How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Kawai XD-5

I’ve been lately scavenging synths from the pleistoscene period at Laboratorio. Bought a Kawai XD-5 drum synthesizer for about 150 Finnish marks (25 eur) in the 90’s and haven’t used it a lot ever since. Read some glowing reviews about it lately and decided to try and make it sound good and oh does it sound good.


The thing is, it got 8 individual outputs and if you don’t use those and add some post processing it doesn’t sound too good. Also, routing individual sounds from the synth into the outputs is a bit tedious because of an unintuitive routing matrix. You would have to do a lot of work to reroute each sound into a different output but I found a shortcut.

While in KIT mode, press edit a few times and choose OUTPUT PACH: 8 via value slider. This works at least after factory reset; in this setting the drum sounds are routed quite logically (each drum sound type takes over either an individual output or a stereo pair, depends on the type of sound I think). Remember to save often and beware of the filter resonance, it goes up to 11. Little compression, EQ and delay will do wonders.


Korg DW-6000 power cord

I was rearranging stuff at Laboratorio and thought about bringing some old synths back into my main setup when I found out I had lost the power cord of DW-6000. It is an uncommon 2-prong one usually associated with manufacturers Sony and Teac. Also works for old Revox tape recorders. Asked around and found out Thomann sells these. Noticed that the ill reviewed Akai Timbre Wolf was on sale so ordered one also. I will report later about how it really sounds.