It’s hard to believe it’s been 12 years since the introduction of Korg’s influential KAOSS Pad. Now, Dutch developer Victor Bergen Henegouwen gives a nod to the Korg hardware with a new iPad app. And Victor writes CDM to let us know it’s hit the iTunes Store now.

Like the original KAOSS Pad, you can use any instrument or source, in a way that could appeal to DJs, musicians, and producers alike, and control effects with a sweep of your finger. But in the context of an iPad, LiveFX adds multi-touch control, free mixing of parameters, and the ability for the first time to add other apps. In fact, LiveFX may be the first app to be built from the ground up around Audiobus, the platform that allows iOS apps to be connected with one another.

Also, in a big departure from most iOS apps, this one will add effects directly to sounds in your iTunes Library. That could make this part of a DJ rig – or allow a simple performance instrument in which backing tracks or other source sounds are loaded into iTunes, and LiveFX does the effects magic.

True KAOSS lovers, of course, will get an iPad and a hardware KAOSS. (Korg’s own iKaossilator is their own KAOSS-on-iOS entry, but the company has yet to produce a true effects app. No complaints here, as they’ve done some amazing other apps like the iPolySix.)

Feature highlights:

  • Use any audio source – including the iOS iTunes player, or, externally, vocals and instruments and DJ sets and the like.
  • Audiobus support for use with any audio app.
  • Combination effects, either mapping up to four to a single finger or multi-touch for dynamic effects. (I always loved the KAOSS Quad’s combination effects; on iOS, you get more flexibility and multi-touch options.)
  • Existing presets, custom patch saves.
  • Lock button (aka “hold”, as on hardware).
  • Vinyl Break, Ducking Compressor.
  • Auto BPM detection, Tap Tempo.

As a KAOSS Quad owner, I can certainly see some common features in the effects design, combination effects, and color X/Y pad. I don’t think I’m dumping my Quad any time soon – I love the ability to have hardware. But for performing with (or just having fun with) iOS apps, LiveFX makes the iPad – and Audiobus – a whole lot more interesting. We should have an Audiobus test with various apps soon, now that I’ve upgraded from my anemic iPad 1 to a (steeply-discounted) iPad 3. In the meantime, enjoy some videos:

A full iPad demo / promo video:

Artist Ciska goes hands-on with a full set:

More information:
LiveFX at Elephant Candy [Developer site]

LiveFX is actually free in the App Store; a full version is a US$8.99 in-app purchase. In other words, you’re getting a free version as a demo, and then can choose to spend money if you like it – possibly a good system; let us know what you think of it when you try it.