Ray Kurzweil, the Singularity and the blind phone.

The Kurzweil K2000 is a classic synthesizer/sampler workstation. Everyone I know who ever owned one still has it in their studio hooked up and running. Every few months I hear someone and talk about it’s magic sound and abilities. One interesting tidbit you may not know is that the synth division of Kurzweil is owned by a Korean parent company. You could say Kurzweil is like the Hyundai of the keyboard world.

The K2000 uses V.A.S.T. (Variable Architecture Synthesis Technology) which allows you to take any multi-sample, noise or waveform and process it using just about any synthesis technique. The source of these multi-samples are from the 8MB of ROM which hold tons of authentic and superb quality samples. The internal processing is 32-bit with 18-bit DACs. The K2000 uses 31 sound-shaping algorithms to provide a variety of resonant filters, EQs, continuous panning, amplitude modulation, crossfade, distortion, digital wrap, waveshaper, pulse width modulation, high frequency enhancement, low frequency oscillators, hard sync oscillators and mixing oscillators, all with real-time MIDI control. – www.vintagesynth.com

Ray Kurzweil is also a well known futurist with a pretty interesting track record. This week the NYTimes ran an article about Kurzweil’s latest predictions titled, “The Future Is Now? Pretty Soon, at Least“. Kurzweil says we will soon have the magic eat whatever you want and don’t get fat pill, cheap solar energy and within a decade we will fuse with technology and live forever. He calls that last bit “the Singularity”. Check out his book, “The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology”: click here.

About 20 years ago he predicted blind people would be able to read anything by using a mobile device. knfbReading Technologies, Inc. in partnership with Kurzweil now sells such a product. Check it out here: www.knfbreader.com

So a name we all associate with a special synth is jumping around in the future. Do you own a Kurzweil workstation keyboard? Do you like them? Did you own one and miss it now?

Kurzweil on ebay: click here
Photo by Michael Lutch. Courtesy of Kurzweil Technologies, Inc.

5 Comments

  1. One of my first workstation keyboards was a K2000 rack unit. Loved it,…. but was it ever a bitch to program. Eventually sold it because it’s TOO complex… and there was this EMU sampler that was just too easy to use in comparison.

    But one thing is for sure… we’re going to live to be 150 years old… easily…. and having kids… or a “family” is going to be a matter of manufacturing your personal replacement… should you want to leave that type of legacy.

    These are some exciting times!

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  2. the singularity book is really great. it reads like a thesis but is really interesting. there are so many studies going on out there and developing technologies with wide ranging applications that it seems he is way more right than wrong about our futures. some people may not like his ideas or think that it’s all a good thing but i think it’s mostly going to happen as he predicts it if the technology falls into place.

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  3. Hi Saw. Thanks for your comment. I’m just pleased he is making predictions! You don’t see that as much as you used it… the human race needs to dream up it’s future if it happens or not!

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  4. I read Fantastic Voyage, The Age of Spiritual Machines and The Singularity is Near, and they changed my life. I even found some of his lectures on Itunes and I find myself impatiently awaiting his next book.

    Recently read another incredible book that I can’t recommend highly enough, especially to all of you who also love Ray Kurzweil’s work. The book is “”My Stroke of Insight”” by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor. I had heard Dr Taylor’s talk on the TED dot com site and I have to say, it changed my world. It’s spreading virally all over the internet and the book is now a NYTimes Bestseller, so I’m not the only one, but it is the most amazing talk, and the most impactful book I’ve read in years. (Dr T also was named to Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People and Oprah had her on her Soul Series last month and I hear they’re making a movie about her story so you may already have heard of her)
    If you haven’t heard Dr Taylor’s TEDTalk, that’s an absolute must. The book is more and deeper and better, but start with the video (it’s 18 minutes). Basically, her story is that she was a 37 yr old Harvard brain scientist who had a massive stroke in the left hemisphere of her brain. Because of her knowledge of how the brain works, and thanks to her amazingly loving and kind mother, she eventually fully recovered (and that part of the book detailing how she did it is inspirational).

    There’s a lot of learning and magic in the book, but the reason I so highly recommend My Stroke of Insight to this discussion, is because we have powerfully intelligent left brains that are rational, logical, sequential and grounded in detail and time, and then we have our kinesthetic right brains, where we experience intuition and peace and euphoria. Now that Kurzweil has got us taking all those vitamins and living our best “”Fantastic Voyage”” , the absolute necessity is that we read My Stroke of Insight and learn from Dr Taylor how to achieve balance between our right and left brains. Enjoy!

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  5. Hi Marisela. Many thanks for your recommendations. I will without a doubt pick these books up. I think am in a constant left/right brain battle. I’m not sure they are even meant to be in the same head!

    Reply

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