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Review: Korg Volca Keys
  17-Sep-13
22 Comments...  Post a comment    original story
Sean Dynan    Said...

What incredible value for money! Shame about the lack of MIDI control over Resonance (surely an oversight??). But these are going to shift by the warehouseful.

Nice bit of Berlin school over the outro, Nick ;)

17-Sep-13 06:26 AM


factualAct    Said...

Great review. We got to see it properly & i think that this says it all really, the 'KEYS' is the most feature packed of the 3 units. If these had been released 2 months or more earlier, i would have bought the bass & keys models but with the extra time to think about it i'm now less exited, like the novelty wore off before they got here, DOH ! Whilst i would not criticize these because of their price point, i would say that they don't quite live up the hype that has been created around them.I bought the 'Beats' model knowing how it would sound after listening to various demos & i was still underwhelmed by its output.It just sounded weak. At least i tried it out though & hey, it has future prospects when midi out mods etc arrive. Anyway, appreciation to Sonicstate for their ongoing commitment & frankness, what would we do without you guys, thanks Nick. My ears are to the ground waiting for the earth to shake with volca keys vibes !

17-Sep-13 07:21 AM


xyzzy    Said...

Fantastic review!

Was waiting for the outro to morph into Chariots of Fire...

17-Sep-13 07:24 AM


eXode    Said...

I don't know if this is the case with the Keys, but what many people don't realize is that filter stepping is actually a feature. Many synth designers put stepping into their cutoff knob control so that the user easier can tune the filter to semi tones when using a filter that allows self-oscillation. These knobs also often have a filter or slew added to their function so that the steppig only is apparent when tweaking slowly, when sweeping fast the movement is smoothed out.

17-Sep-13 07:44 AM


Mattsynth    Said...

Very interesting how many features are packed into this inexpensive little box. Too cheaply made for my taste but it will be interesting to see what people do with all three boxes together.

17-Sep-13 09:13 AM


Tom    Said...

Sequence modulation and play live over it - you the man Nick!

17-Sep-13 09:47 AM


eXode    Said...

I guess that the Keys are more akin to paraphonic than polyphonic, perhaps the Mono/Poly's long lost younger brother. :)

17-Sep-13 11:40 AM


Eric    Said...

Thanks Nick for your detailed review of the Volca's. This has helped me greatly get a solid feel of picking up one of these!

17-Sep-13 11:56 AM


Ian    Said...

The Korg website merged with www.korg.com some weeks ago. As this is an international site content is specific to the country viewing from or selected.

17-Sep-13 01:13 PM


Ian    Said...

In response to Sean, resonance is not controllable via MIDI as this is wholly in the analog signal path. It is not an oversight but a design feature to maintain analog purity

17-Sep-13 01:17 PM


Dr.Filterstein    Said...

This is another cheap Toy for poor stupid customers.Buy it if your brain and pocket are very small.

17-Sep-13 01:58 PM


blox electric    Said...

Quote "Dr.Filterstein Said... This is another cheap Toy for poor stupid customers.Buy it if your brain and pocket are very small."

That's what we like to see around here ! Constructive comments by massive brained folk. You can always tell the bright ones by their overwhelmingly intelligent grammar. I feel sooo stupid now that i bought a volca.Thank the cyber heavens for those internet trolls !

17-Sep-13 03:18 PM


Dr funkenstein    Said...

@ dr.filterstein... Your momma

18-Sep-13 11:12 AM


Fr777    Said...

I suspect the filter was altered to ensure a need for both bass and key versions of the volca line. If not, you would have to be a complete idiot to buy the volca bass.i can't wait to open these boxes up and take a soldering iron to them,making them reach their full potential. Also @dr. crackedpluginsfilterstein,stop being such a gaytard

18-Sep-13 11:20 AM


factualAct    Said...

So, you'd have to be a complete idiot but you're going to buy them anyway ! Or are you going to open up someone elses ?

19-Sep-13 05:33 AM


Ted    Said...

eXode: Incorrect.

The filter stepping is a totally unwanted byproduct of digital control. It only exists on digitally controlled analogs and low-res VAs.

There is no "slew" on fast knob tweaks. Slew would only be useful on slow tweaks! It's merely stepping through those discrete values too fast to be heard.

No one is designing filters like this on purpose - 127 steps of MIDI resolution is the problem.

It's not hard to tune keytracked self-oscillation on a smooth analog pot.

Korg is making maxium profit on these things, and so a dated 127 steps of filter resolution is one of those cost-saving options that is keeping me away from it.

19-Sep-13 08:56 AM


Lu    Said...

I actually like the stepped filter, just for the variety, but is kind of cool in its own way, digital artefacts have their own unique texture, and as others have said, you have the lovely sweepy bass filter as well.

19-Sep-13 10:15 AM


downtoearth    Said...

Some people still like these no matter what ! There's a heck of a load of defense going on for a gadget that isn't here yet. Can't wait to see what the same people think of them in a year when they actually have time to spend with the things.

20-Sep-13 01:55 PM


RP    Said...

Are these things even in the stores yet. I've been checking from time to time and nobody seems to have received any stock. Seems like a very long time ago they were introduced at Messe. Anyone (non media) got one?

20-Sep-13 02:18 PM


blox electric    Said...

I predict the volcas will be arriving in U.K shops within 7 days. Watch out for them.I think they are in the country now so it's just a matter of time for main depo's to distribute them. If i'm wrong, cyber-shoot me !

20-Sep-13 05:45 PM


Lee    Said...

People called the 303 a piece of junk toy when it came out. People got past their limititations and the rest is history.picked up 2 from local pawnshops in the early 90s for about 150 a piece and just sold one of them for 1800 bucks so people should spend more time making music and less time on forums releasing their rage stemming from how sh** their lives have turned out. Stop being so damn angry already,enjoy your cracked plugins and leave this stuff for people that still find some joy in life

21-Sep-13 02:52 PM


Anon    Said...

They arrive on the 24th for 1 u.s. retailer and will only fulfill preorders, and more than likely there will still not be enough. Second wave hits stores in mid October. A good friend happens to work for this company and isn't supposed to tell customers anything but they should be arriving soon. Currently the volca beats has the highest amount of preorders,then its the bass,followed by the keys. Hopefully this offers some insight as to when you can actually expect to get your hands on these.

21-Sep-13 03:11 PM


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