The new Ketron X4 provides an integrated and fully relational; synthesizer module, realtime arranger, sampler, sequencer, and dual multi-function digital effects - all in a single compact unit.
By using industry standard MIDI as the primary interface, the Ketron X4 can be used with the huge range of MIDI keyboards, accordions, guitars, wind controllers, and of course, computers. Once connected, to a MIDI controller the X4 takes care of all the various elements used in the production of music.
The first of these elements is sound generation; this is stunningly realistic, with excellent dynamics. The second part is the realtime arranger for musical accompaniments complete with percussion instruments. This provides a very fast and accurate backing from the huge recognition list of chord modes played on the MIDI controller. The next 'must have' module is a sampler. The X4's sampler permits recording from a microphone, or any audio source, editing and playing WAV loops, with full integration throughout the system. A sequencer module is included for creating or editing complete sequences, or playing standard MIDI files with lyrics displayed on screen. Two multiple function DSP's provide individual effects for the X4's sound, and the connected microphone output. With four assignable audio outputs excellent post mixing capability is easily achieved. Being internally connected, all these modules are of course fully interactive.
As if this was not more than enough, the Ketron X4 can be customized much further with a number of options. A rugged hard disk drive can be added for massive on-board storage, a vocalist kit offers vocal harmony, effects, and EQ to an attached microphone, and extended memory is available for many of the above features. Various pedal options can be added for "hands free" control of many functions, and for the future, a video option that offers large format presentation of MIDI karaoke lyrics for audience participation.
Your Ketron X4 is as unique as you are. With so many options, editable parameters, and vast settings capability, each X4 becomes the creation of the musician that uses it. From velocity curve to microphone balance, it's your call, it's your X4.
The new Solton Ketron X4 boasts 198 Factory Styles to cover a very wide range of musical genres. A further 198 Custom Styles allow the user to personalise the Factory Styles by modifying its instrument types, mix, tempo, and effects, as well as the various types of Percussion instruments in the Rhythm section.
Each Style is made up of 10 sections: Drums, Bass, 5 automatic Chords, Groove and 2 Manual Chords (Lower).
3 Intros, 4 Arrangement Variations, 3 Endings and 4 Fill's are available for each Style, making each of these parts different from each other, more realistic and musically stimulating.
A Lock function allows you to block a specific part of the Arrangement, Bass, Rhythm or Chords so as to allow you to go on to the next arrangement without the blocked section undergoing any variations.
Other interesting functions incorporated in the Style section are: Jump (automatically go to next style variation after a fill-in, and use the intro as a bridge), Bass to Lowest note, Bass to Root note and Manual Bass.
In addition to Styles, the X4 can play Patterns (styles loaded from disk). Up to 99 Patterns can be loaded for instant use in the standard memory, with up to an additional 99 if the optional expanded memory is installed. The hard drive version of the X4 is shipped with many favourite patterns from previous Solton models, and thousands more can be added by creating your own, turning a MIDI file into a pattern (via a computer sequencer), or buying ready made patterns on floppy disk.
UNCANNILY REALISTIC SOUNDS
The X4 is provided with a powerful 24 Mbyte ROM for the PCM data and a completely new selection of orchestra instruments: Pianos, Brass instruments, Guitars, Accordions, Choirs and Vocal effects, Drums and Special effects.
These sounds are of a surprising high quality and realism, often superior to those found in professional studio equipment. Try listening to the Tenor Saxophone, the Contralto, classic Flute, Andean Flute, Trumpet, Trombone, Muted Trumpet, the Clarinet or French Horn.
Recently rediscovered Analogue type sounds (Saw-Tooth, Square Wave, Sine Wave) that are particularly appreciated by Techno, Dance and Hip Hop music proponents can also be produced on the X4.
Electronic musical instruments are often overshadowed or made obsolete by new technology, they are not designed to be updated, especially with regard to sounds.
The X4, however, is an exception to the rule, as it is equipped with two types of Expansion for new Sounds, Drum Sets as well as Styles: the 16 Mbytes SIMM RAM and 8 Mbytes Flash Card (optional).
With the Hard Drive version, or by installing an optional Hard Disk (8 Gigabytes maximum), you can count on a huge potential of storage capacity. Complete Sound Banks can be transferred from the disk, onto the RAM, or optional Flash Card. Once stored, the Card allows you to have immediate and easy access to a huge number of additional Sounds without the necessity of having to load them from Disk.
The Card also has the great advantage of not ever being deleted, but can be rewritten by the user. A vast Library of Sounds and Styles is already available for the X4. Furthermore, Wave files can also be used up to a maximum 7 seconds each.
The RAM (SIMM) available for the Sound Banks can store up to 128 new Sounds and 8 new Drum Sets. Future developments include Analogue capacity for the Card.
Thanks to the Sound Bank Autoload function, you can automatically load a specific Sound Bank from the Disk onto the RAM when switching the instrument on - very useful!
By default the X4 is designed to load a Folk Sound Bank when switched on, with typical dance-music and folkloric sounds. These are best used with the bonus Patterns, 1 to 16 that have been pre-installed in the Pattern memory.
Even the entire operating system can be updated thanks to the X4's simple, yet elegant update function. This permits all the very latest X4 developments to be added as they become available by inserting a new system floppy disk (which can even be downloaded via the internet).
64 VOICES/128 PROGRAMS/DIGITAL DRAWBARS
The Ketron X4 has a polyphony of 64 real notes with 32 MIDI parts.
In the Program mode, it is very powerful, allowing you to store up to 128 Programs by superimposing up to 4 Voices in layer or split mode, each one with its own effects.
Each Voice has separate commands for the Velocity, Expression, Portamento, Sustain, Duet and Trio functions.
You can even play Programs while a MIDI file is operating in Song Play mode.
The X4 is further provided with a complete section of Drawbars, with 16 pre-set Organ sounds which you can program yourselves by using the 8 digital Drawbars with Click, Percussion, Vibrato, Chorus and Leslie(r). By combining the Drawbars with the preset sampled organ sounds, you can create an enormous selection of Organ sounds and effects, which are even more dramatic.
The keyboard is equipped with 2 completely independent digital Effects processors, with Effects such as Reverberation, Chorus, Flanger, Distortion, Wha-Wha, Overdrive, Leslie(r) Slow/Fast, three-track Equaliser for a total of 60 Effect variations.
Up to 4 different Effects can be superimposed on a single Voice.
Four audio Outputs with programmable allocation are also available along with two stereo Inputs, for the connection to an external sound module, or to a CD/Tape player.
There is a further stereo Input for Microphone/Line with commands such as Gain, Pan, Echo, Reverberation and Pitch Shift. You can connect up to two Microphones (just by using an adapter), each with separate effects and level control.
The optional Vocalizer is a professional Harmonizer with 3 Voices, equipped with a wide range of vocal effects which can be programmed completely within the 16 Vocal Sets available: Trio, Duet, Unison, Harmony, Vocoder, Falsetto, Baby, Alien, Gorilla, Mickey Mouse, Rapper and many others.
The effect can be allocated both to the Singing section and the automatic Accompaniment, for which the very useful Vocalize to Arranger function has been devised, allowing you to allocate different vocal effects to the various Arranger sections.
The Vocalizer correctly interprets all MIDI files programmed with a Harmony track, together with the possibility of blocking the MIDI Channel controlling the harmonizer .
The Vocalizer further allows for a separate equalisation for the direct Microphone, and harmonizer effect, with 3-band Filter controls (Low, Mid, Hi), Pan/Pot, Frequency, Resonance, Reverberation and Delay. If the optional Vocalizer is installed, one of the two microphones is routed to the Vocalizer, while the other operates normally: an ideal situation for a duet.
The X4's SIMM is structured in two separate sections of 8 Mbytes each, one for the Sampling and the other for the pre-set Sound Banks in the Ketron X 4, X 1 and X 8 Library.
The Sampling section is connected to the instrument's microphone Input and allows for sampling of professional quality at 16 Bits and 44,1 KHz .
Samples, in Wav format, can be edited and saved onto the Hard Disk to create a personalised Sound Library. The editing includes elaborate functions such as Loop, Reverse, ADSR, Filter, Shift, Fine Tune and Effects allocation.
With the MSP function (Multisampling), you can define up to 8 new Program Changes, each one made up of multiple Samplings up to 32 Splits .
The X4 is equipped with a Computer Interface socket that allows you to connect it to a computer (PC, Mac).
By means of an optional cable and a special Software installed on the computer, the X4 can send as well as receive information relating to MIDI and all the other files used by the instrument, such as Styles, Programs, Registrations, User Voices etc.
Furthermore, this connection can be used to make a backup copy of the X4's Hard Disk data onto a computer.
INNOVATIVE FUNCTIONS: SONG, LYRIC and HARD DISK
The new and exclusive "Song Text" function allows you to write song lyrics on your computer's text processing programme, export them as text files (Txt), then send them via Floppy Disk onto the X4 for viewing on the screen.
Text scrolling can be carried out by either using keyboard commands or by means of an optional foot switch (FS 6/FS 13).
There is another extremely useful function that allows you to programme and synchronise your Text files to a MIDI file, and save the Song complete with karaoke type lyrics.
It is also possible to edit a MIDI file by modifying its Sounds, Volumes and Effects and then save it onto a Disk.
The X4 has all-new architecture for the Hard Disk, with 99 folders that can each address up to 999 files indexed in alphabetical order.
You can select the next Song while the current MIDI file is playing by choosing the next file from the very helpful 1/2 Screen function (lyrics are displayed at the top, file list at the bottom), or by typing in the first few letters of the song on the keyboard.
There are a number of functions that are extremely useful, such as the melody mute (Lead Off), mute all MIDI parts except for Bass and Drums (Orchestra Off). You can transpose the MIDI file and the MIDI controller, or just the MIDI file, leaving the MIDI instrument in it's natural key. Often MIDI file levels are set so high they can "drown" the live instrument; the X4 offers a simple balance control that adjusts the balance between live performance and sequenced backing on the fly.
Song Lyrics are shown on a 240 x 128 pixel Display, with three different types of prompts for the Karaoke: underlining, lateral arrow or darkening of the characters. The alphabetic characters used are those included in most common European languages.
The X4 is completely compatible with the Library of Sound Banks, Songs and Styles already developed for the X1 keyboard and with Songs and Styles for the SOLTON MS line (MS 50, 60, 40 and 100). All General MIDI song files produced to the standard protocol are 100% compatible with the X4.
HIGHLY DEVELOPED PROGRAMMING CAPACITY
The Ketron X4 is equipped with a powerful 36,000 note/16 track Sequencer (which can be expanded to 300,000 notes with 4Mb of SIMM), allowing you to create original sequences or copy and modify existing sequences and MIDI files.
You can also program completely new Patterns into the internal storage. Recording of individual parts can be created in real time or, via MIDI from an external sequencer by virtue of the MIDI Record function.
The Pattern section has been provided with a very accurate Editing facility providing the possibility of deleting individual arrangement notes, and in the Drums section, it is even possible to modify the dynamics of individual programmed percussion notes.
The internal storage can accept up to 99 Patterns (depending on complexity), but by installing the optional Expansion 2Mb Flash, the number of Patterns locations are increased to up to 198.
The 128 User Voice section also allows you to edit all the instrument's PCM, Analogue and FM Sounds by a variety of functions such as; ADSR, Filter, Volume, Shift, Resonance and LFO in order to create exciting new and personalised sounds.
A further programmable section for Drum Sets offers the opportunity of creating up to 4 new User Drum Sets (in addition to the 20 internal Drum Sets).
VERSATILITY OF THE COMMANDS
Despite the countless types of performances offered, the Ketron X4 provides a simple and intuitive operating system for almost instant understanding of the controls. Once mastered, the musician then has the opportunity to set up personal preferences over many control parameters. As new releases of the operating system become available the Ketron X4 can be easily updated via Floppy Disk (either dealer supplied, or downloaded from Ketron's website).
The One Touch control, for example, allows you to store and recall immediately with just one button press, a choice of up to 48 sounds selected from Presets, User Voices, or Programs, to make live performances much slicker.
The 2nd Voice function adds, of course, a second Voice to the one being played on the right hand. If, for example, you are playing with the Piano sound, the 2nd Voice may add a section of Stringed Instruments to your harmonies. You can program the choice of sound, the octave and volume of the 2nd Voice to creature your own sound "texture".
Modulation, Bend and Aftertouch menus allow you to use the keyboard to control sophisticated commands for Filter, Wha Wha, Expression, Bend and Portamento, thus creating a more realistic performance.
The Registration section allows you to program and recall immediately up to 198 global settings (Block Registrations) for the control panel and for all the operating functions.
You can further store up to 999 Single Registrations, to disk for almost instant recall. This is a real benefit for live performance by allowing you to load the control panel with many parameters including the Style, voice, text file for the song and even a MIDI file (when available from disk).
Optional Foot switches: FS 6 or FS 13 make remote control quicker, easier, and "hands free" for all the Arranger's commands and many other instrument functions. Sustain, Leslie, Vocalizer or specific effects such as Glide, Brass Fall Off and Shake (a type of Vibrato typically used in jazz), and many more functions can be accessed from the programmable footswitches.
The X4 has been designed for successful connection to any MIDI ACCORDION. A special Accordion menu is programmed for automatic MIDI channel settings to International and Belgian systems, along with associated control for Left and Right hand Dynamics. The KETRON X4 correctly interprets MIDI bellows expression data, from accordions fitted with this device.
It is also possible to manually control certain Rhythm instruments on the Bass/Chords keys with the "Left Drum" function.
Optimizing the use of a MIDI Accordion with the X4 is made even easier thanks to a number of specific functions, i.e.. Control of the Sustain and Octave for Bass, the possibility of making the Bass part of the Chord (or not), the control of the octave for Manual Chords and perhaps most important, the "hands free" control of many functions by means of optional foot switches (FS 6 or FS 13).
For further flexibility, the Ketron X1 offers an Arabic Scale mode with 198 programmable settings on Registrations and 6 Arabic presets that can be allocated to optional Footswitches. Each note is capable of a Pitch shift range of +/- 50 cents. The Arabic scale mode can be disabled on the Arranger and Lower section as required.
With the aid of the optional K8 MIDI bass pedalboard, the X4 can be transformed into an excellent Arranger module for Guitarists. Accompaniment Chords are changed by the MIDI Pedalboard, while chord modes (minor, 7th, etc) with a special volume pedal fitted with 4 programmable mode switches.