Volcas - which are your favorites?


It’s actually quite surprising how well they hold their value. I bought all of my mine used for somewhere around $85-100 a pop quite a while ago, and that’s still the going price here in Japan. I thought I’d be able to find a cheap beats by now, but they don’t pop up for much less than what I paid for my others (although with the right timing you occasionally see a deal).

Also, I bet they would actually gain in value if Korg stops making them. That’s what happened with the Monotribe.


Yeah, it’s definitely my favorite of the ones I own.


Here’s the beat where I sampled the Volca Kick into the K.O. (the bassline is a note from Volca Kick), melody is a note from the Microkorg, drums are a chopped up drum break from vinyl. Beat made on the K.O., so it’s pretty simple & I know it’s not a Volca, but I really like how the Volca Kick sounds (pretty powerful if you ask me, it makes amazing sub bass).


Yeah, I thought about selling mine since I have the SE-02, but the Volcas still have a sort of raw, primative appeal to me. I still haven’t tried running them through the SE-02’s filter. I should try that today. If it’s good it will be even easier to justify one of those cool breakout boxes that SE is working on.

I know what you mean about the Kick. I’ve had a love/hate relationship with it.

I almost sold mine because I was afraid of damaging my ears with it using headphones. Also, it goes so low that the stuff I was recording with headphones disappeared on most speakers. Now that I have a pair of good monitors, I’m keen to try to mix one again. The other thing I want to try today is using the tuner on the Korg MS-70CDR with it to see how easy it is to tune.

Maybe if I get some good kicks sampled onto my DT, my GAS for the Beats will go away. Probably not though. Lol.


Love the Keys :sunglasses: It’s definitely my favorite. The FM is great too, but hasn’t seen a lot of love since I made the Prophet 12 my primary hw synth.


I have 4 volcas, beat, key, sample, and fm. When I first got them they all saw heavy integration into my setup. I was using the monomachine to sequence the fm, key, and beat with the sample following clock and adding some lofi goodness. Plocking volca parameters with the monomachine is pretty great as well, levels up the volcas.

Now the two the see the most use in my setup are the key and the fm. I sample them with my digitakt often but don’t really midi sequence them anymore. Really because if the work flow change of adding the digitakt. Even will minimal use I still find that at their price they are worth having.

Beats and sample ended up being kind of a redundant purchase. Kicks and hats are the good part of the beat, along with the shuffle feature. I wish it had a better snare and clap. Unfortunately sample can pretty much sound like the beat can.


This is a great description of it (above - Volca FM)


I think that the Volcas are so cheap that unless you need the cash they are worth keeping around even for occasional use, they might lack tons of options, memory and in some cases parameters but they definitely punch well above their weight.


Yea, that’s the conclusion I come to every time I think about selling 1.


Yeah, the compact size helps as well. Part of me hopes that if I get the Beats it will keep me from buying a Behringer 808 clone. I’m tempted by that thing but man I don’t want to take up that much space in my place.

Plus, I think the original three even look cool on a book shelf as art. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I also think the Zoom ms-70cdr (and/or Monotron Delay) should pretty much be required purchases for the Volca series. The Zoom in particular adds so much that the Volca is almost not even the same instrument.


A cool Monotron + Keys example.


If you have four sitting around like I do that’s a nice chunk out of a more expensive piece of gear.


Ah the volcas!! I am a bit tipsy so here’s my 2 cents :wink:
The volcas were my gateway drug …
My first ever purchase, and probably the best, is the volca beats, that kick drum is like no other, and yes it might need a tiny bit of EQ to put to taste but it’s exquisite! (by first I mean in all gear) I wish it could do more like individual outs etc. but still it is by far the best volca I have … and I have them all (except the mix, the mix is a big WTF!)
My next two favorites are the bass and the kick : the bass is just funky and playful and turning that big cutoff knob is just satisfying and fill me joy! :slight_smile: sure, yes, it have it’s limitation and it probably won’t fill all your bass needs but we’re talking about the volcas here! they all are limited, and you didn’t pay an arm or a leg to get one …
The kick is just nasty, and is not for everyone : if you care about your kick drum, and by care I mean spend time tweaking, refining etc. (I catch myself just adjusting a four to the floor for 15 minutes sometimes). Yes you can do other tricks with it, and yes the kick on the beats is still my favorite (kinda warmer) but they kinda complement each other beautifully if you get them to sync properly lol.
My least favorite is the keys and I know people love it, it makes great sounds on youtube but for the life of me I’ve never had a good jam on it (I am selling mine btw, just too lazy to put it out there), I don’t know we never clicked lol
That leaves what? the sample and the FM : the sample is fun! but I never been into samples, I like analog, or maybe it’s a psychological boundary I’ve put to myself (I don’t know why I have a digitakt for instance) but I’ve never changed the stock samples for instance, I might need to revisit this one. The FM is just the FM meaning if you want to know first hand what FM synthesis sounds like, get one. Although the ‘interface’ never really made sense to me but the piano sounds are fantastic.

Wow this was long lol… but hey the volcas were my first pieces of gear, they are cheap and a lot of fun, and I’ve seen some serious producers use them for great art even though some people think they are toys or gimmicky a good sound is a good sound no matter were you found it :wink:


I like the Volca FM and Volca Kick especially since the Kick has the MS20 filter! Love my Volca Beats but want the Kick and FM.


I was hoping someone with both the Kick and Beats would chime in. Great to hear you dig it so much.

It’s interesting how everyone has such different impressions of the various Volcas.


they gave me a ton of trouble to be honest, like noise level is too high if you’re using the wrong/bad power source (the korg adapters are fine but a bit expensive, running on battery is also ok but then batteries run out) and they don’t sync well all the time but when they do oh man layering the kick drums is just happiness!


Sold the Bass/Keys/FM/Sample recently, together with some other stuff, to fund a A4 MKII. But the love for these little boxes will never die. Teached me a lot about synthesis and I even created complete tracks with them. Liked the Bass the most, because of the deep bass sound, the resemblance with the TB-03 and its tweakability.


I regret selling my sample, was the fastest way to get a decent beat down fast. I don’t miss the keys, or bass, their sounds are very one dimensional.


I neglected to mention KVGear, which makes a power supply and daisy-chain for powering multiple Volcas. They also make a Volca mixer which also supplies power to multiple Volcas, and stands.



I just found out how i can start all my volcas at the same time, without MIDI cable! Not sure if it was already posted already somewhere, but i found it might be useful for someone.

How to sync your volcas without a MIDI cable:

Let’s say we have a setup consisting of three volcas.
Choose one Volca as Master / Clock source.
In this example the Volca beats is the master. Connect the sync out with the sync in of the second Volca. („Slave“ of the master). From there you do the same again, connect the sync out to your third Volca. (If you use more volcas, repeat those steps for all of them).

Make sure all volcas are stopped/don’t t play. Insert a cable into the sync in of your „master“, in this example, the Volca beats. The other end of this cable stays unconnected!
Now press play on all volcas. The should not start if you did everything correct.
They don’t start because the master became a slave without a master. Slaves expect a clock tempo but there is none.
To start the everything, just pull the loose cable. The beats becomes a master, sends his clock signal, so that the other slaves can start playing.

It’s actually pretty easy, i‘m just bad in explaining things in English :wink: