This blog documents the production of my Kaoss Pad 1 Guitar Modification. The posts appear newest to oldest, so it may be easier to go bottom to top if using it as a guide or reading the whole thing, or just go off the archive navigation below.

Cheers for stopping by, hope its in some way interesting, please feel free to comment!

Monday, 12 March 2007


Adam's KP-1 Softbody Budget Expertise-free Guitar Mod

This blog is basically intended, in its most basic sense, as a documentation of my current project.
I intend to mount the Kaoss Pad 1 (KP-1) touch pad xy controller to my guitar, and modify the electronics on both the touch screen and the seperated remainder of the device such that a serial port will connect them together when required.

It is based directly on the work of Phil's Kaoss Pad Mod (unmaintained.com) which was based on the Manson guitar I believe.

The Situation...
  • I'm 19. Lack any previous experience of either guitar modifications or electronics.
  • I'm on a budget. A real budget £15. I'm sure many people share this position.
  • I don't really have any specialist equiptment, all soldering stuff and extras (except the KP and my guitar) came off ebay for about £15 in total, includin stuff for the LED's.
  • This isn't a KP-2 like Phil used. It's a KP-1. Cheaper alternative, hopefully less complex. But good to have a reference to it working with the KP-1 cos much of this I had to guess.
  • I plan to purchase all required extras off eBay. I'll try to add handy product item listings and search keywords cos this way quite time consuming for me to figure out myself!
  • I couldn't find a chisel so I hacked my softbody Tanglewood Starfire LP Copy with a flatbladed screwdriver and a now blistered hand. IT CAN BE DONE! The guitar bit that is, at least.

So I'll post properly each time I can be bothered to document. I'm actually part way through at the minute (sepearted 2 parts and hacked guitar, made makeshift cover). So i'll probably be changing my tenses all the time and posting retrospectively to a point.

Cheers for visiting I hope its interesting, I'll try to add images and other stuff when I grab the time.



spooky said...

does it have a hold key function like phil's?

Citizen6ix said...

I just tonight finished a rushed and shakey handed electronics job on both parts to attach 9pin serials...

I wasn't going to include a hold button, simply because I wanted to keep it simple for now, test myself to see if I can do the basics, and i thought i'll just switch hold on and off with my foot, maybe.

I thought i lost the button for it though, so I thought I'd try to wire my own like Phil did..

I had real trouble (most of this will go in a blog entry by the way) removing the KP1's switch.

I'm not sure if it links to the circuit inside the PCB either, think so because theres no circuit pathways on the surface where the soldering can be seen with the terminals.

I might read up on it, ask phil and try once I get this working.

Also, I was going to attempt to rewire a on/off (hold) LED to the guitar, but then I wondered if i'd even have enough holes left on a 9 pin... i think I may have had one.
Might try it some time.

In a word, not at the minute mate.

lachlan said...

Do you Think it would work if I put the Kaoss pad onto a Bass Guitar? would it just sound crap?

and would it work if instead of putting the Kaoss pad behind the bridge like it is on yours, I put it below the strings, near the volume buttons. if you know what I mean

adam said...

Lachlan - Thanks for your comment. Amazing to see this thing still gets views!!! Been years..

Anyway, its a very subjective question first of all. Many believe the KP guitar mod to a be a naff tacky kitsch sorta wannabe muse thing... I'd say to them, if they could do it themself, they'd probably see it differently. Jealous twats. Anyway.. I think it could sound good on bass, but I don't know the Kaoss Pad's sorta, input, output and processing ranges regarding frequencies, so I dont know how well it would recieve, process, and output the lower end of the bass frequencies. KP's are generally for club vox more than anything, so bear that in mind. Maybe try playing with the Bass and KP seperate and seeing if you think its worth it.

As to the location of the pad on your guitar body, it really doesn't matter, other than that you are essentially damaging the integrity of the guitar body, which may or may not affect the tone, and even possibly the physical structure of the guitar. Be really careful, as I cut too close to the lower tailpiece and it meant there was not enough solid wood behind the pressure of the nuts, which began to buckle.

I'd say if anything putting it away from the bottom of the strings and over to the side near the other electronics is going to be a good thing. Bear in mind shielding as well, you're putting electronics right next to really sensitive electromagnetic pickups (im guessing anyway) so that's also a factor...

Please feel free to let me know how you get on, and hope this helps. -adam

Do you Think it would work if I put the Kaoss pad onto a Bass Guitar? would it just sound crap?

and would it work if instead of putting the Kaoss pad behind the bridge like it is on yours, I put it below the strings, near the volume buttons. if you know what I mean