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Sonic LAB: Korg Volca Beats
  04-Sep-13
15 Comments...  Post a comment    original story
dyscode    Said...

Here is some report from KOMA about patching the volca beats - requires some soldering on SMD parts, yikes!

http://www.koma-elektronik.com/koma-elektronik-mods-the-new-korg-volca-beats/

04-Sep-13 07:36 AM


MadGoat    Said...

So this won't be out for another 90 years? According to the review credit date it's September 2103.

04-Sep-13 08:14 AM


Nick B    Said...

Ha! nice spot, was in a bit of a rush to get this out, no, should be sooner than that!

04-Sep-13 08:31 AM


Eric    Said...

excellent review Nick! My questions were answered and made clear!

still getting one!

04-Sep-13 08:38 AM


Lu    Said...

Thanks Nick! Nice and thorough. This is just what I need to add a bit of complexity to my beats. Complements my tr-606 beautifully I think. And has exactly the sound I'm after which admittedly is somewhat casiotone-ish.

04-Sep-13 10:36 AM


GTRman    Said...

There is just not enough "must have" features on this box for me. Nick did not talk much about the quality of this unit. It seams to be made very toyish like. The new Korg MS20 was a big disappointment in the quality category so I would figure this box would follow suite. Anyway it looks like you get what you pay for here.

04-Sep-13 02:05 PM


Production Unit    Said...

Excellent review as ever. Will the 'sync in' also function with a CV sync like the Monotribe?

04-Sep-13 02:16 PM


factualAct    Said...

Thankyou Nick.A very good review & enough really for this product.I could hear it pretty well on headphones. I think that while the drum patterns can sound comfy & warm it still lacks enough variation & would soon become boring. A very good expander for monotribe artists though. I'll put my money on the volca keys i reckon.

04-Sep-13 02:30 PM


al_bot    Said...

Thanks Nick for the review! Still on the fence on this one. I'll have to try at the store. Something's not clicking for me on this one.

04-Sep-13 06:28 PM


Benedict Johnson    Said...

I am clearly from a generation that has never heard these kinds of percussion sounds used in their element. Sounds familiarly like Flight Of The Conchords, but I'm unfamiliar with the entire world of Roland Drum machines

06-Sep-13 02:30 PM


blox electric    Said...

I have given the volca beats a raw deal so far compared to the other two volca models & really, it does seem quite limited...HOWEVER, it was the volca beats that first drew my attention the the volcas back in Feb or March having the need for basic raw analogue drum sounds & back then i was exited about it.... ...Then there was a long long wait & a bunch of date setbacks from Korg ! (& tons of speculation) Eventually when demo's started to appear on youtube i was keen & all ears but with an open mind! (Thanks Ghandi). They came thicker & faster & what occurred to me was that the sounds in the volca beats seemed thin for an analogue drum machine (With the exception of the kick) .Was it just varied recording quality or the youtube & soundcloud compression ?? I dunno but i put it out there on some forums & on youtube & was mostly met with fanboy attitude & people with rose tinted glasses who wanted to defend the thing but didn't actually own one !! OMG the new volca beats could not possibly have any shortcomings...Our bubble is burst !! That kinda vibe. They even believe that you won't be able to get your hands on one because they are SOOO POPULAR you won't stand a chance if you don't preorder !

In the end i got kind of set against it until i saw one on ebay (New) at the correct £120 price tag & after a long thoughtful consideration (About 5 mins) i bit the bullet & handed over some overdraft resources.

SO, going back to my point. I still need those basic dirty analogue drum sounds & i am 24 hours away from trying this unit now. I am going to be ruthless & straight to the point & honest about my findings of the the volca beats.I will be sympathetic to it's price & not judge it by comparing it to any other gear of a higher quality. I'll keep in mind that some external processing is obligatory & to be expected. That this is NOT an 808 or 909 & that korg are not reputed to be the best drum machine makers !

I have put my money where my mouth is albeit a budget product but hey £120 is £120 right ? For the price of 3 volcas i could buy an electribe esx1 or emx1 , new !...

...One last thing. Whatever it turns out like, it's not the gear, it's what you do with it ! (Must try & remember that).I'll post here my findings....If you're all not already bored with this bit !

12-Sep-13 06:50 AM


blox electric    Said...

O.K so i wrote that last spiel. Now i've had time to play a bit. Nick's review here is right on the button. Listen to the sound of the thing on headphones. Mine sounded the same, no surprises there. ON ITS OWN (Unassisted by any fx etc.) i found it to sound small & light. The kick is the biggest sound in the box.The snare sounded terrible, the hats sound ok but quiet. The toms are useful but not tom-like, more like typical 606ish style toms. The pcm sounds also quite light sounding. BUT, if you feed it through some reverb or other mangler of choice it brings it to life, brightens it up. Also looking at the whole package within the volca beats i found that to get the best out i had to use its tools well, the stutter is your friend ! as are the motion sequences. It drew me in & made me tinker with it & i enjoyed the time spent. For 24 hours i was in two minds, keep it or send it back ?? but then it kinda hooked me. I can't see me using it for the type of music i produce even though i am a hardware-die-hard but somehow it has a thing going on & with the right combo of outboard gear to beef it up & the prospect of modding the outputs etc it can stay i reckon. Good fun.

14-Sep-13 03:53 PM


Lou    Said...

Nick you not discuss the part level knob at all. Does it not help with the quiet hats?

19-Sep-13 10:31 AM


Nick B    Said...

No unfortunately not, they are just too quiet IMHO, the only way to address this is to turn everything else down relative to the hats which isn't ideal.

23-Sep-13 04:16 AM


Andy macc    Said...

sounds similar to my electribe er-1 especially the stutter and time feature the er-1 has this too with similar results sounds good :)

30-Sep-13 04:37 PM


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