While I haven’t gotten official word from Korg, it appears the KAOSS Pad KP-3 is now official, as reported widely. (First full scoop this time appears to be SonicState (who have the most details) after a leak and later confirmation on Music thing.)

Here’s what’s new, along with some other competing musical “grids”:

  1. 8×8 Matrix: 64 LEDs with varying levels, in an 8×8 grid, sit behind the pad so you can now use the KAOSS for sequencing and beats
  2. Real sampling: An SD memory card slot lets you record, though I’m awaiting details on length, whether that’s restricted by SD or internal memory
  3. Live slicing: Using eight program memory buttons at the top, you can slice up your samples live.
  4. FX release: This slider lets you transition between effects when you release the pad, instead of hearing choppy, unwanted “cuts”
  5. New effects: Including a grain shifter and bit-reducing decimator — sounds a bit like Ableton Live influenced the new KAOSS, huh? (Then again, these effects were available in other gear, so for Korg I’m sure it was a no-brainer.)
  6. Vocoder, vinyl looping, ring mod and lots of other effects make this a pretty hard-core effects unit on its own; the vocoder comes straight from the RADIAS
  7. Synth sounds, drum grooves: in case you want to use this as a synth
  8. MIDI everything: Hardware folks will love this for its built-in effects capabilities. Us software/computer people will love it because virtually every single control sends and receives MIDI. I’m specifically interested to know if we can easily hook that drum grid / sequencer into software; stay tuned here for the latest.
  9. Computer connected: USB, editor/librarian, and drag-and-drop sample loading could make this a nice supplement to your existing computer setup

Now the caveats: while the device features mic and line inputs, outputs are phono jack only (no digital), and Korg actually nixed the phono input (though you can still provide your own phono amp, of course).

It’s hard to tell just how this matrix will work; I think the relative coolness of the device probably depends on that more than anything, though this is, as always, still a bargain as a hardware multi-effects unit, particularly for beat-driven music. Korg is just over the river in Long Island, so once these arrive Stateside, I hope to get up-close-and-personal.

For more of a software solution, check out this DIY creation by Godzilla Frog in comments on Music thing, where Tom beats me to a much-blogged video demo of Jeff Han’s more futuristic touch interface. Futuristic interfaces aside, Mr. — erm — Frog has done for software what Korg did for hardware. (source)

Now the big question is, between these interfaces, the Tenori-On, and the Monome, is anyone ready to go off the grid? (Nothing against grids, of course; I guess you could think of a keyboard as an 88×1 grid!)

  • This is good news! I'm trying to go "hardware" again…. any suggestions for a good groove box to go along with this? The Electribe ESX perhaps?

    Cheers, from Munich,


  • This is good news! I'm trying to go "hardware" again…. any suggestions for a good groove box to go along with this? The Electribe ESX perhaps?

    Cheers from Munich,


  • I wish, that would come with a sequenced gate function. I think that would for one, cause me to buy one and it would also open it up to the synth player market that much more.

  • groffhibbitz

    is it multi touch or single touch interactive?

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  • @roland from munich: Machine Drum đŸ˜‰

  • @Christophe: Thank, I tried this at a local store and couln't get much noise out of it… guess I'm too stupid!?

  • Dri

    on the sequenced gate idea, even if it doesnt you CAN because you can recall movements and settings so in theory you can 'play' gating effects mapped to bpm. i agree though some kind of faux sidechain effect would be great, but again this can be emulated even with a panning effect set to mono, much the same as you can use the Autopan in Ableton the same way (and in fact, its a staple and literally staple effect for every tech/prog/trance producer i know putting out tracks, us included, us even using it live).

    Korg would benefit from something like this made simpler, but then again isnt half the fun of these units working out your workarounds for interesting effects? Theres enough phaser/flange and cheap delay/verb in the world… we want more mangle!

    ps, vocoder. woot. enough said.

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  • Yes! I've got a new Kaoss Pad 3 now! Great sounding effects, sampling capability, real fun to use!


  • abduselam

    Guys, i am quite new in this, here is one stupid question concerning KP 3… How many samples i can store and play. Is it just four or more…

  • only four, but if you use a computer along-side yer Pad, you can dump samples back and forth. a tad tiresome… i've not used an SD memory card yet… only thing i'm peeved about is not being able to more than on effect simultaneously. korg have "x" and "y" covered nicely, but what about "z"?

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  • Branin

    Is there a mixer out yet for the kaoss pad 3 functions? Looks like korg has a mixer combo but uses the kaoss pad 2. I was looking for the mixer/kaoss pad combo to mix live version 3 though. If anyone can help let me know. thanks.

  • Alex

    is it possible to store longer samples on the kaosspad than just the standart 16secs. ?

    on the SD card or something?

  • Alex


  • Jhaantu

    They should have given an internal hdd of atleast 40 gb for storage..

  • The KP3 is single touch and is for its price a quite good competitor to any sampler/effects processor out there. It's quite easy to use, has lots of functions and is by now one of the best ones I have had in my hands.

    It redefines sound in a fingertouch…

  • I'm considering switching from my trusty old KP2 to this one, but oddly enough the price of KP3 hasn't dropped in the following years much. Maybe they need to release KP4 for the "3" to be cheaper…