K200 is a 4 operator FM synthesizer, packed in a slightly unusual looking but actually rather user friendly interface.
Despite its somewhat rough around the edges design, is actually one of the most intuitive FM synths to explore. The control layout is very easy to comprehend and the algorithm diagram in the upper-right corner (which also works as a slider for toggling through the 52 available algorithms) is very helpful for figuring out what’s going on under the hood. The knobs don’t have any labels underneath. Instead, a visual guide on the top of the GUI shows which knob does what, and this really helps keep the interface both clean and intuitive at the same time.
Soundwise, K200 is an excellent virtual instrument. The included set of factory patches crafted by Armin Kujat feature some lovely sounding bells, pads, and most of the other classics you’d expect to hear in an FM synth. The real fun begins when you start tweaking those patches (or building your own from scratch), though, as K200 is one of those synthesizers that can hardly sound bad. Record a MIDI sequence in your DAW and play it looped while you adjust various sound parameters in K200 – you will likely end up with more than a few great sounding custom patches that you’ll want to save for later.
Other notable features include a multi-mode filter (LPF, BPF and HPF) with a filter envelope, a master tune knob and octave switch, pitch bend amount knob, portamento, mono/poly switch and MIDI learn support. The synthesizer also includes two built-in effects: a simple reverb module and a nice sounding chorus.
Due to the fact that the instrument was made with SynthEdit, it will only work in 32-bit hosts on Windows. The CPU hit is surprisingly low, staying below 7% most of the time, even with heavy polyphony.