Korg KAOSS Replay, comeback of the iconic KAOSS dynamic effects sampler

SYNTH ANATOMY uses affiliation & partner programs (big red buttons) to finance a part of the activity. If you use these, you support the website. Thanks! 

Korg KAOSS Replay brings the iconic creative KAOSS effects back in a new performance-optimized pad sampler. 

Korg has a long, successful history in the music tech world. This started in the 60s with the Mini Pops drum machine. Then, many today legendary analog synthesizers and drum machines followed in the 70s and 80s. Digital products like the iconic Wavestation Synthesizer characterized the Korg’s 90s.

In 1999, Korg entered the DJ market with the KAOSS Pad. A sampler with intuitive-controllable touch effects made for live performances. It was a great success for Korg, and they have continued it for many years. Today, the next chapter opens with the KAOSS Replay. 

Korg KAOSS Replay

Korg KAOSS Replay

After so many years, something is sure. The KAOSS pad concept has become established among DJs, producers, beatboxers, and live musicians. Even in prog-rock/metal setups, you can see them—so it’s not a DJ-only phenomenon.

With the KAOSS Replay, Korg is bringing the concept into the modern 2023 world. The youngest family member again uses the two striking core elements of the previous KAOSS pads: sampler and flexible, hands-on effects.

KAOSS Replay consists of 16 velocity-sensitive sample pads with colored LED lightning, a 5″ OLED touch display, five knobs, two sliders, and plenty of buttons. 

There are 16 pads with eight banks each, giving you in total 128 sample slots per project. They can be filled with one-shots, loops, or complete tracks.

These can be loaded via a microSD card or captured in real time. Yes, KAOSS Replay has a sampling functionality. Available via the stereo inputs or the built-in audio interface. You can save up to 100 projects on a microSD card. That should be enough for big live performances. 

Korg KAOSS Replay

DJ Focused Features

The initial DJ focus can also be seen on the new KAOSS pad. You get two group faders where you can assign samples to it and create seamless transitions for hour-long DJ sets. 

Also, essential DJ functions such as hot cues, tap/auto BPM, sync, quantized, and variable pitch are onboard. The touch display can be used for trimming samples and setting up to 12 hot cue points per sample pad.

KAOSS Effects

The iconic KAOSS effects should not be missing in the newest version. KAOSS Replay features 128 algorithms, covering a wide range of dynamic effects. You can find the complete list of effects on the official website.

As with previous versions, the effects can be controlled using touch. But for the first time on a 5″ OLED display. This in multiple ways. For example, you animate effects by recording motions. These are in sync with your track. 


The KAOSS Replay offers connections on the front and back. First, you get a headphone socket with a dedicated volume knob on the front.

Then, there is also a dynamic microphone input with extra adjustable effects and a microSD card slot. It supports cards with up to 32GB of storage. Welcome to the year 2023.

Korg KAOSS Replay

On the back, you get a USB-C port for powering the unit (power bank…) and a micro USB port for data. Wait a second. Korg, have you really added two different USB sockets? Ehm WTF. Why Korg chose a flimsy micro USB port for data is a mystery to me.

Further, you get line/phono (RCA, switchable with switchable PHONO GAIN), an AUX in stereo (3.5mm mini jack), Line out (RCA), a footswitch input, and a 5-pin MIDI interface. 

Even if the micro USB port makes you shake your head, it hosts a neat functionality. In addition to classic data transfer, it also unlocks the audio interface feature of the KAOSS Replay. It lets you sample sounds from your computer/iOS device or transmit audio over USB. 

Lastly, the device is made of aluminum and weighs 2kg (without a microSD card and power supply), says Korg. 

First Impression

The KAOSS Pad is back in a new, modern version. I’m pleased that Korg is bringing this classic back. However, the price is a bit high, and pretty sure it scares off many potential musicians. I’m looking forward to the first demos and how deep the engine goes. 

Korg KAOSS Replay will cost 1099€ and will start shipping in January 2024. 

More information here: Korg 

Available for pre-order at my partner


Hardware Effects News


  1. No sequencer. No remote power (battery, powerbank), you MUST use Korg’s power adaptor. Price is rip off. Korg, you came a cropper.

  2. Yeah, this is stupidly over priced.
    For £1000 I could buy a MPC One AND a Roland SP-404!
    Kaoss effects are pretty cool, but if that’s what you want then the Korg Mini Kaoss 2S has that covered.
    Heck, for about £100 you can get a second hand Kaoss DJ which is a Kaoss effects pad AND a 2 channel mixer!
    I see this being massively reduced in 6 months or less.

  3. Four 6,3 mm audio input jacks, a cross-fader at the bottom and this KAOSS Replay would be much more interesting. Oh wait a minute, isn’t there a device, that has these specs? Yes indeed, it is the 13 years old Elektron Octatrack. The Octatrack also has a fantastic sequencer. Its FX maybe can’t keep up with modern standards, but they are extremely modulatable.
    I’m hoping for a kaotic Bad Gear episode very soon!

  4. The more I’ve looked at this the more I’ve become to believe it’s a big miss. The sampling side is not great, no crossfade (although maybe a firmware upgrade will add this), the connectors push it into the DJ area, reviews I’ve seen say modern dj desks already have 80% of what’s on offer here built in.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.