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

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Set The Controls...
The real power of the KP2 becomes apparent when you plumb it in to your own setup and experiment. The combination of pad, effects, sampling, mute and bypass means its possible to perform some quite complex manipulations. My personal favourite application is running various submixes, recording the takes into Logic and cutting liberally into the arrangement.

MIDI Makes Perfect
The KP2 doesn’t go crazy with the MIDI implementation but has a number of MIDI functions that are bound to be of use. All parameters are sent and received though - the KP2 can send and receive on any channel - selectable from MIDI edit mode. Korg have allowed muting of certain MIDI events via the program buttons and relevant edit mode. So for instance, you can stop the KP2 from sending (or receiving) X axis control(CC#12) or program change messages should you wish. It is not possible to switch local off. You can dump and restore the state of the KP2 (user memories and MIDI setup NOT sample memory) via SYSEX.

Sending the unit MIDI clock will automatically sync effects in the BPM/PTN effects group – you can also set the tempo by tapping the BPM button should MIDI not be available and adjust the tempo using the program knob. Only whole BPM increments appear to be supported via this method although fractions are via MIDI clock in. There is yet another BPM detection method from the audio in – hold the BPM button for 2 secs while feeding audio in, wait for the BPM display to show the tempo then hit BPM button once more to apply it.

The BPM/PTN group contains: Tempo delays, BMP filters, phaser, flanger, slice and several sequenced synth and drum patches. I had a lot of fun with this and a DJX IIB that was in the office – the effects sync well and the synth patches are fun though you still have the difficulty of pitching them.

Of course, recording the MIDI out of the KP2 into your sequencer will allow playback of your performances and can save valuable disc space by running the KP2 FX live.

In The End
I haven’t really got much to complain about with the KP2. The case is more sturdy, there are more memories and sample time. The MIDI input is most welcome – perhaps that is my only gripe – note on control of the synth patches and vocoder carrier signals would have just about made the KP2 perfect. Korg have done a great job in upping the overall unit quality and keeping the price in the same ballpark as the KP1. If you like to do nasty things to sound in the privacy of your studio, then you need one of these.

Kaoss Pad 2 £285 / $350

Alternatively:
Alesis AirFX - a slighty more wierd beard way of creating FX but harder to be exact
audioMIDI.com

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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    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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