The Korg Kaossilator Pro is an infinite source of loop related fun and inspiration, and here’s how…
The Korg Kaossilator Pro is piece of equipment that it’s quite easy to get lost in for hours on end. It’s also a piece of equipment that it’s very difficult to describe exactly what it is. The reason for this is that there’s nothing quite like it (well, apart from the original Kaossilator…) A combination of Korg ’s Sound on Sound recording technology, Kaoss Pad technology, and its synthesiser technology. The result is a loop-based synthesiser that allows the user to create and manipulate loops in real-time. This is bags of fun, and the results can be both surprising and inspiring. It’s incredibly easy to use too, and here’s how to get started…
Loop the loop…
The Korg Kaossilator Pro is all about loops. These can be set at up to 16 beats, but as we’re just starting, we’ll just leave them all at the default, which is 8.
- The Kaossilator has sounds arranged into seven categories ranging from ‘L’ labelled lead sounds, to basses (‘B’ labelled sounds), to drum loops and more. In all, 200 sounds of all kinds are available. These are selected via the program knob in the right hand corner. Creating tight-sounding loops is often easier if the drum or percussion track is recorded first, so let’s select a drum loop/ percussion track. Turn the program knob until the LED display reads ‘P.160’
- Touch the controller pad in the middle of the unit, and drag a finger across to audition the sound. Change the programs until you find one you like.
- Hit the record button. This button will flash, along with the 4 loop recorder bank buttons at the bottom.
- Select bank A by pressing the button. In the LED display above, a metronome will count 1 to 8. On the ‘1’, touch the pad and hold or drag across it as you wish. Alternatively, hold down the shift button and touch the pad, and it will hold at the point you touch the pad.
- When you have recorded 8 beats, press the record button again. The button will no longer be illuminated, and the bank ‘A’ button will turn yellow.
- Select another sound with the program knob (a bass, perhaps? These have a letter ‘b’ in front of their program number on the LED display)
- Have a play around until you get something that you’re happy with.
- Hit record again. At this point, you can either overdub onto the recording on bank A, or select one of the other banks. This enables the part you are recording to be triggered or muted separately, if required.
- Repeat stage 4 and 5 with your chosen bank
- Repeat this process with as many sounds as you like!
Easy eh? This merely skims the surface of what the Kaossilator can do, if used creatively. It also has a MIDI in and out to enable use as a MIDI controller, or enabling it to be synced to other gear, an SD card slot for storage, and a USB connection for use as a controller with a computer set-up, or data backup. It can even be used as a vocoder. If you’d like to try this for yourself, head down to one of our stores and give it a go. It’ll put a big smile on your face.
Joe is a contributor for the Dawsons Music blog. Specialising in product reviews and crafting content to help and inspire musicians of all musical backgrounds.