Tag Archive: korg

KP3 review

This is a first post in a loooooooong time. In mitigation I’ve just started a new job and was also got Skyrim for Christmas – that stuff is a vampiric time drain for a dweeb like me. 

I also treated myself to a kp3 last month. I’ve been really impressed by Korg’s hardware and so after seeing what a kp3 can do (see below), I parted with £230 and give it a whirl.

So what is a kp3 and how does is differ from a kaossilator? They are identical in shape and layout except the kp3 has a red trim, a 12 volt power connector and some of the buttons have slightly different functions (more about this later). It comes boxed with a manual, reference sheet and software to transfer samples back and forth. The kp3 has all the same audio, usb and midi inputs and outputs as the kaossilator pro and like the kaossilator pro it can easily be used as an external controller using the usb connection.

The kaossilator pro is phrase synthesizer and basic sampler whereas the kp3 is more of a box of fx tricks for incoming audio. There are 128 programs grouped into filters. eq, modulations, delays, reverb, granulators, sample manipulation, cross faders and vocoder effects. There are also inbuilt sound generators, some drum loops and synth noises which can be resampled and morphed to your hearts content. Favourites can be assigned and recalled from the 8 function buttons above the xy pad.

You can hook up any audio source (including a kaossilator) to the kp3’s inputs and is has an auto bpm detect that is pretty good at calculating tempo on the fly. You can also manually control the tempo if it’s baffled by it’s input.

I’ve had this bit of kit for four weeks now and I don’t think I’ve come close to discovering all the different functions and capabilities.Sweeping your finger over the xy pad alters the parameters of the particular effect – so things like filter sweeps and tap delays are child’s play. The kp3 can record and recall your finger movements and there is a hold button for freezing an effect. The actual magnitude of the effect is controlled by the fx pot (the program volume pot on the kaossilator pro) and the transition from effected output to dry output can be controlled using the effect slider. These means you can create jarring jumps or subtle fade outs to suit the music.

Like the kaossilator pro the kp3 can sample incoming audio to one of four sample banks. You can also resample the kp3’s output to a new bank and these banks can be muted on an off as well as saving your creations to an sd card (2 gig limit). It would have been nice to have the option of the sample banks playing bank unaffected by the effect that’s processing the incoming audio, e.g. a dry sampled drum loop playing to a effected synth line but it’s not a deal breaker.

You have a little more flexibility in manipulating your samples, you can control the sample start point and by clicking the eight function buttons you can slice the sample and create new variations by muting and unmuting them.

It’s a great little sound tool. The kaossilator pro was a nifty little budget synth but the kp3 seems to be a more versatile bit of kit for generating musical inspiration. You don’t get the same sort of deep control over parameters that you would get from a software vst but the ability to easily switch effects and it’s user friendliness more than compensate. It’s fun just to hook it up to your music and do live remixes, or hook it up to a kaossilator and play that with one hand whilst the other controls the kp3’s effects.

I would recommend this to anyone looking for a big boy’s sound toy, or for anyone who wants a bit more tactile control over their music.


Kaotic Oscillations

I have uploaded a couple of new tracks onto soundcloud, both done with a kaossilator and an iPhone app “Filtatron”. Filtatron is made by Moog and provides a plethora of options for real time audio mangling.

You have a virtual VCO, a sampler and a line input which can be mixed together and tweaked with various dials and a couple of Kaospad-like pads. The app can also input tunes from your iTunes library and load them into the sampler for mangling.

The sounds it produces are interesting, dirty distortion, thick warm electronic pulses and dubby strangeness. It is highly recommended and unlike a lot of iPad music apps it’s very intuitive and user friendly.


Dog Origami