. TECH REVIEW: KORG KP3+ | djmag.com

TECH REVIEW: KORG KP3+

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words:

Mick Wilson

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Controlled Kaoss

Korg is undoubtedly one of the best-known names in electronic music, having earned their enviable reputation by producing some of the most awesome-sounding synthesisers known to mankind. But of late, Korg have also been carving out something of a niche for themselves by creating a range of portable effects units such as the miniKaosspad2 and the Kaossilator2, which have been put to good use by musicians from a wide range of genres.

The device that started this linage of portable effects units — and the big daddy of the family — is the Kaoss Pad. The latest incarnation of this was the KP3 before the technicians at Korg applied their updating and improvement treatments to create their new flagship Kaoss Pad, the KP3+.

Kaoss Pads have always been about the big touch pad at the centre of the unit, and the KP3+ follows this tradition with a nicely-sized touch controller with an interactive LED display than can be stroked, rubbed or tapped to control multiple effects in real time.

Complex effect controls are combined into touch gestures that are very intuitive and a whole lot of fun to use without the need for meddling about with control parameters — unless, of course, that is your idea of fun, in which case some truly stunning effects can be created by getting deep and dirty with the settings parameters.

The KP3+ has a total of 150 effects that can be put to use when remixing, DJing or in live performances. In addition, there are an extra 22 programs found inside the KP3+ compared with the KP3. All of the best loved programs from the KP3 are also on board this latest incarnation including effects and filters such as delays, reverbs, spiral effects, a grain shifter and even a vocoder. 

Using the high quality onboard sampler found inside the KP3+ it is possible to record up to four different samples of 13 seconds in length, which can be triggered and manipulated by the looper programs as well as having effects layered on top.

The build quality of the KP3+ is absolutely fantastic. It has an all-metal body with an anodised matt black finish that is just gorgeous, and feels as good to the touch as it looks. The control panel case design is very slick and professional with nicely-sized backlit buttons, an FX release level slider and decent-sized knobs and switches. The KP3+ also has plenty of input and outputs featuring both MIDI in and out connections, USB connection and two stereo line inputs and outputs.

The front panel has a headphone output with a volume control knob, SD Card slot as well as a microphone input. This really is a beautifully designed and manufactured piece of professional audio equipment that will stand the rigours of touring without missing a beat.

In some ways Korg are a victim of their own success. By completing such a stellar job in design and production of the original KP3, they left themselves very little room for improvement. Because the upgrades seen on the KP3+ are fairly minor in nature they will have a hard time tempting existing KP3 users to upgrade, but should see plenty of new owners as discerning buyers seek out a quality effects unit that will stand the test of time.

All of the various incarnations of the Kaoss Pad range are awesome in their own way, and the KP3+ is no exception — providing a truly professional effects unit for DJs and producers that looks every bit as good as it sounds. The KP3 is a good example of the fact that this new KP3+ is likely to be just as useful many years later as it is now, proving to be a wise investment for many years to come.

 

VERDICT

Build quality 8.5
Ease of use 8.5
Features 8.5
Value for money 8.0
Sound Quality 8.5

HYPE

A high-quality professional sampler and effects unit with touchpad interface and even more killer effect programs to play with.

GRIPE

There is little to tempt existing KP3 owners to upgrade.

Korg’s flagship Kaoss Pad has been improved and upgraded while keeping the best elements of the previous incarnation to create a truly wonderful portable effects unit.

8.4/10