Kaoss Pad

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Kaoss Pad
Korg Kaoss Pad KP3
DatesIntroduced in 1999. Current Hardware iteration/redesign (“KP3”) released in 2006, VST Software version released on November 2022.
Technical specifications
OscillatorUser Samples; PCM for preset synth voices
LFOMultiple LFO options, waveforms and combinations of LFO with other effects
Synthesis typeSeveral preset synth and drum voices; granular synthesis
Aftertouch expressionno
Velocity expressionno
Storage memory4 Memory Slots and read/write to SD card
Keyboardnone - XY-pad
Left-hand controlFX Release; FX parameter ‘Hold’
External controlSupports multiple configurations as a MIDI Controller for external hardware. MIDI configurations (e.g. X-Y pad configuration) can be stored as Program Files on SD media.
Audio sample4 sample slots with unlimited overdub/resampling

The Kaoss Pad is an audio sampling instrument and multi-effects processor originally launched by Korg in 1999.[1] It allows users to record and process audio samples and apply various effects using an X-Y touchscreen.


Kaoss Pads allow users to sample and loop audio and apply effects such as pitch-bending, flange, distortion, and delay using an X/Y touchscreen.[1]

According to the Guardian, while its effects technology was not new, the Kaoss Pad was distinguished by its intuitive design: "Anyone can pick one up and in a matter of seconds get the hang of it."[1] The British producer and musician Brian Eno described it as "a way of taking sounds into the domain of muscular control" as opposed to working with computers: "It takes you into a completely different place, because when working with computers you normally don't use your muscles in that way. You're focused on your head, and the three million years of evolution that resulted in incredible muscular skill doesn't get a look in."[1]


Radiohead use a Kaoss Pad on performances of their 2000 song "Everything In Its Right Place", manipulating singer Thom Yorke's vocals into a "glitching, stuttering collage".[1] Other users include Brian Eno, the Muse guitarist Matt Bellamy (who has Kaoss Pads built into his guitars), John Linnell of They Might Be Giants, Bryan Ferry, Beardyman, Kevin Martin, and New York based electronic musician Ian Cook, who often uses the device for live resampling in a jazz/improvisation context, notably with Travis Sullivan’s Bjorkestra, violinist Lucia Micarelli, and Jason Miles’ Global Noise.

See also[edit]

  • Kaossilator, a Korg synthesizer with a Kaoss Pad interface


  1. ^ a b c d e McNamee, David (9 March 2011). "Hey, what's that sound: Kaoss Pad". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 August 2018.

External links[edit]