Korg Volca Sample Digital Sample Sequencer
Tweak, play, and sequence samples “ volca-style.
The volca sample is a sample sequencer that lets you edit and sequence up to 100 sample sounds in real time for powerful live performances. It' a powerful addition to any existing volca setup, or s... read more
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edited over 1 year ago
A simple sample player. It CAN NOT sample itself, requires an iPhone or another external device to load samples into volca. The workflow is quite inspiring, but the flexibility of the device is poor. I bought it to add some organic to my Electribe EMX-1 performances and it does the job well. Good for the price, actually.
edited almost 2 years ago
A punchy little beastie
After messing around with rhythms on software and phone apps, I decided to finally spring for a piece of hardware that could supply my pieces with a necessary 4/4 snap. This little guy appealed to me due to its tiny size and minuscule price tag. As with all the Volcas, you typically get quite a bit of bang for your buck. Nonetheless, there are always limitations and caveats to keep in mind.
As far as the Volca Sample goes, there are lots of appealing factors. It's loaded with 99 presets, and a great many of them are actually quite useful. Unlike a DAW or a modern sampler, this one has a few quirks that really give the rhythms a punch. The relatively low bit rate ensures some grit, and the two analog filters on the left side will guarantee that some warmth will color the tone. Also, the step sequencer is very intuitive and quite responsive. Your finger can glide smoothly as patterns play out, as you go into step mode, or when recording live. It certainly doesn't have cumbersome buttons or complex menus. In addition, notice all those knobs in the center? They can be really helpful in tweaking a sound's pitch, speed, start point, end point, and more. You can even save your real-time twiddles. Next, you can save quite a few patterns and string them up to create "songs." Also, since it comes with a set of batteries and has built-in speakers, you can make beats on the go in seconds flat. That immediacy is certainly more conducive to pattern construction than just staring at a laptop.
Nevertheless, its not perfect. First and foremost, its the Volca Sample and not the Volca Sampler. That's a critical point! If you want to add sounds, you'll need to use your phone or computer. Then you'll need a weird app that will send the sample into the Volca via the headphone jack. Resampling, a feature of basically every other sampler out there, is also non-existent. It's not you like you can actually add effects beyond reverb anyway. It's worth adding that, while a lot of the samples are pretty good, many seem oriented towards genres that I'm personally not really into. I'd venture as far to say that some are just cheesy. Aside from the sample issues, there are other minor gripes to consider (and these are applicable to all Volcas). First, it only has MIDI IN. All the other Ins and Outs are 1/8 jacks. You'll also have to buy a power supply. In addition, while there's not extensive menu diving, you will have to deal with the several less-than-intuitive alternate features generated by pressing the Function button. Nearly every button and most of the steps in the sequencer will do a different thing when you hold down the Function key, and the barrage of options can throw you off if you're making a live rhythm. Finally, there's the issue of all the darn central knobs. It's very easy (almost too easy) to render a sample unusable by twiddling in the wrong direction. This can kill the vibe almost instantly.
In the end, I went on to say goodbye to this little fella. It was a great introduction to tactile rhythm creation, and I'll always love it for that. The sounds one can get from it are massive and have character. However, its limitations became plain enough after a while. I soon replaced it with an old Korg Electribe ES-1. Despite its own flaws, that one is more intuitive, has a multitude of effects, can do MIDI IN and OUT, is able to sample, can resample, and has 1/4 inch outputs. I'm satisfied.
Should YOU get it? Whether you're a beginner or a veteran, you'll find some great things about the Volca Sample. Your recordings will gain quite a lot from its mighty tones. The low-end rumble can be tremendous! You'll have way more fun on this than on a DAW, and your wallet won't be too upset about your choices. Just be warned that you'll end up running into frustrations as you bump into its the limits imposed by its construction.
Finicky but fun
I bought this to use as drums as the Volca Beats wasn't available at my local music store and I thought maybe it would be more versatile. The whole using an app to load samples to the Volca is kind of irritating and the fact that it needs special Midi cords to work properly with a sequencer like the BeatStep are just a couple of the irritations I had with this thing but when it works it sounds good...not great and the line can be noisy but I do plan to give all my Volcas another look in the New Year to see if I can't do something with them more than impressing the nieces and nephews hehe.
No matter how you look at it, this is the biggest steal in the history of music instrument history. No wonder most APC’s are collecting dust... some got smart and decided to learn what this incredible powerhouse can do. Just watch the Korg videos and pay attention to the layering, this is an incredible tool. Yes you can upload you own samples with both desktop and mobile. This is indispensable and I may buy 4 more. IMHO.
Tweak, play, and sequence samples “ volca-style.
The volca sample is a sample sequencer that lets you edit and sequence up to 100 sample sounds in real time for powerful live performances. It' a powerful addition to any existing volca setup, or simply on its own. The new volca lets you recapture the excitement of the first generation of samplers, in which any sound --- vocals, spoken words, ambient sound, or glitches --- becomes material for your creations!
A fun to use sequencer
T he step sequencer is designed for ease of editing and to allow parts to be inserted or removed "on the fly." Use the 16 step keys to enter notes intuitively while maintaining visual confirmation of the timing of the notes in a measure. You can also record your performance in real time.
Up to ten of the sequence patterns you create can be stored in internal memory.
Motion sequencer records and plays back up to 11 parameters
The motion sequence function records your knob movements, letting you add time-varying change to the sound. This is a great way to polish your loops, and also lets you generate highly original live performances. The volca sample is able to record all knob movements that are related to sound editing. This allows sophisticated editing that had been impossible for hardware samplers of this category.
Active Step and Step Jump functions let you insert and remove steps
The Active Step function lets you skip steps during the sequence, and the Step Jump function lets you instantly play just the step that you're pressing. From short-loop effects to unimaginably irregular rhythms, these functions allow dynamic performances as though you were performing the sequence itself.
Swing function generates grooves
The Swing function adjusts the swing playback position, generating the distinctive groove of dance music styles such as hip-hop. As appropriate for the character of your song, you can shift between rushing and dragging the beat.
Analog Isolator provides powerful and great-sounding possibilities
volca sample features a frequency isolator, which has become a powerful tool in the creation of numerous electronic genres. This lets you apply powerful changes to the sound and create development and breaks by boosting or cutting the low/high ranges. The isolator is implemented as an analog circuit, ensuring thick sound even in the flat position.
Reverb Per Part
The built-in reverb effect can be switched on/off for each part. The isolator and reverb can be used together, enhancing your live performance with possibilities such as cutting the low range and letting it fly.
Song mode for more dynamic performances
In a first for the volca series, a Song mode is featured. You can save up to six song patterns, each combining up to 16 sequences. This enables performance possibilities that are unique to the volca sample with its ability to play a diverse range of samples; for example you could play back together with another synchronized volca unit while dramatically changing the rhythm pattern of the volca sample.
Reverse function lets you play samples backward
The sample reverse playback that's indispensable for hip-hop is provided, and you can turn it on/off independently for each part.
- A fun to use sequencer with superb improvisatory potential
- Motion sequencer records and plays back up to 11 parameters
- Active Step and Step Jump functions let you insert and remove steps
- Swing function generates grooves
- Analog Isolator provides powerful and great-sounding possibilities
- Reverb Per Part
- Song mode for more dynamic performances
- Reverse function lets you play samples backward