Kaossilator2 Tricks Part I – Pad Soundscapes

I never liked the original Kaossilator: it is a large chunky piece of hardware that gives you a monophonic digital synthesizer. Indeed, being both monophonic and digital is its major sin, in my opinion. I am shocked that it is still available in some places at €50+. (!!!)

On the other hand,  Korg’s Kaossilator2 is a small bundle of fun, and has been one of my noise-making companion whenever I wish to jam a little bit in the evening with having to setup my gear, or as a travel companion: just put it in the backpack, together with my headphones and some batteries.

Now, the Kaossilator2 is used for creating loops for house, techno EDM, etc, right? Well, I think it was definitely designed that way: it has two loops, some interesting drum patterns  to get you going, and it is impossible to use a more… “classical” kind of control such as a keyboard.  However, if you dig a little into the “fnc” menu and take advantage of the dynamics of the preset sounds, you can make some interesting soundscapes.

An example is the soundscape you can create using preset CH.079, “Pad Chord”. Just select this present, then go to “fnc” and make the following settings:

  • Key: D
  • Scale: Dorian
  • Note Range: 1 Octave

and then rotate the Kaossilator2 90º counter-clockwise (I find it easier to play this way). Now if you just tap the touch pad you’ll have just a faint sound, because you are not giving it enough time for the sound envelope to reach its maximum. Tap it sparsely and you’ll have nothing but a subtle soundscape; increase the frequency of your tapping, and it will sound more lithe a continuous (like you just turned on the arp).  With these Key/Scale/Octave settings, the F is located in the same line as the K in the Korg logo, and the A is in line with the R on the logo (as you may expect, the G is in line with the O).

An example of me playing the Kaosilator2 this way is given in the audio bellow. At about 35s I play two notes continuously, to enhance the contrast between the two techniques (the mp3 audio is a little crapy, though).