KORG KAOSS Replay brings its motion control expression technology to a sturdy, standalone performance and creation tool that works for musicians and DJs alike.
Every manufacturer has a gimmick that not only defines them but is actually pretty useful and impressive. KORG’s KAOSS technology is definitely one of those. It’s their Roland D-Beam or Yamaha’s polyphonic aftertouch. Okay, maybe the D-Beam is a bit of a stretch. And Yamaha has only just revived their PolyAT after a near 40-year hiatus. But you get my point, right? Ok, enough of that. A day after taking on Roland in the drum pad game, what has KAOSS Replay got for us?
KORG KAOSS Replay – What Is It?
You might be forgiven for thinking that the KAOSS Replay bears a rather striking resemblance to a certain SP-404. It actually looks like an SP-404 mated with a DJ mixer. And that analogy is actually rather accurate. You see, the KAOSS Replay is aimed firmly and squarely at musicians and DJs alike. And yes, in my book, those are two distinct job titles. At a stretch, you could even put this up against an Akai MPC in as much as it really does contain all you need to make music.
KAOSS Replay is an all-in-one device. It weaves together powerful sampling capabilities, DJ-style controls and that now familiar KAOSS pad. But that KAOSS pad doubles up as a well-proportioned LCD display.
The KORG KAOSS Replay can store 128 samples in 8 banks of 16 for up to 100 projects. Each of the 16 pads is velocity-sensitive. Using a dual group assign system provides a familiar performance experience that is enhanced by BPM detection, sync and quantization. Samples can be trimmed in the unit and there’s a 12-point Hot Cue triggering system for some pretty full-on dynamic live performances. You can sample directly into the KAOSS Replay via the Audio or Mic inputs. It’s a very powerful tool that allows for on-the-fly editing, resampling and real-time recording.User Interface
There’s no missing the big screen up top. As well as delivering the classic KAOSS interaction, it also doubles up as a big, clear display for all the built-in functionality. A wealth of the KAOSS Replay’s tools and functions operate through the screen, as well as the dedicated controls that surround it. As you might expect, KORG’s KAOSS Replay allows for live processing of vocals which have become a feature of the technology over the last two decades.
KORG KAOSS Replay Hardware
The KAOSS Replay comes packed in a solid, aluminium, “you could kill somebody with that” case. It’s powered via USB-C but uses a micro-USB port for computer connectivity, which is odd. Why not just go for two USB-C ports? Or even a dedicated brick PSU? There’s a footswitch socket, along with 5-pin MIDI In and Out. As you’d expect, there are line in and out RCA ports, with the line-in providing a built in phono amp and earthing connector. Auxiliary In is via a 3.5mm TRS. On the front edge there is a microSD card slot for saving and importing samples. Either side of that are a headphone socket and Mic input, both with trims.
Everything looks sturdy and well illuminated as you’d expect from a device designed to be used live.
On top of all this, it has a MIDI Surface mode that can be fully customised to enable it to be used as a MIDI controller. And it’s a USB audio interface too! It seems KORG has thought of everything.
The KORG KAOSS Replay does look like the designers sat down and took a good look at what live performers wanted from a sample and FX tool. I can see this being used by both DJs and live musicians too. It might lean more towards the former and the DJ-centric connectivity certainly supports that. But there’s enough crossover these days to nullify that bias. I think KORG are on to a winner here.
Pricing and availability:
The KAOSS Replay is currently available for order from Thomann.
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- KORG KAOSS Replay Screen: KORG
- KORG KAOSS Replay FX Screen: KORG
- KORG KAOSS Replay: KORG
- KORG KAOSS Replay Front & Back: KORG
- korg-kaoss-replay-widget: Thomann