New Korg Kaossilator

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
Post Reply
User avatar
megawatt
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 281
Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2006 5:28 am
Location: LA

Post by megawatt » Mon Nov 12, 2007 10:44 pm

Just got back from Tokyo and managed to grab a Kaossilator!

It's pretty great for it's intended use and I love the simplicity of the design and function.

It's awesome but there there are of course a few issues that users should be aware of:
Not being able to save your loops is the big one. Basically it is an internal audio only tracker. When you record a loop it saves it internally as audio which can then be added on to with overdubs and then merged. All "saved" audio is then lost once you power down. It makes sense though as it's not recording midi data but audio - and that would require a lot more memory.

The other negative is that you have to stop the loop in order to save the current phrase or to merge the overdubs. There are basically 2 layers of audio - the "saved" loop and the current unsaved loop. Having to stop the music kind of kills the loop function for live use unless you record everything perfectly the first time.

The good stuff is that it's just plain fun, sounds great, works on batteries and is dead easy to use. There are basic synth sounds and a few useful acoustic sounds, some killer electronic drums and a ton of SFX. The are a group of preset "beats" which can be tweaked using the XY pad - at first I thought these where a waste of space as I wouldn't use prefab beats but because you are live overdubbing you can stutterstep and tweak them to be your own. Paired with a good FX box you can widen the range of sounds pretty quickly.

There is no quantizing other than using the gated arp. I found that I used the arp for Drums to get solid hits on the beat and then overdubbed basslines and other instruments using the scale functions and then saved only the overdubs that I was happy with. The idea is to record and write in one sitting.

Where it really shines is then being able to play melodies using the different scales over your loops. This is the killer function and makes it worth the cash. I love being able to play in a wider variety of modes than I would ever be able to learn. The magic comes in how you phrase things paired with the modes it 's quick to come up with original and musical ideas. It's of course possble to use it as a sonic mahem box as well.

I'm not really sure how I'm going to merge this with my other gear just yet. It's very independent for quick fun but would meld well with a loop based recoder program or hardware sampler. It seems to be super cheap dirty loop solution paired with a laptop or KP3 - ie - just record as you write and jam or sample the loops as you make them.

The lack of midi is freaky on a electronic instrument these days however Audio looping recording is a viable alternative in this case for great sounding grooves.

I'm totally won over to the battery powered aspect - so sorry to JS for giving him any grief. I loved the fact that I could jam with it on the 12 hour flight home.

so sleepy still....
Last edited by megawatt on Tue Nov 13, 2007 4:52 am, edited 2 times in total.
OP-1, RYTM, A4, CS-50, PUSH

User avatar
JSRockit
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 3911
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 11:15 pm
Location: New York City

Post by JSRockit » Tue Nov 13, 2007 2:17 am

megawatt wrote:
I'm totally won over to the battery powered aspect - so sorry to JS for giving him any grief. I loved the fact that I could jam with it on the 12 hour flight home.

so sleepy still....
Congrats and thanks for the info... you see, not everything in the studio needs to be pro. Fun stuff this comes in handy at times. I'll get one when they come to the US I guess.
Korg Volcas / 6 x TE POs / MicroBrute / EH Space Drum & Crash Pad

User avatar
ronP
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 408
Joined: Fri May 19, 2006 7:20 pm
Gear: BEHRINGER Xenyx 802; CASIO MT-70; KORG EA-1 mkII, MicroKorg, microSTATION, MicroX, Mini-KP, Monotron; ROLAND Micro Cube; ZOOM FS01, MRS-4B, MRT-3B
Band: Keyfish
Location: New York, NY, USA
Contact:

Post by ronP » Tue Nov 20, 2007 9:29 pm

.


This novel device and the mini KP KAOSS pad take "touch sensitivity" to a new level and make me wonder if we're witnessing the beginning of the end of the keyboard.

These devices enter the realm of Star Trek futurism where voice and touch can do what took buttons, switches, and yes, keys to do in an earlier era.

I use an Electribe in my music, yet I'll never give up on the standard keysynth; I spent too much time learning to play my organ to give up on it now!

:)


.
BEHRINGER Xenyx 802; CASIO Casiotone MT-70; KORG Electribe EA-1mkII, microKORG, mini-KP; QUIKLOK T20 T-REX Series X;
ROLAND Micro-CUBE; YAMAHA PSS130, PSS140; ZOOM FS-01, MRS-4B, MRT-3B

Wanted: BOSS DR-110; CASIO CZ-101; YAMAHA CS-01, DX-100

User avatar
meatballfulton
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5982
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2005 9:29 pm
Gear: Logic Pro X

Post by meatballfulton » Tue Nov 20, 2007 9:37 pm

ronP wrote:This novel device and the mini KP KAOSS pad take "touch sensitivity" to a new level and make me wonder if we're witnessing the beginning of the end of the keyboard.
In terms of instruments aimed at untrained musicians, maybe.

Features like setting up scales/modes so you can't play out of tune when added to rhythmic quantization let anyone create music totally by ear.
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

User avatar
megawatt
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 281
Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2006 5:28 am
Location: LA

Post by megawatt » Tue Nov 20, 2007 10:10 pm

meatballfulton wrote:
Features like setting up scales/modes so you can't play out of tune when added to rhythmic quantization let anyone create music totally by ear.
Oh the horror....
OP-1, RYTM, A4, CS-50, PUSH

User avatar
JSRockit
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 3911
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 11:15 pm
Location: New York City

Post by JSRockit » Tue Nov 20, 2007 11:12 pm

megawatt wrote:
meatballfulton wrote:
Features like setting up scales/modes so you can't play out of tune when added to rhythmic quantization let anyone create music totally by ear.
Oh the horror....
:lol:
Korg Volcas / 6 x TE POs / MicroBrute / EH Space Drum & Crash Pad

User avatar
smallsynth
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 465
Joined: Tue May 24, 2005 7:47 pm
Gear: jp03, dx21, bass station, k-station, gnat, buzz, cs01-mkii, eml-101, eh-401
Band: resterisk
Location: seattle!

Post by smallsynth » Tue Nov 20, 2007 11:59 pm

it allows for a new type of creation. but not everyone (if anyone) will be writing hits on this thing. you will still have to be skilled with it.

as for "regular" musicians, we'll just have to find something we can do that sounds good that a preset can't do. i'm not worried... yet.

what am i talking about. i love presets! and like i've done anything noteworthy musically anyways...

User avatar
JSRockit
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 3911
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 11:15 pm
Location: New York City

Post by JSRockit » Wed Nov 21, 2007 12:49 am

Even if it does scales for you...you still have to know how to put something in the right key and context... I'm excited for this...it's cheap and will add a little bit of fun to making some leads...as long as it sound halfway decent.
Korg Volcas / 6 x TE POs / MicroBrute / EH Space Drum & Crash Pad

User avatar
JSRockit
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 3911
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 11:15 pm
Location: New York City

Post by JSRockit » Fri Jan 11, 2008 9:58 pm

So, what's the verdict Megawatt? Looks like these will be announced in the US at NAMM...and hopefully available then too.
Korg Volcas / 6 x TE POs / MicroBrute / EH Space Drum & Crash Pad

justin_havu
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 162
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 3:23 am
Real name: Justin
Gear: Yamaha MODX7, DX7, PSR-530, PSS-270 / Korg Trinity ProX, 01/W ProX, Karma / Ensoniq ESQ-1, VFX-SD / Roland RD-1000 / Behringer Deepmind-12
Location: Rochester, NH
Contact:

Post by justin_havu » Fri Jan 11, 2008 10:04 pm

The Kaossilator WILL be launched at Winter NAMM. I work for a Korg dealer and the sales rep brought one over for me to try out. I can tell you right now, it's fun as h**l!
Waveforms, and filters, and knobs. Oh my!

User avatar
JSRockit
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 3911
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 11:15 pm
Location: New York City

Post by JSRockit » Fri Jan 11, 2008 10:08 pm

justin_havu wrote:The Kaossilator WILL be launched at Winter NAMM. I work for a Korg dealer and the sales rep brought one over for me to try out. I can tell you right now, it's fun as h**l!
Available in stores then too?
Korg Volcas / 6 x TE POs / MicroBrute / EH Space Drum & Crash Pad

User avatar
megawatt
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 281
Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2006 5:28 am
Location: LA

Post by megawatt » Fri Jan 11, 2008 10:41 pm

JSRockit wrote:So, what's the verdict Megawatt? Looks like these will be announced in the US at NAMM...and hopefully available then too.
The verdict is pick one up as soon as you can. It's still cool after having it a few months. If you work with ableton live or some other kind of looper instead of the internal audio looper while you are jamming then you will get lots of use for it in the studio.

It only has two layers of audio - the "saved" loop and the unsaved loop so forget about tracking in one by one later... You can single track if you record the audio into a looper like (Live 7, MDUW, MPC, SP555) or any DAW as you go.

You will also be starting and stopping the beat a lot if you want to over-DUB record internally and keep things in sync.

You can get tight beats using the internal sequencer by stopping and starting the loop in record mode while using the arp.


It also works great on the couch.

I really do love this thing still. It gets about 4-5 hours of battery life more or less so don't expect it to last forever in a portable set up but is gives you a message when it's running low.

the english manual I have fits on a corner of a single sheet of paper shared for international use. It's that easy to use.

I'd think if you where crafty you could do a whole album with this and still sound fresh.
OP-1, RYTM, A4, CS-50, PUSH

User avatar
JSRockit
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 3911
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 11:15 pm
Location: New York City

Post by JSRockit » Fri Jan 11, 2008 10:51 pm

megawatt wrote:The verdict is pick one up as soon as you can. It's still cool after having it a few months. If you work with ableton live or some other kind of looper instead of the internal audio looper while you are jamming then you will get lots of use for it in the studio.

It only has two layers of audio - the "saved" loop and the unsaved loop so forget about tracking in one by one later... You can single track if you record the audio into a looper like (Live 7, MDUW, MPC, SP555) or any DAW as you go.

You will also be starting and stopping the beat a lot if you want to over-DUB record internally and keep things in sync.

You can get tight beats using the internal sequencer by stopping and starting the loop in record mode while using the arp.

It also works great on the couch.

I'd think if you where crafty you could do a whole album with this and still sound fresh.
I have one on order.

It sounds like it'll work fine for the way I work... and I don't mind just tracking to two track...I'm not going to treat this like my other gear...multitracking and stuff...just quick and dirty lo-fi nonsense ie fun. I start and stop all my gear while making music...I'm not a very live person. Plus, it should be a cool lead synth...
Korg Volcas / 6 x TE POs / MicroBrute / EH Space Drum & Crash Pad

User avatar
kulten
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 99
Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2004 10:38 am
Location: Caen
Contact:

Post by kulten » Sat Jan 12, 2008 10:10 am

I tried it in my favourite music shop, in Caen, France, it's a good machine, Ok for a live act, great job Korg ! :D
a way of live : BOSS SYB-3 bass synthesizer

https://www.facebook.com/Kulten/

Image

Hugo76
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1433
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2007 10:57 pm

Post by Hugo76 » Sat Jan 12, 2008 12:24 pm

Yeah, I tried one the other day and must say I was impressed. I'm guessing Korg will release a bigger brother within (hopefully) not too long, and when they do I have two wishes; patch editing & storing plus pattern/song storing.

All in all it was a fun machine with surprisingly good sound quality. I'll head back sometime next week for more testing. If my budget allows this in addition to the Blofeld, I'm no doubt getting one :D

Post Reply