Category Archives: MUSIC

Its just Kaoss here!

I have just bought 2 Kaoss pads!
Im loving them… with some reservations/wishes!

I have NOT been so interested in them before now, as..
A) Im a guitarist with only 2 hands. Although I have seen the thing where they have been inserted into some guitars, but only as USB trackpads I think…
B) They are quite a bit of desk-space and Ive been more into space-saving racks tingys

Anyway, I have had my eye on the Kaosscilator, as a synth that can add a quick sound into the looping mix, in a pretty improv way, not much pre-planning. But was put off by the original cos of no midi sync…
But along comes the Kaosscilator PRO.

Loving it, great sounds, fast to use. Even Nikolas (5 yr old) is knocking up some pretty cool things on it. It has 8 banks of sounds, divided into leads, Acoustic, basses, chords, soundFX, drums, patterns and vocoder. ALL of the sounds I can use, some for more silly weird shit than others admittedly, but basically no fluff. Picking the right scale took some time for me, nothing quite worked with what I play on the guitar, (not knowing exactly what THAT scale is really!!!) In the end I wrote down MY scale, and found that Aolian was the closest, now it always sounds great with what Im doing on the guitarm and I dont have to worry about WHAT to play ha ha… wonderful time we live in…
I think that the way to save and recall sounds, and loops onto the card is a bit headachy, and I cant quite figure out HOW I wanna do that, Im not sure that Ill save any loops though… well maybe… maybe Ill save some drum loops, if I have made them from scratch… but TBH I dont thank that will happen untill it gets undo… its too easy to make a mistake, for me to want to KEEP that loop… Id much rather make loops on the flay and accept the individual quirks I create.. (rather have UNDO tho… see below) Of course ALL saving ystems are limited when all you have is a little green alpha-numeric screen and not a “proper” LCD with good space to write you patch names…

And then the Kaossilator QUAD.

I got instead of the KP3, cos I was interested in 4 simultaneous effects, as I wanted something to put right on the end of my chain, that EVERYTHING, guitar, guitar synth, loopers (3) and the Kaosscilator would go through.

After a few days play I have a few things I would like Korg to take note of, and CHANGE. In the Kaosscialtor Pro, that can send out a new firmware update, as a fix, with the Quad, it will have to be another version of the box, as the Quad has no midi or USB.. or nutting, so no updating there (See gripes below)!!

Heres the Gripes:

1. NO UNDO!!! Please fix this!! I need to be able to fuck up an over dub on a loop and then go back one step to before the fuck-up. Even if it was only implemented on the PRESS REC button way of recording, so if you didnt like a loop, you could hit del after insted of Rec one more time, and then remove the new layer…
2. Need a quicker way to delete all, to clean slate… currently its Hold Del, press on all tracks then fumble to the little flashinh write button… whats wrong with a long (2 sec) press of Delete? or Delete AND REC for 2 secs?
3. Hissy on the mic channel when you are NOT kaossing, might just be my mike, but why is the sound OK when I am effecting it?
4. The main criticism is something I wouldn’t have known about if I hadn’t read some Kaoss forums. Apparently the ORIGINAL Yellow or pink one, apparently had a feature where you could get ARP PATTERNS… where are they on the PRO version?
Never remove a feature for the PRO version… ADD features!
If this can be implemented, the ARP PATTERNS could be sorted into banks, like the sounds, but maybe you must press ARP while you press a bank to access them?, once pressed, the ARP button could flash showing you are in pattern select mode, you select one, and then its loaded, and maybe the slider selects variations on that Pattern?
5. Just a gripe about the screen… Can anyone else memorize 200 patches… (not something they can fix NOW tho)

1. Obvious but… no midi!! No midi synch (Tho I must say that’s not a prob as it syncs wonderfully to input audio, and sometimes its nice to take it off auto sync and hand crank the bpm button.. cool) NO the real reason, is that there’s no update possible, so what we have.. we are stuck with!
2. Why OH WHY??? Cant they have kept the KP3 “record touch” function (or whatever its called). Being able to record your finger movements and play them back would ahve solved for me the “well you are a guitarist” thing… BUT.. I hear that on the KP3 its not possible to sync to the beat via midi or audio, this is silly, I would LOVE to be able to record a finger motion and have that motion “quantise” to the loop. Are we sure it doesnt do that? Ill have to borrow a kp3 to check… Again.. why TAKE AWAY features??
3. theres no 3rd gripe!

Overall I LOVE thse 2 boxes, I just need to memorize 200 patch numbers!

Synching Vortex to EDP

I just made this diagram of how to make the cable to synch Vortex to EDP. I was a bit pleased with the result, I like it when I make something in Maya in an hour… it makes me realise what I have learnt. Also I rendered this in mental ray, which Ive never done before either, using the global illumination thingy…

The component values are.
Electrolytic Capacitor, 2 microfarads, 6.3V(or more)
D1 Diode, 1N4148 (or similar)

Just for the record, this comes from Andy Butlers excellent Lexicon
Vortex database.

Mark & Jens first jam…

Jens and I had our first jam. We played continuously for a few hours. Some very cool moments. The room is VERY small and difficult to set up in, but weirdly has a good sound. We didn’t bother recording anything in-case we focused on recording too much, but I stuck the H4 on for the last 15 minutes.

Heres one of them, completely un-edited, apart from running it though SoundBooth to try to remove a little room “klang”.

I think this will work, we just need to practice a lot, and need a name… I want something serious, but open and positive sounding. Not dark, not genre specific. Not techno, not geeky, but technical is OK.



So the Softstep arrived!!! Me and Nikolas made this little film to celebrate!

Initial thoughts:

Its Extremely well made (tank etc)
Very small, but usable (and very light!!! Goodbye FCB)
Seems to have a good feel (havent tried it with anything other than the software yet.)
One tiny con,
I don´t really believe that the pressure and 360degree movement is actually very usable, not for musical purposes anyway, Im sure it takes some practice, and sure I can SEE the sensors changing, but its not really possible to smoothly increase a value (like you would need for a pan or a volume or a wah. its a bit haphazard… I think you need tobe wearing soft light shoes, something with a flat surface, which is a bit aukward for us skandinavians who basically NEVER wear shoes indoors (not the done thing due to sand/grit ruining parquet floors) I have to get some “soft-stepping shoes”.


The midi box… Needed for midi hardware users.
Hmmm… is this an afterthought? Doesnt seem to fit withe the wonderfully designed pedal, light breakable, connected by, get this.. A MICRO USB UGH!!! How is it powered when NOT using USB (which is the only way you WILL use it after all..) Well by another usb connection, into a USA USB conector… I cant use that!!! And probably cant find one here with a Euro plug…
WHAT WRONG WITH A FUCKING WALL WART??? Well OK we KNOW what is wrong, but a USB cable??? into a MICRO USB socket.. This WILL fail, NO DOUBT ABOUT IT..
I have had a micro usb on my work cameras changed, oohhh maybe 7 times?
TOTALLY USELESS for a rock and roll product.. Because I think Keith Mac is forgetting this a bit, due to the fact that his target group are professional experimental violinists, and laptop loopers… what about heavy footed guitarists..?

SOLUTION: They SHOULD have come up with a midi module that clamped onto the pedal, had MAINS (110/240 switchable) input socket, with midi in/out. (and a mini usb for the convenience of programming from the computer at the same time as having the hardware plugged in.)
The module could have clicked into place around the current USB input. OK the transformer would have added some weight, but this fiddling solution now, is gonna break, Im sure of it…
Im going to try to mount the midi box IN my pedal board, and have a short jumper cable over to the Softstep, but Im gonna be nervous!

Heres the complete package (with Useless SB… US power adaptor).

OK grumble over… LOVE the pedal… OK better launch the program…. BRB…