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Microphone Month

Korg KP3 Review

The Korg KAOSS Pad v3 (KP3) is the most unique multi-effects processor on the market today. Korg has created a whole new way to approach live effects processing with the KAOSS Pad series, and their third version is better than ever. With over 25 kinds of effects, the ability to sample and resample on the fly, and now featuring synth sounds from Korg’s RADIAS synth engine, I could not keep my hands off the KP3.

I was immediately impressed with the bright and sometimes hypnotic LED screen and touchpad. But looks actually take a back seat to functionality in this respect: finding the right program was easy as cake, with the name of the program scrolling in big characters across the touchpad. This was useful in my home studio; this would be priceless in a dark club during showtime, especially during a DJ set where every second counts. As soon as I came across the synth patches I knew I had struck gold. Not only did the killer RADIAS synth programs become extremely addictive by being able to control the sound by sliding my finger around, I suddenly realized that I was creating sound directly from a multi-effects processor! The ability to run signals through all sorts of filters, LFOs, decimators and more, and then instantaneously switch to a synth to change the whole feeling of the set is something I simply cannot do with any other piece of gear.

If I was impressed by all of the effects and synths, I was blown away to find that I could use an inexpensive SD card to save up to 99 samples that can be played back at the touch of a button from the KP3. It was very intuitive using the included sample librarian (CD-ROM, Mac and PC) to sort files and transfer them to the KP3 via USB. You can resample right in the KP3 and save them as new samples, and you can even trigger looped samples and chop up the loop on the fly!

Although I consider the KP3 to be a must have for DJs and electronic musicians, bands such as Radiohead and Korn have incorporated the KP3 into their sounds as well. The best thing about the KP3 isn’t the effects, or the sampling, or the synths, or the hands-on control, it’s the fact that ALL of these features are incorporated flawlessly into one sturdy piece of gear. Korg, my hat is off to you.

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