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In-depth Feature:  Korg Kaoss Pad 2
Nick B writes: .

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In And Out


You get stereo line in and out on RCA jacks, plus a phono input with ground post for direct connection to a turntable – a nice touch this, one that is sure to get you out of a sticky situation at least once. It’s a shame there are no balanced or digital connections, as this would make studio integration with pro gear a breeze. You also get a mic input with dedicated gain control - always handy. The KP2 can be setup either in-line or as part of an effects loop with a small two position switch at the rear of the unit.

Touch Me Now
Once you’ve set the signal level, you’re off. The combination of the X-Y pad, mute switch and sampling really do send you off on wild jams that you’ll probably never be able to recreate – so it’s worth recording either the MIDI or audio out to capture the results. When Recording MIDI you have the obvious advantage of arranging any particularly creative pad moves and applying them to sections of your tune and gives those of us who like to macro edit almost limitless possibilities. Alternativley, feed the KP2 your mix/submix, rub and tap away and record the results to audio to cut in crazy sections and fills at your leisure.

The KP2 is designed with performance in mind – although if you’ve found your dream setting, hit the hold button to fix the current X-Y pad position. You can store this within the eight user presets along with the current program – these programs are retained after power off.

Synths Too
The attraction of the original Kaoss Pad was not only due to the control it offered but also to the weird and wonderful effects it had to offer. As previously stated the KP2 still has those with several additions besides, majorly the Electribe derived synth and drum patches. The synth sounds are undoubtably fun but it’s pretty hard to accurately pitch sounds if you’re thinking of wigging out and making any sense of the results. I was a little disappointed to find that it was not possible to play these from the MIDI input - a great shame as some of the sounds could be quite usable. The drums fair better, but there isn’t great range of sounds - the drums are distinctly analog electronic - disco synth tom fans are well catered for.

Programs are grouped with into nine areas: Filter, Delay, Reverb, BPM FX/PTN, SYNTH, VOCODER and SAMPLE/PLAY. All effect groups are eminently usable with parameter control well chosen for maximum er, effect. If you’re after a subtle and delicate effects unit then the KP2 is not what your after – me I prefer my effects to be drastic and that’s what you get with the KP2 and that’s half the fun.

More Resources              Articles - full listing
  • Kaoss Pad 2@zZounds.com
  • KP2 MP3 Demo - various programs
  • Discuss Effects @ The-Gas-Station.com

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       6 Comments...  
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    I like the KP-2, very easy to use, and lots of fun, but it's noisy! If you plan on using it for live Dj gigs, your ok, but for production work, the pre-amp makes too much noise. Turn the machine on and try to sample your turntable. Adjust the input volume until you see the light pop on. If you turn the turntable off now, you can hear it humming. If you sample anything from this machine and layer it a ref times, the noise will be noticeable in your production. I plugged my SP-404 in and there was no noise at all. Not sure if the KP-3 is the same way, but I'll be taking this unit back to the store. Great for doing gigs, but not for production unless you can eliminate the noise from your recordings.

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