I’ts finally here!, the Kmod version 0.1.

The purpouse of the Kmod is to  enable  you to externally control the Kaossilator and to add new features to this wonderful synth.

In this first version (0.1) the Kmod implements mini-din (6 pin “ps2”) connector to be able to connect your kaossilator to an external control box that you can populate to your own taste with buttons/toggles/switches to control REC/Scale/Gate/Tap buttons and any combination of those.

Also this mod implements the “Sustainer Feature “, which like its name says, enables the kaossilator to automatically HOLD the last note/position that you played on the pad.

Here’s the Kmod demo Video:

Hope you liked the mod!, If you want to Kmod your own kaosilator, you can get the instructions on This post.

Dont know what the Kmod v0.1  is all about?, check the Kmod v0.1 Presentation post.
insides02 insides01

I’m not responsible for any damage you or anyone else inflicts on your kaossilator.

Skills you will need to perform the Kmod v0.1 :

  • Basic Electronics knowledge or the will to learn them.
  • Know how to read Schematics.
  • Basic Drilling/Sanding skills/experience.
  • Basic Soldering skills.
  • Basic Patience and Care skills.

Do you meet these requeriments?, if you do lets get the modding going, if you dont you could either learn these basic skills by building/soldering a beginers electronics proyect like a led toy or something like that.

Equipment you will need :

  • A Soldering iron : One with temperature control and a stand is best. A conical or small ‘screwdriver’ tip is good, almost all irons come with one of these. A low quality (ahem, $10 model from radioshack) iron may cause more problems than its worth!. Do not use a “ColdHeat” soldering iron, they are not suitable for delicate electronics work and can damage the electronics.
  • ‘Handy Hands’ with Magnifying Glass : Not absolutely necessary but will make things go much much faster.
  • Multimeter/Oscilloscope : A meter is helpful to check voltages and continuity.
  • Solder : rosin core 60/40 is fine.

Don’t have a basic electronics kit?, check Ladyada’s awesome Electronic tools kit list.

  • A Drill (hand or bench).
  • A dremel is really nice but not obligatory.
  • Correct size METAL WORK Drill bits.
  • Sanding Bands for the drill/dremel.
  • A black marker, always useful.

Materials you’ll need:

  • (Two) 6pin mini-din “ps2” Female connectors, Panel mount (and screws for this probably).
  • (Two) 6pin mini-din “ps2” Male connectors, floating/cable mount.
  • (about 12 foot) Thin hook up wire, 26 AWG is fine. The more colors, the better.
  • (one) 50 kohm 1/4watt resistor, 5% tolerance is fine.
  • (one per button) SPST push/toggle buttons, Panel mount.
  • (one per button combo) DPST or DPDT buttons, Panel mount.
  • (one) SPST toggle button/switch for the Sustain button, Panel mount.
  • Cleaning Isopropilic alcohol and heatswrink tube is not really nedeed but its always nice.

Modding the Kaossilator case:panel

First thing you have to do is get the female minidin connector into the kaossilator, so you’ll have to drill a hole in the case and get it to fit correctly.

The best way to do this is to use a marker to trace a line where the connector will go, mark where the screw and main holes will be and then use a hammer and a nail to make a little notch in these marks, so the drill bit will start in this notch and you won’t get holes and scratches everywhere.

Then you just have to make room and cleareance for the mini-din connector to fit inside the plastic case.

You can see how I did mine in this video.

Electronics stuff: insides01

Next in line is the Electronics connetions/soldering work.

Before you do any soldering  in the kaossilator disconnect the X/Y pad from the main PCB (just pull the flat ribbon cable gently, notice the direction of the connection face to properly connect it again) to avoid ribbon cable/pad disasters

This is easy, just connect  the Mini Din to the correct places in the kaossilator using the hook up wire, you just have to be careful not to make solder bridges or to overheat the PCB/Parts while soldering (10 seconds of direct tip contact is too much). Also make sure there’s enough loose wire to move the aluminum plate around and enough space inside the Kaossilator to tuck the wires in nicely, I had to cut the unused RCA-in PCB part to make room for this (don’t worry, those are useless, so no harm done)

Then you have to make the control box where the buttons will be placed, wire the switches/buttons/toggles together and connect them to the other female Mini din connector.

And at last, you have to make a Male / Male  6pin Minidin connector to connect the control box and the kaosilator.

Watch how i did it in this video.

Here are the schematic and the soldering diagrams. (click to enlarge)







The Finale :

Ok, so just wrap everything up, connect the Kaosilator with the Control Box and enjoy!.

If you completed this mod, please take some photos and share them with me and the community, i’ll be putting a Gallery up soon!

James Haskin Posted some high quality pictures of the Kaossilator info/reference card, so if you lost/broke/ate/burnt/made-a-cool-airplane with yours, you can get them here, Thanks James!

Kaossilator Info/Reference Card - AKaossilator Info/Reference Card – A

Kaossilator Info/Reference Card - BKaossilator Info/Reference Card – B

Also,  James is planning some cool kaossilator modding, so stay tuned!.

PS:  The video on modding the kaossilator is coming, but i have to wait for some electronic parts to arrive.

Here they are, as i promised, the high resolution PCB pictures of the Kaossilator. You can use them to trace a little schematic for a mod, or maybe to get info on the chips and plan a Open Souce firmaware mod =).

PCB preview

You can Download the  High-res image pack here, choose a mirror   (Rapidshare)(Megaupload)

In this video im going to show you how to safely open your kaossilator, so you can look at the insides of it, and maybe get some modding going on.

In my next video i will show you a very cool mod you can perform on your kaossilator, that will enable you to control your music making in a better and more professional way.

WARNING: If you’re not sure what you’re doing i don’t recommend opening your kaossilator!. Also, I’m not responsible for any damage you, or any other person do to your kaossilator.

Hi!, this is the second video for the blog,  in this one I will show you the 3 secret modes of the kaossilator.

1st – Battery mode
2nd – Double lenght /16beats mode
3rd – Debug Mode.

Hope you enjoy it =)

… In my Next Video I will show you how to safely open your kaossilator and i will show you the insides of it.

Hello and welcome to the Korg Kaossilator blog!, I’ll be covering everything about the kaossilator, from the basics to hacking and modding this wonderful synth.

For this fist post i decided to cover ALL of the basics, so probably no new stuff for the ones that are familiar with the Kaossilator, but a good starting point for those who want to get one or just got one.


Next time I’ll be covering ALL of the Kaossilator “hidden” modes (not just the double length/16beats one).