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Technics Tones

Basis of Sound Editing: Chapter & Verse. What Are Tones? They are the basic sound sample that your keyboard uses to create the fantastic selection of SOUNDS we have all come to expect from our Technics musical instruments. They are used in the keyboards, organs, digital ensembles and the PX pianos. Tones are the building blocks of Sounds.

Hi folks, my name is John, many of you may have seen me on the site as “jd5live”. Mike has kindly said about a project I have working on for the site. It's called TONES.

What are TONES?

They are the basic sound sample that your keyboard uses to create the fantastic selection of SOUNDS we have all come to expect from our Technics musical instruments.

They are used in the keyboards, organs, digital ensembles and don't forget the fabulous classical piano range called “PX”. They are, in simple terms, the building blocks of Sounds.

Some of you who where lucky enough to buy your instruments new may remember an extra manual called the Reference Guide (that floppy blue printed thing!). It's usually the first one to go walkies, remember? In that book were lots of technical stuff which most players left to the 'tecki nerds'! Not my kind of stuff.

Simple Piano

Well now it's time to play around. These Tones vary from model to model but lets talk about the simple stuff. Some of the Tones are used almost on their own, for instance a straight Piano which is fine on its own.

We have a Tone called Piano on some early models this is a mono piano plain and simple. To make a simple “Honky Tonk” they (Technics) simply added a second piano Tone, slightly de-tuned, and bingo! We have a fairly good reproduction of that Pub piano in need of a tune up.

Most of the later keyboards (post-1993 for KN) use up to 4 Tones to create a Sound.

Build a Pan Flute

Another example is, say, the “pan flute”. This comes as a Tone called “pan flute” but those of you who have listened to the Lonely Sheppard by James Last and pan player Gheorghe Zamfir, will know that you hear both the pan pipe and also hear the breath of the player. So, look through your Tones and up pops Breath, or Flute breath, and by adding these two Tones together, the pan pipes start to come alive.

As we all know, if the breath was at the same volume as the pan Tone, the Sound we would get would not be that musical at all. Now if we lower the volume of Tone 2 “breath” we arrive at the perfect balance for your ear. If you are happy then we can write to one of the Sound Memories, for future recall in a registration set up.

The examples I have talked about are very simplified but below I have listed some simple rules you can follow and have a little fun.

Save Your Work

DON'T WORRY! If you follow the guidelines below you can't blow up your instrument!!! N.B. Save all your current settings to Disc or SD card (KN7000 and KN2600) before you start, so that you an recall them at any time.

Make Your Own Sound

  1. Select a Sound that is close to the one you wish to create. This will set things like Vibrato and other settings to the approximate correct values for that Sound type. I will be going into these settings in a later article.
  2. Press Program Menu.
  3. Press Sound Edit.
  4. Now press Tone Edit. This will take you to a screen showing the TONES used in that Sound. It will also show the Tones which are switched ON. If you then turn off all but Tone one you can then scroll though the different Tone groups “A” to the last letter used on your keyboard. Each group will contain families of Tones such as reed, brass, flute etc.
  5. Now run through the different Tones and have a listen.
  6. Try experimenting by taking two Tones and putting them together, say piano and strings, the world is all yours.
  7. If you wish to keep your creation you will see the button marked WRITE. Press this and select the Sound Memory you wish to use. Write it, then turn off your program menu.
  8. Save this Sound Memory into a setting and then save to disc, as you would any other setting. Next time you wish to use that Sound you created, reload from disc and bingo there it is... and you can play to your heart's content!!!
  9. IMPORTANT! If at any time you get into a muddle you can go back to the real world by loading your settings you had before from your disc (the one you DID create at the start).

All I can add is happy playing and have fun. You never know what you can create and please share that new trumpet, or thingumebob that sounds great. Don't be fearful try it out.

Regards John.


Started playing Hammond,many years ago,worked in the music trade and engineering,now have fun with my KN7000

Further Reading

For those who are interested in Tones and editing Sounds, you may be interested to know that the basic concepts are similar in all of the KN keyboards and the Technics WSA1 Synthesizer.

The Articles below will be of interest to you:

The WSA and the Basics of Sound Synthesis

The Beginners Guide to Modeling with Technics WSA1

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rosi smiling You made it sound so simple; I can't wait to try it. Brilliant article! Thank you, John.
Posted on October 31, 2015 at 10:11 PM
RockingHorseKid Hi John. Your article here was very interesting.

In 2013, I was trying to get a James Last Trumpet sound that would give me a Duet of Trumpets BUT using only one Sound Button and not using Techni-chord,

I did do it using Sound Edit and a lot of perseverance, and this is the Youtube Link to my recording if you or any of the members are interested.

Posted on November 23, 2015 at 7:59 AM
admin Nice playing Robin!
Posted on November 23, 2015 at 9:36 PM
Stubear Thanks Phil.

That was a very well written easy to understand explanation. Ive been playing for years and still haven't explored editing instrument sounds on my KN 7000. There always seems to be too much else to do. Even at close to 70 I always seem to be either too busy or just want to "play". After reading here maybe I'll want to experiment a bit. It's funny I've looked at new instruments. I even bought (and sold) one of the larger Atelier organs. I Just don't see anything I'd rather have to play (and play around with) than my 7000. Thanks again to you and everyone here who gives so much themselves.
Posted on February 07, 2018 at 1:39 PM
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