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MIDI Designer
Design your perfect MIDI controller for iPad, iPhone, and now on M-powered Macs
LAYOUT: Kawai K5/K5m - MIDI Designer Q&A

Rating: GoldLAYOUT: Kawai K5/K5m

+4 votes
Rating: Gold
asked Apr 23, 2019 in Community Shares by thedood (930 points)
edited Apr 24, 2019 by thedood
Wow! This one looks great! I would not mind having a K5 and being able to emulate Jean Michel Jarre while playing an EWI. I love those smart and creative solutions for the SYSEX that you have done here. Awesome job, thedood!
Wow man, another one! This is insane, we'll be sharing about this soon on all fronts. Thanks!
+1 for Jean Michel Jarre, king of the pads! Im not sure there are many of these K5s left. They can do somethings great. They certainly aren't an all rounder but they can do ambience well.
This one looks really great! I had a K5 many years back and remember, how fascinating it was in terms of options, but how tedious to actually program sounds. I am sure this layout should help a lot! Congrats, must have been a huge work!
By the way if I remember correctly, the K3 already featured one programmable harmonic spectrum and the K1 used a lot of waveforms made with the K5.
I just got another K5 (wanted to give it a second chance), but besides the usual dim display some buttons are unresponsive. Before I´ll get that fixed, I´ll try your layout for some editing.Thanks a lot for this!
Are you insane? lol I thought you learned your lesson! haha
Its funny, I haven't used mine for nearly two years now. I need to get he out and fire it up. Ive been so far down the rabbit hole with Eurorack of late that Ive forgotten it. Its still the only synth I own that I actually fear. Good luck buddy. Its a complicated layout but that being said, its a complicated synth ;)
Ah, you know how it goes: you read some online article about that one synth, you watch a couple of YT videos, like the sound and then you find a decent offering in your area. And magically the instrument appears on your keyboard stand before you even realized, what’s going on. :D Luckily nowadays I am not in need for all the basic stuff like in my young days (and which the K5 doesn’t really provide) and I have time and a lot more experience to explore it. Just the display and sticky buttons need to be worked on. Will try your layout later today, must have been quite some work to make it. And yes, K5 is a complex machine.
After my K5 is in great shape again, I started working on patches. Also I looked closer at your layout: man, what strange things Kawai did regarding the sysex implementation... (again, I already had this with the K1). I wonder why they even need two bytes for value. Is there anything exceeding 127? Anyway I would like to re-arrange the layout according to my needs, hope that is okay for you. Planning to make a sort of hybrid thing, because for the DHGs I prefer to look at the K5 screen to see, what's going on. It'll need some time to develop the right approach. And again: congrats, you have done a huge job here!
No worries mate, go for it! Its long overdue a version upgrade and your reputation speaks volumes, I use your K1 and TG77 layouts all the time! Its been years since I built it and honestly, I haven't touched it since I done the final version uploaded here. Ive been buried in a rabbit warren with Eurorack and I cant get out. Help! lol ...I am having fun though. ;)
The 'values' never go above 127, but the addresses for the parameters do!! Once Kawai hit the upper limit of available parameter address's (127) they then used a separate value further up the sysex string to give them more addresses, essentially giving them 127 x 127 addresses for parameters. The reason they did this is because there are more than 127 parameters on the unit. When you look at all the parameters you can change on the K5 (separate values for two separate oscillators - S1, S2 and Both) they exceed 127 addresses, so Kawai cheated and used another value in the sysex string to give them more. This is the value we change using the MD2 channel controller, and I color coded them either green or blue for my own sanity while designing it, so I could tell which values needed that higher byte changed (sorry its confusing I know, but once you rip apart the layout, it should slowly make sense I hope).
Ive never been a brilliant interface designer. I'm a retired C++/# coder and I mainly worked on back end services, so UI was never my forte' ;) I now look after my adult son full time who is severely autistic. That's one thing I love about your interfaces, they're very spacious and easy to use...I make mine too cluttered (always trying to save space lol). Let me know when you finish, Ill be glad to scrape the dust off mine and give it a test buddy. Cheers
Take care.
Brett Aka thedood.
By the way I recently shared an update of my K1 layout. After I managed to get hold of a memory card, I could finally check and repair a bug, which did prevent the layout from loading patches from a card (external memory E/e). It turned out to be just a stupid simple mistake in the input rule. Its now sorted and works fine.
Hi, I managed to finish my version, based on your layout. That was super helpful, Kawai gave me a hard time to understand, how they set values using the two value bytes. But looking at how your controls were set made it a lot easier. I added some parameters and spread out dedicated controls for S1 and S2 on different banks. That takes a lot of space and requires more page switching, but allowed me to create a Streambyter input rule, so I can load existing single patches from the synth into the layout. Also the layout became quite big, I think 3,7MB. Same as the TG77 editor, bank switching on my old iPad Air2 can be kind a slow.
Actually after creating the first patches using the layout, I found myself using a hybrid way: I set the DHG spectrum, using the K5 own UI (so I see the spectrum in the display) and control everything else from MD. Works really well for me and makes editing so much easier and faster. Now before I share my version, I wanted to ask if it is ok for you if I mention your name same as in your own layout. Like " original layout by Brett Anthony, new version by Ib Kai". I´d like to give credits, but want to make sure that you're okay with it.
For sure mate. No problem! You dont need to worry about the credits buddy, all software is a work in progress. I'm just glad I could help. The ability to upload will be super cool!! Ill dust off mine and get it ready, I'm hanging to try it out!!
Take care
Brett (Thedood) ;)
I finally uploaded my version of the layout. Took ages, because it is pretty complex and I had to fix a lot of problems during the testing phase. Work in progress, indeed.