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Korg KO1 KAOSSILATOR - Dynamic Phrase Synthesizer

B&H # KOKO1 Mfr # K01
No Longer Available
Product Highlights
  • Touch Pad Interface
  • Loop Recorder
  • 100 Programs
  • Tap Tempo
  • Portable

The KAOSSILATOR is an ultra-portable, pocket sized instrument that features Korg's world renowned synthesizer sound, along with innovative performance features. These include a touch-pad interface borrowed from the KAOSS PAD series, and one-hundred programs that can produce instant musical phrases by simply tapping or sliding a finger across the touch pad.

The instrument liberates non-keyboard players by providing a convenient way to create loops and phrases, while allowing untrained musical enthusiasts to enjoy an entirely new level of musical involvement and expression. Different scales can be selected and the phrases and sounds processed by the internal effects. Since the unit can operate on batteries, musical inspiration can be captured whenever it strikes, irrespective of location.

A special feature of the KAOSSILATOR is its ability to do loop recording. A phrase can be recorded with a specified number of beats (maximum eight beats or two measures), and played back endlessly. Once a phrase is captured, another sound can be chosen and recorded over the first. This can go on indefinitely, allowing the user to create ever more complex phrases. These in turn can be recorded to a DAW for further music creation.

Touch-pad based phrase synthesizer
One-hundred sound programs that combine Korg's modeling synthesizer engine with the effects from the KAOSS PAD series
Two-octave note/pitch range accessed via the horizontal axis
Vertical axis is assigned to parameters such as cutoff, feedback, or modulation depth
Scale function that makes it simple to produce accurate pitches that match any musical context
Gate Arpeggiator allows the user to produce specific patterns of notes in sync with the user specified tempo
Loop Recording allows for recording a phrase with a specified number of beats (8 beats = 2 measures maximum)
Loops can be stacked endlessly one on top of another
Headphone output can be used to transfer loops into a DAW for further processing or to build more complex pieces
Effects Type Dynamic phrase synthesizer
Channels 2 (stereo) 1
Please Note:

Loop recorder will infinitely loop new patterns over previous ones for creating complex loops

close
Effect Variations Synthesizer basses
Synthesizer leads
Natural instruments
Chorded sounds
Drum sounds
Presets 100
User Memory No
Inputs No
Output 2 x RCA
1 x Stereo mini Headphone
AD/DA Conversion D/A: 24-bit/48kHz
MIDI No
External Storage No
Display 3 digit LED
Frequency Response Not specified by manufacturer
Dynamic Range Not specified by manufacturer
Noise Not specified by manufacturer
Dimensions (WxDxH) 4.17 x 5.1 x 1.14" (106 x 130 x 29mm)
Weight 5.43 oz (154g) - without batteries
Specialties Requires four AA batteries which provide approximately five hours of operation
Optional AC adapter available
Korg KO1 KAOSSILATOR - Dynamic Phrase Synthesizer
  • 4 x AA Batteries
  • One (1) Year Warranty
  • REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    KorgKO1 KAOSSILATOR - Dynamic Phrase Synthesizer
     
    4.5

    (based on 50 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (30)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (18)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (1)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (1)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (0)

    98%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Easy to use (44)
    • Portable (44)
    • Responsive / good action (35)
    • Pre-programmed music (31)
    • Touch sensitive keys (27)

    Cons

    • No speakers (12)
    • Limited sound selection (11)

    Best Uses

    • Electronic music (38)
    • Accompaniment (28)
    • Travel (27)
    • Learning (18)
    • Concerts (7)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Experienced (24), Novice (20), Professional musician (6)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    Hours/Days/Weeks/Years of fun!

    Let me start off this review be stating that this product is not for everyone. While it is simple enough to use and intuitive enough that anyone can pick it up and start creating...Read complete review

    Let me start off this review be stating that this product is not for everyone. While it is simple enough to use and intuitive enough that anyone can pick it up and start creating great music with it, you really have to have a creative desire to continue using it. Even though this is an incredibly easy devise to pick up the ins and outs of it also isn't a shallow experience. There are a huge number of scales from which to choose and within each of these scales are a full 3 octaves from which to choose your key. You'll find yourself slowly but surely branching out into new scales and building a repertoire of which instruments and beats sound best with which scales and key's. I can say honestly that with minimal music knowledge I was able to produce some very catchy music after about 30 minutes of opening the box. Now comes the critique. I'm disappointed with the limited loop length. 8 beats is not enough room to make a complex loop. There is a mode that the Kaossilator can be put in to which allows recording of 16 beats. The is a slightly more advanced mode that may be used to "cut beats". In other words, any changes made to the loop length or BPM are recorded and also looped. It's a very tricky mode to work in and I have yet to master it. Another complaint is the note placement on some of the scales used. Sometimes the scales are not evenly spaced from left to right on the track pad. In some a displacement of 1/4 inch from the center can cause a change of 3 or 4 notes. However, a displacement of 1/2 an inch from the far right or left side might only cover 2 notes. This makes for a frustrating time when trying to play certain notes and not just free styling. This is most definitely not something you should get if you want to flawlessly reproduce your favorite electronic hits. You are more or less forced to create your own music. Not that this is a bad thing. Also, it's slightly sad that there is no way of saving a loop on the device once it is turned off. I've come up with a method to record my work on my computer using a 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable to connect the headphone output of the Kaossilator to the microphone input of my computer. From there all you need to do is use the RCA line outs to plug the Kaossilator in to a pair of speakers to hear your work while you record it.

    In summary, the Kaossilator provides one with hours upon hours of fun. I only got mine about 2 weeks ago and i've probably logged about 20 hours of time on it. It's easy enough to use that you'll find yourself creating beats when you are on a break from work, or waiting for a new demo to load. But it's also deep enough that you'll spend 5 hour sessions recording your loops into your computer and editing what you have until you have a legitimate song. On the down side, it's nearly impossible to recreate other songs or your own songs flawlessly. The best one can do is get somewhat close. All told, this is an amazingly fun piece of equipment which provides an easily accessible outlet for your creative tendencies.

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    parameter resets with power off

    fun sounds but soo annoying that everything resets with power off espacially since its a toggle not numbered buttons to get back to a sound or setting.

    fun sounds but soo annoying that everything resets with power off espacially since its a toggle not numbered buttons to get back to a sound or setting.

    Reviewed by 50 customers

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    Displaying reviews 1-20

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    5.0

    Crazy FUN!!!!

    By lloyd

    from sacramento

    About Me Novice

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy to Use
    • Portable
    • Responsive / Good Action

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Travel

      Comments about Korg KO1 KAOSSILATOR - Dynamic Phrase Synthesizer:

      I use it in airport terminals to pass the time.. It's so cool I almost missed my flight :-)

      Share this review

       
      5.0

      KORG KAOSSILATOR

      By benderb9

      from St Petersburg, FL

      About Me Experienced

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy to Use
      • Portable
      • Pre-programmed music
      • Realistic Sound
      • Responsive / Good Action
      • Touch Sensitive Pad

      Cons

      • Can Not Save Creations

      Best Uses

      • Accompaniment
      • Concerts
      • Electronic Music
      • Learning
      • Travel

      Comments about Korg KO1 KAOSSILATOR - Dynamic Phrase Synthesizer:

      mini pad controlled synthesizer that is more fun to play with than you might imagine. 100 or so presets that include drum patterns (my favorites are the trumpet, bagpipes and drums)that can all be modified and twisted to your hearts content. The touch pad can be used to modify the sound and create different beats, if you have never used something like this it is intuitively easy and has a 0 for it's Learning Curve. This is a stand alone instrument that doesn't 'need' anything else other than an amplifier (computer speakers work great) to function. It also has a short looper built in so you can do beats/songs that are layered as well. It does work really well with other line level effects and signal processors. The only drawback is you can't store things...but hey this is a creative instrument so that just makes you stay in a creative mode...it isn't too difficult to duplicate patterns/beats with practice though. Battery use is minimal and they get a lot of mileage from this little gem. Great little instrument at a great price from B&H.

      Share this review

       
      5.0

      Ultimate Musical Tool for Non-Musicians

      By Amos

      from Baltimore, MD

      About Me Novice

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy to Use
      • Portable
      • Pre-programmed music
      • Realistic Sound
      • Responsive / Good Action
      • Touch Sensitive Keys

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Accompaniment
        • Concerts
        • Electronic Music
        • MIDI

        Comments about Korg KO1 KAOSSILATOR - Dynamic Phrase Synthesizer:

        Without musical skills whatsoever, I am adventuring into the foreign territory of making musical beats, voice-overs and sound effects. After approximately one week after purchase, I find The Kaossilator an IDEAL tool to enable me ease into this field. It's amazing what i have done so far, and with a creative mind, i imagine infinite applicability for musicians - experienced and armateurs - and those without talent but with heart to try. I am gaining skills each passing day; it has opened up my imagination and i am thinking of getting into music business.

        Share this review

         
        2.0

        parameter resets with power off

        By parrtaayRocker

        from reno Nv

        About Me Experienced

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy to Use
        • Portable
        • Realistic Sound

        Cons

        • Resets with power off

        Best Uses

        • Accompaniment
        • Electronic Music

        Comments about Korg KO1 KAOSSILATOR - Dynamic Phrase Synthesizer:

        fun sounds but soo annoying that everything resets with power off espacially since its a toggle not numbered buttons to get back to a sound or setting.

        Share this review

         
        4.0

        Little Guy, Lots of punch

        By valar602

        from stevens point, wisconsin

        About Me Experienced

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy to Use
        • Portable
        • Pre-programmed music
        • Realistic Sound
        • Responsive / Good Action
        • Touch Sensitive Keys

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Accompaniment
          • Chamber Music
          • Concerts
          • Electronic Music
          • Learning
          • School Bands
          • Travel

          Comments about Korg KO1 KAOSSILATOR - Dynamic Phrase Synthesizer:

          I basically bought this guy so I could do flowing bass lines with it for my music. Not wanting to drop over 500 dollars for real good synthesizer this little guy is affordable and packs a big punch. You various scales and keys you can use, the arpeggiator is a wonderful guy if you want to get down with funk on some crunch techno tracks.
          the only real problem is that its not a keyboard, theirs is a big one if anyone wants to up the ante.

          Share this review

           
          4.0

          surprisingly versatile box

          By Diaz

          from Kazakhstan

          About Me Experienced

          Pros

          • Easy to Use
          • Portable
          • Responsive / Good Action

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Accompaniment
            • Electronic Music

            Comments about Korg KO1 KAOSSILATOR - Dynamic Phrase Synthesizer:

            creates really nice atmospheric sounds, perfect for live FX and beat insertion (bands and DJs) but for studio work needs MIDI capability, which is the only flaw of this device
            p.s. what is worse that even older Pro version still lacks incoming MIDI notes support by default

            Share this review

             
            5.0

            The best little noisemaker around

            By TheAshLovelies

            from Arlington, VA

            About Me Professional Musician

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy to Use
            • Portable
            • Responsive / Good Action
            • Touch Sensitive Keys

            Cons

            • No Speakers

            Best Uses

            • Accompaniment
            • Electronic Music
            • Learning
            • Travel

            Comments about Korg KO1 KAOSSILATOR - Dynamic Phrase Synthesizer:

            This is a wonderful electronic toy/instrument. We have used it for extra instrument layers for both our recordings and live performances. The small size and portability are particularly useful for us. You can listen to how we have incorporated the Kaossilator on this track from our albumhttp://soundcloud.com/the-ash-lovelies/flirting-with-disaster

            Share this review

             
            4.0

            Portable Music Companion

            By Rige

            from St. George Island, AK

            About Me Experienced

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy to Use
            • Portable
            • Pre-programmed music

            Cons

            • Can't Sample
            • No Memory
            • No Speakers

            Best Uses

            • Accompaniment
            • Travel

            Comments about Korg KO1 KAOSSILATOR - Dynamic Phrase Synthesizer:

            This is great for making music on the fly. When I am traveling I like to be able to make music, but I can't carry around all the gear. This is a small, light device that is fairly versatile. Even though it lacks a few things, it makes up for them in weight and size.

            Share this review

             
            3.0

            Fun toy

            By Poly Woly

            from Bethesda, MD

            About Me Novice

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Portable
            • Realistic Sound
            • Responsive / Good Action

            Cons

            • Difficult to Use

            Best Uses

            • Travel

            Comments about Korg KO1 KAOSSILATOR - Dynamic Phrase Synthesizer:

            It's fun but it really takes a lot of practice to make music.

            Share this review

             
            5.0

            Great "bang for your buck"

            By Airwavephantom

            from Jonestown, PA

            About Me Novice

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy to Use
            • Great sound Quality
            • Portable

            Cons

            • No ability to record
            • No Speakers

            Best Uses

            • Electronic Music
            • Learning
            • Travel

            Comments about Korg KO1 KAOSSILATOR - Dynamic Phrase Synthesizer:

            I use my Kaossilator on the plane, or when im just lounging on the sofa, or whenever I feel like making some music. Its very easy to use and the touchpad is very responsive and allows for a multitude of sounds. the olnly thing that I would say to add would be the ability to save some recordings, maybe add an SD slot or compact flash even.. OTHERWISE Awesome product, fun and easy to use!

            Share this review

             
            4.0

            Exactly what I wanted it for

            By esskae

            from Victoria, BC

            About Me Experienced

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy to Use
            • Portable
            • Pre-programmed music
            • Realistic Sound
            • Responsive / Good Action
            • Touch Sensitive Keys

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Accompaniment
              • Electronic Music
              • Travel

              Comments about Korg KO1 KAOSSILATOR - Dynamic Phrase Synthesizer:

              I bought the kaossilator to supplement jam seshes and to play around with using various recording hardware and software and it does exactly what I bought it for.

              Pros: a variety of different sounds and synths, easy to use, compact/light, fun

              Cons: knob feels like it could break easily, only loops 8 bars worth

              Share this review

               
              5.0

              GREAT

              By Scottierock

              from Scotch Plains New Jersey

              About Me Experienced

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy to Use
              • Portable
              • Pre-programmed music
              • Realistic Sound
              • Responsive / Good Action
              • Touch Sensitive Keys

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Accompaniment

                Comments about Korg KO1 KAOSSILATOR - Dynamic Phrase Synthesizer:

                I am a mobile DJ. I use the kaossilator to construct beats and loops for live performances. The quality of the sound produced is CD or as close to CD quality as you can get. Removing a specific layer in your loop could be easier, is about the only significant complaint. It could be mountable with clips or velcro.

                Share this review

                 
                5.0

                Killer Kaossilator

                By Skippy

                from Cumberland, MD

                About Me Novice

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy to Use
                • Portable
                • Pre-programmed music
                • Realistic Sound
                • Responsive / Good Action
                • Touch Sensitive Keys

                Cons

                • No keypad

                Best Uses

                • Accompaniment
                • Electronic Music

                Comments about Korg KO1 KAOSSILATOR - Dynamic Phrase Synthesizer:

                I purchased the Kaossilator for personal use and ended up using it for some back up in a band I work with. It is Sooooo easy to use and play and the sound is top quality. The only thing I would like to have on it would be a direct entry keypad instead of the dial control but for the small price it's no big deal. Awesome little unit.

                Share this review

                 
                5.0

                This thing is incredible!

                By kayakdoug

                from Humboldt Co. CA

                About Me Novice

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy to Use
                • Pre-programmed music
                • Touch Sensitive Keys

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Electronic Music
                  • Travel

                  Comments about Korg KO1 KAOSSILATOR - Dynamic Phrase Synthesizer:

                  It's a toy... no, it's a learning tool...
                  Well, this device is so cool I'm going to buy one for both of my musician brothers. It is so much fun, and if you know a bit of music, the KAOSSILATOR could even become a musical instrument.
                  The Sounds Are Incredible: ranging from rich, deep basses to every electronic sound you can imagine. Filter sweeps, decay, reverb, LFO modulation, and more effects are all included in the programs that are played by the device. I contend that playing with the KAOSSILATOR will help you learn about these audio concepts. It will definitely be a ton of fun while you're at it!
                  Concerning the operation of the device, you have to be precise, really precise in your movements on the pad to get predictable sounds. It is possible, though difficult with some of the "programs" (combos of voice and modulation sources), to get predictable sounds. The random, unpredictable nature of the sounds produced might prevent the KAOSSILATOR from becoming a new seat in the orchestra, but it would sound really cool in trying.
                  I'm taking the KAOSSILATOR with me (along with the latest book I might be reading) whenever I might have some idle time. Plug in the headphones and dial up some electronic craziness! What a Blast!
                  Have Fun!

                  Share this review

                   
                  5.0

                  So much sound in such a small package

                  By A Meckler

                  from San Jose, CA

                  About Me Experienced

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Easy to Use
                  • Portable
                  • Pre-programmed music
                  • Realistic Sound
                  • Responsive / Good Action
                  • Touch Sensitive Keys

                  Cons

                  • 8 beat loop limit
                  • Limited Sound Selection
                  • No midi out

                  Best Uses

                  • Electronic Music
                  • Music

                  Comments about Korg KO1 KAOSSILATOR - Dynamic Phrase Synthesizer:

                  This product is an great source of fun. A powerful little synth engine, this thing can do amazing sounds. Some of the synth programs are unreal. Being stuck to only 8 beats is a major limitation, also, not having a midi out is not good. For the price, this thing is amazing.

                  Share this review

                   
                  4.0

                  Fun toy, or serious instrument?

                  By Joel

                  from Portland, OR

                  About Me Novice

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Easy to Use
                  • Portable
                  • Price
                  • Responsive / Good Action
                  • Runs on batteries or AC

                  Cons

                  • Limited Sound Selection
                  • Short loop duration

                  Best Uses

                  • Electronic Music
                  • Learning
                  • Travel

                  Comments about Korg KO1 KAOSSILATOR - Dynamic Phrase Synthesizer:

                  I bought this based on reading some reviews and seeing it in action on YouTube. I didn't have very high expectations being a newbie in the music production arena that I'd be able to pick this up and do anything with it, but I was pleasantly surprised. It's loaded with sounds and some drum samples and is seriously addicting. I'm not sure I'd use this in serious music production, but it is fun when I need some creative time to myself and am just looking for something to give me some inspiration. The interface is super easy to learn to use and layering loops couldn't be easier. The fact that it runs on 4 AA batteries means I can take it on the plane for long flights, or toss it in my work bag for a lunchtime break.

                  The downsides are that you only get an 8 count loop, so your "songs" will get super repetitive very quickly, also there's not a good way to remove and add layers quickly/easily.

                  If you're looking for a tool to provide a bit of inspiration and also just to mess around with, you can't really go wrong with the Korg Kaossilator.

                  Share this review

                   
                  4.0

                  Holy KAOSSILATOR!!!!!!!

                  By Randie

                  from NYC

                  About Me Experienced

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Easy to Use
                  • Portable
                  • Pre-programmed music
                  • Responsive / Good Action

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Accompaniment

                    Comments about Korg KO1 KAOSSILATOR - Dynamic Phrase Synthesizer:

                    I use the product for personal fun. Making beats, and looping sounds. Whats so great about this product is you dont have to my a full fledged musician to be able to use it. You just need to be able to count to a beat.
                    I highly recommend this product for the not so Pro or even Pro!!

                    Share this review

                     
                    4.0

                    Feels cheap but plays boom boom

                    By Shiftiz Macgoogoo

                    from Ocean Beach, CA

                    About Me Novice

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Awesome
                    • Easy to Use
                    • Fun
                    • Near-infinite
                    • Portable
                    • Pre-programmed music
                    • Responsive / Good Action
                    • Touch Sensitive Keys

                    Cons

                    • Feels a little plasticy

                    Best Uses

                    • Electronic Music
                    • Learning

                    Comments about Korg KO1 KAOSSILATOR - Dynamic Phrase Synthesizer:

                    All I know, is that I love electronica music and can hear, feel, and move to it well. Although I have never been "Good" at playing music, this little yellow guy allows me to be as creative as I want with a limit that seems endless.

                    Share this review

                     
                    5.0

                    Best [$] I've spent in years!

                    By Shawn

                    from orlando, fl

                    About Me Experienced

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Easy to Use
                    • Portable
                    • Pre-programmed music
                    • Realistic Sound
                    • Responsive / Good Action
                    • Touch Sensitive Keys

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Accompaniment
                      • Electronic Music
                      • Learning
                      • Travel

                      Comments about Korg KO1 KAOSSILATOR - Dynamic Phrase Synthesizer:

                      The Kaossilator is smaller and thinner than I expected which is very cool for taking with you. the optional power adapter is a good call although I've gotten hours and hours out of the 4AA batteries as well. Already thinking of buying another to add extra layers to my mixes. great fun.

                      Share this review

                       
                      4.0

                      Not just a toy!

                      By allaboutthestoke

                      from Los Angeles, CA

                      About Me Experienced

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Easy to Use
                      • Portable
                      • Pre-programmed music
                      • Realistic Sound
                      • Responsive / Good Action
                      • Touch Sensitive Keys

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Accompaniment
                        • Concerts
                        • Learning
                        • Travel

                        Comments about Korg KO1 KAOSSILATOR - Dynamic Phrase Synthesizer:

                        In terms of what this product does, I don't have a whole lot to say that others haven't already. The features are absolutely great! The sounds and effects that come preloaded are extremely diverse and will keep you busy for a while. The looping/arpeggiator/scale/tempo options make it so easy to change moods on the fly.
                        However, I feel that I was somewhat unique in my purchase of the Kaossilator because I bought it mostly to accompany my music recording, instead of being the main event. A lot of the other reviews that I have read complained that this synth quickly turned from instrument to toy when they got bored with looping the same sounds. Instead, it has been a great accompaniment to fill out my acoustic recordings. When you are adding the Kaossilator as a new layer to your existing music, it is definitely a powerful instrument and not a toy. Great job Korg! I love it.

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