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An all-in-one performance controller, synthesizer, and workstation.
With a sleek look on the outside, and an arsenal of Kurzweil's cutting-edge chip technology under its hood, the 61-note Kurzweil PC361 keyboard controller delivers 128 voices of incredible sound quality along with a host of powerful, easy to use features. The PC361 is Kurzweil's ultimate performance keyboard, with an enormous collection of stunning sounds combined with comprehensive real-time control functions.
In addition to featuring the sounds of Kurzweil's renowned Triple Strike Grand Piano, the PC361 controller also features hundreds of other sounds including basses, drums, guitars, and synths suited for every style and taste, as well as a collection of flawless vintage keyboard emulations, Kurzweil's KB3 organ mode, and over 250 orchestral and string section programs.
The Kurzweil PC361's Dynamic V.A.S.T. synthesis engine is a huge step forward in synthesis and is the fruit of several major strides Kurzweil has made in improving processing power, flexibility, and user-friendliness. The good news for synth enthusiasts is that Kurzweil has also seamlessly integrated their well-known VA-1 Virtual Analog Synthesizer into the system.
Kurzweil also includes an unlimited-track sequencer with 960 PPQ (parts per quarter note) resolution and more effects processing power than their acclaimed KSP8 processor, making the PC361 synth a full-blown music production workstation. Add in a USB port, a flash xD card port, a newly designed keyboard action, and a new intuitive user interface, and you've got Kurzweil's next generation of instruments.
One thing that makes Kurzweil unique is the fact that they design their own chips (called ASICs) for all Kurzweil keyboards. Simply put, their chips are customized for optimum audio performance. For the end user, this means that all of the processing power in a Kurzweil chip is devoted exclusively to sound; therefore, there is no noticeable latency and the performance is always lightning fast. Most importantly, it translates into the rich, full, glitch-free sound for which Kurzweil has become famous. Developing their own chips is more expensive and more time consuming, but well worth it once you've heard the PC361.
The Kurzweil sound
The PC361 controller keyboard offers an enormous sound set of over 850 programs, raising the bar for both audio quality and variety. With excellent samples and a powerful, responsive synth engine, you'll feel like you're playing an actual instrument, not just playing samples. Of course there's the included sounds of the 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 the Classic Keys ROM (read-only memory), which puts a huge 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 Mellotron sounds, growling electric pianos, and punchy clavinets are all there at the touch of a button, programmed to sound just like the classics.
For more vintage firepower, the PC361 is equipped with the most advanced version of Kurzweil's widely lauded KB3 Mode tonewheel organ simulator, which screams, sputters and sizzles like the original. In addition to newly developed Leslie effects and a new bank of B3 programs, Kurzweil has also included sounds from the classic Vox and Farfisa combo organs. The PC361 keyboard's 9 sliders provide real-time drawbar control.
The Kurzweil PC361 offers a full range of world-class orchestral sounds, including the String Section ROM bank, making it ideal for film scoring and soundtrack projects. Every type of articulation and nuance has been captured, with samples of full and divisi (divided) sections of violins, violas, cellos, and double bass. The details, warm swells, and animated pizzicatos all add to the breathtaking effect of these string sections. You can plug and play with sounds worthy of a finished production and receive instant gratification with uncompromising sound quality.
Under the hood of the PC361 is one of Kurzweil's most powerful synthesis engines. Dynamic V.A.S.T. picks up where Kurzweil's 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 the Dynamic V.A.S.T. architecture, the PC361's architecture delivers more power and flexibility combined with unprecedented ease of use. Users can now create and store their own digital signal processing (DSP) algorithms, with nearly limitless possibilities for routing.
In another huge development, Kurzweil has resurrected the VA-1 Virtual Analog Synthesizer, having built it's synthesis engine right into the PC361 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 4-pole low pass with resonance) and non-linear processors and you'll understand why users are 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 Kurzweil's 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 that makes the Kurzweil PC361's synth engine so powerful and different.
While the PC361's user interface may look familiar to veteran Kurzweil users, major improvements have been made, allowing for a much more user-friendly experience. The PC361'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 up and down 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 that 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 PC361's killer soundset is the Easy Audition feature, where every one of the PC361'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, making program selection and navigation fast and easy.
Helping to tap the system's full potential, the Kurzweil PC361 also sports a feature-laden, software-based Desktop Editor with comprehensive, easy to use features (free downloads available for both Mac & PC platforms).
With up to 16 insert effects, two available auxiliary sends, PLUS a global Master FX section, the PC361 offers more than twice the processing power of Kurzweil's acclaimed KDFX engine. Effects can be chained together in a series, or distributed among the PC361's 16 multitimbral channels. The PC361 has some of the best effects in the business including burning distortions, transparent compressors, warm phaser and chorus effects, perfect reverbs, and everything from flawless vintage emulations to concert halls that decay into complete silence. All parameters are assignable to any of the PC361's real time controllers (sliders, pedals, wheels, etc.).
The PC361 features a newly designed sequencer, with unlimited tracks and 960 PPQ (parts per quarter note) resolution. Combining a set of powerful song-editing functions like event editing, swing, and controller scaling with a new friendlier interface, the PC361 truly excels as a song writing/arranging workstation, ideal for music production. Chasing controls, input quantizing, and a global set song length function are just a couple of the features that have been incorporated.
Arpeggiators & riffs
The PC361 controller keyboard has sixteen independent, fully programmable arpeggiators featuring 48-step, programmable, per-zone pattern generators with both pitch and velocity controls (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 creative juices flowing.
If that wasn't enough, the Kurzweil PC361 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.
PC361 Performance Controller