Korg KP3 Kaoss Pad Effects Unit / Sampler

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Korg KP3 Kaoss Pad Effects Unit / Sampler

Korgs Kaoss technology has been embraced by DJs, musicians and producers alike. No other interface is as intuitive, immediate or just plain fun to use...

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Review of "Korg KP3 Kaoss Pad Effects Unit / Sampler"

published 23/02/2010 | jaydan245
Member since : 16/02/2010
Reviews : 43
Members who trust : 10
About me :
Pro Too many to list
Cons May be surplus to your requirements
very helpful
Value for money
Best suited for

"Putting the fun back into music production"

What is it ?
This impressive peice of kit gives you the ability to twist and mash up sounds and create your own music using its advanced sampling and looping capabilities.Basically you slide,tap or touch your finger over the pad,It gives you the ability to control and manipulate various effects.You never know what you will come up with as most of the stuff is done on the spur of the moment. It can be used on stage as part of a live production,or in a studio as a sampler/controller.Its basically a complete insrtument,allowing you to use samples on the fly to give your music that extra little something.Ive seen Calvin Harris use this in his live performances.I use this in a studio enviornment for creating noises to bounce back and forth between my comouter and the pad itself.

Features and specifications

Using a simple usb cable you can share info between the kaos pad and your computer.A library programme is included with the pad so you can build your own library of samples.The software also allows wav and aiff files to be imported from your computer into the kaos pad,to give it your own sound and a bit of uniquness away from the presets.It also includes a pitch correction otion to get all your samples at the right speed.It also features a midi controller,mwhich send out up to 3 controller numbers from the keypad.It also has midi input/output and stereo input/outpu jacks ,which give you the ability to use it either as in line, or running from a loop with a mixer. You can also use an sd memory card with it.


Filter (Low-pass / High-pass / Band-pass / 72dB/oct. and Low-pass)
Broken Modulation
8-band EQ
Mid Pitch Shifter
Four-Sample-Bank Cross Fader Roll
Ring Modulator & High-pass Filter
Isolator & Distortion
Vocoder M7
Low Compressor
Delay (Ping-Pong, Multi-tap, Reverse & High-pass Filter)
Tape Echo
Gate Reverb
Grain Shifter
Vinyl Looper
Looper Forward / Reverse
Pad Drum1 / 2
Unison Saw Bass
Noise Synthesizer & Looper

All of these are added to the sound you wish to warp u simply apply thew effect you want,and move your finger around the pad to get the effect you desire.

Program Categories

Grain Shifter (5 types)
Modulation (12 types)
Filter (16 types)
EQ (2 types)
Vocoder (4 types)
Sample Bank Crossfade (4 types)
Compressor (2 types)
LFO (25 types)
Delay (16 types)
Reverb (6 types)
Looper (13 types)
Sample Effect (7 types)
Drums (6 types)
Synthesizer (10 types)

Thes are the sounds that come with the machine,You select the sound you want the basically asign it and away you go.Drums for example there is a small selection of drum hits which u can use, kind of gives you the ability to have a mini drum kit on your pad.


Inputs: Mic (1/4") with trim knob
Line In L,R (RCA)
Outputs: Headphone (1/4" Stereo) with volume
Line Out L,R (RCA)
USB: Type B
Data Storage: SD Card
Power Supply: DC 12V; 700mA
Dimensions: 8.27" x 8.9" x 1.93" (W x D x H) inches
Weight: 2.87 lbs

It comes with the cd software,power cable and touch protective screen.

This is the third version of the Kaos pad.As its predeccesors, it primaraly aimed at dj,s and producers,It does sound fun i know but if your not using it for music purposes once the novelty has worn off you will wonder why you brought it,like one of my mates found out.It has many advances over the two previous models such as better effects algorithms and the ability to conect to your computer.The pad itself has been improved,the new system has 64 leds,place in an 8x8 grid,and even gives you the ability to have messeges scroll across the screen.

Right so you have loaded up the sound you want , now is where you get to have fun move your finger around the pad till you are happy with the sound u want,and a simple tap will allow you to hold and loop this sound,giving you the ability to do other thigs such as add more sounds add effects or go and put the kettle on.The pad will also show you the held location so you can go back to it whenever you wish without any jumps.The pad is also able to memorize things so if you have just played a great note pattern,it can reapeat this,it seems to work fine even with the most complex patterns it remembers everything belive me i tried my best to make it fuck up but it just didnt.

The seperate fx knob is fantastic it lets you add as little or as much of the desired effect you want till you are happy with the sound you have.
It has 8 memory buttons so you can store this information and come back to it at anytime.This means that if you have created your beat or whatever you can bring it into your live performance at the touch of a button,making it easier to 'mash things up'.

The fx release is also nwe to this model,this basically gives you the optinon to delay the fx you are using when you remove your finger from the pad.This is a great feature which unlike the previous models mean that if you are using an effect during a recording or live performanc eit wont just cut out, which has helped greatly as on the previuos model i used to wich i had more hands.The fx release will also automatically set itslef to the tempo og the tune,pretty clever eh.

The sampling
The four sample bank buttons give you the ability to call upon loops or one shots whenever they are needed,ive created some pretty good beats just by brining in a percussion loop etc.All the saples included are of perfect sound quality.You can pretty much sample anything with this,using your sd card or mic.Using the mic is the fun part,if i shout bang into it i can can then sample my voice add echo to it or make myself sound like a robot(great for prank calls).

The sample technology is incredable recording your samples in beats as opposed to seconds which saves such time having to faff around with time stretching etc.Genaerally you would set it to 16 beats giving you enough time to get everything u want into a loop.It will then play back the loop at the samp tempo as the rest of the project.You can adjust it youself aswell if you wish to have a vocal going double time over the beats.

The time slicing feature gives you the ability to chop your loops up and trigger them.Ive used this by recording a voal ant having it stutter over the beats so the vocals sync with the kick drums which makes for some srious fun,espically when you have a few and your mate suddenly thinks he is the new Eminem.All the effects are totally intergrated making it so easy to do what you want with the sample.

Staying in time
The syncronisation process is excellent and what sets this peice of equipment apart from the rest.It is soaccurat measring everythin in bpm (beats per minute).This is perfect for me as it automatically matches the bpm of my project on my computer.It can also recive tempo information from an out board source such as a turntabl.Ive used this to sample old motown records then speed them up to the desired tempo to match my project its fucking great lol.To do this it uses a midi clock,which matches all the bpms from your external sources saving you having to tune each one and save you about half an hour doing that lol.

This is what i primarily use it as, basically it takes sounds from out board equipment a guitar for example and will send it to your computer,and the sequencing software that you use,and puts everything in time for you.Its basically a key member in my team of equipment lol.

The software
This gives you the abilty to import different file types into the kaos pad and edit them using your computer.It also includes pitch correction.The software is great for editing samples.

Sound quality
The sound quality is great for what i use it for,however i cannot comment on this for a live performanc.It does distort a little if you have the volume to high.The built in samples are abit rubbish to be honest and sound like something from a mega drive game.


hmmm basically it does everything computer spftware does,all the effects etc are on pretty much any sequencing software,so it may be an unecessary adtion to your studio.Thats a bout it.its easy to lost aswell,many times i have created something which i like only to lose it and never find it again so i try to record everything then edit it in software its a long process.The built in samples are rubbish

The price and avliabilty
Can be brought from most dj stores for around £300,which is definatly worth it if you were to buy all the samplers etc that make up its sound bank your are looking at a few grand.

Apart from a horrible pop noiswe when you turn it on i have had no issues with it.Some times the sample pad can be a tad sensitive.

Customer support
I have never had to contact them all the i may ask if they can put an undo button on the next model lol.They are a tad difficult to get hold of you have to go to korguksupport.com and email a technician.Having never done this i cant comment on response time etc.

I love this thing , it brings the fun back into making music.My mates love it coz they can do sill stuff with their voices lol.It saves me so much time by syncing everything together it also gives me the ability to bring uniqueness to my songs because i can sample what the hell i like.I would reccommend this as a definate purchase if you want to bring the fun back to your productions.Its quite addictive though , i spent nearly five hours making drum patterns and screwing them up but that is what makes it so fun.Looks wise its great it looks like something from star trek and everyone is always fascinated by it , largely due to the touchscreen and the hands on feel that it gives you.Id defiantly reccommend that you buy this if you have the money. Im pretty sure Kanye west could have made his whole album using just this peice of kit.

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Comments on this review

  • xhoneybeex published 23/02/2010
    Great review :) x
  • JL132 published 23/02/2010
    Good review x
  • littlepenguin published 23/02/2010
    Wow that all sounds very complicated!! =)
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Product Information : Korg KP3 Kaoss Pad Effects Unit / Sampler

Manufacturer's product description

Korgs Kaoss technology has been embraced by DJs, musicians and producers alike. No other interface is as intuitive, immediate or just plain fun to use. By simply touching, tapping or sliding your finger over the touchpad, the all-new KP3 allows you to control multiple effects parameters and manipulate samples in real time. On stage or in the studio, these gestures and moves can become powerful and expressive performance elements. More than a processor, the KP3 is a complete instrument allowing you to manage, recall, and play back samples; sample on the fly; and add dynamic processing to any audio signal or to the samples themselves. This latest KAOSS incarnation has been completely overhauled to enhance your creativity, with significant advances in every area. New effects algorithms, synth sounds derived from our RADIAS engine, bigger and better sampling plus computer connectivity all point to the fact that the KP3 is an entirely new KAOSS instrument. A new pad lighting system places 64 individual LEDs in an eight by eight grid under the pad, providing visual cues as to the current program, held position, etc. - it can even scroll a custom message across the pad!

Product Details

Long Name: KP3 Kaoss Pad Effects Unit / Sampler

Type: DJ Effects Unit

Genre: Sampler

Manufacturer: Korg


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