Kawai K1 Sample Set

kawaik1The Kawai K1 was my first “real” synthesizer. Prior to that I had only ever played with my Casio MT-18 and compared to that, the Kawai K1 was endless palette of awesome sounds. It began a long love affair with Kawai synthesizers and ultimately I’ve owned all of them at some point in time. They’re all gone now, replaced by other synths with better interfaces and features but my love for the sounds the Kawai K1 produced has stayed strong over the years. So, prior to selling my last Kawai K1r last year, I took the time to sample each of it’s single cycle waveforms, single shot samples and loops. 256 samples in all. They are all presented here as 44.1khz 24bit wave files along with a PDF file of a document that came along with the original K1’s detailing all of the samples. Enjoy.

DOWNLOAD HERE , I have a new sample/audio focused website, Good Morning Audio! This link will take you there to grab the samples. Cheers! -Chvad

NOTE: The first 204 samples are single cycle waveforms are VERY VERY SHORT by nature and must be looped to sound like anything other than a short click. Most samplers can deal with this rather gracefully but I personally love using the TAL-Sampler if you need a place to start. You can load up to four samples at a time much like the K1’s ability to have four sources and with an external MIDI controller you can mix in between those sources just like on the full-sized Kawai K1 (the K1r lacked this ability as it had no joystick and lacked MIDI control over those parameters). It’s affordable, easy and well supported.

NOTE NOTE: Special thanks to Kawai Japan and Kawai America for permission to post these samples. As this is not an official product, Kawai Japan and Kawai America do not, in any way, offer any support regarding the use of these samples.


39 responses to “Kawai K1 Sample Set”

  1. mario Avatar

    wow.. i also used for many years the kaway k1 and i made with it many good sounds, i still use a bass that i sampled in roland s750 and recently in ESx24 ..

    i am very grateful to you for sampling it also in the tal sampler.. thanks!!!

  2. Jesse Avatar

    Thanks for the work put into this. Btw does the K1M have the same issue I presume with not being able to mix the four sources?

  3. Jesse Avatar

    Ah nevermin my last comment. I just noticed the K1M has the stick. I did read that there is an emulator to make the K1R respond as if it had a stick though.

  4. Chvad SB Avatar

    You’re welcome! Also, I’d love to learn more about that emulator! I’ve never come across anything like that… you have a link?

  5. 0=0 Avatar

    love these. I have k4 and it uses the same waves. so it’s nice to have them in the computer

    big respect!


  6. Chvad SB Avatar

    Appreciated and thanks! Use them well!

  7. ztevoz Avatar

    Hello Chvad,

    like you, it was my first machine after brands like bontempi :)

    It was a real pleasure to play with theses waveforms and get back in decades !!

    If it helps, I’ve used the samples into Native Instrument Kontakt with no problems.

    Thanks a lot for this gift.



  8. Chvad SB Avatar

    Thanks ZtevOz! Def good to hear they worked in Kontakt!

  9. Midi Guy Avatar
    Midi Guy

    Thank you so much! People like you make the internet to a pleasant place :-)

  10. Chvad SB Avatar

    Thanks Midi Guy! Enjoy the samples!

  11. Kevin Avatar

    Hello, first of all thank you for the waves.
    I have two questions if you have time to answer them, I will be very gratefull.
    1. How did you sampled the waves, is there any fast method to extract waveforms from a synth?
    2. I want to sample my Kawai K4. I just want to translate the waves to wavetables and use the curves. I wonder if it will be any different with your samples if I sample my K4?

    Thanks in advance

    Best regards

  12. Chvad SB Avatar


    Yer welcome! Regarding your questions…
    1) I wish there was a fast method I knew of. I’m sure someone out there knows of someway to extract data from a chip like that but that wasn’t the case for these. I set up a patch on the K1 with all of the envelopes open and just recorded directly into a Focusrite Saffire Pro 10io. Then I manually edited each recording down to a single cycle wave in Soundforge, making sure that each wav was the exact same length for a uniform consistency. It’s not hard but definitely time consuming and redundant but I felt like if I was gonna do it I’d try to be as exacting as possible.
    2) I think the K4 would be worth sampling! If memory serves me right the K4 had 16 bit samples in it so I’d say there is probably an appreciable difference between the two for sure.

    Good luck if you get down to sampling it!

  13. pete Avatar

    Hi Chvad!

    First of all, thank you for making these samples available! Much appreciated! I just discovered TAL-Sampler and I love this beast!

    Anyway, the `Kawai K1 Single Cycle Wavs` folder is greyed-out in TAL-Sampler. All other libraries are fine. Any idea why this is happening?

    Thanks for any help!

  14. Chvad SB Avatar

    Thanks for the thanks Pete! Regarding the greyed out folder… Could be a permissions thing? If you are on a PC, right click on the folder and make sure READ-ONLY isn’t checked or anything. If on a mac, right click and choose GET INFO and look under permissions and check for something similar. I have a mac at work, not home so I can be as precise with that. If neither of those things work, I’d try re-downloading the file. They’re only audio files so there’s nothing aside from a permissions thing that I can think of to keep it from loading in TAL or anything else really. Good luck and lemme know if any of that works!

  15. pete Avatar

    `read-only` on said folder was indeed the problem. I unchecked it and it now works fine. Thanks chvad!


  16. Chvad SB Avatar

    Great news! Glad it worked out!

  17. Mark Avatar

    Wow, awesome. Can’t wait to use these in my Deluge!

  18. Justin Avatar

    Like others I love my old K1(m). Thanks for making these available.
    I am currently experimenting with Emulator X3 both using these samples and also the “Synthswipe” auto-sampling feature in X3; 2 different approaches.
    Before I go too far, I wonder if anyone has successfully built any of the presets (in any format as I have chickensys translator).
    I also noticed whilst working on the first preset “Ahh” that the voice sample both start and end points seemed possibly to be out ? Not sure if you’re aware of that or if I am missing something. No biggy either way.

  19. Chvad SB Avatar


    Glad the samples are useful! I haven’t rebuilt any of the original presets myself… though if someone did I’d def use them! Regarding the start and end points of the samples… I only had the original Kawai manual and waveform sheet as a visual reference and while I tried to be as accurate as possible… that kind of came down to visual perception and my want to edit things on a natural zero crossing for the waves. So it’s totally possible there are some inaccuracies.


  20. Wes Avatar

    Thanks for these but I’m having the same issue on the folder being greyed out :(

    I unchecked read only and still no luck. Argh. In TAL sampler I also try to check ‘convert wav samples to TALwav’ and still nothing.

  21. Chvad SB Avatar

    Bummer to hear that Wes! You on a Mac or PC?

  22. Wes Avatar

    PC, Windows 10

  23. Chvad SB Avatar

    Let me check that out tonight. I’ve got a Win10 laptop I can work off of to see if I get the same results. I’ll post back later today/tomorrow! Cheers!

  24. Wes Avatar

    You rule man! Nothing urgent by any means – at your leisure good sir. Cheers!

    -Moon B

  25. Guy Avatar

    Thanks for these. And for your generosity!

    Out of interest, for anyone with Logic ProX you can download K1 and other single cycle waveforms formatted for Alchemy’s VA engine here:


    Look for “Formatted for Camelaudio Alchemy” . You have to place them in the WaveOSC folder in Alchemy’s library folder.

  26. Chvad SB Avatar

    Yer welcome! Thanks for the link! I’m sure many will find it useful! Cheers!

  27. doctor Avatar

    ah, the samples need to be looped and modified via ADSR

  28. Stanislav Zalevskyi Avatar
    Stanislav Zalevskyi

    It’s so awesome! I’ve decided to go totally “in the box” and sold all my synths, including k1r. Been missing this sharp digital sounds so much since then… Thank you very-very much for sharing this waveforms!!!

  29. Chvad SB Avatar

    Glad you found your way to the samples man! You’re welcome and have fun!

  30. Chvad SB Avatar

    glad you got them working! cheers!

  31. Isaac Avatar

    Thank you for the sample set! I’m off to feed my samplers and make some gritty industrial!

  32. Chvad SB Avatar

    Yer welcome! Link the tunes when yer done!

  33. Evert Avatar

    Hi Chad,
    Thanks for these samples. Great job. Must have taken you quite a bit of time.

    I was wondering whether you made any gain/level changes to the samples, things like normalization or some other processing?

    I am trying to make a plugin that emulates a K1. I don’t have one myself anymore so I am relying on things like this.
    I am trying to figure out whether the waveforms of the K1 all had the same level or that some were louder than others.

    Anyway, thanks for your time.

  34. Evert Avatar

    Just realized it’s Chvad, not Chad. Apologies!

  35. Chvad SB Avatar

    Hi Evert!

    Awesome about the plug in! I can’t recall exactly but I don’t believe I did. Going back and looking at them there are minor differences that would suggest I didn’t. At least not in a way I would normally do. Cheers!

  36. Evert Avatar

    Thanks for your reply. It confirms what I was already thinking.
    I’m still in the early stages but as soon as I have something going I could send you the plugin to try it out, if you are interested.

  37. Ken Gregory Avatar

    Does anyone have a list of the original non-card factory sounds? Thanks!

  38. Nils Schneider Avatar

    @Evert looks like we had the same idea.

    Note that the K1s single cycle waves are multisamples so Chvads samples alone won’t work to do a 100% replication.

    I dumped the K1 Wave ROM which gives the best results, but the single cycle waves need some post processing to be usable. Details can be found on my website.

    I’m quite far with my version of a K1 emulation, but beware that its a huge amount of work to do it properly. I published several articles about it.


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