Roland D-50 or Kawai K4

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Roland D-50 or Kawai K4

Postby Ace » Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:36 pm

Hi all,

I have been playing for a while now and what I feel is missing from my setup is a (virtual) analog synth in my setup (thinking about a Yamaha AN1x).
Sadly, I have a space problem: if I want to introduce a new synth, it means I have to give up on one of my current machines. The conundrum I am facing right now is which synth I should hold on to: my Roland D-50 (which is quite bruised and battered) or my Kawai K4 (which is in pristine condition).

Any thoughts?
Last edited by Ace on Sat Feb 06, 2016 12:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Roland D-50 or Kawai K4

Postby commodorejohn » Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:49 pm

I can't imagine getting rid of a D-50. But I'm curious, is that in itself not virtual-analog enough for you?
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Re: Roland D-50 or Kawai K4

Postby Ace » Fri Feb 05, 2016 11:05 pm

commodorejohn wrote:I can't imagine getting rid of a D-50. But I'm curious, is that in itself not virtual-analog enough for you?


Thanks for your reply. Though the D-50 certainly delivers in the sonic department, but I am looking for a more old school and hands on experience.
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Re: Roland D-50 or Kawai K4

Postby synthroom » Sat Feb 06, 2016 6:52 am

I've never used a K4, but I too can't imagine getting rid of my D-50 either. What are your favorite things about the K4?
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Re: Roland D-50 or Kawai K4

Postby Ace » Sat Feb 06, 2016 10:29 am

The K4 is exceptionally good in creating pads and long sweeping sounds (but not in a Wavestation kind of way). I believe the Kawai K4 and the Roland D-50 do share certain sonic attributes.
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Re: Roland D-50 or Kawai K4

Postby madtheory » Sat Feb 06, 2016 1:04 pm

Don't give up either synth! Clearly you like the K4, and the D-50 is such a classic.

Why not store one of them sideways in your wardrobe? Or under the bed? With a bag to keep the dust off of course.
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Re: Roland D-50 or Kawai K4

Postby desmond » Sat Feb 06, 2016 4:35 pm

The D-50 is the more interesting synth, I think. But it's got more character than the K4, which can be a good or a bad thing, depending on your music - it soulds like you like the D-50 though.

The other possibility is get either a D-550, or K4r, and offload whichever keyboard version you replace. Now you've got a free keyboard space (or two) for new ones! :)
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Re: Roland D-50 or Kawai K4

Postby madtheory » Sat Feb 06, 2016 6:40 pm

Oh ya, didn't think of a rack. K4r would be cheapest but it doesn't have the onboard effects, but the K4 keyboard action is meh. The D-550 would cost more, but about the same as a D-50 I guess? D-50 keyboard is nice.

Or, don't get an AN-1x, get a Novation KS Rack (lovely user interface) or even better, a Supernova II rack.

Here's another option- you can use Autosampler in Apple Mainstage to comprehensively multisample your K4 patches. €30. I did this with my Casio VZ-1 and CZ-1, and a D-50 as well. Admittedly there could be a lot of time tweaking afterwards, but it is exactly the same once you figure out how to do it right. You can sample as many velocity layers and pitches as you like, and the looping is perfect (after a bit of trail and error). I would think a sample based synth like the K4 would transfer seamlessly.
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Re: Roland D-50 or Kawai K4

Postby Ace » Sat Feb 06, 2016 11:04 pm

madtheory wrote:n't think of a rack. K4r would be cheapest but it doesn't have the onboard effects, but the K4 keyboard action is meh. The D-550 would cost more, but about the same as a D-50 I guess? D-50 keyboard is nice.


I actually do like the K4 Keyboard (the only real drawback being the noisy keys, but that could probably be fixed by replacing the felt strip under the keybed), but the D-50 keybed is my favorite of the two (even though the aftertouch on mine hardly works anymore).

Going for a rack unit is very good advice actually: by ditching my Roland R5 (that I hardly ever use) I can create the space for a smaller unit like a Roland JP 8080 or a Korg SH2000r (or indeed a Novation KS rack)!
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Re: Roland D-50 or Kawai K4

Postby minime123 » Thu Feb 11, 2016 5:06 am

id get the rack versions. if i had to keep one of the 2, it'd be the d50.
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Re: Roland D-50 or Kawai K4

Postby meatballfulton » Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:30 pm

Is this only for space reasons? If it's for money, when I see K4s for sale they are under $200. If the D50 is truly "battered" it won't bring in much cash either.
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Re: Roland D-50 or Kawai K4

Postby UnbalancedKarma » Sun Feb 28, 2016 11:31 am

go with the K4r, nevermind K4's shitty original FXs, use your own or your daw's instead.
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