kaossilatorpro

KORG has a way of coming up with hardware that’s fun to use. The KORG KAOSSILATOR, a simple, cheap AA battery-powered box packed with sound-making functionality, had already won some hearts over. Touch its X/Y pad, and the KAOSSILATOR responds with built-in synth programs and arpeggiators, all mapped cleverly to the touchpad to stay in the key range you desire.

The KAOSSILATOR Pro really appears to be a hybrid of the KAOSSILATOR and KORG’s KP3 effects/sampler box. In fact, it’s really closer in appearance and function to the KP3. Like the KP3, the “Pro” has phrase sampling capabilities and effects, so you can route in an audio source or mic, and store banks of sampled phrases on SD card. It simply combines that with the playable instruments of the KAOSSILATOR.

The upshot of all of this, of course, is that you get a box you can play like an instrument, use as an effects box, use as a sampler, or a combination of all three. And while that sacrifices some of the simplicity of the KAOSSILATOR, that could be a potent combination. For effects, you get gate arpeggiators for rhythmic effects and vocoders that work with your mic. I’ll need to get a rundown from KORG on the exact specs — it looks like the KP3 is still a beefier sampler and effects box than the KAOSSILATOR Pro. But even if that’s the case, it could be more than worth the tradeoff for getting the instrument in there, too. I know plenty of users, casual and advanced, addicted to the KAOSSILATOR; the ability to plug in a mic and use a vocoder is likely to win more.

KORG, you just won a spot on our NAMM booth itinerary. And yeah, this could be a fun box to have around or even plug into a laptop.

Sure, it seems like the easy way out – take two things people love, squish them together, and people will love the result. That can’t work, can it?

Two words: cheese fries.

Check out the full specs:
KORG KAOSILLATOR Pro

Updated: remember how I said this isn’t a KP3? Readers in comments have begun digging into some of those limitations. The “Pro” KAOSSILATOR loses some of the fun of the non-Pro model: it’s bigger, clunkier,and it isn’t battery-powered. That’d be fine, if the payoff were greater editability. But the Pro KAOSSILATOR is more fixed in its functions, even a little limited compared to the KP3. That may not dampen your enthusiasm entirely: this is still a box that does phrase sampling, some effects, and the KAOSSILATOR’s touch-playable synths. But you can see why some folks want a “KP4″ – a combination of these two devices with more functionality, not less, than the two alone. I’ll talk to KORG, probably after NAMM, to get the exact run-down on the difference between the three models, as we’re all just reading spec sheets at this point. But you can consider that a collective snap-reaction in the meantime.

  • ehdyn

    It's smiling at me.

    Fun to do overdubs on these things.

    Hope it has an automata easter-egg mode.

  • http://tremorcore.com seismologist

    points deducted for trajan abuse. otherwise, looks nifty.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Trajans?

    Sorry, maybe I'm just tired? ;)

  • lucien

    I love my KP3 and Ive always wanted MIDI support on the Kaossilator. I might be sold on this bad boy.

  • http://john.capseat.com capsaicin

    This looks pretty sweet! I hope it's at a good price point.

  • lucien

    I would have liked a KP4 alot more though……

  • lucien

    I bet the price is the same as a new KP3

  • http://tremorcore.com seismologist
  • http://dancerobotdance.com Brian

    Peter, I think seismologist is referring to the typeface used to spell "Kaossilator Pro" which looks weird here. The box says Darth Vader, the type says classic literature.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Ha! Indeed it is. Well, it's not the first time they've used it, but yes, I get the reference now. (Damn – I missed a type geek point. I'd better go get some rest now…)

    The type could say Darth Vader's Oscar Nomination, at least, in their defense. ;)

  • http://www.PatternMusic.com RichardL@PatternMusi

    Kaossilator Pro — oxymoron?

    My guess is that "pro" means spendy.

    I want.

  • lucien

    $399

  • COOLOUT

    At first I saw the headline and went…"hell yeah!!!"

    Then I looked at it and went…"blah" :(

    After checking out the specs I'm like, "well it's not that bad".

    I think Korg missed the boat on a lot of things:

    1. Quantize or a step sequencer would have been nice…especially for drums. Why incorporate the KP3 touchpad if the grid means nothing?

    2. A footpedal for recording/triggering loops should have been added since you can loop outside sources now. That alone would have made it more usable for DJs, guitarists, and other solo performers. I wonder if it will respond to a midi footpedal though.

    …AND THE BIGGEST THING.

    3. If they really wanted to make a splash, Korg should have added MONOME EMULATION!!! The monome apps are open source anyways…right? Imagine if you could just download and install monome apps and then use them with the Korg sounds in standalone!?!?!? That would be a major coup and make Korg the first major hardware manufacturer to work with the open source community.

    Overall, I don't think the extra sounds, storage, and vocoder are enough to make KP3 or Kaossilator users upgrade, unless the price is really low.

  • http://djmq.de djmq

    Apart from the vocoder thingy, a few more basic effects would have been great. But then again, they wouldn't want anyone NOT to buy a KP3, right?

  • http://www.humanworkshop.com durk

    @Peter; when i was searching for a video of the KO pro i stumbled on a duplicate of this article on some hiphop prod website: http://makehiphop.com/2010/01/14/korg-kaossilator

    no link-back or CC referral. Tought i'd let you know

  • http://www.humanworkshop.com durk

    never mind, its a google news aggregated website, with indirect link back.

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  • http://www.martin-brinkmann.de martin brinkmann

    i dont think a real monome-emulation would be possible,

    since the kaoss-thing has no multitouch capabilities.

    a 'monophonic' monome-emulation could be done though,

    if it is possible to control the lights via midi.

  • http://cooptrol.com cooptrol

    I agree with @COOLOUT. I was just about to buy a KP3 and when I saw this today I was "thank god i didn't, maybe this is better!". Then I read the features and went back to my KP3-buying idea..

    What I would have expected from a Kaossilator pro is a sound editing capability. To edit oscillator, amp, filter and LFO envelopes for each sound for instance. With the multi led screen this is easy. Also, no prefixed sounds, but a way to load patch banks for different musical styles (what do i need trumpets for??). Fixed sounds for the regular Kaossilator is ok, but not for the Pro…

    Sampler included is good idea, and also the included efx..

  • basic

    if i was a girl i would be creaming for the kaossilator pro :p

  • http://www.sighup.ca Steve

    You could use kaonome to make it monome-like, since I assume the MIDI spec for this will be identical to the kp3.

    http://circuitbent.wikispaces.com/kaonome?f=print

  • http://www.PatternMusic.com RichardL@PatternMusi

    Ok. I'm over my initial bit of gearlust.

    First off it's not battery powered. The killer feature of the Kaossilator is that you can toss it in your pack with some headphones.

    It's not multi-touch. Hmmm. Where have I seen something about multi-touch devices lately?

    …which means no polyphony except auto-chords.

    It's a little disappointing that a classic-yellow (or pink!) Kaossilator feeding into a KP3 would match or beat everything this does.

    Kaossilator Pro is perhaps just a big dumb toy. Not a bad thing. But an opportunity missed.

  • Anders

    Hmm.. Looks promising, but why do KORG put the word "Pro" when it´s still using the crappy RCA inputs. Would love to have proper balanced inputs XLR or TRS Jacks.

  • salamanderanagram

    i'd like to see if it sends note on/off messages via MIDI. i've already done that with bome's midi translator and a KP3 but it would be nice to have something less hackish and faster.

  • http://lilibits.blogspot.com/ lilith

    yes, do want if it sends note on/off. I'm pretty happy with my mini Kaossilator besides

  • http://www.4ormal.com formal

    If it was $199-$250 it would be awesome, but alas, like most people have mentioned, I would rather go for a 2nd hand kp3 and a kaossilator for the actual price of this….. Somebody give me a modern "pocket" sampler and I will be the happiest kid on the block. Something like an upgraded yamaha su10 would be perfect.

    OP-1 you are looking mighty fine :D

  • http://cooptrol.com cooptrol

    i am doing marvels with my electribe es1. old cheap hw rules.

  • Jimi

    One improvement over the KP3 is overdubbing loops. I actually use a K01 with a KP3 and not being able to overdub on the KP3 is a hassle when you want to combine several synth sounds on one sample pad.

    Generally it looks like a mashup of KP3 and KO1 functionality, with some features lost compared to the KP3.

    However, this will be amazing for building up synth music at high speed. The physical interface of the tabletop box is so much better than the handheld style. And if they get the gater / arpeggiator right (it's kinda useless on the K01) then we will pretty much have an instant techno machine.

  • http://cooptrol.com cooptrol

    i think the problem with kaoss products is that they are instantly recognizeable in music. i had a minikp and wouldn't do recordings of it's effects cos people would notice. every neighbour has a KP or KO and if you want to stand out from the rest you have to do stuff the hard way. KPs are ideal for scratching if you're not good with a xfader though.

  • KP3Fan

    @Jimi, you can actually "overdub" on the KP3 using the "Resample" feature. Check page 15 of your KP3 Owner's Manual.

  • Jimi

    @KP3fan

    The KP3's resample function can do overdubbing – sort of. But if you want to add sound to an existing sample, you have to resample it into a new slot, which is fiddly. If you try and resample into the same sample slot, the sample will just stop playing. As I understand it, the new Kaossilator will just let you hold down record to add new sound to existing samples. Which is pretty much essential for building up complex synth loops from scratch.

  • graham

    so sexy. now if only roland came out with an update for the sp-555!

  • darla haines

    this looks interesting, but with a rack of synths and drum machines would this be a good choice for me? i want to sample and play with effects on my samples… i like the slice and reverse effects on the kp3, should i just get that?

  • Pingback: Kaossilator Pitch Mod « salamanderangram

  • daniel door

    darla, if you're really into that kaossilator sound and think it would in one way or another complement your rack o' synths and drummachines, you could get it.

    but the kp3 has a fine "pad motion" function that allows it to remember the way you moved your finger on the pad. the kaossilator pro seems to lack that feature.

  • Ted

    I think I would prefer a KO2, still battery powered, just with longer loops and some midi.

  • Snazzy Boy

    It seems like Korg now stands for "We make dumb toys for morans".

    They have such awesome ideas, then they water/dumb them down, and cut corners, to the point where you're like: "Hey Goober, what gives?!?".

    What a stinky company!

  • http://cooptrol.com cooptrol

    hey! the miniKP is one of the best pieces of gear for your spare money that ever existed, so watch your mouth…

  • http://www.memorybits.co.uk/ psp memory stick

    Hello

    You have given good information about The KORG KAOSSILATOR.I like this and its good that it is a combination of all three.We can can play like an instrument,use as an effects box and use as a sampler.Thank you for this information.

  • Koi

    399$ according to Korgs homepage, and with that + knowing it will be jacked up even higher when it comes over to Europe, I preordered it, not even looking back.

    Those featuers is pretty much all the things I wished the Kaossilator had. I love both my kaossilator and my mini-kp, but I have had so much fun with them, I just can't wait to get the Pro.

  • Ted

    According to Electronic Musician, it'll retail at about $460. HA!

    http://blog.emusician.com/the_bus/2010/01/16/the-

  • Koi

    Then I guess http://www.shopatron.com/products/productdetail/K…? is wrong, either way, 60$ more bucks won't kill me.

  • http://www.korg.com Rich F @ Korg

    Hi all,

    Here's a quick video demonstration of the Kaossilator Pro at the NAMM show.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0C_fej59BFg

  • http://Www.wix.com/madtrucker/vulture-arcade MadTrucker

    I own the KP3, and I agree that Korg has a whole seperate approach to sampling than Roland or Akai, and that's fine, but the prob w/ kp3 is it's reverb-on-everything way of making up for seams and sudden sound drops and other issues you don't notice in the noise mush. It's this data format being pushed w/o time for full development. Even when you reduce the reverb with the stupid shift-slider subfunction, it does not go away completly. Also, why is the mute/transform button removed from the KOP? It better not have that stupid reverb issue though. I plan to order one, b/ no gear is ever perfect by a long shot…except the Machinedrum…I thing God built that one…WOW!

  • http://www.estarenelaire.blogspot.com Alejandro Aguerre

    We must be happy about the Kaoss and Electribe tools. There are wonderful instruments to create, play and explore music. Any model, please! I know there are diferences, and we want more, ever and ever…but we can make better music because Korg. I like it all. But Im a sick guy. I love buttons, sounds…this sound world…I have an old short wave Radio Sanyo from 50 years, a sonorus beauty. What can I say about Kaoss? what a pretty invention. We are living on the future!! the life is a fantastic trip, enjoy it. With Kaossilator pro, with the common version, with acoustic or electronic purposes…Im grateful about this times. Blessings

  • http://www.estarenelaire.blogspot.com Alejandro Aguerre

    (I have encharged my Kaossilator Pro. I have the Kaossilator and the Mini Kaoss Pad, and I want the KP3!!!) I need more money…

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/darrybooper Darry Booper

    Hi,

    I own Korg DS 10 and i want to improve his sound,

    I just want to know if i can use KP3 to play note with the pad (like a sampler keyboard).

    Thx,

  • Aleem

    Hi, I am looking to buy one for DJing and also for using in music production. Which One should I buy KP3 or Kaossilator pro? Please advise.

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  • Narg

    Trajan smajan, who give's a rat about the font. Come on, really? Are you guys that anal?

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    This is pretty interesting.  What you think?

  • peter sedin

    "Trajan smajan, who give’s a rat about the font. Come on, really? Are you guys that anal?"

    haha.. guess people are..

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  • MAXX

    yeah but when you shut it off it looses all the phrases/loops you recorded until you load them from the SD card  -that’s 10 secs of silence during a live set  what if the  power goes off on stage? you’d lose it all & have to restart/reload. if you overdub on a bank & don’t like it it’s almost impossible to take it out, so you have to erase that loop Y start all over. no FX & if they ARE there where are they? Many useless sounds too & only 24 (!) drum patterns??!!

  • j

    seriously mate you havent a clue really have you……