The Kawai K3 is for sure one of the most unknown and great sounding vintage synths ever. Released during the mid ‘80s (the age of PPG Wave – Prophet VS – Juno 106) the K3 is a professional hybrid synthesizer, a mix of digital oscillators, additive/subtractive synthesis and analog filters. It’s a six-voices synth implementing two digital oscillators, one SSM 2044 analog filters per voice and one VCA per voice. Each oscillator consists of 32 factory waveforms + one user waveform programmable via additive synthesis.
Despite the digital oscillators and thanks to the filter and the smooth envelope generators, the K3 sounds very warm, lush and bright also on very high notes. The K3 is a synth with its own distinctive character and the sound resulting from its hybrid architecture can be easily compared to that of the glorious PPG Wave. The Kawai K3 is not a wavetable synth like the PPG Wave but it can sound very organic and evolving and it’s capable of generating dreamy pads and bells, electric pianos, sharp mallets, raw organs and powerful brass & string sounds.