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Rating and Reviews: Korg KO1 Kaossilator

Take this pocket-sized powerhouse synthesizer with you everywhere for composing, looping and exploring the sonic landscape.

User Ratings
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
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"Awesome toy, limited instrument" submitted January 23, 2008

By a customer from pcpix.com
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Hobby recordist, previously gigging musician
Music Style: techno with this thing, folk/Celtic/bluegrass generally
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Sound: It's expressive but with no presets or effects, it doesn't afford much on-box tweaking. It's a good match to a KP3, where you can save and independently control and balance multiple samples, and apply effects. Feature: Included a set of batteries and the manuals. Given its market, should perhaps come with a carrying case, or AC adaptor, or both. Ease of Use: Erase-loop recording is a good functionality, but it's awkward. First, it's hard to get a seamless loop. Second, the hand position required to depress both buttons at once is awkward, and essentially impossible if you put the unit down on a table. The manual covers the bases but could be clearer. As to playing riffs and hooks, the XY pad is just large enough to be fairly accurate, it's fun to play with. I'd just say the button placement isn't well optimized for either handheld or flat playing. Quality: It feels very sturdy, but I've had it only a couple weeks. Korg has been making these XY pads for a while, and the KP mini has given them experience in this for factor. Value: A lot of fun for the money. Manufacturer Support: The manuals are available online, which is good. However the scale list and arpeggio list is not available online, and if you lose that packed-in plastic card you're going to find using those features much more difficult. No need for service or upgrades. The Wow Factor: Yep. Everyone I show it to think it's a cool toy. Fewer are convinced it's a practical instrument for laying down tracks or gigging. I use it like kids use Game Boys -- before, my best portable musical toy good for long exploration was the QY 70. Honestly, this is displacing my Game Boy, on which I used Electroplankton a lot. Overall: I'd like it a LOT more if there was an onboard way to save and load loops you make. At that point, for some kinds of music at least, it could actually be a creative tool you'd use to lay down tracks. I hope in their next version they revisit the button placements as well. A small display could possibly show patch names, arp patterns and full scale names. Allowing sound design on a PC would be awesome. Finally, it would be nice if you could control the balance of new sound to previously recorded sound when you "fix" your latest gesture.
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"KO1, The Best!!!!!" submitted December 20, 2011

By a customer from gmail.com
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
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The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Semi Musician
Music Style: My own enjoyment style
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Sound: As a semi musician I found that the very simple operation of the KO1 was very satisfying. I was able to make patterns that sounded epic and now I need a way to record some of these patterns and sounds. This would be great for folks to add to soundtracks or improving at a rave. Eventually the Kaossilator series should be classified as a musical instrument in its own right. Feature: The most useful feature is the fact that you could mindlessly turn one knob and create a host of sounds and beats. Ease of Use: The learning curve should be quite simple as there are only 4 buttons and 1 knob. Quality: The only way it could be made more sturdy is if they offered a magnesium hardshell case to fit the KO1 with access to the buttons. Value: I got my KO1 at an absolutely rock bottom price and zZounds is to be commended for giving the the best price points in the business. Manufacturer Support: It's a Korg, come on!!!! The Wow Factor: I love the pocketability of the KO1. Overall: If it were stolen I'd either find the culprit and kick they ass or immediately buy another one from zZounds.
6 of 7 people (85.71%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Yeaaa" submitted April 11, 2010

Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Manufacturer Support
Musical Background: Singer and general madness
Music Style: Synth-punk
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Sound: It's best suited for brainstorming new songs, but the sound quality is professional. it's like having a digital synth that you can take anywhere. even has features for analog fans like me. Feature: I would definitly invest in a power supply unit, even though the battery life is good. and rechargable batteries if you can afford it. it is a bit hard to get used to at first if you play a regular synth, but once you figure out the scales it is easy to find the right notes. but you should try to design a grid, many can be found online. i have the grid from getlofi.com and it works well. Ease of Use: The gate arp bank is a bit small, but there are plenty of ways to make your own if you don't have the timing right. there are special modes to diagnose problems, check battery life, and extend the memory. i don't recommend the last one though, just because you can't save your work in case you make an error, and it's harder to see what beat you're on. And btw there is no way to permenantly save or export your music. Quality: It's plastic with a metal case, but the touch pad is sturdy and the buttons hold up. the good news is that it is simple enough to mod anything from LED's and paint to external control panels and effects. and who doesn't love having the equivalent of their favorite synth/music making software in their pocket. Manufacturer Support: Korg likes to keep settings about the kaoss pads secret. i put a lower score because they recently came out with the kaossilator pro, so if you are into the functionality more than portability i would suggest considering to wait for that.
9 of 11 people (81.82%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Kaos" submitted September 12, 2012

By a customer from gmail.com
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Guitar-13yrs, drums-9yrs, piano-10yrs
Music Style: Jazz, rock, funk
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Overall: It's cool, but not cool enough to be $100. No way to tell what or where the exact note or position is. And it's made of plastic... Much like a gameboy.
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