Korg Digital FM Synthesizer (VOLCAFM)

Pinned on June 29, 2019 at 17:58 by Lydia Fleming

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Korg Digital FM Synthesizer (VOLCAFM)

The volca FM is a three-voice digital FM synthesizer that completely reproduces the sound engine of a classic FM synthesizer, and provides compatibility with it as well. The unique volca interface makes it easy to manipulate distinctive FM sounds even if you’re not familiar with the complexities of FM synthesis. The 16-step sequencer that’s one of volca’s features provides new functions such as WARP ACTIVE STEP and PATTERN CHAIN that let you make even more powerful rhythm patterns.

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Comments

Anonymous says:

Great for pro’s and beginners, lots of functionality and features.

Anonymous says:

Not a full-featured sampler, but still an extremely portable, accessible, and versatile groovebox The Volca Sample is the 4th addition to the Volca lineup (I own the Volca Bass also), and arguably offers the most versatility. In fact, I was looking for a fairly straightforward beatbox, and struggled between this and the analog drum sounds of the Volca Beats. Ultimately, I felt like the Beats had a few weaknesses (snare not very popular; limited arsenal of sounds) and that I could cover most of the Beats’ sounds plus a whole lot more with the Volca Sample.That being said, I think this is a 5-star product…provided that you educate yourself in advance of what it does and doesn’t do. It’s an extremely small plastic box that runs on 6 AA batteries and features no slot for external media (USB, SD card, etc.). I don’t know how you reasonably look at those specs and expect this to be a $150 mini-MPC. But if that were your expectation, yes, you’d be a little disappointed.The Volca Sample is special from the other Volca machines in just how flexible it can be towards a variety of needs. You could load it up with acoustic or drum machine samples and have up 10 instruments loaded with 8-instrument/note polyphony. You could load up a series of tuned notes and generate a walking bass line using either motion sequencing/automation, or by setting the same sample to different pitches. Pitch control is handled very well on the Volca Sample, in my opinion. You can change pitch with a numerical up/down value, or by semitones (2 octaves down all the way to two octaves up). This is done by the speed knob, and while lower pitched notes are basically the same sample played back more slowly, you can edit sample length, decay, and other features to balance things out. In fact, the 4×4 matrix with mini knobs in the gray section are 16 step programmable sampling parameters for you to adjust. Not only can these be adjusted for each sample, but you can live record automation or program the changes to occur at different steps. Is it a professional caliber sampler? No. Is it accessible to all levels of users and deceptively powerful for a battery powered, affordable device? Absolutely.SAMPLE EDITING & iOS INTEGRATION – Some of the biggest complaints about the Sample are that the device was marketed as requiring an iOS device to change and edit samples. However, I view that as one of the device’s selling points, and an excellent 3rd-party app from the Caustic developer quickly emerged to allow even more power over sample creation and uploading (I believe this is also available for Android and PC). iOS integration is a strength of the Sample, in my opinion, because there is such an insane wealth of affordable music content in the iOS app store. The Caustic Volca Editor easily links up with an app called AudioShare to import samples stored on your device, or imported from a cloud service like DropBox. Aside from uploading obvious samples (like .wav files of 808/909 sounds available all over the web), you can create your own without leaving your iPhone or iPad and store them in AudioShare. For example, I recorded a simple C2 note in a great app called iFretless Bass, sent it to the Caustic Volca Editor via AudioShare, and had a pitch tuned electric bass sound available on my Sample, and the whole process took maybe a couple of minutes.Some tips/caveats: Some people have complained about the 4MB storage limit on the Volca, which is admittedly quite small. The best way to deal with this is to use the Caustic or AudioPocket editor and identify some of the longer factory samples (1 second or longer) and target those to be replaced. There are 100 sample slots for storage, but whatever you upload needs to be in place of something else, so you can free up more storage that way. Generally speaking, the Volca Sample is better suited for “one-hit” brief samples like a drum, brass hit, or clap. Sampling can also involve longer clips like 5-second guitar riffs, but the Volca Sample really isn’t suited to handle that.The fact that patterns are limited to 16-step single bars is another oft-cited problem with the entire Volca series, but there are workarounds. You can set different patterns and chain them with Song mode, or trigger them with the ribbon keys. Part of the fun of the entire Volca series, however, is taking a very brief and straightforward musical idea and then mutating with filter sweeps, modulation, and effects. The Sample excels at that, and the sound quality is great (through headphones or monitors though, just skip the built-in mini speaker). I like the “Analogue Isolator”, which is basically an fancied-up name for a 2-band EQ, but which allows for some additional tone shaping and automation possibilities.MIDI ISSUES – Unfortunately, the Sample isn’t controlled via MIDI the way you might expect it to be. My understanding is that the 10 different samples respond to different MIDI Channels (1-10), as opposed being…

Anonymous says:

Adequate, useful, does what it claims to do. It would be much better if had panning, and if cables went to back for tidiness!


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