First time playing with the Kaoss mini-KP

Better known for their hugely popularly Kaoss Pad (now at version KP3), Korg’s new mini-KP puts the power of the dynamic effects processor in the hands of the everyday music tinkerer. Where its big brother costs around $399, this little toy comes at an affordable $199. Since I found it barely used off Craigslist, I got mine for about $125.

What’s it do?
The mini-KP lets you effect sound in real-time, through an intuitive touch-pad interface. Like the touchpad on your laptop, the moving your finger across the X- and Y- axis lets you distort your music through around 99 built-in effects and synthesizers. It’s also the smallest in the KAOSS PAD series, and uses 4 x AA batteries so it’s totally portable.

Additional features include BPM effects, where you can use the “TAP/BPM button” to synchronize the mini-KP to your song’s tempo, and apply a wide range of effects to your music. The “FX RELEASE” function provides a natural decay when changing effects or removing your finger from the pad. The Hold function lets you memorize the position at which you touched the touch-pad when you release your finger. And finally, you can use the two memory keys A and B to store your favorite effect program settings, including the effect depth and the Hold on/off status.

This probably won’t be a toy for everyone, except DJs and music producers who are just starting out. It’s perfect for live audio performances, even on the move (warning: this video is a little irritating).

There’s another toy by Korg called the Kaossilator… now that’s something anyone can get into since it lets you make music, rather than just distort it. It lets you create layers of beats by tapping the touchpad to produce interesting overdubbed compositions. It’s been sold out for months now, but that’s something I waiting for to add to my strange musical instrument collection (theremin anyone?).

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