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Lennon Mercury 02/25/2014

Kurzweil PC3LE8 : Lennon Mercury's user review

« Beautiful beast! »

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Comprehensive Workstation with a 7 octave keyboard touch "heavy light" (heavy enough to recall the feeling of an upright piano, and light enough to play synth sounds, organ and electric piano)
8 pads for launching clips, play drum sounds or what you will be assigned in advance
5 assignable knobs for 15 parameters change sounds
5 switches specifically for the organ (to play on the drawbars and rotary effects, vibrato, and Leslie)
A fairly broad and readable for the selection and modification of sounds screen, the use of the sequencer, etc..
A wheel to change values ​​quickly
An alpha numeric keypad gathering the sounds in each bank or number
About 1,000 programs (I will return in Chapter tones)
256 setups (performance) and hundreds of "songs"
Hundreds of effects and effect chains
A programmable arpeggiator patterns or defined
Tap Tempo or you can set its value
Very large user memory
Only "flat", it weighs 25 kilos (that is, manufacturing quality)! Although strong, I have a lot of trouble to move. So think of it in the context of the scene, and see if it is worth taking the LE7, which has a semi-weighted touch.


It is very easy to choose a sound, through banks (22 in number) by typing the number, name, or digging in user banks. So you can create banks category favorite sounds, or else together in banks all the sounds used for one piece, which allows you to switch from one sound to another in a flash.
In setup mode, you can split the keyboard or mixing layers. You can create complete hyper setups because you can pre-register sequences in song mode and assign them as "riffs" on the pads, knobs, the switches or keys. And a setup can be up to 16 different parts or rhythms, sequences, variations, raw or mixed sounds, and across the keyboard which can be divided into as many parts as you want.
The pads are hyper practices including the launch sequence, and the settings can synchronize with each other (for instance I recreated the song Behind The Wheel Depeche Mode, the first launch pad battery, 2nd the bass line, the 2 speakers synchronized being the 3rd launches the main theme, the fourth guitar, etc..). The pads light of a different color (red, blue, or bicolor) as they play a sound, a sequence once or repeatedly.
Sequencer, once you understand how they work is quite efficient. I spent time peeling the user manual (very complete and has illustrated examples of use) and after 2 full days spent on the sequencer, I control well and now I can give a touch very professional in my compositions. I love the fact create loops, record real-time or step, can then edit the wrong notes, their location, velocity, duration ... A function "quantize" allows stalling notes at the fair. You can copy, paste, merge or overwrite sequences, create automations volume (ideal for explosive intro or end a song) ... You can also assign the same song in different tempos, change the volume and panning of sounds in either the whole song or even within the song. In short, the possibilities are enormous. I record songs A to Z with the sequencer and it sounds pro.
I'm not talking about the sound editing programs such as PC3LE suit me as it is, I have not needed to create my own sounds. For this, I refer you to the test of Synthwalker PC3K, which has the same VAST synthesis engine.


With the sequencer, the big advantage of PC3LE is its sound, the best I've owned so far, at least on the sounds I'm looking for since forever. What I like in particular is that some sounds are named after the musician or song that has popularized.
Acoustic pianos are good without being transcendent. Harpsichords are very nice.
The electric pianos are fantastic, whether the Wurly, clavinets, Rhodes, Pianets, etc.. A note sounds "Supertramp Wurly" (fantastic), Real Supasticious (Stevie Wonder ...) and Pianet Walrus (The Beatles).
Organs are quite good, including Farfisa and Vox (a patch Doors Vox). Numerous B3 (the PC3LE has also a specific synthesis organs which is called ... :) B3.
Bass, acoustic and electric, are excellent.
Synths are divided into leads, pads, synth bass and synth and are of very good quality, especially the bass. Some recreations of his Moog, pads and strings of Jupiter, and his famous Jump.
Numerous drum kits and percussion (over a hundred), it is very good with beats. Also orchestral percussion, timpani, xylophone, music box, mallets ...
But for me the highlight are the orchestral sounds. They are amazing! Whether traditional acoustic sounds solo sets of strings, flutes and brass, how wonderful. For me who likes composing orchestral pieces, this is paradise.
There is also a twenty mellotron sounds, scattered in banks strings (including sounds of Moby, Genesis, Yes, David Bowie and Led Zeppelin), voices (the tron ​​choirs ...) and winds, with LE's "Strawberry Flutes "and" Stairway to Heaven "!
The guitar sounds are bad (but usually a keyboard does not use this kind of sounds ;)
To summarize, the PC3LE stands out from the competition for vintage sounds and orchestral sounds, and is widely level for pianos, synths, bass and drums.
Note that it is very easy to download program banks on the internet. I downloaded and especially banks piano and Moog (I mentioned references on the forum).


It initially cost in € 1,800, barely more than the 88 Krome and MOX8. I had nine to € 1111 (we just € 1,090 now). If I had the means I would have taken the PC3K, but model 5 octaves costs 2 times more expensive ... But I think this is the best investment I've made in my life because I find myself with an animal for production. It is so powerful I can deal with quality pieces from A to Z without a computer, an effects processor, a filter or whatever.
The PC3LE8 allowed me to replace 3 keyboards once (Roland FP4 for heavy touch - even if the touch and sounds of piano FP4 are better since it is a digital piano Roland Jupiter 50 for sound and ease of use, and the arranger keyboard Yamaha PSR 1500 for the sequencer, one of PC3LE is more complete).
Single weight can be problematic. To counter this problem, I could have taken rather LE7 (which can be found in the new € 900), but I wanted a heavy touch. For the moment it remains quietly in my room and I used to compose my songs. If one day I have to play on stage, it will be I will make him a custom flightcase or while I play another keyboard with pre-recorded sequences (my future purchase, Roland FA06, is perfect for play ;) this role. I therefore advise the LE8 for those who make their homes. For the stage, the LE6 (touch waterfall) or LE7 (touch semi-weighted) are indicated.
Ultimately, as you can see, I love this synth! In addition to being beautiful and practical, have a very nice keyboard with quality sound banks and a powerful sequencer, it has a signature sound of its own, especially as it is not the brand The most commonly used by musicians.