Korg’s Kaoss Replay takes the classic XY effects pad and marries it to a fully-fledged pad sampler - can your SP-404 or MPC do all this?

Imagine a hands-on effects processor that’s also a pad-based sampler and you’re getting close to the Kaoss Replay, Korg’s new standalone live performance and music creation tool.

The Kaoss brand, of course, is one that many will be familiar with. Indeed, the original Kaoss Pad, which introduced us to Korg’s X/Y effect processing touchscreen, was released way back in 1999. It was followed up with various other models, including the Kaoss Pad 3, Kaoss Pad Quad and Kaossilator, which also became a mobile app

It goes without saying, though, that the Kaoss Replay is significantly more sophisticated. Yes, that touchscreen is still here - a 5-inch, full-colour OLED one, in fact - but below it are 16 velocity-sensitive pads that can accommodate a total of 128 sample slots per project, spread across eight banks. What’s more, you can store and access up to 100 projects via microSD card.

Korg Kaoss Replay

(Image credit: Korg)

As well as being able to import samples, you can also record directly into the Kaoss Replay via the audio or mic input. There’s BPM detection, sync and quantisation, plus the ability to trim samples on the hardware. The 12-point Hot Cure triggering system, meanwhile, should suit live performers.

Let’s not forget that this is Kaoss product, though, which means that effects are very much in the mix, too. That touchscreen we mentioned enables you to tweak up to 128 of them: filters, delays, reverbs, modulation processors, loopers, vocoders, and more. There are also vocal effects, including a pitch tuner.

Effects can be automated by using the Pad Motion function or locked in place with the Touch Hold button.

Other features include resampling, DJ-style dual faders, USB or mains powering and the option to use Kaoss Replay as an audio interface or MIDI controller. With its aluminium body, it looks pretty sturdy, too - good news for a product that could be destined for life on the road.

That said, the Kaoss Replay looks like it could have a multitude of uses, both in the studio and on the stage. Whether it offers enough to reign over other, more affordable pad samplers - Roland’s SP-404 MKII, for example - remains to be seen, but we’ll let you know in our upcoming review.

The Kaoss Replay is set to cost £949. Find out more on the Korg website.

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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