Korg KPE-1 Entrancer|
Lesson over - let's play!
The unit shares the same basic interface and design as the tried & trusted audio Kaoss units, so it's no surprise that the KPE-1 handles itself pretty well in a live situation. It's solid and weighty enough to stay put when you get a bit carried away with the beats. The 'heavy metal' styling of the Entrancer, though it looks the part, can be a little sharp around the edges, though.
Another minor irritation was found when I was swapping over leads during a set - when you peer over the back of the unit trying to locate the sockets, they're obscured by the overhanging extruded edge - the labelling is also
completely invisible, upside down and underneath the connectors.
Little details like these (and the power supply & no case) point to maybe not quite enough R&D in the dark 'n'sweaty environment of yer average club - maybe the designers should get out more ;-)
One strange thing I did notice was when I touched the metal case of the unit - there was that tell-tale slight buzz sensation that reveals a bit of voltage; sure enough, when I got out the meter, there was 70-odd Volts of AC there. Now that's not going to do any harm, but I'm curious why it should be there. Just to check I measured a second unit, and sure enough, it read the same. Odd.
| Korg KPE-1 Entrancer Inputs Video in 1: RCA-phono Video in 2: RCA or S-video Audio in: RCA |
Outputs Video out: RCA or S-video Audio out: RCA Headphones: stereo _ jack
MIDI In and Out
Features Touch panel X-Y controller; hold & sampling functions; 8 user memory buttons; BPM tap and auto-detect; mute & freeze; audio only, video only combination modes, 2 selectable video inputs
Effects Programs 100 video 100 audio 100 combinations
Audio Sampling frequency 44.1 kHz AD/DA 20-bit linear
Power Supply External 7VDC Dimensions 240 x 247 x 83 mm Weight 2.0 kg
But hey - I'm struggling here, trying to find faults with what basically is a fantastic piece of kit. I haven't had so much fun playing around for ages. I was using video feeds from a pre-made visual show and an audience camera going through the KPE-1 to an LCD projector - manipulating images and sound in such a physically direct way was simply a grin-fest!
There is a small amount of video latency - a delay of a fraction of a second becomes more evident when trying to tap the touch panel in synch with the beats, but once an effect is initiated, there's no problem changing parameters in time. Given the amount of processing going on to produce the effects it's hardly surprising, but you might want to adapt your technique to compensate.
Audio effects are the same as those in the Kaoss KP-2 and include filters, delays, reverbs, vocoder, synths etc. - they can be pretty full-on speaker wrenching, but the pad interface allows more than enough expression to go with it - totally a hands & hip-wiggling experience. But it's the video effects which really take centre stage. You can not only rip & shred the image itself in myriad ways, but take the entire image plane and apply a range of motion and geometric effects. You can chop a moving image into pieces and play with the speed of their movement and transparency; create multiple windows, all playing live video, and flip them around; distort, mangle and even invert the entire video plane, all whilst kicking up a riot with the sound.
Some effects are just made to be played live - others can seem a bit tame at first, but spend a bit of time with the Entrancer and you find hidden depths. I could well imagine using the KPE-1 in a studio setting; it's great for quick transitions, and you could get a music video together in no time.