Korg Kaoss Pad Quad
An offshoot of Korg’s popular Kaoss Pad line, the Quad ($299) allows for four simultaneous effects. Simply press an effect’s button to turn it on or off, and let your fingers dance on the XY touchpad to modulate it. The pad controls multiple effects in real time; if you need to specifically hone a single effect when several are on, you hit the Freeze button to lock any effect at its current setting. On the whole, the effects are of good quality, and Auto BPM and Tap functions let you get them in sync with the beat. It’s not quite as robust as the KP3, with its lack of MIDI sync and portability, due to the unit’s small battery power. That said, the colorful LED touchpad provides a pretty fantastic personal light show, and the general ease of use is the best yet in the KP line—you won’t need to consult the manual to get up to speed.