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Re: short review: Korg KP3 Kaoss Pad

Hi Rainer,

Thank you for the review.
I'm also investigating about the KP3 features for a while.
Unfortunately, it seems you can't use a foot controller to select the 
memories and to trigger the sampling.
There were also sync issues but it seems Korg has adressed these in the 


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Rainer Thelonius Balthasar Straschill" <rs@moinlabs.de>
To: <Loopers-Delight@loopers-delight.com>
Sent: Monday, June 11, 2007 11:12 PM
Subject: short review: Korg KP3 Kaoss Pad

> By the end of the 90ies, Korg created a revolution on the market for
> electronic audio effects. Their KP1 didn't have the astonishing pitch
> shifters or reverbs of some high-class effects, nor did it offer
> never-seen-before modularity and huge number of parameters like the
> well-known competitors. They also didn't knock us out with a price tag in
> the $100 region for a 24/96 device, nor did they include state of the art
> converters or whatnot.
> You got some 60 effects presets, each of them had two parameters which 
> could
> be modified. No possibility to save user presets, and the sound quality 
> was
> rather poor. It did however have a different UI than all of the TCs or
> Eventides or Lexicons. The Kaoss Pad's signature X-Y pad which blinked in
> red when you moved your finger on it.
> The package was rounded off with a mic and turntable in, and with its
> tabletop package design, it really served the plug'n'play market, 
> especially
> for DJs (and their wannabe brethren).
> Great examples of its use include Radiohead's live renditions of 
> "Everything
> in its right place", and I seem to remember one list member here had 
> of
> these in his setup.
> Some years later, Korg released the followup KP2, which had two sample 
> lots
> which could be used independently to the effects engine, and some of the
> effects were now MIDI synced. And the audio quality was vastly improved.
> Back in the day, I got myself a KP1, and it can be heard all over the 
> early
> Eclectic Blah work, as well as on the "Dem Andenken eines Engels" Album 
> (on
> "Epliogue", I play a duet with my guitar and the KP1s sample slot 
> with my toes). The KP2 had its debut on the "Neinnein auf dem kleinen 
> album (owners of that album might check out the tracks "A Hard Man's Cut"
> and "Massive Retaliation"). I did back then decide to keep the KP1, 
> because some of its effect had such a "vintage digital" feel to them the 
> KP2
> simply couldn't (or didn't want to) reach.
> Last year, the KP3 was released, and this time, the KP2 wasn't 
> discontinued.
> I had to get one sooner or later.
> The most important changes: four independent sample slots (each a 
> of
> 16 beats at 74bpm long), where you can select each 2-beat-slice
> independently. A resample function. A SD card slot for storing the 
> samples,
> plus USB connectivity. Improved configurability for using the KP3 as a 
> controller. About all effects are now MIDI-synced. And finally, it looks
> much cooler than before, not only because of the all-black housing, but 
> also
> because of the improved touchpad (which now displays funny running 
> patterns
> when not in use) and three-color LEDs on the sample buttons.
> On to a first test drive (just got it today). I put it at the end of my
> microrig (guitar->Zoom G2.1u->Boss DD20).
> I'd call the effect quality "sufficient for the application". As 
> the ultra-dirty filter and distortion effects from the KP1 haven't 
> returned,
> but the list of effects is complemented by some nice strange
> panning-delay-formant-filters, interesting lo-fi stuff and combinations. 
> As
> with the KP2, you get some stupid synth voices and a few basic drum
> patterns.
> And now you have the possibility to record finger movements on the pad 
> then play them back. Another cool new functionality is that when you 
> remove
> your fingers from the pad, the effect in action is not just turned off, 
> is faded out in a cool delay fashion.
> The funny part, however, and the part where the biggest change has 
> happened,
> is the sampling functionality. It has turned the Kaoss pad into a 
> four-track
> phrase sampler with effects and resample functionality. As to the 
> important
> question "Is it a looper"? According to the LD definition, "a Real-Time
> Looper must be able to sample audio and loop it on the fly, and allow the
> user to sample new material while the current loop is playing". This can 
> be
> done.
> First you have to set your bpm rate (everything is bpm-based here, and I
> guess it will help if you use a looper which sends a MIDI clock). Then 
> hit "Sample" and set your sample length as 2, 4, 8 or 16 beats (below 73
> bpm, only 8 beats, below 36 bpm, only 4 beats). Hit one of the four 
> buttons, and the thing starts recording from the input (line or mic). 
> After
> the preset beat length has passed, it will switch to loop playback, which
> can be stopped and re-engaged by pressing the sample button again. If you
> hit the sample button again before the loop has finished recording, the
> sample is automatically saved as a one-shot sample.
> You can move into a non-destructive sample edit mode, where you can move 
> the
> starting point by multiples of 1/32nd of a beat (or 1/128th in musical
> notation) for +/-1 beat. And you can select which of the total of eight
> slices of the sample you want to play and which you don't want to.
> Unfortunately, moving into edit mode will stop all other samples from
> playback as well as the effects engine.
> There is a resample mode, where the sampler takes the output of the KP3 
> its input - and this allows for true overdubbing.
> Changing the bpm setting will pitch the samples already in memory - the 
> bpm
> range goes from 20 to 300, btw.
> So how does it work as part of a looping setup? The answer: it depends on
> what you already have and what you want to do. In my setup (or in any 
> setup
> with a simple one-track looper), the possibility of having four 
> independent
> tracks to which I can copy loops which I record in the DD20 is
> awesome...plus the feature of artifact-free varispeeding. Add to that the
> choice of performance-oriented effects and the cool looks, and throw in 
> the
> option to use prerecorded sample loops (e.g. to give you some drum 
> from which you can select specific slices), and you really got a thing 
> here
> to turn your medidative small guitar looping setup into some electronic
> dance-infected thing - or to extend your one-person-ensemble setup 
> hindered
> by the restrictions of the one-track looper into a four-piece combo. 
> a
> price tag between the RC50 and the EH 2880, you get less looping than 
> those - but far more effects and show!
> Rainer