About Kurzweil Music Systems

Kurzweil Music Systems was founded in 1982 by Ray Kurzweil, who, at that time, had been working with Stevie Wonder on developing a reading machine for the blind. It was during their collaboration that the inspiration for a Kurzweil digital musical instrument was born.

In 1983 Kurzweil Music Systems (KMS) released the K250, which presented to the world the first successful attempt to realistically emulate the sound of a grand piano in a digital keyboard. Over the next 25+ years, KMS released in succession a series of digital keyboards that were considered to represent the pinnacle of music technology in their day, among them the K2000, the PC88x and K2500. As a testament to how far ahead of their time these instruments were, they are still commonly used and requested by high profile artists around the world.

The current offerings from KMS, which include the highly successful PC3 family, are used by some of the biggest names in the music industry: Andrew Lloyd Weber, Roger Waters, The Who, Earth Wind and Fire, The Boston Pops, Amanda Palmer, Billy Joel, and Paul McCartney, to name a few.

With a small R&D facility located 12 miles west of Boston, the KMS team still meets regularly with Ray Kurzweil, who now serves as a strategic consultant for the company. The full time staff includes hardware, software and sound engineers, most of whom are also professional or amateur musicians. KMS continues to build on its legacy as a major innovator in the music technology industry and moves forward today under the proven leadership of Hyundai Development Company.

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Paul McCartney with a Kurzweil synthesizer on “Saturday Night Live”

December 11, 2010

Kurzweil synthesizer SNL McCartney

Paul McCartney and his band perform on NBC’s Saturday Night Live with a Kurzweil synthesizer on stage, aired on December 11, 2010. Season 36, episode 9. Paul Rudd hosts Saturday Night Live with musical guest Paul McCartney.

Also see:
NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” official website
Video of Paul McCartney’s “Saturday Night Live” performance on Hulu

Kurzweil PC3K8 keyboard in The Who’s 2010 Super Bowl halftime show

February 8, 2010

Super Bowl 2010 logo

A Kurzweil PC3K8 keyboard is featured live on stage with Roger Daltrey and The Who at the Super Bowl’s halftime show on February 7, 2010.

Kurzweil Music Systems | New Kurzweil PC3K combines game-changing technology with K series sample library

March 17, 2010

Kurzweil logo

Source: Kurzweil Music Systems — December, 2009 | KMS Staff

Kurzweil Music Systems proudly announces the release of the PC3K keyboard, expanding the PC3 line to include key new features along with backwards compatibility with the legendary K Series product line.

In addition to all of the innovative features that made the PC3 a major success, the PC3K features 128 MB of non-volatile user sample memory. Utilizing a breakthrough in sample flash technology, the PC3K allows user samples to… read more

Ray Kurzweil receives National Association of Music Merchants Lifetime Achievement Award

January 23, 2012

Ray Kurzweil and Joe Lamond, CEO of the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), on stage at the NAMM Breakfast of Champions, January 19, 2012 in Anaheim, CA. (credit: NAMM/David Livingston)

At the 2012 NAMM show on January 19, 2012, National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) President and CEO Joe Lamond presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Ray Kurzweil — best selling author, inventor and futurist in fields such as optical character recognition, text to speech synthesis, speech recognition technology, and electronic keyboard instruments.

Lamond also presented NAMM’s Music for Life Award to Stevie Wonder, honoring him for his “brilliant… read more

AVING TV | Live demo of PC3 synthesizer at NAMM 2009

August 14, 2009

namm 2009

Source: AVING TV — January 30, 2009

Thanks to AVING TV for this great footage of KMS’ Dave Weiser doing a demo of the PC3 at the National Association of Music Manufacturers (NAMM) 2009 conference. There is also a demo of the Young Chang piano YP275E.

Kurzweil Music Systems | A legacy of non-obsolescence by design

November 18, 2010

Kurzweil PC3K8 Brochure

Source: Kurzweil Music Systems — November 18, 2010 | KMS staff

Click here to view the new Kurzweil PC3K8 brochure, which opens as an Adobe pdf.

Stevie Wonder playing the Kurzweil 250 with George Michael and Diana Ross in 1988

August 17, 2009

vintage_kurzweil_synthesizer_george_michael

From the Kurzweil archives: Stevie Wonder playing the Kurzweil 250 in concert with George Michael and Diana Ross in 1988.

Kurzweil Music Systems | Kurzweil PC3 OS V2.0, a whole new instrument

December 23, 2010

pc3 v2 available

Source: Kurzweil Music Systems — December 23, 2010

Kurzweil Music Systems is proud to announce the release of OS V2.0 for the PC3 line. Included are many new features and over 200 new presets, many of which are the result of direct input and feedback from our customers.

V2.0 demonstrates our continued focus on the concept of non-obsolescence by design and our commitment to our customers, which lasts long after a Kurzweil keyboard is purchased.

One… read more

Kurzweil Music Systems | Stevie Wonder and Ray at NAMM 2010

January 20, 2010

NAMM 2010

Source: Kurzweil Music Systems — January 20, 2010 | Ray Kurzweil

Stevie Wonder and I presented together at a VIP reception for music industry executives at NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants), the big annual musical instrument convention and trade show in Anaheim on January 15. 

I shared some anecdotes from my 33 year friendship with Stevie and 25 year history of Kurzweil Music.

Stevie shared his thoughts about the same history, said some gracious things, and sang… read more

Kurzweil Music Systems | Kurzweil stronger than ever for new year, debuts new products at NAMM 2011

January 4, 2011

NAMM 2011 poster

Source: Kurzweil Music Systems — January 4, 2011

Kurzweil Music Systems will be showing off a wide array of exciting new products at the 2011 NAMM show in Anaheim this year. With strong new additions to both our home and pro lines, we’re expecting even more traffic than we saw during last year’s successful show.

Kurzweil pro products will be shown at the large American Music and Sound booth, located in a prime spot on… read more

MusicRadar | NAMM 2010: Stevie Wonder joins Ray Kurzweil for synth launch, PC3K gets Motown legend’s blessing

January 20, 2010

music radar

Source: MusicRadar — January 18, 2010

25 years since the launch of Kurzweil’s K250 ground-breaking synthesizer, Stevie Wonder joined Ray Kurzweil for the launch of Kurzweil’s new flagship model, the PC3K. On Friday night, in a small suite at the Anaheim Hilton, an invited audience saw Kurzweil present Stevie with the new model who then enthralled the audience with an impromptu performance of two songs.

The PC3K keyboard expands the PC3 line to include key… read more

Kurzweil Music Systems | Ray Kurzweil returns: Hyundai names Kurzweil chief strategy officer of KMS

January 20, 2007

Kurzweil logo

Source: Kurzweil Music Systems — January 20, 2007

Hyundai has appointed Ray Kurzweil as Chief Strategy Officer of Kurzweil Music Systems. Hyundai, one of the world’s largest corporations, plans to work with Ray Kurzweil to “build Kurzweil Music Systems into one of the largest music instruments brands in the world,” Kurzweil stated.

Kurzweil, who founded Kurzweil Music Systems, Inc. in 1982, will work with Kurzweil Music Systems management on technology strategy and will also be a primary… read more

NPR Fresh Air | Hip hop legend and film composer RZA talks about Kurzweil Music

March 7, 2005

NPR Music logo

Source: NPR Fresh Air — March 7, 2005 | Terry Gross

NPR | The RZA is one of the founding members of the kung-fu-meets-hip-hop group the Wu Tang Clan. He has also written film scores, including Kill Bill and Ghost Dog. Now he has turned his efforts to a new book, The Wu Tang Manual. The RZA is also known as the Abbot, Bobby Digital, Prince Dynamite and more. His birth name is Robert F. Diggs.… read more

NAMM Oral History Project | History of Kurzweil Music Systems

January 20, 2010

NAMM oral history

Source: NAMM Oral History Project — January 20, 2007 | NAMM staff

Ray Kurzweil appeared on the popular 1950s and 1960s quiz show “I’ve Got a Secret” to reveal that he had made a computer that could make music. Since those early days, Ray has come to define the computer age of music making.

Founder of Kurzweil Music, Ray designed some of the industry’s most noted electronic instruments of the 1980s and 1990s.

Ray was a pioneer in the field… read more

Kurzweil Music | Kurzweil Music on stage with Roger Waters: The Wall Live

December 27, 2011

KMS at Roger Waters Live

Dear readers,

Here are some new videos with Jon Carin, keyboardist for Roger Waters, currently on tour with Roger Waters: The Wall Live, using Kurzweil keyboards exclusively.

The first clip features John Teele (software department manager) and me (senior soundware engineer) on stage about 20 minutes before the show started. The next two clips are interviews with Jon Carin. I thought our readers might enjoy these!

— Daveread more

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