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The streamlined, intelligent user interface provides an interactive experience that is bound to inspire creativity.
Under the hood, the PC3LE8 features the same groundbreaking chip technology that has made the PC3 the most talked about keyboard in recent years. All of the PC3's sounds are included—the famous Kurzweil grand piano, vintage electric pianos, Clavinets and Mellotrons, dazzling Orchestral and Strings collections, stunning VA virtual analog synths, KB3 organs, realistic basses, drums, guitars, percussion and horns, General MIDI, plus nearly 200 new programs developed specifically for the LE—over 1050 programs in all. Kurzweil has improved the method for navigating through such a massive sound set; programs in the LE can be viewed and selected with a new set of Category buttons. Select "Leads" and you'll see a list of all the synth leads in the machine, grouped together. Same goes for the other 20 categories, everything from Synth Bass to Mallets to Guitars.
These programs take advantage of the V.A.S.T. synthesis engine, using pristine samples paired with detailed programming of literally hundreds of synth and effects parameters. Whether it's the rosin of a bowed string instrument, the resonant harmonics of a piano's damper pedal, or the thumps and squeaks of an electromechanical keyboard, Kurzweil's done its homework and provided a level of detail and realism previously unimagined, allowing you to focus on the important business of making music.
The PC3LE8 comes equipped with over 700 onboard effects chains from which to choose, all with real-time controllers already assigned to relevant parameters. With world class reverbs that decay into complete silence; warm, classic sounding phasers, flangers, and choruses; and burning, saturated distortions, you'll have everything you need to make your music sound like a polished, finished product from the outset. The PC3LE8's architecture provides up to 10 insert effects, which can be distributed among 10 channels, with an available auxiliary effect as well.
In the PC3, Kurzweil introduced the "INFO" feature, a soft button-press that allows the user to see which controllers have been assigned to parameters within a program. For the LE, it's taken this to the next level, with an interactive user interface that communicates directly with you whenever you move a real-time controller. Turn a knob, hit a button, or move a wheel and the LE's screen will display the controller, its real-time value, and the parameter being affected. An example would be moving the modwheel on an organ program - you would see the following: "Modwheel 79 Distortion Drive". This system never breaks down—you can change effect chains freely and all of this info remains intact, updated to reflect the new chain you've selected. Also, this info is transferred seamlessly to Setup Mode so you can see whatever controllers have been assigned to programs used in any zone of a setup.
Prefer to spend your time playing over sound-programming? Think of the LE as the preset-player version of the original PC3. All the sound, no deep programming necessary.
At the same time, Kurzweil wanted to give users the quickest, simplest possible way to adjust the PC3LE's sounds to suit individual tastes and needs. In any given program or effects chain, select relevant parameters have been pre-assigned real-time controllers for easy access. Move a controller and hit the SAVE button—no menus, no pages with endless parameters—and you get one touch sound customization.
Kurzweil understands that flexibility is important when it comes to customizing your sound. Don't want filter frequency control on a knob? Prefer to have it assigned to the modwheel? No problem. The PARAMETERS page allows you to re-assign any controller to any available* parameter. You can save your custom sounds to the user bank, with over 1000 ID slots.
*available parameters are predetermined and vary per program
A Different Drummer
With the PC3LE8, Kurzweil has introduced a new set of dynamic physical controllers—8 backlit, velocity-sensitive drum pads that can be used to trigger sounds, sequences, chords and arpeggiations. Every program in the machine has a drum kit assigned to the pads, so you'll always have access to a rhythm track when you need it. As a bonus, a set of over 100 new drum programs, with acoustic brush kits, slammin' rock kits and a number of heavily effected techno/electronic kits, in addition to the 24 existing kits from the PC3 have been included. Just as Kurzweil put a great deal of effort into making sure that the keyboard action feels just right, the drum pads were implemented with precision and care, with utmost attention given to how they feel when played. After all, this is a musical instrument and not just a piece of technology.
Everything Else You'd Expect...
Complimenting the LE's new features are a few old familiar Kurzweil favorites; Setup Mode, Quick Access Mode, and Song Mode, all taken directly from the PC3.
Setup Mode enables the LE to act as a powerful MIDI controller as well as providing 16 simultaneous, independent, fully programmable arpeggiators, with factory and user-programmable patterns. On top of that, each setup can have up to 16 simultaneous Riffs—sequences that can be triggered by buttons, drum pads, or notes on the keyboard. While Setup Mode, with up to 16 zones each with its own program, is still as powerful as ever, Kurzweil's added a Split/Layer button to make the creation of simple setups quick and easy.
Quick Access Mode allows you to create custom banks of 10 sounds that can be accessed by a single button-press, and Song Mode delivers a full-featured 16 track sequencer with all of the powerful editing features that you'd find in a high-end workstation—event editing, swing, controller scaling, input quantize, input filter, and chasing controls. User memory provides over 1000 ID slots each for your own QA banks, Setups and Songs.
Saving, loading and updating the OS are all made easy on the LE with the inclusion of both USB Host and Device ports. You can save your user programs, setups, and songs to a USB thumb-drive or directly to a computer. OS updates can be loaded from a thumb-drive or directly from your computer, and of course the LE sends and receives MIDI over USB. Standard MIDI jacks are also included for In, Out, and Thru. For audio, the PC3LE8 features high-quality, hum-canceling, stereo balanced analog outputs, with 24-bit DACs as well as a 24-bit stereo S/PDIF digital output at 48K.
PC3LE8 88-Key Hammer-Action Performance Controller & Workstation Keyboard (Light Edition)