KORG’s mini KAOSS PAD 2: Technological trickle down

By Shem Pennant,

Korg have been on a roll recently. Hot on the heels of the KAOSILLATOR 2, which we discussed here comes the mini KAOSS PAD 2, a handheld effects unit that can make you a moving dubstep disco.

The original Korg KAOS PAD in 1999 was a big musical (and I dislike this phrase intently) “gamechanger”. The X & Y controller brought touch-based fun to FX and was a joy to play with. Unlike Reganomics, developments in technology actually do trickle down and the mini KAOSS PAD 2 now features new effects from its bigger brothers, the KAOSS PAD and KAOSS PAD QUAD.

mini-KAOSS-PAD-2

You can feed external music sources such as iPod, mics or guitars directly into the dynamic effects processor and get silly with it. If you have some beats that you’ve made earlier the mini KAOSS PAD 2 also features a built-in MP3 player and microSD card slot for playback, storage and exchange.

The slider in the centre of the unit provides immediate access to 100 effect programs, including vinyl break, loopers, filters, delays and reverb, all controlled by the magic of real-time stroking and tapping. This interface makes it fun to explore the creativity possibilites (it’s a different vibe to knob twiddling and definitely different to using software even with similar presets effects).

A tactile response in digital music adds a whole new dimension to creativity. I’ve been twiddling with soft synths for years and, whilst you can sculpt pretty much any sound you desire, it can feel a little mathematical and sterile. Devices such as the mini KAOSS PAD 2 help bring joy back to music and the device rewards experimentation. The mini KAOSS PAD 2 now has features such as ‘hold’ which memorises a previous position; instant recall for favourite effects; BPM detection for seamless synchronisation, ‘FX release’ which gives the effect a natural fade-out and performance recording facility. There’s also an Organic Electro Luminescent (OEL) screen which is great for high visibility, great for dark sweaty clubs.

The mini KAOSS PAD 2 has an RRP £155.99 and is out now