I sampled the drum sounds from the Technics SX-KN800. Many of the sounds are similar to the ones in the AX7, but there are some additional sounds (inexplicably including a selection of bird sounds), and they’re also somewhat brighter because the KN800 uses a different sample playback engine. These should also include all the drum sounds used in the SX-K700, K500, KN600, KN400, KN200, and probably the related EX, EN, GX and GN organ models circa 1987-1991.

The drum sounds in the KN800 are panned in stereo, with certain sounds cycling between several different pan positions. I mixed all the sounds to mono. A few are sustained looping sounds, so you can loop and gate them to taste. I carefully filtered the sounds to reduce noise, although some still remains. There are 3 different drum kits for the basic sounds (bass drum, snare and toms). A few of these are duplicates, so I put them in a separate folder.

The KN800 was the successor to the K700, which was the first fully sample based home keyboard using the same sample playback engine for the drums and keyboard tones. It’s in many ways the first really mature arranger keyboard. Compared to the K700, the KN800 adds more polyphony (24 notes vs. 16), velocity sensitivity (introduced in the AX7), a fairly good digital reverb (considerably better than the AX7), and a much more mature arranger section with a programmable drum pattern, bass line and 3 polyphonic parts. The sequencer is fairly sophisticated and the timing is much tighter than the earlier models. Much of the design carried over to the later KN1000, which introduced a completely different sample playback engine with 32 note polyphony and a much larger waveform ROM.

Similar to the K700 but unlike the AX7, the KN800 has a fairly standard rompler voice architecture with only basic editing, but it also includes an interesting retrigger mode and a large selection of complex pitch envelopes. There are no filters or other advanced features, but overall the sound quality is surprisingly good. It’s easy to layer and detune up to 6 voices, each with independent pitch modulation, although this of course reduces the polyphony. There are only 16 notes of polyphony available for the keyboard sounds (the other 8 are allocated to the drums, bass and “back ground sound”, using a separate tone generator), so the main weak point here is that the polyphony runs out very quickly.