Korg Volca Modular


That Avalanche run gives it that wow factor


The Avalanche Run seems to give everything a wow factor.


I guess new format jumblers will pop-up eventually.





I can’t get mine to change the sync input/output on the global parameters settings. I hold func when turning it on, and all the other settings light up/don’t light up except step 6, the sync setting.

I’m using my tr-8s trigger out to sync in on the Volca modular but the Volca plays comically fast. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.


You probably need to attenuate the trigger out from the TR-8s because it sounds like the voltage is saturating the sync input of the Volca, IIRC the volca can accept upto 10v triggers, the TR-8s probably puts out 12v or more.


I’ve had my Volca Modular for 2 or 3 weeks now and so I thought it might be helpful to pop a quick review of the device here in case it’s of use to anyone who’s considering one. Overall, I think this is a pretty excellent instrument but one that is quite specific. Which is perhaps oxymoronic given it’s a semi-modular situation. What I mean by that is that whilst it has all manner of flexibility the base tone of it shines through. As such I think it works better in combination with other instruments where it is contributing to a whole rather than doing the heavy lifting of carrying the song.

The feature set is really well considered and the functions of the onboard sequencer compliment the patchability well and it does invite experimentation lending itself well to more adventurous sounds - in that respect I really commend Korg in this instance. There are some neat tricks for more common uses too but that’s not where it shines. Taking the modulator out through the second LPG is a great example of this which can get nicely detuned sounds. The one aspect I’m really not keen on is the reverb… at least being used as a traditional reverb. However, when you start modulating it and thinking of it more like a special effect rather than something to create a nice sense of space then you can do some pretty cool stuff with it. Especially is you add some nice external reverb.

One thing that there has been comparisons with is the 0-Coast and having both I reckon it’s a pretty erroneous comparison… I’d never suggest the Volca as a cheap alternative to the 0-C. As far as raw tone is concerned, they’re quite far apart and I can see a case for each being better depending on your own particular tastes. They’re both really flexible in their own ways too so I tend to find that I come up with quite divergent results with each. A ropey metaphor for the two would be that the 0-C is classic rock where the Volca Mod is a bit punk.

Hopefully this ramble has been useful… I did actually record a jam with it so I should probably post that in the Our Music section.


Will it hum like the other two volcas I bought (and regretted to do so?)…
I don’t know guys…
It’s fun, until you pump up the volume.
But it’s fun, to be honest and that counts!


I can’t say that I noticed but I didn’t pump the volume too much. that said, I’m a bit lazy with things like recording chains and I’m pretty comfortable with a less than clean signal. i tend to view it as character so long as it’s not too obtrusive.


Yeah, maybe i had bad copies with my volcas, could be. But it annoyed me. Guess I got bad luck and thought it’s normal for such boxes.


I just dug out my old Volca Bass and then did a quick test. Set both of them so that they were using a single oscillator and turned it up full volume and set the input gain on my audio interface so that they were just below clipping. When doing that I didn’t have much in the way of hum from either. The Bass had just a tiny bit of hiss perhaps about -96 but I had to crank my monitors to almost full bung for it to be noticeable. But it was also a little hotter on the output than the Modular.

Perhaps one thing might be that I’ve always run mine on rechargeable batteries rather than using a power supply so maybe that could’ve been an issue.


Every music forum is full of people with poor gain-staging practices, so every time I hear complaints about a piece of gear from a very reputable manufacturer like Korg, Novation, etc having unacceptable noise levels, it’s almost a sure bet that it is user error. Gain-staging, dirty power, faulty/incorrect adapter, wrong cables, etc.

@gekkonier No offense meant to you of course, but your Volcas weren’t faulty.


Find your canvas and don’t stop painting. If the noise bothers you on the volume boost you can always use noise reduction on audio repair or your DAW.


Almost certainly always the culprit IME.

Re the Volca modular I have not dug too deep with mine yet, but pretty much agree with all your observations, one guy on muffs has a music easel and he rates the Volca modular as very good although as expected somewhat different, but with some overlap and even some aspects of the Volca that he prefers. The motion sequencing combined with the patching is pretty unique in a device at this price point.


Confirmed that attenuation worked for me when trying to sync the Volca with the TE modular, was getting skipped and rushed steps until I attenuated the TE modular clock before sending into Volca.


@Hawk Don’t worry, I’m not mad about anything. If I were mad about it what could make me happy? :wink:


I have 3 volcas and a solid grasp on gain structure…i must say the SNR on the keys is terrible, the worst of any device i have owned (the kaoss pad 3 is second worst) the bass and fm are definately better…

But even with the delay off the keys has a level of noise that i basically have to run a noise gate over or it drives me bonkers. The pre amps in my desk are exceptionally clean and polite (Yamaha N12) the desk has XLR and Balanced TRS at +4 and -10 with a 20db pad if needed…no problems there.

I have tried the direct line into the desk…passive and active D.I.
(Radial engineering JDI and JD48) the desk also has one channel for instrument level in…the best so far strangely is a behringer stereo D.I. that converts to XLR so i can use the preamps…signal is sitting at 0db pre fader…

Its quiet but my blofeld is quieter and runs a similar chain into a D.I. then uses the desk pre amps. But no noise.

The volca is just noisy…with power supply or battery…?


Indeed it does have points for midi i/o:


My Sample is worse than my Keys. The sample has a mellow hum thats like a chord. Keys is hissy. My Blofeld’s noise didn’t seem a problem, until I run some compression / limiting on drum sounds - then the aggressive buzziness starts to become something I just have to work with. All three are really in use for their character so I’m vaguely okay with it.