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Kaossilator Pro Resources and Review

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Kaossilator Pro Resources and Review

Postby Tweak on Sat Jun 05, 2010 2:32 pm

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http://www.zzounds.com/a--3745/item--KORKOPRO/sid--showroom
First came the Kaoss Pad, an effects processor with a revolutionary touch-sensitive X-Y interface that made sound manipulation more interactive and expressive than ever before. Then came the Kaossilator, a pocket-sized synth with basic looping capabilities which incorporated that same intuitive X-Y surface. Now there's the Korg Kaossilator Pro. Built around the now-classic X-Y touch pad model, the Kossilator Pro is a powerhouse synthesizer, loop-sampler, live performance, music production wonder-tool. Whether you're an electronic musician looking to add some expressive panache to your rig, a DJ who'd like to do some live remixing, or a producer looking for new sources of inspiration, the Kaossilator Pro is just what you've been looking for.




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Manual, EZStart Guide, Free Software editor, Updater
http://www.korg.com/SupportResults.aspx?search=kaossilator
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Re: Kaossilator Pro Resources

Postby Tweak on Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:29 am

Review of the Kaossilator Pro

by Tweakheadz Lab

read the review on TweakHeadz http://www.tweakheadz.com/reviews/kaossilator_pro_review.html


The Kaossilator is here at the lab, arrived Friday from zZounds, absolutely perfect new stock, already updated to OS1.2. I just finished a rough draft of a techno-ish piece using only the Kaossilator pro in logic and it went well. I've read all the documentation, formatted an SD card for storage, made up a bunch of loops as I went through the library of 200 patches.

Most of the patches appear to use Korg's virtual analog engine, though they never explicity mention it in the docs. There are some PCM samples, like drums, brass and guitar hitz, that are documented as such. (See the program list in the manual). While, there is no mention of the sound generating engine anywhere, it sounds like a Virtual analog engine to me. There are leads, chords, pads, just dripping with character, and controlling them with a finger is a delight. You can set any program to any of 31 scales and many are truly exotic sounding. You can also turn off the scaling and you can be in the land of microtonality. You can have the touch screen control between 1 and 4 octaves or "all" which seems to be 7 octaves. At max range you can roll up or down an octave by rolling your finger. You can tap a melody, glide, zig zag or make quick jabs and quick smears for an animated lead.
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Re: Kaossilator Pro Resources

Postby Tweak on Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:59 am

You can also put the Kaossilator pro in "external" mode. This lets you play external instruments like a midi controller. it did great with my V-synth and with my Motif and with all the soft synths I tried. Anything that is a one voice solo synth works well. The Kaossilator does not send polyphony. Controlling drum kits is quite interesting. Korg's internal kits typically have 4 samples so making a pattern is not difficult with a little practice.

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Storage and Editing


You can tweak exactly what controllers the Kaossilator will send in external mode. Make sure you download the free editor at one of the links above. So you can tailor the X-Y pad to your favorite synth. You can save and load settings from this editor, or to/from SD ram. Unless you are gigging, your may not need an SD card. You can transfer loops and all settings back and forth to your computer over USB and it is easy. You can also access the card from your computer without taking it out of the slot in the Kaossilator pro.

The max SD Card capacity is 2GB. You can't use SDHC or SDXC cards. I am using a 512 card and think it should be enough. You can store 100 loops, 100 .wav and 100 .aif in addition to global data and 10 .all bundles. Plenty enough for a gig though. Data format for the .wav and .aif files is 8 or 16 bit PCM, mono or stereo. If you load a 24 bit file, it will be truncated. Loops can be as long as 16 beats (4 measures) and as short as 1 beat (a quarter note). Each loop is created on a single pad. You can overdub as many times as you want with as many of the internal instruments as you want.
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Re: Kaossilator Pro Resources

Postby Tweak on Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:11 am

Thanks to the Gate/Arpeggiator, you can keep any internal patch locked in time. It will sync to your sequencer. In Logic i can press play to run the clock and start the loop record process. When i am done i could record it as audio on an audio track or go through the editor to export it as .wav.

Recording

Recording with MIDI: You can record out the MIDI out in internal mode and plays back perfectly. The odd thing here is that the internal sounds of the Kaossilator are NOT controlled by MIDI note messages, but by CC12 and 13. Those controllers turn the notes on and off and you can edit and quantize them in Logic's editor. Once you perfect the sequence you can then record it as audio.

What is even more strange is that you cannot "play" the Kaossilator from an external midi controller. Note on commands sent to the Kaossilator's midi port do nothing. Yet in external mode, where you control other synths, note ons and off are sent from the XY pad. I thought I'd be able to loop that data back to the kaossilator but nope, the data is ignored.

Recording as Audio: of course this works just fine. Simply connect the outputs to your audio interface inputs and press record on your software sequencer and play the touchpad in real time or in sync via the gate arpeggiator synced to the sequencer's clock.

If there is something you should know before buying to avoid disappointment it is that there is no way to edit these great patches or come up with your own creations with this fantastic virtual analog engine. You can't edit the effects either, though you will hear a nice reverb and awesome delays and filters on many patches. If the patch lets you, you can control some parameters with the XY pad as you move your finger. For example, near the top of the XY the filter will open ant the bottom it will darken, but you cannot change the filter type or turn it off. There is no switching out oscillators, filters or envelopes. Too bad! Makes me want to go out and get a Radias!
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Re: Kaossilator Pro Resources

Postby Tweak on Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:28 am

So lets sum up:

The Pros:

    An amazing synth controller by your finger. Set the scale right and you'll never make a bad note. The scales are wonderful.
    Great sounding Korg sound engine.
    Excellent Build quality
    i/o is unbalanced, but the output is quiet and has plenty of oomph.
    USB MIDI is well implemented, especially with storage.
    in internal mode, you can record into a software sequencer and it will playback very well.
    in external mode, you can record into a software sequencer and trigger any synth on your system.
    This synth is definitely fun to use


The Cons:

    Can't edit the 200 patches; no user patches
    Can't play the Kaossilator from an external controller or through standard midi note on/off data.
    Loop pads sometime pick up a spurious note even when not in record mode. This seems to be a minor bug.
    balanced i/o and XLR Mic input would be nice. At the price, its forgivable.


Remaining questions for me:
Can't find a reinit procedure; its not in the manuals. You can really mess things up in the editor if you are not careful. I recommend you make a backup of all data as soon as you get the machine.

Have not tried the preamp or vocoder yet. I don't have a HiZ mic with a 1/4" plug!
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Re: Kaossilator Pro Resources and Review

Postby Tweak on Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:30 am

Feel free to add your comments below
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Re: Kaossilator Pro Resources and Review

Postby Blayne on Sat Aug 07, 2010 1:08 pm

I don't know how to feel about mine yet. I'm thinking that logic 9 will turn whatever audio is recorded into any instrument you want? Is this true if so I think I will keep the KPro...
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