Fun pocket synthesizer

ThinkGeek is selling a nifty $200 synthesizer with a touchpad interface, called the Kaossilator. I wonder if it's as easy to use as this video makes it out to be. Link


  1. That is waaay cool, but it’s also begging for implementation with a regular computer trackpad. It’s really not all that compact when you consider it needs to be plugged into an amp or recording device, so why not do it on your laptop where all that overhead is already in place?

  2. I recently wrote a post at my music/tech blog here about the value of restricting your choice when working on music (or any art, really).

    Tools (toys?) like this, with their limited range and lack of editability can be infuriating, but there’s a certain charm to an instrument that won’t sync with anything and is a pony with few tricks. Either you love what it does or you don’t, and the people it resonates with (no pun intended) will probably find themselves very inspired.

    I recently fell back in love with my Stylophone for much the same reasons- it’s got next to no features, but when I want to play a monophonic sawtooth synth line with a stylus, it’s there for me, no fuss required.

  3. It’s playing preset arpeggios. That makes it a synthetic Yngwie Malmsteen. Is the world really ready for that?

  4. @#2 feedingfashionistas

    I completely agree, at least in regards to electronic music. I love my electronic drumkit, but when I started to get a plethora of additional gear and hooked it up to the PC with a bunch of music packages, I quickly felt overwhelmed by the amount of choices and possibilities.

    No doubt, it’s extremely powerful, but I found I was hardly doing any drumming and spent all my time fiddling with plug-ins etc, and ultimately had very little output.

    I’m back to basics and try to make the most out of the inbuilt stuff, which often feels somewhat more creative because of its limitations.

  5. My musical output, since getting enough money in my late 20s to buy the recording stuff I always wanted, and even now, when I have even more money, has dwindled to exactly zero. I used to just jack my guitar into a Big Muff into a direct box into the 8-track and put my drummer through the 12-track mixer and into the 8-track, and lay down vocals and maybe some synth and/or bass in the next few tracks, and put together a pretty good song in a few hours. With the addition of more flexibility, I’ve found that–what’s the saying?–the better is the enemy of the good?

    I actually use my equipment fairly frequently, but never for my own projects anymore. I don’t care about others’ as much and just go for “good enough.” So it gets done.

    It’s a bummer.

  6. It took me a while to figure out the recent bump in traffic to my Kaossilator album link (a few thousand in the last 24hrs). Thanks to Robin Hood for sharing this here on BoingBoing.

    Without taking away too much from ThinkGeek’s little demo, for those of you interested in viewing some great Kaossilator performances, there’s a few like this one from Ghostradioshow, showing some KO-1 skillz from Japan:

    and of course, still plugging my album, a video of the live performance of my first track, “Arp A Type”. This is one of the few vids you’ll hear in stereo on YouTube:

  7. Aw fuck…I’m sold. Just this one…no more.

    Does it have Midi I/O? Probably not enough space…


    I was almost certain that would link to

    but it’s just another wacky Japanese guy…

  8. I like my Kaossilator alot. Its not the be all and end all of synths, but it is fun to use and the included sounds & patterns are musically useful as long as you want Korg’s techno-ish flavor.

    I dont find it enough on its own to build entire tracks that are more than novelty, but on its own its good enough to sketch out ideas or build up loops for later studio work. Also like the big Kaoss Pad and KP Mini, its a fun thing to have in your DJ toolkit.


    No MIDI, no save after power off, no editing of sound/pattern parameters. Still worth the money to me.

  9. Cheers Downpressor,

    I thought so, but I bought one regardless since I think it could be a great custom metronome…

    And a great toy to have at the beach…

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