- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 10.6 x 2.9 cm ; 154 g
- Boxed-product Weight: 272 g
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- Item model number: KO1
- ASIN: B000ZJWZYU
- Date first available at Amazon.co.uk: 20 Nov. 2007
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 140,296 in Electronics & Photo (See Top 100 in Electronics & Photo)
Korg Kaossilator Dynamic Phrase Synthesizer - Yellow Case
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- Portable synthesizer in an ultra-compact body
- 100 sound variations inc. Synth, special-effects, and drum sounds
- 31 scale types
- 50 types of gate arpeggiation
- Loop Recording allows multiple phrase overdubbing
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Synth with tactile pad and 100 powerful sounds in a compact, battery-powered package : note souns feature dazzling synth instruments drum sounds deliver great tones great grooves SE sounds serve up special-effects ear candy Scale function Gate arp Loop recording
Top customer reviews
The synth is played by using the resistive touchpad. While not multi-touch it does figure out the average point between two held fingers based on how firmly they are pressed, rewarding some experimentation.
The rotary encoder knob on the front is used to scroll though lists including the 100 preset synths, 50 gated arpeggios and 30 different musical scales. There are four buttons (including the one along the front edge not seen in the photo).
Audio out is via two RCA style outputs at the top for output to audio equipment and the standard mini headphone jack (3.5 mm) on the front edge.
There are 90 preset instruments to choose from including excellent bass sounds, some similarly good leads, a hit and miss selection of sound effects, chords, a questionable acoustic section with one nice piano and 10 drum sounds. For the most part the pad's y-axis modulates one predetermined effect for each instrument including something that sounds like a filter cutoff and a delay, alternatively for some instruments it brings different parts of the sound to the fore. The x-axis controls pitch and at first seems too imprecise to get any predictable melody from but experimenting with the different scales and ways of playing the pad lead to interesting and surprisingly good results. Some of the drum instruments have two different drum sound on the left and right instead of pitch and with the use of the gate arp are very useful in creating rhythms.
There are also 10 built in drum loops playable via the pad - once triggered these will continue to play as long as there is pressure on the pad while moving around the pad brings different parts of the loop in and out. These loops are not reprogrammable.
- Audio recording
In usual operation it's possible to record up to an 8 beat bar's worth of audio onto the systems single sample bank. Once started this sample loops and you can record additional audio onto it as it plays, or play the synth along with it without recording. This lends itself to layering up complex loops of audio. It is only possible to record audio from the unit's synth. There's an option to 'fix' the audio in the sample bank so that any further audio recorded onto it can be stripped off leaving the audio loop as it was when you fixed it. There is an undocumented 'DLY' mode which allows for a sample length of 16 beats but sacrificing the 'fix' option. Anything in the sample bank is lost when the unit is switched off, regardless of it being 'fixed'.
- The gate arpeggiator
Worth a subheading of it's own this feature is a looped pattern of 'on' and 'off' signals, when a synth is triggered the pattern starts and continues to loop for as long as the pad is pressed. For some instruments the 'off' ends the synth note and the 'on' starts it again (retriggering the synth from the start of it's envelope) while for others the 'off' just drops the volume to zero and the 'on' brings it back up. There are 50 patterns ranging from 1 to 4 beats long and they are locked to the unit's current BPM setting. This feature is very useful and fun to play about with.
- My experience
I love it, after owning one for quite a while I still find myself tinkering about with it for hours on end. Because there is no way to save the audio it's always a bit of a wrench turning it off which I found annoying at first. Now I find it quite satisfying, to make a little snippet of music that I think is good, then to let it go knowing that I'll be back to do it again with a different result in the not too distant future. The audio out is clean enough to record and sample if needed.
Its really easy to make complex, layered loops for fun on the train, toilet, sofa in seconds
for semi-professional production, its not at all bad.. no midi, but you can export the audio....
you can make some great 4 bar loops using a hidden function..
there are 100 in built sounds, each sound can me manipulated BIG time, making the koasillator extremely versatile in the noises that come out of it.
Each noise can be affected in terms of pitch on the left right axis, and an effect (this varies depending on the instrument) on the up down axis.
The key can be changed.. theres a three octave range, and the scale can also be adjusted to allow for complex musical creations
Interestingly, there is a good gate apregiator with 48 settings.. this is really useful when working with the drum noises on there for perfect quantization, and even with the basses and acoustic noises, again to keep tight quantization.
the lead noises are cool, and the bass really is heavy
All told its great.
If you have a range of musical epquipment, this will sit well alongside your existing kit.. ive already used it for several tunes.
If youre an absolute beginner, its amazingly good fun and will inspire you to work with DAWs for sequencing purposes
As far as I'm concerned the great features other than the touch screen are the gating ability, the fact you can tap the tempo button in time with a song to set the tempo, and the fact that you can set the key and scale and then just play about with them. I do think the touch pad should have been marked with a grid so that you could see precisely where the pitch/note changes. The build quality is fairly good, but a metal chasis would have been awesome, although it would bumpf the price up I guess.
All in all I don't think you can go far wrong with one of these.
within 20 minutes of opening the box i was mixing phat choons (im so urban!), i was worried all the talk of appregio gates and loops and chorus synths would be confusing but it takes no time at all to pick up.
even though i have a wide knowledge of music i could confidently say that a n00b could pick this up and within minutes look like a master...and i can hook it up to garageband! sweeet!
in short a vert versatile little box