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Korg Kaoss Pad Quad | Artist Focus

Published: Fri February 24, 2012  News Feed

Korg KaossPAD Quad | Artist Focus

Korg Kaoss Pad QUAD

The Korg Kaoss Pad. Where to start? The popularity of the innovative touchpad controller that Korg first introduced us to in 1999, the  Kaoss Pad 1 thoroughly took the DJ/music scene into excitement and has since become evident in many artists rigs. From the Kaoss Pad and the Kaossilator series to the padKONTROL and nanoPAD controllers to the M3's TouchView display, Kaoss technology is used in a number of Korg products for one main reason - everybody loves it!

Incorporating many of the popular elements as the Kaoss Pad 1 (1999), KP2 (2002) and KP3 (2006), the Kaoss Pad Quad is Korg's 4th incarnation of the dynamic effects processor and brings you the ability to simultaneously control up to four effects using a single fingertip, as well as brand-new effects, functions and features that make the KP4 a revolutionary model and a must have to any DJ or musicians rig. Interested? Keep on reading. We'll be covering artists from Radiohead to Muse and the Dolphin review.

One of our favourite videos which shoes great use of the Kaoss Pad is Johnny Greenwood of Radiohead using the KP1 on live performances of "Everything in its Right Place.' Though it's the KP1 used in the video, it's a great example of what the Kaoss Pad's are capabale of and shows the ingenuity of Radiohead using it for vocal use rather than instrumental effects. Greenwood samples Thom Yorke's vaocals and makes loops, which he distorts, manipulates and at the same time uses a Digitech Whammy to pitchshift Thom's vocals.

If you check out the Glastonbury 2003 version of "Everything in its Right Place" you can see Greenwood pushing the Whammy up and down with his right hand and using the Kaoss Pad with his left.

Known for his beat boxing skills and use of live looping technology, Beardyman is also a massive fan of the Kaoss Pads. His live performances consist of nothing but his voice sampled and modifiede through four Kaoss Pads. You can see in the video below Beardyman performing in the Dance Tent at Camp Bestival with his four Kaoss Pads.


So, down to the Kaoss Pad 4. There's a reason why have Korg have called the Pad Quad...the Kaoss Pad Quad...rather than just KP4, and that's because the newest edition allows you to use up to four effects simultaneously and give you tonnes of expression (you thought that was unimaginable in a single unit eh?) You have four effects modules in the Quad - Looper; Modulation; Filter; and Delay/Reverb which contain five options for a total of 1,295 combinations.

Whether you want to sync these effects to the beat of your music, you can freely transform your song in real-time through an MP3 player, mixing board, instrument or vocals (just like in the Radiohead video)

LED Effects

The Kaoss Quad Pad also has brought to us a very pretty, intuitive interface with LED's which light up in an intense variety of colours. The LED's illuminations change depending on the state of effects, the BPM setting and on your movements while performing. You'll have seen something similar to the LED effects on the KP4 in many Muse performances. Matthew Bellamy has XY Pads similar to the ones in a Kaoss pad built into some of his guitars, which he uses as MIDI controllers to control his KP2 while playing guitar.

Highlights of the Korg Pad Quad Include

  • Brilliant, colourful LED touchpad illuminations, which move in sync with your performance
  • You can control multiple effects in real-time using the intuitive Kaoss X-Y touchpad
  • You can choose one of five effects from each of the four effect groups making a total of 1,295 combinations!
  • Freeze button holds the effect settings after you release your finger, for dazzling hands-free use
  • Versatile and highly playable effects control which delivers hands-free use
  • The KP4 has new looper effects - Forward, Reverse and Slice - add new audio intensity
  • Mix the KP4 up with new DJ emulation Vinyl Break and Ducking Compressor effects
  • All-new Auto BPM engine detection and Tap Tempo functions to keep your Kaoss locked to the beat.

The Dolphin Verdict: Review of the Kaoss Pad Quad

Firstly, it's well worth mentioning that the Quad is not a replacement for its predecessor, the Kaoss Pad 3, nor was it ever intended to be. The Quad Pad sits nicely between the KP mini and the KP3 with a strict focus on effects, multiple combinations of effects and the ability to control with the touchpad in a usual Kaoss Pad style. Think Beardyman: if you're a DJ or MC, then the Pad Quad can be a perfect companion. Overall, the Kaoss Pad Quad is great fun and as long as you don't mind the lack of USB, MIDI and balanced outputs, you'll find yourself creating great audio by chopping effects and sounds and exploring the 1,295 different combinations of effects.

Some more users of the Kaoss Pad

  • Johnny Linnell of They Might Be Giants uses a KP2 and KP3 in a psychedelic improvisation which he likes to refer to as "The Future of Sound"
  • Brian Molko of Placebo uses a KP2 in live performances of English Summer Rain
  • Enter Shikari's Roughton "Rou" Reynolds uses both KP2 and KP3 in most songs
  • Power Metal band DragonForce use a Kaoss Pad during their live performances
  • Brian Weitz of Animal Collective uses a Kaoss Pad during live performances
  • Russel Lissack of Bloc Party uses a KP3 during live performances of Letter to My Son
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