Korg Volca Modular


There’s a generative demo on the Korg website. From the website:

The Rise-Fall generator is looped to create an LFO which modulates the pitch and cutoff. Since the speed of the LFO itself changes irregularly, a variety of tonal characters is produced.

Of course a bigger modular system would give you more options for generative patches, but again, peeps don’t buy Volcas to compete with full modulars; they buy them for mobility, easy travel, etc.


Comparing to 0-coast there is a fair bit where the Korg comes out on top: 2 osc, (+ extra from the loopable function sections) sequencer, parameter locks, digital reverb, extra lpg. But also a fair bit where the 0-coast comes out on top: eurorack compatibility, midi in, and possibly a better overall tone if the demos of the Korg are anything to go by?


I have suspended my judgement until playing one but yes, the demos seem to sound a bit off


Most peeps will prefer the 0-coast “tone” because of that east-coast oscillator, but again, nobody buys a Volca for premium-class tone. Volcas appeal more to musos with a punk rock kind of attitude - the same attitude with which young people bought Fender Jaguars, Roland TB-303s, SH-101s, etc. at a time they were considered undesirable by “pros”, “real musicians”, etc.


Couldn’t agree more


The 0-Coast can have up to three oscs by using other functions as oscillators too. But it’s very nice that the Volca has two oscs from the get-go, and the sequencer alone is going to be key to its expressiveness and utility.


Except tb 303 and sh 101 sound really good, psychedelic powerful sound went very well together with the punk adetude. I might be wrong but i don’t see any potential of that kind in volca series.


sounds like a lot of fun. Is there a growing scene of Volca bands killing the shows somewhere that I’ve missed?


Yes, but I think that the 0-coast often mentioned hidden oscillators whilst handy are often not that useful if you want to use contour and slope for dynamic/timbral playing. The Volca can have upto 3 osc and still use one of the functions for note length/dynamics.

Not in any way knocking the 0-coast, I have one and think it is brilliant BTW and of course specs aren’t everything - gotta love that juicy 0-coast twang, and as has been said of it before it is very much a sweet spot synth.

I think the Volca will be interesting for some duo-phonic stuff, say a bass and melody, and for supportive roles in compositions, “sprinkles” ? Where maybe the 0-coast shines more as a main component in a composition like for a strong bass or lead sound, generally.


Absolutely agree, yes.


I don’t know if it’s just me but based on some other videos I’ve seen I think it sounds pretty bad.


Judging by the comments in the thread (including mine) it does seem that so far the demos don’t sound too great. I think the lacklustre sequences and boring settings in the demos are more to blame, like for example we are not really hearing the duller darker side, just fully open LPGs with harmonically rich sounds that tend to sound thin and tiring. IMHO :wink:

Edit: Taken as a whole (and I’m talking generally here) it is quite easy to see why in the early days of the synth industry more people took to the east coast stuff more widely than the west coast stuff, it is a lot easier to make east coast sound “pleasant” or “agressive” than it is on west coast, where often atonal/metallic/struck/sharp/quirky are typically adjective descriptions of the west coast on first look/listen at least.


I love the total balls up by one Korg rep calling the sequencer mode ‘scotastic’, I mean come on, re-take? :face_with_symbols_over_mouth::clapper:


I dunno… I was born, raised and live in Scotland and the sequencer seems pretty scotastic to me… I’ll get me coat.


the word you are looking for is probably ‘stochastic’ meaning random in this context


This is (not) music to my ears…


yeah, it’s generally not good idea to put too much trust on the demos that are crushed at least twice by the AD algorithms for uploading.


I think you are wrong as I think the Volca’s do sound really good, psychedelic and powerful. In the same way as the classic 101/303 et al? Not at all, but then I find objectively rating fundamentally subjective things to be a curious proposition. There are times when one is better than the other and vice versa. Also, we all listen to things with our own personal set of conscious and sub-conscious expectation and so the decades of cultural conditioning through well loved songs and familiarity plays a role.

As for the Volca Modular versus the 0-Coast… well, I have a 0-Coast and it’s a great synth that is flexible and nice sounding. But, on pure flexibility alone the Volca Modular has it beat. For a lot of people the sound of the 0-Coast will be more preferable and will outweigh the flexibility. I guess it’s a bit more refined (for lack of a better term) but for me, the tone of the Volca Modular is still nice but in a different way and I certainly think I’ll have a lot of fun exploring what I can do with it. It’s not an either or for me.


Oh, and another point about flexibility. The 0-Coast and Volca Modular have different ranges and nature of flexibility so I suppose that is something people will naturally take into consideration.


Let’s be honest, if you don’t like what you’re hearing at 128kbps I highly doubt a lossless version of the same audio will change your mind.