearly limitless possibilities for routing.
In another huge development, we’ve resurrected the VA-1 Virtual Analog Synthesizer, having built its synthesis engine right into the new system. Hear the VA-1’s power-shaped, anti-aliasing oscillators (including supersaw, triplesaw, and hard sync oscillators) combined with a newer, larger set of V.A.S.T. filters (like the classic-style 4pole low pass w/ resonance) and non-linear processors and you’ll understand why the internet is buzzing about this feature.
Every layer in a program can be routed through the DSP of any other layer, in series or blended together, with up to 32 layers. It’s the same concept as Triple Mode on our K26 series, without the 3 layer limit. You can run your sound through literally dozens of filters (which can all move independently in real-time) in addition to Kurzweil’s signature DSP processors like Shaper, Wrap and Distortion, allowing for some truly dazzling results. This is one more feature which makes the PC3’s synth engine so powerful and so different than anything else on the market.
While the PC3’s user interface may look familiar to veteran Kurzweil users, major improvements have been made, allowing for a much more user friendly experience. The PC3’s backlit 240 x 64 display conveys all the information you’ll need, when you need it, in an elegant, easy to navigate environment.
Programs are categorized and can be selected by scrolling or by using bank and program select buttons. Further, user favorites can be organized into convenient “Quick Access” banks for easy one touch recall.
In addition to fast navigation, each preset sound is accompanied by an “Info” screen which can be accessed at the touch of a button. As every sound can have its own customized set of real-time, physical controllers (sliders, modwheel, switches, CC Pedals, mono pressure, etc.) , the Info button makes viewing the current assignments effortless.
Complimenting the PC3’s killer soundset is the the Easy Audition feature, where every one of the PC3’s presets is linked to a bank of “riffs”, recorded sequences which demonstrate each sound in an appropriate context. Just hit the “play” button on the front panel and get a quick musical preview of the current selection. Program selection and navigation, fast and easy.
Helping to tap the system’s full potential, the PC3 also sports a feature-laden software-based Desktop Editor with comprehensive, easy to use features. (free download- both Mac & PC platforms available)
With up to 16 insert effects, two available auxiliary sends, PLUS a global Master FX section, the PC3 offers more than twice the processing power of our acclaimed KDFX engine. Effects can be chained together in series, or distributed among the PC3’s 16 multitimbral channels. And these are simply the best effects in the business – burning distortions, transparent compressors, warm phaser and chorus effects, perfect reverbs – everything from flawless vintage emulations to concert halls which decay into complete silence. All parameters are assignable to any of the PC3’s real time controllers – sliders, pedals, wheels, etc.
The PC3 features a newly designed sequencer, with unlimited tracks and 960 PPQ resolution. Combining a set of powerful song editing functions like event editing, swing, and controller scaling with a new friendlier interface, the PC3 truly excels as a song writing/arranging workstation, ideal for music production on the fly. Chasing controls, input quantizing and a global “set song length” function are just a couple of the features we’ve incorporated.
Arpeggiators & Riffs…
The PC3 sports sixteen (yes, 16!) independent, fully programmable arpeggiators featuring 48-step programmable, pattern generators with both pitch and velocity controls – per zone (allowing for up to 16 patterns to playback simultaneously). These are accompanied by a thorough collection of modes, scales and pre-programmed patterns to get your juices flowing.
If that wasn’t enough, the PC3 offers sixteen unique “Riff” generators, which permit the triggering of MIDI sequenced phrases, beats, or even complete multi-track arrangements from notes on the keyboard and/or any on-board physical controller.
All specifications subject to change without notice.
All specifications subject to change without notice.
|Keyboard:||76 note semi-weighted-action, with velocity and aftertouch sensitive keys. (Fatar TP8)|
|Display:||240 x 64 angled, backlit CCFL w/ dedicated back panel brightness and contrast controls.|
|Polyphony:||128 Voice Polyphony, dynamically allocated, lightning fast performance.|
|Multitimbral:||16 parts (one per MIDI channel)|
|Architecture:||Dynamic VAST: Powerful synthesis engine, with user programmable DSP algs and routing. More DSP power than even our K Series instruments.
VA1 Inside: anti-aliasing, power-shaped oscillators and DSP processing from Kurzweil’s VA1 concept synth, capable of delivering authentic analog emulations as well as incredibly complex new sounds.
Cascade Mode: lets the user route one layer through the DSP of any other layer within a program – up to 32 consecutive layers deep!
|Desktop Editor:||Mac and PC platforms (free download)|
|Factory Presets:||1074 Stunning Factory Presets (download full “object list” here)|
|Factory MIDI Setups:||150 factory programmed MIDI setups – featuring up to 16 independent zones, effects, independent controller assignments, triggerable pattern-based “Riffs” and arpeggiator settings.|
|Sample Flash Memory:||128MB of re-loadable*, non-volatile, user flash ROM
(loaded samples stay in memory even after power cycle).
*Samples can be loaded via direct-USB connection and/or USB thumb-drive but are best loaded via USB thumb-drive as direct-USB capacities are limited.
|File Compatibility:||Loads from:
-PC3: all objects.
-PC3LE: all objects.
-K2 Series: the majority* of Setups, Programs and Keymaps. All RAM Samples are loaded. (see the V2 Addendum manual for details)
-AIFF and WAVE audio files.
O/S V2 or later required.
*Compatibility with K RAM samples will be %100. Compatibility with K programs will be around 80%
|User Memory:||16,000 locations for user objects.|
|Sound ROM Expansion Slots:||1|
|Sequencer:||Unlimited tracks (on import); 960 PPQ resolution. Song editing functions include both event and track-based tools like quantize, swing, remap, controller scaling and more. Controller chasing and a global “set song length” functions are also featured.|
|Effects:||16 insert effects distributed over 11 busses, two auxiliary sends and two Master Effects (saved with each song and setup); featuring over 500 of our award winning effects – reverbs, delays, chorus, flange, phaser, EQs, distortions, Leslie simulators, compressors, and more.|
|Master FX Section:||User controllable master EQ section and master compressor for quick adjustments during live performance or putting the final touches on your studio mix. (These do not use up the insert effect resources.)|
|Controllers:||Pitch wheel, modulation wheel, 9 front panel sliders/drawbar controllers, 10 front panel switches (momentary or toggle, software selectable), 3 switch pedal input, 2 continuous control pedal inputs, mono pressure, Super Ribbon input, breath controller input. Controller values can be “captured” and stored as part of a program.|
|Arpeggiator:||16 full-featured independent arpeggiators with multiple latch modes, selectable play order, velocity, duration, tempo, and sync functions as well as pre-recorded beats and musical phrases.|
|Riffs:||16 unique “Riff” generators, used for triggering MIDI sequenced phrases, beats, or complete multi-track arrangements from notes on the keyboard and/or any on-board physical controller.|
|Analog Outputs:||Four 1/4″ balanced TRS analog (24-bit DACs).|
|Headphones:||1 rear panel 1/4″ headphone output.|
|Digital Outputs:||24-bit, stereo S/PDIF featuring 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, and 192-kHz modes.
|MIDI:||In, Out, Thru (hardware switchable to copy of MIDI Out).|
|USB Computer Port:||MIDI over USB. Also allows the PC3K to load/save data directly to and from a Mac/PC as well as perform OS updates.|
|USB Storage Port:||Supports USB thumb-drives for loading/saving user data as well as performing OS updates.|
|FREE OS Updates:||Flash ROM upgradeable via direct-USB or thumb-drive.|
|Included Accessories:||Power cable, Switch pedal, USB cable, (4) self adhesive feet|
|Height:||(4.33″) (11.00 cm)|
|Depth:||(13.98″) (35.50 cm)|
|Length:||(47.75″) (121.29 cm)|
|Weight:||(37.35 lb.) (16.94 kg)|
|Power:||Internal AC power supply.
Selectable 120/240V AC operation.
4. PROGRAM MODE : EDITOR (Part2)
V.A.S.T. – Variable Architecture Synthesis Technology – working with algorithms
PC3 – Musician’s Guide V2 (English) – 5.5 MB
V2 consolidated owner’s manual (.pdf)
-covers both V1 and V2-
PC3 – Musician’s Guide V1 (Spanish) – 3.6 MB
V1.01 primary owner’s manual (.pdf)
PC3 – V2 Addendum (English) – 946 KB
Musician’s Guide V2 Addendum Manual (.pdf)
(reference containing ONLY the changes since OS V2)
PC3 – V2 Object Lists – 420 KB
Listings of V2 Factory Programs, Setups, Keymaps, FX Chains etc. (.pdf and .xls)
PC3 – Drum Map – 25.9 KB
Drum kit program layout (.pdf)
KORE 64 – Installation Guide – 381 KB
ROM Expansion Board for the PC3 and PC3K – Installation Instructions
SoundTower – Sound Editor User Guide – 7 MB
PC3 Series Desktop Editor Operating Manual
(applicable to all Kurzweil desktop software editors)
KDFX Algorithm Reference – 1.0 MB
PC3 v2.21 Update – 5.5 MB
Contains: O/S, Objects, Installation Instructions, Release Notes, v2 Addendum Manual, Object Lists
PC3 Series – Desktop Editor (Mac) – 10.4 MB
v2.44 of the PC3 desktop editing software for the Mac
(PC3 Series only, not for PC3K or PC3A)
PC3 Series – Desktop Editor (PC) – 6.3 MB
v2.44 of the PC3 desktop editing software for Windows PC
(PC3 Series only, not for PC3K or PC3A)
PC3 Series – iPad Editor – 38.4 MB
(links to App Store store for download)
Free Soundware Downloads
(Extra sounds for your PC3/K/LE – requires OS v2 or later)
ACCORDN1.PC3 – 4 KB
7 custom accordion programs by Dave Weiser
Contact Distributor Support
Do you have questions about the use or application of your Kurzweil product?
Needing repair? Need to locate a local authorized service center? obtain parts?