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FK5 Kontakt instrument is based on the Roland Rhythm-77 (AKA TR-77) drum machine, which was the first pack launched under the Roland brand name in 1972. It was essentially an updated Ace Tone FR7L. The wooden case and music rest are tell-tale signs that this was primarily designed to sit on top of a home organ. Being top-of-the-range, it had a few bells and whistles (not literally), such as volume sliders for individual sounds and a fade in and out effect. The drum sounds were generated using inductor coils rather than transistors.
The sounds of the FK5 originate from a Rhythm-77 that was in lovely condition. This is one of those machines that require some internal tinkering in order to sample all of the sounds in isolation. As is usual here at Forgotten Keys, all sounds have been sampled several times in order to preserve the subtle differences that you get each time you play analogue sounds. This is most noticeable where a random noise generator is used to produce the sound such as the cymbals, snare and tambourine. The sounds can, or course, be triggered individually from a keyboard or a DAW sequencer as well as the in-built rhythms.
The sounds are in 24-bit 44.1KHz wav format.
The rhythms are divided into 4 groups: latin, jazz, 2-Beat and 4-Beat. It’s important to note that the rhythms on the FK5 and other Forgotten Keys virtual drum machines are not sampled loops but pattern data created with the help of Kontakt’s scripting engine. This allows manipulation of each sound individually, artefact-free tempo changes and the ability to combine rhythms without volume and phasing problems.
The mixer section at the bottom of the interface offers control over the volume of key instrument sounds and is provided in order to give the FK5 similar functionality to the original. More flexibility can be had however by using the Setup tab.
The Setup tab offers greater control over how the FK5 sounds and operates. There are volume, pan, tune and mute controls for each sound. Incoming MIDI notes can be mapped to any rhythm or sound and outgoing sounds can be assigned to any available Kontakt output. Random tune and volume controls add a little human element to the sounds.