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electronic MUSICIAN

Korg Announces Next-Generation KP3 Kaoss Pad

September 6, 2006

Like all KAOSS Pads, the KP3 responds to the touch of a finger on its X/Y pad, for intuitive control over multiple parameters in real time. The Hold button locks the finger's current position on the pad and Pad Motion memorizes and repeats any gesture played on the pad. The new pad lighting system -- 64 individual LEDs in an eight by eight grid -- can display the Pad Motion pattern as it plays, as well as many other visual cues.

The KP3 features 128 great-sounding effects programs containing new effects such as grain shifter, decimator, a vintage analog-style filter and expanded EQ. There are also drum grooves and unique vocoder and synth sounds derived from the Korg RADIAS. To prevent abrupt changes when transitioning from one effect to another, the new FX Release function adds an adjustable delay tail when the user's finger is removed from the X/Y pad. The delay is automatically set to the current tempo and the depth of the FX release can be set and saved with each program.

The KP3 can sample from a wide variety of sources via mic and line inputs. Four Sample Bank buttons (100 total banks) allow the user to create, play and save looped and one-shot samples on the fly. All samples are recorded using high resolution 24-bit converters and stored in 16-bit/48 kHz format. Samples can be saved on a Secure Digital (SD) card or transferred to computer via USB.

The KP3 thinks in musical terms, allowing the sample length to be defined in terms of beats, not seconds. When sampling is finished, the sample will immediately start playing in sync with the sample source. As the sample plays, its start time can be fine-tuned further.

Time-Slicing divides a sample into separate parts. The eight Program Memory buttons can turn individual slices on/off in real time, resulting in new rhythmic patterns. The KP3 can also sample its effects and even resample the entire output for powerful, multi-element sounds.

All tempo-related functions (sampling, effects) are accurate to .1 (one-tenth) of a BPM for more precise matching to external devices. KP3 features an improved auto-BPM detection from the audio input, Tap-Tempo entry, as well as a manual tempo setting. The KP3 can also send and receive tempo information via MIDI clock.

The KP3 is also a MIDI controller, transmitting three controller signals from its touchpad, along with data from the slider. The Sample Bank buttons send and receive MIDI note messages as well as program change commands and clock information.

USB computer connectivity allows for convenient data transfer to a computer. The included editor/librarian software also allows AIFF and WAV audio files to be loaded into the KP3 and includes sample-rate pitch correction.

The Korg KP3 is available November 2006 at a U.S. MSRP of $460.

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