Korg Volca Sample

Portable Sampler

  • Can be synchronised with other Korg Volca and Electribe models
  • Motion sequencer to record/playback up to 11 parameters
  • Active step and step jump functions
  • Swing function
  • Analog insulator for sample modeling
  • Reverb effect
  • Reverse function
  • Trigger pads
  • LED display
  • MIDI in
  • Integrated loudspeaker
  • 3.5 mm mini jack headphone output
  • Power supply: 6x AA battery or optional power supply (KA-350, not included)
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 193 x 115 x 45 mm
  • Weight: 372 g

Note: Sample entry only with a specific iOS app!

Further Information

Polyphony 8
Internal Storage Yes
Storage Medium internal
File Format WAV
Time Stretching No
Effects Yes
USB-port No
Analogue Inputs 1
Analogue Outputs 1
Digital Outputs No
Display Yes
Sequencer Yes

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64 written ratings Read all reviews
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Good staff if you new in electronic music and for street musicians
tacetfive, 11.12.2019
pros:
+ Size. It really can be carried in a pocket.
+ Works on six batteries (included), but the signal, of course, needs to be amplified. There are even poor speaker;
+ Sequencer for 10 tracks;
+ The ability to edit the parameters at each step of the sequencer (you can register small melodies, envelopes of filters, etc.);
+ Swing function (classic);
+ There's two modes: sequences are edited in first, and in the second “song mode", you can register a chain of sequences;
+ You can load your samples and edit sequences in the Vosyr program (doesn't work on windows and android, but everything is fine on Apple);
- stereo output: the panning of each sample is adjusted;
- On the general output, you can hang the reverb effect;
- midi-interface, you can control an external sequencer (personally, I always did).

neg:
— the size. Yes, this is both a plus and a minus. The downside is that the text on front panel are very small, you can not play with a sampler on stage without memorize the placement of all buttons. Encoders are also small;
— You can save only 10 sequences. To save more you need to back up projects to the computer with Vosyr app;
— In each sequence there are only 16 steps - to write longer parts, you have to spend sequences, which so only 10. Personally, I scored this minus, because I have an external midi-sequencer, but on the street it will be excessive piling up of equipment;
— The quality of the samples is 31250 Hz, 16 Bit. Given Korg’s good audio interface, I don’t think it's a minus, but not could not write. If you jerk off for quality, there is Korg Electribe for €400 and with samples 48000 Hz, 24 Bit, but it also doesn't good equipment, and even more in size.

In general, a typewriter is ideal for fairly simple bits, or if you have never dealt with electronic music. If you want to understand the basics of electronic, understand yours is or not.
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Amazing little box, the best in the Volca range.
TrEr, 31.05.2017
I've been slightly disappointed by the other Volcas. With the exception of the FM they have all felt like toys to me, but this one, WOW! To get a nice sounding sample sequencer with lots of knobs to tweak at this price is just INSANE!

Ok, there's obviously a few shortcomings at this cost so lets get the bad stuff out of the way first:

-The reverb isn't that great. In fact it's very poor and metallic sounding (but I guess some people might like it and it's a nice "extra" I guess).

-The high/low shelf eq (or "Analog Isolator" as Korg calls it) isn't exactly studio quality either (but a nice feature nonetheless).

-Unless you use third party software you can only import samples from an iPhone(!). But I've tested the Vosyr Free Volca Sample Manager from Frederikson Labs and it works great so this isn't a big issue at all. Just be aware that unless you use iOS you will not have official Korg software available.

-The built in speaker is obviously crap but that's to be expected and no big deal.

-The manual is absolute RUBBISH like any typical Korg (or other Japanese synth manufacturer) manual. Luckily the unit is pretty intuitive so it's reasonably easy to get started even with the horrible manual.

-It seems like a strange priority to only be able to save 10 patterns but 6 songs! I mean, no-one is going to make 6 songs out of 10 patterns...? Stupid!!!

-Like all Volcas the knobs are very small and the "keys" are... well, lets just say they are not exactly precision tools.


And that's about it for the bad stuff. Ok, the "'Motion Sequence" function (simple automation in Korg language) isn't really that great either to be honest. But then I found Motion Sequence to be very fiddly and erratic on ALL the Volcas so maybe it's just me?

Except for these issues the Volca Sample is an amazing little box. There are plenty of knobs to edit samples in lots of different ways like length, pitch, start/end points, envelope, etc. It's a great creative tool that allow samples to be transformed into completely different sounds. Even with only the factory samples available there's still potential to create lots of unique and cool stuff.

The sequencer works great too, same as on all the Volcas. And there's a song mode, hurray!! (this is sadly missing on the Volca Beats).

One last thing: Be aware that the Volca Sample uses ALL midi channels to be able to send signals for all controls separately for all samples. This might be a dealbreaker for many setups. Not a problem for me though.

Even with all it's shortcomings the Volca Sample is an amazing little box. It has lots of knobs to tweak, it really sparks creativity and it's lots of fun! I would consider the Volca Sample a bargain even at twice it's price.

Highly recommended!
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