NAMM 2008 Spotlight: Korg Kaossilator

By Francis Preve

Of the big three Japanese manufacturers – including Roland and Yamaha – the only company that truly understands the club scene is Korg.

In addition to monster synths like the OASYS, Radias and M3, Korg has also delivered club-friendly products like the popular Electribe series as well as the now-legendary Kaoss Pad.

At the end of last year, they unleashed the Kaossilator.

As of NAMM 2008, it’s shipping.

At first, before I heard it, I thought “Oh, that’s a cool toy, but it’s not really an instrument.”

Then I played with it.

While the Kaossilator invokes the same sense of playfulness as a toy, it is most definitely a musical instrument.

Pick a scale, then run your finger across the X-Y pad and you can play sick little riffs that would be nearly impossible to recreate using a keyboard.

And the X-Y pad controls more than just pitch and volume, it also manipulates synth parameters and built-in effects.

You can record and overdub your performances.

It runs on batteries.

Admit it. You want one.

For less than $200 US, it sure looks like Korg has another hit on their hands.