Sonic LAB: Korg Kaossilator2 - Dynamic Phrase Synth

Watch it and win one.      08/05/12
    MP4 7:37 mins    

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First spotted at this year’s NAMM show, the shiny new Korg Kaossilator2  improves on the original Kaossilator, adds a second loop recorder, a Mic input, MicroSD card storage and a new sound set to get creative with.

Whats New?
First up, the form factor, more akin to a smartphone size, with a bright OLED display and an extra swipe area for scrolling through presets and functions, its had something of a makeover.
Additionally, there’s a mini-jack Mic input for an external mic, a small, built-in speaker (as well as mini-jack headphone out with volume), but the big news has to be the loop storage.


Do You Take Cards?

Now the Kaossilator2 comes with a microSD card slot (card not included). This means that you can store your loops (WAV 16 bit 44.kHz format) and either recall them for later performance, or load them into your computer to use them in your DAW as the basis for an idea. Using a card reader, files can simply be dragged to your machine.

One thing to bear in mind though, I found that the Kaossilator2 was pretty hungry when it came to battery life, the 2xAA that came with the unit were gone in no time at all. This can impact your ability to save to the microSD card, when battery life is low, it simply won't let you. You can guess that this is most likely to happen when you really want to save your current noodlings. Putting in some beefy Lithium Ion or quality Alkalines will extend the life considerably, or you can power the unit with a 4.5v power supply (not included).

There’s also a Master Recorder, which just records whatever you are doing in stereo WAV format, so you could jam something more long-form and have it record onto the card. Incidentally, mic input can be recorded to the card too - so at a pinch you could record your ditty, mumble your ideas in, or perhaps record a rehearsal - though you will need to keep your finger on the mic button or perhaps tape it down for that.

Korg have made a good effort at giving us an updated and usable set of sounds which respond well to the X/Y pad. Made from modelled and sampled sounds it's got plenty to get you riffing.
The sounds break down thus:

  • Lead 25
  • Acoustic 10
  • Bass 30
  • Chord 25
  • Special FX 10
  • Drum 25
  • Pattern 25


Audio Player
As well as transferring your loops and recordings from the Kaossilator2 to the computer, you can also work the other way. Drag a 16 bit 44.1kHz file onto the card and you’ll be able to play it back using the built-in Audio Player Function. While this could be useful, for playback of music or backing track, it would be even handier if it worked with MP3 files. Also, you can play the currently selected sound over this, but if you want to change that, hitting the SND button immediately stops audio playback.

The Kaossilator2 is extremely easy to use, and can yield some pretty great sounding results. The fact that you now have two loops and card saving, makes it almost a must-have luxury. But I can't help but feel that this all could have been achieved  in the iPhone if they’d really wanted to make it so - of course we don't all have an iPhone.
But having said that, there’s something about the form factor that Korg have got just right, making it an almost irresistible luxury purchase. Don't try it or you will have to buy one.

WIN a Kaossilator2 + microSD Card!

Thats right, Korg UK have very kindly donated this unit as a prize. So we're giving away this very Kaossilator2 and 4GB microSD card.

All you got to do is visit our Facebook page and Like us - we so want to be loved.

On May 29th 2012, we'll be picking a lucky winner at random.

Available imminently (May 2012)
Price: £155.99, €185, $230 - full list price. Cheaper on the street.



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