K2000 V3
 Variable Architecture Synthesis Technology synthesizer/sampler workstation

Kurzweil K2000 V3

The amazingly powerful, groundbreaking Kurzweil K2000.  This one in particular is the Version 3 (with OS release 3.18 Janis) , the latest version of the K2000, if we don't count the K2VX version, which was still based on the K2000 and included an "analog collection" of samples on diskettes.

The K2000 was one of the classic digital synthesizers of the 1990s, and still holds strong after many years.  It was followed by the K2500, and the K2600.

The sample ROM on the K series is famously of very high quality, and the synthesis power offered by V.A.S.T. (Variable Architecture Synthesis Technology) is immense.

Furthermore, the K2000 could be expanded via "sound blocks", RAM, sampling option, scsi hard disc and lots more.  Its Operating System was regularly updated by Kurzweil, and by V3, adding a very capable sequencer, and many sounds.

And the K2000 is also an absolute joy to use as master controller.  The keyboard is very expressive and the aftertouch is easy and linear to engage.  The MIDI controls are comprehensive and it's easy to use as MIDI master keyboard.


Kurzweil K2000 V3 audio demos



Program name with audio demo My comments

001 3rd World Order

Fantastic, wave-sequence style patch, with a morphing percussion loop, and ominous male choirs

002 Stereo Grand

Beautiful, realistic grand piano sound.  If I remember correctly, this was called "The Frankensteinway" at the Kurzweil factory, because they sampled notes from different Steinway pianos and combined the best parts together to create this patch.

003 Touch Orchestra

Realistic, full orchestral sound, with dynamic percussion and cymbals in the lower register.

006 Dual Bass

Classic, clean bass guitar.  Velocity-switched slapping action.

007 Fair Breath

Charming voxy pad, reminiscent of the classic Fairlight sounds.

010 Timershift

Beautiful, pensive, vector-like pad

011 Neo-Prophet

FAT emulation of a classic analog unit, the Prophet-5

012 Tine Elec Piano

Whitney Houston in a box... the classic 1980s electric piano, with special sparkle and beauty!

015 Steel Str Guitar

Very realistic acoustic guitar

017 Mixed Choir

Superb female and male choir, realistic and expressive.

018 Miles Unmuted

Nice, full-bodied jazz trumpet

019 Bella Voce

Classic digi sounds of the '90s

020 Big Jupiter

Gorgeous, gorgeous emulation of an analog polysynth of the 1980s (like a Jupiter-8)

021 Passion Source

Gorgeous Fairlight style patch... reminds of the '80s

023 Grand Strings

The beautiful, famous Kurzweil strings... still realistic after many years

024 West Room Kit

Nice drum set

025 Press Wah Wah

Aggressive, Fusion like

026 No Frets

Standard fretless bass, very expressive

027 Low World Vox

Another great digital vox pad

030 Fun Delay Square

Fun delays

031 Fantasia

Nice emulation of the classic, first patch on the Roland D-50.

034 Castle Drums

The Kurzweil team really recorded these drums in a castle... I remember reading or seeing that somewhere.

036 D House Bass

Typical Moog style bass

038 Tenor Sax

Expressive and happy tenor saxophone

039 Car's Sync

Outstanding emulation of the classic Prophet-5 osc-sync patch

040 Islanders

Jamaican steel drums

041 Auto Wavesession

Beautiful, ever-evolving wave sequence patch

042 Bright Piano


045 Acous 12 String

Realistic guitar

046 Big Mono Bass

The great K2000 filters... superb quality

047 Bamboo Voices

New Age affair

050 2000 Odyssey

1990s nostalgia

052 Dual Elec Piano

Beautiful, expressive Rhodes patch, with characteristic "bell" on top.

055 Slo Chorus Gtr

Beautiful chorused guitar - much in vein of famous '80s band "the Cocteau Twins"

057 Wind Vox

Atmospheres are a specialty on the K2000

059 Vectoring

Very nice.

060 Stereo Sweeps

Warm and powerful at the same time

061 Glasswaves

Super digital beauty

062 Gospel Organ

Happy organ!!!  The CS slider adds percussion, the modulation wheel changes the Leslie's speed.

063 Solo Flute

It's real!

064 Real Drums

Realistic set of drums

067 Digital Choir

'90s sampler staple sound

068 Hip Brass

Realistic jazz brass ensemble, very nice!!

070 Lucky Lead

S u p e r b  emulation of the classic Moog patch used by Keith Emerson in ELP's famous song "Lucky Man" - check out the K2000's fabulous filters

074 Dyn Percussion

Nice congas

075 Ravitar

India love

081 Flatliners

More excellent atmospheres

082 Perc Organ


087 DeathToTheVoices

Classic patch that spawned a few imitators, I think

089 Velveteen

Digi synth

091 Clockbells

Beautiful bells

092 Digital E Piano

Professional-sounding is one adjective that can be used for the K2000!

093 Slo Solo Strings


094 Beat Box

Classic analog drum machines, a la Roland CR-series

096 Mondo Bass

M E G A  synth bass... of the best analog tradition

098 Jazz Quartet

Nice split patch:  drums & fretless on the left, jazz guitar and (CS slider activated) saxophone.

099 Modular Lead

Incredible emulation of a modular synthesizer!!! Amazing!!!

101 Ethereal Strings

Beautiful.... just beautiful.

107 Pipes 1

Another great feat of the K2000's powerful synthesis engine and expressivity, this is a nice church organ.

118 Orient Wind

The classic trick of using the pitch envelope to simulate the characteristic attack of an Asian flute

120 Dyno Synbrass

Is this synth digital, or  a n a l o g ??

121 Lunar Dance

More fantastic, moving synths

123 Glockenspiel

Perfectly sampled

126 Alaska

Famous patch, found on other synths as well

127 Touch Down

Classic pitch bending

129 PressForThunder!

Superb piece of programming!!!

130 Hi Res Sweeper

More filter action... phenomenal

131 Deep Atmospheres

Great moving vectors type pad

135 Soon

Cinematic delay pad

136 Oh Bee!!!

Quintessential Oberheim OB series

138 A Kordian

Cute French accordion

140 Clock S&H Lead

The classic Emerson sample & hold lead sound

141 Multi-Texture

Amazing moving pad, very K2000

142 Quillsichord

Realistic harpsichord patch

143 Toto Brass

Amazing rendition of the classic "Africa" synth brass patch

148 Analog Brazz

Very realistic, analog sounding synth brass

149 The Night Shift

Very good atmosphere pad with mechanical noises

150 7th World String

Solid strings

151 Tranquility

Very beautiful, calm, liquid pad

152 B-2000

Warm organ sound with Leslie

156 Mogue Bass

Moog power

157 Orchestral Pad


159 In The Well


161 Shimmerling

Vibrating analog pad

164 Glassy Eyes

Digital awesomeness

168 AM Square Synth

Analog might

169 Through The Blue

Deep in the ocean

172 Rock Quartet

Fun patch that combines drums, distorted guitar, rock organ

175 Classical Gtr


176 Talk Talk

Another exquisite work of programming!!!

177 Waterflute


178 Lonely Fifths

Analog and Progressive sounding

179 RainforestCrunch

Cool forest sounds

181 Stratosphere

Nice delayed effect

184 Press Evolution

Nice special fx

186 The Buzz


187 Wood Bars

Very realistic

188 Poly Analog 5th

Super analog - reminds of certain sounds used by Spandau Ballet in the 1980s

189 Northern Winds

Excellent wind fx

190 Doomsday

Great fx

191 Ethereal Echoes

Quintessential K2000 patch!!!  Beautiful LFOs and programming

194 Alien Industry


196 Riding The Rails

Blade Runner type sound FX



Setup name with audio demo My comments

01 Mega Force

Orchestral combo, powerful

02 Modern Keys

Beautiful setup with beautiful synth textures

03 Classic Octaves


04 Total Orchestra

Realistic orchestra setup

05 Port Control

Mega Emerson setup!

06 Emperor's Son

Classic Asian feel

07 Jamming

Expressive jazz combo - contrabass & ride cymbal on the left, brass & trumpet (via CS slider) on the right

08 Strings & Winds

Sublime setup, perfect for classical, but also pop and soundtrack genres

09 Jaco-Bell Tree

Classic Jaco Pastorius style fretless bass on the left, and bell tree on the right

16 Yo House!

Late 1980s

24 Cosmic Debries

A spaceship passing through a sea of asteroids

28 SellYourOldGear


29 Mega Pipes

Solid church organ

34 Big Wet LeadGtr

Lots of delay

35 Parisian

Classic French combo, with realistic accordion

42 Liquid Image

Beautiful, charming pad

45 Into The Gorge


51 Pipe & Choir

At mass

52 Pressure Keys

Digi keys

53 Piano-Cello

Piano on the left, cello on the right

54 Double Manual

Groovy Hammond organ double-manual setup

55 Too Blue

1970s easy listening style

71 Stab Stack

Groovy and realistic jazz brass section

78 Night In Havana

Tropical jazz

94 Bars & Bells


96 Short Fuse

Cool, different

97 Wavestream

Typical swirly K2000 sounds


<The original Kurzweil K2000 "Factory Programs & Demos" came with the K2000 V3 and contained new demos/sounds, and all the patches from the previous K2000 versions

Kurzweil K2000 Factory Programs & Demos diskette

Here are a few demos from this diskette: 


Keith's Revenge

a classic Keith Emerson / late ELP style number, with possent synth brass, mega portamento synth lead, and rock organ


beautiful, classy New Age / Pop arrangement, showcasing the new sounds on Ver.3

Night in Bankok

nice Eastern themes


well-arranged orchestral piece



beautiful pianos and strings

Dyno Dance

purely 1990s!

Nova Born

powerful, beautiful, classy... the sound of the K2000



classical realism


The original K2000 was a TEC 1993 award winner:

K2000 TEC winner sticker 

The K2000 also came with a Video Training Manual, in VHS tape format.

Version 3 added one manual to the standard, original one:


Kurzweil K2000 V3
Year of release: 1996
Polyphony: True 24-note
Sound generation method: sample
Preset memories 10 banks of 100s each
MIDI: in, out, thru
Sound expansion capabilities: yes, sound blocks, sampling
Sequencer yes
Arpeggiator no
Effects yes
Velocity yes
Aftertouch yes


Kurzweil K2000 V3 pictures (click on thumbnails to enlarge)



Kurzweil K2000 V3 manual

available at



SITE Type of resource DESCRIPTION
  Manufacturer site home page

Kurzweil K2000 V3 review with audio demo - January 25, 2009


K2000 V3
Synthesizer Workstation

001 3rd World Order An incredible, Wavestation-like patch...
007 Fair Breath Classic, Fairlight-inspired synth vox pad
010 Timershift Superb vector patch, glassy and mysterious.
011 Neo-Prophet Shows off the fantastic resonant filters on this machine.
019 Bella Voce Typical Roland-style bell-vox pad
020 Big Jupiter A n a l o g!!!!!!!
021 Passion Source More Fairlight beauty...
027 Low World Vox Nice and realistic, breathy choir
030 Fun Delay Square Cool square wave synth + delays
031 Fantasia The K2000's take on Roland D-50's most famous preset ;-)
041 Auto Wavesession Is it a Korg WS?  No, a Kurzweil!! :-)
050 2000 Odyssey Charming atmospheric pad!
057 Wind Vox Nice evolving, rhythmical pad
059 Vectoring More vector action
060 Stereo Sweeps Quintessential K2000 sounds
061 Glasswaves Hyper-digital and great for soundtracks
067 Digital Choir Typical 90s patch
070 Lucky Lead I have not heard a better emulation of the classic Emerson patch on a digital synth.
081 Flatliners Who says the onboard Digitech multi-effect sounds bad?!
087 DeathToTheVoices Characteristic "VAST" programming
089 Velveteen Warm and nice :-)
101 Ethereal Strings The K2000's MEGA filters.
129 PressForThunder! This was used by Italian DJ Robert Miles on "Children" ;-)
130 Hi Res Sweeper Digital yet warm...
131 Deep Atmospheres More great soundtrack sounds
141 Multi-Texture Beautiful K2000 sounds
149 The Night Shift Yep
150 7th World String Clean string samples, quality patch
151 Tranquility Superb ambient patch!
159 In The Well Yes
161 Shimmerling Moving LFOs...
164 Glassy Eyes Typical digital GOODNESS
168 AM Square Synth Nice warm pad, very Roland Jupiter
169 Through The Blue Divine programming
176 Talk Talk Vocal emulation via V.A.S.T. ;-)
191 Ethereal Echoes One of the most famous patches on the K2000, heard in many TV and radio commercials