Experiments Using A Korg Kaoss Pad (KP3) As A MIDI Controller

I’m writing this because the Korg KP3 offers many unused MIDI control features, here it goes:

I have to start somewhere and it makes sense to cover the easy stuff first. I am on a Mac G5 (non Intel) running OS 10.4.11 with 3 Gig of RAM. It gets it’s MIDI from a MOTU MIDI Express XT. As a starter I opened Live and inserted a VST Synth into the application. A u-he Zebra is going to make all the noise. Like most VST and stand alone synthesizers, the Zebra can go into a “MIDI Learn” mode, Live can also go into the same learn mode on it own. On the Mac version you just control-click any knob or controller that you want to associate with a movement on the Kaoss Pad and move your finger either on the X or Y axis of the pad. The software detects the incoming CC message and makes the assignment. You should be able to do this on various controllers all over the software. Quite a bit of experimentation and patience is required to get a useful sound. If you get something that you like make sure to save the sound. Try the MIDI Learn feature on several software synthesizers and applications. Take a lot of notes if you are really serious about getting some unique sounds.

Part 2.

Now comes the fun part and you can really get some unusual things going here. Take the audio output from your firewire/usb/internal soundcard and route it through the Kaoss Pad and see what happens. The Pad is controlling the MIDI knobs and it is also effecting the audio output at the same time! Much more patience and time is needed here but some very unique sounds are generated. Depending on what your MIDI is controlling and what audio effects are being used, there can be some very wide dynamics setup. It is best to use some kind of software or hardware compressor/limiter so that your speaker cones don’t pop out on the floor.

Any comments or questions are always invited. More to come.