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Kawai K1m



kawai k1m

audio demo trend price : 100€
manual factory patches   demo video comments

Kawai k1m Laptop Digital Synthesizer (1988)


Desktop version from digital synthesizer K1 based on 8 bits short cycled waves.

Lo-fi or glitch freaks in special gig space-saving laptop.

kawai k1m logo


info LAPTOP (weight: 2 Kg) all made out of black plastic surprisingly solid.
The main panel features a 16 * 2 lines display, 25 rubber buttons + a slider edit for data entry, a vector joystick for real time control over sound amplitude moving between 4 sounds increasing-decreasing parameters.
Back panel terminal connectors: Midi Interface, main out and headphones out.

acPower supply is external with 9V DC with -) polarity.


edit VOICE the K1 engine manages up to 16 voices of polyphony + 8 multitimbral parts, the whole synthesis structure lacks of filters.
A standard patch is composed by up to 4 layered digital oscillators or SOURCES.

signal flow

wavetable WAVETABLE internal K1 ROM contains 256 PCM waves at 8-bits resolution, split in 2 families:
1- VM: 204 cyclic waveforms generated by additive synthesis process out of 128 harmonics.
2- ACOUSTIC: 52 shots sampled from true percussions & drums.

VM SYNTHESIS cyclic wave groups is composed by 2 categories:
1- BASIC classic basic waveforms such as square, saw and sine.
2- FREQUENCY RANGE are spectral transients from piano, strings, brass, lead, bell and organ
This family is sub-divided also into 4 parts: 1) LOW 2) MID 3) HI-MI 4) HI.

signal flow
adsr ENVELOPE a 4-segments + 1 time EG DADSR for each source.
There are 18 preset velocities curves and no possible edit.

lfo LFO one single modulator offers 4 waveforms: triangle, saw, square and random and 1 possible destination between pitch and amplitude. The LFO cannot be retriggered at notes, but can be time delayed.

midi MIDI standard implementation with just a few CC but full compliant to Midi Exclusives data for both edit and backup.

memory MEMORY hold up to 64 standard patches +32 multitimbral, in addition memory can be expanded with Kawai special cards model DC8 also compatible with DC16 and DC32.
The K1 RAM chip is a NEC D4464C with Lithium battery 3V Cr-2032.

lithium battery


kawai k1 circuit bent!

K1m model has been mutilated and bent: sound is just crazy!

hear the demo.

internal k1m

memory K1 related models:

kawai k1 k1 II family


Kawai K1: original keyboard version.


Kawai k1r rackmount version of k1 without joystick.




Kawai K1 II: add reverb , higher sample resolution and some new drum waveforms


Kawai K1 rII: rackmount version of K1 II minus joystick and effect DSP



audio demo

effet Soundcloud K1m

track1 track2 track3


KAWAI K 1-M DEMO 2012 Kawai K1M demo Kawai k1 100% sounds
KAWAI K 1-M DEMO 2012 Kawai K1M demo uh... my demo!





original scan



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dc8 ram cardmemory



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kawai eporm motherboard p106


- bargain price
- Lo-fi industrial sound
-k1 save space!


- no filter
- editing
-No fx

for LO-FI geeks


"The k1m is a classic for Lo-fi sounds or noisy textures.
Don't be fooled by presets and give a good edit try."




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all snapshots, sounds, texts copyright Polynominal.com / Eric Pochesci

kawai k1m 4.5 out of 5 based on 28 ratings. price €100