Posts tagged: KORG

Send & return effects using a spare soundcard (Mac only)

Korg Kaoss Pad 2I was changing some things around in my studio when I noticed I haven’t used my Korg Kaosspad in quite a while. I started wondering what I could do to integrate it into my everyday producing workflow. I always used the device as a send/return effect on my DJ-mixer, or as a master effect after the mixer. But since I hardly DJ at home anymore I figured I’d reinstate it’s purpose on the production side of things: How to use the Korg Kaosspad (or any external sound-effect) as a send & return effect in Ableton Live. And then I remembered I still had a (cheap) spare sound-card lying around somewhere…

Griffin iMic

I bought this simple USB audio-interface when I still had one of those iBook G4’s with only a line-out but no line-in. (What were they thinking at Apple HQ?) You can get one for about €35,-/$40,- but any soundcard with at least one line-in and out will be able to pull this simple trick off.

Now, before we start I wanna mention that this will only work on a Mac, since they’re able to use multiple sound-cards at the same time as an aggregate device. Once you’ve got such an aggregated device up and running, you should have at least 4 outputs (or 2 stereo outputs) and 2 inputs (1 stereo line-in.) I did this by combining the Griffin iMic and the build-in soundcard (Figure 1).

Aggegrate Device

Figure 1: Aggregate Device

Connect the line-out of the external effect to the line-in of the sound-card and the line-in of the effect to the line-out of the sound-card. When using a simple device like the one above together with the a Kaosspad, use a stereo RCA cable with a stereo mini-jack at the other end. But this might vary depending on what audio-interface you are using as well as what effect you are connecting it too. A mono effect like a distortion pedal (for a guitar) works a little different, but it’s perfectly possible with most sound-cards.

Now set-up a channel in Ableton and use the “external effect” device. And select your freshly created send and return channels Like this (Figure 2):

Ableton - External Effect

Figure 2: External effect in Ableton Live (Click to enlarge)

Now you should be able to use the effect. If not, try different channels but watch out for creating feedback loops! If you have any questions, feel free to ask me in the comments!


KORG Monotron Patch Sheet

The KORG Monotron is a great sound-source for such a small device.

KORG Monotron Patch Sheet

But, of course, it has no way to save patches, and that’s where this Patch Sheet comes in.

On this patch-sheet I decided to keep the keyboard, since some sounds will only sound correct when played on the right key. For instance; I got a very usable kick-drum in G that just sounds like a ‘bloop’ when played lower, and too much like a ‘zap’ when played higher. (But I might do a simpler one if the crowd so demands it.)

Click the above picture to download, happy patching.

Detune Ltd. KORG M01 Music Workstation

Detune Ltd. KORG M01 Music Workstation

Click to buy at

Detune Ltd. unleashes it’s newest and first creation onto the masses.

Although it’s a follow-up to the Famous KORG DS-10 and KORG DS-10 Plus, the KORG M01 Music Workstation is the first under the Detune flag. So, how does the software turn out?

A lot of fun, as expected. Great for everyone who wants to make music on the go, wants a bit of lo-fi in his or her set-up or wants an emulation of the real M1. It sounds like you expect it too, a little lo-fi (because of the NDS’s 22050Hz sound-card.) But the sound is crisp with a dash of 16-bit crush in the form of anti-aliasing in the low-end and a bit of stutter in the lowest part of the dynamics. (A sounds low-volume tail will blink in- and out- of existence.) The layout of the app is easy to use and will have you writing all kinds of music in no time. No matter if you want to make something electronic like techno or Dubstep or want to try and throw in a real composition. This app can do it with the quite large collection of samples built into the application. These samples include the original sounds of the KORG M1 and some bonus sounds to broaden the spectrum and give you some modern sounds to play with. Sometimes modern means Roland 808 or an Amen snare though. As a whole, it’s perfect for re-creating an end 80’s/begin 90’s vibe. Chicago house, Tears for Fears, Detroit Acid here we go!

But there are three small things that I think should and could have been included. It features two effects: Delay and reverb. But you can only choose 1 for the whole track. I would have liked me some delayed beats and reverberated melody. The second thing is that I would have preferred a DSi mode in the app. A little bit more memory and CPU so the app can do a little but more like DS-10 Plus has double mode on the DSi. (I could surely use 2 effects if it featured DSi mode!) And finally, linking with the KORG DS-10 is impossible. There’s is no link mode in the game at all, so syncing two M01’s is also out of the question. But yeah, that’s revenue management for ya, it will probably be featured in a new version called M01 Plus…

At the end of the day, the software is great fun and a recommended buy. But it’s probably going to be sold out for a while.. Keep an eye on the following link to see when it will hit the stores again.

Buy KORG M01 Music Workstation [ Limited Edition] (Nintendo DS™) at

EDIT: Preview of a track I’m working on.

EDIT 2: Finished version! (Released on the EP: Y.A.M.A)

KORG DS-10 Plus

A much wanted and sought after video-game application for Nintendo DS, KORG DS-10. AQ Interactive released a new version version for both DS and DSi just short of a month ago; KORG DS-10 Plus (Play-Asia).

This version promised a few improvements over the original when played on the normal Nintendo DS, but the main core of the application is in the DSi version. The same game-card can be used for both systems and the DSi version is fully backward-compatible, meaning that when linking up the systems for multi-play, both “games” will sync-up it’s tempo and thus you can still use your old version to create tracks on multiple DS’s. For more on it’s features, I’m gonna let Denji Sano do the talking in his Keynote: Take it away Denji!

Allowing up to four DS to be synced. When used wisely, like say, via à 4 channel mixer, one could create a very interesting song created on four separate KORG DS-10’s, all running in sync. The DSi version features the same stuff you already knew from the original DS version, but, everything in dubbles. Twelve instead of six channels, four instead of two synths, eight instead of four drum-tracks and so on. When used with the new DSi “Dual-mode” this would mean, technically, you could have 8 KORG’s all synthesizing in tune and in time with each other. That’s some bang for your buck! Unfortunately, I don’t have a DSi yet, so I could not test the DSi features myself.

I ordered KORG DS-10 Plus on Amazon, costing me only ¥3150. But expect retailers (if sold in a store at all… Remember how many shops sold DS-10?) to squeeze about €45,- out of your wallet, or I guess, about $50,-. So I recommend ordering the application via the good ol’ internet. Remember that this is a Japanese release, and so the manual will be in Japanese. If you want an English manual, you’ll have to wait for Q1 2010 for an American and European release. But if you already used the original version and read the original manual, you won’t find any surprises in this installment.

Traktor DJ Studio

In the past week I’ve been practicing hard on using Traktor DJ Studio 3.

My setup for DJ’ing consists of:
– iBook G4 1333mhz 1.5 GB RAM
– Traktor DJ Studio 3.4
– M-Audio X-session Pro for controlling Traktor DJ
– Korg Kaoss Pad 2 (Who’s BPM is synced to Traktor using a Phonic midi-hub.)

In the past, one of the first things i noticed is that using only a mouse and keyboard to control a DJ application sucked big time. So ones i got a X-session pro i created a layout for controlling the software which suites my taste. But ones i had that covered i didn’t have enough free knobs to control the effects! Well, i already own a Kaoss Pad. So using effects in the mix is sorted as well.

Later this week i will write a few useful hints for syncing Traktor DJ to external gear like a kaoss pad, or Ableton Live. For now, please listen to ‘Jean Parlette‘. A band from the Netherlands with a nice style of their own.