Portable fun: OP-1 meets Mini KP2S
A mobile setup wouldn’t be complete without a Teenage Engineering OP-1. We already wrote an extensive piece about this magic box (check out our OP-1 review) so I won’t repeat myself here.
Sure, I could have opted for the tiny Pocket Operators, but I find the overall tactile experience of the OP-1 (and its flexibility) much more enjoyable.
Planning this portable setup, I thought it would have been fun to add some extra effects for interaction. No fancy pedals this time (I didn’t have room for my beloved Eventide boxes). I wanted to have something extremely light, pocket-sized and very affordable.
My choice was the KORG Mini KP2S. Launched a couple of years ago (and quite underrated, in my opinion), this Mini Kaoss Pad packs a lot of punch for something its size.
100 effects with real-time manipulation through the small but usable X/Y touchpad, MP3 playback (via its MicroSD slot) PLUS onboard sampling (you can capture audio from external sources as well via the 1/8” stereo input or via the onboard microphone – yep vocoder included!).
The icing on the cake: the Mini KP2S runs also on two AA batteries (battery life: up to six hours).
Don’t be fooled by the ‘powerful DJ unit’ tagline you often find associated to the Mini KP2S. While the device is ideal for DJ mixing, I find it can be easily integrated into any kind of electronic or electro-acoustic music production environment (ambient, experimental, hybrid modular-desktop setups, etc.).
If you are not familiar with the Kaoss Pad family, besides the usual bunch of filters, the Mini KP2 offers plenty of useful effects to play with (my favorite being the granular, glitchy-stuttering stuff and the other wackier presets – check out the full specs here).
I used the KORG Mini KP2S with both the Volca Sample OK Go edition and the OP-1 and I found it a killer combination. Honestly, for slightly more than £100 (or $ or €) I couldn’t ask for more.
I hear you, many of you have an iPhone and that can be a great source of fx inspiration as well. To me though, having dedicated gear around strictly for random sampling and experimentation with effects just feels better (and more productive).