Korg Volca Drum


Nice quick review - very useful.

Couldn’t agree more - and while they’re about it, make them readable on phones or a tablet too.


Yeah sucks, I might do a bit of hacking to see if I can find it like I did for the Volca modular, assuming the drum has serial tx on the PCB that is.


Sounds like it would have been cooler if they prominently stated ‘no presets - as it is a synth, make your own’ and left them out too!

Thanks for the frank initial impression.

I’m sort of interested in this if it brings some novel sounds for a relatively cheap price, or can provide a cheapie glitch and ding drum & perc track into a bigger elektron box, saving a track or three, and maybe bringing some new sounds.

Midi opaqueness isn’t encouraging though.


it’s funny because when I read the Volca Modular manual, I was thinking back to when manufacturers actually wrote comprehensive manuals that explained the theory/background behind each synth component. Moog are still great for this, for example. but I thought the Volca Modular one was well-written (online one at least, I haven’t seen the physical one). maybe they think the Volca Drum is simple enough, you should just “get it”…?


Further thoughs, a multimode digital filter with resonance per voice/layer would have been great, not blown away by the much hyped wave guide, reverb/delay would have been preferable for me.

Oh BTW, midi implementation incoming :wink:


Well that was easy, I hooked up to the TX point and read the midi stream, so here is the midi implementation chart ghetto style.

Mine was transmitting on midi ch1, midi channel can be changed globally, so I think it is safe to assume that the CC values are only for the active part, a shame.

Notes parts 1-6:
60, 62, 64, 65, 65, 67

CCs - Where two values shown that is for each layer 1&2
Level 7&8
Amount 26&28
Rate 27&29
Select 14&15
Pitch 23&24
Attack 17&19
Release 18&20
Send 12

Decay 117
Body 118
Tone 119


Any sort of automation transmitted by the sequencer?


No, I’m pretty sure the CC implementation is purely for editing only, it transmits just the notes.


Thanks for the initial thoughts (and your investigations into MIDI details) and you’re not helping to dissuade me from getting one… in fact, you failed at that as I just discovered that one of my two preferred retailers has got them in stock and I’ve got some cash swilling about in my Paypal from selling other stuff.

I’ll report back in due course no doubt…


Do post some softer sounds at some point? I’d like to hear someone tweak this who knows what they’re doing :nyan:


Awesome thanks for the report and for the initial CC implementation! Sweetwater says middle of April for my preorder to ship :frowning:

Keeping occupied with my DT sending CC to the Monologue and making my own hardware version of Grossbeat boom :boom:! Dangit I want that wacky percussion though!


Here is the official midi implementation (with 2 modality: single channel or split channel). enjoy!


Just got it yesterday. It’s powerful, innovative and has a few features I didn’t know about till using it like-minded

-You can set individual part lengths

-You can set step probabilities

-You can edit individual step

-You can save kits and patterns separately

I do wish it had solo and not just mute. I also wish it had a global active step in addition to per part, but that’s about it.

These open it up so much! It sounds unique, and it’s really fun to play. I’ve owned every Volca, and just about every modern (and some vintage) drum machines. This thing is amazing! Home run for Korg.

(Yes I’m very much in the honeymoon phase and these are my honeymoon thoughts!)


I am planning to buy a VD, to add to my OT and Soma Pipe. I have little space so it will help me with synthy sounds to sample. I’ve borrowed a friend’s MS but coming from an OT it’s too limited for my needs. Sample food. Back to the VD the ability to randomise each layer individually and jointly is a real nice trick. I think I will try to buy one next month.


Ooh mine has been shipped!

Gonna pair it with Deluge to add a nice drum synth part to it!


It has some digital flavor for sure, almost DX-like with the heavy mod and the delay section, in which I noticed a slight stereo image/delay in the Tube setting, though I thought it might be a little thicker.
Probably would run through some sort of analog, direct it can get fairly grating.
So there’s possibility for more bass or synthy stuff too. But there IS quite a bit of digging around in the parameters/envelope mods to find sweet spots.
…all in all from sine to noise you can get a wide range. The overdrive, gain section kind of helps compressing and bit reduction a nice touch. I noticed the randomize only takes effect once per activation, but I suppose that is more useful…your hands can be occupied between this, changing patterns and such.
As always motion sequencing opens up more possibility.
Though I didn’t actually hear the probability going off at all. It says go into edit, press the part and change with value knob… Hmm.
It sounded like the first factory pattern (part 1) had probability, but I went into the menu and there was none. Might have been a chained pattern.
Haven’t found indiv. part length and didn’t check the slice section yet.
It’s going to be a couple weeks just dialing in sounds and patterns I think, which could be a good thing.


Just started digging into mine yesterday. Its totally rad. Have the DT sending it CC changes and the neat part is that the parameters show up on the KVD screen and you can see the rate and direction of the LFO! TONS more to play with though.

Using the Split Mode Midi implementation - https://www.korg.com/us/support/download/manual/0/809/4259/ It takes up 6 midi tracks but its not really a problem for me as I have only the Korg Monologue needing another track. The DN can sequence itself just fine thank ya very much. Discovered for the first time that there is no ratcheting / retrig / slice (korg term) on the midi implementation of the DT. Thats fine though too really as you can do some really cool stuff with slice on the KVD.

I’m actually really quite impressed with this little monster! But I am truly getting fed up with spending most of my music time trying to troubleshoot DAW issues and why my interface isn’t sending midi (and other misc nonsense) :roll_eyes: I’m becoming one of “those dawless peoples”.


Thanks for the info (and to @MixedSignals and @ddiamond84) as they seem to have all been picked up on pre-orders in the UK so I’m waiting for them to become available again.

Can you combine using the onboard sequencer for it’s step lengths and probability as mentioned above, but sync’d to the DT and with the DT sending parameter changes via CC?

I’m imagining a whole world of possibilities with that…


Got mine yesterday and had a few hours with it. First impressions are really positive - it’s just what the doctor ordered: bonkers in a good way. You can get quite good bass levels out of it. Editing is a bit of a pain with such small controls (my first Volca) and with some use of func button. Don’t like sequencing with the device itself, but pairing it with Deluge provides immediate satisfaction somewhere around nucleus accumbes.


Loving my Volca Drum. Step length per track for poly meter so good.

Im able to conjure up some really great sounds but have a very hard time entering in useful modulation via the knobs.

Most importantly I tried connecting my Keystep in the hopes that I could play some of these sounds melodically…
that doesnt seem to be working. does the KVD lack this?
looking at the midi implementation chart I see 26, 27, 28 for the CC control of pitch. I dont think the keystep puts out CC from the keys. Ill need something inbetween I assume? pi maybe. or just use a daw?

from a standalone POV the KVD is a Drum and techno Monster has almost all the features I could want other than the strangely simple sequencers korg often goes for. Some of the preset sequences do give the impression of being longer then the sequencers allow. im thinking thats just the probability> which is a great feature. Ratcheting, accent, vol, choke. its pretty good.